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Magazines, Etc. With an Andy Warhol Connection.

I found references to several magazines with articles about Andy Warhol while reading Blake Gopnik’s biography of the artist. I realised that I had a few of these in my collection as well as quite a few others as well as exhibition catalogues.

I have a couple of gallery exhibition publications. In 1983 Gallerie Börjeson in Malmö, Sweden, published an edition of Warhol’s portraits of Ingrid Bergman and simultaneously produced a leporello (or fold-out, concertina-like) book of the prints that contained 48 variations of the portraits.

The second gallery exhibition catalogue in my collection is the limited edition Reigning Queens exhibition in Odense, Denmark, in 1985. There is a plate-printed Andy Warhol autograph on the frontespiece.

Sometime in the 1980s I bought a bootleg LP by the Rolling Stones called Emotional Tattoo that used one of Warhol’s 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger on the cover.

The Emotional Tattoo cover image.

This image came from a series of ten prints published by New York’s Castelli Gallery in 1985. Leo Castelli used a set of postcards of the prints as invitations to the opening of the show and my friend, the late Daniel Brandt, sold me a set.

Castelli Gallery invitation cards.

Warhol painted portraits of many music stars for his major portraits. Many turned up on record covers, including Paul Anka, Diana Ross, Billy Squier and Debbie Harry. He also painted Michael Jackson for a March 1984 edition of Time Magazine and a portrait of Prince, painted in 1984, that was used on the cover of a commemorative magazine in August 2016.

Warhol’s portraits of Prince and Michael Jackson.

The first time Andy Warhol featured in a major amgazine was in May 1962 when Time Magazine ran a feature on Pop Art (though it didn’t use the term then).

In addition, I managed to find a copy of the Museum of Modern Art’s programme for the 1940 Concert of Mexican Music in which Warhol found the picture he based his illustration for the Columbia Records 1949 10″ LP A Program of Mexican Music — one of Warhol’s very first commissions after moving to New York in the summer of 1949.

It is general knwledge that Andy Warhol was unhappy with Mick Jagger’s alterations to the design of the Rolling Stones Love You Live album, released in 1977. Warhol’s original design did not include the band’s name or the record’s title, but Jagger added them. Advertisements for the album, however, used Warhol’s original design without Jagger’s additions. A double page ad was placed in the June 1977 copy of Interview Magzine.

June 1977 edition of Interview Magazine with Love You Live poster.

It wasn’t until 1980 that Warhol made portraits of The Beatles for Geoffrey Stokes’s book of the same name. The hardback first edition of the book had a second dust jacket with Warhol’s Beatle portraits without the title.

Andy Warhol’s Beatles portraits on the cover of Geoffrey Stokes’s book The Beatles.

In 1981-2 Stockholm’s National Museum hosted an exhibition of record cover art, one of the first ever exhibitions that was devoted solely to record covers. The exhibition was called Ytans innehåll, which means the What’s inside the surface. I visited the exhibition and have the catalogue as well as the poster, autographed by Andy Warhol.

The poster for the exhibition of record cover art at National Muuseum 1981-1982.
The catalogue from the National Museum exhibition.

There is going to be a Warhol / Banksy exhibition in Catania, Sicily, this autumn. perhaps some of these items might appear there.

Record Sleeve Art — An undervalued Entry to an Artist’s Work.

It seems that people only get around to collecting major artists’ record sleeve art when prices for paintings or limited edition prints become unaffordable. Record sleeve art — particularly on vinyl covers — must always be released in limited editions, even though the “edition” might be as big as ten or twenty thousand copies. I am sure that in the 1990s CDs were produced in far larger numbers than vinyl releases, and this is probably true up to the middle or late 2000s.

One only has to look at prices for Andy Warhol’s or Jean Michel Basquiat’s record covers to see that collectors of their art woke up very late to the fact that many of their record covers were issued in very limited quantities. And there are other examples. Record covers bearing works by Banksy have have increased in price almost exponentially in recent years as the result of all the publicity that has surrounded sales of his prints by famous auction houses. Perhaps a warning is in order here. David Shrigley’s art is becoming highly collectible. Once again, collectors have been slow to collect his record sleeve art. A little strange when one considers Shrigley’s own love of vinyl records coupled with the fact that the majority of records and cassettes with his sleeve art are very limited editions, often produced by art galleries or as own releases.

I also have collections of Peter Blake’s record sleeve art. Here prices have not escalated as they have for the artists already mentioned. It is really only original vinyl copies of Blake’s & Jann Haworth’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and, possibly, the vinyl release of Oasis’s Stop the Clocks collection that have increased in value. Nor have records with cover art by Damien Hirst increased dramatically in value in recent years. My collection of Klaus Voormann’s record sleeve art is, at best, worth what I originally paid for each item. Only a copy of The Beatles’ Revolver signed by Klaus has increased in value.

I was lucky to have started collecting record sleeve art before prices went over the top. I am constantly amazed by the sums some collector are prepared to pay for some record covers. Several sleeves with Banksy’s art have sold recently on Ebay for over £2,000! And these were released in editions of 1000 copies. Even some CDs with Banksy’s art have started to increase in value although only a few were issued in limited quantities.

The sport now, is to guess which artist who also lends his art to record sleeves, will be next to tempt collectors.

An Addition to my collection of Record Covers by Andy Warhol.

It has been quite a while since I have had anything to write about other than David Shrigley or Banksy record and CD covers. A couple of months ago, however, I saw an advert for a 2018 album with cover art by Andy Warhol that I had missed. The band Third Eye Blind (or 3EB) had released an EP on vinyl called Thanks for Everything and used one of Andy Warhol’s Skull paintings as the backdrop.

Third Eye Blind’s 2018 EP Thanks for Everything.

Andy Warhol is said to have bought a human skull in a flea market in Paris in 1975 and made a series of still lives of it in 1976.

Copyright The Warhol Foundation for the visual arts. Photo by Elisabeth Bernstein.

Warhol even made drawings of the skull and was photographed with the skull on his head or on his shoulder.

The Thanks for Everything cover had a different skull image on the rear cover reworked to look like street art.

So this is the latest addition to my Warhol cover collection.

Collecting Record Cover Art as an Investment.

This post is going to be rather philosophical. Why collect record cover art? Well, I started as I was interested in music and I found that I would prefer to buy a record with music that I liked if it had a more attractive cover. My collection began with a collection of cover art by Vaughan Oliver and his collectives 23 Envelope and V23. I built up a super collection of releases primarily on the 4AD label — not only records and CDs — but also a large number of posters. I had all the really rare items designed by Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg including the famous Lonely Is an Eyesore wooden box and two copies of the Lilliput CD promo book. Vaughan Oliver autographed both the Eyesore box and a Lilliput book when I went on a pilgrimage to his studio in South London in 2001. I sold my whole Vaughan Oliver collection in 2010-2013.

I started collecting Andy Warhol’s record cover art in 1967, when I bought the Velvet Underground & Nico album at One Stop Records in London’s South Moulton Street. I confess I didn’t realise its greatness until a couple of decades later, but that didn’t stop me from buying White Light / White Heat the following year — again on US import at One Stop. So I had two Andy Warhol covers. That was the start of the collection. I bought the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers when it came out in April 1971 and their Love You Live in 1977. I got my fifth Warhol cover in 1982, when my family bought me Diana Ross’s Silk Electric as a Fathers’ Day present. From there I started looking for Warhol covers and gradually (and with the help of ace Warhol collector, Guy Minnebach) managed to collect every known Warhol cover by 2008, when Guy and I curated an exhibition of Warhol’s record cover art at Piteå Museum in northern Sweden arranged to celebrate what would have been Andy Warhol’s 80th birthday on 6th August 2008.

At the same time I had collected a representative collection of Peter Blake’s record cover art, including records, posters and books with a few rarities. I also noticed that I had several records with covers designed by Klaus Voormann; the Beatles’ Revolver (of course), Manfred Mann’s As Is, the Bee Gees first album and all three Beatles Anthology albums (on vinyl) and, when Klaus visited Stockholm in 2003 he kindly signed several album covers for me. So I continued collecting his covers, too, and now have almost every cover he has designed.

Around 2008, my son-in-law wondered if I would like to invest in a print by a street artist called Banksy, who had an exhibition in Stockholm. I passed on that (stupid, or what?) But, I had seen Blur live at Hultsfred’s Festival in 1996 and had all their albums and I had even bought the Think Tank LP in 2003 — my first Banksy cover. Then, in around 2008, I happened to find a couple of record covers designed by Banksy and found a contact on the Internet who was trying to offload his collection of Banksy-designed record covers. They were cheap at that time and I bought quite a few. As my Bansky collection grew, so did the prices for the rare items. A DJ, who was about to get married and needed money, offered me a copy of Röyksopp’s Melody A.M. promo double LP with the Bansky-sprayed cover for what was an exorbitant amount back than, but which I’m today glad I paid. I later added both versions of Banksy’s / Danger Mouse’s Paris Hilton CD (the original first issue and the reissued second release.) Since then my Banksy collection has been exhibited in a number of Banksy retrospectives.

I started to collect Andy Warhol’s record cover art as I am a Warhol fan. I have always loved his art and found I couldn’t afford to buy any original works. But his record covers were affordable and easy to store, much easier that hanging prints or paintings. I started collecting his covers when they were affordable and could even trade rare covers for others that I didn’t have. I had no idea that many would become valuable. I have been lucky to find several covers signed by Warhol to add to my collection.

A similar situation has happened with my Banksy collection. Bought first for the art and in an attempt to collect a complete collection of Banksy’s official and inofficial covers I found that I had made an investment. I have no idea what my collection is currently worth.

But what about my other collections? My Peter Blake collection of record and CD covers could still be bought for only a little more that I originally bought the covers for. Similarly, I don’t think there would be much interest in my collection of Klaus Voormann’s covers; although I treasure them both.

I have recently started to collect record, cassette and CD covers designed by David Shrigley. A couple of years ago, my wife and I had a wonderful meal at Sketch, a London restaurant who’s walls were decorated with Shrigley’s paintings and posters. As I have said in a previous post, I was lucky to get David Shrigley to sign my copy of Castle Face Record’s version of Velvet Underground & Nico cover, and so started my collection of David Shrigley’s record cover art. His posters and prints are now well beyond my budget, but his record, tape and CD sleeves are still very affordable. I wonder if they will one day, like my Warhol and Banksy covers, prove to be a sound investment, too.

I should emphasise, though, that I didn’t start collecting record cover art as an investment, but because I liked the art. That it has proved to be an investment only adds icing to the cake.

Records as Art — David Shrigley.

David Shrigley is a hugely popular artist, sculptor and poet. He has recorded a number of singles, albums, CDs and cassettes with a variety of coworkers. Other artists have recorded his poems. As I wrote in a recent post, I first came into contact with Shrigley’s art when I bought Castle Face Record’s cover of the Velvet Underground & Nico‘s seminal album, for which Shrigley had re-imagined Andy Warhol’s Banana cover.

Since then I have so far come across twenty-one records, books (with records), cassettes and CDs that feature Shrigley’s conceptual art.

BallboyA Guide for the Daylight Hours2002
BlurGood Song2003
David ShrigleyForced to Speak With Others2006
David ShrigleyDing Dong2006
DeerhoofThe Perfect Me2006
DeerhoofFriend Opportunity2007
CompilationHallam Foe (Soundtrack)2008
CompilationWorried Noodles2008
White NightWhite Night (7-inch picture disc)2008
Jason MrazWe Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.2008
David Shrigley / Thee Oh SeesGallerie Fieber edition (2 x 7-inch singles)2011
David ShrigleyBrain Activity (book + 7-inch single)2011
Castle Face & Friends Velvet Underground & Nico 2012
Stephen Malkmus & FriendsCan’s Ege Bamyasi2013
Iain Shaw & David ShrigleyAwesome2013
David ShrigleyI Am an Actor (7-inch picture disc)2013
Malcolm Middleton & David ShrigleyMusic + Words 2014
Iain Shaw & David ShrigleyListening to Slayer (7-inch EP)2016
Lord Stornaway & David ShrigleyDon’t Worry (pink vinyl 12″ LP)2018
David ShrigleyGoat Music (Book + 12″ LP)2019
David Shrigley & Régis LaugierPlay Something Awful2020
David Shrigley’s discography

Several of Shrigley’s records were released in association with exhibitions of his work in galleries and museums. The earliest release that I have thus far found that features Shrigley’s art is for a 2002 CD A Guide for the Daylight Hours by Ballboy. Paul Coombs tipped me off about the second David Shrigley cover for Blur’s Good Song DVD release. David Shrigley had directed the music video and drew the cover art for the DVD single.

In 2006 Shrigley released an LP and CD entitled Forced to Speak With Others: the LP included a poster. The same year he released a seven inch single, Ding Dong, that played a doorbell’s DING on side A and the same doorbell’s DONG on side B. Brilliant conceptual art! This single was released in connection with Shrigley’s exhibition at the Dundee Contemporary Arts museum. In December 2006, Deerhoof released a picture disc single, The Perfect Me, from their forthcoming Friend Opportunity album and original copies contained twelve different cover variations which Shrigley painted .

Three releases with Shrigley’s cover art appeared in 2007: Deehoof’s Friend Opportunity in January and a soundtrack collection CD called Hallam Foe. In addition a book with a series of tracks by a variety of artists recording of Shrigley’s lyrics called Worried Noodles was released. Shrigley had had an exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies’ Bard Museum between September 30 – December 14, 2001. Apparently the museum released a book called Worried Noodles in the form of an LP record, though it only contained a card printed to look like an LP.

More recent exhibitions include one at the BQ Gallery in Berlin in 2018. The Gallery had already released Shrigley’s I Am an Actor 7-inch picture disc single in 2013 and released an LP for this exhibition called Don’t Worry. This was a further collaboration with guitarist Iain Shaw.

Probably the rarest of Shrigley’s exhibition releases is the split release together with the band Thee Oh Sees (a.k.a Osees), released as a limited edition (200 copies) double 7-inch on pick vinyl in special packaging drawn by Shrigley.

I suspect that David Shrigley is as obsessed with records as I am. He has designed a frisbee with the text I Collect Records — I Am Obsessed With them.

Andy Warhol’s Unreleased Record Cover Designs.

There are currently 68 known record covers with designs or illustrations by Andy Warhol (not counting colour variations or variations in format — LP or 7″) produced in his lifetime–the exact number is unknown as new covers with his illustrations/designs seem to turn up with monotonous regularity as soon as there has been an exhibition purporting to show his complete oeuvre. A case in point being the discovery of Paul Desmond’s 1963 Take Ten LP found in 2019 just as the Warhol 1968 exhibition at Moderna Museet in Malmö, closed, where a “complete” collection of Warhol’s covers was shown.

In addition, there are countless record and CD covers that use Warhol’s art released since his death. There are also designs for at least six record sleeves that Warhol made that were never released. These are:
Progressive Piano — a Various Artists compilation — planned for release by RCA Records, both as a 10″ LP and as 7″ EP (probably a double EP) as RCA allocated catalogue numbers for both formats. Lithographs of these covers are in the collection of The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Progressive Piano – 10″ LP, RCA Victor LJM-3001.

Progressive Piano – RCA Victor 45EP-EJB 3001.


– Four designs for a Billie Holiday four-track EP entitled Volume 3, probably aimed at Columbia Records, as the songs were recorded for that company’s subsidiaries. The song titles were written on the covers of two of the designs. There are four songs on one and seven on the second. The songs are:
Did I Remember?
I’ll Never Be the Same
They Say
Georgia on My Mind
I’m in a Low Down Groove
Romance in the Dark
Night and Day
No Regret
We do not know if these designs were actually commissioned or were simply Warhol’s own idea. No single record with these titles seems to have been released.

I first read about the four designs for the Billie Holiday covers in 2015 in Guy Minnebach’s excellent Andy Earhole blog. You can read his post here. And I’ve been thinking about trying to recreate them on record covers.

All these designs must be from the early 1950s. The Progressive Piano collection was probably as early as 1952 and the Billie Holiday designs I would guess were made around 1953 or 1954 as they are somewhat in the style of the drawings Warhol made for Margarita Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish and that appeared on the record covers to the two albums of pronunciation exercises that accompanied the book, published in 1953.

I made reproductions of the Progressive Piano LP and double 7″ EP several years ago and these have been included in exhibitions of Andy Warhol’s record cover art; most recently at Moderna Museet in Malmö, in 2019.

Recreating the Billie Holiday covers is much more difficult. Redrawing Warhol’s sketches means finding pens that can imitate Warhol’s lines. Then painting the colours round his drawings. So far I have attempted three of the covers:

There is a lot more work need to make them even remotely like Warhol’s originals. I hope I’ll be able to post more polished results sometime in the future.

Chu Bops Bubble Gum with Record cover Art.

You may have read my recent post on Anonymouse’s installation of a miniature record store in Lund, Sweden, displaying tiny record covers that parody well known covers, giving them a murine slant.

I seem to remember seeing bubblegum packed in miniature record sleeves in the late sixties or seventies but I only recently saw the ones manufactured by Amural Products Company and called Chu Bops in the 1980s. I have seen more than seventy different covers:
– The Beatles (16 covers)
– Rolling Stones (ten covers)
– Elvis Presley (eight covers)
and diverse covers by:
Abba, Air Supply, Allman Brothers, ARS, Pat Benatar, Blondie (two covers), Blue Öyster Cult, David Bowie, Brothers Johnson, Charlie Daniels Band, Commodores, Crystal, Neil Diamond, ELO, Foghat, Heart, Isley Brothers, Billy Joel (two covers), Jefferson Starship, Judas Priest (two covers), The Kinks, The Knack (two covers), Little River Band, Loverboy, Meat Loaf, Willie Nelson, Juice Newton, Gary Numan, Robert Palmer, Teddy Pendergrass, Rush, Santana, John Schneider, Rex Smith, Southside Johnny & The Ashbury Dukes, Spinners, James Taylor, Pat Travers Band, Stevie Winwood,

Each cover is three inches (9 cms) square and contains a pink bubblegum disc made to resemble a record.

There are even shop displays with Beatles or Rolling Stones covers and LP-sized collectors covers into which you could save your bubblegum records.

The Chu Bop Rolling Stones collection includes both Sticky Fingers and Love You Live covers that would fit in my collection of Andy Warhol covers and The Beatles collection includes the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover that would be a nice addition to my Peter Blake cover collection. The completist in me says that I should add them to my album cover collection.
Peter Blake:

The Chu Bops Sgt. Pepper cover beside the full size LP cover.

Klaus Voormann:

The Chu Bops Revolver cover beside the full size LP cover.

Andy Warhol:

The Chu Bops Sticky Fingers and Love You Live covers with a matchbox to show their size.

I think these covers make an interesting addition to my collection. As far as I can see Chu Bops don’t seem to have produced any other covers by cover artists I collect.

Ricotta Records–A New REcord shop in Lund, Sweden.

The Ricotta Records shopfront. Photo Anonymouse.

There’s a creative group in the town of Lund in Southern Sweden called Anonymous, that makes miniature shops that suddenly appear on the streets and attract the attention of passers-by. They seem to appear magically by night. There has been an Indian restaurant, a detective bureau, a pharmacy and a jazz club, a barbers shop, and, most recently, a record shop called Ricotta Records.

There are fourteen record covers in the shop window.

The shop is packed with record sleeves, and rock posters, all in miniature format. People have gone to amazing lengths to recreate actual record covers but given them a murine twist.

The Anonymouse Instagram post attracted followers to design their own mouse-associated covers.

I’d love to do some miniature covers of my own, but I seem to lack the inspiration to mousify any of my favourites. But all cred to Anonymous for making this great addition to the streets of Lund.