Category Archives: Record cover art

The complete Cult single “Edie (Ciao Baby)”

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.

Promotional 7" single
Promotional 7″ single
The 7" single's front cover.
The 7″ single’s front cover.
The hologram  slip case for the 12" EP.
The hologram slip case for the 12″ EP.
The cover of the limited edition 12" with the hologram slip case. Malanga's portrait of Edie seen through a window in the cover.
The cover of the limited edition 12″ with the hologram slip case. Malanga’s portrait of Edie seen through a window in the cover.

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
Ciao baby

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?
Ciao baby
Don’t you know paradise takes time?
Ciao, yeah
Why did you kiss the world goodbye?
Ciao baby
Don’t you know paradise takes time?
Ciao, yeah

Ciao baby, yeah
Ciao baby
Ciao baby, yeah
Ciao baby

Damien Hirst’s record cover art 1994 – 2013

Damien Hirst in August 2008. Photo by David Bailey.
Damien Hirst in August 2008. Photo by David Bailey.

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.

Joe Strummer & The Meascaleros' "Rock Art & the X-ray Style" LP cover.
Joe Strummer & The Meascaleros’ “Rock Art & the X-ray Style” LP cover.

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!
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Damien Hirst's spin-painted skull holder for The Hours' "Narcissus Road" CD.
Damien Hirst’s spin-painted skull holder for The Hours’ “Narcissus Road” CD.

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.

Damien Hirst's portrait of Kate Moss from TAR Magazine to his "Use Money, Cheat Death" 12" single cover.
Damien Hirst’s portrait of Kate Moss from TAR Magazine to his “Use Money, Cheat Death” 12″ single cover.

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.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' album "I'm With You".
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album “I’m With You”.

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.
30 Seconds to Mars' super de luxe promo box set of Love, Lust & Faith
30 Seconds to Mars’ super de luxe promo box set of Love, Lust & Faith

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.

The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” singles and EPs

In a previous post, I promised a continuation of my list of 45 rpm discs with Andy Warhol cover art. Well, I’m still working on the list, which continues to grow as I do more research.

The Rolling Stones released their “Sticky Fingers” LP with cover photography by Andy Warhol and package design by Craig Braun on 23rd April 1971. The cover art and packaging received a Grammy nomination in 1972 – but did not win. However, the album cover was later voted No 1 in VH1’s list of the best record sleeves of all time.

The design concept was by Andy Warhol and many credit him with the photography, which according to others, was by Factory associate Billy Name.  Sticky Fingers was the first LP released on the Rolling Stones own record label.

Here I will only discuss the various versions of The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” single and EP with Warhol cover art. There are many issues from all over the world with either generic company covers or alternative cover art.

The original single was released in the UK on 16th April 1971, one week prior to the Sticky Fingers LP, as a three-track single with “Brown Sugar” coupled with “Bitch” and “Let It Rock”. The covers for the UK and US singles used a photograph by American photographer David Montgomery (thank you Guy Minnebach for this information.) The rear cover used the same photo as the “Sticky Fingers” LP with a jeans-clad posterior. Interestingly, the German version of the single had the Montgomery photograph reversed on the front – that is with Jagger apparently standing at far left instead of at far right as on the UK and US versions.

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In addition to the standard single, there was a shaped picture disc (SUGAR1).

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“Brown Sugar” was released in Mexico both as a single (coupled with “Perdida” (Bitch)) and as an EP (coupled with “Caballos salvajes” (“Wild Horses”) and “Ecos de mi onda” (“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”)) both had a fold-over covers that bore the “Sticky Fingers” artwork on the front.

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The “Brown Sugar” single was re-issued in it’s original cover for Record Store Day in 2011 as a numbered edition of 10,000 copies. My copy has number 7385.

My Warhol collection – 2013 additions: a review of the past year

The thing that makes the past year’s collecting Andy Warhol’s record cover art most exciting is, without a doubt, the informal convening of The Warhol Cover Collectors’ Club (WCCC). The Club’s four other members have contributed enormous amounts of enthusiasm and knowledge and found a many record covers with art either by Warhol or that is clearly influenced by him. I cannot thank them all enough for their input and stimulus to keep me up to date.

I have been trying to keep my list of Warhol covers up to date and members of the WCCC have pointed put omissions. I realised during the past year that I have been naive when maintaining this list. I had not realised that it had become a reference site and that posting records there influenced sales of covers and thus prices. In retrospect, I should never have advertised the RATFAB cover – I could have gone on buying copies for under $10 had I not shared its existence with viewers of my list. I’ve learned my lesson, however, and keep “mum” about one rare cover….

I have prided myself on having a fairly good and representative collection of Andy Warhol’s record cover art, although my collection lacked some of the rarer early Warhol covers. Over the past twelve months I have managed to fill several of the major gaps as prices for some of the not-quite-so-rare items have come down somewhat. Thus I have added both volumes of “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish”, “Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops”, Vladimir Horowitz’ “Piano Music of Mendelssohn and Lizst” to my collection. I was, however, convinced that a couple of the seriously rare covers, such as the “Night Beat” promotional box and the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” would never find their way into my collection. So, I hatched the idea of making my own and supplying the WCCC with copies for their collections. 2013 just happened to be the fiftieth anniversary of the first production of Andy Warhol’s “Giant Size $1.57 Each” record cover. I hade made a digital copy of this cover for the 2008 “Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!” exhibition in Piteå, Sweden, but now wanted to produce true copies exactly as Warhol had done. That meant spraying record sleeves with paint and then silkscreening his “Giant Size” image over the painted sleeve. Warhol made prints of the sleeve in five colour variations: red, orange, yellow, green and white. His placement of the silkscreen on each cover was quite sloppy and he was not too bothered if areas of the “Giant Size” motif failed to print. From pictures that I have seen of the rear covers it is clear that he stacked covers on top of one another before the paint was completely dry as there is paint residue on the rear of many sleeves.

In addition to making the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” record covers, I decided to make ten and seven inch versions of the unreleased “Progressive Piano” record as well as the the “Night Beat” promotional box and the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” EP. Thus I was able to add nine new covers to my collection; “Night Beat”, the “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” and ten and seven inch versions of the “Progressive Piano” album and the five colour variants of the “Giant Size” sleeve.

During the year I also managed to find copies of Keely Smith’s “I Wish You Love” (both LP and EP versions), The Velvet Underground’s bootlegs “Paris 1990” and the red version of “Screen Test: Falling in Love With the Falling Spikes” and several EPs that I was missing, including Joe Newman Octet’s “I’m Still Swinging” (in several variations), Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto” in a three EP box, German pressings of Artie Shaw’s “Both Feet in the Groove” and Joe Newman Octet’s “I’m Still Swinging” and a few CDs with Andy Warhol art including Mark Blixtstein / Tobias Pinker “Piano Concerto / Keys to the City” CD, David Cronenberg’s “Cronenberg on Warhol” and Rasmussen’s “Three friends” CD. I also found copies of Walter Steding’s “Dancing in Heaven” LP and “Secret Spy” 45, Aretha Franklin’s “Jerry Lee”, “Rock-a-lott” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and Enola Gay’s “Döda djur” singles and The Smith’s “Sheila Take a Bow” 12 inch.

All in all I have, over the past twelve months, added forty-one titles, including the eight replicas I have made myself, to my collection of Warhol covers. And I have added a few records with covers that resemble Andy Warhol’s art such as The Darling Buds’ “It’s All up to You” and The Velvet Underground’s “Velvet Redux – Live MCMXCIII” Video disc and “Harvest” CD. There are a few bootlegs that I have yet to find, but – as far as I can tell today – no official releases. The final addition to my collection this year is not really a Warhol cover, but the record and catalogue from the 1963 “Popular Image Exhibition” recorded by Billy Klüver with cover art by Warhol’s fellow Pop Artist, Jim Dine.

Here’s wishing all readers a Happy 2014 and much success in their continued collecting of Andy Warhol’s record cover art. I hope we will see a new exhibition of his record sleeves during the year.

“Night Beat” – a rare promo set for radio from 1949

In my recent list of the rarest Warhol record covers, I put the “Night Beat” promotional box of three 45 RPM EPs at number 2. Top of the list is the “Progressive Piano” cover, which was never released. However, there is – as far as I know – only one known copy of the “Night Beat” box; the one in Paul Maréchal’s collection. Not even The Warhol Museum has a copy. Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist at The Warhol, told me in a recent email, that the radio stations that received the “Night Beat” boxes would, in all probability, have thrown them away once the episode had been broadcast, which probably means that very few have survived. Indeed, I have never seen a copy appear on Ebay or in art galleries.

So what is a poor collector to do if he/she wants to complete a collection? The answer, of course, is to make a copy. Using the picture in Paul Maréchal’s book as a starting point and with the help of my daughter who performed some Photoshop magic and Urban Westling, at Urban Print, who did some further tweeking in InDesign and printed the result, I made a slick that would cover a standard EP box. Once I had the slick it only took about fifteen mintes to glue it over the old, discarded box of EPs and the result was way beyond my expectations.

The "Night Beat" box
The “Night Beat” box

My main problem has been finding suitable boxes here at home in order to supply all the members of The Warhol Cover Club with their own boxes. Founder member, Kevin Kinney and his wife have volunteered to find more boxes for me and as soon as they arrive I will make more boxes.

The “yellow” MTV High Priority cover, André Heller’s “Stimmenhögen” and a rare “Alexander Nevsky”

Some time ago founder member of the Warhol Cover Collectors Club, Kevin Kinney, found a variant of the “MTV – High Priority” LP cover that few, if any, of us knew existed. Instead of the red shading to the MTV-logo on the front, the shading was yellow and the titles along the top of the front cover were in black print instead of white, red and blue. I’ve been checking every copy that I have seen on Ebay looking for a yellow version but to no avail. Then one came up a week or so ago and I was about to “buy it now” when it disappeared. Fellow collector Niklas L had seen it first and nabbed it! But, having sent Niklas some of my fabricated “Progressive Piano” and other covers for his collection he very generously thanked me by sending the yellow “MTV – High Priority” album together with André Heller’s “Stimmenhögen” LP. Even this turned out to be unusual. Two versions were listed on Rate Your Music – one on the Electrola and one on the HMV label. The copy Niklas sent me was also on the HMV label, but with a completely different catalogue number from those listed on RYM.

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The only reason to have the Heller LP is the fact that the booklet inside the gatefold has a little Warhol drawing on one page (pictured above). In 1981 Heller was photographed by Warhol and two Polaroids from this session were recently sold by Christies.

Two original Polaroid prints of André Heller taken by Andy Warhol in 1981 recently sold at Christies.
Two original Polaroid prints of André Heller taken by Andy Warhol in 1981 recently sold at Christies.

The picture in the lyric booklet is probably Warhol’s portrait of Heller which, judging by Heller’s pose with arms crossed must have been done on that occasion. It fits with the Polaroids, which show him bare to the waist, arms crossed and wearing leather trousers. I suppose Heller chose to include the drawing to show that Warhol had done a portrait of him. I do not suppose that Warhol did the drawing specifically for this record cover. One could argue that the Swan Lake and Daphnis & Chlöe albums from 1955 with Warhol drawings fall into the same category, but Warhol did those drawings specifically for the albums and they illustrate the ballet content. However, one could say that the portraits on the covers of many albums definitely listed as being Warhol covers (Aretha Franklin, Billy Squier, Paul Anka, Liza Minnelli, John Lennon etc.) were not painted specifically for the record covers. So do I include the Heller album as a bona fide Warhol cover or not?

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An unusual copy of Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” LP came up on Ebay last week. This had the original 1949 cover design but with orange colour blocks. I have previously seen blue, green and pink versions, but never an orange one. and I wonder if the colour variations were later pressings of the album. This one definitely is. The record has Columbia Records’ “6-eye” label rather than the Dark blue Columbia Masterworks label used since the introduction of the LP in 1948. According to Ron Penndorf’s Labelography the grey”6-eye” label was introduced in 1955 and phased out in 1962. As may be seen from the label picture, the designation “Unbreakable” appears to the left of the spindle hole, indicating – again according to Labelography – that this is a later pressing; probably late fifties or early sixties. I find it fascinating that Columbia chose to keep the original cover design from 1949 on this repressing rather than commission a new cover.

More Damien Hirst record covers

Damien Hirst has not yet designed many record covers. So far I have identified only twenty-three. I am primarily interested in those covers released on vinyl, but for completeness have also included CDs in my list on http://www.rateyourmusic.com (http://rateyourmusic.com/list/rockdoc/damien_hirsts_record_cover_art/). There are three quite rare vinyl issues: The most soughtafter is “Use Money, Cheat Death” by Damien (spellt on the record as Damian) Hirst that uses the Kate Moss portrait with half her face dissected away as the cover image. This picture was originally on the cover of the February 2006 issue of TAR magazine. The other two rarities are Dave Stewart’sGreetings From the Gutter” and the original release of Joe Strummer & The Mescalino’sRock Art & the X-ray Style“, which has since been re-issued on vinyl with the same cover.

Three new Damien Hirst covers have been released so far this year. In May the group 30 Seconds to Mars released their fourth album “Love Lust Faith – Dreams” with Damien Hirst artwork. Quite pretentiously, they have released the album in three formats – a standard CD, a Super Deluxe Pack (price $295, and includes double white viny LPs a 100-page photo book, lithographs and an autographed CD) and a Super Duper Deluxe pack (price $999, which includes all the stuff in the Super Deluxe pack plus a pair of drumsticks, plectrums, a t-shirt, triad USB and a personalised message from the band.)

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British group Babyshambles released their fifth full length album on 2nd September 2013 with cover art by Damien Hirst who used a photo of the band taken by Pennie Smith (who, you will remember, took the photo of The Clash used on their “London Calling” album.) NME reports on how Hirst came to design the cover “bassist Drew McConnell said: “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.” “Nothing Comes to Nothing”, the first single from the album also comes in a Damien Hirst designed cover.

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