Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update
posted January 4th, 2019, by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Hope that you all had happy new year celebrations (some of you may still be in the midst of one!) and, while I said that I wasn’t going to be posting monthly news summaries for a while (in order to be able to devote more time to organizing the materials for my book and some other projects I’m involved with), I am still going to share a headline or two when I think that there’s something timely you should know about…
– For example, I wanted to bring you an update to my year-end “best/worst” album cover overview – WBUR 90.9 in Boston posted a year-end overview of album art trends in the Hip-Hop/Rap space – https://www.wbur.org/artery/2018/12/31/hip-hop-album-cover-art-isnt-thing-of-the-past The author’s (Arielle Grey) contention is that musical acts in this genre are really beginning to appreciate what a good cover can do to help sell a record, and while she might be a bit late coming to that realization, the examples she shares are really great examples of the kind of work being created by album cover creators working for clients in this popular genre…
– Recent ACHOF Inductee Shawn Brauch (of Pen & Pixel Graphics fame) shared a link and some commentary about a show built around his studio’s portfolio of work that was staged in Paris recently. As he put it, “All of the interest in Pen and Pixel these days has us sort of flying high! LOL! Yes, the Paris show was a big one, 107 pieces in all, 2500 people attended in the first two days – crazy, right?. Four TV interviews and two radio show appearances – who would have thought there was that much interest in the stories behind the covers, but apparently there are…I do have a recent interview linked here which kind give you a breakdown of how the covers were put together.”
– I heard recently from Nick Egan – a designer who, to me at least, helped define the look of post-punk album cover art via his work for Iggy Pop, Bow Wow Wow, Psychedelic Furs and others – who shared a link to a video interview he participated in and spoke about what it was like creating album covers for INXS and others – https://lnwy.co/watch/covers-nick-egan-inxs/ – according to Nick, “I wanted to mess with people’s psychology with these”. The video was produced by Melbourne, Australia-based Bolster Creative/Design and the LNWY Company.
– Those of you in the NYC area might want to cancel any plans you might have for this coming Thursday, January 10th and head on over to attend an ADC Artist Talk featuring photographer Mark Seliger taking place at The One Club For Creativity Gallery located at 450 W. 31st (6th floor) in NYC. https://www.oneclub.org/events/-mark-seliger-photography?
Per the event’s PR, “With a career spanning more than three decades, including culture-shaping roles at Rolling Stone, GQ and Vanity Fair, Mark has captured everybody from Barack Obama to the Dalai Lama, from Kurt Cobain to Serena Williams. He’ll be visiting our Gallery to reflect on the evolution of his incredible career, and give insight on what drives him as one of the most sought-after portrait artists in the world.” I can add that Mark’s photos have graced the packages for records by Lenny Kravitz, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney and many, many others. Mark will also be signing copies of his latest book (Photographs) at the event that evening.
– A reader named Mario from Brazil was kind enough to send me a link to a recent (November, 2018) audio interview posted on the “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Elton John Podcast” site that features ACHOF inductee David Larkham, perhaps best-known for the many album covers he created for Sir Elton, beginning with 1970’s Tumbleweed Connection and continuing as his go-to art director virtually non-stop until 1985’s Fire On Ice (returning once again in 2005 for the three-disc Elton John Chronicles compilation). In addition to his classic EJ work, David also created the memorable covers for musical acts from Leo Sayer to Van Morrison to Three Dog Night and many others (on a personal note, David created one of my all-time favorite covers, made back in the day when record companies were trying very hard to impress – that being the fold-out pyramid for Ambrosia’s Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled).
During the hour-long interview, David recalls his time spent back in the early days with Elton, Bernie (and their late producer Steve Brown) and what it was like to collaborate with the artsy duo (Bernie’s a talented painter, and both are sophisticated art collectors) and take on a wide range of design jobs (including the coordination of the imagery featured prominently in the musician’s Farewell Tour). He even spends a moment talking about the making of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which was the subject of my interview with him a few years ago – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/interview-with-david-larkham-elton-johns-goodbye-yellow-brick-road-album-cover/
– Our friends at the UK’s Hypergallery have two new sets of album art-related prints out – one from Terry Pastor (you’ll remember his fantastic work on the cover of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust LP, among others) – https://www.hypergallery.com/new? Who has released thee new limited-edition prints – celebrating icons of American Rock ‘n’ Roll, with the other featuring the Talk Talk covers created by illustrator James Marsh – https://www.hypergallery.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=James+Marsh&utm_source=Hypergallery+Album+Cover+Art+Bulletin&
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point you to my 2012 interview with the super-talented Mr. Marsh on the very same subject – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/james-marsh-talk-talk-interview/ You’ll enjoy reading the stories behind this modern-day Magritte’s work for the European hit-makers.
– Here’s a Grammy Award-related update – a 4-time Grammy-nominated artist (and nominated again this year for his cover for The Offering by The Chairman) art director Qing-Yang Xiao was recently commissioned to do a calendar for the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense – http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201812040007.aspx
Xiao picked up his first Grammy nom in 2005 with The Wandering Accordion, with other packaging nominations coming in 2008 for White Horse, 2009 for Poems and Songs and again in 2010 for Story Island as a finalist in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category. For more on this year’s nominated work, click on over to http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aedu/201812080003.aspx
That’s all for now – back to you sometime soon with more on our favorite people working on our favorite album packages.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019 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.