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July 6, 2022

From John Lennon to Dianna Ross, These 28 Amazing Album Covers Designed by Andy Warhol

Most people know Andy Warhol for his screenprints of celebrities and for his elaborate studio, The Factory. He was actually a commercial illustrator for years before pursuing a fine art career full-time. Additionally, he stayed close to the music scene, creating friendships with the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, and others.

Andy Warhol designed his first album cover shortly after arriving in New York City in 1949.During his various creative periods, Warhol turned again and again to the medium of record and in particular to the record cover, its graphic and product design. In addition to his best-known works in this genre, the “banana cover” by The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) and the zip cover of the Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers (1971), Warhol created over 50 album covers in the course of his career.

Many of Warhol’s cover illustrations were based on photographs, such as Kenny Burrell’s self-titled debut album for Blue Note from 1956, which anticipated his later large-format portraits of pop stars and actors. Another Blue Note album cover, Johnny Griffin’s LP Congregation (1957), which was also based on a photograph and featured brightly colored flowers on Griffin’s shirt, was a forerunner of the great Flowers series of the following decade. According to Fred Kaplan in the New York Times, “all of his album covers mirrored his other art forms, which reflected and visualized the broad pop culture of his time.”

The Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler - Latin Rhythms (1952)

Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins and Frank Foster - Monk (1954)

Count Basie And His Orchestra - Count Basie (1955)

Ravel - Charles Munch, Boston Symphony Orchestra - Daphnis And Chloe (1955)

Tchaikovsky* - Leopold Stokowski - Swan Lake Acts Il And Ill (1955)

The Joe Newman Octet - I’m Still Swinging (1956)

Kenny Burrell - Kenny Burrell (1956)

Johnny Griffin - The Congregation (1957)

Moondog - The Story Of Moondog (1957)

Kenny Burrell - Blue Lights, Volume 1 (1958)

Paul Desmond - Take Ten (1963)

The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (1971)

John Cale - The Academy In Peril (1972)

Paul Anka - The Painter (1976)

The Rolling Stones - Love You Live (1977)

Walter Steding And The Dragon People - The Joke / Chase The Dragon (1980)

Liza Minnelli - Live At Carnegie Hall (1981)

John Cale - Honi Soit (1981)

Loredana Berte’ - Made In Italy (1981)

Diana Ross - Silk Electric (1982)

Billy Squier - Emotions In Motion (1982)

Peer Raben - Querelle - Ein Pakt Mit Dem Teufel (1982)

Rolling Stones - Emotional Tattoo (1983)

Miguel Bosé - Made In Spain (1983)

John Lennon - Menlove Ave (1986)

Debbie Harry - Rockbird (1986)

Various - MTV High Priority (1987)


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