Category Archives: Album Cover Art Award Articles

Interview with Annie Stoll and Meghan Foley on the making of Squeeze Box for Weird Al Yankovic

Interview with Annie Stoll and Meghan Foley on the making of the Grammy-winning package for Weird Al Yankovic’s Squeeze Box box set

Squeeze Box by Weird Al Yankovic

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Posted July 28, 2021

For the past several years, I’ve served on the judging panel for the revitalized Making Vinyl Awards competition and, as part of that effort, I’ve had the chance to review hundreds of different entries in the various categories up for MVA consideration – a truly eyeball-testing experience. While I must admit that, after a while, I found myself glossing over a number of the entries (corrected, luckily, by coming back to the viewings after much rest and a commitment to limiting each session to about an hour’s time), there were a number of entries – particularly, in the box set-related categories – that were so ingeniously done that I knew that they’d be hits with both the other judges and the buying public. Back in early 2019, one of those nominees was a package put together by Sony Music built around the 40+ year output of the seemingly never-aging musical satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic and called, quite appropriately due to the accordion-focused nature of many of Weird Al’s performances, Squeeze Box.

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Interview with Lawrence Azerrad about his Grammy Award-winning vinyl package for Wilco’s Ode To Joy

Wilco’s Ode To Joy Special-Edition Vinyl Package

By Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com

Posted May 28, 2021 – It’s called “Album Cover Art”, so what I take from that name is that it is something created by artists (artisans?) who create the products we see by hand, using their innate talents and abilities to deliver something unique and appealing (and, in the case of product packaging, something that sells and makes the people that buy these products happy with their purchases). In the case of box sets and limited-edition “special” packages, it’s all the more important that the artists/artisans working on those products “get it right”, as the products are typically more expensive, as collectibles are expected to be, so the value proposition (OMG – I’m back in Marketing!) has to appeal to fans who are being asked to spend (often, many) hundreds of dollars on a product that there may only be a few hundred copies made. Additionally, the designers of these products have to be sure that their client(s) is/are ultimately happy, since the packages are typically the latest/best expressions of their music or, even more often lately, career retrospectives that are attempting to put the totality of the featured musical acts’ musical and lyrical (and, in most cases, visual) output out in a comprehensive package. To do that well, there must be an effective collaboration between the design teams and their clients, with the best examples of those successful collaborations garnering positive critical/fan reviews and, in special cases, special recognition from their industry peers, such as the Grammy Awards that were handed out earlier this year to musician Jeff Tweedy and designer/art director Lawrence Azerrad for Wilco’s Ode To Joy limited-edition set that they produced and released in late 2019 on the dBpm label.

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ACHOF Breaking News – Here Are The Winners of the 2020 Grammy Awards for Packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACHOF Breaking News – Here Are The Winners of the 2020 Grammy Awards for Packaging

Posted 3/14/21 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

2020 Grammy Awards special update – Having been delayed until today due to precautions taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grammy Awards in the Packaging category were presented during the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® that took place today beginning at 12:00 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. EST) and streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com. Preceding the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast tonight, the Premiere Ceremony have been hosted by current three-time nominee Jhené Aiko and feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees.

And now, here are the details of the winners in each of the three Packaging categories:

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ACHOF Breaking News Update for February 24, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

ACHOF Breaking News Update for February 24, 2021

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Screen shot of 2020 Making Vinyl Packaging Awards ceremony on Zoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATED WITH FULL RESULTS 2/26/21

At a ceremony hosted on Zoom (see link, below to watch a replay of the presentation) by renowned album cover art director Craig Braun, the producers and judges for the 4th annual Making Vinyl Packaging Awards announced the winners in each of the 16 categories included in the competition, with the top prize – the “Best In Show” award (formerly known as the “Alex Steinweiss Award”, named after the legendary “father of the modern album cover”) – going to Matt D’Amico (VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Universal Music Enterprises – UME) and his team for their work on the humongous and impressive Flaming Pie Archive Collection Collector’s Edition box set for Paul McCartney.

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Announcing the 2020 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

Announcing the 2020 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

November 20th, 2020

Here’s the latest class of honorees in the 6 major categories as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging. This list represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, including many recognized names of craftspeople working in the worlds of fine art, graphic design and photography.

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ACHOF’s Interview with 2020 Grammy Award-Winning Art Director Masaki Koike

Interview with 2020 Grammy Winner Masaki Koike on his 62nd Annual Grammy-winning (for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package”) work for Rhino Records on the now-sold-out Woodstock – Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 9, 2020 By Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com

I was only 13 years old when the Woodstock festival was staged. I’d already collected several rock and roll recordings, mostly coming from my grandfather, who worked at a newsstand in the building that housed WLS Radio in Chicago and was tight with several of the DJs there (I was the only kid on the block who had albums stamped “Demo Copy: Not For Sale”!). My tastes at the time ran to music by The Turtles, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Iron Butterfly and the Moody Blues, but I’d read that there were some great new bands who’d wowed the crowd and so I was eager to learn more. The newspapers and magazines at the time made a big deal about the performances given by acts like Santana, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After, Sha-Na-Na and many others (two of my favorite bands – Iron Butterfly and the Moody Blues – were originally supposed to play at the concert but, for various reasons, didn’t make it) but, since I lived hundreds of miles away and couldn’t convince my parents to take me (something about “having to work”), I had to be satisfied with whatever was shown on TV (mostly aerial shots of the crowds) and then, a couple of years later, getting to revel in what I got to see when the concert film was shown in a local theater.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for January 8, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update

January 8, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 Best Art Vinyl Awards

Winners of the Best Art Vinyl Awards 2018 – Copyright 2019 Art Vinyl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam-based designer/artist Rahi Rezvani (http://www.rahirezvani.com/home/), perhaps best-known for his portfolio of designs for the Netherlands Dance Theater and other works with performance artist Marina Abramovic and Dutch singer Alain Clark, earned top honors in this year’s Best Art Vinyl Awards for his cover for British rockers Editors 2018 album Violence.

From the 50 nominees originally posted for voting last year, the 2nd place design award went to Tom Hingston (along with photographer Julia Noni) at the London-based Hingston Studio (http://www.hingston.net/) for their work on the cover of Cocoa Sugar, the third studio album by UK electronic dance band Young Fathers. Third place in this year’s competition went to the team at the Sheffield, UK-based design group The Designers Republic (http://www.thedesignersrepublic.com/) for their design work on Aphex Twin’s Collapse EP.

The awards were presented in ceremonies at the Hari Hotel in London, and you can take a look at all of this year’s nominees (along with the winners) on the Art Vinyl site at https://www.artvinyl.com/award-year/2018/

That’s all for now – back to you sometime soon with more on our favorite people working on our favorite album packages.

Mike G

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for October 2, 2018

 

ACHOF Breaking News Update for October 2, 2018

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

I’m happy to be able to share the list of winners of last night’s Making Vinyl Packaging Awards, announced at a ceremony held at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit hosted by famed album cover art director Craig Braun. Talent from all over the world was recognized for their excellent work in each of the twelve categories that comprised this year’s award show, with several nominees taking home multiple winning and/or runner-up awards.

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Announcing the 2017 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

This latest class of honorees in the 6 major categories – as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging – represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, with many recognized names from the fine art and design world.

Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve inducted five classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys (the initial three classes focused on nominees who began their careers as album cover artists between the years 1960 – 1975, 1976 – 1990 and from 1991 – present, while the last two years’ voting looked at all producers active any time since 1960). Hundreds of additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.

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Interview with Susan Archie, 2015 Grammy Award Winning Designer

Interview with Susan Archie, principal of World of anArchie, winner of the 2015 Grammy Award for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package” for her work on The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27), released by Third Man Records/Revenant Records.

Paramount, Third Man Records, Revenant Records, Susan Archie, Grammy Award, Box Set, Interview, Album Cover Hall of Fame, 2015, article, interview

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors

With a thorough understanding of digital technologies being such a key driver to success in today’s music business, music fans often forget that the earliest recorded music came about as the result of an application of a new technology – i.e., those introduced by the early French and American inventors of the phonograph and the gramophone. While we take for granted the various advances in recording technology that have taken place since the late-1800s, without the energies applied – and risks taken by – music industry pioneers, there would be no archives of the performances given by the musical acts that have gone on to influence modern music and music engineering.

Like many an American industrial enterprise, the early U.S. recording business was also an attractive one to those individuals and companies looking to entice the public to buy their products, with some companies (Edison and Victor, for example) impressing consumers with the quality (sound and manufacturing) of their hardware (AKA record playing devices) and software (recorded content, in its many forms – first cylinders, then 78RPM discs, etc.) and others looking to simply “spend-a-little, make a lot” as production of devices and content quickly scaled up as the century turned.

In that second camp were the owners of the Wisconsin Chair Company who, around the start of World War 1,  launched a brand called Paramount to manufacture phonographs and, to provide a broad range of recorded content to play on those phonographs, operated Paramount Records as a way to produce what would turn out to be hundreds of ground-breaking recordings “on the cheap”. By the time Paramount ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled recordings of an impressive of performers spanning early jazz, blues, gospel, the Vaudeville and operatic stages and other popular musical styles. Continue reading