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    

Beatles Ultra Rare 1964 George Martin ' A Hard Day's Night ' Picture Sleeve!Madonna Lucky Star 7" Vinyl Single Sunglasses Pic Sleeve Rare Ex+ Vinyl Vg CoverThe Benders - Can't Tame Me / Got Me Down 45 & Picture Sleeve Rare Garage RockJetz -catch Me -rare Original Dutch Pic Sleeve Punk/powerpop 1977 -hear! Slaughter & The Dogs- Quick Joey Small Rare Belgium Picture Sleeve 1978 -hear!Jook-bish Bash Bosh/crazy Kids -german Pic Sleeve -bovver Glam 1974 -hear!David Bowie Diamond Dogs Rare Limited Edition Picture Disc Die-cut Sleeve Bopic5Rare The Who Picture Sleeve & 45 7" Young Man Blues Decca 32737 Promo 1970The Yardbirds - I Wish You Could Promo Super Rare Picture Sleeve 7" Vinyl Saints (i'm) Stranded - Rare Us Promo Pic Sleeve 1977 -hear! Ex/exPrince - Gotta Stop (messin' About) - Uk 7" In Pic Sleeve - Warner K 17819Sex Pistols - "pretty Vacant / Anarchy" Rare German Import Picture Sleeve MintClear Light Self-titled Psych With Group Pic Inner SleeveSuicide 7 Inch 45 Cheree_i Remember 1978 Red Star Uk Alan Vega Punk Ps Patsy Cline 1958 Coral Ep Picture Sleeve 45 Svg+/svg Honky Tonk Merry Go Round+3L@@k! Huge Lot Hundreds Of 45 Rpm Records/picture Sleeve/generic Beatles ElvisBeatles 1964 Vj 587 ' Know A Secret ' Picture Sleeve & Oval Logo 45 Near Mint-The Beatles Love Me Do / Ps I Love You Tollie 9008 7" 45 Rpm Picture Sleeve OnlyThe Beatles. Picture Sleeve And 45 Record. All You Need Is LoveRare Eddie Cochran C'mon Everybody Picture Sleeve Mono Liberty Lep2111David Bowie 7"/45 Ps Ep '65 Parlophone Mannish Boys Demo Mono Mega Rare Nm Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run - Rare Dutch Picture Sleeve Single - MintBeatles "do You Want To Know A Secret~thank You Girl" Pic Sleeve Only Ps VeejayCramps 7 Inch 45 Garbageman_drug Train 1980 I.r.s. Ps Roach Motel 7 Inch 45 Ep Roach And Roll 1982 Destroy Florida Punk Insert PsJan & Dean Gee 45 With Picture Sleeve-doreThe Clash~'complete Control'~spanish Green Vinyl 7" Re-press (300 Only)~great PsDepeche Mode Strangelove Japan Pressing 7" 45 Mute Ali-756 1987 Nm Rare PsWire Map Ref. 41.n 93.w Nice Audio!! Pic Sleeve Original Uk 7" 1979Beatles - "and I Love Her" - Picture Sleeve & 45 - Stunning!Teenage Jesus And The Jerks Lydia Lunch 7 Inch 45 Orphans_less Of Me 1978 Ps 45 Rpm Record Picture Sleeve Only Beatles Ballad Of John And Yoko-john LennonJohnny Hallyday A Toda Velocidad Mexican 7 Inch Ep PsRichard Hell Voidoids 7 Inch 45 Blank Generation_love Comes In Spurts 1977 Ps Rare Sheriff John Fun Brigade L.a. Kids Show Tv Host-safety Song 78 W/pic SleeveSick Pleasure 7 Inch 45 Ep Speed Rules 1983 Subterranean Rare Punk Insert Ps Jan & Dean We Go Together 45 With Picture Sleeve-doreThe Rolling Stones 7" Winning Ugly B/w Back To Zero. Canada Ic4-7186 Ps 1986The Ramones Swallow My Pride / Pinhead Orig Uk Sire Vinyl Pic Sleeve 45 PunkThe Rolling Stones Under My Thumb Japan 45 Ps The Zombies-tell Her No-45 & Picture Sleeve/british Invasion/orig Parrot Lb/nice(#e23) Elvis Presley 45 Rpm Record W/picture Sleeve - Rca Pb-10191Beatles Orig. Rare 1967 U.s. ' Hello Goodbye ' Picture Sleeve Near Mint- Ec Vers1 Cent Lp: The Rolling Stones - Out Of Our Heads (london Vinyl, Ps429) 1st PressThe La's There She Goes Ps 45 1990Led Zeppelin Living Loving Maid Japan 45 Ps MonoAlternative Tv 7 Inch 45 Action Time Vision_another Coke 1978 Deptford Fun Ps Seventh Son Factory Girls 1991 7" Single Pic Sleeve Nwobhm Heavy MetalLeft Hand Drive Who Said Rock & Roll Is Dead 1978 Vinyl Picture Sleeve 45 Punk Wire Dot Dash Nice Audio!! Pic Sleeve Original Uk 7" 1978Inxs- Aussie Deluxe 45 With Ps "just Keep Walking" 1980 Ex+Sex Pistols = Holidays In The Sun Rare Vinyl 7inch Picture Sleeve Edition Stone Roses What The World Is Waiting For Ps 45 1989 With StickerDepeche Mode Enjoy The Silence Ps 45 1990Rockabilly - Pat Larocca With The Bellatones "rowena" Wl Promo W Pic SleeveRolling Stones The Last Time Rare Italy 1965 1st Press Decca Label 7" Single Ps45 Record Ps Dennis Puckett: Bye Bye Blues, Rockin' Teens, Rock-a-billyBarbra Streisand,if I Close My Eyes, White Label Promo 45 Rpm+ Picture SleeveDeniz Tek (radio Birdman)~'crossroads' + 'oh Well'~ltd.purple Vinyl 7"~ps~mintThe Rolling Stones As Tears Go By Japan 45 Ps