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    

Treniers Those Crazy 45 Ep Epic 50s Latin R&b Vg++ Nice! 7" Pic SleeveElvis Presley His Hand In Mine Rca 74-0130 Orange Label 45 & Picture Sleeve RareBeatles Orig. Rare 1964 U.s. Vee Jay ' Christmas ' Picture Sleeve Nm-!Bruce Springsteen - Rare South African Picture Sleeve Ep, Taken From Lp: "live"Ex+/ex+ Damon -don't You Feel Me/poor Poor Genie Ankh Records Holy Grail 45 W/psKiss * I.w.m.f.l.y. * Rare Limited 1979 Belgian Only Ps * Export 45 *Youth Gone Mad~oki Dogs Ep~mega Rare 1982 Orig W/picture Sleeve 45 Kbd Listen!Vintage Beatles 45 Rpm Record With Picture Sleeve I Am The WalrusBeatles Vintage Unissued U.s. ' Girl ' Picture Sleeve! Near Mint Oss!Beatles 1985 Unissued ' Leave My Kitten Alone ' Picture Sleeve! U.s. Near Mint!The Rolling Stones I Wanna Be Your Man Danish 45ps 1963Led Zeppelin Iv 4 Jukebox Compact 33 Ep Llp Record Ps Sleeve W/title Strip Lot!Elvis Presley He Touched Me Bosom Of Abraham Rca 45 Picture Sleeve Orange LabelThe Beatles-rock & Roll Music B/w I'm A Loser Odeon Record & Picture SleeveLot Of 5 Vintage Elvis Presley 45 Rpm Records Picture Sleeve Rca VictorRockabilly Surf Instro W/ Picture Sleeve- Lefty & The Rangers -hear- RangerThe Beatles-hey Jude B/w Revolution Odeon Record & Picture SleeveLot Of 15 Madonna 7" 45s Picture Sleeve Color Vinyl Poster Sleeve Ep Vg+ BerlinRolling Stones "jumpin' Jack Flash" 1968 Us 45rpm 7" Rock Picture Sleeve SingleElectric Light Orchestra So Serious Pic Sleeve Only No Record 45 7" Nirvana,nevermind,rare Blue Vinyl L.p/album,12" Disc,picture Sleeve,cobain.1969 Beatles Ballad Of John And Yoko Apple Picture Sleeve {very Strong Vg+}1978 The Cure Single - Killing An Arab - Picture Sleeve50 Lot 7" Vinyl 80's Promo Post Punk New Wave Goth Dance Picture Sleeve JukeboxPopcorn- Elvis Presley- "the Walls Have Ears"- Rca 1370 (italy) W/pic SleeveRare Punk Picture Sleeve & Promo 45 Dead Boys Sire 1004 Sonic ReducerBeatles Hello Goodbye 45 + Picture SleeveRare Rolling Stones German 45 W Pic Sleeve Decca Dl 25 133 1964Beatles Promo 45 Fab Four On Film / Movie Medley W/ Picture Sleeve Nm CapitolBeatles Picture Sleeve & 45 Ps (capitol 5112) I Want To Hold Your Hand ~ John LeRare Punk Power Pop Picture Sleeve Rabies Presidential 5205 My Girl's A HologramVintage Beatles 45 Rpm Picture Sleeve Only Lot Of 10 Capital Records CleanThe Rolling Stones Not Fade Away Danish 45ps 1964 Men Shirt Sun River Medium Long Sleeve Crew Neck Beige Country Farm Theme Pic.Picture Sleeve Promo Ep Orange Black Vinyl The Beatles Pro 1108 From Me To YouDr Feelgood As Long As The Price Is Right Ps 45 1978Cassius Clay 45, Picture Sleeve, Stand By Me/i Am The Greatest, Muhammed AliThe Kinks 7'' Ep Picture Sleeve Issued In France In Vg/vg Con Les Coquettes Le Petit Sauvage Apex Ps Rock Québec FemaleAlice Cooper / Under My Wheels / Japan 7" Ps 45Abba - The Name Of The Game/i Wonder - Mexican Picture Sleeve Ps 7" SingleCheech & Chong Autographs Signed 45 Rpm Basketball Jones Picture Sleeve Record60s Teen Pop Tv Soundtrack Philips Jacky White Horses Picture SleevePrince -`20ten`,10 Trk Promo,card Pic Sleeve,vgc+(light Marks/plays Perfectly)Michael Jackson Thriller Aus Only 1983 Ps Es 923 7" 45rpm ExPink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall 45 Original W/picture Sleeve Nm- Beauty!!The Beatles 1963 Uk Parlophone 1st Press Twist And Shout Ep With Picture Sleeve1977 ~ Patti Smith Group ~ Ask The Angels ~ 45 ~ Picture Sleeve ~ Punk ~ FrenchBeatles Do You Want To Know A Secret/thank You Girl(picture Sleeve)orig.1964 Vj Steely Dan Pretzel Logic Quadraphonic Jukebox Compact 33 Ep Ps & Title Strip!The Beatles - Back In The U.s.s.r - Reissued Uk Emi 7" R6016 Factory Sample PsConnie Francis - Where The Boys Are (dutch 7"ps) Cool Dutch Liner Notes BacksideAbba Japan Only Coca Cola Picture Disk Japan 45 Ps The Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand 45 7" Ex- Us Capitol W/ps Picture SleeveElvis Presley Good Rockin Tonight 45 7" Nm Near Mint Us W/ps Picture Sleeve60s Pop Soul Tamla Motown D.ross & Supremes No Matter What Sign Picture SleeveThe Rolling Stones It's All Over Now Danish 45ps 1964 Orange SleeveThe Beatles-michelle B/w Girl. Odeon Germany Record & Picture SleeveBlur There's No Other Way Rare Ex 1991 A-1u B-1u 1st Uk Food 29 Picture SleeveDemo.single.y&t.1983.mean Streak.heavy Metal.a&m.rock.promo.picture Sleeve