Class of 2012 – Nominees for Individual Achievement Awards in the field of Album Cover Art & Graphics
Included in this category are designers, illustrators, photographers and art directors who, while not working primarily in the music-packaging field, created a memorable album cover. In some cases, the nominee may have had his/her career cut short due to illness or death (a condition that seems to have plagued the burgeoning recorded music industry), while in other examples, an artist’s talents in one specialty were noted and they were then asked to apply those talents in some unique way to an album cover project. In more than one instance, the nominee was a friend/relative/business associate/guru of someone related to the featured musical act and, therefore, entrusted with this important responsibility.
Regardless of the circumstances, each nominee has left an indelible mark on the art of the album cover.
Joel Baldwin – photographer – Santana – Santana’s Greatest Hits
Carrying through key visual cues (a white dove contrasted against a black-skinned model) from the fantastic painted image used on Santana’s Abraxas album, photographer Joel Baldwin (working under the direction of Columbia Records AD John Berg) crafted a starkly-simple image for this Grammy-winning design.
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santana’s_Greatest_Hits
Eric Boman – design/photography – Roxy Music – Country Life
Roxy Music’s Brian Ferry had studied painting at Newcastle University under Richard Hamilton (the artist/gallerist that produced the cover image for the White Album for The Beatles) and worked with fashion photographer Eric Boman (well-known today as the principal photographer for famed shoe designer Manolo Blahnik) to produce the controversial cover image for the band’s 1974 record. The image features two of the band’s fans that Ferry met while on a trip to Portugal and, if you’ll recall, caused quite a stir when it was released, with many retailers refusing to stock the record in its original packaging…
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_Life_(album)
John Cleveland – artist – 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
Not much is known about the artist who created the cover for what is, in many circles, considered one of the first “psychedelic rock” albums, released by the Austin, TX-based band in late 1966. We know that he was a well-known psychedelic painter living in Austin and that he also designed the band’s other “all-seeing eye” and pyramid-based imagery (bass drum design, business cards, etc.).
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Psychedelic_Sounds_of_the_13th_Floor_Elevators
Lee Conklin – illustrator – Santana – Santana (AKA “the Lion Cover”)
The cover of Santana’s debut record was adapted (at Santana’s request) from a poster design Conklin had originally done for a concert performance at the legendary San Francisco venue Fillmore West (one of 31 designs he created for the venue during his tenure there in 1968-69. This iconic image was done in pen and ink, the artist’s method of choice at the time, as he felt that it would best allow him to include the minute details of his efforts to illustrate the mutating forms you might see during your experiments with the mind-altering substances popular at the time.
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santana_(1969_album)
Barry Godber – artist – cover painting – King Crimson – Court of the Crimson King
Barry Godber (1946–1970), an artist and computer programmer, painted the album cover. A co-worker of Peter Sinfield (King Crimson’s lyricist, lighting designer and art director) at English Electric/ICL Computers, Godber trained at the Chelsea Art School (U.K.) and was asked to contribute the cover image for the band’s debut album (released in October 1969 on Island Records). Soon after the record’s release (in February, 1970), Godber died of a heart attack. This work – with the Schizoid Man on the cover and the Crimson King (AKA – Beelzebub) on the inside – would then be his only album cover painting, and the original is owned by guitarist Robert Fripp, who remarked in a 1995 interview with French magazine Rock & Folk that the image reflected the music and, if you cover the smiling face, the eyes show an incredible sadness….
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Court_of_the_Crimson_King
Richard Hamilton – artist/art director – The Beatles – White Album
The only studio release by The Beatles not to show the band members on the cover, the White Album’s cover was created by U.K.-based artist/educator/curator Richard Hamilton, a friend of Paul McCartney and artist Marcel Duchamp. Hamilton’s multi-faceted career introduced him to the leading figures in the Pop art and music scene and his commission for the Beatles led him to create the antithesis of Peter Blake’s Sgt. Pepper’s cover – a simple white sleeve embossed with the band’s name and stamped with a serial number as if to indicate that it was one of millions of copies (which, in fact, it was). Hamilton also created the photo collage for the poster included in the package.
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Album
Mike McInnerney – cover painting – The Who – Tommy
Mike McInnerney was the art editor for the International Times underground British newspaper when he met Pete Townshend in 1967 at a gathering organized by the paper. An active member of the UFO Club and an ardent follower of Meher Baba, McInnerney introduced Townshend to the teachings of M. Baba and these influences ultimately shaped (to a certain degree) Townshend’s budding rock opera. As their relationship grew and as the recording process advanced, Townshend finally commissioned McInnerney to do the cover. “The commission was a natural consequence of our shared interest in Baba’s teachings whose philosophy and principal message of love struck the right note for the times and created, in Tommy, a distinct vehicle for spiritual ideas we both held.”
More information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_(album)