Picture sleeves, also known as picture covers or picture bags, are the printed paper sleeves that protected 45 RPM singles. While the use of picture sleeves, as opposed to plain sleeves or ones bearing the logos of record labels, was widespread in the United States and France during the 1950s and beyond, this colorful packaging did not gain popularity in the U.K. until the 1970s. Thus, sleeved copies of Beatles and Rolling Stones 45s from the 1960s were those pressed for the U.S. market.

The biggest American act of the 1950s was Elvis Presley, whose original five 45s and 78s for Sun Records in 1954 and ’55 were protected by “Sunburst” sleeves. Reissues of those records for RCA, as well as new recordings, featured photographs of the young singing star.

Other classic picture sleeves from the 1950s includes those printed for 45s by Ricky Nelson, as he was known in 1957, when his single for Imperial, “Stood Up,” featured a dreamy, teen-heartthrob portrait on its cover. That same year, an equally handsome Johnny Mathis released “Chances Are” on Columbia.

The Beatles landed in the United States in February of 1964, but their sleeved 45s preceded them. The earliest examples are “She Loves You” on the Swan label and “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” backed by “I Saw Her Standing There,” for Capitol. The Rolling Stones responded with a blues rocker popularized by Bo Diddley called “Not Fade Away” on London Records, but their big U.S. hit would not come until 1965 with the release of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Home-grown bands had their hits and classic, vintage, picture sleeves, too. In 1964, the Beach Boys released “Fun, Fun, Fun” for Capitol, followed in 1965 by “California Girls” and then “Good Vibrations” in 1966. The Supremes had a string of chart-toppers for Motown Records during those same years, many of which featured the same trio of portraits of Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Mary Wilson on their picture sleeves. An especially rare picture sleeve from 1967 is the one for “Break On Through” by the Doors.

Other musicians whose pictures sleeves have visual appeal, if not extraordinary value, are those for country stars Merle Haggard, whose “Sing Me Back Home” features a shot of the singer/songwriter looking over his shoulder. As for Johnny Cash, the black-and-white photograph from 1968 of him leaning against the wall of Folsom Prison is a classic.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

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]

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]

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    

The Seven Souls I Still Love You Northern Soul 45 Italy Pic Sleeve Cbs HearPazazz So Hard To Find Funk Soul Boogie 45 Pic Sleeve In Roads M- Hear45 Rpm Marvin Gaye Tamla This Loved Starved Heart Ps MotownBeatles Very Rare John Lennon 1970 ' Mother ' Picture Sleeve Near Mint!Beatles Orig. Rare 1964 U.s. ' I'll Cry Instead ' Picture Sleeve Minty!Beatles Orig. Rare 1966 U.s. ' Lady Madonna ' Picture Sleeve Near Mint! W Flier!Beatles-original Picture Sleeve+45-please,please Me-vee Jay 581Iron Maiden "idolos En Europa" Promo Peru Yellow Ps 7" #01212348Depeche Mode "people Are People" Unplayed Peru Grey Ps 7" #0144700084Beatles Orig. Rare 1966 U.s. ' Yellow Submarine ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Ec Vers.Beatles Orig. Rare 1970 U.s. ' Let It Be ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Ec Vers.The Beatles-nowhere Man E.p. In Picture SleeveBeatles Original 1964 Vj ' Christmas Picture Sleeve "! Issued With Vj/tollie 45sMadonna Lucky Star 7" Vinyl Single Sunglasses Pic Sleeve Rare Ex+ Vinyl Vg CoverBeatles 1977 Unissued " Girl / You're Going To Lose That Girl " Picture Sleeve MBeatles Beautiful 1964 Tollie " Love Me Do " Picture Sleeve & Matching 45!David Bowie Starman Bw Suffragette City Uk Rca 1970's Black Label Pic SleeveBeatles-original Picture Sleeve+ 45-ain't She Sweet-atco 6308Beatles Orig. Rare 1967 U.s. ' Hello Goodbye ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Ec Vers.Beatles Orig. Rare 1965 U.s. ' Yesterday ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Wc Vers.The Smiths,rare Purple Vinyl,u.k Self-titled Debut L.p,12" Disc,picture SleeveBeach Boys Brian Wilson Signed Vintage U.s. ' Good Vibrations ' Picture Sleeve!Beatles Orig. Rare 1966 U.s. ' Paperback Writer ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Wc Vers.Beatles-original Picture Sleeve+45-i'll Cry Instead-capitol 5234Frank Sinatra Promo Cal Neva Lodge Picture Sleeve 45 Rpm Ring-a-ding-ding 1960'sBeatles George Harrison 2001 " My Sweet Lord " Promotion Only Picture Sleeve!Northern Soul 45 Little Anthony Better Use Your Head Veep Pic Sleeve ListenMiracles Everybody’s Gotta Pay Some Dues Soul 45 Tamla Motown Pic Sleeve M- HearThrobbing Gristle Adrelanin 7" Single Pic Sleeve + Rare Camouflage Poly Bag Led Zeppelin Acoustically Australian Ep 7" Vinyl Single Picture Sleeve Vg/vg+Beatles Original Rare 1964 U.s. Atco Ain't She Sweet Picture Sleeve Near Mint!The Wonders 45 Rpm Pic Sleeve & Record From That Thing You Do Exc.!The Beatles Do Ypu Want Yo Know A Secret/ Thank You Girl Pic Sleeve And 45Ringo Starr - Beaucoups Of Blues - Apple 7" Vinyl 45 - Ps - 1970 - Beatles - Nm-David Bowie 45 Lot Of 25 Rare ( Very Good) 13 Picture Sleeves & 1 Poster SleeveThe Rolling Stones '66 "aftermath" London Records#ps-476 Stereo *shrink! *minty!Wow! True Near Mint Ps Included Elvis Presley "elvis Sails" Epa-4325 1s / 1sAbba Chile Single With Ps The Name Of The Game Ex Nm RecordMichael Jackson 5 Abc Mexican 45 Ep Unique Ps Mexico 1970The Seeds Can't Seem To Make You Mine 45 Ps Garage Psych The Rolling Stones 1968 "beggars Banquet" London #ps-539 Stereo *fantastic Rock!45 W/ps Elvis Presley Don't Be Cruel / Hound Dog "1956" #1 & #1The Beatles Love Me Do/ps I Love You 45Elvis Presley Good Rockin Tonight Rare 1965 Australian Only Portrait Pic SleeveThe Beatles Nowhere Man Stone Mint 45 & Nm Picture SleeveElvis Presley Surrender/lonely Man Rca Victor Italy 45n 1160 Pic Sleeve 1962Iron Maiden - The Trooper, 12" Vinyl Picture Disc In A Cardboard Sleeve - 2005The Rolling Stones '65 "december's Children" London #ps-451 Stereo *shrink! The Beatles Lot Of 6 45's 1 W/ Picture SleeveElvis Presley Baby Lets Play House Rare 1965 Australian Only Portrait Pic SleeveLibre Esprit Moteur Swiss 60s Freakbeat Psych Go Go Funky 45 Belgium Ps SulkeThe Seeds Satisfy You 45 Ps Garage Psych Abba Chile Rare Single With Ps Voulez Vous Mint UnplayedBlondie Sunday Girl 7" Very Rare Japanese Picture Sleeve Debbie HarryBeatles Original Authentic She Loves You/i'll Get You Picture Sleeve And Record.Elvis Presley-an American Trilogy-45 & Picture Sleeve/rare Pic Slv/orig Rca/nmThe Marvelettes You're My Remedy Northern Soul 45 Tamla Motown Pic Sleeve HearThe Undertones Teenage Kicks Pic Sleeve Single Ep + Fold Out Poster The Falcons Gimme Gimme Good Lovin Malaysia Freakbeat 1960's Ep Pic Sleeve RareElvis Presley Tickle Me Soundtrack Ep Picture Sleeve 7" 45 With 5 Songs E671