Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Posted September 1, 2021 (and updated September 6th) by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
As we approach the Labor Day weekend and the “official” end of the Summer season (our hottest on record, and I have the A/C bills to prove it!), I’m working hard on improving my overall attitude towards life these days by throwing myself into prepping for this year’s ACHOF voting efforts – adding/updating artist bios and looking around the planet for new examples of great work. After watching all six episodes of the ICON music photography series on PBS, it also brought to my attention that there are several gaping holes in this site’s bio section that must be filled immediately if I want this year’s nominating process to reflect who is left of the “best of the best” that might be nominated for inclusion in this year’s class of inductees, so I’ve put a few research projects on “hold” until this bone-headed oversight on my part can be corrected.
With that said, this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary is still rather chock-full includes the album cover artist/art news and updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. What follows below is a summary of these articles, posts and announcements I’ve gathered recently regarding all things regarding album cover artists and the art they produce. Their work continues and so should our interest and excitement about that work and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary.
Before you go, though….I would also like to let you know that some of the unsold items from my old RockPoP collection that were in the June and mid-August auctions staged by Jacques and his team at Backstage Auctions are now available for sale (at wallet-friendly fixed prices) in the Backstage Auctions online store – https://www.backstageauctions.com/store/ with most items found in the “Fine Art Prints & Lithographs” and “Photos – Limited-Edition Prints” sections. If you think that there might be something nice there to add to your collection, I do hope you’ll go take a look and, if so motivated, provide a new home for one of the prints I was proud to call my own. https://www.backstageauctions.com/
Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info –
a) At London’s Somerset House from September 9th through the 12th, this year’s “Photo London” exhibition will include a special showing of images from a photographer whose portfolio is very well-known but whose works are not often put on display – that being the one of David Bailey, whose credits in the world of album cover art are quite extensive, including memorable images such as those for the Rolling Stones (The Rolling Stones, 12 X 5, The Rolling Stones, Now!, Out Of Our Heads, Aftermath, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! and Goats Head Soup);Pink Floyd – Shine On; Procol Harum – Home; Cat Stevens – Teaser & The Firecat; Barbra Streisand – The Way We Were; Elton John – Victim of Love; Squeeze – Argybargy and Sweets From A Stranger and others for David Axelrod, Big Country, Colin Hay and Marianne Faithful, just to name a few. According to this article found on the Arts & Collections web site, “The Englishman himself has personally selected the series of photographs which also includes some of his most high-profile black and white portraits which include depictions of Andy Warhol, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Michael Caine.”
During his career, David’s work has been included in a number of museum/gallery shows, beginning in 1971 with a show at London’s National Portrait Gallery, followed in 1984 with a retrospective of his work at Manhattan’s International Center of Photography. In 1999, his work was on display during the show titled “The Birth of the Cool,” at London’s Barbican Centre and, in 2014, a show titled “Stardust” put 250 of his photos on display again at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2001, “for services to art”, David was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) and, in 2005, the Royal Photographic Society awarded him their Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship. That same year, GQ hired him to photograph more than a dozen prominent British musicians for an historical article about their country’s importance in the development of the rock music industry.
Read more about this exciting new show at https://www.artsandcollections.com/david-bailey-exhibition-in-london-set-for-september/
b) Dr. Forrest album cover show UPDATE – Friend of ACHOF Dr. Richard Forrest’s exhibition in Basel, Switzerland (www.banksybasel.ch) built around his collection of album covers by Pop Art star Banksy has been extended to September 5th and will then be travelling to Ghent, Belgium. I haven’t been able to find the URL for the Ghent show or definitive dates, so I’ll have to ask the curator and get back to you with that info once I have it. He’s also involved in another Warhol/Banksy art exhibition in which parts of his collection will be seen that is currently scheduled to open in late November in Catania, Sicily and as I can’t read Italian all that well (despite six years of Latin studies), I’m going to have to rely on the good doctor for more info and links when the info becomes available.
In the meantime, if you’d like to reference my 2019 interview with Dr. Forrest in which he shares the details about his collection of Banksy covers, please click on over to – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/achof-featured-fan-portfolio-a-tour-through-collector-richard-forrests-favorite-album-covers/
c) MEET SOME OF THE GREATS – Ask any student of graphic art who some of their most-influential artists and studios might be and, almost certainly, you’ll hear the name of Pushpin Studios and the artists/designers associated with that famed agency, including Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser (the two principal founders) along with Edward Sorel, Reynold Ruffins, Loring Eutemay, Herb Leavitt and dozens of others. Formed in the mid-1950s in New York City, the agency is credited with scores of memorable designs for clients needing ads, logos, promotional designs and, of course, posters and album covers. In 1985, the company changed its moniker to The Pushpin Group and Chwast, now in his 90s, remains its director.
If you’re in the NYC area or will be there in late September, as part of a show built around Pushpin imagery, the Poster House museum is staging a rare opportunity to meet and learn from some of the talented individuals who’ve added examples of their talents to graphic design’s history. On September 23rd from 6:30 – 8:30pm EST, you can attend “Pushing the Envelope: An Evening With Push Pin Legends” and listen to a discussion moderated by Phyllis Feder featuring Seymour Chwast, Myrna Davis, Paul Davis, and Jim McMullan, four of the over 100 designers who’ve plied their trade under the Pushpin Studios/Group name. Advanced registration is required and tickets are $25, with more information on this special event available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pushing-the-envelope-an-evening-with-push-pin-legends-tickets-168493441419
d) The album cover for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass was re-created by a talented team of artists in an outdoor garden exhibition – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/george-harrison-all-things-must-pass-art-installation/ While the actual exhibition’s run came to an end on August 20th, there’s a nice video on YouTube where we get to see how this installation was conceived and built, including the prep of the super-sized garden gnomes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwWroDWtIj8 BTW – If you haven’t yet seen what’s included in the super-exclusive (and, at approx. $1K at retail, expensive) 50th Anniversary “Uber Deluxe Edition” package, you have to take a look as the producers left nothing out. In the wooden crate, you’ll find eight LPs, five CDs, a Blu-Ray DVD, several books, prayer beads, an oak bookmark made from a tree originally in GH’s Friar Park, a Klaus Voorman art print and, in case you want to recreate the aforementioned garden exhibition on your desktop, a full set of 1/6-scale gnomes. https://store.georgeharrison.com/products/uber-deluxe
e) Point your browsers to a special page beginning at 2PM EST on September 12th to watch a celebrity-studded pre-show bash/ceremony for the 5th Anniversary of The Metal Hall of Fame (staged later that night at the Middletown Arts Center in Middletown, NJ) and there, in addition to seeing fans lob gobs of praise at this year’s inductees (including KISS, Triumph, Iron Maiden, guitarist Marty Friedman and, quite deservedly, photographer Mark “Weissguy” Weiss. In addition to Mark’s induction, another talented artist – illustrator Derek Riggs (creator of Iron Maiden’s famous mascot “Eddie”) will be inducted as part of the band (now, that’s a close-working relationship) while, live on site, both Mark Weiss and renowned album art designer/artist Ioannis will have displays of their deep portfolios of work (and prints for sale!). I learned about this from this article on the Brave Worlds.com site – https://bravewords.com/news/metal-hall-of-fame-to-host-5th-anniversary-bash-with-2021-induction-gala-video-on-september-12 where you can learn more, too!
f) UPDATE – SHOW EXTENDED – Back in July, I’d reported on a show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that was originally supposed to close on July 5th. It’s proven to be so popular that they’ve extended it until January 2, 2022! Yoshimoto Nara is a 30-year-plus retrospective of the works of this thoroughly modern Japanese artist 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.”
g) REMINDER #1 – Here’s a follow-up on an exhibition that opened in June that was reported on in the last ACHOF monthly summary…It turns out that the son of Factory Records’ co-founder Tony Wilson is quite unhappy with the sale of a line of pricey clothing bearing imagery from the label’s products that are now available at Selfridge’s stores in the UK – https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/tony-wilsons-son-slams-factory-20957791 Included in the line are some very not-priced-for-the-working-class items such as denim jackets and hooded sweatshirts bearing the iconic Unknown Pleasures artwork priced at £580 and£520 (approx. $800/$725 US), respectively.
The exhibition at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is called Use Hearing Protection: the Early Years of Factory Records and is a must-see for fans of the indie music label founded by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus that got its start in that city. They have dozens of early (1978-82) items on display, including a number of well-known images (such as Peter Saville’s iconic FAC1 gig poster for the May/June 1978 shows at The Factory featuring Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire and others). The show runs now through January 3rd of 2022, with more details available on the museum’s web site – https://www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/use-hearing-protection
h) REMINDER #2 – Launched on August 20th at the Dunoon Burgh Hall (on Argyle St. in Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland) is an updated presentation (“Volume 2”) of a collection of album art originally presented in Spring of 2019 called Art On My Sleeves – https://www.dunoonburghhall.org.uk/whats-on/event/68339-art-on-my-sleeves-2021/ Wednesdays thru Sundays through September 12th. The original show, culled from the scores acquired over the years by local collector and exhibition curator Jules Seamer, “takes visitors on a personal tour of discovery of record sleeve design since 1940 – with over a hundred examples from his collection.”
I contacted the nice people at the Dunoon Burgh Hall and they were kind enough to put me in contact with Jules (thanks, Gillian!) who, as it turns out, is a kindred spirit – i.e., someone with a design background who is also a lifelong, multi-genre record collector and a fan of all things album cover art-related – and he’s agreed to work with me on a detailed article about this show ala those “exhibition tours” I’ve shared with you over the years.
While we work on that – and it looks as though it will be very entertaining while also delivering a treasure-trove of info on the covers included in the show (Jules shared some of the background info he produced for the show and it’s quite impressive in its depth and breadth) – Jules did share some additional details on what’s currently on display, and it thoroughly depresses me that I can’t go see it in person while those of you free to travel to Scotland can (and should): “Hi Mike and thank you so much for taking an interest in my exhibition at the Burgh Hall, Dunoon. The exhibition is an exploration of the design of record sleeves throughout its eighty-or-so-year history. The display centers on several aspects of album cover design – the use of Art, Illustration, Photography and Graphic Design; the art of Jazz record sleeves; the designs of John Kosh; Reid Miles’ work for Blue Note records and an appraisal of the album sleeves of Morrissey & The Smiths.” More to come – that’s a promise!
i) UPDATE – DELAYED EXHIBITION – 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) is moving to the Vogue Multicultural Museum on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles and was set to open August 3rd and run through November 28th. In late July, promoters announced a one-month postponement of the launch date – now set for September 3rd – blaming the snafu on “global freight delays”. The show’s been extended now through the 9th of January, 2022.
According to a news report on local LA radio station KFI’s web site, a statement from the organizers elaborated that “The many containers filled with Pink Floyd’s artifacts, stage sets and private collections were shipped from the UK with an extensive lead time, but coming out of the pandemic, there are many delays in global freight…These containers have now safely arrived in LA.” So, patience people. You can take a little time today and read a preview or two on the show at https://ultimateclassicrock.com/pink-floyd-museum-exhibit/ and https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2021-05-05-pink-floyd-retrospective-headed-to-la-museum-for-four-month-run/
More info and reservations are available on the show’s site at https://www.pinkfloydexhibition.com/
j) STILL COMING IN OCTOBER – I’m pleased to share the announcement of an upcoming photo show (beginning in October) featuring Brian Griffin’s Black Country Dada photo collection. Brian’s work will be included in The Northern Eye 2021 International Photography Festival that will be staged in various locations in and near Colwyn Bay, North Wales, UK. According to the pre-show press, “The Northern Eye Photography Festival is a collaboration between the Oriel Colwyn photography gallery and Aberystwyth’s The Eye Festival. The biennial festival is hosted on the ‘odd’ years and is described by their producers as being “a friendly festival that kind of likes being a little ‘odd’, different and non-exclusive with an overarching desire to champion photography and widen its reach. In our celebration of photography we bring an all new set of outstanding photographers, speakers and exhibitions to the North Wales coastal town of Colwyn Bay.”
Brian’s work will be on display the entire month of October at the Oriel Colwyn gallery, with more info available on the festival’s web site at https://www.northerneyefestival.co.uk/dada I’d like to remind all of you that the current staging of the Black Country Dada photo show is available for viewing now thru September 5th at the Quad in Derby, U.K. – https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/BlackCountryDada.
Artist News and Interviews –
a) Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet – produced at the height of the music industry’s battle with the forces of decency – in the form of Tipper Gore and friends’ PMRC – proved to be a fan favorite for a number of reasons, perhaps most-notably (particularly if you were a young man at the time) because of its provocative album cover image. For both photographer Mark Weiss and his chosen model – Angela Chidnese, the comely New Jersey girl who just so happened to be at the beach, washing a car across from where the photo shoot was taking place – the resulting photo served as a big boost to both of their careers. In this recent video interview on The Decade That Rocked’s (which also happens to be the name of Mark’s fine photo book that covers that important part of his decades-long career as a music photographer) YouTube page, Mark and his cohort Greg catch up with Angela via Zoom and the three of them discuss the making of that most-memorable album cover, now celebrating the 35th anniversary of its release – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v9Im1ZQKPs&t=2s
b) Kevin J at the Outsider Rock blog has once again shared some of the details – as well as a nice video interview with the great Lynn Goldsmith – that gives us the story behind Grand Funk Railroad’s hit 1974 record Shinin’ On, which rewarded fans with both a very cool 3-D album cover image (special glasses included) and the band’s #1 hit single “The Loco-Motion”.
In Lynn’s video, she shares some info that highlights that even in the mid-1970s, women working in creative industries were still something of a rarity (particularly, women in positions of power) and that the male ego-dominated music business wasn’t quite ready to give credit where credit was due…I was very happy to learn that, as a result of her ingenuity in working to create a credible 3-D image, she so impressed one of her photo-world heroes that she was later invited to meet with him in his studio so he could learn more about her process in person.
c) Some folks just don’t know when to stop…and, as you’ll read in this recent “Inside Hook” interview article by Josh Sims on the Yahoo! life site with rock photographer Mick Rock, it’s quite clear that he has no intention of even slowing down in spite of the fact that he’s been an in-demand shooter of portraits for well over 50 years (covers for Lou Reed’s Transformer in 1972 and Miley Cyrus’ latest release Plastic Hearts in 2020 attest to his popularity and prowess). In advance of the publication of a new compendium of his work, Mr. Rock readily shares some of the secrets as to how he’s managed to stay on top of his profession (and maintain the rights to his images – something a not-so-small percentage of professional photographers lost control of and are living to regret at this point) – https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/godfather-rock-n-roll-photography-120432344.html
d) An article by Lauren Bronston on the Lethal Amounts web site a couple of months back (I guess my Google alerts are suffering from heat stroke) https://www.lethalamounts.com/magazine-index/2021/5/26/how-the-relationship-between-anton-corbijn-and-depeche-mode-came-to-be gives us a prime example of how some photographers’ relationships with their clients/subjects can become so close that they’re considered extended “members” of the band, as it seems that shooter Anton Corbijn ultimately became with his fellow bandmembers in Depeche Mode. Meeting them in 1981 while on a magazine photo shoot, he wasn’t so sure that their rather poppy music at the time would connect with him in any deeper way but, as time went on and the band’s music matured, the relationship flourished and he’d go on to be their primary source of visuals – album covers, press portraits, music videos, etc. – and helped them establish their aesthetic over the next 30 years, with much of this documented in Corbijn’s 2020 book Depeche Mode by Anton Corbijn, “which chronologizes over 500 photos with Depeche Mode and features personal photos, stage set designs, sketches and illustrations from the skilled photographer.” https://www.amazon.com/Depeche-Mode-Anton-Corbijn-Multilingual/dp/3836586703
e) Since joining the Wax Poetics fan forums, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several people who share my passion for album cover work and who’ve shared links and info on their own efforts in the area. Most-recently, I rec’d a note from Mark Klaverstijn who, along with his partner Paul du Bois-Reymond make up the Amsterdam, NL-based design agency called Machine.
He also sent me a link to a Vimeo video page that includes a 6-minute animation that puts 100 of Machine’s album covers – produced between 1997 – 2014 – on full display – https://vimeo.com/109456376 . While I have to admit that I’m mostly unfamiliar with the musical acts Mark and Co. has done covers for, the work is so intriguing that I’m working to find out more and will share this with you ASAP. In the meantime, feast your eyes – http://ourmachine.com/about/
f) UPDATE FOR AUGUST – I hope that you all had the chance to watch the US premiere (on PBS) of the six-episode TV series ICON: Music Through The Lens, which premiered in mid-July and delivered its last two episodes on the 13th of August. Each episode was built around a particular topic – concert photography, magazine covers, producing art prints for gallery sales, etc. – but the one that really caught my attention (as you might figure) was Episode 3, which focused on the photos and designs done for album covers. In addition to the knowledgeable commentary provided by industry experts such as Dr. Michael Pritchard from the Royal Photographic Society, Govinda Gallery’s Chris Murray, Terrence Pepper (former curator of the National Portrait Gallery) and Vikki Tobak, who curated the critically-acclaimed Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop exhibition, included anecdotes and stories by image makers including Aubrey Powell, Rob O’Connor, Kosh, Kevin Cummins, Mick Rock, Martyn Goddard, Bill Smith, Colin Lane, Brian “B+” Cross, Roger Sargent, Michael Spencer-Jones, Frank Stefanko and Elliott Landy.
I want to extend my thanks (and congratulations on a job well done) to Gered Mankowitz – who served as the series curator – and Executive Producer, working alongside Executive Producer Andy Saunders and music director Dick Carruthers for bringing this series to life and to audiences around the world. Not sure what their plans are for a follow-up but, in the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about the series and watch a video intro to the series, click on over to – https://iconmusicthroughthelens.com/
a) The team behind Muse By Clio’s ongoing “Art of the Album” series of artist/designer/fan-driven articles about album cover art continued to deliver on their mission to deliver articles written by people in/around the music business. During the month of August, the site featured two more new articles, the first being a group of “10 Great Album Covers” as seen in the mind’s eye of Andrew Smiles of Tank Design – https://musebycl.io/art-album/10-great-album-covers-chosen-andrew-smiles-tank-design Then, later in the month, Austen Humphries of the production company Rattling Stick (with offices in London and Los Angeles and, according to their site, ”a melting pot of creativity, comedy and culture, and remains every bit irreverent as the day it was founded in 2006”) shared
MIT-educated Andrew’s firm – Tank Design – has offices in both the Boston and San Francisco areas and is a brand-and-experience design firm (“experiences designed to surf cultural waves”) with clients in a wide range of fields – from environmental conservation and consumer retail to leading-edge transportation, insurance, and wine companies. Growing up in Northern England as a young man in the 70s-80s, his earliest musical loves were punk stalwarts The Clash, The Fall and the Sex Pistols, but it’s clear that he opened his mind to a broader range of subjects as his top 10 album covers do cut across multiple genres and decades.
Austen’s made quite the name for himself in the creative arts/production world, with a long list of clients that includes Betstars, Citroen, Dave TV, Nokia, Nike, Sky, Swatch and many others, but with a background that includes being a member of a band that took seventh place in the voting for “Best Noise Band” in Kerrang! Magazine back in 1989, you might imagine that his selections lean to the Punk, and you’d be right.
As always, I’m eager to see what turns up on next month’s collection of articles – keep up the good work, Team Clio.
b) In another new installment in the “Greatest Album Photography” series published by the UK’s Amateur Photographer, the intrepid Steve Fairclough delivers another fine essay on photographer Graham Hughes’ exemplary work seen on the cover of The Who’s 1973 LP Quadrophenia. Although we recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the band’s Who’s Next album (another one with a memorable cover, that one shot by Ethan Russell), this story finds photographer Hughes tossed into the thick of things after Roger Daltry decided that Pete T’s initial effort with Mr. Russell on the new record cover was not to his liking… The article also includes a discussion of this cover with a panel of three experts well-known to album art fans for their work in the area – visual artists Andy Cowles and Rankin and journalist/author/former Mojo editor Mat Snow.
a) Famed Pop artist/photographer Cindy Sherman has added an album cover to her portfolio of images in which she plays the central character. As you’ll learn in this new brief on the Artnet.com site – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-industry-news-aug-30-2003781 – a neighbor of hers in New York is a record producer who’s releasing a new collection of duets between country stars Tammy Wynette and George Jones and asked Ms. Sherman to pitch in to the new project with a very Cindy Sherman-like shot of herself in full country singing star garb – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTMszxKrez1/ Just beautiful.
Items for Sale and/or at Auction –
a) Author Ramon Oscuro Martos – the music historian who has so far given us several great books (in the …And Justice For Art series) about the mind-bending array of artwork found on the sleeves of some of metal music’s best-known recordings – spent his COVID-induced “down time” putting together a new book, this time focused on the art/imagery you’ll see on the covers of some of the genre’s most-loved LIVE albums. As he’s done in the past, he’s looking for fans to help him bring this new tome to market via pre-order commitments.
As Ramon describes the project in his latest appeal, “…AND JUSTICE FOR ART… LIVE! Stories About Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Live Album Covers reveals the stories behind hundreds of cover artworks for live Heavy Metal/Hard Rock albums. It contains more than 100 chapters, more than 500 graphics (including original artworks, sketches, behind-the-scenes images, etc.) and exclusive comments by approximately 100 bands and visual artists.”
He’s looking to produce 500 copies of this new book and, as he puts it, “to make it accessible to everyone, I will only be accepting contributions of $20 dollars. In gratitude for your contribution, you will receive the following benefits:
1 – Your name will be included in the book’s THANK YOU credits.
2 – You will be able to order the signed book 3 weeks before the rest of the public, so you can secure your copy.
3 – You will get a 12% discount when you purchase the book (this discount doesn’t expire, so you can use it any time you want).
4 – A free bookmark featuring the book’s artwork.
5 – You will receive with your purchase either a free CD, a SIGNED POSTER, or a SET OF CARDS featuring exclusive artworks.
6 – Since you will be contributing to Metal history, helping to save all these album cover stories for posterity and future generations, you will receive an appreciation letter thanking you for your support. This letter will be signed either by the book’s author OR one of the artists/musicians involved in the book.”
So, if you’re like me and are always happy to help bring good album art-related publications out for fans to enjoy, I’d invite you to help Ramon bring his labor of love out and make the commitment today. Simply send him an email at email@example.com with the subject line “Yes, I will participate in this campaign” and he’ll get back to you with more info as it becomes available.
b) KnuckleBonz is now taking pre-orders for the newest item in its 3D Vinyl ™ three-dimensional album cover sculpture series, and this one’s a doozy and sure to be a “horror punk” music fan favorite – the horror-fantasy cover of Misfit’s 1983 record Earth AD. “Officially licensed and released in a limited edition of only 1983, this unique 3D Vinyl™ statue is hand-painted, numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity printed on the back of the collectible.” Priced at $199.00, these hand-cast resin statues measure 10″ (h) x 10.25″ and are sure to spiffy up any shelf, but I think it’d make a great dining table centerpiece, don’t you?
Clocking in at a mere 15 minutes over nine songs (and I thought that the Ramones were stingy with their releases), the second album from the New jersey-based group was the last to feature Glenn Danzig and former Black Flagger Robo on drums. If you’d like to watch a short video presentation on this new product on YouTube (where you get to see some of the hand-painting being done), click on over to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTkQ6s-XBYo and, to place an order, visit https://knucklebonz.com/product/misfits-earth-ad/?
The folks at the UMusic site did a nice write-up on the band and this record last year that includes a lot of music to get you in the mood – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/misfits-earth-ad-album/
c) I’ve long admired photographer Elliott Landy’s 1996 book called Woodstock Vision as being a nearly-perfect example of how an experienced photojournalist might introduce a retrospective of his/her work – concise, profusely illustrated and well-written, giving us both plenty of historical perspective and a look into the writer’s mindset. Elliott has followed up with other fine tomes – with their principal focus on his photo work – but with the first release in a new series of short books – this one titled Woodstock – A Spiritual Moment in Time: Photographs of the 1969 festival with essays from a spiritual perspective – his new work explores the other important aspect found in all his work – his spirituality. As he describes it, “This is the first of a series of personal short books featuring my photographs, both the well-known, music-related ones from the Sixties and other genres of photos I have taken over the years, many never before published in book form. I published this because I wanted to share my thoughts about the spiritual aspects of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. It contains new essays describing the underlying spiritual essence of the event and explaining the concept of the Aquarian Age, of which the Woodstock Festival was a harbinger. I’ve included some of my favorite Woodstock Festival photographs in it.” 48 Pages, 8.5 x 11 inches, $15 https://www.amazon.com/Woodstock-Spiritual-Photographs-spiritual-perspective/dp/1736236121/ref=sr_1_1?
d) Primal Scream fans will get not one, not two but nine packaging options including one that includes a set of art prints from original album cover artist Paul Cannell – when the band releases these 30th anniversary editions of their 1991 album Screamadelica. The ten 12” vinyl singles box set version that includes those colorful prints will be shipping beginning on September 17th – https://store.primalscream.net/products/the-screamadelica-singles-boxset – with other options available on CDs and picture disc LPs, as well as those focused on demos. An article on the Exclaim (Cananda) site provides more of the details. https://exclaim.ca/music/article/primal_scream_celebrate_30_years_of_screamadelica_with_a_massive_10-lp_box_set
e) The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has just launched its own store on the Reverb.com site that looks as though it will give collectors an exciting new place to look for unique/one-of-a-kind items in several categories – signed instruments being the core of the initial mix – but what caught my eye were several limited-edition prints of Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and others from the portfolio of one of rock’s best-known photographers, the late Baron Wolman. The pre-launch press promised that this store would be updated on a regular basis, so why not pay the site a visit and see if there’s something right for you – https://reverb.com/shop/the-official-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-reverb-shop?
f) AUCTION UPDATE – A collection of production artwork and related imagery from the personal archives of Edward Bell, the artist who was commissioned to design the artwork for two albums that the late musician David Bowie was intimately involved in – the Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps) record released in 1980 (his last for RCA) and for the second and final record – Tin Machine II – that band released in 1991 – was the subject of an auction and exhibition that took place in the UK in July, ending on August 1st.
The 139 lots that were up for bid beginning this past July 16th included photos and contact sheets, design concept/sketch boards, posters, album/single cover mock-ups, sculptures and works of fine art Bell’s created that were inspired by the many looks and personalities put on display by the late actor/musician/visual artist. This auction was appealing to collectors of all types, as pre-auction estimates for some items began as low as £100, with most items in the £200 – £2000 range (before fees).
A number of the items did end up selling for quite a bit more than their pre-auction estimates, with notable examples including the £6,000 paid for Lot 2, a notated printer’s proof print of the David Bowie Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album cover design; £4,200 realized for a Bowie-inscribed mock-up of the cover for the 1991 Tin Machine album and £4,000 paid for a unique 2016 oil painting – from Bell’s David Bowie icon series – done as an illustration for the Unmade Up…publication. You can see the rest of the results on the Hall’s auction site at https://fineart.hallsgb.com/auction/search/?au=294
a) REMINDER #1 – Noted album cover artist Cey Adams and the dedicated folks at Smithsonian Folkways Records are just now beginning to sell and ship an all-encompassing compendium on the history of rap/hip-hop – https://folkways.si.edu/smithsonian-anthology-of-hip-hop-and-rap Adams had already introduced us to the wide world of rap and hip-hop-related design with his excellent 2008 book The Art And Design Of Hip-Hop (co-written with famed hip-hop publicist/manager Bill Adler), but when you read the preliminary description of the product, you know that this will be a must-have by any serious fan and collector of pop culture and music.
Considering all of what’s going to be included, the package seems like a bargain at $159.98. Included in the set is the following: 129 tracks on 9 CDs and a 300–page book with original design by Cey Adams, artist and founding creative director of Def Jam Recordings, as well as essays by some of hip-hop’s leading writers and critics and hundreds of photographs spanning decades of history.
b) REMINDER #2 – Boston-based journalist Matteo Urella shared a link to the site for a new book he’s written about the many examples of great cover art associated with one of rap music’s most-inventive groups – the Wu-Tang Clan – from the perspectives of many of the people who’ve collaborated with the group to create these works. Titled Deep In The Dark, the book’s 36 chapters present “conversations with the creators behind the best cover art from the Wu-Tang Clan and their Killa Beez affiliates…over 230 pages exploring the artistic and creative process of some of the best, most celebrated, most artistic Wu-related cover art.” Matteo, whose previous reporting and writing has covered a wide range of topics – from other rap legends (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) to mixed martial arts – is as passionate about his subject material as he is about giving back to those in his community, with 100% of the profits from the sale of his book being donated to the More Than Words bookstore for at-risk youth. You can pre-order your copy on the Makai Forever site – https://makaiforever.com/
c) LEST WE FORGET – 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 – https://intelligentcollector.com/the-swartz-archive/? Catalog online at https://entertainment.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7233&type=surl-7233a
Miscellaneous Items and other Brief Bits –
As always, I’m going to have to keep these short-and-sweet (well, most of them, anyway):
OBITS) While there was quite a bit of sad news about the deaths of several well-known rock stars (Charlie Watts, Don Everly, Lee “Scratch” Perry and other notables), I’m happy that I didn’t have to update the Bio section on the ACHOF site this past month. Stay healthy, people!
a) In celebration of funkmaster George Clinton’s birthday, the nice people at the Universal Hip Hop Museum presented him with a birthday cake that was a delicious recreation of the spacey cover of Parliament’s late 1975 monster album Mothership Connection. https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10221106481674060&set=pcb.10221106482514081
As described by UHHM’s Executive Director Rocky Bucano – “One of my favorite moments from last Friday’s ‘It’s Time For Hip-Hop in NYC’ concert at the Forest Hills stadium in Queens, NY was when the Universal Hip-Hop Museum presented George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic with this custom birthday cake – a recreation of the Mothership Connection album cover – and then had the entire stadium sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate Uncle George’s 80th birthday. Truly a historic moment for Hip Hop and one that I will never forget.
The cake was a meticulous recreation crafted by Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ (Since 1910 – https://www.carlosbakery.com/gallery/) – cudos to them for staying true to the design.
b) As access to live musical events begins to bring some of us out of COVID-induced hibernation, one event staged for September 18th looks to be particularly interesting to album art fans as it is a concert built around the commercial music industry work of Andy Warhol. This article in the Pittsburgh City Paper – https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/andy-warhol-museum-to-play-out-summer-with-first-ever-sound-series-block-party/Content?oid=20065780 – gives you the details of this Andy Warhol Museum-produced day of music – part of its long-running (since 2004) Sound Series programs featuring artists and bands “…inspired by Warhol’s involvement in music as an album cover designer, manager of the Velvet Underground, and record producer… Sound Series highlights unconventional and eclectic artists and musicians who challenge what art can be.”
c) Guy Minnebach’s posts on the Andy Earhole site continue to give readers something new and exciting to read, with his August 20th installment introducing us to some items from the collection of Italian architect/writer/collector Paolo Verda including the album package from what may be a Warhol-produced image from the 1988 album Alta Tenione (“High Tension” in Italian by Enzo Avitabile. Guy is “not quite sure if it is an actual Warhol painting or print that was used, or an artistic interpretation of one”, but Warhol did produce three different series of “Electric Chair” paintings in the 1960s, all based on newspaper photos of the actual chair used in executions in NY’s Sing Sing prison. You’ll find all of the details here – https://warholcoverart.com/2021/08/20/enzo-avitabile-and-his-shocking-chair/
d) BONUS AUGUST UPDATE – while digging around Guy’s I found that he’d written an interesting article several years ago that should be of interest to both fans of the Rolling Stones and one of the album cover world’s best known images – the cover of Sticky Fingers, another Andy Warhol production. I’d heard rumors about just how difficult the record package’s production and printing was, so it’s nice to get some additional details on the topic – https://warholcoverart.com/2015/04/26/sticky-fingers-unzipped/ More recently, Guy also posted a fascinating article on an album cover that was unabashedly inspired by the another iconic Warhol cover. The 2012 song by song remake/tribute of 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico album by Castle Face Records and friends featured front and back hand-drawn and lettered cover images by artist David Shrigley that’s sure to bring a smile to your face – https://warholcoverart.com/2021/08/12/andy-warhol-was-mad-david-shrigley-is-bananas/
e) For musical acts working to “extend the brand”, it helps to have some easily-identifiable logo or symbol that quickly draws fans in and motivates them to take a look at what you’re up to next. In this example, described in this recent article on The Whiskey Wash.com site, fans of British metal titans Motorhead should find a lot to like in this new product – Ace of Spades Bourbon!
f) I was very happy to see a publication that had been a go-to reference for many years – Wax Poetics, with its long list of “Cover Story” articles that gave me a lot of background info on album cover images I’d seen – come back after having ceased publication several years back. I’d reported on their fund-raising efforts last year and, as I was an early supporter, this past Spring I rec’d a print copy of their first “new” issue (Issue 1, Volume 2, Spring 2021). After getting the package, I quickly looked through it, saw that it was going to require some serious sit-down time to go thru the whole thing, and then put it on my “must read” pile. Speed ahead several months and, prompted by an email from them (now based in Amsterdam), I joined their online community and posted a hello to those there who might be interested in album cover imagery.
The next day, I saw a note from David Holt – one of the co-publishers of Wax Poetics – who quizzed me as to whether I’d read the Cover Story article that was included in the publication. Realizing what I’d done, I quickly picked up the magazine (featuring the late Marvin Gaye on the cover) and, turning to page 36, found the aforementioned article by Mijke Hurkx and Sofia Zemane Berkhout spend some time with a London-based DJ/producer and electronic music impresario discussing the surrealistic, collage-based artwork found on the covers of jazz rockers Soft Machine’s 1981 Land of Cockayne LP (the artwork so inspired their subject that he dove into the world of collage-making himself!). The album’s artwork came about as the result of a collaboration between EMI’s lead designer David Dragon and painter/illustrator Roy Ellsworth, bringing in influences from composer Edward Elgar and Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1567 oil painting bearing the same title as the album, so you’ve got to admit that this exploration shows how broad the range of influences can be on any given album cover project…
If you can’t find a copy of Wax Poetics at your local magazine seller, you could subscribe 😉 or, as an option, read this online interview with the aforementioned multi-talented artist who served as the subject of the Cover Story article – London-based DJ/visual artist Steven Julien – during which he and the interviewer (Mijke Hurkx) touch on several of the same topics – https://www.waxpoetics.com/article/apron-records-steven-julien
a) The editorial team at Far Out Magazine continues on with their album cover art series, with this month’s output including two nice articles on two memorable covers, with the first being Sonic Youth’s 1988 Daydream Nation that featured a cover image based on a 1983 painting by Gerhard Richter titled Kerze (Candle) which the artist would sell in 2011 for over $16 million – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/story-sonic-youth-daydream-nation-cover/. The second article is about Jean-Paul Goude’s titillating photo of model/singer/style icon Grace Jones – originally shot for a New York Magazine article in the late 1970s and then used on the cover of Ms. Jones’ Island Life recording – that impressed viewers both with her beauty and her balance. While this was done pre-Photoshop, Mr. Goude did work a little magic in the production of this memorable image – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/how-grace-jones-created-the-cover-for-island-life/
b) Who says that politicians aren’t hip? From the land where the former lead singer of Midnight Oil ultimately found work in government, another MP in Australia had the fine idea of hiring an award-winning album cover artist to create posters to inspire people to get vaccinated. As it was posted on Facebook, “Dave Homer, an award-winning (multiple ARIA Awards) album cover illustrator, has created a series of vintage style travel posters depicting iconic northern beaches scenes, as part of a social media campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated. The posters have the slogans: ‘Northern Beaches, Get back to what we love …’ and ‘Don’t wait, vaccinate’. The artist has also created retro artwork with the phrases ‘For Those That You Love, Get Vaccinated’, ‘Let’s Get Vaxxed’ and ‘Get Vaccinated!’
Commissioned by Manly MP James Griffin, the aim is to encourage people on the northern beaches to share and spread the message. So, please share, share, share!”
More info on this artist can be found on his web site at https://www.davehomer.com/about
c) The latest Halsey album cover (and video) quite controversially illustrates the influence of classic religious on her own album cover imagery art via a walking tour thru a museum – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/heres-our-art-historical-analysis-of-halseys-13-minute-silent-tour-of-the-met-1988925
Special Album Art-Related Legal News Update –
a) The past few months have shown us a number of examples of just how serious the creation and management of “intellectual property” (the fancy name for the art, music, literature, photography and other things produced by the artists, musicians, writers and other creatives who earn their livings making these things for us to enjoy) has become. On the “plus” side, many content owners/managers are figuring out – some with great success, others less so – how to bring their wares to fans and collectors in the form of non-fungible tokens, the digitally-created/managed/distributed items better-known as “NFTs”. As you might also figure, once there is money to be made and there is any confusion as to “who owns what” at any time, many NFT owners/publishers (and their legal teams) will work hard to protect their precious commodities, as we’ve highlighted here over the past few months in the coverage of the lawsuits and similar legal battles being fought all over the world. I’m doing some additional research on the topic and hope to share bits and pieces of that with you over the course of the next few months, so stay tuned.
Speaking of lawsuits – in an interesting example of what Bill Withers would have pegged as an example of “you keep on using me, until you use me up”, a rather-well-known figure whose image has been seen on millions of copies of a particular Nirvana album – I’m talking about the floating 4-month-old baby featured in Kirk Weddle’s underwater photo seen on the band’s 1991 Nevermind LP, now an adult who’s name is Spencer Elden – has just sued the band for “commercial child sexual exploitation”. As you’ll see in this recent article on the Artnet.com site – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/spencer-elden-sues-nirvana-over-cover-image-2002468? (in fact, there have been at least a dozen or more articles on the subject) – Spencer, now a 30-year-old painter and who participated several times over the past 30 years in “where are they now” photo shoots in which he and the photographers worked to update the original cover, seems as though he’s tired of his association with the band and this album, particularly after they gave him the run-around when he’d asked them to contribute something to an art show he was staging. I would like to point out that, while I would be a nut to go on record with my opinion on this case, it was interesting to note that Apple’s much-heralded CSAM detection system (Child Sexual Abuse Materials), which scans emails and items in the cloud for the “digital fingerprints” associated with such banned materials, would not flag this album cover – https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/08/25/no-nirvanas-nevermind-baby-wont-trigger-apples-csam-detection Hell hath no fury like a baby model scorned, but you have to admit that he’s had no problem getting peoples’ (i.e., reporters’) attention regarding his lawsuit.
I had the opportunity to interview photographer Weddle several years ago and dig through his portfolio a bit, so if you’d like to revisit that bit of album cover art history, please do so via the link at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-kirk-weddle/
As you might figure, while the Nirvana Nevermind lawsuit might be the music/art industry’s biggest story at the moment, it’s certainly not the first time that a record’s cover art has become the subject of a lawsuit. You’ve seen this evidenced over the past several months in the legal skirmish between Jay-Z and Jonathan Mannion, so it was only a matter of time (less than a week!) that an intrepid reporter – this being Tim Coffman, writing for the WhatCulture.com site – would do the work needed to bring us a more-comprehensive summary of what he calls the “10 Rock Album Covers That Led To Massive Lawsuits” – https://whatculture.com/music/10-rock-album-covers-that-led-to-massive-lawsuits Thanks, Tim, for providing us with some historical context on what’s sure to be a long list of lawsuits going forward.
That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feeds (sign up below to get an automatic email every time there’s something new on the ACHOF site). I’ll be returning right around the first of next month with another news summary for you. Until then, Peace and Love and Good Health 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 the trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.