Tag Archives: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s record covers in books and magazines.

Books in my library which reference Andy Warhol’s record cover art (not in the order I acquired them):

  • 1940 – Weinstock, Herbert & Chavez, Carlos (introduction) – “Mexican Music”. Museum of Modern Art, New York. pp 32.
  • 1981 – Boström, Hans-Olof & Sörensen Jens-Erik (eds) “Skivomslag” – Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. pp 133.
  • 1989 – Warhol, Andy – “Play Book of You S Bruce From 2:30 – 4:00. Editions Auerbach. pp 50.
  • 2003 – de Ville, Nick – “Album – Style and Image in Sleeve Design”, Mitchell Beazley, 2003, pp 256.
  • 2006 – Bluttal, Steven; Goldsmith, Kenneth – “Andy Warhol – Giant Size”, Phaidon Press, 2006, pp 624.
  • 2007 – Hermann, Eva-Meyer – “Andy Warhol: A Guide to 706 Items in 2 Hours 56 Minutes” – Moderna Museet, Stockholm. pp 256.
  • 2007 – Rose, Aaron; Deho, Valerio; Husslein, Uwe; de Luca, Fabio. – “Sound Zero” – Damiani. pp 200.
  • 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.

SkivOmslag_katalog_fr

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.

Andy Warhol's Giant Size, published in a giant format.
Andy Warhol’s Giant Size, published in a giant format.

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.

The catalogue from Moderna Museet's exhibition "Andy Warhol: 706 Items in 2 Hours 56 Minutes".
The catalogue from Moderna Museet’s exhibition “Andy Warhol: 706 Items in 2 Hours 56 Minutes”.

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.

Paul Maréchal's book "Andy Warhol - The Record Covers"
Paul Maréchal’s book “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers”

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 Museum of Modern Art's booklet "Mexican Music" published to accompany the concerts held there in May 1940.
The Museum of Modern Art’s booklet “Mexican Music” published to accompany the concerts held there in May 1940.

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.

"Play Book of You S Bruce 2:30 to 4:00". Edition Auerbach 1989.
“Play Book of You S Bruce 2:30 – 4:00”. Edition Auerbach 1989.
Drawing of Steven Bruce's ear in "Play Book of You S Bruce 2:30 -  4:00".
Drawing of Steven Bruce’s ear in “Play Book of You S Bruce 2:30 – 4:00”.

Rainer Crone’s Warhol Catalogue Raisonné – If I were a rich man, diddle diddle dum dum…

I’m not the jealous type. I really don’t need any more stuff. But sometimes when I’m doing some Ebay searches I come across something that arouses desire within my normally cool and collected breast. This time I was looking through some books by the art critic Rainer Crone as a friend had expressed an interest in his book of Andy Warhol’s  early art, entitled “A Picture Show by the Artist – Early Works 1942-1962”.

There are several copies for sale (for example http://www.ebay.com/itm/THE-EARLY-WORK-1942-1962-of-Andy-Warhol-1987-1st-1st-HCDJ-Rainer-Crone-/301174098703?pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item461f600b0f) for not too outrageous prices, but what caught my eye was a copy of Crone’s other Andy Warhol book “Andy Warhol – Catalogue Raisonné” from 1970 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGNED-ANDY-WARHOL-RAINER-CRONE-CATALOGUE-RAISONNE-1970-1ST-ENGLISH-ED-/201050857021?pt=Antiquarian_Collectible&hash=item2ecf909e3d) with a price tag of $4,500. Now I’ve seen nice copies of this book go for some hundreds of dollars, and I think I bought a copy (without its dust jacket) for around $50, but I’ve never seen one at that price. So, obviously, further investigation was called for. Then I noticed the “signed” in the listing title and I wanted to see what the signature looked like – I mean there are loads of fake autographs out there.

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Imagine my surprise – and excitement – to see that the book was not only signed but dedicated – and to ME! Well, not actually to ME but to my namesake. “Thou shalt not covet…” says the Commandment. But, i’m sorry ti have to admit that I do. I wonder if the seller would accept an offer of $45.00?

 

The Rolling Stones – “El Mocambo 1977 +” a new bootleg box with Andy Warhol art

Both the Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones hve been well served by Andy Warhol art. And not only on official releases but even on numerous bootlegs. When it comes to The Stones there was the 1985 “Emotional Tattoo” LP with one of Warhol’s portraits of Mick Jagger on the cover and the “Live in Laxington” LP (1979).

There are several Velvet Underground bootlegs that use Warhol’s art on their covers, ranging from the “Screen Test: Falling in Love With the Falling Spikes” (with three different colour variations on the colour), “More Bermuda Than Pizza” (1987) the “Paris 1990” album (1991), “Unripened” (2007) and “Live at the Gymnasium” (2011).

This year (2013) Red Tongue Records in Germany have released a lavish box set with soundboard recordings from the two Stones concerts at Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern on 4th and 5th March 1977 and the concerts at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium on 22nd April 1979 as well as some studio tracks by Keith Richards recorded at Sound Interchange Recording Studios, Toronto, 12-13 March 1977. The two concerts at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium in Ottowa were put on as a charity show in aid of the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) as a condition after Keith Richard’s trial for possession of 5 grammes of heroin.

The box contains 36 tracks on both four 180 g vinyl records (3 white vinyl with some marbling and one red vinyl LP) and on 2 CDs. The box cover has a montage of Mick Jagger poking his tongue out at a girl – probably his daughter Jade* – who reciprocates. The box contains a folder with the same image. On the reverse of the box and the folder is a compoisite picture of two Mick Jaggers facing each other, over which the track titles are given.

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Stones_Mocambo_bok_bk

These portraits come from a series of prints. Here are the originals:

Jagger+jade_cropped

DoubleJagger_1975_cropped

It is perhaps quite logical that the album aret uses images like those on he Rolling Stones’ “Love You Live” album as four tracks, “Mannish Boy”, Crackin’ Up”, Little Red Rooster” and “Around and Around” recorded at El Mocambo were mixed down and released as side 3 of that album.

The box is released as a limited edition of 700 copies and costs around SEK 1000 – which I don’t consider too exorbitant.

*Thanks to Guy Minnebach for information on these images.

At last… The project is complete

Followers of this blog will be happy to learn that I silkscreened T-shirts with the RATFAB design in sizes from ‘S’ to ‘XXL’. I’m pretty happy with the results. I also managed to print a couple more shirts with the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” design.

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I have now packed the sets of “Giant Size $1.57 Each” covers, the “Night Beat” boxes, the t-shirts and diverse other goodies and sent them off to my fellow Warhol Cover Club members. I hope the packages arrive in time for Christmas and that everyone is happy with my work!

I have also completed my “Progressive Piano” ten inch LP and seven inch EP set. My first attempts at making a cover for this unreleased record were for a ten inch cover and a single seven inch sleeve. All I had were copies of the lithographs of the cover images for both ten and seven inch versions, but no liner notes for the ten inch or reverse for the seven inch cover.

So I set about writing liner notes and making a layout for the reverse of the ten inch. I had to find, copy and add RCA logos, catalogue numbers and place them as they would have appeared had the record actually been released. My elementary Photoshop skills were not really up to doing a one hundred percent perfect job. But after much reworking I was satisfied and printed up slicks to glue to my already made card sleeves. Then all that remained was to fix the cover slick over the front of the cover. Voilá, a complete cover.

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I thought making the seven inch sleeve would be a doddle. I printed the cover slick for the seven inch and copied the rear from another RCA seven inch EP and put the two together.

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But – this seven inch cover listed eight titles. And everyone knows that only four tracks will fit on a a seven inch EP. So this release would have had to be a DOUBLE EP. Oooh! So it was back to the drawing board.

This time I took the cover image from the ten inch version (I still can’t explain my reasoning on this), reduced it to the correct size for a seven inch and used the same rear cover design as I had for the single EP.

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I had no inner liner notes so the inner spread was blank.

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This, I decided, was totally unsatisfactory. I had to at least add a tracklisting and some liner notes if the reproduction was to be at all convincing. I went through a number of RCA gatefold EP sets and found an Ames Brothers EP from the early fifties that contained a list of other “Popular Long Play and Extended Play” titles, which I felt could be modified to suit my purposes. Said and done! I remade the layout of the liner notes I had already produced for the ten inch version of “Progressive Piano” and scaled them down and replaced the track listing. Then paired the liner notes with the list of popular jazz and classical titles that I had made after the list on the Ames Brothers’ EP.

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Then I made copies of the reverse from the seven inch “William Tell” double EP set – a design I have seen used on several of RCA’s gatefold seven inch EP sets and glued that to pre-cut cards in the form of a gatefold. Then stuck the inner within and – hey presto! – a more authentic gatefold “Progressive Piano” EP set.

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Finally, this design satisfied my obessional desire for accuracy.

And, as if all this wasn’t enough, I received a copy of the Velvet Underground’s 1993 live album entitled “Velvet Redux – Live MCMXCIII” recorded in Paris on 15th-17th June 1993. The concert was released on double CD, abridged single CD, video and Laserdisc. I bought the laserdisc version as it has a 12″ LP-style cover.

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There are not many record or CD covers with an Andy Warhol connection that I am missing. I have saved myself a few thousand dollars by making my own copies of the rarest covers. I have the “Night Beat” box, “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” and “Progressive Piano” covers in addition to all the other early Andy Warhol record sleeve art that I have collected.

Now, I need to think up some new projects to occupy my thoughts over the coming holidays.

More on the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” cover

Andy Warhol produced the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” sleeve in five variations with the help of Billy Klüver, who had recorded the interviews with the artists involved in the “Popular Images” exhibition at the (now defunkt) Washington Gallery of Modern Art that ran from 18th April until 2nd June, 1963. The exact history is not known. A first edition of 75 sleeves with black image screened directly onto the coated stock record sleeve, each signed and numbered on verso was produced in 1963. He could even have printed the coloured covers at the same time or, having saved the screen, made them in 1971. Editions of 75 copies each, silkscreening the black “Giant Size” image onto sleeves that he had first spray painted. There were yellow, green, red and orange editions. These were sold in 1971.

Many covers have included the record from the “Popular Images” exhibition, possibly because Billy Klüver had a stock of the LPs. The record, comprising interviews with all eleven artists whose works were shown at the exhibition was recorded by Billy Klüver and originally came in a cover designed by Jim Dine. It seems, however, that the “Giant Size” cover was not shown at the exhibition.

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Copies of the cover with or without the record have changed hands for anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, making them unattainable for most collectors of Andy Warhol’s record sleeve art.

However, the technique should be easy to replicate and the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” image is easy to find and reproduce. All that is needed is the right materials. Sufficient 12-inch record sleeves, spray paints, a silk screen and emulsion for transferring the image from overhead film to the screen. Then acrylic paint to screen the image onto the pre-prepared covers.

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So, having foraged for all the materials I set to work and spent 2 1/2 hours spraypainting record sleeves in the four colours.

GiantSize_RedUntil all four colours were sprayed.

I had put my name down to go a silkscreen course and was one of six “pupils” to participate on the weekend of October 12-13th. I intended to make ten sets of five covers and silkscreen the “Giant Size $1.57  Each” design onto two T-shirts.

The silkscreen with the "Giant Size $1.57  Each" image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.
The silkscreen with the “Giant Size $1.57 Each” image in reverse together with the overhead from which the image was taken.

Then I got down to silkscreening the covers, beginning with the yellow ones. Orange, green and red covers followed and finally, when had learned the technique better, I screened the white, unsprayed sleeves. I had ordered 50 covers – so no room for error. Unfortunately there were a few poor screens so I will need more covers to complete the ten sets I had planned.

The five members of our informal Warhol Cover Collectors Club have contributed to the production of these covers and will each receive a set of all five colours,

Silkscreening the first cover.
Silkscreening the first cover.
The first yellow sleeves screened.
The first yellow sleeves screened.
One set of five screened sleeves.
One set of five screened sleeves.

“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.

It has been a busy weekend

I blogged about my longstanding project to make mock-ups of rare or unobtainable Warhol covers and this weekend I realised my plan. I have made a number of copies of covers for the “Progressive Piano” album – as a 10″ LP, as well as single and double 7″ EPs and also covers for The “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” EP. I have made two versions of this cover, one that includes the “Printed in U.S.A.” test at lower right and one that does not. I also amused myself by attempting to make reproduction “Nation’s Nightmare” covers. This side project proved more difficult that I had anticipated and I was satisfied with the result only after three rather ragged versions. But, the cover looks to be in far better condition than my original! I have managed to Photoshop out many of the marks of wear and tear and these covers have no edge splits. I could not resist the temptation to make a copy of the RATFAB cover, Just for fun.

I bought the box set of the “Warhol Live / Andy Warhol – The Record Covers, 1949 – 1987” when it was forst published in 2008. But my copy mysteriously disappeared a couple of years later. Frank Edwards supplied me with a replacement copy of “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers, 1949 – 1987”, for which I am eternally gratreful. But I missed the “Warhol Live” book. So I invested once more and the new set arrived  yesterday. It really is a beautiful and interesting read. There is so much information that I had never known. It is worth checking out.Image

Andy Warhol art on 45s – Part 1

I have mainly collected LPs and have never really been interested in singles or extended play (EPs), which has proved to be a mistake from an investment point of view. Original pop EPs from sixties bands have become valuable as they sold in relatively small numbers.
Columbia Records indroduced the LP record in June 1948. RCA Records was initially unwilling to licence this format and were developing its own rival format. RCA introduced the seven inch 45 rpm single in February 1949. The seven inch single could accomodate one three minute recording on each side. However, almost immediately RCA began producing extended play versions of the seven inch disc, with two tracks on each side, increasing playing time to almost ten minutes per side.
 
Paul Maréchal pubished his book “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers 1949-1987” in 2008. The book lists all the records known to have been designed by Andy Warhol that were recognised at that time and lists the formats each was issued in. As most 45 r.p.m. records used the same design as the LP, Maréchal has only illustrated the LP-versions. This list is intended to focus on the seven inch versions and includes a couple of covers not listed by Maréchal.

Artist

Title

Format

Label

Cat.No

Year

Frank Lovejoy Night Beat 3×7” box set NBC EO-CX-342 1949/1950
Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops Latin Rhythms 7” RCA ERA-25 1952
Arturo Toscanini / NBC Symphony Orchestra William Tell Overture /Semiramide Overture 2×7” RCA ERB 7054 1954
Count Basie Count Basie 3×7” in gatefold cover RCA EPC-1112-1, 2, 3 1956
Joe Newman Octet I’m Still Swinging 3×7″ RCA EPC-1198-1, 2, 3 1956
Johann Strauss Jr. Waltzes 7” Camden CAE 158 1956
Artie Shaw Both Feet in the Groove 2×7” RCA EPA 767 1956
Byron Janis Rhapsody in Blue / Grand Canyon Suite 2×7” box set Bluebird WBC 1045 1957
Keely Smith I Wish You Love 7” Capitol EAP 1-914 1957
Count Basie Count Basie 3×7” discs RCA   1957
Artie Shaw Any Old Time 7” RCA EPA 1570 1958
Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones Black vinyl picture sleeve Rolling Stones EP 287 1977
Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones 7” picture disc (Bootleg?) Rolling Stones EP 287 1977
Andy Warhol’s first commissions as a record cover artist came from Robert M. Jones, who succeeded Alex Steinweiss as art director at Columbia Records, soon after Warhol had arrived in New York in 1949. That same year Warhol also received a commission from RCA to illustrate the cover of a promotional EP box released to promote NBC’s “Night Beat” radio serial, which featured Frank Lovejoy as the Chicago Star’s reporter Randy Stone. “Night Beat” was broadcast in the US between Febrary 1950 and September 1952. This promotional release was produced as three EPs on blue vinyl in a box. Incidentally, NBC was a subsidiary of RCA since it was bought by the parent company in 1928.
 
RCA, and its daughter labels (such as Bluebird and Camden), continued to release EPs with selections from LPs throughout the 1950s and usually with the same cover art on the EP as had been used on the LP. Andy Warhol was one of a number of commercial artists commissioned by RCA to illustrate record covers. One of the first, from about 1954, was probably the cover for a project that appears never to have been released. RCA obviously planned to produce a ten inch LP and a double EP comprising eight tracks of jazz piano music entitled “Progressive Piano”, even assigning the release a catalogue number (LJM 3001 for the LP version and 45EP-EJB 3001 for the EP version). Andy Warhol designed the cover and The Warhol Museum has lithographs of the design. The design of the hands in this illustation is reminiscent of the way Warhol drew the hands on Horowitz’ recording of “Piano Music by Mendelssohn and Grieg” (RCA – LM 9021).
A single EP “Latin Rhythms” by The Boston Pops was probably released around 1952. I have not been able to find an LP of Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops Orchestra from around this time although they did record a 3 LP box with the same title, probably later. The cover of the Latin Rhythms EP is a classic Warhol coloured illustration with four musicians against a background with multiple green and pick blobs.
In 1954 RCA released a 10″ LP with Rossini’s William Tell Overture coupled with the Semiramide Overture played by the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arturo Toscanini and a double EP with these tracks was also released with Warhol’s representation of the famous apple that Tell shot from his son’s head as the cover motif.
The next EP collection was a tripple EP in an unusual tripple gatefold cover
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The three Count Basie EPs were released separately in Germany, each having the same Warhol Basie portrait on the cover (catalogue Nos: EPC 1112-1, EPC 1112-2, EPC 1112-3).
 
RCA also released EPs of the Joe Newman Octet’s “I’m Still Swinging” LP at about the same time as the Count Basie set on three separate EPs. The only difference in the cover art was a change from red to blue in the colour . Similarly, the company released a double gatefold EP of the Artie Shaw “Both Feet in the Groove” LP. According to Guy Minnebach there were several different tints of blue on the EP covers.
4 EP covers for the Joe Newman Octet 45s. Courtesy of Guy Minnebach.
4 EP covers for the Joe Newman Octet 45s. Courtesy of Guy Minnebach.
The recording of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” together with Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite” was issued as an LP that is not included in Maréchal’s book. The cover illustration has since been generally accepted as a Warhol drawing. A box set of two EPs was also released (catalogue No: WBC 1045).
 
Keely Smith’s first LP “I Wish You Love” was released on the Capitol label in 1957 and there was a 45 r.p.m. EP with the same cover art. The front cover has a cheezy portrait of a smiling Keely and on the rear  cover a drawing of a hand holding a bunch of flowers. The drawing is definitely in the style of Andy Warhol, but he is not known to have had any association with Capitol Records. Further, in 1957 Warhol was an acclaimed commercial artist and many others had adopted his drawing style, so we cannot be absolutely sure that this illustration is by Andy Warhol, but I list in just in case.
 
Another compilation of Artie Shaw’s tracks from the 30s and 40s was put together by RCA in 1958 with the title “Any Old Time”. The LP had a cover photo by Raymond Jacobs and Warhol’s drawing of a chain of clock faces on the reverse. The EP version hade a slightly different arrangement of the clocks.
Artie Shaw's "Both Feet in the Groove" EPs. Courtesy of Giy Minnebach.
Artie Shaw’s “Both Feet in the Groove” EPs. Courtesy of Giy Minnebach.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have not been able to find any further 45 r.p.m. discs with Andy Warhol art released in the fifties or sixties. The next one seems to be the promotional EP for The Rolling Stones’ “Love You Live!” album from 1977. The EP, released both as black vinyl EP in a picture sleeve and as a picture disc (according to Guy Minnebach, probably a bootleg), features four of the polaroid pictures Warhol took of the band members biting or licking each other.
Picture sleeve for The Rolling Stones' promo EP
Picture sleeve for The Rolling Stones’ promo EP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There are lots of later seven inch records with Andy Warhol covers and I will follow up the 45 r.p.m. releases from the eighties and after, that have Andy Warhol’s art in future posts. I’d like to thank Guy Minnebach for his constructive cristicism of this post, which has led to some major improvements.

A couple of interesting posters and an early catalogue

I’ve divested myself of the majority of my concert and art posters but have kept a few that I particularly like. When I sold my record and poster collection, the buyers, knowing that I collect Klaus Voormann’s record cover art promised me a signed, numbered edition of Klaus Voormann’s portrait of John Lennon. I collected it the other day.

Signed limited edition poster: An Evening with Music of John Lennon.
Signed limited edition poster: An Evening with Music of John Lennon.

It joins my signed Banana poster from 1981-2. Nationalmuseum in Stockholm presented a huge exhibition of record cover art from 27th October 1981 – 17th January 1982. This was the year before the CD was introduced so all covers were of vinyl releases. I still have the exhibition catalogue from the Nationalmuseum’s exhibition – which has the Velvet Underground & Nico LP design on its cover. The catalogue has an eight page review of Warhol’s cover art and pictures six covers (two Kenny Burrell, one Johnny Griffin, Two Rolling Stones and – the obligatory – Velvet Underground & Nico) written by Bo Nilsson. This must be the first anaytical review of Warhol’s record cover art that I ever read. Of course, only a few warhol covers were recognised in 1981, so the choice of these six is hardly surprising.

I felt that the covers in the exhibition were arranged rather haphazardly and I wrote a three-page letter to Nationalmuseum suggesting how the covers could have been better presented. I did not expect a reply, but one came by return informing me that the exhibition was moving to Umeå’s Bildmuseum and that the museum would contact me to discuss which covers should be included. They did, too! and about thirty of my covers were included in the Umeå exhibition.

Catalogue from Nationalmuseum's exhibition of record cover art.
Catalogue from Nationalmuseum’s exhibition of record cover art.
Theposter from Stockholm's Nationalmuseum's record cover art exhibition 1981-1982.
Theposter from Stockholm’s Nationalmuseum’s record cover art exhibition 1981-1982.

In 2008, as discussions about putting on the “Happy Birthday Andy Warhol” exhibition in Piteå were underway a copy of the poster for the Nationalmuseum’s record cover exhibition came up for sale. This was a one-off and beautifully signed by Andy Warhol in pencil. So it was included in the Piteå exhibition and has since then hung on my wall.