Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Diana Ross' Silk Electric, by Andy Warhol

Reviewing Diana Ross' 1982 album Silk Electric, Rolling Stone magazine noted "Unfortunately... the album is as glossy and superficial as Interview, the magazine published by Andy Warhol, who designed the album's cover." It was actually the 1976 cover of Interview magazine that led to Warhol contributing the cover design for the disk. The issue with the Richard Bernstein cover image of Ross was a huge seller for the magazine, so much so that Warhol suggested the colour scheme should be used for every cover subsequently.

He created the images that feature on the front, back and inner gatefold from polaroids that he had taken of the former Supremes vocalist in the early eighties. The portraits also featured on the vinyl record stickers as well, which were not labelled "Side One" and "Side Two", but rather "Face A" and "Face B".

Ross had commissioned paintings not only of herself, but also for each of three daughters. Warhol wrote in his diary "Diana Ross came at 3:00 and she loved all the portraits, she said, “Wrap them up,” and they all fit in the limousine, and she had a check at Bob's place by 5:00. And she wants me to do the cover for her next album." Interview editor Bob Colacello recounts "Diana Ross stunned us by paying her $95,000 bill for the four portraits on the spot".

The record, currently out of print, sold approximately 800,000 copies at the time, mostly due to the success of the Michael Jackson penned and produced single "Muscles".

No comments:

Post a Comment