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    

Bad Brains - Pay To Cum 7'' First Press Brown And Tan Lable With Picture SleeveMadonna, Into The Groove, Shaped Picture Disc, In Original Two Sticker SleeveMadonna, Flash Of Light,rare Blue Vinyl L.p,poster Sleeve.not Picture Disc.rebelElvis Presley Living Stereo Single Of "stuck On You" With Picture SleeveElvis Presley Hound Dog Gold Standard Series Rca 447-0608 W/ Rare Ps 45Rare Casino Classic, H.b. Barnum, It Hurts Too Much To Cry. Rca, Pic Sleeve, M-5x Elvis Presley 45 Roustabout White Label Promo Crying In Chapel Ps +more Nm NrElvis Presley "hound Dog" Gold Standard 45 With Rare Picture SleeveElvis Presley Ep Good Rockin' Tonight On His Masters Voice Picture Sleeve VgClash White Riot Australian 1977 Cbs Unique Diff Ps 45 Fantastic Condition PunkJerry Lee Lewis "crazy Arms" Extended Play 1958 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Elvis Presley "all Shook Up Gold Standard Single With Rare Picture SleeveClash White Riot Yugoslavian 1977 Cbs/suzy Diff Ps 45 Stunning Condition PunkElvis Presley "joshua Fit The Battle" Gold Standard Single With Picture SleeveIron Maiden Twilight Zone Wrathchild Clear Vinyl 7inch Picture SleeveElvis Presley Ep On Hmv Love Me Tender Picture SleeveBlack Sabbath "it's Alright/rock 'n' Roll Doctor" - Dutch 1976 45/7"/ps!Jerry Lee Lewis "the Great Ball Of Fire" Extended Play 1957 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Elvis Presley "shake, Rattle And Roll" 1956 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Damned Love Song Uk Chiswick A-label Promotion Copy Ps 45 1979 PunkClash Clampdown Mega Rare Unique Australian Only Cbs 1979 Ps 45 PunkCure- Killing An Arab/ 10.15 Saturday Night Rare Small Wonder Ps 45 (unplayed)Pet Shop Boys - Suburbia / Paninaro - South African 7" Picture Sleeve AfricaThe Miracles I Like It Like That - You're So Fine Tamla 1964 Ps 45 7" Hear ♫♫The Standells Riot On Sunset Strip 45 Tower Garage/psych Nm- W/picture Sleeve!!Jerry Lee Lewis "high School Confidential" Extended Play 1958 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding / Pity The Poor +2 7” 45 Ep Portugal Unique Ps CbsDavid Bowie Sorrow / Amsterdam 7” 45 Portugal Unique Ps 1974 Rca ExThe Undertones Teenage Kicks Holland Edition Unique Ps 45 PunkDamned Smash It Up Original Chiswick A-label Promo Copy Ps 45 1979 PunkThe Jam Thats Entertainment Spain 1980 Cool Sound Affects Cover Ps 45 PunkUnplayed 1s / 1s Promo Elvis Presley "milky White Way" 447-0652 45 & Ps The Vagrants I Can't Make A Friend 45 Vanguard Garage/psych Nm W/picture Sleeve!Rare!! Rolling Stones Dandelion / We Love You Picture Sleeve London 45-905 UsaElvis Presley "milky White Way" Gold Standard Single With Picture SleeveElvis Presley "love Me Tender/any Way You Want Me" 1956 Us 45/7"/ps!Elvis Presley "love Me Tender/any Way You Want Me" 1956 Us 45/7"/ps! Mint Disc Elvis Presley "my Boy" Pb-10191 45 & Ultra-rare Picture SleeveThe Ronettes Is This What I Get For Loving You? Oh, I Love You Ps 45 7" Hear ♫♫Jerry Lee Lewis "don't Be Cruel" Extended Play 1958 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Alice Cooper "billion Dollar Babies/halo Of Flies" 1973 German 45/7"/ps!Elvis Presley "playing For Keeps/too Much" 1957 Us 45/7"/ps!Ac Dc 7" Back In Black / What Do You Do For Money Honey Ps Portugal AtlanticThe Beatles "twist & Shout" 1964 High Grade Rocker 45 With Picture Sleeve The Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand 45 Orig Capitol W/picture Sleeve Sharp!!The Creation 1967 German Ps *tom Tom* Hit-ton ModBlack Sabbath Bloody Sabbath / Changes 7” 45 Portugal Unique Ps Vertigo Jerry Lee Lewis "great Balls Of Fire/you Win Again" 1957 Us 45/7"/ps!Everly Brothers "wake Up Little Susie/maybe Tomorrow" 1957 Us 45/7"/ps!Queen-don't Stop Me Now-emi-***rare Demo-with Picture Sleeve***-***nice Copy***Buddy Holly / Crickets - Not Fade Away - Blue Vinyl - W/psBeatles Twist And Shout Ep Gep 8882 Ps First PressingThe Heartbreakers Chinese Rocks 1977 Italy Track Ps 45 PunkRonnie Hawkins "mary Lou" 1959 High Grade Rockabilly 45 On Roulette With Ps NmElvis Presley "jailhouse Rock" 1957 Us 45/7"/ep/ps!Elvis Presley "all Shook Up/that's When Your Heartaches Begin" 1957 Us 45/7"/ps!45 Rpm - The Beatles - Lady Madonna - With Picture SleeveClash Complete Control Original Yugoslavian Promo Ps 45 1977 PunkSmall Faces 1967 Dutch Ps *itchycoo Park* StatesideThe Jam Town Called Malice Spanish Edition Different Ps 45 Punk