As anyone knows who has been following my blog, I’ve been collecting record covers by Sir Peter Blake for a long time. I’ve also been to numerous gallery shows and museum exhibition of Peter Blake’s art. I also have a number of exhibition catalogues from a various Peter Blake exhibitions. In addition I have several books on record cover art and one by graphic designer Richard Evans–who I guess is a Peter Blake fan too.
Richard Evans (born 30th March 1945 (as he states on his web page the same day as Eric Clapton) is a graphic designer, artist and photographer who has designed record covers for a great many artists including Robert Plant, Van Morrison, World Party, Pete Townsend and has been “official” designer to The Who since the mid 1970s.
Richard Evans published his book “The Art of the Record Cover” in 2010 and it is a chronological guide to record cover design and includes, at the end, a section on how to design one’s own record cover.
One of Richard Evans’s covers for a 1985 compilation album by The Who called “Who’s Missing” features tracks not previously available on LP and the cover–to another fan of Peter Blake’s art–seems inspired by Blake’s 1960-1 painting/collage “Got a Girl” (the title comes from a 1960 single by The Four Preps (Capitol 4362)).
This album was only released in America and I have been looking for a copy to keep beside my Peter Blake covers for several years, and I finally found one in my favourite Stockholm record emporium.
I have already posted the several versions of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” album. I have fallen for the temptation to include albums with cover art that is a pastiche of Warhol’s banana design or designs that influenced Warhol’s designs.
I found six pastiches of the banana cover, including several with removable stickers in various designs.
1. Crue-L Grand Orchestra – Family – 12″ EP – MayDay MayDay Records – 1999.
2. Various Artists – The Velvet Underground & Nico – 12″ LP – Castle Face Records – 2012.
3. Fauré Quartet – Popsongs – 2 x 12″ LP – Deutsche Grammophon – 2009.
4. Bud Benderbe – Slice Slowly & See – 12″ LP – Boo-Hooray Records – 2013.
5. Abwärts – Sonderzug zur endstation – 7″ EP – Virgin – 1990.
6. All You Can Eat / Hickey – Banana Split – Split 7″ EP – Monitor Records – 1995.
The last two of these simply had a printed banana on the covers.
Another Warhol pastiche, this time with soup cans:
1. Mindswings – Spiritual High – 12″ EP – Arista – 1990.
And a cover obviously used by Andy as for the design of the “Progressive Piano” design:
1. Jan August – Plays Songs to Remember – 12″ LP – Mercury – 1955.
On the subject of pastiches, I also picked up a wonderful “Sgt Pepper” pastiche by Jun Fukamachi with cover painted by Fumio Tamabuchi:
1. Jun Fukamachi – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 12″ LP – Toshiba – 1977.
A while ago I started searching for musicians among winners of the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize and turned up an astonishing number of artists who were also musicians and had released records with their own art on the covers. In 2017 I could include record cover by two of them–Suzan Philipsz and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Susan Philipsz: Susan Philipsz – Ziggy Stardust – Limited edition Digipak CD (500 copies) Susan Philipsz – Stay With Me – Book / catalogue with CD Susan Philipsz – Lost in Space – Limited edition picture disc LP in box set (300 copies) Susan Philipsz – There Is Nothing Left Here – Limited edition LP
In February I had the good fortune to meet Susan Philipsz at the opening of her “Lost in Space” exhibition at the Bonnier Gallery in Stockholm. She kindly signed the copy of her “Ziggy Stardust” CD and the book/catalogue from her “Stay With Me” exhibition from Malmö’s Konsthall. There was a catalogue introducing the “Lost in Space” exhibition and a limited edition box set of 300 copies that includes a 12″ picture disc of the performance. However, the box set was not available until a couple of months after the opening, so I didn’t get that signed… After considerable searching, I found the catalogue and LP from Philipsz’s 2008 “There Is Nothing Left Here” exhibition at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporaneo in San Sebastian de Compostela.
Susan Philipsz “Stay With Me” exhibition catalogue with CD.
Susan Philipsz’ “There Is Nothing Left Here” 2008 LP.
The picture disc LP and book of Susan Philipsz’ “Lost in Space” installation.
Wolfgang Tillmans was another Turner Prize winner who’s records I found:
1. Wolfgang Tillmans – Here We Are – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
2. Wolfgang Tillmans – 2016–1986 EP – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
3. Wolfgang Tillmans – Device Control – 12″ EP – Fragile – 2016.
The cover of Tillmans’ latest EP “Thats Desire” EP.
Tillmans’ “Device Control” EP cover.
Wolfgang Tillmans’ “2016-19862 EP cover.
There were diverse other covers: A limited edition LP by Gilbert & George, entitled “The Thoughts of Gilbert & George” released by MoMa:
A Record Store Day soundtrack double LP release called “Ciao! Manhattan” with a cover drawing of Edie Sedgwick:
Having lived in Luleå, in the north of Sweden for more years than I can remember, I am acquainted with Karin “Mamma” Andersson’s art. Mattias Alkberg, poet and rocker, used her art on a 7″ single and a limite edition 12″ EP and I discovered that Beck had used her paintings to illustrate three limited edition 12″ singles, available only through his website.
1. Beck – Gimme – 2 x 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
1. Beck – Defriended – 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
1. Beck – I Won’t Be Long – 12″ EP – Fonograf records – 2013.
Beck “Gimme”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
Beck “Defriended”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
Beck “I Won’t Be Long”. Cover art by Karin “Mamma” Andersson.
In my music festival days, I got to know singer Henrik Berggren, formerly front man of the now defunct Broder Daniel. Henrik released his first solo album “Wolf’s Heart” after many year’s absence from the music scene. The standard album was released on black vinyl, but six record stores each had limited editions of 300 copies on coloured vinyl. There were yellow, light blue, violet, red, clear and pink vinyl issues. Being totally obsessive I bought copies in each colour.
Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” album on black, violet, red and yellow vinyl.
The pink and light blue vinyl versions of Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” LP.
Well, that sums 2017 up. A record year and the last time I will be publishing a list like this, My collections are so near complete as I can make them. So I feel it’s time to stop. I will try to keep the collections up to date if, and when, any of the artists I collect release new cover art.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever again be able to add as many covers to my collection as I did in 2017–partly because most of my collections are complete or very nearly so.
I added a few new areas of collection during 2016 and added new covers in these in 2017. I managed to find several new covers featuring Kate Moss and some Banksy covers. It was the 50th Anniversary of many important albums. I have already written about “The Velvet Underground & Nico” reissues. 2017 was also the 50th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and there was a magnificent box set released to mark the occasion. I also found an interesting pastiche of the Blake / Haworth cover art by Jun Fukamachi. And, while on the subject of pastiches I collected several “Velvet Undergound & Nico” pastiches, too.
So, here’s a list of covers by other artists that came into my collection in 2017: BANKSY: Capoeira Twins – Four (4 x 3) / Truth Will Out” – Promotional 12″ single with hand sprayed cover. Boys in Blue – Funk Tha Police” – 12″ limited edition single. Skitz – Badmeaningood, Vol 1 – Digipak CD. Roots Manuva – Badmeaningood, Vol 2 – Digipak CD. Peanut Butter Wolf – Badmeaningood, Vol 3 – Digipak CD. Scratch Perverts – Badmeaningood, Vol 4 – Digipak CD. Monk & Canatella – Do Community Service – CD.
PETER BLAKE The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th anniversary box set. The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (outtakes) – Bootleg gatefold LP The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Japanese origami stage set.
Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Pastiche Jun Fukamachi – The Beatles – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 12″ LP.
Gilbert & George. Gilbert & George – The Thoughts of Gilbert & George – Limited edition 12″ LP.
Karin “Mamma” Andersson: Beck – I Won’t Be Long – 12″ single. Beck – Defriended – 12″ single. Beck – Gimme” – Double 12″ single.
Kate Moss: 6majik9 – Kate Moss – Hand painted CD cover. Babyshambles – Shotter’s Nation – 2×12″ LP. Bryan Ferry – Alphaville / Me Oh My – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – You Can Dance – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – Alphaville (Remixes) – Limited edition 12″ single. Bryan Ferry – Olympia – Limited edition, autographed, 2 CD + DVD and book. Bryan Ferry – Olympia Remixes – Digital file. Bryan Ferry – Heartache by Numbers – Promotional CD single. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – Some Velvet Morning – 12″ maxi single. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – Some Velvet Morning (Luke Fair Remix) – 12″ single. Vomit – Kate Moss – 7″ EP.
I had an almost complete collection of covers on both vinyl and CD with Banksy art and was just missing the elusive Capoeira Twins’ “Four (4 x 3) / Truth Will Out” promotional single with the hand sprayed cover. None (apart from a couple sold by art galleries) seemed to have been sold for several years but suddenly there appeared a spate of them on Ebay in the latter half of 2017. I managed to get one of them, though unfortunately not the cheapest. And just as I was congratulating myself on completing my collection, a new Banksy cover appeared by a band I have never heard of called Boys in Blue. This was said to be a limited edition of 100 copies featuring Banksy’s “Rude Copper” on the cover. I snapped up a couple of copies!
“Four (4 x 3)” by the Capoiera Twins (BLOWP008).
The cover of the Boys in Blue’s 12″ single “Funk tha Police”.
I also added some CDs–the four “Badmeaningood” series in Digipak covers and a second copy of Monk & Canatella’s “Do Community Service” that came in a batch of 23 CDs that I bought for £3 plus £7 shipping!
2017 was not a good year for Peter Blake’s record cover art as no new covers appeared. It was partially saved by the 50th anniversary of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Apple released a generous 4CD box set with a hardcover book and posters to celebrate. The box had a lenticuar reproduction of the original Blake / Haworth cover art. Though initially I thought I didn’t need this in my collection, I finally succumbed and bought a copy only to be pleased to find that each CD had a different version of the original cover art photo session.
The Japanese version of the 50th anniversary box set included an insert which the handier collectors could cut out and assemble into a montage of the Pepper band in a stage-like frame. I found one of these cut outs at a record fair and could buy it to add to my UK box set.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – Pastiche:
The Japanese composer Jun Fukamachi released an album called “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1977. The cover was painted by Fumio Tamabuchi showed the Pepper scene with backs turned to the viewer.
Additions to my collection of covers featuring Kate Moss:
As I already had covers by Damien Hirst and Banksy that featured Kate Moss I thought it would be fun to collect all the covers I could find that she appeared on. I turned up ten more in 2017:
The most interesting were the limited edition 12″ Bryan Ferry singles released by The Vinyl Factory in 2010-2011 with tracks taken from Ferry’s 2010 “Olympia” album. There were seven singles released from “Olympia” but only six made it onto Vinyl Factory 12″-ers. “Heartache By Numbers” was the exception and apparently only released as a promotional CD single in The Netherlands.
There was a hand painted CD entlitled “Kate Moss” by the band 6majik9 that was only made in an edition of 100 copies that I was luck to find on Discogs:
And a 7″ EP by the American grunge/punk band Vomit also called “Kate Moss” that had a fold-out sleeve with about thirteen Kate Mosses all told.
Kate Moss was for a while involved with Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty and she appeared on a few of the band’s tracks. Sje appears in person on the cover of the Band’s “Shotter’s Nation” album:
Kate was also in a duet with Primal Scream on the classic Lee Hazlewood song “Some Velvet Morning” and this was released as a 12″ single and a Luke Fair remix was also released in a black dye-cut sleeve. Some copies, however, had photos of Kate taken by Kate Garner in 1992.
“Some Velvet Morning” remix 12″ with one of Jane Garner’s 1992 portraits of Kate on front and rear covers.
So, quite a number of interesting additions thus far.
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!
Earlier in 2017, Mark Satlof got his 15 minutes of fame when it was revealed that he had collected 800 copies of The Velvet Underground & Nico’s self-titled debut album. Apparently his collection (as everyone else’s) started with a single copy, but his was signed by Lou Reed. I wonder if he actually NEEDS all 800 copies.
Then there is Rutherford Chang who collects The Beatles’ White Album. He boasts that when the article was published he had 1,845 copies of the numbered first edition which he has exhibited in Liverpool. He still buys copies in any condition and will pay up to USD 20 for each.
So, that is one kind of cover collecting madness. There are others; like the chap who was prepared to fork out USD 790,000 for Ringo Starr’s personal copy of The Beatles (the White album) with number 0000001. This was named the most expensive record of all time but it obviously ain’t. In 2017 Martin Shkreli’s purchase of The Wu Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” double CD (Okay, I’ll grant that this was a CD not a RECORD”) but only a single copy was pressed (with an embargo that it could not be released commercially until 2103). Shkreli has since sold it on Ebay for USD 1,025,100 after 343 bids. I suppose he can get a tax allowance on his nearly USD 750,000 loss!
But there are good reasons for owning several copies of the same record. Some collectors might want both the stereo and mono releases, others may collect a record that has different covers–such as the six variations of the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door”, while others might want various coloured vinyl releases. In some cases a record is reissued at various times in remastered form or in a different cover and these may also be collectible.
My personal madness has extended to the various releases of The Velvet Underground & Nico–an album I first bought in 1967, unfortunately even then with the airbrushed rear cover photo. Despite its poor initial sales–said to have totalled 30,000 copies in its first five years of existence–the album has seemingly never been out of print, and has had various cover designs and several varieties of coloured vinyl. I haven’t yet got anywhere near 800 copies, but have sixteen at the last count, ranging from my own 1967 original copy, a torso cover, and the cover with the black sticker covering the torso as well as various later editions, including two picture discs and three versions of the Scepter Studios acetate recording. I bought both the 45th and 50th anniversary reissues (both the black and the pink vinyl versions of the latter). But, I still don’t have a mono copy on vinyl.
Another album I have many copies of is a recent release by Henrik Berggren. His debut solo album “Wolf’s Heart” was released on both CD and vinyl with six colour vinyl versions in addition to the standard black vinyl. Obviously I HAD to have all seven versions and so I managed to find them all. I thought they might be a good investment, but it transpires that one can still find all the various coloured vinyls.
The pink and light blue vinyl versions of Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” LP.
Henrik Berggren’s “Wolf’s Heart” album on black, violet, red and yellow vinyl.
I have four copies of The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” and “Love You Live” albums. There are different zips on the U.K. and German versions of “Sticky Fingers”and the U.S. version has the title placed differently from the European versions. I am lucky to have copies of both albums autographed by Andy Warhol, too.
Now I have at least three copies each of Miguel Bosé’s “Made in Spain” (two Spanish and a Mexican) and “Milano-Madrid” albums. I’ll be returning to the “Made in Spain album in a future post.
Finally, an admission. Sometimes I have bought a record I thought I needed and when I got it home realised I already had it! That’s because I don’t carry complete lists of wanted items with me everywhere, not a sign of impending senility.
My collections of artists who have designed record covers seem to grow and grow. There always seems to be another cover to add to them. However, eventually I find that I have got as far as it seems possible to go and my collections just need that one elusive cover that I just cannot find.
My biggest collection is of Andy Warhol’s cover art. I have a broad view of what to include in it and have collected bootlegs, CDs and a few magazine covers, so that I currently have over 200 “Warhol covers”. However, there are still gaps that I suppose I never will fill. The main one is the NBC box set “Night Beat” – a promotional set of three EPs for a 1950s radio show – only one copy of which is known to exist. There is also a Japanese EP of Mendelssohn’s “Scherzo” with Warhol’s drawing of angels on the cover. Again, only a single copy has so far come to light. There are a couple of other albums that it may, one day, be possible to find. I’ll keep you posted on those.
I thought my collection of Peter Blake’s record covers was complete until I was tipped off about a 1983 cover for a recording of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue/An American In Paris” with a beautiful Blake painting. Luckily that was easy to find. So now I’m only waiting for him to produce his next cover.
I once had a complete collection of Damien Hirst’s record and CD cover designs. However, when I sold my main collection, I wasn’t careful enough to check what went and what stayed, with the result that the promotional booklet for The Hours’ “Ali in the Jungle” with its 3″ CD disappeared along with four of the band’s limited edition 7″ singles. At least I have been able to replace these, but the promo booklet has eluded me.
Again, my collection of Banksy records and CD covers is only missing one very rare item; the promotional 12″ single by The Capoeira Twins. A couple of copies have come up for sale recently, but way over my budget!
I thought that my collection of Klaus Voormann’s record cover art was complete with about seventy-four covers. I was mistaken. Klaus designed a cover for a jazz LP in the early sixties with artwork in the same style as his covers for the Pioneers of Jazz series of EPs on the Coral label.
Unfortunately, no one can read the title. Could it be “Wir nie im Bett Programm gemacht”? That’s the nearest I can get to deciphering it. And I have asked Klaus, but he doesn’t remember the artist or the title. I’ve shown the picture to German dealers, but none has seen a copy.
Then I have a collection of record and CD covers featuring supermodel Kate Moss. I got started on collecting Kate Moss covers as I already owned Dirty Funker’s “Let’s Get Dirty” 12″-ers (both first and second versions) and Damien Hirst’s “Use Money, Cheat Death” single sided 12″ with his portrait of Kate with half her face dissected away. Kate has a musical background having cooperated with Primal Scream on their remake of Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning” and there are two 12″-ers that feature Kate on the covers. And also with Babyshambles while she and Pete Doherty were a couple.
2003 – Primal Scream & Kate Moss “Some Velvet Morning”, Columbia 12″.
“Some Velvet Morning” remix 12″ with one of Jane Garner’s 1992 portraits of Kate on front and rear covers.
Bryan Ferry used Adam Whitehead’s photos of Kate on his 2010 Olympia album and on the limited edition 12″ singles and remixes taken from the album. However, one single, “Heartache by Numbers” apparently didn’t make it onto vinyl, though I didn’t know this initially and spent some considerable time searching for a copy, obviously without success.
So collectors, it seems that completing one’s collection of a particular artist is well nigh impossible. But it is the unfinished collection that still provides a challenge. Will I ever find these missing covers?
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“.