Album Cover News Recap – Mid-October, 2013

Album Cover News Article summary thru mid-October 2013

October 1 – Wow – when the editors at do an article, they go all out! In their “The Best 50 Rap Album Covers of the Past 5 Years”, the Complex staff has included images, credits and a synopsis of each design. As you might figure, the covers for some of rap’s biggest stars dominate the rankings
(they’re the ones with the production budgets, you see), but there are a few surprises that feature strikingly simple-yet-effective designs. While I’m not sure that I’d rank the top 5 as “the best”, this list does include some truly impressive work – see if you agree.

October 3 – In this recent interview with Vanity Fair‘s Lisa Robinson about his new book on style titled John Varvatos: Rock In Fashion, designer (and Detroit native) John Varvatos gives due credit to the album cover image on The Stooges’ Fun House LP as being his “No. 1 most influential picture in the
history of music” as it motivated him to (somehow, in some fashion) be one of the boys in this band. I’d like to extend the props for this image to designer Bob Heimall and photographer Ed Caraeff, who together crafted this influential image. Read the entire interview via the link –

October 4 – 1) Photographer Annie Leibovitz’s photo of a nude John Lennon laying atop his fully-clothed wife Yoko – originally intended to be a cover for a Rolling Stone Magazine article on the couple’s then-new Double Fantasy LP and, due to the terrible happenings that occurred shortly after the photo was taken,
used in an article memorializing the slain Beatle – was recently auctioned off at Sotheby’s NY for over twice the pre-auction estimate of $15,000, proving once again the power and desirability of many examples of this artist’s work – read more in this article on Goldmine Magazine‘s site –

2) After a successful run at the V&A Museum in London, the David Bowie archive show has now re-located to the next stop on its world tour and is on display now thru Nov. 27 at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. In addition to the costumes, memorabilia, video performances, etc. that comprise the over 300 items that make up the show, there are samples of the original album covers created for Bowie by Guy Peelaert (Diamond Dogs) and Edward Bell (Scary Monsters). Be sure to stop by if you’re in the area – the reviews of this exhibition have been really positive ––instruments–album-art-and-music-videos-on-view-in-Toronto#.Uk8ZLCRwouc

October 7 – Start your day off with a visit to the preview site hosted by the Antiquorum auction house that will give you the details of the rock photography auction that takes place tomorrow in NYC. Working together with the Morrison Hotel gallery, hundreds of fine art prints will be up for bid, including works by many of your favorite album cover photographers – Henry Diltz, Joel Brodsky, Neal Preston, Ken Regan, Gered Mankowitz, Ethan Russell, Barrie Wentzell, Robert Whitaker and more. The interactive catalog will take you easily thru the collection, so grab your credit card or Paypal account and take advantage of the nice selection available on the site – bidding took place on 10/8, so while it might be too late to bid, you can still take a look at the proceedings today.

October 8 – It takes a big-name artist to afford to hire another big-name artist to come up with a memorable album cover image, so we can all sound out a collective “WOW!” (or “WOW! – What did that cost to do?!”) now that we’re able to preview Jeff Koons’ amazing sculpture created for the cover of Lady Gaga’s upcoming release titled Artpop. While some critics have been vocal about the nudity involved, I am simply impressed with the detail of both the Gaga sculpture and the background image he’s created for her. I’m also just happy that we’re not talking about Miley and twerking, for at least a minute…here’s a link to a brief intro article as presented on the site –

October 9 – While album packaging is our main focus, it is always interesting to see other examples of how art and music-making can be combined in new and exciting ways. For example, I’d invite you to go and visit the “Art Guitars” page on Facebook to take a look at the impressive selection of “artist-enhanced” guitars that will be auctioned off to raise $$ (actually, GBPs) for the Teenage Cancer Trust charitable organization in the U.K.. The event will take place beginning October 16 at The West London Art Factory, with a slew of hip artists doing their best to make each custom Marlow Guitar an eye-catching work of art. Please visit their page and, if so motivated, place your bid on one of these
great axes – it’s for a great cause.

October 10 – While completing the updates to the site bios for this year’s possible nominees for induction into the Album Cover Hall of Fame (finally finished!), I ran across a blog thread on The Fashion Spot site that details the many fashion photographers that also shoot album cover images and, I
have to admit, the list is very impressive. They began the thread over 6 years ago, and it has been updated pretty regularly (over 13 pages!). In addition to names most of us are familiar with (Mapplethorpe, Ritts, Avedon, etc.), there were a number of individuals whose work I’ve seen and admired but who, until now, have remained nameless to me (I may be un-hip and clueless, which could
also be the reason), but I’d like to point you in the direction of this site, which has also been added to the ACHOF Resources page – enjoy!

October 11 – 1) Added a whole slew of new bios this week – photogs David LaChapelle, Art Kane, Peter Simon, Jean-Baptiste Mondino; designers Craig Braun, Rob O’Connor, Jeri & John Heiden and many more – you’ll find them alphabetically listed – – please note that, later this year, there will be one artist bio page for every letter of the alphabet, so there will be less scrolling! Thanks for your patience as we work hard to give you more info on more album cover artists than anyplace else on the web…

2) Just a shout out to Seymour Stein, the co-founder of Sire Records, a label that has supported a number of acts that have promoted fine album cover art – Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Madonna and may others – as he was named the first recipient of the CBGB Icon Award, given out earlier this week in NYC. More coverage on this event can be found on the Yahoo! Music site – click the link to read more about this man and his artistically-minded label –

October 14 – Fans don’t often get to see first-hand what it was that served as the inspiration for a well-known record cover, so it is with great pleasure (and thanks to the good folks at MOJO Magazine) that I’m sharing a link to a story and video for the cover of The Smith’s single “The Charming Man”. It was 50 years ago on 10/11 that Jean Cocteau died, and it was almost exactly 30 years ago that the single was released, so the timing is good, don’t you think? Enjoy the video –

October 15 – One notice and a reminder –
1) As part of his gig shooting covers for Rolling Stone Magazine and album covers for many of his clients, photographer Baron Wolman would also document the startling breadth and quality of the women who would become known as “groupies”, and it is photos of these people – along with some newly-created limited-edition prints of some of Baron’s most-famous shots, exploded up to 4′ x 6′ image size – that make up the basis of a new exhibition that will launch (sponsored by Icehouse Music and curated by Alex Sasha Sum of Sumcreative) this Friday, October 18, at the Kristin Johnson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. The show runs thru 11/18, and details are available via the link –

2) Reminder – Oct 16th is the kick off of the Art Guitars show (a fund-raiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK) at the West London Art Factory – more details at

More updates at the end of the month – keep in touch by signing up for our mailing list!

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