More information on Literature’s “Arab Spring” cover art – thanks to Warholcovers!

Image Warholcovers had the brilliant idea of contacting members of Literature to find out more about their approach to making the album cover. Warholcovers has given me permission to publish the interview here, so tah other lovers of record cover art may read it. So here is the interview:

Curious to find out more about one of the most recent Warhol related covers, I was able to track down Literature and ask them a few questions about their “Arab Spring” record cover.

WC: How did you come up with the decision for the cover art for your debut record, “Arab Spring”?

Nathaniel (Cardaci, vocals/guitar – recordart’s note): Sometime after recording ” Arab Spring” I found myself at the Menil collection in Houston. They had a Warhol room at the time and as I walked in I saw Ten Foot Flowers on the far wall everything about it screamed POP and I knew at that point that I wanted to try to use some amalgamation of the image for the record cover.

WC: Did you have any interaction with the estates of Andy Warhol or Patricia Caulfield, the photographer of the original flower image?

Kevin (Attics, guitar/vocals – recordart’s note): We did not attempt to contact them fearing that it might result in a legal obstruction that would push back the release of the record or disallow us from using the cover.

WC: Was the image used an original Warhol image, or was it manipulated to avoid copyright issues?

Kevin: The artist Jordan Shade and I worked to create a new cover using the same techniques employed in the original series. I think that the flowers’ shapes might be cut from the original series but they were overlaid onto a new screen of grass and colored by us.

WC: Does the work of Andy Warhol have any special meaning to any of you in the band?

Kevin: Nathaniel and I have an abiding fondness for NYC Culture running from the late 60′s to the mid-80′s. That period is obviously indebted to Andy. That we are influenced by bands he showed a great enthusiasm for might be why we felt his work was a great visual complement to our music.

Thanks to Literature for taking the time to answer these questions.

So, as we surmised the album art is not a Warhol picture at all, but a new montage of four hibiscus flowers on a new background of grass by Jordan Shade and Kevin Attics to resemble Warhol’s famous “Flowers” painting – a true homage to great art!.

Margarita Madrigal’s “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish” & More Warhol covers

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Here’s a photo of my copy of record 1 of this two record set. Record 2 is on its way, too. Considering the record sleeve is only relatively thin paper, the cover is in great shape. No tears or writing, although it is rather faded.I also have the original 1953 book “Magic Key to Spanish” which has many more Warhol drawings than are on the record sleeve.

The list of record covers bearing Warhol art is continually increasing thanks to two Warhol cover detectives Frank Edwards and Kevin Kinney. The latest addition which I feel has to be added to my http://www.rateyourmusic.com Warhol cover art list is yet another Velvet Underground bootleg entitled “Orange Disaster”. The rear cover bears a photo of an upturned car used by Andy Warhol in his “Death and Disaster” series of screenprints.

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So, there are probably many more covers that use press photos later used by Andy Warhol is his art; the photo Warhol used was a stock photo of the electric chair in New York State’s Sing Sing prison. I have thus far been unable to find details of who the photographer was.

Warhol covers – another one down, three to go…

Vladimir Horowitz: Piano Music of Mendelssohn & Liszt".
Vladimir Horowitz: Piano Music of Mendelssohn & Liszt”.

The latest addition to my collection of record covers illustrated or designed by Andy Warhol is

the RCA Red Seal recording of Vladimir Horowitz “Piano Music of Mendelssohn & Liszt”. I have another on order – Margarita Madrigal’s “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish, Vol 1”, and after that there are only three or four left to find, unfortunately all very expensive! These are The Madrigal Volume 2, Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops “Latin Rhythms”, Johann Strauss Jr “Waltzes” and the Ultra Violet LP.

Peter Blake will appear on Madness’ special issue of “Oui, Oui, Ja, Ja, Si, Si, Da, Da”.

Madness released their most recent album on 28th October 2012 with cover design by Sir Peter Blake. Apparently, there was discussion about including a picture of Sir Peter together with the band – all dressed in fancy dress, with Sir Peter disguised as Moses. The picture didn’t make it onto the standard release, but will be included in the special release of “Oui, Oui, Ja, Ja, Si, Si, Da, Da” to appear on 12th April 2013.

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I’m looking forward to this release which can be pre-ordered from Madness home page.

Saul Bass – Another great designer and more on Warhol covers

Last week I was browsing in an art bookshop and stumbled across a recent tome devoted to Saul Bass’ design (Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design, by Jennifer Bass & Pat Kirkham.)

Saul Bass book cover
Saul Bass book cover

Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) is noted for his company logos such as his double “U” for United Airlines, the bell and globe logos for AT&T and a host of others that have proved their worth by their longevity and, of course, his film titles and posters. He designed the opening and closing titles for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the titles for the recent “Hitchcock” film were, not surprisingly, strongly reminiscent of Saul Bass’ work.
Saul Bass also designed record covers, many just using his film poster designs. I have six of his covers (St. Joan, The Man With the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder, Advise & Consent, West Side Story and Bunny Lake Is Missing.) Monocle has compiled a list of 21 of his covers (www.http://rateyourmusic.com/list/monocle/the_album_art_of_saul_bass) and the book referred to above shows a few more, icnluding Elmer Bernstein’s “Blues & Brass” and three “The Man With the Golden Arm” EPs.

I’m also a White Stripes/Dead Weather/Jack White fan. Jack White’s favourite designer is Rob Jones (www.animalrummy.com) who designed many record covers and posters for Jack White’s many incarnations. One cover that Rob Jones did not design, however, is for the single “The Hardest Button to Button”, which revamps Saul Bass’ “The Man With the Golden Arm” design.

The White Stripes "the Hardest Button to Button"
The White Stripes “the Hardest Button to Button”

 

 

 

 

And so on to more Warhol covers. I’ve decided to try to complete my collection of Warhol covers and the first one I came across was Horowitz’s recording of “Piano Music of Mendelssohn & Liszt”. Now I am only missing three of Warhol’s classic covers; “Latin Rhythms” by Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, Johann Strauss Jnrs “Waltzes” and Margarita Madrigal’s “Magic Key to Spanish”. I hope affordable copies become available in the not too distant future.

The Smithsonian Magazine has an article on Banksy

The February 2013 number of the Smithsonian Magazine has an in depth arrticle on Banksy and his art. by Will Elsworth-Jones: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/The-Story-Behind-Banksy-187953941.html?c=y&page=1. This revealing article tells the story of Banksy’s rise to fame (and fortune) without delving into the issue of identity, though it does reveal that Robin Banks initially signed his work “Robin Banx” before shortening his signature to plain Banksy, seemingly confirming the rumour that his full name is Robin Banks. apparently many of Banksy’s outdoor works have disappeared or been removed in recent years. We really need a detailed list of cities and street addresses where his work may be found.

 

Banksy turns up on a record cover!

That's Banksy at far right, busy spraying!
That’s Banksy at far right, busy spraying!

This is Wall of Sound’s jubilee compilation album, released to celebrate the record label’s tenth anniversary in 2003. As you probably know, Banksy has had a long association with the label with designs for several Blak Twang covers in 2002 and the famous Röyksopp “Melody A.M.” promo LP cover which he sprayed himself.

Now this cover, which I had missed and was therefore not included in the exhibition of Banksy’s record cover art at Stockholm’s Konserthus this past summer and which is not included in the touring Banksy exhibition currently doing the rounds in Sweden, is probably the most significant, as it shows the artist at work. The people portrayed on the cover are most (if not all) of the artists whose records were released by Wall of Sound between 1993 and 2003.

The cover of the promo CD, which I posted recently only shows the finished graffiti on the wall without any of the artists. I had only seen a thumbnail picture of the LP and was slightly dubious as to whether or not to try to get a copy as I had not seen it recorded as a possible Banksy cover. It turns out it was £12 (including shipping) well spent! I’ve added it to my List of Banksy’s record cover art at http://www.rateyourmusic.com/list/rockdoc/banksys_record_cover_art if you want to check it out.

Record sleeve art by artists I collect