It has been quite a while since I have had anything to write about other than David Shrigley or Banksy record and CD covers. A couple of months ago, however, I saw an advert for a 2018 album with cover art by Andy Warhol that I had missed. The band Third Eye Blind (or 3EB) had released an EP on vinyl called Thanks for Everything and used one of Andy Warhol’s Skull paintings as the backdrop.
Andy Warhol is said to have bought a human skull in a flea market in Paris in 1975 and made a series of still lives of it in 1976.
Warhol even made drawings of the skull and was photographed with the skull on his head or on his shoulder.
The Thanks for Everything cover had a different skull image on the rear cover reworked to look like street art.
So this is the latest addition to my Warhol cover collection.
I have been collecting record and CD covers designed illustrated or handmade by the artist known as Banksy, as well as record and CD covers that use his art since 2007. My list of records and CDs has grown steadily and now totals eighty-one (including a few doubles).
Sometime early on in my search for Banksy covers I saw a list on the Urban Art Association website that pictured a CD that I have been looking for ever since without success. I had a poor quality picture of the cover image and discussed it with a Banksy/street art collector i know. He mailed me a picture of a Banksy painting that formed the background to the CD cover image and I (as is my wont) made an attempt at reproducing the cover and I sent my reproduction to him and within a few short weeks he had located the missing CD. Someday I will provide a picture but not yet…
However, that is not the only find to arrive in recent weeks. In December 2020 another Bansky collector, Tasso von Haussen, alerted me to an Ebay advert for a September 1999 issue of Sleazenation Magazine that had a CD attached. The CD, The Next XI, is a compilation of tracks put together be Wall of Sound Records with cover art by Banksy.
This is an early Banksy cover that is a great addition to my collection.
I discussed the various covers for Blur’s 2003 Think Tank promo CDs in a recent post and said that I had seen pictures of a rare variation with a baby’s handprint instead of the Petrolhead stamp but never actually seen one and I wondered if it was genuine. Well, now I have a copy.
I got it from a collector in Newcastle who, many years ago had bought a lot of the standard Petrolhead promo CDs and found this unusual one among them. So now I have three variations of the Think Tank promo:
Finding the hand print CD cover makes me wonder if there might also be a variation with a baby’s foot print? So — with the help of Photoshop — I made myself one to keep until a real one turns up (if it ever does).
Now I wonder if my collection of record and CD covers by the artist known as Banksy is complete. I have previously said that I have a complete collection, but I have learned the hard way never to say that any collection is complete — something new always turns up as soon as one says one has everything.
In Part One I mentioned that many, if not the majority, of Shrigley’s record, cassette and CD cover art has been produced as limited editions. I will present several more here.
First off, is a various artists compilation called Worried Noodles. This double CD and book is a tribute to David Shrigley’s Worried Noodles: The Empty Cover book published in 2005 and uses the same cover art. Thirty-one of the poems in the Worried Noodles book were set to music and recorded by a variety of artists ranging from the famous to the (for me) obscure: David Byrne, Franz Ferdinand, Aidan Moffat & The Best Ofs, R.Stevie Moore, Alig Fedder (who will reappear later) and Deerhoof are the artists I’ve heard of.
Next came what I understand to be a limited edition seven-inch single called White Night by a band called White Night, which consisted of David Shrigley and Glaswegian friends.
There are two more releases from 2008. First, the A Brighter Beat/Point of Light seven-inch single taken from Malcolm Middleton’s album of the same name.
The other is Jason Mraz’s Album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. Released on CD, there is a limited edition three-sided double LP with etching on side four. Even the inner sleeve is doodled by Shrigley.
There was only one Shrigley cover in 2009 — for a ten-inch mini album by the Parenthetical Girls, an experimental pop band formed in Everett, Washington, and then based in Portland, Oregon. Six of the eight tracks were written by Ivor Cuttler.
Gallerie Feiber in Berlin held an exhibition of Shrigley’s art in 2011 and releases a limited edition double seven-inch set with cover art by Shrigley and pink vinyl records. Disc one was by Forced to Speak With Others (i.e. David Shrigley) and disk two was by Thee Oh Sees. The two singles were bound together with a pink banner. The edition was limited to 200 copies initialled and numbered by Shrigley.
Shrigley also had an exhibition in 2011 at London’s Hayward Gallery and published a book called Brain Activity which included a two-track seven-inch single.
The following year (2012) Castle Face Records released a version of The Velvet Underground & Nico album with each track played by a different artist. They got David Shrigley to design the cover.
Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement fame) got together with friends in 2013-4 to rerecord Can’s breakthrough album Ege Bamyasi, which was released as a limited edition for Record Store Day in April 2014. The European version was pressed on red vinyl and the American on green vinyl, but both had the David Shrigley cover art.
Only one of the seventeen records, cassettes and CDs/CDrs released beween 2013 and 2020 isn’t part of a limited edition. That is a CD of Malcolm Middleton’s and David Shrigley’s cooperation called Music + Words. However, the couple produced a limited edition LP (1000 copies) of the work with handmade cover featuring Malcolm Middleton’s hand print on one side and David Shrigley’s on the other (don’t ask me which is which.)
David Shrigley has cooperated with Scottish guitarist and producer Iain Shaw on several releases. The first was a limited edition cassette called Awesome on which Shaw provided music to Shrigley’s lyrics. There is also a limitd edition CDr of the recording.
And in 2016 the pair released another collaboration called Listening to Slayer. This was released on a limited seven-inch EP, a limited edition cassette and a limited edition CDr.
Iain Shaw originated in Stornoway, Scotland, and currently lives in Glasgow. He has adopted the alias Lord Stornoway and used this name in his latest collaboration with David Shrigley — an album entitled Don’t Worry that was released in conjunction with Shrigley’s exhibition at the BQ Gallery in Berlin and pressed on luscious pink vinyl. Shrigley also produced a limited edition seven-inch single for the gallery called I Am an Actor.
Finally, there is a limited edition cassette single by Daphne and Celeste called A.L.T.O. with cover art by David Shrigley.
I also have a couple of promo CD-Rs of the Don’t Worry album and a couple of singles from the Listening to Slayer EP.
There is a limited edition book with an LP called Goat Music that I still haven’t been able to get, but hopefully that will turn up soon.
David Shrigley’ is very popular and his paintings, sculptures and posters are becoming highly collectible and consequently expensive. However, he is — as he has admitted — obsessed by records and these are relatively inexpensive at the moment, though many of the limited editions are already very difficult to find. Perhaps this collection of Shrigley’s record, cassette and CD art might turn out to be a sound investment.
Collecting David Shrigley’s record cover art has proved much easier than I had thought it would be. My main research engines have been Ebay and Discogs plus some targeted Internet searches. In my last post on Shrigley’s record cover art I said I had identified twenty-one records. CDs and cassettes with his art. I have been working hard since then and my tally is now up to forty-two records, tapes and CDs/CDrs plus three items that are not strictly records/record covers. These last include David Shrigley’s limited edition I Am Deep in Thought print included with David Grubbs 2003 Cosmic Structure LP, Shrigley’s 2005 book Worried Noodles: The Empty Cover and his I Collect Records Records Frisbee. The frisbee was created in 2014 after David Shrigley’s Life and Life Drawing exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. Despite these not being true record covers I decided to include them in my Shrigley collection.
Many, if not the majority, of David Shrigley’s record, CD and cassette covers are limited editions. These are often produced by museums or art galleries in conjunction with exhibitions of Shrigley’s art. However, the first three releases that I have been able to identify (from 2002-3) are two CDs by the Scottish band Ballboy — A Guide for the Daylight Hours and The Sash My Father Wore And Other Stories and the cover for Blur’s Good Song DVD (the only release from Blur’s Think Tank album that had cover art by someone other than Banksy.
In 2005 Shrigley allowed the group The Singing Adams to use his Untitled (Wild Animal) print design on the cover of their 2004 CD Problems.
Shrigley’s next release was a limited edition LP (500 copies) entitled Forced to Speak With Others which was also released on CD.
And this was followed by a very limited seven-inch single called Ding Dong released in connection with David Shrigley’s exhibition at the Dundee Contemporary Art museum in 2006. Side one has the “ding” sound of a doorbell and side two the “dong” sound.
Two other seven-inch singles appeared in 2006; A split single with Belle & Sebastian’s Casaco Marron (Latenitetales) coupled with David Shrigley’s When I was a Little Girl, and a picture disc The Perfect Me by the American band Deerhoof. Designer and record cover artist Jan Lankisch who was working at Tomlab records introduced David to Deerhoof and he designed this single and agreed to make the cover for Deerhoof’s forthcoming Friend Opportunity album as well as a further picture disc single Matchbook Seeks Maniac (Dedication Mix) / MaKko Shobu.
The Friend Opportunity album contained twelve alternative cover designs produced by David Shrigley.
There would be three more releases in 2007. Malcolm Middleton, a member of Arab Strap (among other constellations) recorded his A Brighter Beat album released on both LP and CD. The CD came in a standard issue and a limited edition. All three had cover art by Shrigley.
The final release of 2007 was by R. Stevie Moore a prolific American musician/guitarist who put music to poems from Shrigley’s Worried Noodles book and released a cassette and CDr of these tracks called Shrigley Field. The CD was released in a limited edition of 20 numbered copies signed by David Shrigley.
I suspect that this cover is R. Stevie Moore’s rendition of David Shrigley’s portrait of Moore that appeared in BOMB magazine (No 101, July 13, 2010).
I shall continue the story of David Shrigley’s record cover art in the next post.