Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for February 15, 2019


Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update for February 15, 2019



by Mike Goldstein,

I recently learned about two new album art-centric merchandising programs that have been launched – one, by a well-known manufacturer of classic leisure ware that will sport imagery from one of classic rock’s biggest acts and a second by two island nations in the South Pacific – one large and one much smaller – who have released some new coinage that features album art by one of the area’s biggest rock exports…

1) Fifty years ago, in January, 1969, an album was released in the U.S. that featured a cover based on an artistic pen-and-ink re-working by designer George Hardie of Sam Shere’s famous 1937 photo of the German airship Hindenburg bursting into flames during a storm while docked during a visit to this country. While history has shown us that, rather than representing a tragic technical failure (or, as The Who’s Keith Moon is quoted to have said, “going over like a lead balloon”), this image is closely associated with the launch of what would be one of rock music’s biggest bands – Led Zeppelin – and, using today’s vernacular, “blowing up” sales-wise, for the record would go on to sell over 8 million copies in the U.S. alone and landing on nearly every major publications’ “Best Albums of All Time” lists.

To celebrate the record’s anniversary, the band has licensed some of their best-known imagery to shoe and clothing manufacturer Van’s, who’ll be releasing some special-edition merchandise, including two pairs of sneakers, a t-shirt and a baseball cap, which will feature the record’s cover image as well as the group’s rune-based symbols (as seen on later records) and the Van’s “Off The Wall” tagline. These items will be available for order beginning February 22nd on the band’s official merch site – – alongside other 50 anniversary items currently available for sale. Writing on the Advertising Specialty Institute’s site, Sara Lavenduski provides us with a bit of an intro on these soon-to-be-released items –

Make sure that there’s no communication breakdown and get your own Led Zep collectibles when they become available next week.

2) Rockers AC/DC have no fans more loyal than those in their home country of Australia, and so to honor them in an extra-special way, both the Royal Australian Mint and the money folks in the Cook Islands have simultaneously released several limited-edition coins that boast well-known album cover images expertly engraved on their faces. The Australian offerings – one 50 cent piece and the other a five dollar coin – show the Thunderstruck cover image, while the folks who’ve designed the Cook Islands coinage chose, for some unknown reason, part of the band’s Black Ice album cover for one coin and a variation on the Highway To Hell image for another.

Since these coins have been announced, the web sites for both countries’ mints have been inundated with traffic and orders, forcing the Australian mint to push back the release. There are only 999 Cook Islands Black Ice $10 coins that will be minted and 1973 of the $2 Highway To Hell version, so look for them on the resale markets, I’d figure! Here are a few links to sites where you’ll find more of the details – ; and

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein and – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

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