Album Cover Hall of Fame – Featured Fan Collection Interviews

Album Cover Hall of Fame – “Featured Fan Collection” articles

Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder – Responding to an email from two professors who’ve published a pair of critically-acclaimed books about mid-century album cover art and design netted me a fine interview opportunity during which we discussed how, as both academics and fans (and dedicated collectors) of record packages, they’ve focused their fascination about the last 70 years of recorded music (and its packaging) into something they’ve been able to explore to great depths in their respective careers. This article was posted not long after the publishing of their second book (Designed for Dancing) in 2021.

ACHOF “Featured Fan Collection” Interview – Professors Jonathan Schroeder and Janet Borgerson

Ed Boyd – I met Ed Boyd, CEO of Tymphany, a maker of high-quality loudspeaker components and systems and long-time admirer and collector of album cover/rock music art, via my (now-closed) RockPoP Gallery site. While many folks working in the music arena will decorate their offices and studios with gold record presentations and photos of themselves with other musical luminaries, Ed truly seemed interested in the art of the album cover. I was impressed with his desire to build a great collection of his favorite images and his willingness to search all over the world to find the galleries and self-publishing artists who might sell the prints he was interested in and so, back in February of 2014, I convinced him to give us a tour through his fine collection, which includes examples of work from John Van Hamersveld, Karl Ferris, Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson, Sir Peter Blake, R. Crumb and many others.

Eric Christensen – I contacted film-maker Eric Christensen early in 2013 after reading about the release of a documentary film he’d produced and directed called The Cover Story – Album Art. While album cover art has been the subject of a wide range of books, articles and exhibitions, there have only been a smattering of films or videos dedicated to the subject and, as ACHOF curator, it was my sworn duty to find out more about the film and its creator. I found a kindred soul in Eric and, while he did get a jump on me – beginning his career in the music business in the 1960s – it’s fascinating to see the similarities in how we both grew, in many cases, to appreciate the visual aspects of the record business as much as the music. What’s impressive about Eric and his collections are their sheer size and the degree to which he has incorporated his love of albums and their packaging into many aspects of his career over the years.

This article includes Eric’s anecdotes about classic images in his collection featuring Blind Faith (Blind Faith); Santana (Supernatural); The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and a Yesterday & Today “Butcher Cover”); Rolling Stones (Their Satanic Majesties Request); Grateful Dead (Aoxomoxoa and the “Skeleton & Roses” recurring character); Big Brother & The Holding Company (Cheap Thrills); Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here) and YES (Tales From Topographic Oceans

Richard Forrest – Collectors are a funny bunch, it is said, and while I admit to suffering from this condition myself (although, I must say, it’s somewhat in remission these days, now that I’ve nowhere to store anything else), rather than live in a situation where there’s always one – or dozens – more things to add to a collection, it was intriguing to have found someone – a collector and blogger living in Sweden by the name of Dr. Richard Forrest – who approaches collecting in a way that enables him to both attain a goal and also feel some sense of achievement via his efforts. For this article, Richard chose a few covers that mean a lot to him. Part of his collection of Andy Warhol record covers was on display at Moderna Museet in Malmö, Sweden in 2019, and he shared some stories about those, plus covers by Alex Steinweiss (Smash Song Hits by Rodgers and Hart); The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Yesterday & Today “Butcher Cover” variants) and a variety of covers by Sir Peter Blake, Banksy, Damien Hirst and his own album art recreations

Mike Goldstein – When I launched this series of articles back in 2013, I presented, in the text on the main page of the Fan Collection section, the reasons why I figured that it’d be both fun and educational to see selections from the collections of others in and around the music and fine art businesses. To move things along, I thought that it’d only be fair to present you with highlights from my own personal collection, along with some insight as to why these works – an album cover collector’s “pride and joys” – are found on the walls of my own home. The highlights include works for the Grateful Dead (Shakedown Street and Skeletons From The Closet); Supertramp (Breakfast In America); Cream (Disraeli Gears); Sex Pistols (Never Mind The Bollocks…Here’s The Sex Pistols); Big Brother & The Holding Company (Cheap Thrills); Traffic (Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys) and Aerosmith (Draw The Line

David Hamsley – In late 2014, I received a note from photographer/author David Hamsley telling me about a project he was about to complete – a comprehensive book about Disco-era record art (the highly-regarded To Disco With Love) and that he’d soon be ready to work with me on a Featured Fan Collection article I’d proposed earlier that year. Rather than focus on Disco covers, though, he suggested that we work on presenting a collection of images in another segment of album art production that, since the rise of the CD and other digital music delivery mechanisms, has been pushed to the back burners of music packaging history – i.e., “gatefold” covers. In this interview, he discusses the art found on records for Cream (Wheels of Fire); Crosby, Stills & Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash); The Byrds (Untitled); Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Pictures At An Exhibition); Osibisa (Woyaya); Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street); Led Zeppelin (Houses Of The Holy); Eric Clapton (461 Ocean Boulevard) and Joni Mitchell (The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira)

Rob Smeaton – Hypergallery is based in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England and, according to their web site, aims to “celebrate seven decades of fantastic sleeve design and promote the growing renown for album cover art.” As both a gallery and a print publisher, Rob and his team look to give record sleeve artists the opportunity and freedom to re-explore their original artwork, producing beautiful new prints that give art lovers the chance to build a collection of artworks and collectables from a unique genre. I met Rob during a visit of his to Portland several years ago and found that he and I also both shared a background in multi-media production and technology. After meeting him, I knew that he’d be able to impress album cover art fans with a tour through his collection and he came through with a splendid selection, including prints from The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band); Grateful Dead (Shakedown Street); Big Brother & The Holding Company (Cheap Thrills); Umphrey’s McGee (The Bottom Half) and Steve Miller (Book of Dreams)