Towards the end of September, I came across a Rolling Stones CD with cover art by Andy Warhol that I had not seen before. A search for a possible source lead me to a seller in Japan from whom I bought a copy and thereby found myself on the seller’s mailing list. A newsletter arrived at the end of November and I scrolled through it to see if there were any another Stones CDs with Warholian art that I had missed–with no success. BUT–there was a CD box with a portrait of Eric Clapton that looked suspiciously like a recent Peter Blake portrait. Enlarging the cover picture showed that it really was by Peter Blake–and even had his signature. This was a 14 CD box of all seven concerts that Clapton played at London’s Royal Albert Hall between 14th and 23rd May 2015 to celebrate Clapton‘s 70th birthday that was on 30th March. The set is released on the Mid Valley label and must be a bootleg.
Further Internet searches showed that Clapton had also played two concerts at Madison Square Garden on 1st and 3rd May as part of his birthday celebrations. There had been a common programme for all nine concerts–a LP-sized book with the same picture on one cover and the same portrait of the other but with the Madison Square Garden text.
So I bought a copy! Inside was a further portrait of Eric holding a card with other portraits, drawn by his daughters, Sophie, Ella and Julie:
Well, I had to have the CD box to “complete” my collection of Peter Blake covers but when I returned to the Japanese site it was listed as being out of stock! A feverish Internet search ensued which eventually lead me back to an Ebay seller in Japan who had copies for sale and within four days it had arrived! And then I had another surprise. The same seller advertised a 3 CD set of the Madison Square Gardens concerts! The cover art was again taken from the programme cover:
So I placed an order for this one, too.
I then noticed that there was an official album of Clapton‘s Royal Albert Hall Concerts released on CD, DVD and vinyl called “Slowhand at 70 – Live at The Royal Albert Hall” but the cover art is not by Peter Blake.
And then I started googling Eric Clapton bootlegs. I was astounded by the number available. It would seem that almost every concert Clapton has played since the early 1990s has been bootlegged. Thus it is completely logical that Reprise Records released a double CD and Double LP of Clapton‘s 1991 “24 Nights” series of concerts at The Royal Albert Hall in order to cash in on the interest in his live performances. I found that there were several bootlegs of individual concerts from the “24 Nights” series available. The majority had covers showing photographs of Clapton in various poses take at the concerts, but two–one with a recording from the first night (5th February 1991) and one from the fourth night (9th February 1991) used some of Peter Blake‘s drawings from the cover of the official release. Here is the “First Night” cover:
and here is the “Fourth Night“:
The “First Night” is a double CD while the “Fourth Night” is a double CD-r.
These four CD sets are the first bootlegs that I have been able to discover that use Peter Blake’s art. I wonder if he knows about them? Probably not!
I thought I had already collected all the records and CDs with cover art by Klaus Voormann – but apparently not! Some time ago I saw an advert for a Harry Nilsson album called “Flash Harry” that I had not previously seen. The advert showed the rear cover and at the lower right was an approximately 5 cm square line drawing of Harry Nilsson signed Klaus Voormann. I finally got hold of a copy this week.
Last month an Ebay seller advertised a CD by a Japanese band named GLAY. Voormann together with his son Max had designed the cover art at what I considered to be an exorbitant price. Luckily cheaper copies were available at Discogs.
A design that harks back to Voormann’s Revolver art.
Since my previous post collecting all the record covers I could find that featured Kate Moss on their covers, I have come across five more.
1. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – “Some Velvet Morning” – Columbia 12″ – 2003
2. Babyshambles – “Down in Albion” – Rough Trade 2LP – 2005
3. Babyshambles – “Shotter’s Nation” – Parlophone LP – 2007
4. The Unholy Two – “Kutter / Porkys” – Columbia Discount Records – 7″ – 2008
5. Various Artists Compilation – “Kate Moss for Longchamp” – Universal Music – 2010
Pete Doherty of Babyshambles had a much publicised relationship with Kate Moss and she wrote several songs for the group. Babyshambles‘ 2005 double album “Down in Albion” came in a plain beige cover but had colourful inner sleeves with a picture of Kate Moss on one of them.
Their next album “Shotter’s Nation“, released on 1st October 2007 had a possible picture of Kate Moss‘ back on the front cover.
First there was Primal Scream‘s 12-inch cover of Lee Hazelwood‘s “Some Velvet Morning” which featured Kate Moss repeating the Roland S. Howard & Lydia Lunch version from 1982. Thanks to Carlos Soares for tipping me off about this cover.
Then in 2008 a group called The Unholy Two released a 7-inch single entitled “Kutter” b/w “Porkys” that featured a fold out cover with photocopied pictures of a naked Kate Moss. The photographs are from a 2005 portfolio by painter and photographer Chuck Close.
A promotional CD from 2010 released by fashion house Longchamp featured a selection of tracks chosen by Kate Moss and featured cover photos from a Longchamp catalogue. The CD was simply titled “Kate Moss for Longchamps“.
So, assuming that the cover of Babyshambles‘ “Shotter’s Nation” does show Kate Moss there are at least sixteen record and CD covers that feature the iconic Kate Moss. So here is the complete list (in chronological order):
1. Primal Scream & Kate Moss – “Some Velvet Morning” – Columbia 12″ – 2003
2. Dirty Funker – Let’s Get Dirty” (1st pressing) – Spirit Music – DF 006 – 2006
3. Dirty Funker – Let’s Get Dirty” (2nd pressing) – Spirit Music – DF 006 – 2006
4. Babyshambles – “Down in Albion” – Rough Trade 2LP – 2005
5. Babyshambles – “Shotter’s Nation” – Parlophone LP – 2007
6. 6majik9 – “Kate Moss” – Music Your Mind Will Love You – mymwly0080 – 2007
7. The Unholy Two – “Kutter / Porkys” – Columbia Discount Records – 7″ – 2008
8. Damien Hirst & Kate Moss – Use Money, Cheat Death” – White Cube – DHKM 99 – 2008
9. Various Artists Compilation – “Kate Moss for Longchamp” – Universal Music – 2010
10. Bryan Ferry – “Olympia” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 2 x LP – VF 021 – 2010
11. Bryan Ferry – “You Can Dance” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 019 – 2010
12. Bryan Ferry – “Heartache by Numbers” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 020 – 2010
13. Bryan Ferry – “Alphaville Remixes” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 022 – 2011
14. Bryan Ferry – “BF Base (Ode to Olympia)” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 023 – 2011
15. Bryan Ferry – “Shameless” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 024 – 2011
16. Bryan Ferry – “Alphaville” – Vinyl Factory – Ltd edn 12″ – VF 030 – 2011
Louis Thomas Hardin (a.k.a. Moondog, a.k.a. The viking of 6th Avenue) was born in Kansas in 1916 and was blinded in an accidental explosion when he was 16 years old. He attended various music schools for the blind but developed his own composing skill. Hardin moved to New York in 1942 where his original musicianship was recognised by many celebrated musicians, both from the classical and jazz fields. He wrote poetry and set many to music. He lived as a street musician between 1942 to 1972 wearing a viking cloak and a horned helmet which earned him the moniker “the viking of 6th Avenue.” Hardin adopted the Moondog alias in 1947 in honour of a dog who used at the moon. Hardin emigrated to Germany in 1974 where he lived for the remainder of his life. He died on 8th September 1999.
Originally released by Prestige Records in 1957, this LP has long been one I have been looking for. I suspected that this record was incredibly rare, but there are over fifty copies listed on http://www.popsike.com and two appeared on Ebay in the same week in May 2015. Both these copies’ front covers were considerably yellowed but they still sold for over $250 each. Needless to say, I didn’t win either of them!
The original record was recorded in 1956-7 and Reid Miles, Prestige record’s art director approached Andy Warhol to ask his mother Julia to write out Stewart Preston’s eulogy to Moondog in her characteristic calligraphic style. According to Paul Maréchal in “Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Record Covers, 1949-1987” she wrote out the text but – as was her wont – the lines tended to slope up to right so Andy cut them into strips to fit onto the cover. The text was credited to Preston and the calligraphy to Andy Worhol’s mother – with Warhol wrongly spelt. Design was credited to Reid Miles and the credits were place vertically at lower right on the front cover.
“The Story of Moondog” has been re-issued several times. First in 2009 on the Honest John Records Label with an entirely different cover and then in 2010 on the 4 Men With Beards label with the original cover but without the Prestige 7099 on the front cover and with the credits to Stewart Preston and Andy Worhol ‘s [sic] mother and Reid Miles removed. The latest re-release in 2011 was in a numbered limited edition box set by DOXY Records with the same cover as the 4 Men With Beards release.
The album was re-released in a remastered version on CD in 2014 in Japan, once again on the Prestige Label. The Japanese seem to be particularly good at doing the re-issue job properly as evidenced by their CDs in mini LP sleeves. So the CD booklet recreates the original LP cover art – both front an rear covers exactly. The CD cost one-tenth of what one of the copies recently sold on Ebay cost!
The CD has a poster showing the original LP rear cover and the CD itself is a copy of the LP’s original label, but with a new catalogue number.
I shall have to make do with the CD until a decent copy of the original LP turns up.
Part one of this series on the sources of Andy Warhol’s record cover art dealt with the images on the covers of Rolling Stones bootleg albums. It seems logical to devote the second part to the three official Rolling Stones covers designed by Andy Warhol. Well, actually, there should be four official album covers that he designed for the Stones – but the design for their 1969 Greatest Hits album has been lost after Mick Jagger (was said to have) refused it. The three covers are (of course):
– Sticky Fingers (1971)
– The Rolling Stones (promotional EP) 1977
– Love You Live (1977)
In 1969 Andy Warhol is said to have suggested to Mick Jagger at a party that he would like to design a record cover with a working zip. Jagger remembered this in 1969 when recording the Stones’ first album to be released on their own label, Rolling Stones Records. He wrote a letter to Warhol expressing his satisfaction that Warhol had agreed to design the cover.
So, what about the photo? There is uncertainty about who the model was and even discussion about who actually took the photograph. It is usually credited to Warhol. The identity of the model has never been confirmed, though many assumed the model was Jagger, it has often been rumoured to be either a hanger-on at the Factory, Warhol’s studio, named Joe Dallesandro, or Factory artist and designer Corey Tippin.
The album package was designed by Craig Braun who realized there had to be an extra layer of cardboard to protect the record from the zipper; that layer features another Warhol shot of a different man, possibly the twin brother of Warhol’s boyfriend and assistant Jed Johnson or journalist Glenn O’Brien, this time in his jockey shorts which (barely) contained him. The picture of a man’s pelvic region clad only in a revealing pair of white underpants was stamped with Andy Warhol’s stamp. Sticky Fingers was the first Stones record to show the tongue logo, which has often erroneously been credited to Warhol. It was in fact designed by Ernie Cefalu and his version was used for much of the merchandising and was the design originally shown to the band by Craig Braun. However, the design used for the album was done by John Pasche.
While the cover of “Brown Sugar / Bitch”, the number one single from the album, in most countries had a portrait of the group taken by Peter Webb. However, in Mexico the single and an EP used the Warhol photographs.
There was also a shaped picture disc that used the classic Warhol image.
The Rolling Stones (promotional EP) This four track EP was released in 1977 as a trailer for the forthcoming “Love You Live” double album. Warhol had taken a number of Polaroid photographs of the band members licking or biting each other or just sticking their tongues out. There seem to have been about twenty-five polaroids and these were printed on tablecloths used at the
“Love You Live” launch party thrown by the Stones at the New York’s club Trax, September 27, 1977.
The EP was released as a black vinyl EP in a picture sleeve bearing four of the Polaroid pictures.
A picture disc EP also appeared with the same catalogue number. However, this was probably a bootleg.
Love You Live
Released on 23rd September 1977 was a double album with a gatefold sleeve designed by Warhol. His original design did not include the album title or the band name, which apparently were added by Mick Jagger much to Warhol’s annoyance. The front cover picture is of Mick Jagger biting what looks like a child’s hand – probably that of his daughter Jade. The inner sleeves show two profiles, possible Charlie Watts, with extended pink tongues painted in.
Both “Sticky Fingers” and “Love You Live” have become classic record cover designs and rank with Warhol’s banana cover for “The Velvet Underground & Nico” as his best known covers.
I know that sometime ago I boasted that I had completed my collection of record covers designed by Damien Hirst. Well, I was premature. I have also said that that I own copies of all the records designed by Sir Peter Blake – again I was premature. At least I have never (yet) said I have every Warhol cover design.
Like most collectors, I do regular Internet searches looking for new items designed by my favourite record sleeve designers. One regular Ebay vendor manages with surprising regularity to find covers that I have missed. You can imagine how irritated that makes me, particularly as these covers are usually quite difficult to find at other (cheaper) sites. Well, this vendor turned up a Dave Stewart 12″ maxi single of remixes of his “Heart of Stone” single. I couldn’t find another copy anywhere else at the time so I bought this one. It cost me an arm and a leg, but that’s he way it goes sometimes. When checking Dave Stewart’s discography later I found the there was another 12″ remix EP with cover art by Damien Hirst and Jason Beard. I managed to find a copy for $4 so that felt better.
Just a few weeks ago I saw another little Damien Hirst gem on Ebay that I had never seen before. This time from a seller in the US. It was a promotional USB stick for The Hours’ album “See the Light”. The stick was shaped like a skull with clock faces in each eye socket – typical Damien Hirst! There cannot be many of these around as I haven’t seen one advertised before (there is one on Discogs just now). The asking price was $99 + shipping. It didn’t sell the first couple of times it was advertised, so I put in a cheeky bid of $50, which the vendor accepted! So now it has joined my collection.
I was scanning different sites looking for any new Peter Blake cover art when I saw that an art gallery in Brighton was offering two limited edition posters of the cover art for Brian Wilson’s “Gettin’ in Over My Head” and Landscape’s “Manhattan Boogie-Woogie” albums. These were editions of 250 each and were 48.25 x 48.25 cm (19 x 19″) in size. They are priced at £1200 each! Peter Blake had told me about the four cover designs he had made that were never used. The Landscape design was one and thus I didn’t have the cover. The other three were for albums by Steeleye Span, Ray Davies and Robbie Williams. Apparently the Steeleye Span and Ray Davies designs are lost. Robbie Williams wanted to use his portrait by Peter Blake on a cover but the record company refused.
Well, I got hold of a high definition file of the “Manhattan Boogie-Woogie” print and scaled it down to LP format and printed a poster and several record album slicks. I took my copy of the Landscape album and photographed the back cover and got it printed in LP format and stuck the front and back together to make a sort of album cover for my collection. I don’t dare say my Peter Blake album collection is complete, though, just in case one of the “lost” covers turns up sometime!
Well – Sir Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, Banksy and Klaus Voormann are all still alive and kicking, so hopefully more covers will come from all of them. I hope I shall be around to collect them.
2008 – Forrest, Richard -“Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol” – Exhibition catalogue . Piteå Museum.
2008 – Maréchal, Paul – “Andy Warhol: The Record Covers, 1949-1987. Catalogue Raisonné” – Prestel. pp 236.
2008 – Forrest, Richard – “His Art on His Sleeve” – Record Collector, December 2008.
2011 – Martinelli, Bianca – “Andy Warhol Music Show”. Castelvecchi, pp 256 (in Italian).
There were two record shops selling albums imported from America in central London from the late sixties on; One Stop Records in South Moulton Street and Musicland in Berwick Street. Well, it all started for me in the summer of ’67 when I went into One Stop Records – behind HMV’s Oxford Street store. I was a regular visitor there but never did learn the names of the extremely knowledgeable guys who worked there. They sort of knew me as a regular customer, and one summer’s day showed me an album with a banana on the cover. The album was by a band I’d never heard of apparently (according to the record cover) called Andy Warhol. I was corrected that the band was The Velvet Underground & Nico and that the record was something completely psychedelic. So I bought it. My copy was, I was to find out much later, a second pressing – with Eric Emerson’s features on the rear cover airbrushed out. I really did not enjoy the music at first, it was way too jangly and difficult and I was definitely not enamoured of the druggy sound. The next year I was given a US import copy of The Velvet’s album “White Light/White Heat” with the skull cover.
Fast forward four years to April 1971. The pre-release hype for The Rolling Stones’ new album, Sticky Fingers – the first to be released on their own Rolling Stones label – made me dash down to Musicland in Berwick Street to buy a copy in the first week after it was released. The cover, with its working zip, was revolutionary. So, I had three records with cover art by Andy Warhol. In 1971 the Tate Gallery (now The Tate Britain) had an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s art. My particular memory of this retrospective is the Flowers paintings, which I fell in love with.
I moved to Sweden in the autumn of 1971. Ten years later in October 1981, Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum hosted an exhibition of record cover art, entitled simply “Skivomslag” (Record Covers). The exhibition had been put together by Aarhus kunstmuseum and included (assuming I have counted correctly) 717 covers. In the exhibition catalogue, Bo Nilsson wrote what I read as the first description of Warhol’s record cover art and his essay included pictures of seven covers; two by Kenny Burrell, Johnny Griffin’s “The Congregation”, The Velvet Underground & Nico (in colour) and The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” and “Love You Live”. Nilsson also mentions “The Nation’s Nightmare” and the Count Basie album, which he says was entitled “Portrait”. Those were, apparently, all the covers known to be by Warhol at that time. There is an alternative catalogue entitled “Ytans innehåll” (approximately: The surface’s content), with a similar “banana” cover but with the banana’s stem peeled bact to reveal the top of the pink banana beneath. I have the exhibition poster beautifully autographed by Warhol.
On Father’s Day (in Sweden, celebrated in November) the following year (1982) I was given a copy of Diana Ross’ LP “Silk Electric” with it’s Warhol cover. My fourth Warhol cover. Now I had a collection! From then on I decided I would collect every record cover with Andy Warhol’s art. After all, I did not think it would be too difficult – there could not be too many – or so I thought.
There were several more records with cover art by Andy Warhol released in the 1980s, Paul Anka’s “The Painter”, Aretha Franklin’s “Aretha”, John Lennon’s “Menlove Ave” and it was easy to collect these. I even managed to collect all four colour variations of Debbie Harry’s “Rockbird” album, thinking that it had been designed by Warhol. I assumed that the photo of Debbie was one of those Warhol had taken for his Interview magazine. It was only much later that I found out the photo was by Canadian couple “Guzman” (Constance Hansen & Russell Peacock) and that the cover was really designed by Stephen Sprouse.
The advent of the Internet made searching for record covers easy: no more dragging round secondhand record shops in the hope of finding the odd cover I needed. I soon found out that there were many covers designed or illustrated by Warhol from before The Velvet Underground & Nico album. By about 2005 I had found the Kenny Burrell and Johnny Griffin albums with Warhol’s drawings as well as the “Cool Gabriels” LP. Somehow I got to know Guy Minnebach via the ‘Net. He tipped me off on a number of covers such as the Smetterling recording of Chopin’s Nocturnes, Carlos Chavez’s “A Program of Mexican Music”, “Alexander Nevsky” and even sold me his duplicates of “The Nation’s Nightmare”, “WIlliam Tell Overture” 10″ LP. Guy also told me about Klaus Gier’s 2001 German thesis entitled “Andy Warhol’s Record- und Cover Design. I managed to get a copy in May 2008. The covers pictured in the thesis came from collector Klaus Knop’s collection, which included a copy of “Giant Size $1.57 Each” numbered 21/75 pictured on the book’s front and rear cover.
The next book I bought was the giant 320 x 420 x 55 mm “Andy Warhol: Giant Size” published by Phaidon in January 2006. This was the first book that I had come across that included some record covers in a review of Warhol’s art. The book’s title, while confirming the original editions huge dimensions, it also alludes to Warhol’s famous 1963 record cover “Giant Size $1.57 Each”. There was, of course, a picture of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” and also Nico’s “Chelsea Girl” cover and the Count Basie cover.
Though originally published in 2003, I did not buy Nick de Ville’s beautifully researched, large format book “Album – Style and Image in Sleeve Design” until February 2007. Nick de Ville is, of course, a famous cover designer having been involved in designing many of Roxy Music’s covers. His is one of the best books to document great record cover design in a chronological manner, from the beginnings of record production via Alex Steinweiss and his protegé Jim Flora up to the 1990s with a double spread devoted to Andy Warhol. The Left hand page shows “The Velvet Underground & Nico” almost full size while smaller pictures on the right hand page show Kenny Burrell’s “Kenny Burrell”, John Lennon’s “Menlove Ave”, The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” and Diana Ross’ “Silk Electric”. De Ville also mentions Aretha Franklin’s “Aretha, Paul Anka’s “The Painter” and the Stones’ “Love You Live” but seems unaware of Warhol’s record covers from before the “The Velvet Underground & Nico” cover.
Stockholm’s Moderna Museet hosted the Warhol retrospective that I had seen at The Haywood Gallery in London in May 2008 and I bought the catalogue “Andy Warhol – A Guide to 706 Items in 2 Hours 56 Minutes”. If I remember correctly, there were 26 album covers shown at the exhibition and the catalogue shows twelve of them. By that time I already had more than twenty six in my collection!
From 1999, I had been associated with the Piteå Dansar & Ler city festival held on the last weekend of July each year. Jan Wimander, for a time the festival’s CEO, and I had discussed putting on an “art exhibition” to broaden the festival’s appeal. Jan knew about my collection of Warhol covers and we discussed showing them at Piteå’s museum, which happened to be just outside the festival area. So, we planned to put on the exhibition to coincide with 2008’s festival. There were several important covers that I did not have to make the list of covers complete and I explained the project to Guy. He was reticent at first, as he had been told of the upcoming “Warhol Live!” exhibition to open in Montreal, Canada, in October 2008. But he agreed to help Jan and me and sent several rare covers to me to be photographed for inclusion in our exhibition. I wrote a catalogue text and catalogues were printed. The exhibition was to run from 23rd July to 31st August 2008. Andy Warhol’s birthday was 6th August and in 2008 he would have been 80, so the exhibition was called “Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!” Guy Minnebach not only lent me the missing covers, but came to help with the hanging of the covers and to be at the exhibition’s opening.
After the festival I rewrote the catalogue and submitted an article to Record Collector Magazine which was to be published in the December number. However, a month after the “Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!” exhibition closed, a friend told me about a Swedish band called RATFAB (Roland and the Flying Albatross Band) that had had a single released with cover art by Andy Warhol! A sensation! I found two copies quite quickly and sent one to Guy as a “thank you” for his help with the exhibition. I managed to add the cover to the Record Collector article – and the news was out. Early in 2009 I managed to find a third copy but the price had already escalated. This I donated to The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Later, Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist at the museum wanted a copy of the “Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!” exhibition catalogue, which I also sent.
Paul Maréchal had published his catalogue raisonné of Andy Warhol’s record covers to coincide with the “Warhol Live!” exhibiiton at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which ran from 25th September 2008 to 18th January 2009.
Maréchal’s book was a watershed. Although I had a good overview of Warhol’s known record covers, Maréchal had discovered at least one that no one else had seen. He included the promotional box set “Night Beat” – a recording of a pilot radio show about the nighttime activities of a fictitious Chicago reporter. But the RATFAB cover was not included as I had not found out about it until after the book was published. So, there were obviously more Warhol covers yet to be identified.
About this time I found another book that pictured twenty six of Andy Warhol’s record covers. This was Valerio Deho’s “Sound Zero”, from 2007, which had a 3-D picture of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” cover on its front. View the book full on and you see the cover picture with the banana skin on; hold it at an angle and you see the peeled banana! This book was the catalogue of an exhibition held in Merano, Italy, between 9th September 2006 and 7th January 2007 entitled “Art and Music from Pop to Street Art”. The exhibition included Klaus Knop’s collection of Warhol covers (the same collection that Klaus Gier had access to when writing his thesis) as well as a great selection of psychedelic posters from San Fransisco and some street art (though no Banksy).
Sometime around 2006 I bought a copy of a recording of a “Program of Mexican Music” on a 10 inch LP from 1949 illustrated by Andy Warhol. Fellow Warhol Cover Collectors Club member Niklas Lindberg had found a booklet published by the Museum of Modern Art in New York where the concert was held to coincide with an exhibition of “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art”. The booklet provided an introduction to the works played at the concerts and, surprisingly when considering that it was published in 1940, was easy to find on Amazon and very cheap. So I decided to buy a copy. On page thirteen, was a picture of Aztec musicians playing traditional instruments that had been drawn in the Spanish conquistadors’ Codex Florentinus. Warhol must have used this picture as the basis for his record cover illustration.
Fellow Warhol Cover Collectors Club members Niklas Lindberg and Guy Minnebach tipped me off about an Italian book purporting to be “La prima “discografia” illustrata dedicata al genio della Pop Art” (the first illustrated discography of dedicated to the genius of Pop Art, my translation) by Bianca Martinelli. This book contains photos of Warhol’s covers, many of which are take from Paul Maréchal’s book. It also contains many errors. How does The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” come to be included. I suppose one could excuse the inclusion of Grant Green’s “Matador” cover, as it DOES look like a Warhol blotted line drawing, but it is by Japanese artists Tanaka and Fujiyama. And Martinelli thinks the “Night Beat” box is by Sam Cooke (admittedly, Sam Cooke DID release an album called “Night Beat”, but it WAS NOT this one)! She also suggests that “The Nation’s Nightmare” came in two colour variations, one brown and one grey. The grey cover is probably only a bleached version of the original brown.
The most recent Warhol cover that I picked up is an unusual CD released in Japan in 1996. It is a double CD with two Mozart recordings on one CD and Mahler’s 5th Symphony on the other. The cover illustration, also printed on each CD, is of an ear, several arrows pointing to the ear and the single word “ear” in Warhol’s handstyle. Guy Minnebach immediately recognised the drawing as coming from a book drawn by Warhol in the 1950s entitled “Play Book of You S Bruce 2:30 – 4:00”. This was a drawing block which Warhol drew at Steven Bruce’s cafe/restaurant Serendipity III in New York, which Warhol often visited. One afternoon he filled his drawing block with portraits of Bruce, the iceman who happened to make a delivery while Andy was there and various features of Bruce’s anatomy, including one ear. The drawing lock had been sold at Sotheby’s for £111000 in 2008 and the drawings had been shown in an exhibition in Germany in 1989 and a book published with all the drawings to accompany the exhibition.
The Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, north north west of Detroit, is currently exhibiting called “Warhol on Vinyl – The Record Covers 1949-1987”. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of Andy Warhol’s record cover art since the Montreal exhibition “Warhol Live!” in 2008. Of course, many record covers with art by Andy Warhol have been unearthed since that exhibition thus making the Cranbrook show essential viewing for anyone interested in this aspect of Warhol’s oevre. Included in the Cranbrook exhibition are such recently discovered covers as Lew White’s “Melodic Magic” EP on the Camden label.
Others include two LP covers on the RCA Victor Bluebird label; Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and “Porgy & Bess / Grieg’s Symphonic Dances which join the Byron Janis recording of “Rhapsody in Blue” as being acknowledged Warhol covers.
A number of bootleg albums that use Warhol’s art were also included including three Velvet Underground boots: “Screen Test: Falling in Love with the Falling Spikes”, “NYC” and “Orange Disaster”, The Rolling Stones’ “Live in Laxington”, Mick Jagger’s “Suntory D R Y Beer”.
The search for more records and CDs with Warhol’s art continues. I recently added a couple more to my collection. I had bought the re-issue version of the CRI CD coupling Matias Pickjer’s “Keys to the City” with Marc Blitzstein’s “Piano Concerto” with a smaller image of Warhol’s “Brooklyn Bridge” print:
And I also found an unusual CD of a classical concert including Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” and “Prague Symphony (No. 38)” performed by the NHK Orchestra on one disc and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 5″ on the second, released by an organisation called NTT Data. The cover had an intriguing Warhol drawing on the front and on each CD that I could not resist. When I showed photographs to members of The Warhol Cover Collectors Club they could identify the drawing as one from a series that Warhol did in a book for ‘Play Book of You S. Bruce from 2:30-4:00”. It was a very special portfolio because only 1 copy was made. Subject of all portraits is Stephen Bruce, the owner of the Serendipity restaurant in New York where Warhol used to hang out a lot in the Fifties. He must have had a crush on Bruce, because he made this drawings supposedly in one night, in ballpoint pen and offered Bruce the portfolio. The portfolio was sold at Sotheby’s in 2010 for £181.250 [Thanks to Guy Minnebach for this information]. There is book of the drawings as well.
The Cult’s “Edie (Ciao Baby)” single is often offered for sale as an “Andy Warhol cover”. The only Warhol connection is through Gerard Malanga, who took the photo of Edie Sedgwick that was used on the cover. It comes from the film “Ciao! Manhatten”, directed by John Palmer and David Weisman. Thus Andy Warhol was not involeved in any way.
This homage to Warhol superstar and poor little rich girl Edie Sedgwick was released in 1989, eighteen years after Edie’s suicide in 1971. The song was included on The Cult’s fourth album “Sonic Temple”. Ian Astbury, vocalist and songwriter has said the song was inspired by the film Ciao! Manhatten and the image on the cover of the single is said to have been taken from the film. It was photographed by Gerard Malanga, another of Warhol’s co-workers and Factory acolytes.
The single was released on 26th July 1989 and a promotional 7″ was released a week earlier. In addition to the promotional single, there was a gatefold numbered 7″ released in an edition of 5000 copies (with “Bleeding Heart Graffiti” on the B-side) as well as a 12″ three-track single (with the added tracks “Sun King” and “She Sells Sanctuary”). The 12″ was also released in a black plastic slip envelope with a hologram image.
Here are the song lyrics:
Always said you were a youth quaker, Edie
A stormy little world shaker
Oh, Warhol’s darling queen, Edie
An angel with a broken wing
The dogs lay at your feet, Edie
Oh, we caressed your cheek
Ooh, stars wrapped in your hair
Ooh, life without a care
But your not there
Oh, caught up in an endless scene, Edie
Yeah, paradise, a shattered dream
Oh, wired on the pills you took, Edie
Your innocence dripped blood, sweet child
The dogs lay at your feet, Edie
Oh, we caressed your cheek
Ooh, stars wrapped in your hair
Ooh, life without a care
Shake it, boy
Oh, sweet little sugar talker
Paradise dream stealer
Oh, Warhol’s little queen, Edie
An angel with a broken wing, oh
The dogs lay at your feet, Edie
Oh, we caressed your cheek, well
Stars wrapped in your hair
Ooh, life without a care
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Why did you kiss the world goodbye?
Don’t you know paradise takes time?
Why did you kiss the world goodbye?
Don’t you know paradise takes time?
On October 25th 2013 Damien Hirst’s 22nd record cover for Babyshambles’ “Fall From Grace”, the band’s second single from their “Sequel to the Prequel” album was released on September 2nd 2013. The album cover as well as both singles had cover design by Hirst, who with this latest cover passed the number of covers designed by Sir Peter Blake. Depending a little on how one defines a Peter Blake cover, Blake has produced 21 covers in the 47 years since Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967. This cover was, of course, designed by Blake and his then wife Jann Haworth – and so should be regarded as a joint effort. The cover for Madness’ limited edition CD version of “Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da” has him pictured on the cover, but the design is by Paul Agar with photography by Perou.
I do not suppose many would argue with me if I suggest that much of Damien Hirst’s art is ugly. Dissected animals or fish in formalin tanks, skulls (even when encrusted with diamonds) do not appear beautiful to these eyes. And Damien Hirst’s record covers fit the mould. His first record cover art was for Dave Stewart’s “Greetings From the Gutter” released in 1994. Hirst’s first covers are really unremarkable – the six variously coloured gas tubes with tubing attached on the Dave Stewart album and the dissection of an egg by two rubber-gloved hands on the “Heart of Stone” single from Stewart’s album are hardly design masterpieces. These are followed by Hirst’s ugliest covers; the CD for Fat Les’ “Vindaloo” with foldout poster and “Yalla Yalla” the single from Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros’ album “Rock Art & The X-ray Style” from 1999. For the album, Hirst drew a series of matchstick men reminiscent of stone-age cave paintings or aboriginal art and these figures appeared on the “Bankrobber 99” promotional single as well.
In 2006, Hirst became manager for the band The Hours and designed the covers for their first album “Narcissus Road” and the singles taken from it; “Ali in the Jungle” and “Back When You Were Good”. These were released on the A & M label.
Hirst made a limited edition of 210 spin-painted skulls as holders for the CD retailing at a cool £4,500 each!
Hirst then started his own record label “Is Good” and The Hours’ second album “See the Light” was released on the label, again with cover art by him. The album was released on gatefold vinyl and a double 12″ single “See the Light” was also released. And, as had been for the singles from “Narcissus Road”, each was decorated with more of Hirst’s skull designs.
In February 2008 the cover of TAR Magazine used Damien Hirst’s portrait of Kate Moss where the right side of her face was dissected down to the muscles. The following year, Hirst released a white vinyl, one-sided 12″ single with the same image on the cover. Hirst’s given name was misspelt on the record label: “Damian”. The single was released in a numbered edition of 666 copies and is currently very sought after.
Hirst’s next cover “I’m With You” for The Red Hot Chili Peppers (2011) revisited two of his earlier subjects, drugs represented by a coloured capsule and decay, represented by a single fly on the capsule.
Hirst designed the cover for the band 30 Seconds to Mars’ fourth album “Love Lust Faith & Dreams” in May 2013 and used his polka dot pattern. The album was released on CD and vinyl and in a limited edition boxed set with the LP, a double CD, a book and four prints.
Later the same year Hirst designed the covers for Babyshambles’ “Sequel to the Prequel” album and the two singles released from it that autumn; “Nothing Comes From Nothing” and “Fall From Grace”. According to Babyshambles’ bassist Drew McConnell reported in NME: “It happened kind of naturally and in the spirit you’d hope for. We asked Damien to suggest someone to put something together, then to our amazement he offered to do it himself. The fact that he used a pic taken by Pennie Smith, who shot all those iconic photos of The Clash (Damien’s old pal Joe Strummer’s band), just makes it make even more sense.”
So those are Damien Hirst’s first 22 covers from his first twenty years of record cover design 1994 – 2013.
And, as is my wont, I’ll list one cover ascribed to Damien Hirst that is not by him. According to Wikipedia Hirst did prepare a design for the cover for the Band Aid 20 single “Do They Know It’a Christmas?”. His design showing the grim reaper and a starving child was considered too scary and was dropped. Mat Maitland at Big Active, a designer in his own right who has designed covers for Michael Jackson and others was commissioned to design the replacement. Rumour has it that Hirst released a limited edition print of his design for the cover. But I have, thus far, not been able to find one.