Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Mid-February, 2020
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all from mid-Winter Chicagoland. Hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you’re located (if you love the cold and snow, you should really be HERE!). I hope that the several recent mini-updates have kept you all somewhat in the loop regarding important album artist/art-related news while I’ve been working on bringing you two new long-form articles (one, a Featured Artist’s Portfolio article featuring art director/illustrator Larry Vigon and the other with one of this year’s Grammy Award winners, Masaki Koike), but now as it is approaching mid-month, I thought it wise to provide you with a bit more to read as there’s been a nice supply of articles and news stories popping up all over the Web. So, let’s go….
AWARD SHOW NEWS – Et maintenant, voici les artistes nominés (for those of you who actually speak French, forgive me if I messed that up) – Once again, our friends in Canada who stage the annual JUNO Awards (now in its 49th year) have announced this year’s nominees in the “Album Artwork” category, and they are –
Selections From Cuphead, by Kristofer Maddigan – Chad Moldenhauer (Art Director), Ian Clarke (Designer) and Warren Clark and Lance Inkwell (Illustrators);
The Superhero Suite by Kevin Hearn and Friends – Kevin Hearn (Art Director), Antoine Moonen (Designer) and Lauchie Reid and Harland Williams (Illustrators);
Bloodcrush/Bloodmyth by Ensign Broderick – Jason Sniderman (Art Director), Kris Knight and James Mejia (Designers), Chris Peters (Illustrator) and Stefanie Schneider (Photographer);
Case Study 01 by Daniel Caesar – Sean Brown and Keavan Yazdani (Art Directors) and
Malice, Mercy, Grief & Wrath by Belle Plaine – Terri Fidelak (Art Director, Designer and Illustrator), Regan Fraser (Art Director) and Carey Shaw (Photographer)
The award winners will be announced on Sunday, March 15th in ceremonies being held at the SASKTEL CENTRE, SASKATOON, SK and will be broadcast live on the CBC. https://www.cbc.ca/music/junos
Last year’s winner was Mike Milosh (Art Director, Designer, Illustrator, & Photographer) who won for his work on Rhye’s Blood album.
A local reporter caught up with interview with a couple of the nominees who worked Belle Plaine’s nominated package – the multi-talented Terri Fidelak and photographer Carey Shaw and who both happen to have grown up and/or live in Saskatchewan (as did musician Melanie Berglund, AKA Belle Plaine) – and asked them about their work for their friend on this project – https://globalnews.ca/news/6486363/album-artwork-juno-award-saskatchewan-belle-plaine/
Of course, you’ll read more about the winner of this year’s JUNO award in this category immediately after the announcement has been made, so stay tuned…
New/Recently-Opened Exhibitions and Gallery Shows
NEW COMING SOON) Now this is a show I’d like to see – those of you in the Los Angeles area ought to set your sights on visiting the Mr. Musichead Gallery – beginning with a special fund-raising event this Thursday, February 13th built around a new showing of noted designer Rod Dyer’s collection of Jazz portraits. A percentage of the evnt’s proceeds will benefit the TEAK Fellowship, an organization that provides “educational and transformative experiences” for exceptional students who use these opportunities “to change their lives and the world around them”.
One of the best-known and most-respected album cover designers (and a 2019 inductee into the ACHOF in the “Album Cover Designer” category), Dyer music industry portfolio is a truly impressive one, having produced memorable and award-winning designs for a long list of label clients – Capitol Records, MCA Records, Maverick Records. Island Records and many others. Musical acts that have been beneficiaries of Dyer’s talents include Carole King, The Raspberries, The Jackson 5, Bob Marley, Roberta Flack, Linda Ronstadt, Parliament, Peter Frampton, James Taylor, Alice Cooper, Stephen Bishop, Kansas, Elton John, Jefferson Starship and quite a few others. Expanding the range of his/his agency’s design and advertising work into other aspects of the entertainment industry, over time his client list grew to include film and television brands including Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Gramercy Pictures, Buenva Vista Film & Television, Eastman Kodak and The Disney Channel, to name just a few. He’s created well-known logos for Entertainment Tonight, The Disney Channel and Maverick Records, as well as for consumer brands including Guess Jeans and the Koo Koo Roo chicken restaurant chain.
Through the years, Dyer has received a host of honors for his work, including awards of distinction from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Art Director’s Clubs, the Society of Publication Designers, Graphis Annual, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Key Art Awards the International Annual of Letterhead Design and The One Show’s advertising show. In addition to his “day job”, Mr. Dyer has found time to publish a series of successful collector’s books about popular design (including Coast to Coast: The Best of Travel Decal Art and Fit to Be Tied: Vintage Ties of the Forties and Early Fifties) and to create a line of necktie and pen designs marketed through Acme Studios. Until 2011, he was also owner of the West Hollywood Italian restaurant/celebrity haunt Pane e Vino. Still hard at work, Rod currently resides in Los Angeles.
More information on Dyer’s work and this event are available at – https://www.mrmusichead.com/events/2020/2/13/rod-dyer-jazz-original-artwork-exhibition? With tickets available via this link – https://www.evensi.us/rod-dyer-jazz-original-artwork-exhibition-musichead-gallery/374132725
To see a comprehensive overview of Dyer’s album cover work, why not click on over to his web site at https://www.roddyer.com/?page_id=2340
2) There’s a new Jamie Reid show now on display (until March 1st) at the Gallery Simpson Artists venue in the UK that is the culmination of a six-month-long effort to focus on the intersection of politics and art. Curated by John Marchant, the “Dragon’s Revenge” solo show tours visitors through Reid’s political works over the past 50 years. Jamie Reid is “an artist with a capital ‘A’” whose ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ sleeve for the Sex Pistols was voted second best ever by Rolling Stone magazine, and an artist who you cannot get through art school without studying. His father, the City Editor on London’s Daily Sketch, and his mother, (who, according to Reid, was “a firm believer in fairies”), were steeped in spiritual socialism. Their philosophical legacy inspired Jamie to dive into the protest movement at the first opportunity, which just happened to be the student movement of ’68, organizing an occupation of Croydon Art College together with Malcolm McLaren.
The pair teamed-up later that year to make a film about the History Of Oxford Street, before going their separate ways – McLaren into the fashion business and Reid “into the rebellion business”, where he co-founded Suburban Press magazine in 1970. It was here that Jamie developed his unique style that was later used in Punk. Inspired greatly by Reid’s accessible, easy to copy graphics, punk started a do-it-yourself revolution which, nearly 50 years on, is still very much kicking and ripping-up the rules the world over. Ever since, 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. 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.
3) Regular readers of this site have seen my annual reporting on the “Secret 7” bespoke record sleeve project and the impressive amount of talent on display each year. 2020 celebrates the organization’s seventh edition of the show, with this year being the final one and so, as you might imagine, there will be a number of big-name participants who’ll be donating both music and art in an effort to raise funds for their chosen charity – pioneering humanitarian aid agency Help Refugees. “Combining Music and Art for Good, Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then openly invite visual artists to create artwork for the 7 tracks, resulting in 700 unique records which are exhibited in London from May 9th thru the 30th, before being sold on a first come, first served basis (limit 4 to a customer – no online sales) in a quick sale staged May 31st “. Priced at £70 each, buyers don’t know who created the artwork or even which song it’s for, until they have parted with their cash. In past years, lucky buyers have gone home with art by contributors such as David Shrigley, Gilbert & George, Ai Weiwei, Es Devlin, Sir Paul Smith, Sir Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Polly Morgan, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Yoko Ono, Sir Peter Blake, Julian Opie, Martin Parr, Jenny Holzer, Harland Miller, Gavin Turk and many other photographers, illustrators, painters, graffiti artists and sculptors. With the support of these collectors, they’re hoping to take their grand total given to charity to over £250,000.
While those of us not in the London area can only watch with intense jealousy, it is always fun to see who each year’s sale brings to the table in reports after the event. On the music side, this year’s participants include Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Internet Come Over, Koffee Toast, Miles Davis, Vampire Weekend and the Foo Fighters (more about this group’s participation can be found in articles on the Alternative Nation site at https://www.alternativenation.net/foo-fighters-announce-massive-final-show-2020/ and the Creative Boom site at https://www.creativeboom.com/resources/secret-7-is-back-revealing-its-tracks-for-2020/
More info on the event can be found on their web site at https://secret-7.com/page/about Best of luck to the Secret 7” team – I’m sure we’ll see more from them in the future.
Artist News and Interviews
The past month has graced us with a host of interesting interviews with many of the talented makers of our favorite album packages, including GOLDMINE Magazine’s interview with Aubrey Powell and Andy Jackson about the making of the new Pink Floyd mega-box set (The Later Years) – https://www.goldminemag.com/articles/the-making-of-pink-floyd-the-later-years
Over on the Vinyl Factory site, designer Paul Camo takes us on a tour of his studio – https://thevinylfactory.com/features/designer-paul-camo-interview/, while on the Evil Tender site, you’ll get to dig deep into the psyche of talented Third Man Records designer Rob Jones – https://eviltender.com/2019/09/10/interview-designer-rob-jones-explores-his-grief/
Photographer David LaChappelle is not one who needs much of an introduction, with his work found on display in publications, galleries and museums around the world, but his fame did get a bit of a boost this year as the result of his collaboration with singer Lizzo – who received eight Grammy Award nominations this year, winning in three categories including “Best Pop Solo Performance”, “Best Traditional R&B Performance” and “Best Urban Contemporary Album” – to produce the awesome cover photo for Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You. Rolling Stone Magazine brings us behind the scenes at https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/lizzo-photographer-david-lachapelle-rolling-stone-cover-shoot-941185/
Lastly, over on The Telegraph (U.K.) web site (reg. required), album packaging guru Peter Saville shares the details of the album cover project (no spoilers here) that, according to the designer, “almost ruined him” – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/blue-monday-new-order-hit-broke-every-single-law-record-sleeve/
Sales and Auctions
1) Show us once again that fans of album artwork are often willing to pay vast sums for their favorite original artwork, an article on the hard rock magazine Kerrang!’s website, you can read about one such example as the canvas used for the cover of Death’s 6th studio album Symbolic (painted by the artist René Miville) is sold via eBay auction for over $10K – https://www.kerrang.com/the-news/deaths-symbolic-artwork-sells-for-over-10-000-on-ebay/
In the “miscellaneous category”, recent articles have show us items of great interest, including two on a farmer in the U.K. who uses his free time (and talent) to create sculptured ceramic recreations of some of his (and your) favorite album covers – https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/farmer-creates-unique-3d-album-17656588 and https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-suffolk-51197052
Over on the Grunge.com site, you’ll find an article about several musical acts that, for a variety of reasons, were strongly-persuaded to change their preferred images on one or more of their album covers – https://www.grunge.com/183286/musicians-that-were-forced-to-change-their-album-covers
Over the years, several designers have created album packages that morphed into different shapes, but here’s a much-more-practical offering, particularly during the winter months – a record sleeve that becomes a hat – https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/jacob-wise-klunk-kormelink-graphic-design-280120
Lastly but not leastly, I’d invite all fans of psychedelic album cover photography to enjoy the details found in this article about fisheye lens-based album covers – https://www.popphoto.com/story/culture/how-fisheye-lens-became-staple-of-music-industry/ Yes, there were more than the ones found on Are You Experienced? (by Karl Ferris) and Piper At The Gates of Dawn (Vic Singh) Who need Photoshop when you have a lens that delivers convex non-rectilinear images all on its own?
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 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.