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    

Avatar - Pre Savatage - Florida Heavy Metal Hard Rock Private Press 45 & Ps HearRicochet - Midas Light '80 Rare Uk Nwobhm Private Metal 7” Original Ps @ Hear @Beatles Original 1964 Tollie Records ' Love Me Do ' U.s. Picture Sleeve Nm-Iron Maiden Russian Guns 7 Ep Clear Vinyl 50 45 Rare Disc Picture Sleeve MetalThe Cure,killing An Arab,rare Uk 1st Press Small Wonder,a1 B1,paper Labels,psBeatles Orig. 1964 U.s. ' I Want To Hold Your Hand ' East Coast Picture SleeveBeatles Orig. 1964 Vj ' Do You Want To Know A Secret ' Picture Sleeve! Thumb TabRarest Format, Freddie Houston, Soft Walking, Rare Demo In Picture Sleeve, Mint-Beatles Colored Vinyl 4 Double Lp Clearance Lot Red, Blue, White + Ps Single NrAvatar - Pre Savatage - Florida Heavy Metal Hard Rock 45 & Picture Sleeve - HearBeatles Orig. 1967 ' Hello Goodbye ' Picture Sleeve In Nice Shape!The Beatles Love Me Do B/w P.s. I Love You Rare Tollie Picture Sleeve & RecordBruce Springsteen Fire / Paradise By The Sea 7" Red Vinyl Picture Sleeve RareLed Zeppelin 45 / Ps "stairway To Heaven" M- Rare PromoThai Ep 7" 45 Pink Floyd Money Led Zeppelin Over The Hills Very Rare Rock PsSi The Who The Kids Are Alright The Ox Decca White Label German PsBruce Springsteen She's The One / Thunder Road 7" Red Vinyl Picture Sleeve RareQueen Bicycle Race Very Rare Hungarian Original 7"ps With Picture SleeveThe Kinks Kwyet Kinks Ep 1965 Uk Pye Records Picture Sleeve Beatles Orig. 1992 U.s. " Love Me Do " Promotional Only 45 And Picture Sleeve!Queen Killer Queen French 7"ps Import Pressing, Diff Sleeve Near MintDavid Bowie Low Uk Lp + Insert + Rear Stickered Pic Sleeve Record Vinyl Pl12030Dead Kennedys - California Uber Alles - '79 Orig Punk 7" / 45rpm Ps - 1st Press!Madonna Borderline 7" Shaped Picture Disc 1986 Stickered SleeveThe Kinks Kinksize Session Ep 1964 Uk Pye Records Picture Sleeve Beatles Orig. 1967 U.s. ' All You Need Is Love ' Picture Sleeve Near Mint! WcElvis Presley 45 Ep Todays Hits Volume Ii From Belgium+ps On Rca Disel Very RareRolling Stones-not Fade Away Us Picture Sleeve London 45-9657 Ps 45Beatles I’ll Cry Instead /i’m Happy Just To Dance Rare Picture Sleeve & RecordThe Left Banke"walk Away Renee" Rare Philips Ps! Stickered Demo!The Beatles And I Love Her B/w If I Fell Rare Picture Sleeve & 7-inch RecordLot Of Fifty Pop 45s 50's & 60's Music Diane Ray Picture SleeveHep Stars "farmer John" Swedish 60's Beat Pre-abba W/ Mega Rare Dutch Ps! Hear!Beatles Original Capitol Records "can't Buy Me Love" 1964 Picture SleeveBeatles Orig 1964 ' She Loves You ' Picture Sleeve! Si Fleetwood Mac Shake Your Moneymaker My Heart Beat Blue Horizon Dutch PsThe Ventures S/t Ep Uk London Records Ep 1961 Picture Sleeve InstrumentalSi The Zombies She's Coming Home I Must Move Parrot Us Ps* The Beatles Picture Sleeve 45 "take Good Care Of My Baby" Demo Disc 1 SidedThe Beatles Long Tall Sally Ep 1964 Uk Parlophone Picture Sleeve B/y Labels* The Beatles Picture Sleeve 45 "girl" Capitol From Love Songs Clear Vinyl M-/exSonny And Cher Ceasar And Cleo Ep Uk Reprise Records 1965 Picture SleeveSi The Pretty Things Road Runner Big City Fontana Dutch PsBuddy Holly Showcase Volume 2 Uk Coral Records Ep 1964 Picture SleeveAlice Cooper Only Women / Devils Food 1975 German 7" In Picture Sleeve The Rolling Stones We Love You / Dandelion 45 Holland Decca 1967 Picture SleeveFreddie & The Dreamers If You Gotta Make A Fool Ep Uk Columbia 63 Picture Sleeve45 Rpm Vinyl Ps Buddy Holly Peggy Sue Got Married S4358 Coral Records 45sm2The Poni-tails - The Poni-tails Ep (*rare* Uk Picture Sleeve-1st Pressing)Si The Pretty Things Sittin All Alone Rainin In My Heart Fontana Negram Dutch PsBlack Sabbath Paranoid Japan Orig. 7" Ps PhilipsUk Destiny "demo" With Picture Sleeve-rita And Tiaras-gone With The Wind-exMichael Jackson - Maria / Got To Be There - 7" Ps - Portugal 1972Si The Pretty Things Cry To Me Get A Buzz Fontana Dutch PsThe Beatles The Beatles' Hits Ep 1963 Uk Parlophone Picture Sleeve B/y LabelsDoo Wop R&b The Medallions Rhythm And Blues Dootone Epd-202 Ps 45 Ep Hear Mp3Elvira - 2 Big Pumpkins - Purple Vinyl - Heat Sensitive PsQueen + Bowie Under Pressure Usa 1981 Orig 7"ps Usa Import/excellentQueen Bicycle Race German Original 7"ps Nice Condition. 1978Queen Another One Bites The Dust 7"ps Uk 1980 Excellent Condition