Tag Archives: Record cover art

“Ultra Violet” – an album by Ultra VIolet

Isabelle Collin Dufresne (1935-2014) was born and educated in France but moved to New York aged about 18 to live with a sister. She met Salvador Dali and became his lover. Dali introduced her to Andy Warhol in 1963 and, at Warhol’s suggestion, she took the moniker “Ultra VIolet” – a reflection of her habit of dying her hair violet of purple. She was an artist in her own right and an author, publishing an autobiography entitled Famous for 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol in 1988.

One aspect of her career that Wikipedia fails to mention is the recording of an LP in 1973. Capital Records A & R man Jeffrey Cheen heard Ultra Violet singing in a club and approached her after the show to suggest she record an LP. According to the interview Paul Maréchal had with her in 2008, she took singing lessons after the invitation to make the record and these significantly altered her singing style, much to Cheen’s disappointment. He felt her voice before the singing lessons had a more natural feel. Ultra Violet designed the cover at The Factory. Warhol had taken a number of Polaroid pictures for the cover but Ultra Violet and Warhol could not agree as to which to use, so Ultra Violet chose a photograph taken in 1967 by photographer/jazz record producer Lee Kraft, which showed Ultra VIolet’s profile poking her tongue out. One of Warhol’s Polaroid pictures was placed on the back cover.

Back cover of Ultra Violet's 1973 album with Warhol's Polaroid picture.
Back cover of Ultra Violet’s 1973 album with Warhol’s Polaroid picture.

Ultra Violet, in her interview with Paul Maréchal said that the album was never officially released, but copies were pressed and packaged and a number have found their way into collectors’ hands. Almost half of these copies have holes punched through the cover at top right, indicating that these albums are cut-outs, that could be sold at a lower price that the official $5.98 retail price. Some experts suggest that the hole indicates that the album was a promotional copy, but I doubt this.

Ultra Violet cover with cut-out hole at top right.
Ultra Violet cover with cut-out hole at top right.

No one knows how many copies of the record exist. There are sixteen listed on Popsike.com, seven of which have the cut-out hole. There are only two copies catalogued on http://www.rateyourmusic.com, so I would hazard a guess that less than fifty copies in total have come to light, making this one of the rarest covers associated with Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol – The Complete Commissioned Record Covers 1949-1987

Collectors of Andy Warhol’s record cover art  – and there are quite a few of them – have been waiting for this second edition of Paul Maréchal’s seminal work for quite some time. It was hoped that it would be launched during the “Warhol on Vinyl” exhibition at The Cranbrook Art Museum, but this was not to be. Anyway, it dropped into my lap yesterday. Paul Maréchal is an expert on Andy Warhol’s printed commercial works and has published “The Complete Commissioned Posters, 1964-1987” and “The Complete Commissioned Magazine Work” in addition to his seminal “Andy Warhol – The Record Covers, 1949-1987 – Catalogue Raisonné”, which was published in 2008 to coincide with the “Warhol Live” exhibition in Montreal.

It is amazing to think that not too much was known about Warhol as a designer of record sleeves prior to the arrival of Maréchal’s book and many people have become collectors because of it. Consequently, prices of the rare covers have escalated quite dramatically since it was published. Another result of the publication is the recognition that there may be more, as yet “undiscovered” record sleeves to be found and, so has proved the case. So it seems timely that a new edition of the book should appear.

So, who is this book for? Well, it will look great on the coffee table of any aficionado of vinyl record art. It is also a useful reference for potential sellers on Ebay and other online auction sites. But it doesn’t work for dedicated collectors of Warhol’s record cover art.

I regard myself as a fairly knowledgeable collector of Andy Warhol’s record cover art. I am a sort of purist in that I do not collect parodies of Warhol’s art on record or CD covers, but I do admit bootlegs and records and CDs released after 1987 (and there have been a considerable number). To date, I have over 120 individual covers in my collection. And “The Complete Record Covers, 1949-1987” comes as a disappointment to me. “The Complete Record Covers, 1949-1987” is in effect a reprinting of the first edition with the addition of twenty-one pages describing six “new discoveries”. Unfortunately the main part of the book has not been updated in any major way. I feel sure that Mr Maréchal has managed to find better examples of the covers pictured in the seven years since the first edition. He has not corrected some obvious errors and I shall bore you all by listing what I have found in the twenty-four hours since I got my copy home.

I will go through some issues that I have:
Cover No. 1: “A Program of Mexican Music”: There is a (rarer) blue version of this cover, which is not mentioned.
Cover No. 2:Alexander Nevsky“: Pictured here is the green version of the cover, which along with a pink and orange version is a late 50s-early 60s reissue. The original 1949 cover was blue. We know that the green, pink and orange covers contained reissues as the record labels are the so called “six-eye” design rather than the dark blue Masterworks labels used in the late 1940s. Further his description of the standard format of early LP covers on the Columbia label omits the fact that it was the Company’s legendary art director Alex Steinweiss, who designed the basic format for these early covers with bold blocks of colour.
Cover No. 6:Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish”: This description should have been totally rewritten. We know now that there were only two volumes of records, not the “at least five records” that are mentioned in the book. In addition, I am convinced that Maréchal or one of his collector associates could have found a better looking copy to photograph for the book.
Cover No. 7: “William Tell / Semiramide Overtures“. The book mentions that there is a double 7-inch EP set of this recording in addition to the 10-inch LP version pictured. But there are, in fact, at least two printings of the EP’s cover with differing rear covers. I would have like to see both variations pictured.
Cover No. 13: “Chopin Nocturnes” played by Jan Smeterlin: Pictured is volume II of a two record set. The “Complete Nocturnes” in a slip case is mentioned but I feel that pictures of all three would warrant a place.
Cover No. 16: The Joe Newman Octet – “I’m Still Swinging“: The various 45 RPM EPs are mentioned. They differ from the pictured LP in that the title is in blue rather than red. Picturing these would be a bonus for collectors. However, I don’t think adding pictures of the EPs from LP Cover No. 17 would add extra information, though they could be shown for completeness. Cover No. 22: “The Story of Moondog“: I confess I like the worn and dogeared picture of this cover shown in the book. The album is very rare and I imagine finding a better copy would be difficult, so I wouldn’t change it. Mention might, however, be made of the reissues of this LP (and this applies to the Archie Shaw as well).
Covers Nos 20, 21, 23 and 24: Kenny Burrell “Kenny Burrell“, Johnny Griffin “The Congregation” and Kenny Burrell “Blue Lights, Volumes 1 and 2“: There have been numerous reissues of these covers that could be mentioned. There are colour variations of the last two that perhaps could have been pictured.
Cover No. 24: “Tennessee Williams Reading from The Glass Menagerie…” A number of colour variations of this cover have appeared since the first edition of the book and some have the record’s catalogue number at bottom right rather that at the top.
Cover No. 25: I love this cover! So much so that I recreated it in 2013 for my own collection to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its production. Maréchal own one of the original 75 signed and numbered copies on a white background. This work was created by Warhol together with Billy Klüver and produced these by spray-painting record sleeves and then silkscreening the text – which was obviously borrowed from a newspaper advert or a supermarket sign – onto the coloured cover. As Maréchal notes in the book – there are five colour variations. White, red, green, yellow and orange. And I have never seen a picture of the orange cover. Maréchal speculates that the white defects on his cover are caused by the ink being applied too thickly and later peeling off. Having silkscreened this design myself I can inform him that the defects occur naturally as the paint is pulled over the screen. A set of my reproduced “Giant Size $1.57 Each” resided in The Cranbrook Art Museum as part of its collection of Warhol vinyl records.
Cover No. 27: The East Village Other “Electric Newspaper – Hiroshima Day – USA Vs Underground“: Maréchal motivates the inclusion of this album because of the Warhol’s contribution to the record – a track called “Silence“. Maréchal credits Warhol as the composer, stating he composed it in 1932. Which he notes as being highly unlikely. Possibly this short track is a homage to John Cale’s 4:33 a record of silence. Anyway, the cover has nothing to do with Warhol or The Factory and, in my opinion, has no place in this book.
Cover No. 29: “The Velvet Underground & Nico“: This is possibly Warhol’s most important and famous record cover. The record certainly is one of the most important records in popular music. The story behind the cover is more complicated than is stated in the book. The cover is remarkable for a number of reasons not mentioned. First, gatefold covers were unusual in 1967 and generally reserved for double albums. The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” released after “The Velvet Underground & Nico” was another exception. The original rear cover of “The Velvet Underground & Nico” showed a photo of the band in concert with a light show showing the actor Eric Emerson, who had not been consulted in advance. When Emerson saw the cover he demanded payment. Rather than pay Verve Records, who released the album, recalled as many copies as they could find and stuck a large black label over the photograph. The photograph was airbrushed to remove Emerson on later printings. I feel this could have been mentioned and, as this is such an important recording, even pictures of the various printings included. Interestingly, recent reissues of this LP have included Emerson’s portrait.
Cover No. 32: The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers“: Along with “The Velvet Undergound & Nico” this is another of Warhol’s most important and best-known covers. There are subtle differences between the US and European releases of this album with the band’s name and the record title placed over the model’s right thigh on the European version and placed over the belt on the US version. Further there are other records that use the same design; a Mexican single (“Azucar Morena“) and EP and the European “Brown Sugar” single used the album’s rear cover design on the rear of the single’s picture cover. There was even a shaped picture disc that used the same design. The cover’s zipper originally had a large handle (if that is the right word) but this had to be changed to the smaller handle pictured in the book as it damaged covers packed together with them.
Cover No. 34: Ultra Violet “Ultra Violet“. Ultra Violet is quoted in the book as saying that this album was never released. It certainly is rare and only about twenty copies have appeared on Ebay. Almost half of these have the hole cut at the cover’s top right – a sign that the album is a “cut out” and therefore could be sold in record sales for a lower price than the recommended standard price. This suggest to me that the record was actually released, although Capitol Records could have pressed up a number of copies and then just decided to put them out on sale. There is a film of Warhol’s involvement in the making of this cover in The Warhol Museum.
Cover No. 36: The Rolling Stones “Love You Live“: Most original copies of this double album have coloured inner sleeves. There are promo copies with black and white inner sleeves (with the same design as the standard ones) and some later reissues also have these black and white inner sleeves (that actually look like silver – a colour Warhol loved). What is missing from Maréchal’s book is a mention of the promotional EP for this record, simply called “The Rolling Stones“. The cover shows four of the Polaroid pictures used in the cover design and on the plastic tablecloth pictured in the book. There is even a picture disc of the promo EP, which Guy Minnebach suspects is a bootleg.
Cover No. 40: Loredana Berté “Made in Italy“: According to Maréchal, Berté met Warhol in New York and cooked him Italian dishes. Christopher Makos took the photograph used on the cover and on a couple of singles (not mentioned in the book). I’m not one hundred percent convinced that Warhol was “commissioned” to do this cover and I am in two minds as to whether or not it should be included. Okay, it is a Factory product, so it’s in.
Cover No. 43: Original Soundtrack “Querelle“: No mention here of the single “Every Man Kills the Thing He Loves” taken from the album with the same cover picture.
Cover No. 44: The Rolling Stones “Emotional Tattoo“: This bootleg album first appeared in 1983. There were two versions (in identical covers) one on black vinyl and one on orange vinyl. This album is the only bootleg with Warhol art that is pictured in the book, although mention is made in the album’s description of three other bootlegs; Debbie Harry’s picture disc which is called “French Kissin‘” (in fact it is an LP entitled “Picture This!“), a Velvet Underground bootleg entitled “More Bermuda Than Pizza” (available as both a black vinyl LP and a picture disc) with artwork credited to Warhol – but it doesn’t look like Warhol’s work. And The Falling Spikes “Screen Test: Falling in Love With the Falling Spikes” which uses a detail from Warhol’s “Flowers” print. There are three cover variations of this last bootleg. I feel that if “Emotional Tattoo” is included, then several more bootlegs should be too. I’ll return to some other important ones later.
Cover No. 45: Miguel Bosé “Made in Madrid” and “Milano-Madrid“: The “Fuego ” single is mentioned but not the “Non Siamo Soli” single. There is even a 12-inch version of “Fuego“.
Cover No. 47: “The Smiths“: It is stretching it to include this cover as Warhol was certainly not commissioned to do this one. Cover No. 50: Debbie Harry “Rockbird“: This cover is a Stephen Sprouse design. He obtained Warhol’s permission to use the Camouflage painting as a backdrop to the portrait of Debbie Harry taken by “Guzman”. Guzman is the Canadian duo Constance Hansen & Russell Peacock and I think they should be named in the book. Warhol was certainly not commissioned to do this cover! But it is very much in a Warholian style with four colour variations.
Cover No. 51: MTV “High Priority“. Warhol’s last cover not completed before his death in February 1987. Since the first edition of the book, a second variation of this cover has been found with the shading to the “M” of MTV logo in yellow rather than the commoner red. Also, the yellow version has the song titles on the front cover in black and does not have a barcode on the rear suggesting to me that it may have been a promo.

Now onto theNew Discoveries“.
Covers Nos. 54 and 55: RCA Victor Bluebird releases. Byron Janis and Erica Morini. These LPs, probably released in 1957, are generally accepted as having illustrations by Warhol. There is, however, a third LP in the series – excerpts from “Porgy and Bess” coupled with Grieg’s “Symphonic Dances” (LBC 1059) that has an illustration suspiciously like a Warhol drawing. This one is not included. I wonder why.
Cover No. 56: Walter Steding “Secret Spy“: Interesting that this cover is included. It has pictures from Warhol’s music video. But there is another cover with similar provenace – Curiosity Killed the Cat’s video for their “Misfit” single. Warhol even appears in this video. Why isn’t this single included? The Swedish band Enola Gay released a single “Döda djur” in 1981 with Warhol’s picture “The Kiss” featuring Bela Lugosi. Should his be included? And why not include The Silver Apples’ “Fractal Flow” single with its Warhol portrait of band member, and former Factory associate, Simeon. Should Lou Reed & John Cale’s “Songs for Drella” and the single “Nobody but You” also be included?

So, now what about those bootlegs and later recordings? In his essay on Cover No. 29 (“The Velvet Underground & Nico“), Maréchal mentions Warhol’s film “Symphony of Sound” (1966). Stills from this film have been used on at least two album covers; “The Velvet Underground Live With Lou Reed” – an official release on the Mercury label – and on a bootleg. Then there are at least three other Velvet Underground bootlegs: “Paris 1990“,which features a fluorescent Warhol flower on the cover,  “NYC” and “Orange Disaster” – both with prints from Warhol’s “Deaths and Disasters” series. Another Rolling Stones bootleg “Lonely at the Top” appeared in late 2014, probably too late for a mention in this volume, which reused one of Warhol’s Mick Jagger portraits on its cover. And while on the subject of The Rolling Stones and Warhol’s Jagger portraits, there is a black and white version of the same portrait as used on the “Emotional Tattoo” and “Lonely at the Top” albums on the rear cover of Suntory D R Y Beer’s bootleg “Mick Jagger in Japan” (1988).

And on to CDs.
Maréchal does not mention any CDs. But here is just a list of some of the ones I know about.

1. Cultura by Cultura (2004)
2. Tobias Picker/Marc Bliztstein – “Keys to the City/Piano Concerto” (1988)
3. Christopher Galitas – “The Mystery of Do-Re-Mi” (2008)
4. Russell Means – “Electric Warrior” (1993)
5. “Andy Warhol from Tapes” – book with CD from the inaugural show at The Warhol Museum (1994)
6. Paul Anka -“Amigos” (1996)
7. Paul Anka & Ricky Martin – “Diana” (1996)
8. Paul Anka & Anthea Anka – “Yo Te Amo” (1996)
9. Karl-Aage Rasmussen – “Three Friends” (1998),
the list goes on and on… (I have compiled a better list in another Recordart post. Check that out if you are interested.

My final conclusion
Serious collectors of Andy Warhol’s record cover art were certainly hoping for great things from this second edition of Paul Maréchal’s seminal book. However, I think Prestel must have pressured Paul Maréchal to keep the new edition cheap by reusing all the pages from the first edition and only allowing the addition of the “New Discoveries”. I am sorry for him that this opportunity to make a really superb second edition was thwarted. I am sure he would have liked to have been able to do a better job. Maybe he will do it some day.

The Sources of Andy Warhol’s record cover art, Part 1 – The 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger

I have been planning a series of posts on the sources of Andy Warhol’s record cover art. Here comes the first of what I hope to be many. And I have chosen to start with some bootlegs – the source of the Mick Jagger portraits used on the “Emotional Tattoo” and “Mick Jagger in Japan” albums.

In 1975 Andy Warhol released a portfolio of ten silkscreen portraits of Mick Jagger. The portfolio was initially shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York and Castelli made a folder of the ten portraits in postcard size (approximately 15 x 10 cm) for the launch. The portraits for the mini set were obviously photographed before Warhol or Jagger had signed them. After the launch, most of the mini portfolios were destroyed but a few were kept in Castelli’s safe and were sold at auction in 1999. A few have turned up signed by Warhol – but these all seem to have been signed later.

Jagger_Cards-2

The Castelli mini portfolio of Warhol's 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger.
The Castelli mini portfolio of Warhol’s 1975 portraits of Mick Jagger.

At least six bootleg LPs have used versions of these prints as their cover art. These are four versions of “Emotional Tattoo”, the “Mick Jagger in Japan” set and the latest, “Lonely at the Top”, released in late 2014. I have already discussed the various incarnations of The Stones’ “Emotional Tattoo” LP, which was first released in 1983 on black vinyl. Sometime later copies on orange vinyl began to appear in an sleeve identical to that of the black vinyl version. The sleeve was of fairly thin card and the Jagger portrait was slightly blurred, pale and lacked either Jagger’s or Warhol’s signature.

The reverse of the sleeve had the initials E.T. and a picture of the Extraterestrial. I had to kick myself for my stupidity when fellow WCCC member, Guy Minnebach, enlightened me as to why E.T. came to figure on the cover. E.T., of course, are the initials of Emotional Tattoo! So obvious! E.T. was popular in 1983, but rather “old hat” in 2014 when the album was reissued in a sturdier cover with a clearer version of the same Jagger portrait on the front (top row, right in the above picture), but this time with Warhol’s signature.It is interesting to compare both covers. Some important differences appear in the portrait which make me suspect that the portrait on the 1983 version is comes from another source.

The 1983 (left) and 2014 (right) issues of Emotional Tattoo.
The 1983 (left) and 2014 (right) issues of Emotional Tattoo.

The image on the 1983 version is coarser, paler and somewhat smaller than that on the 2014 reissue. The red colour on Jaggers face is missing and the brown area on the left is paler. The whole picture is “grainier” as if almost pixellated. Could it be a early scan or a photo of a photo? Further, there are two bluish colour bars over Jagger’s eyes in the 1983 version but only a turquoise bar over the bridge of his nose in the 2014 version. Warhol’s drawing of Jagger’s hair is missing in the 1983 version and the whole image is paler than the original print. Up to now, I have not been able to trace a source for the 1983 version of Jagger’s portrait.

The rear cover of the 2014 version shows all ten prints.

The rear of the 2013 re-issue album. Cleaner and better designed than the original.
The rear of the 2013 re-issue album. Cleaner and better designed than the original.

Here the portrait used on the cover is second from the right on the lower row of prints.

So, there are four versions of the Emotional Tattoo bootleg; two that use the 1983 portrait (black and orange vinyl issues) and two that use the 2014 portrait (black and green vinyl issues).

However, there is a fifth bootleg that uses another of the Warhol Mick Jagger portraits – the Suntory D.R.Y. beer promo “Mick Jagger in Japan, released in 1988.

Mick Jagger in Japan - The Suntory D.R:Y. Beer promo from 1988.
Mick Jagger in Japan – The Suntory D.R:Y. Beer promo from 1988.

This portrait can be seen in the upper row on the rear of the 2014 Emotional Tattoo cover, second portrait from the right. On the Mick Jagger in Japan LP the portrait is in black and white and is boldly signed by Mick himself.

Last, but not least, there is the “Lonely at the Top” LP apparently released in Germany by Cat Records in a numbered edition of 55 copies. Cat Records seems to specialise in releasing Rolling Stones bootlegs.

Lonely at the Top album cover.
Lonely at the Top album cover.

This image of Mick Jagger is identical to that included in the original portfolio of Jagger portraits and is identical to that used on the 2013 reissue of “Emotional Tattoo”. The image is crisp and has correct colour balance. The printers’ marks are visible on both sides of the image, which must have been taken from the signed portrait rather than from the mini cards as it shows Warhol’s signature at lower right.

I shall have to do some further research to try to find the original of the portrait used on the 1983 version of “Emotional Tattoo”. With a bit of luck, I shall return to this post with an update.

A review of 2014 – my collections grow

Readers of this blog will by now know that it deals with collecting record cover art by five designers

  1.     Andy Warhol
    2. Peter Blake
    3. Klaus Voormann
    4. Damien Hirst
    5. Banksy

When I sat down to put my thoughts together on the past year’s collecting I could not immediately recall any real high points. Then I started to look through my list of acquisitions and soon saw that 2014 had been another successful year. Let’s take things in order.

Andy Warhol
Well, I’ve managed to add twenty-one covers to my collection of Andy Warhol sleeves – surprisingly, the majority by The Rolling Stones. I have added three variations of the “Emotional Tattoo” bootleg cover. Frank Edwards very kindly sent me his extra copy of the 1983 version on orange vinyl in exchange for a set of “Giant Size $1.57 Each” covers and I bought the two variations of the 2014 numbered reissues of the album, one on black and the other on green vinyl.

Early in the year I had decided to go for the Rolling Stones singles with variations on the “Sticky Fingers” cover art. I had previously not been interested in singles or EPs but the wonderful RCA and RCA Camden covers with Warhol art have changed my mind. Anyway, fellow Warhol Cover Collectors Club member Guy Minnebach had tipped me off about the Mexican “Brown Sugar” singles (entitled “Azucar Morena” in Spanish). One was a two-track single and the other a three-track EP that happened to pop up on Ebay soon after he had told me about them.

The Rolling Stones “Azucar Morena” single in a fold out cover.

Rolling Stones “Azucar Morena” EP.

Then I had to add the original “Brown Sugar / Bitch / Let It Rock” single and a German pressing of the single, both of which used the “Sticky Fingers” rear cover photo on their rear covers. I also found a copy of the “Brown Sugar” shaped picture disc single to complete the set.

“Brown Sugar / Bitch” picture disc single.

When it comes to “classic” Warhol covers, I – like most collectors of Warhol’s cover art – had been looking for a cheap copy of the Lew White “Melodic Magic” EP. Well, I found the single on Discogs for $3.86 plus $12 shipping. Unfortunately, the record had no cover, but I bought another RCA Camden EP with the same rear cover list of other artists on the Camden label and peeled off the cover slick and stuck a Lew White cover slick in its place and – wonder of wonders – I have the Lew White EP, indistinguishable from the real thing – as it IS the real thing (almost) and all for about $40!

The next “classic” cover I managed to get hold of was the “Alexander Nevsky” re-issue sleeve with the green colour blocks. I already had both the original “blue” and the re-issue “orange” covers. Now all I need to find is the “pink” cover variation.

My three “Alexander Nevsky” covers.

When I first started to seriously collect Andy Warhol’s record cover art I saw Wilhelm Loibner’s “Ballet From Vienna” listed as a Warhol cover. The cover is a solarised photo credited to William Hughes. The rear cover has no image. Guy Minnebach informed me that the original copies of this LP had an inner sleeve with Warhol’s drawing of part of an orchestra, the same image as used o the cover of “4 Divertimenti”. The “Ballet From Vienna” cover appears on Ebay with monotonous regularity, but almost NEVER with the inner sleeve. However, one did turn up advertised from Spain in mint condition so I added it to my collection.

“Ballet From Vienna” Front of inner sleeve and front cover.

The other Warhol covers I managed to find included Diana Ross’ “Muscles” and “So Close” seven-inch singles and Billy Squier’s “Everybody Wants You” single.

And then there was an unusual CD that came up on Ebay in August. It was a Japanese promotional double CD with a line drawing of an ear and some arrows with the sole word “ear” beside the drawing. The handwriting was so like Andy Warhol’s that I took a chance and bought the set. Guy Minnebach immediately recognised the drawing as one of a series in a Warhol portfolio entitled “Playbook of you S Bruce 2:30-4:00”.

The other covers with Warhol art were two Velvet Underground bootlegs; “NYC” and “Orange Disaster” which both had pictures from Warhol’s Deaths and Disaster prints.

Peter Blake

There were no new record sleeve designs by Sir Peter Blake in 2014 but one old one did surface – the rejected cover for the group Landscape’s 1982 album “Manhattan Boogie-Woogie”. I saw an art gallery advert for a 2009 silkscreen of the cover image. I managed to find a high-resolution copy of the image and could resize it to LP-format and get several slicks printed. I stuck one slick of the front cover to one of the rear cover from the issued album and there was (my version of) the original cover restored.

Klaus Voormann

2014 saw many additions to my Voormann collection. The first cover I found was the last cover needed to complete my set of all twenty “Pioneers of Jazz” EPs. I had managed to find nineteen previously and been searching the Internet for Volume 18, the only one I lacked. In February I finally found it.

The next cover I found was George Harrison’s “When We Was Fab” promo box with the seven inch single. I already had the twelve-inch version and this was a nice addition. I felt I had just about completed my Voormann collection when I found some purely German releases: “Stinker” LP and seven inch single “von Drüben” by Marius Müller-Westernhagen.

Klaus Voormann’s first official cover was for a band called The Typhoons about which I have failed to find any information. Klaus has informed me that he never met the band and could only say that it was a German combo active in the early sixties. Heliodor records had released their cover of “Walk… Don’t Run”, the old Ventures hit. I had made a copy of the cover from an image on Klaus Voormann’s portfolio and I have seen a cover in poor condition sell on Ebay for over €100 but never seen the record until one turned up without the cover. So, true to form I bought the single to live in the cover I had made. I’m still looking for a proper cover…

I had already bought Klaus Voormann’s album “A Sideman’s Journey” on LP with a limited edition poster and eyed the limited edition box set, which included the album on CD, a DVD of the making of the album, a book of drawings and the poster – signed by Klaus. The box was expensive and I felt I did not really need it until a second-hand copy came up for half the normal price.

My friend, gallery-owner Daniel Brant found two copies of Voormann’s poster of John Lennon and Paul McCartney eating breakfast in the Abbey Road canteen during the “Revolver” sessions and he let me have a copy.

 

The last item needed to complete my Voormann collection was the CD of covers entitled “A Guide to Modern Country Living” by The Twang. There is, however, one cover that has only been released as a digital download and that is “Picasso’s Party” by a band called The Dogs of Bali. I have the download.

So, with the exception of a proper cover for the “Walk… Don’t Run” single, my Klaus Voormann Collection seems complete – at least until Klaus produces more cover designs.

Damien Hirst

This has probably been the year when I have obtained the largest number of Damien Hirst covers. There were three covers for Babyshambles, including the LP “Prequel to the Sequel” and the two singles from the album, “Nothing Comes From Nothing” and “Fall From Grace”.

Next was The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ LP “I’m With You” with the cover picture of a fly on a medicine capsule. Then Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros promo CD “Tony Adams (The Morning Sun)” and the very rare twelve inch EP “Yalla Yalla”. Somehow, Thirty Seconds to Mars had been allowed to use one of Damien Hirst’s spot paintings for the cover of their CD “Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams”. I got hold of the limited edition box set of the album thinking the box and LP cover were also designed by Damien Hirst – but they aren’t! However, the box set did include a book with the spot painting on the cover. I had to get the CD as well for completeness. A seller in Germany advertised a twelve-inch EP of Dave Stewart’s “Heart of Stone (The Dance Mixes)” which I had never heard of. I could not find a copy elsewhere so I bought his expensive copy. Then I found out there was another remix EP of “Heart of Stone (The Sure Is Pure Remixes)”. That one was easy to find and did not cost an arm and a leg.

My final Damien Hirst find for the year was the USB promotional version of The Hours’ “See the Light” album. A nice little skull-shaped USB stick.

Banksy

I have not been able to find any new records with Banksy images in 2014. My collection of Bansky records has been touring Sweden throughout the year and I sincerely hope that they will return home in 2015.

Meanwhile, I wish all my readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year – and wish you all success with your collecting in 2015.

A discography of RCA Camden EPs

I must have gone bonkers! I have wasted a couple of days compiling a list of seven inch 45 RPM EPs on the RCA Camden label. “Why?”, I hear you ask. Well, Andy Warhol designed covers for a couple of them and some collectors have submitted some other Camden EP covers, wondering whether they could also be by Warhol – usually they are not. So, I began to go through all the RCA Camden EPs that I could find to see if there could be any so far unrecognised Warhol covers among them.

The RCA Camden label was/is a budget subsidiary of the Radio Company of America (RCA, to you.) RCA invented the seven inch 45 RPM format and tried to introduce it as an alternative to 78 RPM discs in about 1949 – the year after Columbia Records introduced the LP. Ultimately, RCA was also forced to adopt the LP format, but continued to release seven inch EPs throughout the 1950s and 1960s. As far as I can ascertain Camden EPs were given catologue numbers starting at CAE 100 and the last that I have been able to identify is CAE 448.

I have scoured Discogs and Ebay and made Internet searches and I have thus far been able to find and list 105 Camden EPs and will continue to add more as I find them. I have been able to find pictures of the majority of their covers, too. But so far no new Warhol designs. But, not wishing to waste my hard work, I will share my list with you here.

Cat No—–Artist———————–Title—————————————–
CAE 100 The Cosmopolitan Orchestra – World Wide Favorites
CAE 101 Warwick Symphony Orchestra – Sibelius: Finlandia / Wagner: Die Walküre
CAE 104 Festival Concert Orchestra – Vienna Jubilee
CAE 106 Festival Concert Orchestra – Johann Strauss, Jr. / Josef Strauss – Loves of the Poet Waltz, Opus 38.
CAE 108 Kenny Baker – Beloved Songs
CAE 110 The Goldman Band – Sousa Marches
CAE 113 Ray Kinney & His Coral Islanders – Blue Hawaii
CAE 114 Texas Jim Robertson – Home on the Range
CAE 115 Joe Reichman with Rhythm Accompaniments – Make Believe Piano Moods
CAE 118 Capitol City Four – Let’s Harmonize (Barber Shop Ballads)
CAE 124 Caroleers & Yuletide Choristers Caroleers & Yuletide Choristers
CAE 125 Carollers & Yuletide Choristers Christmas Day
CAE 126 Lew White – Christmas Time
CAE 127 Richard Crooks with Orchestra – Vintage Blue Ribbons
CAE 131 Harold Coates & His Orchestra – Waltzes You Love
CAE 133 Donald Dame Lonesome – That’s All / A Little Love, a Little Kiss / Kathleen Mavourneen / I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
CAE 135 Festival Concert Orchestra – World Wide Favorites
CAE 142 Festival Concert Orchestra – Favorite Encores
CAE 143 Lew White – Organ Cameos
CAE 151 Festival Concert Orchestra – Aïda Ballet Suite/ Coppelia Ballet Suite
CAE 158 Johann Strauss Jr – Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr
CAE 159 Harold Coates’ Orchestra – Top Show Tunes
CAE 162 Festival Concert Orchestra – Viennese Concert Waltzes
CAE 163 George M. Cohan / Harold Coates Orchestra – George M. Cohan Hits
CAE 164 Ray Kinney & His Coral Islanders – Hawaiian Favorites
CAE 166 The Goldman Band – Manhattan Beach / Semper Fidelus / Fairest of the Fair / High School Cadets
CAE 172 Harold Coates’ Orchestra, Chorus & Soloists – Song Hits from Frank Loesser’s Guys & Dolls. Vol 1
CAE 179 Globe Symphony Orchestra – Handel: The Faithful Shepherd Suite
CAE 185 Richard Crooks – Songs of Faith
CAE 187 Warwick Symphony Orchestra  – Tchaikovsy: Dances from the Nutcracker Suite
CAE 188 Warwick Symphony Orchestra – Debussy: Clair de Lune / Sibelius: Valse Triste / Schubert: Moment Musical
CAE 193 Lew White & His Orchestra – Melodic Magic
CAE 208 Richard Crooks – Christmas Songs
CAE 209 Charles M. Courboin – Ave Maria / Ave Verum / Silent Night / Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
CAE 214 Festival Concert Orchestra – Strauss Encores
CAE 223 Cosmopolitan Orchestra / Harian Ramsey – Latin Rhythms for Dancing
CAE 224 Mindy Carson with Orchestra – The Touch of Your Lips / Together / The Best Things in Life Are Free / You Are the Cream in My Coffee
CAE 244 William Primrose – Encores by William Primrose
CAE 225 Don Cornell with Orchestra – Don Cornell Sings
CAE 227 Morton Downey  – Sings
CAE 229 Harold Coates Orchestra – Show Tunes That Linger, Vol 1
CAE 231 Dick Liebert – Musical Dreams
CAE 251 William Primrose William – Primrose Plays
CAE 256 Warwick Symphony Orchestra – Eight Russian Folk Songs
CAE 259 Xavier Cugat – That Latin Beat!
CAE 260 Johnny Desmond with The Page Cavanagh Trio – Guilty / I’ll Close My Eyes / Just Plain Love / If It’s True
CAE 263 Snooky Larson with Johnny Guarnieri & His Orchestra – Earth Angel / Sincerely / Tweedle Dee / Unsuspecting Heart
CAE 265 Guy Lombardo & His Canadians – Guy Lombardo Plays
CAE 268 Tommy Dorsey – Plays, Vol 1
CAE 271 Sammy Kaye & His Orchestra – Easter Parade / Baby Face / Begin the Beguine/ Pretty Baby
CAE 279 Frank Parker – Sings for You
CAE 280 Lena Horne – St. Louis Blues
CAE 284 Frank Parker – Great Religious Songs
CAE 285 Jack Haskell / Jeannie McKeon with Johnnny Guarnieri – Today’s Hits
CAE 288 Fran Warren – Sings Harold Arlen Songs
CAE 289 Giselle MacKenzie – Today’s Hits
CAE 291 Paul Wing – Favorite Stories for Children
CAE 299 Kukla, Fran & Ollie – Here We Are
CAE 301 Charlie Spivak & His Orchestra, Honey Drippers & Audrey Morris – Today’s Hits
CAE 304 Bob Carroll with Alvy West & His Orchestra – Today’s Hits
CAE 305 Jack Haskell / Jose Melis &His Trio – Today’s Hits
CAE 308 Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians – Guy Lombardo Favorites
CAE 310 Jesse Crawford – Plays for You
CAE 312 Wayne King – The Waltz King
CAE 315 Frank Parker – Sings Songs of Easter
CAE 320 Freddy Martin & His Orchestra Dance – Party with Freddy Martin & His Orchestra
CAE 321 Wayne King – Let’s Dance!
CAE 323 Chopin – Josef Lhevinne Plays Chopin
CAE 327 Wayne King – The Wayne King Style
CAE 329 Tex Beneke & His Orchestra – Today’s Hits
CAE 330 Earl Sheldon The Honey Dreamers
CAE 332 Polly Stevens – Today’s Hits
CAE 337 Johnny Guarnieri & His Group with The Townsmen – Friendly Persuasion / The Bus Stop Song / Just Walking in the Rain / Blueberry Hill
CAE 345 Xavier Cugat & His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra – That Latin Bea!
CAE 346 Tony Mottola & His All-Stars – Cocktail Time
CAE 348 Henri René & His Orchestra – Pretend
CAE 350 The Delta Rhythm Boys – Dry Bones / September Song / My Blue Heaven / St. Louis Blues
CAE 352 Freddy Martin & His Orchestra – Make Believe
CAE 354 Tex Beneke & His Orchestra – Star Dust / Lazy Bones / Georgia On My Mind / Rockin’ Chair
CAE 354 Dick Liebert at the Organ – Musical Reflections
CAE 358 Ralph Flanagan & His Orchestra – Dancing Down Broadway
CAE 372 Domenico Savino & The Rome Festival Orchestra – O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis)
CAE 375 Jack Say & His Orchestra – The Best from Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella
CAE 376 Dinah Shore – Dinah Shore
CAE 377 Tex Beneke & His Orchestra – Swinging Marches
CAE 380 Lena Horne – Lena Horne Sings The Blues
CAE 388 Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra – Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
CAE 400 Tex Beneke & His Orchestra – Petticoats of Portugal / Hey! Jealous Lover / Singing the Blues /
Tra La La
CAE 403 George de Witt – Today’s Hits
CAE 410 Perry Como – Dream Along With Me
CAE 411 Little Richard – Every Hour / I Brought It on Myself / Ain’t Nothin’ Happenin’ / Why Did You Leave Me?
CAE 416 Little Richard – Little Richard
CAE 417 Red Callender – The Red Callender Sextet
CAE 419 Art Tatum – Art Tatum
CAE 423 Buddy Morrow & His Orchestra – Let’s Have a Dance Party!
CAE 429 Shep Fields & His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra – Ripplin’ Rhythm
CAE 431 Johnny Guarnieri & His Group – Side by Side
CAE 433 George de Witt /Earl Sheldon & Orchestra – Young Blood / Love Letters in the Sand / Bye Bye Love / White
Sports Coat
CAE 434 Peter Ricardo & His Calypso – Take Her to Jamaica
CAE 441 Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra – Jivin’ the Vibres / Drum Stomp / Piano Stomp / Muskrat Ramble
CAE 442 Al Goodman – South Pacific
CAE 443 Perry Como – Perry Como
CAE 446 Little Richard – Little Richard Rocks!
CAE 448 Dave Martin & His Group with The Strollers – The Stroll
————————————————————————————————————-
To date, only two Camden EPs have been identified that have cover art by Andy Warhol. These are: CAE 158 “Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.” and CAE 193, Lew White – “Melodic Magic”. The “Waltzes” EP has already been included in Paul Maréchal’s cataogue raisonné öover Warhol’s record covers and the Lew White will appear in the second edition, which will be published in 2015.

Currently, there is a copy of CAE 188 “Debussy – Clair de Lune / Sibelius – Valse Triste / Schubert – Moment Musical” on Ebay as a possible Warhol cover at an asking price $199. It is obviously NOT by Warhol. CAE 214 “Strauss Encores” has also been suggested to have been illustrated by Warhol, but combined expertise has concluded that while the shoes and boots are very much in the Warhol style, the heels are not right.

Camden CAE 158 - Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.
Camden CAE 158 – Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.

I wish readers much joy from this list – although I cannot imagine why anyone would be interested! Merry Christmas to all my readers

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”.

New covers and things by Klaus Voormann, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons

Most of my posts have been about record covers bearing Andy Warhol’s art. But, just as a reminder, I also collect record cover art by four other artists. I have an almost complete collection of Damien Hirst’s record covers, including the highly collectible “Use Money, Cheat Death” one-sided single released on his own label.

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This image first appeared on the cover of the February 2008 number of TAR Magazine. The record was released on white vinyl in a numbered edition of 666 copies. Damien Hirst’s most recent covers are for the British band Babyshambles’ 2013 releases “Sequel to the Prequel” (LP) and (so far) the two vinyl singles from the album “Nothing Comes from Nothing” and “Fall From Grace”:

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These covers all show examples of Damien Hirst’s spin paintings.

My friend Daniel Brant at the A and D Gallery in London, knows I collect Klaus Voormann’s record cover art and he recently induced me to buy a poster by Klaus Voormann that I had never seen before. It is a print of a drawing of Paul McCartney and John Lennon in the canteen at Abbey Road during the recording of “Revolver”:

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While on the subject of Klaus Voormann – I have a 12″ single of George Harrison’s single “When We Was Fab” from 1988. And just a few days ago I stumbled on the promotional issue of this release which comes in a limited edition box with a poster and a card, which I had not seen before, so I snapped it up! The illustration of the front of the box, and on the single itself, is another fine Voormann drawing – somewhat in the “Revolver” style.

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Fellow Warhol Cover Collectors Club member Kevin Kinney suggested I get hold of Lady Gaga’s 2013 album “ArtPop”, whose cover was designed and photgraphed by Jeff Koons. Now I do not collect Koons’ covers but – because of the ArtPop exhibition currently on show in Stockholm – I decided I would buy this album.

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This is the cover’s inner spread with photographer Koons photographing Lady Gaga.