Banana Cover Album Explained
The Velvet Underground & Nico is a famous band with a more famous banana cover album. It started with Paul Morrissey telling Warhol how much money managing rock and roll groups make. Andy Warhol wasn’t a fan of the idea. But he was highly excited after he watched The Velvet Underground perform live. Warhol then approached the lead singer of this band, Lou Reed. Warhol told him they did the same thing with their music as he did with his art. He asked if they wanted to work together. So, the band agreed. The Velvet Underground created soundtracks for Warhol’s movies and filmed in jam sessions at his studio. Andy Warhol subsequently also had them perform at his “Exploding Plastic Inevitable” multimedia event tour. The band did exceptionally well when Warhol managed them. During this time, they collaborated with the banana cover album for The Velvet Underground & Nico album.
Credit For The Banana Cover Of The Album
Andy Warhol was in charge of art direction when he designed the cover for the band’s first album. He produced their first album through financing. He also added Nico to the band because he contributed significantly to The Velvet Underground’s appeal. But Warhol encouraged Lou Reed to continue writing the way he wanted to. He continued to believe in Reed’s abilities as a songwriter and musician. As a result, the album the band completed the album in days. This is when the controversy starts. While many see the cover as the Warhol Banana, it wasn’t his design alone. Andy Warhol had a team behind him. A person named Acy R. Lehman designed the expensive and unusual gatefold cover. Warhol then signed the final design and sent it off. Initially, the album came with a banana sticker on the album cover. You can peel off the banana sticker to reveal a vibrant pink fruit. It was a phallic symbol. This sexually explicit image was perfect to preview the provocatively depicted content of the avant-garde band’s new album. This music album discusses things like sadomasochism, prostitution, sexual promiscuity, and drug abuse.
Controversy Following the Album
The group’s album did not have many fans or people listening to it at its release. It took five years for the band to sell 30,000 albums. The album cover banana received worldwide recognition eventually, but the record label had to recall the album at one point. There was a problem with something on the back of their album. The album showed a picture of actor Eric Emerson upside-down behind the band. Emerson didn’t get paid for using his image. He was furious, so he told them he would sue them if they didn’t give him money. Emerson got into trouble with drugs and needed to make some money fast. It was a desperate move. So, MGM removed his image. Velvet Underground also sued The Andy Warhol Foundation for using the image on phone and iPad cases. The court said both could use the picture. That was the end of the story. The cover remains one of the most popular covers of all time.
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