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Thread: World Record Club gallery

  1. #1
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    Default World Record Club gallery

    So, thanks to amidar & giantchicken for reminding me to do this, and pointing towards the pretty wonderful ST33 Art of the Vinyl Sleeve blog which had some interesting info on the World Record Club label:

    The World Record Club, which had begun life in the mid-50s (and remained) a mail-order only label, used generic sleeves in their early days, but later moved to full colour covers on which they spent a lot of effort to counter the perception of being a budget label. You joined up and got a monthly catalogue to browse (though there was one show store in London). Initially material was classical but they branched out to Easy Listening, Jazz and Pop. Because the records didn’t have to struggle for attention in shop racks, WRC developed a clean style much of their own, with bright photographs and illustrations – some very good, others less so. Once you’ve seen a few, you soon get to recognise the look, and although you only saw them back in the 60s and 70s if you were a WRC member, today a lot ore reaching the second hand market. Titles were generally quite plain in typographic terms. Back covers were always white with black text. The label had their own art director, and much of the cover material was specially commissioned. WRC also operated in America and Australia. The Australian WRC actually set up their own art policy and so most of their sleeves were unique (a book on these is in preparation in Australia and we will review it here as and when). In the mid-70s WRC was purchased by EMI who kept it going for some years.
    Well I first noticed them when I was getting back into records about five years ago and picked up this for the sleeve, which funnily enough is in ST33's banner.



    When I see them out shopping I don't tend to buy them unless they are very, very cheap as the music is not (always) the sort of thing I go for. However, a cursory inspection has indicated I have acquired a few. All of them have that bright, clean, spacey feel that appeals to me alot. Here are some I've just snapped now. Some are better than others, of course.

















    Finally, the sleeve that amidar (and I'm sure many others) picked up. Do add your own!
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    Nice one eine, great thread. Here's a couple of stock images of a couple I came across recently:

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The seekers cover always makes me do a double take until I realise who it is and the Cy Grant didn't live up to its promise.

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    Mind you, it wasn't all great, particularly on their 'Recorded Music Circle' classical wing. I picked this one up recently....



    ...like watching varnish dry...

    ...although it is handy for camouflaging any more embarassing albums I may own and inadvertently leave lying around...

    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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    Definitely a lot of terrible sleeves. The Lilac Time and the Swan Lake I posted are not good. They all have the same vibe though, and I like that. There is something heroic (possibly fasicst with a small f) about keeping regular mass production marching together.
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    The Ketelby cover is great its a shame his compositions conjure up nothing like he implies in his titles. His Persian market sounds more like a rainy day on Rotheram market to me.

    Here's another I have although maybe more suited to the visual puns thread:

    Billy Daniels - The Daniels Touch

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Don Burrows Quartet - love this record and love the sleeve - a huge improvement on the EMI version
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    Nice thread. This is my fave WRC cover - damn nice music as well...
    Last edited by IAN; 15-04-2016 at 02:22 PM.

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    Couldn't agree more Ian - lovely record



    Coltrane - Ballads
    Another improvement on the original in my opinion
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

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    Not so great sleeve - but the music is very worthwhile
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

    Night of the Living Vinyl

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    Something more traditionally Vinyl Vulture friendly
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

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    Continuing on the jazz tip and another that is an improvement on the original cover. I actually let this go last week:

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expiry2011 View Post


    Not so great sleeve - but the music is very worthwhile
    I really like the sleeve, the sharp angle rush that suggests movement, the use of red and black, all says buy me for some action
    some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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    Swingin' On The Moon

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    Never seen this one - but like it!

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    Ooo yes, Sir Slim, I've had that one before but let it slip away.

    So, question to you designers on here: If this simple, clear aesthetic is down to not having to struggle to compete in shops (as in the quote in first post), could it also be down to having to sell records from catalogues? All the sleeves would be shrunk down to thumbnail size in catalogues and so you couldn't have too much on them. So all this 'the art of selling music' online has changed due to having tiny digital thumbnails on iTubes kind of has a precusor here in the World Record Club?

    There you go, that's the media USP for selling a collected book of these sleeves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expiry2011 View Post
    Couldn't agree more Ian - lovely record



    Coltrane - Ballads
    Another improvement on the original in my opinion
    I was going to mention another WRC sleeve similar to this hoping someone could recall it, it always makes me stop when I see it in the racks - drawing of a woman with long hair, almost psychedelic/art nouveau-ish, black and red colour scheme. Then I clock that it's someone like Vic Damone or somebody like that and I leave it. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAN View Post
    I was going to mention another WRC sleeve similar to this hoping someone could recall it, it always makes me stop when I see it in the racks - drawing of a woman with long hair, almost psychedelic/art nouveau-ish, black and red colour scheme. Then I clock that it's someone like Vic Damone or somebody like that and I leave it. Any ideas?
    Could it be this one??
    http://www.discogs.com/George-Sheari...elease/5974769
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

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    If they were around nowadays they would probably go for an artists representation of a slice of toast with his face burnt on it a la jesus, elvis et all.

    Never seen this one - but like it![/QUOTE]

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    Quote Originally Posted by IAN View Post
    I was going to mention another WRC sleeve similar to this hoping someone could recall it, it always makes me stop when I see it in the racks - drawing of a woman with long hair, almost psychedelic/art nouveau-ish, black and red colour scheme. Then I clock that it's someone like Vic Damone or somebody like that and I leave it. Any ideas?
    Ah yes, I know exactly which one you mean, think there's a photo on my phone. Will have a look.
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    No, looks like it's floated off into the iCloud. However, there was this one, which was obviously too expensive to buy, but what a sleeve:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expiry2011 View Post
    No, but that's another peach!

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    What a great looking exhibition! I can't see any identical designs, but the aesthetic is the same.

    I like the way they've hung them on the wall (just on pins it looks like). I was very interested Jon Savage's punk zine/45s at the Haywood's technique of basically mounting it all behind pvc, but then the material there was worth a lot more cash.

    IAN: I know exactly which one you mean, it's a beauty. I have a photo somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eine View Post
    No, looks like it's floated off into the iCloud. However, there was this one, which was obviously too expensive to buy, but what a sleeve:

    That's ace isn't it, looks like it was made by layering pieces of coloured tissue paper - something I did at school once. Really effective technique!

    These sleeves are a lesson in economy and simplicity

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    Another one I've never seen, but that beats the original Columbia sleeve:


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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlim View Post
    Another one I've never seen, but that beats the original Columbia sleeve:

    Never seen that either but it looks fab!

    Is there any info on who was responsible for the World Record Club sleeves? Was there a design Svengali who oversaw the entire thing or were they lucky and had some great talent?
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

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    An incredible sleeve! I think that was an Australian only issue (?).

    Expiry: follow the link in the first post here, there's some more info. Certainly the Australian's had separate designers, but a similar aesthetic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eine View Post
    An incredible sleeve! I think that was an Australian only issue (?).

    Expiry: follow the link in the first post here, there's some more info. Certainly the Australian's had separate designers, but a similar aesthetic.
    I've kind of answered my own question with a bit of googling

    Looks like I need to track down this book



    500 designs from the Australian World Record club
    My mouth is watering!!!
    "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

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    Wow, indeed! Great review here: https://st33.wordpress.com/vinyl-art...-world-record/

    Seems to be £35 for a copy to the UK.
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