Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release – Holidays, 2019-2020
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
In wishing you all a peaceful, joyful and prosperous New Year 2020, I must also live up to my commitment to delivering you the latest and greatest album cover artist/art-related news, so while it’s not quite as robust as my typical news summary (an update will come in early January), here’s my little gift to you and any lover of album art you’d care to share it with:
New/Recently-Opened Exhibitions and Gallery Shows –
a) The work of multi-Juno-Award-winning artist/illustrator Hugh Syme (best known for the scores of images he’s created for Canadian power trio RUSH) is the basis of a show in an Indiana gallery (opened in November and runs thru end of January, 2020) – https://cbs4indy.com/2019/12/16/rock-n-roll-cover-artist-hugh-syme-thrills-fans-with-art-of-rush-book-signing/ The 2013 inductee into the Album Cover Hall of Fame staged a signing on December 14th that rec’d a lot of local coverage (and made fans quite happy) – https://www.wishtv.com/indy-style/artist-hugh-syme-discusses-legendary-works-and-new-book-art-of-rush/, with more pix and info on the Gallery’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/renditionsframingcenter/
b) Very happy to announce the opening of the “pop-up” exhibition that I had a small part in the creation of. On December 2nd, the Universal Hip Hop Museum made history with the debut of the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop show at the Bronx Terminal Market, which is where the museum will ultimately be housed. In addition to a collection of unique memorabilia, there’s an interactive timeline kiosk (covering the history of the genre’s music, art, fashion, dance and more) and a very cool kiosk that asks users to share some basic details about themselves before kicking out a custom-tailored playlist (local news station News 12 brought a camera crew there to give viewers a quick tour – http://bronx.news12.com/story/41398750/team-behind-universal-hip-hop-museum-opens-exhibit-at-bronx-terminal-market. ).
You are welcome to visit the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop anytime, but please make sure you get a reserved ticket to help the team there manage crowd flow (thousands have visited from all over the world so far). Tickets are available at www.uhhm.org/revolution-of-hip-hop Congratulations to Rocky and all of the people who made this first phase of what looks to be an impressive, ongoing organization meant to share a treasure trove of information, artistry and pride in this art form, spawned in the very neighborhood this museum now lives in. It seems that the locals are very excited about getting this new museum up-and-running ASAP, too, as NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed off on a $3.7 million grant that will be used towards the construction of the 50,000 square-foot home for this museum collection https://www.complex.com/music/2019/12/new-york-state-puts-up-375-million-to-help-build-universal-hip-hop-museum-the-bronx.
Artist News & Interviews –
a) Former Ealing Art College student Pete Townshend reflects on six of The Who’s covers, including comments on his favorites and the ones he’s particularly unhappy with (which does NOT include the one done by long-time Townshend favorite Sir Peter Blake for their first new album in 13 years, titled WHO) – https://ew.com/music/2019/12/05/pete-townshend-who-album-covers/ There’s also a new limited-edition print available of the Blake WHO cover that should prove to be pretty popular with collectors – here are the details as found on the CCA Publishing (UK) site – “Get ready for The Who’s first studio album in thirteen years, titled Who. To celebrate this monumental occasion, renowned British artist Sir Peter Blake has produced the official album artwork, which is now available as part of a limited edition silkscreen print. The glossy new artwork has been made up of a rich variety of twenty five colours and varnishes, and has even been made into an animation for the official video of their two new songs, ‘Ball and Chain’, and ‘All This Music Must Fade’. Image Size: 550 x 550 mm (a little over 21.5” square), with the overall print being 730 x 750 mm (approx. 28.75”w x 29.5” h). Edition Size: 150 silkscreen prints, signed and numbered by the artist. £1995.00 (incl. VAT, excluding delivery charges). https://www.ccagalleries.com/artists/peter-blake/the-who.html
b) Interview Magazine interview with photographer Ethan Russell – by Evalena Labayen – https://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/ethan-russell-best-seat-in-house-rolling-stones-beatles
Ethan has recently released a new photography book titled Ethan Russell Photography: Best Seat in the House. The book shares the same title as Russell’s popular travelling multi-media presentation, which he’s presented at a number of locations in the US over the past several years. A man with a truly impressive resume, having provided us with memorable photos of top music acts including The Beatles (Let It Be and many intimate photos of John and Yoko), the Rolling Stones, The Who (including the iconic “pissing on the wall cover found on Who’s Next), The Doors, Linda Ronstadt and so many more, Russell shares the stories behind the photos, with some 375 of them included in the presentation.
The 248-page book includes an introduction by the Smithsonian Museum’s Curator of Photographic History Collection Shannon Perich and a preface by another talented shooter, Neal Preston. Several versions of the book are available directly from Mr. Russell, including a $20 downloadable interactive PDF, a $130 unsigned fine art version (available signed for an additional $15) and an absolutely enticing Deluxe version which, for $495, includes the 248-page book, a 50-page bonus book titled The Inside Story (which provides multiple essays and a page by page, image by image commentary which, according to Mr. Russell, “does a couple of things. It provides a context outside of the photo(s) and it really allows for a much deeper immersion into my photographic journey, ups and downs) and – to be shipped separately – an 8” x 10” archival print of your choice from Ethan’s online shop (a $400 value alone). Get the details at https://shop.ethanrussell.com/products/ethan-russell-photographs-deluxe-version-plus-print-signed-and-optionally-dedicated?
ADDITIONAL RELATED CONTENT – One of the travelling show’s local producers – CORE Entertainment, in Canada (one of the stops Russell has made with his multi-media show) – provide us with an introduction to the man and his work and, via a link on their site, an interview with Russell produced by a local TV station – http://www.coreentertainment.ca/events/detail/ethan-russell
c) DEC 2019 Lynn Goldsmith interview in The Guardian (UK) – to add some additional background to the news about Lynn that I’d included in last month’s news summary – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/dec/12/patti-smith-easter-lynn-goldsmith-best-photograph Lynn tells us more about her Easter sessions with Patti Smith, such as which shot she considers her best from that get-together (“When she started putting her poetry to rock’n’roll, Patti Smith was electric. So I always chose colours – yellow, red, blue – that punctuated that aspect of her”..).
Sales and Auctions –
a) Why not take all the goodies you got for Christmas, return them for cash and then head on over to photographer Elliott Landy’s online store before January 7th to enhance your album cover fine art collection with one of Mr. Landy’s prints/lithos, available until then at 25% off the regular price (you must use the code XMAS19 in order to get the discount, with the prices also including free shipping to U.S. addresses). It’s a “Picture Perfect” way to end the Holidays. See the collection in Mr. Landy’s online store – https://www.elliottlandy.com/product-category/eshop/
Included in the sale are images that were used on album packages and covers for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others, along with many more fetching photos from his collection.
New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –
a) Artist Wes Freed recently published a new art book and this effort serves as the basis of a new interview about the 10 album covers he’s done for the Drive By Truckers (since 1999’s Alabama Ass Whuppin’) – https://www.al.com/life/2019/12/the-secrets-of-drive-by-truckers-trippy-album-covers.html He’s also been responsible for notable album covers for other pop/rock musical acts including Dirtballs, Shiners, Marlee MacLeod, Patterson Hood and Johnny Hickman.
The 160-page, coffee table-style tome is titled “The Art of Wes Freed: Paintings, Posters, Pin-ups and Possums” and available at https://wesfreed.com/ for $55. On the site, you can page thru the chapter headings and see what’s included.
Miscellaneous Items –
a) A number of years ago, I interviewed photographers Karl Ferris (Jimi Hendrix) and Vic Singh (Pink Floyd) about their use of a “fisheye” lens in their album cover assignments, creating images that we just the right amount of “trippy” for the time (late 1960s). While the lens did find fans over and over again in the decades since by various musical acts from The Beatles to Busta Rhymes (and, just recently by Harry Styles, in another example of “what goes around, comes around”), a new video feature on the Popular Photography site about fisheye lens-based album covers and music videos serves to educate and entertain both long-time fans and those new to this unique accessory lens – https://www.popphoto.com/story/culture/how-fisheye-lens-became-staple-of-music-industry/
b) From old-school augmented reality (i.e., fisheye lens-based images) to new, here’s an article about the new Pink Floyd augmented reality (AR) site – https://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/8th-walls-web-ar-brings-album-art-pink-floyd-life-0219358/ – that’s meant to coincide with the release of the group’s The Later Years mega set, https://pflateryears.com/
As it’s stated in the article – “…the entertainment industry has welcomed augmented reality with open arms, but the music industry, in particular, has been in harmony with the technology. Examples include standalone mobile apps for David Bowie, AR headset experiences from Sigur Rós and Brian Eno, and mobile AR from Childish Gambino, as well as camera effects from Drake, Childish Gambino (again), Slipknot, Guns n’ Roses, and many more.” Add to this list the 3-D live concert experiences that have been staged over the past 10 years or so and the always-improving holograms used to bring Elvis, Tupac and others back to life and it’s pretty clear that the music business is working hard to find new and exciting ways to replace those dollars no longer spent on recorded music…
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 when we can with another monthly summary for you.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019-2020 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.