More illustrations

The Student Prince, Columbia CL 826 1956, USA. Reissue of a 1953 album, in new sleeve. Drawing by R Watkins.

Two more album sleeves with illustrations on the cover which I picked up recently. The Student Prince is a really nice job and looks very Sixties, but was actually issued in 1956 by Columbia.  It’s a pencil sketch drawing, with water colour overlaid and is signed R. Watkins but frustratingly I cannot find out anything about the artist. The album is actually an early vinyl reissue; there is nothing particularly bad about the original 1953 release which I found on the web, but it does seem a bit old fashioned alongside the cover which replaced it just three years on. You could argue that the type on the original is handled much better, although perhaps Columbia decided there was simply too much of it for a front cover.

Student Prince album cover Columbia ML4592 1953

The Rolf Harris record is about a decade later, issued in 1963. This was Rolf’s first proper album release (after an Australian only LP in 1959). It came out in 1963, then this World Record Club mail-order version quickly followed later in the year, a clear sign that the original didn’t sell too well and Rolf was best left as a singles artist. The original on Columbia (below the reissue, again off the web) is very typical of the time, although the regular studio image had an unusual twist as the background painting was by Rolf himself.

Rolf Harris, Sun Arise. World Record Club compilation. 1963

WRC as usual did a new cover, and for this the illustrator (who is not credited) has come up with a very Sixties style painting; abstract brush strokes, hand drawn lettering, and images associated with the Australian landscape blended in. Being mail order, the label could afford to be less brash.


More on ST33

World Record Club covers are often of a high standard, there are more on the site if you search, but some great ones on this page:

And some more hand painted sleeves on site:

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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