If you think vinyl fans are smug, imagine the grin on one who’s just nabbed a limited-edition record with a one-off sleeve drawn by Yoko Ono, Martin Parr or Sir Peter Blake? That super-jammy individual could soon be you, thanks to Secret 7″. All you need is £50 and a keen eye.
Here’s the deal. Seven songs from seven influential artists (The Rolling Stones, The Chemical Brothers and The Supremes are on this year’s list) are pressed on to 100 records. Then, 700 creative types ñ including the names above plus Bob & Roberta Smith, David Shrigley and many more – design one sleeve for each disc.
On Friday, the artworks go on display at Somerset House until May 3. The following day, all sleeves go on sale at £50 each, with profits going to the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity. The ‘secret’ bit: buyers won’t know who designed their sleeve, or which of the seven songs their record features until they’ve parted with their cash.
Even if you’re not planning on spending, there’s other fun to be had in a makeshift recording booth.
Pre-book a slot and you’ll have 15 minutes to record your very own 7″ single, which gets pressed to vinyl there and then. There are instruments to play, or you could channel your inner Ginsberg, or just mumble a soppy message to your beloved. The booth will be open for four days during the exhibition (April 11, 12, 18 and 19) and a few bands will even be dropping by, but in true secret style we can’t say who.
The exhibition is free, but if you want to buy a record, get there early on May 4. Last year, crowds camped outside for 36 hours before the sale started.
By Tristan Parker