Original sleeves: A Quick One

If like me, you want to frame album sleeves, you will need to seek out original pressings with few creases rather than vinyl reissues.

Tae A Quick One by The Who from 1965. The art was by Alan Aldridge, who became head designer for Penguin Books and then wrote The Penguin Book of Comics. All Alan Aldridge Penguin cover illustrations are revered by book collectors.

This is a scan of the original from Discogs:

1965 sleeve

Here is Amazon’s scan of the current vinyl reissue:

It’s not at all bad, but it lacks the colour vibrancy, probably because they had to use film of the artwork, rather than scanning the original. There was a point in the 1990s when a court ruled that while a book publisher or record publisher had rights in the image, the original artwork belonged to the artist … and publishers cleared out their store rooms and returned originals. I bought the original of Barrie Thorpe’s colour drawing of Little Richard, and there was a sheet of paper attached to the back declaring that while I owned the drawing, I did NOT own any reproduction rights. Printing varies greatly- I can line up six covers from different print runs of some of my ELT books and the colour shift is marked.

When the first of my ELT books, Streamline Departures, was a sudden success, OUP needed to commission a large print run ad could not get capacity in the UK. The original designer, Richard Morris, was sent to Bilbao to supervise the colour correction of the print run. Another designer told me that she liked to use base magenta or cyan for background highlights, because there was nothing printers could get wrong with them.

At one point, thirty plus years after publication, I complained about a recent print run, and the editor told me the film had faded noticeably. This will apply equally to album sleeves.