Sticky Fingers: To Zip Or Not To Zip

Pop & Rock, Seventies

In the second week of June The Rolling Stones are going to officially rerelease their 1971 classic album Sticky Fingers, and all the songs will be played live during the Zip Code Tour in the US starting May 24. The album will be released in a wide variety of formats, and of course only the most expensive deluxe packages – with the original album, alternative versions of each track and a 1971 live gig in Leeds – will have a real zipper cover. Well, I’m a Warhol collector, not a Stones collector so luckily I do not feel obsessively obliged to buy all of these new editions. Although I’m very curious of course how they’ll all look like. With or without a working zipper.

In the meantime, to honor the new release, let’s have a look at some different  covers from the past that did NOT have a real working zipper, but rather a picture with a zipper, or other creative solutions. You’d think they would all make use of the same photo, worldwide, but that was clearly not the case. My favourite is a release from Greece which has the original Warhol picture, unmodified, with no zipper at all, not a real one, nor a printed one. It might even have been a pair of jeans with buttons, who knows. Pictures of this original session can be seen in the Warhol Live catalogue.

Greek release with no zipper at all: not a real one, not a printed one.
Pictures of the original photo session for Sticky Fingers, in exhibition catalogue ‘Warhol Live’,  Montreal, 2008 by Stephane Aquin,‎ Emma Lavigne and Matt Wrbican.

I guess most other versions are pictures taken of real zipper covers. I don’t really know what were the “Photoshop” possibilities in that era. Here are some different printed zipper photo covers.


Mexican LP release of Sticky Fingers.


This cover from Australia has a die cut cover, you can open the fly and see the underwear picture, but there is no real zipper, it is a picture of a zipper.

New Zealand

The only genuine gatefold of Sticky Fingers, was released in New Zealand in 1973. It had a laminated cover with printed zipper and a flipback with the underwear picture inside (see below).
Unfortunately, for a real gatefold, the printing quality of the underwear picture was very bad.


In Taiwan the LP was named Brown Sugar, and had a funnily drawn zipper.


The MFSL release (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab) had a non-working golden zipper in “bas-relief” pasted on the cover.

CD release from the 80ies

sticky-fingers-10-cd booklet

Well this is what I have in my collection, but of course there are a lot more versions out there!

7 thoughts on “Sticky Fingers: To Zip Or Not To Zip”

  1. CherieWarhol says:

    I just bumped into your blog from finding the recordart blog. Glad to be able to follow it starting from the ground floor. It’s Wonderful!

    I had no idea there was ever a gatefold version of sticky fingers. I actually just inquired in a post on the recordart blog about one of my copies of sticky fingers. My boyfriend found a really beat up jacket in his uncles collection. When he pulled out the record it was signed by Andy in red marker. We have no idea if its a real signature and hopefully one day I’ll be able to have it authenticated. Even though the jacket is beat up it still has its zipper (it’s a canadian press, we live in Canada) and the nice thing is because who ever owned it before didn’t care is it has been opened gatefold so you can actual see the tighty Whities with the red andy warhol on the waist band.. Now the other cool thing about it besides the possible sig is that there is a scotland yard rubber stamp, stamped on its label in red. Have you ever come across a stamp like that or even a signed record? We did contact Scotland Yard and they were no help at all!

    Once again, great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cherie,
      Thanks for reading my blog, and I’m glad you like it. Very interesting copy of Sticky Fingers your boyfriend has found. Fingers crossed for the signature to be real. Do you happen to have a picture? Best, Guy


      • CherieWarhol says:

        I sure do! Send me an email because I have no idea how to attach a picture here! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert says:


    I have a Canadian copy of this LP that is a gatefold; while the cover seems to be printed in the USA it has the remnants of a sticker showing it’s Canadian. Any info on that? Thanks


  3. Pingback: Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021 | Album Cover Hall of

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