The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Galerie Dennis Cooper presents … Vinyls illustré



‘A picture disc is a record containing a base layer of PVC (poly vinyl chloride), surrounded on both sides with a photographic layer, and finished up with a clear layer of PVC, again on both sides of the disc. As the five layers are combined, a continuous groove of music is pressed into the playing surface. Any excess vinyl is then trimmed from the surrounding area giving the recording a clean edge and thereby completing the disc. Although pleasing to the eye, the overall sound quality of these recordings are not comparable to the better sounding black vinyl discs. This is due in part to ultra thin outside layers of clear vinyl which supports the grooves.

‘Picture discs debuted in the early 1930s, when various materials were used experimentally as gimmicks or for advertising. These early picture discs were simply a sheet of thin vinyl film which was placed over a thick paper print and then pressed with the grooves and had very poor sound quality. Adolf Hitler released a 7″ picture disc of this type with one of his speeches. Known as the Patria (Fatherland) picture disc, it holds an image of Hitler giving a speech on one side, and a hand holding a swastika flag on the other, and recordings of speeches by Hitler and Party member Hans Hinkel.

‘Following introduction of colored vinyl, picture discs started to appear in the 1970s. The first ‘modern’ rock picture discs was British progressive rock band Curved Air’s first album, Airconditioning, a UK issue (1970). On some picture discs, the images used were meant to create an optical illusion while the record was rotating on the turntable (as in the B side of Curved Air’s Airconditioning), while others used the visual effect to add to the music — for example, the 1979 picture disc of Fischer-Z’s The Worker featured a train which endlessly commuted around the turntable, reinforcing the song’s message.

‘Later picture discs included liquid light show style fluids between the vinyl, Rowlux 3D effect film, defraction rainbow film, metal flake, pressure-sensitive liquid crystals that changed color when the record was picked up, a real holographic record (the first ever), and even a genuine “live album.” Made as a demonstration for Stevie Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, it featured a layer of blotting paper between the clear vinyl layers that contained alfalfa seeds. A tag of the blotting paper protruded below the record, and resting the disc on a glass of water with the paper in the water allowed the seeds to germinate and grow inside the record.

‘Starting in the late 1970s, a push by several recording companies including Capitol, Epic, and Columbia Records, was made to bring picture discs onto the commercial market in vast numbers. As the 1980s came about, commercial production of picture discs was in full swing, although production eventually switched from domestic presses to the British and European plants. Towards the latter half of the 1980s, interest in picture discs began to diminish. With the arrival of the 90s and the demise of vinyl records, the production of picture discs was again used somewhat promotionally or limited to small batches.’ — The Vinyl Underground



How to press vinyl picture records

with records // MAKING

‘Ride a Cock Horse’ by Record Guild of America Picture Disc


Guns N’ Roses Interview Vinyl Picture Disc



Pirates Press, Independent Picture Disc Manufacturer
Morphius Mfg, Picture Disc Manufacturer
Rainbo Records, Vinyl Manufacturers
Vogue, the Picture Record
The Prince of the Picture Disc
Terry’s Picture Discs
My Picture Discs
Book: ‘Extraordinary Records’
Picture Discs for sale on eBay



Sculpture ‘Rotary Signal Emitter’


Able Thought ‘Skeleton Morning Coffee’


AC/DC ‘Shake Your Foundations’


Joseph Plateau ‘Phenakistiscope’


Agnostic Front ‘That’s Life’


AIT! ‘Florie di Carne’


Amebix ‘Sonic Mass’


Anders Bhana ‘Dead Clubbing’


Anthrax ‘Make Me Laugh’


Anti-Flag ‘JCE’

Anti-Flag ‘Bacon’


Arcana ‘Body of Sin’


Archon Satani ‘The Final Completion’


Art of Noise ‘Moments in Love’


Aztec Camera ‘Still On Fire’


‘Beats in Space’


Bel. 05 ‘Pizza 4 Seasons’


Boese ‘Blumen’


Boris ‘At Last Feedbacker’


Burial Chamber Trio ‘BWVRM’


Caustic Window ‘Joyrex’


Cloud Nothings ‘Should Have Known’


Cromagnon ‘Orgasm’


Current 93 ‘In Menstrual Night’


Daft Punk ‘Tron Soundtrack’


Dave Clarke ‘The Wolf’


David Bowie ‘Rebel Never Gets Old’


David Horvitz ‘Lucky Dragons’


Death in June ‘Occidental Martyr’


‘Don’t Put Things In Your Mouth’


Emmett Williams ‘Poems 1950 – 2003’


Eric Orr ‘DJ Robot Control’


Experimental Audio Research ‘Worn To A Shadow’


Ferdinand Kriwet ‘Roundscheibe No. 12’


Flaming Lips /Prefuse 73


Ford-Lopatin ‘Emergency Room’


Fuck Buttons ‘Surf Solar’


Gang Green ‘We’ll Give It To You / Skate To Hell’


Gary Numan ‘Faces’


Genevan Heathen ‘Charlie Sheen’


Helloween ‘Halloween’


Herman Kolgen ‘Dusk’


Hermann Nitsch ‘Das 6-Tage-Spiel des Orgien Mysterien Theater’


Hikashu Watashi ‘No Tanoshimi’


Hot Pockets ‘Do-nut’


Iron Maiden ‘Clairvoyant’


J Dilla ‘Fuck The Police’


Jack Smith ‘Interview’


Jad Fair ‘Bird House’


James Jewell ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’


Jay Z & Kanye West ‘Watch the Throne’


John Boswell ‘A Glorious Dawn’


Karsten Pflum: ‘Revealed’


King Kurt ‘Destination Zululand’


Linda McCartney ‘Wide Prairie’


Lou Killen ‘Sea Shanteys’


Marduk ‘Dark Endless’


Marion Mann ‘You Took Advantage of Me’


‘Marshmallow Ghosts’


Metallica ‘Jump in the Fire’


MF Doom ‘Rhymes Like Dimes’


Mike & the Mechanics ‘Silent Running’


Modeselektor ‘Evil Twin’


Monty Python ‘Galaxy Song’


Mount Analogue ‘S/T’


Neon Neon ‘Stainless Style’


‘Pee Wee Herman Show Soundtrack’


New Order ‘People On The High Line’


Nunslaughter ‘Split’


‘Oi!.. The Picture Disc Vol. 2’


One Bad Habit ‘One Bad Habit’


Pale Cocoon ‘黄金時代’


Paul Johnson ‘Tu Sonrisa’


Paul McCartney ‘Dance Tonight’


Paul Shahin ‘Rhumba Lesson #1’


Pig Destroyer ‘Blonde Prostitute’


Pools ‘Pools EP’


P.O.S. ‘We Don’t Even Live Here’


Prince ‘Tea Stain’ EP


Psychic TV ‘A Pagan Day’


Pup ‘Pup’


Queen ‘Innuendo’


Revolting Cocks ‘Beers, Steers & Queers’


Robin Hayward ‘Words of Paradise’


Scritti Politti ‘Absolute’


Sickness ‘Fuck Your Punk Rock’


Sicwax ‘Time Coded’


Sigstop ‘Cautella’


Skitlive / Current 93 ‘Bloodletting’


Sleeper Vegas ‘Hymn to Her’


Slipknot ‘All Night Out’


Sopor Aeternus ‘La chambre d’echo Anna Bvarney’


Spice Girls ‘Amnesty International Interview’


Styx ‘Paradise Theater’


The Art Farmer ‘Diameter Radius’


The Dream Academy ‘The Love Parade’


The Last Ninja ‘Tin’


The Naked Heroes ’99 Diamond’


The Present Moment ‘The High Road’


The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus ‘Don’t You Fake It’


The Singing Nun ‘Dublab’


The Adicts ‘Bad Boy’


The Fall ‘Hit the North’


Thompson Twins ‘Sister Of Mercy’


Thou / Leech split LP


Tobacco ‘La Uti’


Towers of London ‘I’m a Rat’


Troum ‘Ajin’




Various Artists ‘Comin’ Down Fast’


Vagina Dentata Organ ‘Cold Meat’


Van Halen ‘Dreams’


Velvet Underground ‘Andy Warhol’s Index Book Flexi-Disc’


Virgin Witch ‘Sight Beyond Sight’


WASP ‘F**k Like a Beast’


We Love the Moon ‘The Royal Family & the Poor’


White Orange ‘Middle of the Riddle’


Whitney ‘Light Upon The Lake’


Winprod 07 ‘Chim’


Women of the S.S. ‘Inner-X-Musik’


Wu Tang Clan ‘C.R.E.A.M.’


‘Tweedle Dee

Yacht ‘Psychic City’


Zoul / Killer ‘In the Woods’




p.s. Hey. ** Scunnard, My pleasure! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I met, or rather encountered, Nico’s son twice back in the 80s, once with her at the Pyramid, both very strung out, and once when he sold me and a friend of mine some cocaine. ** kier, Hi. Yeah, he’s not very well known t all, unfairly. Uh, there is a list of the tracks used in ‘Crowd’, but I’ll have to ask Gisele for it. I don’t have it. She’s in Japan, but I will do upon her return. Oh, sure, definitely, your friends should come on the road trip. We’ll just rent a roomy car. I’ll start hunting other western German targets soon, and I’ll try not to pack the schedule with theme parks, ha ha. I think Manifesta opens in early June. I’m not going, to the opening at least, because it opens the same night as the Charles Ray show at the Pinault Collection, which is also the grand opening of the new Pinault Collection museum itself in the old Bourse de Commerce building, and I’m very excited for both of those things. No, I can’t go for the Broken Wires Show, unfortunately. Cool you’ll get to be there. My thing just requires a laptop and a screen, although Marilyn is having trouble finding even them, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Getting a no doubt great drawing done constitutes a very good day, yes! My yesterday was kind of a bust. There was a big strike, almost no metro, and I was supposed to work with Zac on something, but he couldn’t, so I mostly just worked and read and walked around a bit looking at the police barricades and the protests, which were happening close to where I live. Today might be funner, we’ll see. How was the tutorial, etc.? Have a super top notch weekend! Love, me. ** Bill, Hi. Yeah, his stuff is hard to see. Although, as I guess you saw, some are on youtube in their entirety. Never used nitroflare.com. Everyone, Anyone here ever used nitroflare.com? Opinions, if you have? Bill is curious. My guess is ‘Marquis’ does not date so well, but I could be totally wrong. ** Toniok, Hi! Well, what lead me to make that post was finding the old guest-post about his work that you made for the blog years ago and then just adding a bunch of stuff and fleshing its basics out, so, really, you’re the one who gets the big thanks! You good? Hoping so. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Well, yeah, mainstream humor in any country is usually pretty meh. But you know, while France has its fair share of low end comedies, it also has, you know, Tati and Godard’s early films and Resnais’s and so on and so forth. And ‘the French’ famously love American comedy filmmaking auteurs. Jerry Lewis, Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Todd Solondz, etc. are kind of gods here. I think I’ll have my new GIF novel finished in maybe three weeks or so? Here’s hoping your bug was just a prick tease. ** Okay. You get a whole weekend full of delectable looking picture discs on which to feast your eyes. Could be worse. See you on Monday.


  1. Picture discs are an unalloyed joy. Love the one ofLou Reed from “the Index Book” Oh if I only could recover the copy of it I lost!

    You bought coke from Ari? COOL!

    I was I Nico’s presence (one does ot “meet” The Goddess) several times. Once atht Silver Factory, another time at a Filmmaker’s Cinematheque screening of “Chelsea a Girls” and once out here in L.A. at Severn Darden’s.She was in his living room composing songs on her harmonium. I stood way back to one side not wanting to disturb her concentration. Last but far from least I aw her perform at the Whiskey a year before she died. She was magnificent.

  2. Dennis, This reminds me that I need to get a record player and buy some vinyl, illustrated or not. The sound is still unmatched, from what I’ve read/heard.

    Looking to be halfway finished with editing my novel this weekend. There are a couple chapters I’ll be going back over once I’m finished with it all. It’ll give me a fresh look and help me square up some things that are kind of bugging me. Mainly just line by line editing type stuff and things I want to tighten up…just a bit.

    Otherwise, just boppin’ along.

  3. I must agree with David about picture discs being an unalloyed joy. Some fantastic examples here, esp that Caustic Window 303 edition. My own holy grail would be this formerly unbuyable Cicciolina ‎– San Francisco Dance single. There’s now a copy on Discogs going for €350 in case anyone fancies it?

  4. Hey Dennis – Lovely parade of picture discs this weekend. I think I’ve only previously laid on eyes on 2 or 3 of these, so many new visual treats here. Love the oddly shaped ones especially, trying to imagine what they’d do on a turntable.

    That Zulueta day was incredible. I love his film ‘Arrebato’ but didn’t know about all the earlier work he’d done. Setting aside some time later today to watch those shorts. Thank you for compiling all of that.

    Glad the GIF opening party went so well. Saw the gallery setup on a FB photo you posted and it looked very cool.

    Julian Calendar’s new stuff doesn’t sound too much like the Oh Sees, I don’t think. Less garage-y. It varies a fair amount from song to song, from sinewy post-punk to full-bloom distortion to sinister groove and effects. Hopefully not too schizophrenic, but we’ll see.

    Been reading Lydia Davis’s wonderful ‘Essays: One.’ Some great pieces on Blanchot, Leiris, Joubert, Mallarme, and Butor. She gives a close reading of a number of poems by Rae Armontrout. Do you like her work? If so, any particular collections you’d recommend?

    She translated a book by Pierre Jean Jouve, whose work is unknown to me. Have you read anything by him? Ever done a post on him? (I seem to vaguely recall…)

  5. These are beautiful and I’d love to see a lot of those spinning 😛 When I look at pre-orders for albums I typically don’t have too much of interest in getting a record unless it has a nice color or design on the vinyl itself. It’s just so fun to pull out some neon green vinyl!

    Apart from the lurking around and messages once every few months, I thought I’d do some quid pro quo. It looks like I’m gonna have that novel finally published, only after like two years of it being done and waiting for a home. Well, then I found a place, but they said it would take a year, so there’s that, too. The long wait slowly paying off. It should be out in the summer. Could this be the year where queer transgressive lit makes a big come back? I saw that Amphetamine Sulphate is also gonna publish a new Thomas Moore book, too.

    I think they’re a dream publisher of mine. I never sent my book to them, though, out of fear of rejection! Lol. But I might with my second novel, although they are exploding with more popularity now.

    Second part of the quid pro quo, now you gotta let me know the updates on your novel! I’m sure everyone else knows. If I remember correctly, you said it got accepted by a french publisher. Is there a release date in mind? This is the autobiographical one, yes?

    Alright, take care. Ttyl.

  6. Hello Dennis!

    Oh, that’s cool, thank you. I’m good, making art, reading great books (‘Nuestra parte de noche’ by Mariana Enriquez —Do you know her work? I think this new novel is really awesome—, also Boris Vian and his poetry), trying to see good movies (lately there’s no way, grr… The world needs a new movie by you right now), listening to very old music (Little Walter, yeah, call me weird). Not a very exciting life I’m afraid. The best part is I’m going to a 091 concert in a few days.
    Tons of beautiful vinyls over there, let’s play the music one more time!

  7. I”ll take today’s theme on a nautical tangent.

    Navy trash discs:


    Secchi disc:


    Saw the new Jodorosky film, “Psychomagic”. My very first Jodorosky. Elicited strong reactions, both sympathetic and resistant. Worth seeing if you haven’t already.

  8. My cold has kicked into full gear. I have barely left my apartment this weekend, as a result.

    Beautiful selection of picture discs. The WASP single isn’t quite the image I expected, but it fits!

  9. Link to partial reconstruction of Jerry Lewis’ never-released “The Day the Clown Cried” (1972) about 28 minutes of it in German with English subtitles


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