ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR DECEMBER.
BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM
With the holiday season fully upon us, I know that you don’t have much time for reading (other than ads and reviews for the electronic gadgets you must buy this season), so I’ll get straight to the point – I was happy to announce the names of the talented individuals and design teams that were selected for inclusion in this year’s Class of Inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame a short while back, and with the Best Art Vinyl and Grammy Award noms and voting straight ahead of us, there’s been a fair amount of album cover artist/art-related news this past month. With my book project back on track, I really have only had the chance to gather a small selection of album cover artist/art-related news tidbits for you (and I’m even late doing that) so, without any further delay, here are those highlights, for your reading pleasure (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):
Inductees announced for the Class of 2018 of the Album Cover Hall of Fame – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2018-inductee-intro-page/
Best Art Vinyl voting has begun – https://www.artvinyl.com/award-year/2018/
Grammy Award nominations are to be announced on December 7th (originally was to have been 12/5, but delayed in deference to the funeral for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush), so I’ll post those in the album cover-related categories in a special announcement later this week.
1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –
a) Esteemed LA-area gallerist Tobey C. Moss was kind enough to give me a head’s up about a new show opening up near her that, by the looks of things, should be added to the itinerary of any fan of great rock photography who lives in or is visiting the area. Opening with a reception this Saturday, December 8th at The Perfect Exposure Gallery in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra (2424 W. Valley Blvd.) is a show titled Rock Photography Museum that will put on display both iconic and rare images taken by noted rock shooters including Ross Halfin, James Fortune, Kevin C. Goff, Guy Webster, Alec Byrne, Janice Belson, Charles Trainor and many others. Done in co-operation with rock photo archivist/fine art print-maker and publisher Uber Editions, the show is up through December 30th and, of special note to fans of the Rolling Stones (according to the gallery’s PR), “in addition to the photographs, the show will feature a special display of ‘lost and found’ original 1960s transparencies of the Rolling Stones, recently returned to L.A.-based photographer Alec Byrne by collector Linda Switzer after nearly 50 years, a story reported last month by the Daily Mail.”
Fine art prints and photo books featuring imagery on display in this collection will make the rock music fan on your Holiday shopping list quite happy, so click on over to the gallery’s site at http://www.theperfectexposuregallery.com/exhibit/rock-photography-museum/ for more info and directions.
b) While I’m waiting to see if I can get my hands on any more details and/or pictures from famed rock photographer/designer George DuBose’s recent lecture/slideshow at the always-fascinating Howl! Gallery (part of the Arturo Vega Project – 6 East 1st Street in NYC) that took place there this past Thursday, November 28th, since it’s the Holiday shopping season, I thought that I’d also provide you with a link to where you can find out more about George’s new book (titled “My Best Shot” which is an overview of his work with musicians in NYC – including dozens of record cover images – since 1978) on the Amazon site – https://www.amazon.com/My-Best-Shot-Overview-Photography/dp/0986304557/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542710190&sr=1-1&keywords=my+best+shot+by+george+dubose
I asked George whether there were photos included that’d be of interest to album cover fans and he replied with a long list of images and told me that “as far as album cover shots in My Best Shot, what I am mostly showing is my favorite photo from the photo sessions I did… sometimes it is the cover shot and sometimes it is just a shot that no one has ever seen.”
While George spent a number of years in New York as a freelance photographer and photo editor for publications including Interview and Spin magazines (he now lives with his family in Cologne, Germany), he built an amazing portfolio of portraits of the musicians, celebrities and interesting local denizens he took at a 70s-80s hot spot – the Hurrah night club – which will soon be the subject of another new photo book. The event at Howl! was curated by John Phillips, who was the doorman at Hurrah, with George recounting stories of what took place during the many visits he made there way back then.
c) Norman Seef’s intimate portraits of many of music’s best-known acts – Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, Patti Smith, The Rolling Stones and many others – have always rewarded viewers with the results of Seef’s ability to build close relationships with his subjects, allowing him/them to coax out the best in their sessions together, so I’m quite jealous of those of you in London who will have the opportunity to stop by the Proud Central gallery (32 John Adam Street WC2N 6BP) from now until January 13th to see the show of Norman’s work currently on display there. Per the gallery’s press release, Sessions in Sound: Photographs by Norman Seeff “…explores the sensitive collaboration between photographer and musician; whether photographed mid-smile or deep in contemplation, Seeff’s subjects are effortlessly captured in moments of spontaneity. Famed for emotionally engaging with his subjects, Seeff’s photographs in Sessions in Sound are intimate, lively and authentic.”
More info at https://www.proudonline.c o.uk/exhibitions
See Section 2, below for a link to a recent profile/interview with Mr. Seeff in which he tells us more about both this current exhibition and what it was like to spend time on photo shoots with the Rolling Stones.
d) Continuing – Famed designer Jamie Reid’s work is the basis of a new show called Jamie Reid XXXXX – 50 Years of Subversion and Spirit which opened in mid-October at the Humbert Street Gallery in Hull, UK (HU1 1TU) and is scheduled to run through the 6th of January, 2019. From his early efforts publishing the Suburban Press in the early 1970s, through his renowned work for the Sex Pistols to more recent works, the show includes (according to the gallery’s site) “collage work, drawings, paintings, prints, poster editions and photographs, demonstrating Reid’s witty delivery and continued dedication in making a statement through art.” More info on this show can be found at http://www.humberstreetgallery.co.uk/exhibition/jamie-reid-xxxxx-fifty-years-subversion-spirit/
e) Continuing – Fresh on the heels of his hugely-impressive Album Art sale that served to feed the desires – and upgrade the collections – of collectors all over the world who toured the show and brought home some of its treasures, the team at the San Francisco Art Exchange launched a new show called The Art of Hipgnosis: Inventors of the Dramatic Album Cover on Saturday, November 10th with a reception at the gallery. Of special note to fans of the Hipgnosis design studio was the appearance of respected designer/film-maker, past-curator of the hit 2017 Pink Floyd exhibition (Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains) at the V&A Museum in London and 2018 ACHOF Inductee in the Art Director Category, Mr. Aubrey Powell.
Per the gallery’s press information, “on display will be over 70 works of art from the Hipgnosis catalog including limited edition prints & photographs, originals, and objects. Included will be many of their most powerful and dramatic designs including works for bands like 10cc, AC/DC, Pretty Things, The Police, UFO, Yes, The Scorpions, Styx, and many more!”
Continuing with some additional details, the gallery notes that “also featured will be a number of never-before-seen photographs made in the process of creating album covers for The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney & Wings, The Who, Syd Barrett, and Peter Gabriel. These include candid and studio portraits, live performance shots, and several well known album cover outtakes.”
More information on this event, along with a way to request a PDF catalog of the show, can be found at http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400166
f) Continuing – Photographer Brian Griffin SPUD! Exhibition continues its conquest of the the Continent as the show moved in late October to a new venue in London, where it will remain on display until December 8th. You’ll now find Brian’s work at the MMX GALLERY (448 New Cross Road London SE146TY) where it’s on view Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 12 – 6pm and Saturday: 12 – 5pm (closed Sunday & Public Holidays).
On Tuesday, December 4th, the Horse Hospital Arts Venue in Bloomsbury, London will be the site of a screening of the two films – The Surreal Lives of Brian Griffinby Michael Prince & a short film by Brian Griffin. Doors open 7pm and the screening starts at 7.30pm, with more info and tickets available via this link – https://www.thehorsehospital.com/events/the-surreal-lives-of-brian-griffin
g) Continuing – “The Velvet Underground Experience” multi-media extravaganza currently to run in the NYC area (on display Tuesdays through Sundays – closed Mondays – until December 30th at 718 Broadway in Greenwich Village, with $25 gen’l admission/$50 VIP tickets –https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-velvet-underground-experience-17686850321)
2) Artist interviews/profile articles –
a) Update – While a previous update provided the details of “The Velvet Underground Experience” multi-media extravaganza currently on display in the NYC area (on display Tuesdays through Sundays – closed Mondays – until December 30th at 718 Broadway in Greenwich Village, with $25 gen’l admission/$50 VIP tickets –https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-velvet-underground-experience-17686850321), there’s a series of related podcasts – two featuring and one hosted by – the talented design team of Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz, whose work is included in this comprehensive display.
First off, you’ll find a 2-part interview with the dynamic design duo on the Zach Martin Rocks! Podcast during which they share the details of their Lou Reed/Velvet Underground work (collaborating with Sylvia Reed), their participation in the current VU show in NYC as well as their award-winning design projects for Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, Ramones, Talking Heads and many others.
Then, if you go and visit the couple’s own “Indie Café” online talk show site (see details, below), you’ll find a late-November, hour-long interview session they did with host Holly Stephey with the VU show’s curator Christian Fevret – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redvelvetmedia/2018/11/28/christian-fevret-the-velvet-underground-nycparis
b) As promised, here’s the link to the Norman Seef profile/interview on the AnotherManMag.com site regarding his show in London and shooting the Rolling Stones – https://www.anothermanmag.com/life-culture/10613/a-photographer-remembers-what-it-was-like-to-shoot-the-rolling-stones
c) Profile on how the much-in-demand illustrator Kyle Lambert used Apple tools to create a new album cover (Simulation Theory) for the rock band Muse – https://www.cultofmac.com/584686/muse-simulation-theory-album-art-ipad-pro-apple-pencil/
3) Auctions/Sales –
Nothing new and exciting to report about – maybe next time…
4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –
a) Update – I’m pleased as punch to announce that the book project I reported on last month – Glen Wexler’s Kickstarter campaign for a new book he’s calling The ‘80s Portrait Sessions – was fully-funded (yeah!) and, as such, backers will soon (est. March, 2019) be getting their books and related goodies as promised. 209 backers pledged nearly $33K in support of Glen’s project (including me!) and if his past work is any indication, the upcoming monograph will be a treasured addition to the ACHOF archives. Congratulations, Glen!
b) Not long ago, I gave readers the low-down on the ultra-cool series of sculpted album cover image-based products released by the talented team at KnuckleBonz (see both the Holiday Buying Guide item – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/album-cover-hall-of-fames-2018-holiday-gift-buying-guide/ and my intro a few months ago that featured an interview with company co-founder Ashley Simerman – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/album-cover-artist-and-art-news-summary-and-preview-for-july-august-2018/ . Since that time, they’ve continued to work to expand the offering and now, just in time for the Holidays, there is a new 3D Vinyl release from KnuckleBonz – Rush Hemispheres – https://knucklebonz.com/product/rush-hemispheres-3d-vinyl/
More to come, and when it’s announced, you’ll read about it here.
5) Other articles of interest –
a) Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, whose father was an artist with several album cover credits, talks about what he looks for most in his own album art (and how artist Ron English has accomplished that for him in his own work) – https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/lifestyle/2018-11-29-ive-got-a-really-good-feeling-about-guns-n-roses-sa-show-says-slash/
b) A recent article on the Den of Geek site takes us through a short-but-interesting list of album covers that feature artwork done by noted comic book artists – https://www.denofgeek.com/us/culture/marvel/277878/7-times-marvel-superheroes-appeared-on-record-covers . Fans of hip-hop music have been introduced to the world of Marvel Comics via a series of special-edition books/prints that include collections of “re-imagined” (AKA “variant”) album covers that have swapped in various comic characters for the original covers’ imagery, but several musical acts, such as guitar whiz Joe Satriani and rapper MF DOOM, have actually collaborated with comic art heroes to produce original covers displaying the likes of Silver Surfer and Dr. Doom. Of special note to Pink Floyd fans is the info provided about the superhero “hidden in plain sight” you’ll find on the A Saucerful of Secrets LP cover – the first designed by soon-to-be-legendary cover design team Hipgnosis. There – you learned something today (at least I did).
c) In case you missed my special announcement, I just wanted to wish a peaceful afterlife to photographer Peter Simon, who passed away in November on Martha’s Vineyard at the age of 71 (too young). A great talent and a very nice man who I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times, Peter’s most-notable album cover credits include – Carly Simon – Carly Simon, Anticipation, No Secrets, Hello Big Man and Christmas Is Almost Here, along with One Man Dog for James Taylor. His photos have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Boston Magazine, Newsweek, New York Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Time and The Village Voice. After moving to the Cape Cod area and becoming a resident of Martha’s Vineyard in 1973, he became a contributing photographer for the Vineyard Gazette, the Martha’s Vineyard Times (since 1984) and Cape Cod Life. He also published a yearly calendar built around his photos of the beautiful island landscapes near where he lived.
You can read more about Peter Simon via the following two links – https://relix.com/news/detail/grateful-dead-photographer-peter-simon-passes-away-at-71/?
d) After the success of a long-fought (since 2003!) effort headed by Ron Brewington, the executive director for the LA chapter of the Motown Alumni Association, there will in fact be a Marvin Gaye postage stamp coming in 2019 – https://www.eurweb.com/2018/11/marvin-gaye-gregory-hines-entertainment-icons-get-2019-stamp-treatment-from-us-postal-service/
According to the accompanying PR, Gaye will be featured as the “Prince of Soul” in the U.S.P.S.’s Music Icon series, with the design duties handled by art director Derry Noyes of D.C.-based Derry Noyes Graphics, who was inspired by various historic photographs of the late singer/songwriter.
e) The first new record plant to open in Chicago since 1980 just made the news – https://makingvinyl.com/smashed-plastic-opens-pressing-plant-in-chicago/ Opened by three chums who wanted to give smaller labels an opportunity to work with a local provider, Smashed Plastic Record Pressing will launch officially in January, 2019 but, for now, they’re putting everything in place to make sure that they’re ready-to-run. The local paper Chicago Sun Times also wrote a piece on this new effort – https://chicago.suntimes.com/business/made-in-illinois-vinyl-records-smashed-plastic-vintage-music/ and I will do what I can to find out more about the packaging end of their efforts and report back to you on what I find. In the meantime, let’s all wish them luck in their new endeavor.
f) I’m sure that many of you have wondered whether, when we see an album cover based on a photograph, we’re “getting the whole shebang” or simply a carefully-selected excerpt from a larger image. Over the years, I’ve seen some “fun with Photoshop” projects posted by creative types that give viewers an imagined view of what went on “outside the frame” (I reported on one such project by Russian artist Igor Lipchansky in a news story earlier this year – https://www.boredpanda.com/extending-album-cover-photoshop-2-igor-lipchanskiy/? ). We fans rarely get to see the “comps” for famous album cover designs but, as you’ll read in this recent story by Alex Galbraith on the Complex.com site about photogMirapher Jonathan Mannion’s portrait shot and edited for use on the cover of Jay-Z’s “The Black Album”, when we do, it really gives us a better sense of the artistry involved.
g) Washington, D.C.-based hardcore punkers and Dischord Records artist Minor Threat released their first record back in 1980 and their last, titled Salad Days, in 1985. In this recent article on the MSN news site, you’ll read about the group’s recent get- together after 35 years during which they sat to recreate the album cover image from that final recording, originally shot by noted punk rock shooter Glen E. Friedman – https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBPOfK1?m=en-us&ocid=News ;Link to new photo – https://www.instagram.com/p/BqQ1t_3nqG6/
Everything that was young is now old again.
h) Want to know what artist Richie Bucher thinks of a recent homage album cover that “pays tribute” (but not royalties) to his Green Day Dookie cover – https://www.kqed.org/arts/13844052/vince-staples-and-green-day-talking-with-dookie-cover-artist-richie-bucher
i) Censorship in the music business did in fact stifle the use of a number of images that were originally intended for use on the covers of some of our favorite albums. A quick search of my long-term memory returns results including the infamous “Butcher Cover” for The Beatles and the sea of naked women that were to be shown on the UK cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, with more-innocent examples including a shot of the Mamas & the Papas in a bathtub in 1966 (If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears) and Bob Seidemann’s pre-teen nude-holding-a-chrome-ornament cover for the Blind Faith album back in 1969. Another example was photographer Michael Vosse’s shot of a grafitti-covered bathroom intended for use on the cover of Beggar’s Banquet by the Rolling Stones (held back seemingly due to the fact that it showed a toilet), which was released with an alt shot sans toilet. I am happy to report that, in today’s authenticity-starved world, it’s nice to see that some record packagers are working to share the art that was originally intended, and so the smart folks at ABKCO have given fans the materials – both censored and not – that were used to package Beggar’s Banquet in the new anniversary release – https://themusicuniverse.com/the-rolling-stones-beggars-banquet-getting-sacd-release/
And to add insult to injury, here’s a link to another “controversial album cover” collection – https://tonedeaf.com.au/controversial-album-covers/ – that does give us (at least, some of us) some lesser-known info on a number of well-known album cover images.
j) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has continued to provide us with both insight and an education with his weekly selections, with the most-recent articles summarized below:
– Ellen Von Unworth’s photo for Hole’s 1994 record Live Through This – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-hole-s-live-through-this-with-cover-photography-by-ellen-von-unwerth/
– Nas’ 1994 debut record Illmatic features the combined talents of photographers Danny Clinch and Olu Dara, blended together by the loving hands of designer Aimée Macauley – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-nas-illmatic/
– Abdul Mati Klarwein amazed album cover fans with his surrealistic (and yet very realistic!) covers for Santana (Abraxas), Earth Wind & Fire, Gregg Allman and others, but it was for his cover for jazz great Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew that he was awarded a Grammy for “Best Album Cover” in 1970 – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-miles-davis-bitches-brew-with-cover-illustration-by-abdul-mati-klarwein/
– Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road featured illustrations by Ian Beck and the design/art direction talents of both Michael Ross and a 2018 inductee into the ACHOF in the Art Director category, David Larkham. You can first read the intro on the Juxtapoz site – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-elton-john-s-goodbye-yellow-brick-road-with-cover-illustration-by-ian-beck/ …and then follow that up with a look at the somewhat-more-detailed interview I did with Mr. Larkham on the subject on the ACHOF site – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/interview-with-david-larkham-elton-johns-goodbye-yellow-brick-road-album-cover/
That’s all for now – stay tuned and 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.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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.