Apparently, Jason Mraz took the title for his eighth album from a David Shrigley cartoon. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the cartoon, but I’ve found Mraz’s album and love the designs.
We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things was released in May 2008, preceeded by three limited edition CD singles, We Sing (No. 1), We Dance (No. 2) and We Steal Things (No. 3) that was only available in a bundle from Mraz’s site and is consequently rare. Initally released on CD, it was also released on limited edition double LP. The album was quickly re-released as a limited edition double CD with DVD. The first CD with two extra tracks and the second including all thwe tracks from the three limited edition singles that preceded the album’s release. And in 2011, the album was reissued on vinyl . Again as a lmited edition; the music on three sides and the fourth side engraved with Shrigley designs.
Even the record labels have been illustrated by Shrigley:
And the inner sleeves are a bit special:
One single, I’m Yours, was released as a seven-inch vinyl record.
Several others were issued on CD or CD-r. These include: two versions of Lucky, one sung in English, featuring Colbie Caillat, and a Spanish version featuring Ximena Sarina.
Other singles are the three limited editions that preceded the release of the fiull album:
The final three singles were Make it Mine, Butterfly and a digital only release of Coyotes.
I’m amazed that David Shrigley went to so much trouble to produce all this work. And kudos till Jason Mraz for commissioning it all. I will admit, though, that while I enjoy the artwork, I haven’t actually listened to the record yet.
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.
I don’t like to comment on people’s appearance, but David Shrigley is about ten centimetres taller than me. He is well-known for his often comical drawings and artworks. He was born in Glasgow, studied art at the Glasgow School of Art and has had many solo shows both in the U.K. and internationally. He had an exhibition at Stockholm’s Spritmuseum from 27 September to 28 March, 2019 where he filled the exhibition space with inflatable swans. It was quite exciting to see the twenty-or-so giant swans slowly inflate and raise their heads and then slowly deflate again. Shrigley attended the opening and the closing of the exhibition and I made sure I would be on the final day.
My interest in David Shrigley’s art was peaked when I discovered that he had designed the cover to Castle Face & Friends’ rendition of the Velvet Underground & Nico’s eponymous album in 2012.
To round off the evening David Shrigley offered to design tattoos for anyone attending and many people let him draw little figures on arms, legs or anywhere they wished. Then a tattoo artist fixed the designs permanently. Somehow I didn’t manage to get a tattoo, but I did manage to get David to sign my LP cover.
Just recently I bought David Shrigley & Régis Laugier’s Play Something Awful LP with cover design by David. I realised that he’s been involved in writing lyrics as well as designing record and CD covers. He wrote lyrics for the San Francisco band Deerhoof’s Friend Opportunity LP in 2007 and even did the cover for Jason Mraz’s 2008 We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things LP/CD.
There are a few rare covers that Shrigley has designed. The one I would most like to get is Stephen Malkmus & Friends Can’s Ege Bambyasi LP released for record Store Day 2013. I’m sorry I missed it.
I’ll return to David Shrigley’s record cover art in a future post as I research his designs further.