Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for February 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for February, 2021

Posted January 29, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

This past month, I think we’ll all agree, was one that made all the world stop and wonder what the future might hold for us in so many aspects of our lives. Will democracy survive? Will justice be served? When will I be able to get a shot of the vaccine? Why won’t some of my neighbors – for their benefit and mine – wear a f#%king mask? With so many important questions to consider, it makes me wonder why it is that I remain committed to delivering a steady stream of news about what’s happening in the world of album cover art, design and photography…Perhaps its merely a way to distract both myself and my readers from spending 100% of our time wondering whether sane and qualified people will quickly step up to deliver us all from the clutches of this now-year-old pandemic or, maybe more so, simply my way of pointing out that, with the proper attention and resources paid, the arts – and the people involved in them – can do wonders to keep us all sane and paying attention to what’s important beyond what’s being delivered to us – at 130db and in bright red 50-point type – via the many places we source our news and entertainment.

As I’ve previously stated, it’s in the spirit of keeping things in their proper perspective and understanding that you all have a lot on your plates these days, this month’s summary will be as brief and to the point as I can make it. Much work is still being done in the world of music industry-related visual design and production and so it continues to be  my honor and pleasure to report on – and promote – this work and the people who do it. So, let’s get started…

Special Award Show updates

Originally posted 1/5/2021) – With votes coming in from all over the globe, fans of album cover design have once again selected a trio of impressive examples of the craft out of the 50 nominated designs in the 2020 Best Art Vinyl competition, and the winners were:

First prize – Russell Oliver for the artwork he created for the Ultra Mono album by IDLES;

Second prize – Designer Chris Peyton at VVVOID for his work on Nick Mason’s Saucerfull of Secrets album Live at the Roundhouse; and

Third place goes to photographer Maria Lax and graphic designer David Kitson their work on the Doves’ album The Universal Want

The folks at Best Art Vinyl noted that, in the Ultra Mono album cover, “we have our image of 2020; the massive pink ball representing the band’s ‘unstoppable and unavoidable’ ideal of love and acceptance, colliding forcefully with any opposition. A message of Positivity against Adversity… something we’ve all had to embrace this year!”

All of the Best Art Vinyl Award nominated designs are available for viewing as part of a virtual gallery – https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=PJdYGoWdriq. Set inside a redeveloped customs house building at a place called Folkstone Harbour (in Kent, U.K.), the 3-D exhibition is simple to tour via the site navigation, with works each mounted on their own easels and information provided about the people who created them.

You can take a closer look at this year’s winners and nominees on the following page on the Best Art Vinyl site – https://artvinyl.com/award-year/2020/

Congratulations from the ACHOF to the winners, the nominees and to Andrew H. and his team for another exciting competition.

b) The final voting for the two other “big time” album cover-related award competitions we’ve been following – the Grammy Awards (see below) and the Making Vinyl Awards here in the U.S. – has been completed and, while the final announcements have yet to be made (with the Making Vinyl Awards announcement due to be released in mid-February and the Grammy Awards delayed until March 14th due to the spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles), we’ll all just have to continue to wait patiently (my fingernails are nearly gone at this point) to see who’s determined to have created the best examples of packaging and imagery in the recorded music business. Based on what I saw while working as a judge for this year’s Making Vinyl Awards and my research into the Grammy-nominated entries, there’s been no slow-down or lack of inspiration in the work being done by today’s crop of album cover-making talent, so it’ll be fun to finally see who the top vote-getters are when the winners are announced over the next 60 days. To recap, the Recording Academy presented their nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards in the Packaging Categories in late November,  and, once again,  here they are:

In the “Best Recording Package” category:

Pilar Zeta, art director, for Coldplay’s EVERYDAY LIFE; Kyle Goen, art director, for Lil Wayne’s FUNERAL; Julian Gross & Hannah Hooper, art directors, for HEALER by Grouplove; Jordan Butcher, art director, for ON CIRCLES by Caspian and Doug Cunningham & Jason Noto, art directors for Desert Sessions’ VOLS. 11 & 12

In the “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package” category:

Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith, Paul McCartney and James Musgrave, art directors, for Paul McCartney’s FLAMING PIE (COLLECTOR’S EDITION); Lisa Glines & Doran Tyson, art directors, for the Grateful Dead’s GIANTS STADIUM 1987, 1989, 1991; Jeff Schulz, art director, for MODE by Depeche Mode; Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors, for Wilco’s ODE TO JOY and Michael Cina & Molly Smith, art directors, for VMP ANTHOLOGY: THE STORY OF GHOSTLY INTERNATIONAL, with music by various artists

And although this category is not regularly covered by the ACHOF, the nominees in the “Best Album Notes” category are:

Tim Brooks, album notes writer, for AT THE MINSTREL SHOW: MINSTREL ROUTINES FROM THE STUDIO, 1894-1926 (Various Artists); Scott B. Bomar, album notes writer, for THE BAKERSFIELD SOUND: COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL OF THE WEST, 1940-1974 (Various Artists); Bob Mehr, album notes writer for DEAD MAN’S POP by The Replacements; Colin Hancock, album notes writer, for THE MISSING LINK: HOW GUS HAENSCHEN GOT US FROM JOPLIN TO JAZZ AND SHAPED THE MUSIC BUSINESS (Various Artists) and David Sager, album notes writer, for Nat Brusiloff’s OUT OF A CLEAR BLUE SKY.

In the meantime, if you’d like to see the complete list of Grammy Award nominees in all categories, click on over to the Grammy.com site at https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2021-grammys-complete-nominees-list

One related item – the Grammy’s MusiCares Foundation is also holding a series of fund-raising auctions that began on January 31st, with dozens of one-of-a-kind items available (with more added throughout the month of February) for bidding. Read more in our Auctions/Items for Sale section, below.

Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info

a) A 2013 inductee into the ACHOF’s Album Cover Illustrator category and, just recently in 2020, also an inductee into the Album Cover Designer category (!!), artist Hugh Syme’s contribution to the world of album art has been truly significant over the years, as he’s the one responsible for creating the mind-boggling portfolio of work found in the discography of  Canada’s biggest rock music export – i.e., RUSH.

Syme has also been the talent behind album covers for Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Supertramp (and many others), so it was intriguing to learn about the opening of three exhibits built around his work that’s been organized by the Fishers Arts Council in the town of Fishers, Indiana (wait, I thought he was Canadian…but wasn’t he trained in the U.K.? I’m confused…).

Well, it turns out that Hugh moved to the North-suburban Indianapolis area a while back to be closer to his daughters, and so it’s quite the honor for the local art council to be able to offer locals and visitors with these shows at The Art Gallery at City Hall in Fishers. According to the local press –  https://www.youarecurrent.com/2021/01/21/famed-album-cover-artists-work-on-display/#prettyPhoto

“The January exhibit, “The World at Large,” features 13 prints while the February exhibit, “Music and Cover Art,” will feature another 13 prints. In March, the exhibit will conclude with “Music Art of RUSH” with 25 prints exhibited. If COVID-19 protocols allow, a live reception will be held with Syme from 6 to 8 p.m. March 19.” You’ll find more info at https://www.fishersartscouncil.org/art-gallery-exhibit

I’ve also previously noted that Hugh is also busy with a podcast (Musicbuzzz) he’s doing with two friends in which he’s presenting interviews with some of the people he’s chums with. Recent episodes have included interviews with former Genesis guitar wizard Steve Hackett, E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren, legendary music publicist Bob Merlis and over a dozen more music industry notables –  https://sites.google.com/view/musicbuzzzpodcastofficial

To get a look at the breadth of Hugh’s work (fine art, commercial work, etc.), please start with a visit to the “Music” page on his web site at http://www.hughsyme.com/#121

b) January 10th was the fifth anniversary of the sad passing of rocker David Bowie (!!) and so the team at the U.K.’s Hypergallery worked to commemorate the date by putting together a month-long show of works by several artists, including former Polydor Records art director Vincent McEvoy, artist and illustrator Terry Pastor (of Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust album cover fame), noted photographer Christopher Makos and several others, that can be seen either/both online or in-person in their print room in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, west of London.

Prints from the show can also be purchased, with prices that range from as little as £90.00 up to several thousand GBPs, so there’s something to fit everyone’s budget. To see what’s up and available, click on over to their site at  https://hypergallery.com/collections/powerofbowie?

The Hypergallery team also released an 18+ minute “Exhibition Special” podcast (the next in their Art of the Album series that I told you about last month) titled 5 Years: To The Power of Bowie that provides a nice intro to their show –  https://hypergallery.com/blogs/art-of-the-album-podcast/audio

You can subscribe for upcoming episodes of this podcast (simply search for “art of the album” wherever you get your podcasts), with upcoming episodes to include chats with Michael Spencer Jones (Oasis), Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis fame about Pink Floyd, James Marsh on Talk Talk, Richard Evans on The Who, Central Station Design regarding Happy Mondays and Toby Mott on De La Soul. Sounds like a plan.

c) While our regular focus remains on work done for rock/pop acts here in North America and in the U.K. and Europe, from time to time I’m made aware of displays of album art in other areas of the globe, so I’m pleased to be able to share some info about a new indie album art exhibit that’s on display through February 3rd at the UU Mouth co-working space in Taipei, Taiwan – https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2021/01/05/2003749979

The show’s titled “Taiwan Record Printing Exhibition — Indie Music Expressed in Comics and Illustrations” and was curated by John Huang (黃俊豪), a local industry insider who noted that many indie music artists are also keen to express themselves visually and have taken these projects on themselves. Nice work, I think you’ll agree.

One thing I must say about the effects of the pandemic on art displays – there have been some very impressive online alternatives (to being there in person) and, with the number of regularly-scheduled live and recorded “meet the artist” events increasing and, usually, offering more intimacy than some of the in-person events I’ve attended, I think that this type of presentation is here to stay.

I continue to urge you to realize that while many public/retail galleries and museums continue to be closed to the public, some have recently re-opened or announced plans to either/both re-open soon (e.g., Chicago’s Art Institute just announced a limited re-opening in early February), making sure that they’re doing all they can to keep customers and their employees safe and/or continuing on in their efforts to create digital/online content. The Grammy Museum in LA, Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the new Universal Hip-Hop Museum in New York (www.uhhm.org) have all produced prodigious amounts of multi-media product for their respective web sites, and many retail galleries – in addition to the online portfolios they’ve created – are also available to help by appointment, so if you’re looking to learn more about what’s taking place in art spaces in your area, I’d invite you to look through the list of sellers I’m maintaining on the ACHOF site –  https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-buying-and-selling-resources-page/ – and then visit their sites to see who is doing what.

Artist News and Interviews

­­ a) I’d originally interviewed art director/photographer Stephen Paley about his work in the music business (and, in particular, his album covers for Sly & The Family Stone) back in July 2009, but had never published the finished version, instead referencing it in every lecture I’ve given about album cover art/design. After Paley’s 2020 induction into the Album Cover Hall of Fame in the photography category, I decided to revisit the topic and finally finished an updated version of the article, so if you’re ready to take a peek behind the scenes of this complicated family affair, read on…

Sly Stone There’s A Riot Goin’ On album art, by Stephen Paley (used by permission)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/achof-interview-with-stephen-paley-on-sly-stones-theres-a-riot-goin-on/

b) Album cover film project update – Several years ago, I’d corresponded with art director Kevin Hosmann about a project he was starting that, as a fan of album cover art, I felt would be essential viewing for any fan of the medium as, like the ACHOF, the focus of the film – simply titled The Album – would be on the PEOPLE that create these memorable images (versus just the images themselves). I was fortunate enough to be able to see some of the rough cuts of interviews he’d done to that point and just those brief samples were enough to convince me that the finished product would be one that would do a lot to bring the stories of both these talented people and the images they’ve created to fans eager for that knowledge, and so I’m happy to say that Kevin recently finished the film and is now looking for distribution and so, with any luck, we’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of his work sometime in the near future.

Here’s how Kevin describes his film – “THE ALBUM is an independently produced documentary about the record industry, told from the perspective of the art department. With over 40 interviews covering three generations of work, top creators of their day talk about the development of the art synonymous with the music you know and love. From Abbey Road, Hotel California, and Dark Side of the Moon to Breakfast in America and Nirvana’s Nevermind, you’ll hear the stories behind the most memorable art in music history. These art directors and photographers shaped pop culture of their day and reflect on the delicate balance between art and commerce, rebellion and status quo, and the consequences of digital disruption.”

The interviewees you’ll meet include (in order of appearance) – Neal Preston, Mick Haggerty, Bob Merlis, John Kosh, Roger Dean, Ernie Cefalu, John Van Hamersveld, Chuck Beeson, Henry Diltz, Tom Pope, Jayme Odgers, Craig Braun, Aubrey Powell, Robert Fisher, Tom Nikosey, Jeri Heiden, Tommy Steele, Mike Salisbury, Melanie Nissen, Len Peltier, Lawrence Azerrad, Carl Overr, Jeff Ayeroff, Jeff Gold, Tim Devine, Richard Frankel, Kevin Hosmann, Bonnie Schiffman, Hugh Brown, Masaki Koike, Joseph Abajian, Abbey Konowitch, Eddie Meehan, Alicia Yaffe, Steve Sheldon, Gavin Taylor, Frank Maddocks, Kenny Gravillis and Adam Parsons.

More to come as information is made available, but pretty-exciting news, no?

c) I’ve been intrigued by the ongoing series of videos found on YouTube’s NEWHD channel under the series title of Designing for Music, a project conceived and curated by the immensely talented design duo of Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz (who are credited on packages for clients including Bon Jovi, Ramones, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground and many others) featuring commentary by veteran radio personality Zach Martin and musician/producer/actor/writer Patrick Bamburak.

Uploaded this past week was a Designing for Music Special featuring the appearance of Stylorouge’s Rob O’Connor, principal of the award-winning U.K.-based design studio who, over the years, has created memorable album art for music industry clients including a-ha, Blur, The Cure, Robert Fripp, Jesus Jones, Pretenders, Rolling Stones, Siouxsite & The Banshees and many others.

Rob and his Stylorouge team were also profiled in the Drate/Salavetz-penned 1992 book Designing for Music, so this video reunion (approx.. 94 minutes in length) and deep-dive into Rob’s catalog should be just the thing album art fans were looking for this weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIv6mbSb__o

d) Brian and the team at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto posted a link to a short video featuring famed photographer Lynn Goldsmith during which she steps us thru examples of her photos of the late great Tom Petty. Lynn shot the cover for Petty’s huge hit record Damn The Torpedoes and enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Petty and his bandmates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmDMrjt5Ahc&feature=youtu.be

e) Via a recent posting on the RouteNote.com blog, you’ll find an Interview with London-based commercial photographer Aaron Parsons, whose work for music industry clients includes images used on album covers for the Arctic Monkeys and M.I.A..

Aaron grew up in Cornwall, U.K. where, according to his site bio, he was provided “with a perfect place to explore and develop my photography. It’s natural beauty, rugged coastline and stunning landscapes meant I was spoilt for choice for inspiration…Shortly after graduating (in 2010 with a degree from the ATRiuM School of Creative & Cultural Industries at the the University of Glamorgan in Cardiff, Wales, U.K.), I started my own business with an open-minded approach to the kind of work I would do, not confining myself to one specific area…” Aaron now spreads his talents between commercial clients in many different industries and also has beautiful portfolios of images taken from nature, so if you’d like to learn more about this young man and what motivates him in his career, click on over to

https://routenote.com/blog/aaron-parsons-photographer/

https://www.aaronparsons.co.uk/

f) Quickie interview with noted designer Cey Adams kicks off Shaolin Jazz’s new editorial feature – https://gmoney77.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/the-5-deadly-questions-feat-cey-adams/? Mr. Adams’ contributions to the album art world include album cover packages such as – Notorious BIG – Ready To Die; Beastie Boys – Intergalactic, Hello Nasty, The Negotiation Limerick File and Body Movin’; Geto Boys – The Resurrection; Mary J. Blige – What’s The 411?; 3rd Bass – Cactus Revisited; Slick Rick – The Ruler’s Back; Public Enemy – There’s A Poison Goin’ On; Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane  and LL Cool J’s All World 2 and Authentic. He also published a detailed look at the important work being done in the world of hip-hop art and design in the book titled DEFINITION.

g) January brought us four more installments in the very-informative Art of the Album series that’s been running on the Muse by Clio site. Clicking on one or more of the following links will bring you to one of three “Great Album Covers” articles (two with ten and one that “goes to eleven”) from Studio Linear principal Andrea Beaulieu, Publicis New York’s chief creative officer Andy Bird and Cramer-Kasselt’s director of agency communications Melissa Severin. The fourth entry in the series, you’ll find Fitzco senior copyrighter Evan Miguel spinning the topic around a bit (as good copyrighters do) to present ten nicely-packaged albums in which consumers will find music just as innovative as the sleeves they’re delivered in:

https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-andrea-beaulieu-studio-linear

https://musebycl.io/art-album/11-great-album-covers-chosen-andy-bird-publicis-new-york

https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-melissa-severin-cramer-krasselt

https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-albums-where-music-lives-cover-art

Items for Sale and/or at Auction

Originally posted 1/22/21) – Photographer Elliott Landy having a special Valentine’s Day sale featuring 16 of his famous “infrared” photos, including images of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Band, bluesman John Lee Hooker and jazz greats Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler – 25% off regular prices (some even a bit more!), with prints beginning at $325.00 (cheap!).

https://www.elliottlandy.com/valentines-day-infrared-print-sale/

According to Elliott – “I consider this body of Infrared photos to be amongst my best work from the Sixties. The prints on sale were shot on Infrared Color Film in the late Sixties, except for the ones of Janis Joplin and Richard Manuel in performance, which share the same “visual vibration” – the feeling – of the infrareds.

Aero Infrared color film was developed by the military for surveillance purposes. In the late 60s, some photographers began to use Kodak Aero Infrared film for artistic effect. It was sensitive to invisible infrared light (heat) as well as visible light. When you used it, you could not be sure what it was going to look like since the exposure depended on the amount of infrared light present and it was not practical to accurately measure it. Using it was trial and error. To capitalize on the unreal colors, I used colored filters. Using a yellow filter gave one type of effect and a green another. However, it was impossible to know what the photo would look like, which is what made it interesting for me. The elements of chance and randomness made it more fun.

On the other hand, using it was a pain. Infrared light focuses differently than visible light so I had to adjust the focus manually according to distance rather than just looking through the viewfinder while turning the lens barrel. In addition, I was holding a colored filter in front of the lens. Since the film was extremely sensitive, you had to load it in darkness, or the beginning of the roll would be fogged by infrared light seeping through the camera’s normal light baffles.”

All of these fine art prints are produced in his studio and are printed with archival inks on the finest quality 310 gsm heavyweight fine art acid free, archival papers. All prints are signed on the front, under the image, by the talented Mr. Landy, with the date the image was printed stamped on the back.

While sale prices are good through Feb. 15th, if you’d like to have your prints in-hand in time for Valentine’s Day giving, orders should be placed no later than January 31st.

b) Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason used his skills in architectural drafting (which he studied in school, at Regent Street Polytechnic) to create the cover for the band’s 1971 compilation release titled Relics. Over the years, variations of the original hand-drawn design were produced to be used as covers for alt versions of the record for different markets, including one that Storm Thorgerson and his team at the Hipgnosis design firm created in 1996 using a photo of a model he had built based on Mason’s original drawing (Nick is the proud owner of that model to this very day).

In 2008, Mason teamed with the U.K. print publisher Dekkel Fine Art Publishing to create a limited-edition (195) signed/numbered art print and, in honor of his 77th birthday (celebrated on January 27th), St. Paul’s Gallery in Birmingham, U.K., is having a special sale on copies of the print, taking 23% off its regular price for orders placed by February 3rd. You can see the print online – along with photos of Mason signing the prints – on the SPG web site at – https://stpaulsgallery.com/product/pink-floyd-relics-limited-edition-album-print-signed-by-nick-mason/? If you’re interested (and eager to own one), please contact To order please contact gemma@stpaulsgallery.com or call +44(0)7548699288

c) At Bonham’s London outpost in February, collectors will find a new themed auction titled “British Cool” (“a curated auction showcasing the best of British Art and Culture”, so says their site) which includes several lots of iconic music-related imagery up for bid. The company posted a nice 2-part intro to the exhibition and auction that steps you through examples of how British creative-types produced memorable examples of art, photography, music and more from the 1960s to the present – https://www.bonhams.com/video/31178/, followed by https://www.bonhams.com/video/31179/?

Scheduled for the 25th of the month, you can preview the catalog now on their site – https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26709/

d) Just a reminder – the Recording Academy’s MusiCares Foundation sponsors several wonderful programs designed to both help educate young people about careers in the music business and to also deliver needed support programs (counseling, medical care, etc.) to working musicians, and in an effort to raise funds in support of those efforts, the Grammy folks stage auctions of memorabilia throughout the year. One of the big ones takes place during “Grammy Week” (i.e., the week leading up to the awards show, originally scheduled for January 31st but rescheduled since to March 14th), with the upcoming one being staged by the esteemed Julien’s auction house. If you click on over to the auction listings on the Julien’s site – https://www.julienslive.com/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/372 – you’ll find dozens of unique items including musical instruments, stage-worn costumes, handwritten lyric sheets and tons of autographed goodies, including a Prada handbag autographed by Keith Urban’s wife Nicole (Kidman), an Elvis Costello signed fedora hat and the sheet music for “Does Your Mother Know” signed by Abba. Art collectors might want to take a look at the limited-edition Billie Eilish lithograph, a painting of Chris Martin by Billy Morrison or a painting of a Snoop Dogg character done by Snoop Dogg to commemorate the 25th anniversary (in 2019) of his classic Doggystyle album. Happy bidding, with all proceeds going to a great cause.

e) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Janis Joplin’s Pearl album, fans can now purchase several related items, including a book by Genesis Publications and a “capsule collection” of fine art prints done with the estate of photographer Barry Feinstein that will be made available on the JanisJoplin.com web site – here’s a link to an article about this –

https://www.wxhc.com/50th-anniversary-of-janis-joplins-pearl-album-to-be-celebrated-with-vinyl-reissues-other-special-releases/

f) Lyricist Bernie Taupin’s latest artwork is now available at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto, Canada. The collection include originals and prints built around both lyrics and album cover imagery from Elton John’s discography – https://liss-gallery.shoplightspeed.com/artists/bernie-taupin/

Miscellaneous Items

Going to have to keep these short-and-sweet:

OBITS) We made it through an entire month without losing anyone. Thank goodness!

b) The music video for the great Willie Nelson’s single – his take on the popular tune “That’s Life”, written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, first recorded in 1963 by Marion Montgomery and then made classic by Frank Sinatra – shows the artist painting the album cover image – https://music.mxdwn.com/2021/01/18/news/willie-nelson-shares-uplifting-new-video-for-thats-life/

According to the article, “The video places the song’s lyrics over a time-lapse of artist Paul Mann painting the album’s cover art, which shows Nelson bathed in blue, standing in front of a streetlight with his guitar. The artwork was inspired by iconic Sinatra covers like In the Wee Small Hours (1955). Mann is known for his paintings of alternative movie posters for famous films like the Indiana Jones series, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz and many more.” Fans with a sharp eye will note that, in keeping with the pose Frankie took on the cover of In the Wee Small Hours, the artist portrays Nelson and his beloved guitar, Trigger, in a similar album cover pose.

Working out of his studio in the Salt Lake City, UT area for more than 40 years, Paul Mann has been an active illustrator and professional artist, producing fine art and commercial work for galleries, magazines and a wide variety of commercial clients. Album art fans will note that he also produced the artwork for a special-edition, 8-LP vinyl soundtrack package on the Mondo label for music composer Ludwig Göransson created for season one the Star Wars spin-off The Mandelorianhttps://mondoshop.com/products/the-mandalorian-season-one-original-soundtrack-8xlp-box-set

Paul has also provided the artwork for other Mondo-produced vinyl packages, including the soundtracks for The Big Lebowski, Halloween II and the video game Contra 3: The Alien Wars.

c) Adobe “Art and Soul Art Challenge” update (sort of) – you’ll recall that, last month, I shared the basic info about a competition the folks at Adobe (makers of Photoshop, Illustrator, Creative Cloud, etc.) and the marketing team at Disney/Pixar were running that challenged creative people everywhere to come up with an album cover design for the upcoming release of the soundtrack album for their critically-acclaimed animated film Art and Soul. Entries were to be submitted by Jan. 10th and winners were to be notified by the end of January but, as of the date of this publication, I haven’t seen anything about who had won and what their entries looked like, so as soon as I have this info, I’ll be sharing it with you. The grand prize winner was to receive a prize package that included a check for $10,000 plus a private mentoring session from one of Pixar’s designer, along with loads of nice swag.

As part of their ongoing educational initiatives, Adobe published two tutorials that, in case you’re needing a refresher course on how to make album art – one’s to show you how to use Illustrator to make an album cover  https://creativecloud.adobe.com/discover/article/how-to-make-an-album-cover-in-adobe-illustrator while the other shows you the same thing on Photoshop – https://creativecloud.adobe.com/discover/article/combine-text-and-images-to-make-an-album-cover

d) Comments from a new generation of album cover aficionados – In an article by Sofia Johanson on the University of Cambridge’s Varsity newspaper (an independent student publication) web site, she asks readers to consider this existential question – “Does Album Art Reflect The Music Inside?” Presenting her arguments from the angle that “he more shocking/pretty/intriguing the cover, the more likely it is to gain attention, and therefore the more likely a person is to give the music a quick listen, and the more likely they are then to buy or download the album,” Sofia uses examples from a wide range of genres and time frames to have us consider what she admits is her take that, from her admittedly “highly cynical point of view, album art has always existed to serve capitalism”.

https://www.varsity.co.uk/music/20546

Whether or not you agree with her contentions and presentation of her evidence, it is heartwarming to see the younger generations pondering some of the same “art vs. commerce” questions collectors and those simply taken in by the artform have been having to consider over the past 60+ years.

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 – and it is our plan to return in early March with another monthly summary for you.
Peace and Love to you all.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2021 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.

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