Category Archives: Record Sleeves

Absolutely lovely! – Record sleeves of the recent past

The design talent behind the cover art of Dame Shirley Bassey’s albums ‘The Performance’ and ‘Hello Like Before’ has delighted us on Instagram with two wonderful galleries.

Design for Dame Shirley Bassey – The Performance I was asked by Geffen Records to come up with ideas for Dame Shirley Bassey’s album, (her first studio recording of original compositions in three decades) and although the final cover is far from what I had initially proposed, I won DSB over on the strength of the crest logo I’d designed which apparently she adored. The original image used on the cover was shot in colour on a white background, DSB in a red outfit, by photographer Mary McCartney (daughter of Sir Paul). After the magic was worked on the image it was featured as Portrait of The Month at the National Portrait Gallery in London. . . . #dameshirleybassey#theperformance#davidarnold#andrewmurabito#musicdesign#graphicdesign#albumcover#singlecover#artdirection#typography#branding#logo#packaging#print#musicpackaging#cdcover#album#albumcover#albumartwork#vinyl#musicartgallery#weartyouldn#weartyoudesign#weartyouworld#weartyou#photography#portraitphotography#nationalportraitgallery#musicphotography#marymccartney#geffen

A post shared by WE ART YOU – Andrew Murabito ( on

Our thanks to Andrew Murabito for sharing these behind the scenes stories and for following/tagging The Bassey Blog.

Andrew told us “I got to meet Dame Shirley at the shoot for the second album I designed and she was absolutely lovely!”

DSB can be found among a great portfolio of Andrew’s works at their We Art You website.


This 16 track compilation was issued on the Liberty label in Japan in 1981.  All of the tracks are from her United Artists recordings but two of them are ‘live’ as the studio recordings of the songs are from her Columbia days.

Although the album is called ‘Greatest Hits’ not all the tracks were hits for her.  The big ones are certainly there i.e. ‘Something’, ‘Never, Never, Never’ and ‘For All We Know’ but it also includes such songs as ‘Feelings’ and ‘Send In The Clowns’.  ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ is included as that song was a big hit for her in Japan.  The one track that stands out and makes this album special for me is the original UK single release recording of ‘This Is My Life’ in stereo.  I hadn’t played vinyl for a while as I had nothing to play them on but I bought a record deck and played this record out of curiosity.  I was astounded when I heard the track and have to say the quality is terrific.  I’ve always loved that version (it’s similar to the Italian ‘La Vita’ version) and although I had got it on an LP from America I feel this is better quality.

The photo on the front of the album is taken from the session for the UA album ‘The Magic Is You’.  There are three colour concert photos on the back which may have been taken at her 1977 Japanese concert.

SB - Greatest Hits - Japan

SB - Greatest Hits 2 - Japan

SB - Greatest Hits 3 - Japan 1

SB - Greatest Hits 4 - Japan 1

SB - Greatest Hits 5 - Japan 1

Below is the track ‘This Is My Life’ which I have taken from this album.  Hard to believe that this recording is actually 50 years old this year.


In 1970 EMI Odeon in Spain released a series of compilation. albums in called ‘Gigantes De La Cancion’.  Translated into English it means ‘Giants of the song’.  There were 30 albums issued and the compilation album of Shirley’s recordings was ‘Vol 5’.

The album consisted of 12 tracks and all were taken from Shirley’s Columbia recordings. Obviously included were some of her hits such as ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘What Now My Love’ there others which were popular with fans.  These included ‘Till’ and ‘Somewhere’.  The cover photo on the sleeve was the photo used on Shirley’s UA album ‘I’ve Got A Song For You’.  The reverse of the sleeve carries the same photo but in black/white and lists the tracks and also all the 30 artists in the series.

SB - Gigantes De La Cancion Vol 5 a - Spain

SB - Gigantes De La Cancion Vol 5 a 2 -Spain

EMI Odeon also decided to release the abum as a special club edition with a completely different sleeve.  The record itself carries the same title although there is no title on the sleeve.  The tracks are in the same order as on the original album.  Printed on the record label is ‘Edición especial para DISCOLIBRO’.

SB - Gigantes De La Cancion Vol 5 - Spain

I’m not sure why but the record company also released the album under the title ‘The Giants’.  The album sleeve is just the same as the original album.  It also has the same catalogue number.

SB - The Giants - Spain



Another beautiful album from Japan this is a 16 track album from the ‘Gold Superdisc’ series and was released in 1978.

To my knowledge this was the first album to be released from this series as the following year (1979) it was reissued twice with different sleeves.  Once again a very high quality thick card sleeve and issued with an unusual top obi which folds over the top of the sleeve.  Normally the obi is a slip with information in Japanese that slides over the sleeve but this one is in card and folded loosely over the top.  The tracks are mostly from the UA catalogue but ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘I (Who Have Nothing)’ are included which could be the Columbia recordings.  Unfortunately I am unable to confirm that as I am unable to play vinyl at the present time.  (Note to self – must rectify that quickly).  As is usual with Japanese releases there is an insert sheet with lyrics etc printed on it.

Another great release from the golden age of vinyl.

SB - Gold Superdisc (a) - Japan

SB - Gold Superdisc (a) 2 - Japan

SB - Gold Superdisc (a) 3 - Japan

Below are the scans of the two reissues of this album.  I particularly love the first one.

SB - Gold Superdis a - Japan

SB - Gold Superdis a 2 - Japan

SB - Supergold : a - Japan

SB - Supergold : a 2 - Japan

People have asked me if I have the records I post about and the answer is yes.  The scans are of the sleeves from records that are in my own collection.