A banana, a Cover Art and Andy Warhol

Throughout contemporary music history, there have been numerous album cover arts that stood out for their originality or enigmatic nature. And as we mention on our presentation page, music and graphic design conform to a powerful and magical symbiosis. That’s the case of the cover art designed by the artist Andy Warhol for the album The Velvet Underground & Nico, one of the most recognizable and iconic of all time. So, to make sense of the title of our site, we are going to briefly explain the story of a cover that became way more popular than the songs on the album.

Andy Warhol, the artist in charge of the design, originally intended to invite people to peel the skin of the banana, to reveal underneath a flesh-coloured banana. This provocative idea made the cover to be later considered one of Warhol’s most popular works and one of the most remarkable cover arts in history.

Despite the originality of the peel-sticker feature, the concept caused the delay of the album release and a considerable increase in the costs, that’s why the discography would later leave the original idea and keep the yellow banana. In fact, albums that include the peel-sticker feature are now very rare to find.

Ironically, the label initially considered Warhol’s involvement as a potential asset to reach success. For that reason, they happily paid the extra costs, believing that this would boost the album sales.

Moreover, the album didn’t get the results the band expected. In that sense, the poor sales performance led to tensions between the members of The Velvet Underground, and also damaged the relationship between Lou Reed (singer of the band) and Andy Warhol.

However, the cover art would gain greater recognition over the years, which is still considered symbiotic with the band to this day.