Peter Wandrey • Sweet Beat

Various Artists Sweet Beat Star Club label Peter Wandrey designerI rarely bother with vinyl shopping lists, but from time to time a sleeve does lodge in the brain for any number of reasons and demands to be found. This is one; Sweet Beat by that famous band Various Artists. I was searching for a vintage photo of a girl in a record shop for a local indie CD single someone had asked for help with (in the end they went with a modern shot) when I spotted this cover on the web. It had a real sixties vibe about it, smartly dressed girls (who look like they could have been modelling for a knitting pattern cover), strange guitars, hippy hand-lettering and the added lure of the cult German Star Club label, spun off from the famous Hamburg nightclub.
Every so often when I remembered I did a search for it, even contacting a friend who works in a record shop in Germany. So when one surfaced recently with a German dealer I figured it was time to take it off my wants list and bid accordingly.
Quite why it’s so rare I’m not sure, though most Star Club titles were relatively low key releases even in Germany. The album has a few big names on, along with others which are less familiar or just plain unknown. As usual I looked on the back for a design name not really expecting to find one, but for once ‘Foto und Grafik’ was credited.
Peter (Petrus) Wandrey was not a name I’d come across before, but he turns out to have been a fairly well-known modern German artist who drew on proceeds from his design work to fund his own interesting artwork and sculptures, which since the late 1970s centred on a fascination for computer pixels.
I assume Peter also helped fund his college years with design work, as he did a number of (one German site suggests ‘countless’) album covers for Polydor Germany and other clients while studying at the University of Fine Art in Hamburg between 1963 and 1968. I cannot find anything on this side of his work, and he later moved into poster and magazine design then on to the world of fine art. Born in 1939 Peter died only recently in 2012.
His album sleeves used photography or illustration, and he was sometimes responsible for these as well as the final design and typography, as here on Sweet Beat, released in March 1966. Guitar buffs will doubtless also be excited by the 1965/66 Hofner Model 176 Solid De Luxe on the cover, which was launched in 1964. And it does look very space-age (and popular enough to remain in production until the early eighties apparently).
Two more sleeves which I know were by him are shown below, A Taste of Herb Alpert (1965) which I assume used a stock A&M group photo, and an early James Last album, Games That Lovers Play (1967) which Peter may also have photographed. Though Last’s sleeves were often pretty non-descript, every so often Polydor would put in a bit more effort as here.

Herb Alpert A Taste Of A&M design Peter Wandrey Games That Lovers James Last Polydor  design Peter Wandrey

One Response to Peter Wandrey • Sweet Beat

  1. Pingback: girls, guitars and ganzies | ST33

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