The Stories Behind 11 Classic Album Covers (by Bill DeMain)

1. The Velvet Underground & Nico, aka “The Banana Album” (1967)

The Velvet Underground & Nico
Design by Andy Warhol

With apologies to Carmen Miranda and Chiquita, the world’s most famous banana is the ripe, peelable print on the cover of the Velvets’ debut.

Designed by pop artist Andy Warhol, the image was a silkscreen made from simple black-and-white acetate film. In case the genitalia-esque shape wasn’t provocative enough, Warhol added the invitation: “Peel slowly and see.” Beneath the sticker a pink, flesh-colored fruit was revealed.

“The banana actually made it into an erotic art show,” said Velvets singer Lou Reed.

But for Verve Records, the banana was a production nightmare. “Someone had to sit there with piles of albums, peel off the yellow banana skin stickers and place them over the pink fruit by hand,” said Warhol’s artistic director Ronnie Cutrone.

By 1968, the peelable banana was dropped. Originals now fetch up to $500 apiece. The fruity image has since thrived on everything from art prints to T-shirts to handbags.

Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/109881#ixzz20eQVxlaC    –brought to you by mental_floss!
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~ by The Gallery Goddess on July 14, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Stories Behind 11 Classic Album Covers (by Bill DeMain)”

  1. Excellent article. It is good to see others appreciate the artwork of the record album. I collect album covers because I foind this work so interesting. For those of you who are interested in album covers there is a great site at http://greatalbumcovers.com/ which can provide you additional information. Enjoy your album covers!!!

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