Album Cover Hall of Fame – Featured Artist Portfolio Articles
While we work hard at the Album Cover Hall of Fame to bring you detailed information about your favoriate album cover artists, being able to see the breadth and depth of an artist’s portfolio is the only way we know to really impress you with their talents and so, working closely with each Featured Artist, we’re pleased to present samples from their archives.
Along with samples of their work, we’ll include their biographies and links to related sites, interviews and anything else that will bring music art fans closer to the source. We hope that you enjoy these in-depth looks into the worlds of some of your favorite creatives…
Ernie Cefalu – A pioneer in album cover design and founder of the famed Pacific Eye & Ear design studio, Ernie’s Portfolio article finds him sharing more anecdotes about the development of album covers for Aerosmith (Toys In The Attic); Alice Cooper (Dada); Mary Travers (Circles); Modern Jazz Quartet (In Memoriam); Kenny Rankin (Silver Morning) and some of the others previously mentioned
Edward Colver – I was first exposed to Edward Colver’s work on a grand scale in late 2009 while visiting the “Who Shot Rock & Roll” photo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, during which I found myself staring at Colver’s photo of Black Flag singer Henry Rollins who, seemingly, had just punched a mirror and bloodied his fist in doing so. Wanting to learn more, I made my first attempt contact with Edward Colver back in early February, 2010 , I figured that he might be less-than-eager to work with me in an article for my slightly-less-than-anarchic album art site. My instincts were correct, although I must say that it also might have been that he was both quite busy and much more used to doing in-person interviews.
As the years went by and I pinged Colver to see if he was ready to answer the questions I’d emailed years earlier, I’d gotten used to not hearing back from him. The situation turned quite positive, though, in Spring of 2015 when a publicist by the name of Kate Gammell – who was now working with Edward – was informed that I had been trying (unsuccessfully) to do a feature on Colver’s work and, as fate would have it, since I started publishing “Featured Artist Portfolio” articles a year or so ago, I now had the right format via which I could share some of his album cover work, as well as the stories behind the images. And so, with Kate working her magic and Edward providing all of the details, I am now happy to share this new feature with you, with stories behind his covers for Ice Cube (Greatest Hits); Black Flag (Damaged); 45 Grave (Sleep In Safety); T.S.O.L. (12″ EP) and Circle Jerks (Group Sex) https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/achof-featured-artist-portfolio-photographer-edward-colver/
Brian Griffin – When The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. named Griffin “The Photographer of the Decade” and his photo shot for the cover of Depeche Mode’s 1982 album, A Broken Frame, was featured on the cover of Life Magazine’s special issue, “The Greatest Photographs of the ‘80s”, these were just two of many that’d be bestowed upon the talent now considered by many to be one of Britain’s greatest living portrait photographers. All along the way, Brian has been the recipient of many other honors, winning numerous D&AD awards and his book Work was awarded the “Best Photographic Book In The World” at the Primavera Fotográfica in Barcelona, Spain. Music remains an important part of both Brian’s personal and professional lives and his photographic and film-making skills remain in demand, with other noted entertainment industry clients including Brian Eno, Sir George Martin, Simple Minds, Billy Idol, Peter Gabriel, King Sunny Ade and Sir Paul McCartney turning to him when they want a photo portrait like no other.
Included in this June, 2013 article are cover shots Brian’s done for Joe Jackson (Look Sharp!); Iggy Pop (Soldier); Depeche Mode (A Broken Frame); Psychedelic Furs (Mirror Moves); Elvis Costello (Spike); Ultravox (Vienna); Billy Idol (Rebel Yell) and Echo and The Bunnymen (Heaven Up Here)
Mick Haggerty – Every once in a while, I get to pinch myself with pleasure when I realize that I’ve been given the opportunity to meet and interview many of the talented artists that have created some of the world’s most-iconic album cover images. While, of course, I appreciate most all of the works I’ve featured in these articles, there are certain works that, for my own personal reasons, are deeply-affecting to me and, therefore, are often images that I’ve added to my own art collection, and so when I get a chance to interview the people who’ve produced these particular images, the whole enterprise takes on additional meaning and emotion for me.
In this March, 2014 Featured Artist Portfolio, I’m pleased to highlight the accomplishments of a designer who has created more than one of my favorite album covers – that being the supremely talented Mick Haggerty. As someone who has created covers for musical acts both here and in the U.K., it also gives me pleasure to learn more about a small number of covers for bands that, for whatever reason, never had much of a following in the U.S. but, as you’ll see, some of those images will impress you as much (or more) than some of his better-known covers. The Portfolio includes David Bowie (Tonight); Gamma (Gamma 1); Yellow Magic Orchestra (Solid State Survivor); The Move (Best of The Move); ELO (Face The Music); Jellyfish (Bellybutton); Orchestral Maneuvers in The Dark (The Pacific Age); Simple Minds (Alive & Kicking); Supertramp (Breakfast in America); The Go-Go’s (Vacation) and several other impressive designs https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/achof-featured-artist-portfolio-grammy-winner-mick-haggerty/
Larry Vigon – After contacting artist Larry Vigon about his induction into the ACHOF, it became an imperative to give you, my readers, a more-complete look into the man and his work. In February, 2020, Mr. Vigon was kind enough to agree to work with me to bring you one of my Featured Artist Portfolio articles, allowing me to introduce the artist, give you some of his back-story and then, most-importantly, some of the details behind what went into the making of some of that artist’s best-known works – details that can only help you better-appreciate the artistry and imagination brought to each project. I started by asking Larry to select some of his favorite examples from his lexicon and to share a tale or two about each, with the Portfolio including Fleetwood Mac (Rumours, Tusk and Mirage); Bob Welch (The Other One); Chicago (17); Eric Clapton (Behind The Sun); Counting Crows (August and Everything After); Oingo Boingo (Dead Man’s Party); Sparks (In Outer Space) and Boney James (Sweet Thing)
Paul Wakefield – In late 2014, I was looking for some information on a prog-rock illustrator (quite honestly, I can’t recall just who at the moment) when one link led me to a Jon Anderson video, and hearing the singer’s alto-tenor on that video tripped a wire in my head that reminded me that I hadn’t heard the song “So Long Ago, So Clear” that YES’s long-time vocalist had recorded with keyboard virtuoso Vangelis. The track appeared on the composer’s 1975 album titled Heaven And Hell and the album’s cover image – a pair of “angelic”, winged hands floating above a keyboard on top of a fiery background – was one that had always impressed me, so I set about tracking down the artist(s) who’d created the fantastic cover with the hopes that he/she/they’d be able to share a bit more about how it was made. This soon brought me to Paul Wakefield, who confirmed that this work was, in fact, his. Of course, as it always seems in AlbumCoverland, Paul had also been responsible for a number of other just-as-impressive album packages and so, with such a broad-based portfolio, I knew at that point that I’d want to work with Paul to show off more of his work and let our readers know more about the artist and what he’d been working on lately. Paul shared his stories about covers for Supertramp (Crime of the Century and Crisis? What Crisis?); the aforementioned Vangelis (Heaven & Hell); City Boy (Dinner at the Ritz); Jack Lancaster & Robin Lumley (Marscape); Siouxie and the Banshees (The Scream); Rick Wakeman (Rhapsodies) and Sally Oldfield (Water Bearer) https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/achof-featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-paul-wakefield/
Kirk Weddle – A great example of how one assignment – the “right” assignment – can open the doors to a long career in the arts (assuming, of course, that you have the talent and determination to keep it moving forward) is the one photographer Kirk Weddle embarked upon to produce what’s certainly his best-known work – that being the “floating naked baby” cover photo he shot in 1993 for Nirvana’s Nevermind album. As fans of album cover art now know well, the cover image has been praised, dissected, spoofed and featured in many a discussion about “iconic album cover imagery”. The voters for the Album Cover Hall of Fame understood the photo’s importance and, in 2013, inducted Weddle into the ACHOF with an “Individual Achievement Award” for his Nevermind work. Rather than revisit what’s already been discussed at great lengths, I thought that it’d be a great opportunity to give readers/fans a bit more background on this Austin, TX – based photographer and show you a bit more of his portfolio which, as you’ll see, shows great craftsmanship in portrait photography for clients in the advertising, corporate design and publishing worlds and, of course, some additional examples of his underwater photography specialty (including some alt shots from the Nevermind sessions) https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/featured-album-cover-artist-portfolio-kirk-weddle/