Love You Live
Rolling Stones, Love you Live was overdubbed and mixed from late May to mid-June 1977. It features Billy Preston and Ian Stewart on piano. The album artwork was prepared by Andy Warhol, and the pencil smears seen across the front were added by Mick Jagger, to Warhol’s dismay.
Warhol created the artwork used for this posthumous compilation of previously unreleased songs a few months before Lennon’s death in 1980. The portrait of Lennon was taken by Iain MacMillan, who notably also was the photographer for the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover, while the title refers to Lennon childhood home in Liverpool, 251 Menlove Avenue.
This is John Wallowitch
Who is John Wallowitch? I hear you ask. Pianist and brother of Warhol’s photographer pal, Ed Wallowitch, this one begins to show Warhol’s penchant for experimental photography. The 60s/70s turned into the Wall Street 80s, Warhol’s work (and his subjects) got progressively more tasteless (in an aesthetic sense) and, sad to say, nakedly for-profit.
Warhol collaged a series of photobooth images for its cover that capture the suited Wallowitch from his chest up to his mouth, cutting off any other identifying facial features (as well as making a non-issue of the pianist’s baldness).
Ludwig van Beethoven has been regarded as one of the most famous composers of all time. Andy Warhol captures in this picture one of the most iconic poses of the famous composer, Beethoven FS II.391, higlighting the sheer brilliance of the composer with the emphasis on the notes of his sheet music, while also keeping the features of the portrait prominent. The soft melody of Beethoven’s enchanting Sonata No.14 is captured across Beethoven’s face in the form of notes. The notes, like the melody, are drawn graceful as not to overshadow the man of the hour: Beethoven.
The Velvet Underground and Nico’s
The bright yellow banana that graced the cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico’s debut album has become one of the most recognised pieces of pop artwork ever, crafted by the most popular pop artist ever, Andy Warhol, who also produced this 1967 protopunk album. The original album cover was interactive, telling fans to “peel slowly and see” and allowing them to peel back the banana skin sticker that revealed a pink banana underneath. Part of the reason behind the album’s delayed release was because manufacturers found it hard to pull-off the sexually charged effect of peeling the banana.
Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson (Green)
Warhol was commissioned by Time magazine to paint Jackson’s portrait in 1984 and made several versions of the portrait, which shows the handsome young singer wearing the jacket from the “Thriller” video. The one published in Time, which had a yellow background, is now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, while this version sold at auction for more than $1 million shortly after Jackson’s death.