Picture discs bring together two of a record collector’s favorite things—12-inch vinyl and gorgeous album art. As such, picture discs would appear to be the perfect marriage of sound and vision. Who wouldn’t want a disc featuring the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles or “Thriller” by Michael Jackson on it’s grooved surface?

The answer is an audiophile, a breed of collector that tends to be very unforgiving of anything that compromises a record’s sound quality, even slightly. Picture discs made during the last several decades sound radically better than their predecessors from the 1920s and ’30s, when the eye-catching format was first introduced. But contemporary picture discs still feature a thin layer of clear PVC between the phonograph needle and the artwork on the disc. This protects the picture but degrades the audio compared to traditional black or solid-colored vinyl discs.

One of the first series of picture discs to make a name for themselves among listeners were the Vogue picture discs from the late 1940s. Manufactured by Sav-Way Industries in Detroit, the catalog of 74, 10-inch, 78 rpm discs produced between the spring of 1946 and ’47 had aluminum cores, with “vinylite” on the surface. Discs sold for as little as 50 cents, and artists included Art Mooney and his Orchestra (“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”), The Charlie Shavers Quintet (“Serenade to a Pair of Nylons”), and Judy Garland (“Trolley Song”).

Some of the images on Vogue discs appear downright creepy to 21st-century eyes. For example, “I Surrender Dear” by The King’s Jesters and Louise depicts a woman on her knees, wearing a low-cut strapless dress and heels, as she presents a plate of food to a man, whose stern film-noir profile fills the rest of the disc. But most were just fun—“Rhumba Lesson No. 1” by Paul Shahin was one of several discs that came with dance steps.

Production of picture discs and colored vinyl continued throughout the 1950s and ’60s, but picture discs enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s when record companies realized the promotional potential of picture discs to grab the attention of DJs and fans alike. In some cases the runs were extremely small—only 100 copies of Toto’s 1979 release, “Hydra,” were pressed, making it a rare catch for a picture-disc collector. “Sgt. Pepper’s,” on the other hand enjoyed a pressing of 150,000 copies—Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and Boston’s “Boston” were also produced in relatively large numbers.

Other picture discs from the 1980s, ’90s, and beyond include “Let's Dance” by David Bowie, the “Baby Snakes” soundtrack by Frank Zappa, “Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and “Feel Good Inc” by Gorillaz, which was released in 2005 as a 7-inch picture disc.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Uncut Picture Disc! Iron Maiden The Clairvoyant / The Prisoner Emp 79Iron Maiden Rock In Rio Triple Vinyl Picture Disc, Still Sealed.The Sundays Reading Writing Arithmetic Rough Trade 148p Rare Picture Disc IndieRare Uncut Picture Disc! Megadeth Anarchy In The Uk Og Uk 1988 Capitol RecordsRare Unnumbered Picture Disc Metallica Whiplash Megaforce Records 12" Mrs-04Iron Maiden *holy Smoke* Very Rare 1990 Picture Disc 12 Inch + Insert!!Iron Maiden *aces High* Very Rare 1984 Picture Disc 12 Inch!!Madonna - No Fear Picture Disc Vinyl Lp + Poster + Fold Out Sleeve Limited NewIron Maiden *a Real Live One* Very Rare 2001 Promo Picture Disc Lp!!Nirvana "in Bloom" 12" Single Picture Disc. Excellent + Condition.Pearl Jam *jeremy* Very Rare 1992 Picture Disc 12 Inch + Insert!!Slayer Reign In Blood 1988 Picture DiscGuns N' Roses - Nightrain - Shaped Picture Disc - 1989Nirvana "lithium" 12" Single Picture Disc. Excellent + Condition.Ac/dc - Money Talks - 12" 1990 - Picture DiscAudioslave Chris Cornell Be Yourself Limited Edition 7" Picture Disc VinylMadonna - No Fear Picture Disc Vinyl 12" / Lp + Poster Unique Fold Out P/s NewSlayer Live Undead 1985 Picture Disc, Sealed Unopened Iron Maiden, Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter 12" Picture Disc, ExcellentThe Black Crowes - Hard The Handle - 12" Ps 1990 - Picture DiscAlice Cooper - Hey Stupid - 12" 1993 - Picture Disc - Signed In CentreGuns N' Roses Picture Disc 12" Welcome To The Jungle7".picture Disc.rock.anthrax.1986.indians.hard.island Records.thrash.Rare-metallica-juke Box Series-7"-hero Of The Day+picture Disc-194/250-recordsBruce Springsteen Rare Uk Shaped 7" Picture Disc 1984 Dancing In The Dark Ex+++ Hard Rock Metal Job Lot Of 8 X 7" Picture Discs Gary Moore Rage Motorhead Status Quo Uk 7" Picture Disc. Marguerita Time. Quop 14. 1983Madonna Uk 7'' Picture Disc Fever In Vg+/vg+ ConUnkle - Never, Never, Land - Rare 3 X Picture Disc Lp - Near Mint - Mwu001lpxKate Bush Uk 7'' Picture Disc King Of The Mountain In Ex ConSoundgarden - Jesus Christ Pose - 7" Picture Disc - Mint ConditionFather's Day Gift David Bowie - Sorrow / Amsterdam 7" Picture Disc. Rare.Joe 90 Captain Scarlet Vinyl Record 7" Square Picture Disc Barry Gray OrchestraFleetwood Mac Picture Disc. Oh Diane, Rhiannon, The ChainSoundgarden ‎– Echo Of Miles 6 Lp Box Picture Disc Limited EditionKiss Creatures Of The Night Sealed Picture Disc Vinyl 1982David Bowie Fashions Original Set Of 10 7" Vinyl Picture Disc Records Rca 1982Vinyl Lp's Records X 39+1 Interview Picture Disc Joblot Collection The Cure Greatest Hits Picture Disc Rsd 2017 Record Store Day Excusive VinylDissection Storm Of The Light's Bane Picture Disc Lp Watain Emperor Mayhem DeathPink Floyd - London 1966 1967 Picture Disc Vinyl Lp Rsd 2017 New 66 67 Vg+ Soundgarden Outshined 45 7" Picture Disc Rare Original 1992 Uk A&m Press! Nirvana Nevermind Picture Disc Vinyl 12 " SizeVangelis Blade Runner Original Soundtrack Picture Disc Rsd 2017 Last OneJoe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien - Rare Picture Disc Vinyl Lp Album 1987David Bowie Knock On Wood Live 40th Anniversary 7" Picture Disc & Replica TicketSlayer - Seasons In The Abyss 7" Shaped Picture Disc Vinyl Limited Edition 1991Def Leppard Hysteria Lp, Vinyl Picture Disc Limited EditionToto ‎– Africa / Rosanna Limited Edition Picture Disc Rsd New Free ShippingKing Diamond ‎ Conspiracy Picture Disc 1989 Rr 9439 ExBob Dylan Rare Picture Disc Album, From Times Sessions, UnplayedWonder Woman Lynda Carter Limited Picture Disc 1000 Pressed La-la Land 2016Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast - Vinyl 12" Limited Picture Disc Uk 2005Def Leppard Hysteria Lp, Vinyl Picture Disc Limited EditionPink Floyd London 1966 -1967 Rsd 2017 Picture Disc Vinyl Noreserve FreeshippingLearn To Dance The Rhumba Vogue Picture Disc Set Beginners Entombed ‎– Twilight Of The Gods ..picture Disc.org,1991..very Rare!!Planet B Invisibl Skratch Piklz 7 Inch Picture Disc Qbert D-styles Shortkut RarePink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon Lp Picture Disc Seax-11902 1978 Capitol RecordVogue Picture Record R711/713