Andy Warhol’s first ever retrospective exhibition opened on 15th January 1968 and ran until 17th February. This year, to mark the 50th anniversary of that groundbreaking show, Moderna Museet in Stockholm has created a new show, called “Warhol 1968” as a sort of rememberance of the earlier exhibition. This exhibition runs from 15th September 2018–17th February 2019. The exhibition will transfer to Moderna Museet’s Malmö site, opening on 30th March and running until 8th September.
The current exhibition in Stockholm includes eight record covers bearing Andy Warhol’s art. The exhibition’s curator John Peter Nilsson has decided to try to include all Warhol’s record covers produced during his lifetime in this new exhibition and has asked me if I would lend my record covers to the exhibition along with some other related pieces of Warhol art.
It will be a wonderful opportunity to show a total of seventy-seven record sleeves, LPs, EP boxes, 12″ and a few 7″ singles, some of which have never been shown in public before.
My friend, Lars Magnell, CEO of Wag the Wall has promised to lend his company’s fantastic Magic Vinyl Display frames in which to hang the covers to show them at their best .
A year ago, in June 2017, I saw a picture of what I thought must be a previously unrecognised Warhol cover in the book “Adman–Warhol Before Pop”, the catalogue of an exhibition held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2017.
Nicholas Chamber’s exhibition book published by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Page 97 in “Adman-Warhol Before Pop” with a picture of the cover slick for an recording of an NBC radio programme called “Voices and Events”.
I saw that the picture had to be a slick for a box set like the elusive “Night Beat” box owned by renowned Warhol collector and author, Paul Maréchal. His copy of the “Night Beat” box, first shown at the “Warhol Live!” exhibition in Montreal in 2008, was thought to be the only one in existence.
Having previously made mock-ups of the “Night Beat” box, I knew how I could make similar mock-ups of the, as yet undiscovered, “Voices and Events” box pictured in the “Adman–Warhol Before Pop” book.
So I started a search for RCA EP boxes to use as the basis for the new set of boxes. It took several weeks to find a seller, but I finally managed to find a record store in Minneapolis that had many and was willing to sell them. I had photographed the slick from the “Adman” book and my local printer had printed ten slicks and within days of the arrival of the boxes I had made a limited edition of the “Voices and Events” box.
In March 2018 I was contacted by Lou Mancini, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, who said he had found a couple of rarities and wondered what they might be worth. He attached photos of the “Voices and Events” box and said the other rarity was the “Night Beat” box. I was stunned! I replied that I had no idea of the value of the boxes–they were the rarest of the rare!
Lou promised med photos of the “Voices and Events” box, so that I could verify the accuracy of my mock-up. They seemed identical! In addition Lou later sent a photo of the insert inside the lid of the box, which I also managed to copy.
The boxes are complete with records and all packaging intact. A fantastic find by Lou. They are now going to be added to Guy Minnebach’s magnificent Warhol collection.
I still have two of my facsimile copies of the “Voices and Events” box if anyone would like to buy one.
2017 was one of my best for I don’t know how long–probably since the mid 2000s when I really started to seriously collect Andy Warhol’s record cover art and it saw the 50th Anniversary of the release of many albums that helped form my musical tastes, including “The Velvet Underground & Nico”–an album I still listen to as often as I do to The Who’s “Who’s Next” or Led Zepellin “II” or “Electric Ladyland”.
There were 16 separate titles added to my Warhol cover collection in 2017: Miguel Bosé – Made in Spain promotional folder – LP, 12″ and 7″ singles + booklet Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops – 7″ single. Aretha Franklin – Aretha – Original CD from 1986. I’m Talking – Lead the Way – 7″ and 12″ singles. Moondog – The Story of Moon Dog – Original Prestige LP. Sergei Prokofiev – Alexander Nevsky – Two copies: Original 1949 turquoise cover and re-issue green cover. Rolling Stones – Live in Laxington – Bootleg LP. Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (outtakes) with David Mongomery’s photo. Diana Ross – So Close – 7″ single in calendar cover. Diana Ross – Who – 7″ single. Skyline – Skyline – 12″ bootleg EP – Original on Four Stars Records label. Skyline – Skyline – 12″ bootleg EP – 2016 Reissue on Paint Noise Productions label. Velvet Underground & Nico – 12″ LP with artist’s name and record title on cover. Velvet Underground & Nico – 50th Anniversary black vinyl LP (2 copies) Velvet Underground & Nico – 50th Anniversary pink vinyl LP John Wallowitch – This Is the Other Side of John Wallowitch – 12″ LP
Perhaps the most important additions to my Warhol cover collection were the Moondog and John Wallowitch albums, particularly as most copies of the former that I have seen come up for sale have been badly yellowed or in otherwise poor condition. My copy is superbly near mint! John Wallowitch’s second album on the Serenus Records label is considerably rarer than his first and I was lucky to find a good copy.
The Story of Moondog with calligraphy by Julia Warhola.
The cover of “This Is the Other Side of John Wallowitch”.
The find that probably excited me most, however, was the Spanish promotional package for Miguel Bosé’s 1983 “Made in Spain” album, which came in a maroon folder and should have included the full album the 12″ and 7″ white label versions of the “Fuego” single as well as a booklet with a fold out poster of Warhol’s cover portrait of Bosé. Mt copy of the package, though, didn’t include the two singles, but they were relatively easy to findon Discogs, so I could completee the package.
The “Made In Spain” promotional folder.
The complete set, including the booklet, which contains a fold-out poster of Warhol’s Bosé portraits.
The “Made In Spain” promotional folder showing the “Made In Spain” LP, the white label 12″ and 7″ Fuego singles.”
Two “new” Warhol covers were discovered in 2017 . Warhol collector Kevin Kinney found the “Lead the Way” single by Australian group I’m Talking, which used a detail from Warhol’s “Marilyn’s Lips” print as its cover art. The single was released as a 7″ single and as a limited edition 12″.
I found the second “new” Warhol cover in the catalogue of the “Adman – Warhol Before Pop” exhibition held in Melbourne in 2016. The catalogue had a picture of a print that I immediately recognised as a slick for a box set of 7″ EPs similar to the “Night Beat” set. I immediately set about making a replica box similar to the one I made for the “Night Beat” set.
The “Night BEat” and “Voices and Events” box sets.
The “Night Beat” and “Voices and Events” box sets.
Another cover I had had trouble finding was the “Skyline” album with the portrait of Suzanne de Maria taken from one of Warhol’s screen tests. Early in the year I saw a copy on Ebay which I managed to win only to find that it wasn’t the 1978 original but a 180g reissue, supposedly limited to fifty copies that included a photo of Suzanne de Maria numbered 49/50. The record was released on the Paint Noise Productions label, not the Four Stars label and the rear cover stated that the cover photo was by “A. Warhol”, the original 1978 album did not have this credit. Later I got hold of a copy of the original 1978 version and a comparison showed the cover photos to be very different. The original version had a clear picture of de Maria, while the reissue was fuzzy.
The cover of the original 1978 version of “Skyline”.
The cover of the 2016 reissue version.
The covers are almost two separate versions of the image.
And as if the Skyline albums weren’t nerdy enough, there were a couple of even nerdier additions to my collection: The original cover for “Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops” EP as well as a second copy of Warhol’s design–one that without the A Hi-Fidelity Recording” text under the RCA logo on the front cover.
The original cover design which came in various colour variations.
I have reserved the final section to the 50th Anniversary reissues of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” album. I already had the 45th Anniversary LP and 6 CD sets and wondered when they came out why Universal Music had released them with the 50th anniversary so near. Obviously, to sell more copies–so I wasn’t too surprised to read that they would also release 50th Anniversary versions, too. I heard that there eas a very limited pink vinyl version as well as the standard the black vinyl version. I found two copies of the latter at HMV on Oxford Street but they had never heard of the pink vinyl version. It took a while to find a copy but that was added to my collection.
I had also decided to collect other cover designs for the album and bought an eighties reissue with the artist and title on the front cover to add to my collection as well as a bootleg of the Norman Dolph Scepter Studios acetate
The latest bootleg version of The Velvet Underground & Nico’s Norman Dolph acetate superimposed the classic banana image over a photo from the 1966 film of the Velvets in concert.
I hope 2018 will allow me to find copies of the only two LPs with Warhol covers that I still need to complete my collection:
Keith Richards’s – Unknown Dreams – LP with Warhol’s Mercedes drawing,
Prokofiev’s – Alexander Nevsky – LP wit the pink variation of the cover.
In following posts I will list additions to my other collections: Banksy covers, Kate Moss covers, and newer collections including Karin “Mamma” Anderson, Suzan Philipsz, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jeff Koons, Klaus Voormann and Peter Blake as well as pastiches of “The VelvetUnderground & Nico” and “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” covers.
Wishing you a very Happy and successful 2018. See you next time!
I have been collecting Andy Warhol’s record cover art more seriously since about 1982. Once Ebay started I found research into Warhol’s 1950s cover art easier and in the early part of the 2000s could collect some rare covers quite reasonably. But, I suppose it was in about 2006 or 2007 that I got to know Warhol collector Guy Minnebach, who gave me amazing help to boost my collection.
In around 2007, I had the (not too original) idea of putting on an exhibition of ALL of Andy Warhol’s record covers and it came about in time for what would have been Warhol’s 80th Birthday in 2008. The exhibition, at Piteå Museum, in northern Sweden, wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Jan Wimander and, of course, Guy Minnebach–who lent me several extremely rare covers to photograph for the exhibition and who helped hang the covers. Little did I know at the time that the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was planning a major Warhol retrospective entitled “Warhol Live!” that concentrated on his connection to music and film and included what would have been the first properly curated exhibition of Warhol’s record cover art had we not pipped the Montreal Museum at the post, by opening a couple of months earlier!
Our exhibition included sixty-five covers. The Montreal exhibition showed Paul Maréchal’s wonderful cover collection that included the “Night Beat” box, that neither Guy nor I had seen. In addition, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts launched Paul Maréchal’s book “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers, 1949-1987. Catalogue Raisonné”, the first serious attempt to document Warhol’s record cover art.
The discovery of the “Night Beat” box, together with Guy Minnebach’s earlier discovery of the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” EP showed that there were probably more previously unrecognised Warhol covers out there, and, only a month after our exhibition in Piteå closed, I was tipped off about a cover by the Swedish band RATFAB (Roland and the Flying Albatross Band) that Warhol had drawn in 1984. Since then more covers have been found and motivated an updated version of Paul Maréchal’s catalogue raisonné, this time renamed “Andy Warhol–The Complete Commissioned Record Covers, 1949-1987”.
I have several times in blog posts warned against saying a collection is “complete”–as new items usually turn up immediately one says a collection is complete. So, even with Paul Maréchal’s book!
My list of Warhol covers includes bootlegs and records and CDs released after Warhol’s death in 1987 and today has 248 separate items. 228 of them are currently in my collection, with only five of the twenty omissions that I would call “essential”–the pink version of Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” (from 1949), the “Night Beat” box (1949 or 1950), the Japanese EP of Mendelsson’s “Scherzo” (with the “Cool Gabriels artwork) , an original “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover (1963) and the limited edition Keith Richards bootleg LP “Unknown Dreams” (1977).
I have made facsimile editions of the “Night Beat” box, the five versions of the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover (with white, red, yellow, green & orange backgrounds) as well as a version of the unreleased “Progressive Piano” EP and 10″ LP and the recently “discovered” “Voices and Events” box. I’m toying with the idea of making a facsimile of the pink “Alexander Nevsky”, which shouldn’t be too difficult, but I don’t have a decent high resolution image for the “Unknown Dreams” album cover to be able to make one of those. So, is this as near completion as I can get?
Finding details of where and when Andy Warhol took the nine famous “biting” photographs that were used on the “Love You Live” album cover and other items hasn’t been easy. In a recent interview (July 18th, 2017) in Interview Magazine about the origins of many of Warhol’s photographs Christopher Makos explains where many of Warhol’s photographs were taken. Towards the end of the interview, Makos mentions the photos for the “Love You Live” album.
Makos remembers that Andy was given a “point and shoot” camera sometime around 1975. And he used it constantly throughout the late 1970s, often replacing his Polaroid camera, which he primarily used for his portraits. However, the “biting” photos are nearly always shown as if they were Polaroid pictures, so I cannot be sure which type of camera they were taken with. However, the reproductions on posters and elsewhere suggest that Warhol used both Polaroids and his “point & shoot”camera.
During the summer of 1977, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards rented Peter Beard’s* house in Montauk (East Hamptons, New York State) and Andy took some of the photographs there and some additional ones at Warhol’s third Factory address at 860 Broadway in New York later. Obviously Jagger had brought his daughter Jade to Montauk as it is her hand Mick is “biting” on the “Love You Live” cover. There is also a photo of Jagger and Jade sticking their tongues out at each other.
It seems eleven photographs were taken and a contact sheet produced. However the last picture int he second row shows Mick Jagger biting a child’s hand but this is not the photo that appears on the front cover of “Love You Live“.
There are also other pictures that do not appear on this contact sheet, in particular the picture of Mick and Jade (born 21 October 1971) sticking their tongues out at each other.
…And here’s how it looked on the “El Mocambo 1977” box set cover.
The photos were also used on the cover of a four-track promotional EP for the “Love You Live” album, entitled simply “The Rolling Stones” (Rolling Stones Records, EP-PR-287). In addition there was a picture disc (probably a bootleg) with the same four photos.
The “Rolling Stones” promotional single.
The bootleg picture disc.
A new bootleg of a Stones concert, presumably from Lexington, Kentucky, was released in 1978 with the title “Live in Laxington” with a fairly traditional front cover picture of Mick and Ronnie Wood. However, one of the “Biting” photos appeared on the back cover.
Front cover of “Live in Laxington” LP.
Rear cover of “Live in Laxington” LP.
The photographs were also used for other promotional items. The Rolling Stones threw a release party for the “Love You Live” album at the Trax club in New York on September 27, 1977 and the photos featured on the plastic tablecloths used at the reception. These measured 36″ x 48″ (91,4 x 121,9 cm). There were also similarly sized posters on paper. Carrier bags with the photos were also produced, I would guess as goodie bags for guests, though I don’t know if they were appeared at the launch party or later.
Poster and Tablecloth
Andy Warhol was fastidious about typography and was annoyed by Mick Jagger’s addition of the record title and the Band’s name to the artwork for the “Love You Live” album cover and usually refused to sign the front cover, preferring to sign the inner spread.
“Love You Live” inner spread signed by Warhol.
Warhol’s signature on inner spread.
This autographed copy of “Love You Live” is from my collection of Andy Warhol’s record cover.
*Peter Beard (born 1938) is a photographer, film director, author and artist who has lead an adventurous life. He was friends with the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and other celebrities.
I curated what I thought would be the first exhibition of Andy Warhol’s record covers in Piteå, Sweden, in July 2008 I enlisted the help of fellow collector Guy Minnebach to assemble as complete a collection of record Warhol’s record covers as possible. Only later did I find out that Warhol’s record covers had been shown before-usually as part of other exhibitions of his art, and then only exhibiting a few covers. My intention with the 2008 exhibition was to try to gather together all the covers he designed or illustrated.
Just two months after the exhibition in Piteå closed, the Museum of Art in Montreal, Canada, put on a major exhibition entitled “Warhol Live!” which showed the link between Warhol’s art and music. Many of the record covers shown came from the collection of Paul Maréchal and his book “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers 1949-1987: Catalogue Raisonné” was published to coincide with the “Warhol Live!” exhibition.
Just before the Piteå exhibition, Guy Minnebach had discovered the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr.” EP and the “Warhol Live!” exhibition showed Paul Maréchal’s newly discovered “Night Beat” box set. Less than a month after the exhibition in Piteå closed, in September 2008, a friend of mine read an interview in a magazine with Tomas Alfredsson, a Swedish musician turned actor, who had been a member of a band called Roland and the Flying Albatros Band (known as RATFAB for short). In the interview he said that the cover of the Band’s second single had been designed by Andy Warhol. Thus started my search for this cover, and I quickly found three copies. The RATFAB single “Det brinner en eld / Mörka ögon” became the first Warhol cover NOT to be included in Maréchal’s 2008 book!
Since then, a number of covers, unrecognised in 2008, illustrated or designed by Andy Warhol have been identified.
1. Margarita Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish, Volume 2 (LP),
2. Vladimir Horowitz – Piano Music of Mendelssohn and Lizst (LP),
3. Mendelssohn – Wedding March / Scherzo (45 RPM EP)
4. Lew White – Melodic Magic (EP),
5. Erika Morini – Tchaikovsky–Violin Concerto
6. George Gershwin / Edvard Grieg – Porgy & Bess / Symphonic Dances (LP and EP box),
7. Curiosity Killed the Cat – Misfit / Man (7″ single).
And this list doesn’t include bootlegs or records and CDs that simply appropriated Warhol’s art for their covers. Nor does it include covers after 1987 that simply use or reuse Warhol’s art, such as Paul Anka’s “Amigos” or Skyline’s “Skyline” or even The Silver Apples’ “Fractal Flow / Lovefingers“.
There has been a problem in having new covers suggested to be by Warhol verified. An example is the rear cover drawing on Keely Smith’s 1957 Capitol Records LP “I Wish You Love“. By this date, Warhol was an acclaimed commercial artist and his “dot and blot” technique was being used by other illustrators. Warhol is not known to have worked with Capitol Records on any other projects, so this drawing cannot certainly be accredited to Warhol. There are similar discussions about the Tchaikovsky (No. 5 in the above list) and the Gershwin / Grieg (No. 6 in the list) designs also released in 1957, but these were at least released on the RCA Victor Bluebird label, and Warhol did many designs for RCA and its other subsidiary Camden Records. Maréchal has included the Tchaikovsky, but not the Gershwin / Grieg in the second edition of his book.
There are variations in some of the covers that Maréchal has described. There are various colour variants of the covers illustrated, starting with the first cover in the book, “A Program of Mexican Music” (Columbia Records – ML 2080). Maréchal includes the green cover variant but doesn’t mention the rarer pale blue coloured version. Similarly, there are five colour variations of the “Alexander Nevsky” (Columbia Records – ML 4247)–pale blue and a deeper, almost turquoise, blue that contained the original LP with dark blue labels. The album was re-released in the late fifties with the cover in green, orange and pink. These copies have records with Columbia 6-eye labels. Maréchal includes the green reissue cover, but not the original blue covers. Then there are minor variations such as the various printings of the “Latin Rhythms by the Boston Pops” EP. Friend and Warhol expert Guy Minnebach noticed that some copies had the text “A High Fidelity Recording” just beneath the RCA logo in the upper right of the cover. Some had this text in silver and some in green. There is a minor variation in the cover of the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” EP. Some copies have “Printed in U.S.A.” at bottom right while others do not (probably due to the way the slick was cut before being affixed to the cover.)
There are probably more cover designs by Andy Warhol waiting to be identified. A recent case in point is the sister box to NBC’s “Night Beat” entitled “Voices and Events“. As with the designs for the “Progressive Piano” EP set and 10″ LP a lithograph of the “Voices and Events” cover design exists in The Warhol Museum and was shown at the “Adman-Warhol Before Pop” exhibition in Australia early in 2017. It isn’t clear whether The Warhol Museum recognised this to be the design for an EP box set, but when I saw it I immediately saw the similarity to the “Night Beat” design with the dots on three sides. No one knows if the “Voices and Events” box was ever released. I suppose, like the “Night Beat” set, it was intended as a promotional teaser but the radio show it was intended to promote only lasted three episodes… so probably not.
By my reckoning, there are some 55 individual covers that can be attributed to Andy Warhol (I do not count different formats that use the same, or similar, designs), but there is no way that a newly identified cover can be given accreditation, other than being recognised by Paul Maréchal and included in future editions of his “Complete Commissioned Record Covers“.
Occasionally serendipity strikes. A week ago I went to Stockholm’s Moderna Museet to see the retrospective exhibition of Marie-Louise Ekman’s art. In true Banksy style I left thru’ the gift shop and while there I noticed a new book about Andy Warhol’s early career–“Adman-Warhol Before Pop“, published b the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia, to coincide with their exhibition of the same name, which ran from February to 28th May 2017.
I couldn’t resist a quick flick through just to see if there were any record covers featured. I was excited to see quite a few of Warhol’s earliest covers, including “A Program of Mexican Music“, “The Story of Moondog“, with Julia Warhola’s beautifully querky calligraphy, Johnny Griffin’s “The Congregation” and sketches for the Tennessee Williams LP, Billie Holiday EPs and one of the “Progressive Piano” designs. There was also a picture of one of Julia Warhola’s early attempts to write the cover for “The Story of Moondog” album.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was:
Having made reproductions of the “Night Beat” box set, I immediately recognised that this was the design for a similar box. While there exists a physical example of the “Night Beat” set, discovered by famous Warhol collector and author, Paul Maréchal, that has a record company catalogue number, as far as I know no physical example of the “Voices and Events” box exists and so I cannot know if it was actually released. I don’t even know if it was intended for a box of seven-inch EPs or for LPs, but I suspect the former.
So–all you Warhol cover collectors out there please start searching! Meanwhile I’m gonna try to make me a copy.