ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR OCTOBER, 2017.
BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM
Greetings once again to you all on this first day of October, 2017. When I signed off with you 30 days ago, never did I think that I’d be sending out my next news summary on the heels of not one but three more catastrophic weather events (Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the Mexico City-area earthquake) and that millions of people in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean would be in such need of the basic necessities of life…then, this would be followed up in a 9/28 article by the Washington Post that detailed the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that stated that, now, a majority of Americans admit that “climate change contributed to the severity of the recent hurricanes” (as opposed to the results of the same poll, taken a dozen years ago, which showed that most Americans “dismissed the role of global warming and said such severe weather events just happen from time to time”).
For now, you can make a difference in the lives of people who were affected by these natural disasters with some guidance from the Center For Disaster Philanthropy, an organization whose partner charities have gotten together to “transform the field of disaster philanthropy to increase donor effectiveness throughout the lifecycle of disasters through our educational, fund opportunities and strategic guidance.“ Very helpful and informative – http://disasterphilanthropy.org/
While I firmly believe that Mother Nature will one day – sooner rather than later – rid her planet of all us pesky and self-absorbed critters in a very theatrical fashion, I can only hope that, for the time being, this doesn’t prevent some of us from enjoying (and respecting) the beauty of the natural world and how it continues to inspire creative-types to do interesting work. The month of September proved to be a VERY busy one for folks reporting on happenings in the world of album cover art/artists, and in the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring fascinating and interesting stories on a wide range of related topics.
As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.
1) Upcoming, recently-launched/currently running and just-closed show/exhibitions –
a) Highly-respected British photographer Martin Parr – who has given us memorable photos for musical acts including Salad (Drink Me), The Saw Doctors (Songs From Sun Street), Madness (Wonderful) and several others – has an interesting show up at Blackwell Hall (in the Weston Library) on the campus of Oxford University (UK) that puts on display the results of a multi-year commission he was given there several years ago to photograph the place and its interesting array of people. The university press has also released a book – simply titled Oxford by Martin Parr – to accompany the show, which is on display now through the 22nd of October, with Diane Smyth, writing for the British Journal of Photography, providing us with an introduction at http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/09/shooting-the-establishment-martin-parrs-oxford/
More details about the show can be found on the Photo Oxford 2017 web site – http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2017/sep/martin-parr-oxford
While info on the book – co-authored with noted journalist Simon Winchester – can be found on the Oxford University Press site at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-9780198724414?cc=us&lang=en&
b) I’ve received a bit more information about the November 1 opening of the Spencer Drate/Judith Salavetz/Sylvia Reed-curated record art show that will be on display at the One Art Space Gallery on Warren Street in New York City…There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, November 1st from 7PM – 9PM EST at the gallery (there’s nothing up yet on this event, but if you go to the gallery’s “Upcoming Events” page (http://oneartspace.com/upcoming-events/) soon, I’m sure you’ll find out more.
As I’ve previously noted, the exhibition is called “FOR THE RECORD: THE VINYL RECORD COVER SHOW” and, according to the show’s producers, it will be “the first Vinyl Record Cover Show integrating the history of 12″ and 45 record covers together with a selection of some of the best designed 12″ and 45RPM record covers from the past to the present.” It will run through November 30th.
The award-winning team of Mr. Drate and Ms. Salavetz have been creating memorable promo and packaging imagery for music industry clients for many years now, with examples of their work including Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Album, Glorious Results of A Misspent Youth and Good Music; Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi; The Ramones – It’s Alive, Road To Ruin and End Of The Century; Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation; Talking Heads – Fear Of Music; The Searchers – The Searchers; Billy Squier – Don’t Say No; Lou Reed – New York and Magic And Loss; Buster Poindexter – Buster’s Spanish Rocketship; Marshall Tucker Band – Walk Outside The Lines; The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Hot Number and Powerful Stuff; Bobby Brown – King Of Stage; The Beach Boys – Summer In Paradise; Dee Dee King – Standing In The Spotlight and many others, so you can rest assured that there will be much to look at on display.
They’re also the authors of several books on the topic of rock music-related imagery, including Rock Art: CDs, Albums & Posters, published in 1994; SWAG: Rock Posters Of The 90s (with a forward by designer Art Chantry, published in 2003) and its follow up titled SWAG 2: Rock Posters Of The 90s And Beyond (2005); as well as 45 RPM, the first visual history book on 7″ record sleeve design and Five Hundred 45s (2010).
c) Launched on Saturday, September 16th with an opening reception was Eastern Projects Gallery’s new group exhibition of some of the best examples of Southern California art and design, produced by a group of five artists known as “The California Locos”. While, as the press release indicates, “for the last five decades, each LOCO has created their own distinct and recognized style, built out of the kaleidoscope that is the West Coast experience”, for this show the group (which includes Chaz Bojórquez, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom and Gary Wong) has opened their arms to embrace works added by several more heralded designers/artists from the area such as Mister Cartoon, Shepard Fairey, Estevan Oriol, RETNA, SLICK and Robert Williams, and with a number of these participants sporting a nice portfolio of album cover images in addition to their work in the Graffiti, Hot Rod, Skate, Surf and Tattoo arenas, the entire display will be truly entertaining for all attendees.
Several brand-new works, including a low-rider automobile created by Mister Cartoon, a hot rod by Dave Tourje and more, will help make this event all the more intriguing.
The show runs through October 28th,, with more information available at – http://www.californialocos.com/event.html
EASTERN PROJECTS GALLERY – 900 North Broadway #1090, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – http://www.easternprojectsgallery.com/
d) More dates and venues have been announced for the upcoming Best Art Vinyl 2017 album art awards show. With this celebration of great record cover packages and the talented designers, photographers and artists in other specialties that create them – staged by the fine people at Artvinyl.com – now in its 12th year, the show’s producers have delivered on their promise to allow more public access to displays of the 50 shortlisted record covers (nominated by experts in the arts and music marketing) and, ultimately, the winner of this year’s competition, with shows now slated for the following places and dates:
The Vinyl Café London – November 13th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Civic Barnsley – November 10th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Mono Art & Design Budapest – November 16th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Semm music Store Bologna – November 20th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Hari Hotel London – January 9th 2018 – March 30th 2018 and High End Society Munich 2018 in May 2018
Exhibiting alongside the examples of the nominated artworks will be the winning covers from the previous 12 years. Voting for this year’s nominees will commence on November 10th, with votes placed online at http://www.artvinyl.com/lp-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/
Be sure to visit starting November 10th to place your votes, with the winners announced in a ceremony next January. More details to follow here…
e) Always-controversial artist Richard Prince has recently launched a solo exhibition of new works that are on display at both locations of Berlin’s Galerie Max Hetzler that should be of interest to anyone who’s been following his 40+ year career during which he’s often pushed the limits of art world norms, particularly when it comes to the term “appropriation” in that he’s often times “borrowed” other peoples’ images to spin them to his own liking.
In this show, titled “Super Group”, Prince has created a series of visuals for a make-believe musical acts seemingly already at the top in terms of both fame and fortune, with these works being assembled from (according to the gallery’s press) “actual or scanned and printed record sleeves, stapled and glued onto the surface as well as photos, posters, magazine covers, some even contain real bras along with images of such (perhaps hinting at a two person rock band called Black Bra that Prince once was part of). Paint and oil stick are seemingly rapidly applied, covering parts of the collaged surface and canvas while leaving others empty so that the underlying plane stays visible, creating an impression of depth through overlapping layers.” What’s also notable is that, for these new works, he’s appropriated from his own earlier works, with figures and other items from an earlier series of work (called “Hippie Drawings”) showing up in many places.
Earlier this year, the 68-year-old, New York-based photographer and painter became embroiled in another lawsuit when another photographer challenged Prince’s “fair use” claim for another “borrowed” image. Album art fans will remember his art and photos found on records released by Hole, Air, Sonic Youth, Robbie Robertson and others. With more information about this new show shared by Artnet’s Kate Brown in an article titled “Richard Prince, Rock Star? The Artist Indulges His Inner Musician With Trippy New Album-Cover Paintings”, fans can learn the latest about this always-fascinating artist/provocateur – https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-exhibition-max-hetzler-1096808? , while gallery information can be found on their site (in English) at http://maxhetzler.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-super-group-2017/press-en/
f) When photographer Trevor Key died of a brain tumor at the age of 48 in 1995, he left behind a portfolio of images for clients like Phil Collins (Face Value, Hello I Must Be Going!, …But Seriously and Both Sides Now), New Order (Fine Time and Technique), Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge), OMD (Organisation), the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle), Ultravox (Rage In Eden) and many more both done alongside of Art Director Peter Saville for Factory Records and for others.
While he spent his career in London, he grew up and attended school in the northern city of Hull, the U.K.’s 2017 city of culture and home to the Hull School of Art and Design, which is hosting a show of Key’s photo from now through October 18th, after which it will be on display in various venues within the city.
Here’s a link to some recent BBC coverage of the event – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-41331715 along with a link to a video on the Hull 2017 site where noted editors, designers, art directors and Key’s former assistant (photographer Toby McFarlan) discuss Key’s work and its ongoing influence in the world of music photography – https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/trevor-keys-top-40/
g) Two shows that ended their runs in September include Rob Tufnell’s tribute to the late, great designer Barney Bubbles (“Optics and Semantics”) – http://www.robtufnell.com/Exhibitions/Barney%20Bubbles/index.html which included examples of the talented artist’s album art, posters, videos and furniture, while back on September 18th – the 47th anniversary of the death of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, but on that day I found a link to a recent interview with famed photographer Karl Ferris – responsible for the memorable photos found on the first three Jimi Hendrix Experience covers – http://ib3tv.com/lautor-de-les-portades-historiques-de-jimmy-hendrix-exposa-a-lhotel-pacha-deivissa.html regarding his recent gallery show (which closed on September 17th) at the Hotel Pacha on the island of Ibiza, where Karl has lived for many years and the place where he met his early collaborators, the Dutch design duo of Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma AKA “The Fool”.
Although the interviewer’s audio track of Karl’s interview is in Catalan, you can still here bits of his statements and answers in English. In either case, it’s nice to see him looking so well and surrounded by so many great examples of his best-known photographs, including those for Hendrix.
h) Although the Summer has ended, it was a big one for exhibitions focused on the 50 anniversary of the emergence of Hippie counter-culture, with all its trappings, which has been labeled the “Summer of Love”, with one in particular, “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll” at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum (according to information in this recent article on the Art Daily site) setting attendance records, with over 25,000 visitors during “its final week before closing on August 20. Over its 19-week run, almost 270,000 visitors from around the world came to the de Young to relive the Summer of Love, making the exhibition the highest attended since Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis debuted at the de Young in 2013. – http://artdaily.com/news/98712/-The-Summer-of-Love-Experience–Art–Fashion–and-Rock—Roll–closes-with-record-attendance-numbers#.WbhDd7pFyM8
i) Also just received an announcement (with details forthcoming) about a Michael Jackson art show (to be titled “Michael Jackson: On The Wall”) at National Portrait Gallery in London next year (which would have been the singer’s 60th birthday), with some initial details in this article on The Guardian (UK) site – https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/20/michael-jacksons-impact-on-art-explored-in-national-portrait-gallery-show
I’m sure it’ll be a thriller, and I hope to beat it on over there to rock with you at the show. I’ll not stop til I’ve had enough unless, of course, it’s bad… 😉
2) Artist interviews/profile articles –
a) Photographer Danny Hastings, whose portfolio of images reads like a who’s who of major hip-hop music originators – Big Pun, KRS-One, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and many others – is the subject of a nicely-detailed profile and interview on the Remezcla site (a top lifestyle site for Latino Millennials) by reporter Matthew Ruiz that also includes info on recent show in LA – http://remezcla.com/features/music/danny-hastings-profile/
b) Goldmine Magazine’s chief editor Patrick Prince shares an interview with Pink Floyd artist Gerald Scarfe from his house in Chelsea, London that was featured on a recent Goldmine Magazine podcast about the original works (paintings and storyboards) from The Wall that are on sale at the San Francisco Art Exchange – http://www.goldminemag.com/podcast/pink-floyd-artist-gerald-scarfe-carlos-santana-band-jackyl-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-7
Scarfe had originally met Roger Waters after the PF bassist/songwriter had seen an earlier (1971)hand-drawn animated film produced by Scarfe about his impressions on America titled Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches From Los Angeles on TV and thought that he’d be the right person to help him realize his visions for Waters’ record/film/concert masterpiece.
c) In the early 1990s, there was a rather well-known photo taken of the late Kurt Cobain wearing a t-shirt featuring the album cover art from Austin, TX-based musician/artist Daniel Johnston’ Hi How Are You? record (featuring a strange, frog-ish creature named “Jeremiah, The Innocent”), after which the self-taught artist gained cult status internationally.
While battles with mental illness made it difficult for Johnston’s career to take off in any significant fashion, he has remained a person of great interest to those impressed with his strange abilities (as shown in the 2005 documentary The Devil And Daniel Johnston, by Jeff Feuerzeig. Health issues have recently forced Daniel to curb his touring, so he’s just embarked on what’s been announced as his final tour, with a schedule posted for the 8 shows (plus one in Austin, date TBD) – http://austin.culturemap.com/news/arts/09-18-17-hi-how-are-you-daniel-johnston-final-tour/#slide=0
d) Fans of the strange-but-wonderful cartoons of artist Edward Steed’s that are often found in the New Yorker Magazine will want to read this recent interview by Min Chen on the Surface Magazine web site about the almost “Where’s Waldo-like” work he created for the cover of singer/songwriter Father John Misty’s just-released record called Pure Comedy – http://www.surfacemag.com/articles/edward-steed-talks-pure-comedy-album-illustrations/ According to Steed, his inspiration for the detailed artwork was pretty straight-forward – “I was just trying to make something that’s good for people to look at while listening to the record. I just drew the type of album cover I would want if I made an album, which I never will.” Job well done, sir!
e) The photo team of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are known for their creative force, and lately they’ve been known specifically for Taylor Swift’s album art. Take the link to read a nice profile of them and their work and their collaborations – including on the controversial cover for her upcoming release (Nov. 10th) called reputation – with the immensely-popular Ms. Swift on the Fans Of Taylor Taylor Swift fan site written by contributor Kara Johnson – https://fansoftaylor.com/2017/09/16/photographers-mert-and-marcus-discuss-collaborating-with-taylor-swift/
f) Fans of great monster/horror art (hey, that’s me!) mourn the passing of a great one…On September 14th, 2017, the legendary artist/illustrator Basil Gogos died, leaving behind a legacy of illustrations for magazines, books and, as you might figure, album covers for acts including Electric Frankenstein, The Misfits and, most-notably, rocker Rob Zombie. He’s probably best-known for the scores of covers he did, beginning in 1960, for monster fan magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Creepy and MonsterScene (his takes on The Creature from the Black Lagoon were, to me, his most-impressive works).
A coffee table book which included a retrospective of many of his best works, titled Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos, was published by Vanguard Productions in 2005 and, the next year, Gogos received the “Best Book” award as well as being named to the “Monster Kid Hall of Fame” at the Rondo Hutton Classic Horror Awards gathering for his exceptional contributions to classic horror. In 2008, he won both “Best Cover” and “Artist of the Year” award from the same organization.
The Horror News Network presents us with his obiturary – http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/rest-peace-basil-gogos-dead-78/ while over on the Rob Zombie site (Gogos did the memorable image on the Hellbilly Deluxe album cover), you’ll find another tribute to this impressive talent, now gone… https://robzombie.com/tag/basil-gogos/
3) Sales/Auctions –
a) From the PR Newswire, here’s a story about an auction of a highly-desireable set of Markus Klinko photos taken for the cover of Houston, TX native Beyonce’s debut solo album, 2003’s Dangerously in Love – “ that was held in early September and intended to help raise money for Red Cross efforts to provide relief for victims of the recent weather disasters in Houston and along the Gulf Coast – “Award-winning, international fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko and Texas-based Modern Rocks Gallery today announced the launch of “Dangerously in Love with Houston: Modern Rocks Gallery / Markus Klinko Auction,” an online auction of signed, first worldwide edition Beyoncé photographs with proceeds benefiting the Red Cross and its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. “
It continues – “The online auction will feature three 16″ X 20″ photographs …signed by Markus Klinko. Fujifilm supports the auction with printing and mounting, while Broncolor will donate shipping of the photographs to auction winners. All money raised from the auctions will go to the Red Cross Houston and Gulf Coast relief efforts.
Bidding opened at $2500 for the set, with the auction currently online (hosted by 32Auctions.com), reached via the button at https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/hurricane-relief
b ) Michael Spencer-Jones Oasis album art goes on sale with special event – while the gallery is still working with the photographer on just the right date to do this (was originally scheduled for October 6th), they have put up some preliminary information on the book and some of the prints that will be made available for sale as well. https://www.thearchivistsgallery.com/blogs/exhibitions/save-the-date-supersonic-the-oasis-photographs-book-signing-event-with-michael-spencer-jones-october-6th-2017?
I’d last reported on Spencer-Jones’ work back in 2014 when I’d done a profile on one of his collaborators, designer/photographer Brian Cannon, so it’s nice to see that the art world’s interest in these great photos (which became even more-popular as the records, such as Whatever, Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, Be Here Now, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall, all became huge international hits. Spencer-Jones has also created notable cover shots for bands including Suede (Stay Together, Singles and So Young), The Verve (A Storm In Heaven, Urban Hymns and A Northern Soul), New Fast Automatic Daffodils (Bong and Body Exit Mind) and Lyres (On Fire), among others. More specifics as they’re released…
4) New Print/Book RELEASES –
a) Heralded Scottish photographer Harry Benson CBE has had a very busy schedule the past couple of years, first as the star of the successful documentary film Harry Benson: Shoot First, then receiving a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography, shooting a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump – he’s the only photographer who has taken portraits of the past twelve (!!) U.S. Presidents, beginning with Eisenhower – and now, working with the folks at PowerHouse Books, releasing what’s being called his “unparalleled magnum opus” – a 300-page career retrospective titled Harry Benson: Persons of Interest (Portraits That Defined An Era), with ’s new book hitting the shelves soon, with pre-orders now being accepted at – http://www.powerhousebooks.com/books/harry-benson-persons-of-interest/
According to the publisher’s news release, “Harry traveled to America with the Beatles in 1964 and never looked back. Under contract to LIFE Magazine for 30 years, Harry has photographed for major magazines including Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, French Vogue, Quest, Paris Match, Forbes, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, People, and The London Sunday Times Magazine…With subjects ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Amy Winehouse, from Frank Sinatra to Brad Pitt, from Greta Garbo to Kate Moss, from Winston Churchill to Hilary Clinton, and Donald Trump, Benson explores and delights our public fascination with his images of the lives of the rich, powerful, and famous. “
b) While designer/artist Jamie Reid might be best-known to album art fans for the work that helped promote punk icons the Sex Pistols to international stardom in the late 1970s (and, later on, artists such as Billy Childish, Jo Fletcher and Afro Celt Sound System), lately Reid has continued to produce artwork that brings his anti-establishment sensibilities to highlight the absurdities in today’s world of political and corporate chicanery, but he’s also produced artwork for a project called Eight-Fold Year, during which he’s released a new work of art every day based on the Druid concept of the year being divided into eight “essential” parts (solstices, equinoxes and four other critical seasonal dates).
To bring the entire portfolio of these works to fans around the world, Reid has just released a new paperback book (also titled Eight-Fold Year) where all 365 of the images (paintings and photographs) can be enjoyed all in one place. To provide an introduction and explain things to us laypeople, Reid enlisted the help of Philip Carr-Comm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, to write such texts.
More information on this book and project can be found on his web site at http://www.eightfoldyear.org/, while you can keep up-to-date on Reid’s latest efforts on his web site at http://www.jamiereid.org/
c) While not specifically a book about album cover art, a new book just out by author Kent Hartman titled Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock – The Untold Story from Inside the Legendary Recording Studios that focuses on the often outrageous (self-indulgent, narcissistic, etc. – I’m sure we can all think of appropriate adjectives) behaviors and bacchanalia that took place inside these workplaces during the making of some of your favorite record albums. With the writer tapping the memories of two key people – producer Keith Olsen and session guitarist Waddy Wachtel – you’ll learn a bit more about the amount of hand-holding, ego-boosting and appetite-feeding it often took to get some of the most-iconic tracks put on to tape.
They also included stories by some of the others who were tasked to help produce, package and promote these products, such as ACHOF Inductee (John) Kosh, who recalls the heart-warming story of having to wait three days for a certain rocker to show up for a photo shoot, only to decide at that point that he’d changed his mind about the album cover concept and then suggested a “we’re not REALLY going to do this” idea as an alternative. Read more about this new tome in reporter Bob Ruggiero’s intro to the book on the Houston Press site -. http://www.houstonpress.com/music/cocaine-and-control-boards-la-classic-rock-in-the-70s-9780972
d) If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite Prog Rock fan (besides another record/CD or a certificate for the aforementioned mocha latte), you can now pre-order one of the 600 limited-edition copies of author Jerry Ewing’s new book on the topic titled Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through The Landscape of Progressive Rock. According to the publisher’s PR, the book will guide the reader through the genre’s history, “from the origins of the genre, through the glory years of the late 60s and 70s, to its contemporary resurgence led by, amongst others, Steven Wilson and Opeth. The book is introduced with a foreword written by Steve Hackett.”
The book’s “Deluxe Edition” was designed by famed album cover artist Carl Glover, the guy responsible for a number of memorable covers for acts including Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, The Pretty Things, Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and an entire series for Prog Rock stalwarts Marillion. The clothbound book’s 160 pages include over 450 images, including band photos, press images and, of course, album covers. The book includes a COA signed by both Glover and the author and also includes an 8” x 10” art print – a nice package for the quite-reasonable asking price of £50.00.
Pre-orders are now being accepted on The Flood Gallery’s web site – https://www.thefloodgallery.com/collections/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock/products/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock?
with deliveries beginning in early December.
5) Other articles of interest –
Quick note – nominations and voting begins soon for this year’s class of inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame in the areas of design, photography, illustration and other related fields. Eager to see who are the top vote-getters this year – lots of talented people still yet to be inducted, so watch this space…
a) Research led me to a site, created by a mysterious and unknown artist simply called “Admin”, where you’ll find a collection of hand-made drawings of album covers along with a short story about the record. It’s called, in a straight-forward fashion, “Hand Drawn Album Covers”. Is it good? You be the judge. It is certainly inspired… http://www.handdrawnalbumcovers.com/
b) While some look at fans of Prog Rock as being people just as contemptuous as “mocha-sipping, Birkenstock wearing, Prius-driving Lefties”, I am proud to say that I’ve long been a fan of the genre – both the music and the art – and so I’m very pleased to be able to share two Prog-related stories – one being about the nominees – and the eventual winner – in the “Album Cover of the Year” category of the 2017 Progressive Music Awards festivities and the other (to be found back in Section 4 about New Books) being that a new book that looks to provide an in-depth historical review of “Prog Rock” (by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing) which will be published in time for Holiday gift-giving.
To begin, here are the nominees for this year’s Progressive Music Awards’ “Album Cover of the Year” (musical act/album title):
Ayreon – The Source; Big Big Train – Grimspound; Heather Findlay – I Am Snow; King Crimson – Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind; Kylver – The Island; Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand; Opeth – Sorceress; Robert Reed – Sanctuary II; Tim Bowness – Lost In The Ghost Light and Wolf People – Ruins
The winner was announced at ceremonies on September 14th, with artists whose works are featured on these nominated covers including well-known creatives such as Ben Singleton, Alan Brown, Travis Smith, Jarrod Gosling and Luke Insect, so was most-interesting to see who fans eventually selected as this year’s top artist.
First, you can take a look at the nominated works via the link at http://2017.prog.awards.teamrock.com/vote/album-cover
AND THE WINNER WAS – from the previously-noted list of talented nominees, a winner was chosen in the “Album Cover of the Year” category, and that winner is the team responsible for the creation of the cover for Tim Bowness’ album Lost In The Ghost Light (credited to the multi-talented designer/musician Jarrod Goslling).
Here’s a link to the list of all of the winners in last week’s award ceremonies – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/steve-hackett-progressive-music-awards/
as well as a link to the musician’s site – http://timbowness.co.uk/lost-in-the-ghost-light/ Digging around a bit, I also found a video interview with designer Jarrod Gosling about his work on the previous Bowness LP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fekq273l4yo
Congratulations to the winner and all of the nominees for jobs well done – the fans are all very happy!
c) Filed under “way too cool for school” – those of you who thought that album covers created with “special effects”, such as the “3-D” and “lenticular” covers found on records such as 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones, The Holy Land by Johnny Cash in 1969 and 1971’s Captain Beyond (with artwork by Pacific Eye & Ear artist Joe Garnett) will be pleased and/or surprised to know that the inspiration to display moving images on record packages remains, carried on by various musical acts/labels and, lucky for us, collected by collector DJ Food and shared via a regular column on The Vinyl Factory web site.
They kicked things off not too long ago with this nicely-illustrated (including some cool animated GIFs) article – https://thevinylfactory.com/features/freaky-formats-moire-effect/ in which you’ll find other examples of mind-bending album cover designs from around for musical acts in many different genres.
Looking forward to seeing more as time goes on…
BTW – on a related note – I wanted to share a link I found to a music video released by the Rolling Stones which uses artwork appropriated (there’s that word again!) from on the cover art from Satanic Majesties.. – http://yespleaseproductions.com/portfolio/rolling-stones-2000-light-years-from-home-official-lyric-video/ A very good example of recycling…
d) While I’m happy to note that the sales of vinyl records continue to grow (my most-recent purchase was a special-edition 2-LP package of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boy’s Smile that came with a nice bonus photo booklet) as both us oldsters and our younger brethren preserve the format with our pennies and dollars, there are still occasional stories like the two that follow that provide us with the sad details about record stores closing both here and abroad, with each venue’s closing also taking with it the sale of related album art items (SAD!, as one Tweeter often puts it) –
1) Author has an idea on how to turn a store’s closing into something of a time capsule for retail record store fans – https://www.athensmessenger.com/blogs/guest_columnists/an-ode-to-hoffa-s-music/article_b8dfeb82-0e43-554c-847a-bfb79939bcf3.html
2) “Seeing the art of music” article by Kerry-Ann Augustin for the New Straits Times (Malaysia) – https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2017/09/280707/seeing-art-music
We’ll keep the fire burning…
e) Some of you might recall a story I reported on a year ago about a trio of enterprising entrepreneurs, including noted album cover designer Lawrence Azerrad and his chums at Ozma Records to embark on a Kickstarter-based project that would produce, for us mortals, a special 40th anniversary, special-edition package based on the “Voyager Golden Record” that astronomer Carl Sagan, along with a team that included writers Timothy Ferris and Ann Druyan, artists Jon Lomberg and Linda Salzman Sagan and astronomer/SETI pioneer Frank Drake (who served as the technical director), assembled for the 1977 satellite launch in order to present “strange new civilizations” with evidence of our intelligence (this was, luckily for us, before we had recordings from this past year’s elections).
Well, I just recently got my own personal copy of this box set, which included and three translucent gold, heavyweight vinyl LPs in black ink and gold foil jackets, a hardback full-color book, a 12″ x 12″ lithograph of the Voyager Golden Record cover diagram printed in gold metallic ink, a digital download card that includes all audio from the Voyager Golden Record inMP3 and FLAC formats, an enamel pin of the Golden Record diagram and a custom turntable mat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech’s heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecraft’s trajectories across the solar system (not bad for $98!), and all I can say is “WOW”.
And now that it’s been released and the second Voyager space craft is about to sail out of our solar system, I wanted to share a link to a follow-up article and interview with David Pescovitz found on the CNN.com site discussing the release of the special record package – http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/04/opinions/pescovitz-opinion/index.html
If so inclined, you can also listen to a BBC interview (on Soundcloud) that the folks from the record label posted last year with the original designer of the Golden Record – Jon Lomberg – which can be found via this link – https://soundcloud.com/user-482195982/interview-with-jon-lomberg?
f) A team of writers/contributors to Universal Music Group (UK)’s UDiscoverMusic.com site recently published one of those articles that undertakes the silly task of naming “the 25 most-iconic album covers” and, as my regular readers know, I typically HATE these lists. However, in this case, the group at least took some time to explain why each of the covers (all the usual suspects) was included and, to their credit, did NOT limit the list only to covers featured on their own labels.
Someday, I’ll have to learn what it is that motivates people to do articles like these but, until I’m ready to look into this further, I’ll just share the link and hope you’ll add your comments
with some added info on designers – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/iconic-album-cover-designers/
Late in September, the group’s Martin Chilton hit the web with another album art-related posting – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/album-packaging-amplified-music/
g) While we’re on the topic of articles that seem to annoy me a lot…while I appreciate the sentiment, here’s a link to an article posted recently on the Ultimate Guitar site by contributor “David89Zemun” (from Belgrade, Serbia, who plays a modified Gibson Les Paul BFG and is a big Black Sabbath fan) titled “Stories Behind Album Covers – It Was Never Just About The Music…” in which he provides us with a nice selection of album covers – from artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Red Hot Chili Peppers – and then a very brief tidbit about the cover art, so when he tells us in his intro that “we will be getting into some of the most interesting stories behind album covers”, I’m not sure if he means now or later.
You won’t learn much, but it is nice to see young people from all over the world go out on a limb and do a little digging into their favorite album art – https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/articles/features/stories_behind_album_covers-67281
h) The phrase “sex and drugs and rock & roll” has often been brought to life via the choices made by musical acts/record labels/art directors to focus on the “sex” part to illustrate and sell their record packages. As you might figure, this didn’t sit well with many folks because, as you might have guessed, it was usually (99.3% of the time, according to my casual observations) women who were objectified on many covers and, later on, in music videos. Does this continue on these days? You betcha!
As you’ll read in reporter Sahsa Geffen’s article on the Vulture.com site, there has been a slight subversion of this ongoing practice, evidenced by the fact that some of the creators of this sexy imagery are, in fact, women, with the two newer acts she’s focused on – St. Vincent and Torres – both assuming “the role of objectifier and objectified at the same time. They confound the power that borders the history of the genre in which they work, not as an act of empowerment but as a gesture of sublime confusion. “
Kudos are given to Christopher Guest for his attempts to point out the “do what you gotta do” approach to selling records in his great mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap…will things ever change? In today’s climate? I don’t think so….
i) In a recently-published series of articles on the Christie’s site about five London-area collectors and their assemblages, one of the featured collectors is designer/author Toby Mott, whose collection of punk-era ephemera and graphics served as the basis for the book he released last year (reported on in the Nov. 2016 News Summary) and includes original examples of album art by Jamie Reid and others. Of course, he can also look back proudly at his own album cover work – as part of the successful 1980s design firm and artist’s collective called the Grey Organization – for Tommy Boy Records and acts including De La Soul and Information Society – http://www.christies.com/features/5-London-collectors-and-their-collections-8553-1.aspx?
That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.
All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.