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

Posted June 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein,

Greetings to you all from Chicagoland and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. Is everyone beginning to emerge from your self-imposed exiles (hopefully, fully-vaccinated and doing all you can to stay safe and healthy)? I am happy to announce that the hummingbirds have returned to my balcony, my herbs and flowers have been planted and, with any luck, Spring will stick around long enough for my wife and I to get out and enjoy it.

Another sign of Spring’s arrival is my yearly announcement that I’ve been able to speak with one of this year’s Grammy winners in the Packaging Category – designer Lawrence Azerrad, the winner (along with his collaborator, Chicago’s own Jeff Tweedy) of this year’s Grammy Award for “Best Box/Special Limited-Edition Package” for the work done on Wilco’s Ode To Joy set – and have just posted this interview on the site for your reading pleasure.

This was the second time that Lawrence has been so honored and, if you’ll take a moment to look at the interview done with him on this project – which included a hand-made, intricately-detailed pop-up book – you’ll begin to understand why it’s such a treat to watch what happens when two immensely-talented artists team up to create and produce something quite special for fans.

Also nearing completion is my research and writing for my paper on box sets and limited-edition packages and so, with any luck, I’ll have that posted for you sometime soon as well. This will include excerpts from the Zoom interview I did with Sony Music’s chief designers Dave Bett and Frank Harkins (which I also might post in its entirety) along with comments and insights from many more of the people who work hard to bring us these desirable special package, so I promise that your patience will be rewarded…

Lastly, I’d invite you to visit the Backstage Auctions site beginning on June 2nd for a preview to their “Rock Album Cover Artwork Auction” which is, as I’ve alluded to the past couple of months, built around my own collection of album cover art/artist-related fine art, photography and other items of interest. The auction itself begins June 5th, with final bidding taking place on June 13th. There are nearly 600 lots, with many of them unique/hard-to-find, along with many very affordable items, so I do hope that you’ll take a look, share the info with your friends and family and, even better, take a piece of me home (there have been many people who’ve wanted a piece of me over the years, so now’s their chance)!

What you’ll find below is a reasonably-tight summary of the the articles/posts/announcements I found regarding all things album cover artist and art. Work on album packages continues unabated, giving me much of interest to share with you. As life begins its slow ascent back to “normal” (-ish), we’re all able to appreciate the great work that is always being shown by those working in the world of music industry-related visual design, production and the collecting of these works. It’s still my pleasure to report on – and promote – this work and the people who do it and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary:

Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info

a) I’m a huge fan of surrealism, and so one of my great pleasures over the years was to be able to interview an artist who received a lot of well-deserved attention when he brought this type of art to the forefront of record album packaging with his work for the band Talk Talk. Of course, I’m talking about James Marsh and, since that time, he’s continued to impress both art and music fans with his talent and the beautiful prints he’s produced, a collection of which are now on display via our chums at the UK’s Hypergallery in a show they’ve titled Flights of Fancy. In the promo for the show, they describe his output for the band, beginning in 1982 with the cover he created for The Party’s Over, like this – “From that first striking cover, his work became inextricably linked to the aesthetic of the band, and in fact to the visual story of the era of which they were part. As you will see in the richly fantastical images of the natural world that Marsh created for Talk Talk’s subsequent releases, The Party’s Over marked the beginning of a decade long relationship so rewarding and long lasting that it is woven all the way through the fabric of Marsh’s life as an artist, a true flight of fancy.”

The show is being staged at the Haddenham Art Centre near Ely, Cambridgeshire (about 15 miles north of the city of Cambridge) and will be on display from Tuesday through Saturday (10AM – 4PM, with free admission) now through August 31, 2021. The gallery is offering for sale of a collection of signed, limited edition silkscreens and archival inkjets“ showcasing the jewels in Marsh’s impressive and distinctive portfolio” so, if you’re keen on touring through this show of mind-blowing examples from Mr. Marsh’s storied career, click on over to

In preparation for the experience, I’d also invite you to read my 2012 interview with James about his Talk Talk covers –

Hypergallery’s Emily has a more up-to-date, 30-minute  video interview with James that’s titled “The Party’s Over” which I’d also invite you to watch –, and to see the gallery’s selection of prints for sale, please click here –

b) An article in LA’s Japanese daily newspaper The Rafu Shimpo details a new show running now through July 5th at the LA County Museum of Art featuring a 30-year-plus retrospective of the works of Yoshitomo Nara that Includes a large display (over 350 records) of album covers from his personal collection from which he draws inspiration –  There’s an article on the LACMA site that shows the artist installing these albums and talking about why they’re important to him and how they influence his work. LACMA’s Michael Price worked with Nara on the install.

As exhibition curator Mike Yoshitake stated in the paper, “Music has been a passion for Nara since he began to listen to folk songs at age nine, and his relationship with music, namely with album cover art, provided him with an unconventional introduction to art history and artistic genres. This passion is seen through Nara’s vast record collection, selections of which visitors will see as soon as they enter this exhibition. Through more than 100 works on view, the exhibition will bring new light to Nara’s conceptual process.”

c) One of rock music’s best-known photographers (and gallery owners) is the talented Guido Harari who, like the rest of us, had to contend with the impact of COVID on every aspect of his craft and business, so it was with great joy that I received notice that he was going to be featured in a new show at the Leica Gallery in Milano, Italy that launched May 19th and is scheduled to be on display there through mid-September. Curated by Denis Curti, “Apparizioni. Avvistamenti, incontri, miraggi” (“Appearances. Sightings, encounters, mirages” in English) will, according to the pre-show press, “be kind of a ‘greatest hits’ show, with several never-before-exhibited works as well as some absolutely unseen photos”.

In his portfolio of “hits”, you’ll find Guido’s beautiful shots of rock royalty (from Bowie to Dylan to Harrison to Reed to Smith to Zappa) and the crème-de la-crème (il meglio del meglio, in Italian) of international talent in many fields (from Pavarotti to Mother Teresa to Greta Thunberg). Certainly something for every interest and taste. More info is available at

Brief bits:

d) Here’s a link to a recent announcement in Rolling Stone Magazine about the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, OK that’s set to open in Spring, 2022 –

Back in 2017, Rolling Stone had a chance to dig thru some of the archives that will be available for scholars/journalists, and it looks to be the perfect place for Dylan fans and scholars of American songwriting to spend some quality time –

e) The Pink Floyd touring exhibition “Their Mortal Remains” (originally staged in 2017 at  V&A Museum in the U.K. before moving to Italy, Germany and Spain in 2018-19) moves to the Vogue Multicultural Museum on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles and is set to open August 3rd (thru November 28th) –  and

More info and reservations are available on the show’s site at

f) Brian Griffin’s Black Country Dada photo show is available for viewing now thru September 5th at the Quad in Derby, U.K. –

g) Grammy-winning designer Lawrence Azerrad’s fascinating and informative online exhibition titled “The Future Happened” – done in cooperation with a team of international talent and the staff of the Museum of Design in Atlanta, GA and which I introduced in last month’s news summary – continues to run at –

Artist News and Interviews

­­a1) Last December, I reported about a Sky TV series that, sadly for you and me (if you’re not living in the U.K.), was built around some highly-desirable content – a focus on the people that create the imagery we all love (i.e., album covers, concert photos, etc.). While we live in a highly-connected world, licensing sometimes keeps examples of the best programming out of reach, and so it is with great joy (and appreciation of PBS here in the U.S.) that I’m able to announce that the six-episode series ICON: Music Through The Lens will be available to PBS subscribers beginning in mid-July.  

The series was produced by a top-notch team which included Executive Producer Andy Saunders, acclaimed music director Dick Carruthers and legendary music photographer Gered Mankowitz (who served as the series curator and Exec. Producer and who was interviewed last year by reporters from TheWeek in the UK regarding his roles in the making of this series –  

As described by the advance PR – “PBS, in partnership with FilmRise and Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios, announced today the premiere of ICON: MUSIC THROUGH THE LENS, a new six-part series that exposes the eye-opening, thrilling world of live music photography.

ICON follows the lives and often wild experiences of the artists who documented popular music in images, from the earliest darkrooms to the fast-evolving digital landscapes of the present day. The series premieres Fridays, July 16-August 6, 2021, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET & August 13, 2021, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

Featuring interviews with over fifty of the world’s best-known music photographers alongside musicians, gallerists, music journalists and social commentators each hour-long episode of ICON – Music Through The Lens examines an individual facet of the genre in detail from life on the road, the evolution of the album cover, the acceptance of music photography as fine art, the impact of the digital revolution and more…Contributors include – Just some of the photographers interviewed alongside Gered Mankowitz about their work in music include: Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Bob Gruen, Rachael Wright, Deborah Feingold, Baron Wolman, Neal Preston, Roger Sargent, Dean Chalkley, Tom Sheehan, Pooneh Ghana, Michael Zagaris, Mick Rock, Danny Clinch, Christie Goodwin, Albert Watson, Lynn Goldsmith and Rankin to name but a few. Sharing eye-opening insights from a musician’s viewpoint are Alice Cooper, Craig David, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Ziggy Marley, Lars Ulrich, (Metallica), Zara Larsson, Stefflon Don, Julian Lennon and Dizzee Rascal and many others.

To watch a video intro to the series, click on over to –

Our chums at Hypergallery in the UK, gave the series two thumbs up, as did the team at SFAE, who are featured in an episode. My DVR is set – I can’t wait to see this. Thanks, PBS!

Brief bits:

a2) Writer Kevin Julie just shared a link to a new interview he’s posted on the Outsider Rock site with guitarist/visual artist Mike Coates about the fantasy art-inspired cover he created for the band ASIA (the first one, from the U.S.) and their 1980 album titled Armed To The Teeth

This article is the 2nd in his series of interviews he calls The Story Behind The Album Cover, and I’m eager to share more with you as they become available. In the meantime, enjoy!

b) Australian-born/Berlin-based designer Leif Podhajsky (and winner of a packaging Grammy in 2015 for his work on Of Monsters and Men’s Beneath The Skin box set) has garnered kudos world-wide for his work for many top musical acts (with a retrospective of that work offered up in a new book from Thames & Hudson titled New Psychedelia). In this recent article by Robert Moran on the Sydney Morning Herald site –, Podhajsky and other local design pros talk about the new opportunities they’re seeing brought about by the resurgence in the sales of vinyl.

c) Famed music industry shooter Mick Rock revisits some of his better-known images in this interview –

d) GOLDMINE Magazine celebrated Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday by sharing an item from their archives about the now-famous photograph the late, great Don Hunstein, Columbia Records’ staff photographer at the time Mr. Dylan was beginning his ascent up to the summit of the Mt. Olympus of song-writing. The interviewer (GOLDMINE editor Patrick Prince) speaks with NYC record shop owner John Pita about the scenes around the city that were captured in several of Dylan’s best-known covers, including the spots on Jones Street (America’s own version of the Abbey Road Z crossing) where young Bob and his then-girlfriend Suze were caught on camera during a stroll down the street as seen on the cover for Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan –

e) Read Andy Battaglia’s profile on the ever-popular 88-year-old artist Sir Peter Blake of Sgt. Pepper’s fame on the Art In America site –

f) The North Carolina publication INDY Week shares an Interview with Raleigh, NC-based graphic designer Joseph “Headgraphix” Headen and his work for local-area hip-hop acts –  His talents have been highlighted in features found on major hip-hop media outlets like Complex, XXLThisis50, and Revolt, among others.

g) Writing for the No Use site’s Muse section, Maya Bewley takes us on a tour through the artwork found on several of Radiohead’s best-known album covers –

h) The team behind the ongoing Art of the Album series on the Muse By Clio site of artist/designer/fan-driven articles about album cover art continued on in their quest to deliver articles written by people in/around the music business in May, with this past month’s contribution coming from Leo Burnett Spain’s creative director Dani Saenz ( ), who has been seriously influenced by the psychedelic album covers of the 1960s (Cream, Love, Pentangle) plus a few more-recent attempts to recreate the trippy vibes found on those covers.

Items for Sale and/or at Auction

a) Did I mention that the next auction hosted by Backstage Auctions (Houston, TX, USA) is built around my own album cover/music photography collection? 😉

b) Just in time for fans of Genesis and their album cover art (if you have any money left after buying tix to their upcoming shows!) – Paul Whitehead has a new book and a beautiful commemorative art print. The book, Paul Whitehead: The Life and Work of an Artist, was first published this past October by BookBaby Publishing (don’t get mad at me – I just found out!) and is a 100-page, profusely-illustrated career retrospective Paul’s been working on for a while now but, based on what’s included and the insights he’s shared with me (along with the many positive reviews the book’s been given so far), it seems to have been worth the wait. While us album art fans have for years been impressed with Paul’s work for Genesis, Van Der Graff Generator, Peter Hammill and others, according to Paul, “the book is a comprehensive look at my careers (careers) as both Paul and (Paul’s female abstract artist alter-ego) Trisha Van Cleef, as well as the many ways I have used my art in its many forms to make a living through the years. It also has many new pictures and photos never seen before and is a very up-to-date look at the latest work I’ve been doing”.

Find it at, and thru your local bookseller.

As he did in 2007 – the last time Genesis was on tour – Paul found himself motivated to paint and produce a special limited-edition art print to commemorate the band’s first tour in 14 years (called “The Last Domino Tour”), which kicks off in Europe September 15th with two shows in Dublin, Ireland, moving to the U.S. beginning in Chicago with a show at the United Center November 15th and continuing on to major cities in the U.S. and Canada, with a final two shows currently scheduled in Boston, MA on December 15th and 16th.

While the two prints he did in 2007 were official tour prints (copies of which can be found on his “merchandise” page – and are available directly from the artist and his publisher – this year’s artwork is done straight from the heart and can be obtained (while quantities last) on his site at –

c) There’s a new collection of stamps from Britain’s Royal Mail that are built around 8 of Sir Paul’s solo album covers (from 1970’s McCartney to 2020’s McCartney III) and can be bought in sets and/or as part of a large selection of limited-release collectibles, including a framed presentation and several stamp books of varying degrees of complexity and cost –

d) To follow-up on the list of very nice album cover-related lots that were featured in an early-May Bonham’s auction – Many of the items in the grouping that were auctioned off on May 5th come from the personal collection of famed UK music producer Harvey Goldsmith, perhaps best-known to fans in the US as the promoter for such famed events as Live Aid, the several live tours of Pink Floyd’s The Wall  and The Prince’s Trust charity concerts. In addition to the host of items from Mr. Goldsmith’s collection, several lots that devotees of album cover imagery will appreciate included a concept drawing of the art Ray Lowry was working on for one of the best-known album covers of all time, that being London Calling by The Clash. Photographer Pennie Smith’s slightly-blurred B&W photo of a frustrated Paul Simonon smashing his bass on a stage is burned into our collective minds, but it was designer/artist Ray Lowry’s layout and text (inspired by an early Elvis Presley record cover) that delivered the completed image to us. An absolute classic, the lot sold for just under $45,000 (including premium).

Heaven 17 fans also had the chance to bid on three of artist Ray Smith’s original cover paintings for the band’s Penthouse & Pavement, The Luxury Gap and How Men Are albums, which sold for $7,234, $8,138 and $14,287 respectively, and Beatles fans had the opportunity to bid on one of three lots from the estate of the late photographer Iain Macmillan, including two art prints of his famous “The Beatles On Abbey Road” image (pre-auction estimates from $21-28,000, ultimately selling for $50,002!) plus a mock-up and set of seven photo prints from the photo session for Paul McCartney’s 1993 Paul Is Live record during which the pair reprised the stroll over the crosswalk located in front of the Abbey Road/EMI studios. The mock-up sold for just $361, while the photograph brought in $9,042.

Another item that I was surprised to see selling at what seemed (to me at least) a low price was a print of Sir Peter Blake’s cover image for The Who’s 1981 release Face Dances that was signed by Sir Peter, four members of the band and eight of the artists whose works were included in Blake’s design (including Clive Barker!). The print was owned by Jim Callaghan, who provided security for the band while on tour from 1975-83 and who got the art (and the signatures) at the record’s launch party. With a pre-auction estimate of $1100 – $1700 – – I’d predicted that the print would sell for a multiple of that estimate but, shockingly, was purchased for just $1446. Shows you what I know about art auctions…See the results of the rest of the lots at

e) Just a head’s up – Heritage Auction house will be auctioning off some really rare art this coming October (16th and 17th, with bidding beginning online September 27th) in Dallas, inc. based around a collection– The David Swartz collection – of some “banned” covers– with an intro to the collection now available for viewing in their Intelligent Collector magazine – Catalog online at

Special Award Show update

As I noted in last month’s summary, the 50th Anniversary presentation of Canada’s top music award show – The Juno Awards – was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 16th, 2021 on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (broadcast nationwide that Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC Music, CBC-TV, CBC Gem and CBC Radio One, and globally on, as per the info provided by CARAS, the Canadian Recording Academy). Due to COVID and other concerns, the show was re-scheduled to next Sunday, June 6th and so I can’t yet report about who the winner was in the “Album Artwork of the Year” category. I will as soon as they’re announced.

To recap, the nominations in the “Album Artwork of the Year” category are:






Once again, best of luck to all of the nominees, and be sure to check back here next week for the results of this year’s voting.  

Miscellaneous Items

As always, I’m going to have to keep these short-and-sweet (well, most of them, anyway):

OBITS) Hip-hop photographer Chi Modu – perhaps best known for his work for influential rap/hip-hop publication The Source – died of cancer on May 19th in Summit, New Jersey. His album cover credits include shots for rappers Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Gang Star, Snoop Doggy Dogg and many others. Modu was born in Nigeria, with his family emigrating to the U.S. in the late 1960s to escape the Biafran war. After studying economics at Rutgers University, he pursued his passion for photography at NYC’s International Center for Photography, first shooting for the Harlem-based paper The Amsterdam News before moving on to rise up through the ranks at The Source.

You can read more about the talented and highly-respected Mr. Modu via these three articles – ;; and

As well as his own site –

a) The story behind J. Cole’s The Off-Season cover art – The Creative Director and the artist have a long history together, it turns out, as Felton Brown, went from interviewing the rapper for his rap blog to becoming the label Dreamville’s VP of Creative Services. Read more about it on the site.

b) This year marks the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s classic album What’s Goin On – The cover was designed by Motown art director Curtis McNair and photographed by Jim Hendin. Turns out that, while the record itself was a carefully-crafted production that served to express Gaye’s emotions and insights about the state of Black lives in America, the memorable cover photo of a man standing in the rain in deep contemplation was, in fact, an accident.

c) Here’s one of them “30 Best Album Covers” articles, this one a list by the UK’s Independent

d) Artist Peter Blake’s home in the UK up for sale – A couple of months ago, I reported on the availability of a residence in the UK that once belonged to Sgt. Pepper’s album cover photographer Michael Cooper. If you’ve already purchased that home, why not add to your collection by adding designer/art director Peter Blake’s home.

I’ll contact Jann Haworth to see if she’s thinking of selling her home so you can complete your set.

e) Greek album cover artist Ioannis (Deep Purple, Fates Warning, Uriah Heep, Dream Theater) took to social media to pay tribute to William “Bill” Tsamis, guitarist and mainstay of the ‘80s band Warlord, who recently passed away at 60 years of age.  The talented Ioannis wears his heart on his sleeve in this article on the site –

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed – currently at – and returning right around the first of next month another news summary for you. Peace and Love and Happy Safe Summer to you all.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2021 Mike Goldstein and – All Rights Reserved. All of the trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Comments are closed.