Tag Archives: album cover

Album Cover Hall of Fame Special Preview Edition News Release – Jan. 20, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACHOF Quickie News Update for January 20/21st, 2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings to you all – hope that the early days of 2020 have been good ones for you. While I know that I’m not due for a major news summary for a few days now, I did want to give you some updated news on two important album art-related competitions and, quite sadly, a brief note about the death of a noted album cover designer that’s more than a bit overdue.

Award Announcement #1 – This past November, the Recording Academy announced its list of nominees for 2019 Grammy Awards in the two album cover art-related categories we pay close attention to here at the ACHOF. Since the Grammy Awards are scheduled for this weekend – with the production-related awards handed out at a special ceremony before the big-time TV broadcast – I just thought it important to remind you of who was nominated in the packaging categories:

– In the “Best Recording Package” category, the nominees are:

Anónimas & Resilientes by Voces Del Bullerengue – Luisa María Arango, Carlos Dussan, Manuel García-Orozco & Juliana Jaramillo-Buenaventura, art directors;

Chris Cornell by Chris Cornell – Barry Ament, Jeff Ament, Jeff Fura & Joe Spix, art directors;

Hold That Tiger by The Muddy Basin Ramblers – Andrew Wong & Fongming Yang, art directors;

I,I by Bon Iver – Aaron Anderson & Eric Timothy Carlson, art directors; and

Intellexual by Intellexual – Irwan Awalludin, art director

– In the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category, the nominees are:

Anima by Thom Yorke – Stanley Donwood & Tchocky, art directors;

Gold In Brass Age by David Gray – Amanda Chiu, Mark Farrow & David Gray, art directors;

1963: New Directions by John Coltrane – Josh Cheuse, art director;

The Radio Recordings 1939–1945 by Wilhelm Furtwängler & Berliner Philharmoniker – Marek Polewski, art director; and

Woodstock: Back To The Garden – The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive (featuring performances by Various Artists) – Masaki Koike, art director

The complete list of Grammy nominees in all of the categories announced today can be found at   https://www.grammy.com/grammys/awards/62nd-annual-grammy-awards-2019 , with winners announced in ceremonies in Los Angeles on January 26th – a well-chosen date in between the two biggest pro football weekends of the year. As you know I will be working hard to bring you the stories behind the winning works (and the people who created them) after they’re announced but, in the meantime, let’s congratulate all of the nominees for jobs well done and wish them luck next Sunday.

Award Announcement #2 – This past Friday, at an event at the Koppel Project Gallery in Soho, London, U.K., the Best Art Vinyl 2019 Award Winners were announced. Now in its 15th year, this independent competition – sponsored as always by the team at Art Vinyl (a maker/marketer of a very nice record album cover display frame/system) – has become a must-see-and-do activity for fans of album art from all over the world. With thousands of votes cast by those fans via the Best Art Vinyl Awards web site, the Top 3 winning packages represent the best in album cover design from designers and musical acts from countries including France, the U.K. and Denmark:

  1. Francesco Dell’Orto’s design and photography for the French prog/metal band Klone’s album Le Grand Voyage on Kscope Records;
  2. Artwork and Design Tom Dubois/Hingston Studio for veteran rocker Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ album Ghosteen on the Ghosteen Ltd label
  3. Design and Art Direction by Hvass & Hannibal for Danish indie rockers Efterklang’s album on Britain’s 4AD label titled Altid Sammen (“Always Together”)

A full list of the top 50 vote-getters is currently available on the ArtVinyl site at https://artvinyl.com/award-year/2019/ and, once again, congratulations to all of the nominees and winners for bringing fans some of the most-memorable designs and images we’ve seen in quite a while.

And now, the bad/sad news – Vaughan Oliver, co-founder of the design firms 23 Envelope and V23 and, after building a relationship with the independent UK record label 4AD, created a host of notable album covers including those for the Pixies (inc. Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Monkey Gone To Heaven and 2019’s Beneath the Eyrie); David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive; The Breeders – Pod and Safari; Psychedelic Furs – Until She Comes and World Outside; Lush – Spooky, For Love and Hypocrite and Throwing Muses – House Tornado and Counting Backwards, died at the age of 62 in late December, 2019. In a statement released just after Oliver’s death, Pixies front man Black Francis called their collaboration “the beginning marker for our own artistic journey,” noting that “we saw the first mock-up of the first ‘Come On Pilgrim’ sleeve, quit our jobs and never looked back,” adding that “he loved the look and smell and feel of things and, more than most are able to articulate, which he did most eloquently from deep within his soul’s atelier.”

Frequent collaborator Simon Larbalestier, who shot the wonderful photos that Oliver used on many of his Pixies designs (including his last project for them, Beneath the Eyrie), told me via email that “Vaughan’s death is a great loss to everyone – he was a close friend of 35 years,” while noted record art collector/fellow blogger Richard Forrest shared that he’d “met him and (designer) Chris Bigg in 2001, just when they were re-negotiating their contract with 4AD. Vaughn let me rifle through the company’s archives and take about 20 posters and he willingly autographed several books and records for me.” Richard told me that Oliver, “along with Neville Brody, Barney Bubbles and Peter Saville, were the leading designers of record covers in the UK in the eighties and nineties. Vaughan was a great inspiration for me.“

Born in London in September, 1957 and raised in Sedgefield, England, Vaughan Oliver knew, as a teenager, that he wanted to design album covers. He liked how these images combined art and music (i.e., image and sound) and most-appreciated the ones that showed some imagination in their design.

With a partner, photographer Nigel Grierson, Oliver founded his own design firm called 23 Envelope and found a client in the popular independent UK record label 4AD, a spin-off label run by two Beggar’s Banquet employees named Peter Kent and Ivo Watts-Russell and home of acts including Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and Modern English from the UK and American indie bands including The Breeders, Pixies and Throwing Muses. After Grierson left in 1988, Oliver re-named the company v23 and continued to produce memorable 4AD sleeve designs through the late 1990s, working with a small slate of talented photographers including Marc Atkins, Chris Bigg, Simon Larbalestier, Timothy O’Donnel and others. Other clients who sought out Oliver’s work included guitarist Robert Fripp and singer/songwriter David Sylvian, who hired him to design both record sleeves and covers for his illustrated poem/lyric books (titled Trophies I and II). Recent clients include film-maker David Lynch (2011’s Crazy Clown Time) and musical acts including TV On The Radio, Nyam, Nyam, A.R. Kane and I Break Horses.

In 1994, a comprehensive portfolio of Oliver’s work was organized into an exhibition held at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles titled This Rimy River. The catalog for the exhibition, featuring essays by photographer Chriss Bigg and writers Ian McKay and Rick Poynor, has become a sought-after collectible (also published in book form in 1997). In 2001, Oliver and Poynor collaborated again on an updated career retrospective book called Visceral Pleasures and, in 2010, Oliver presented a lecture (also titled Visceral Pleasures) in New York City hosted by AIGA/NY where he discussed his 30+ year career as a graphic designer and provided some of the stories behind some of his best-known album covers.

Gone way too young.

To see more of this artist’s work, please visit his web site at www.vaughanoliver.co.uk and to read more about Oliver and his work, I’d like to direct you to the following articles online: https://variety.com/2019/music/news/vaughan-oliver-dead-dies-album-cover-designer-pixies-breeders-1203453655/

https://www.clashmusic.com/features/remembering-vaughan-oliver-4ads-iconic-design-maverick

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/arts/vaughan-oliver-dead.html

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/vaughan-oliver-pixies-artist-4ad-dead-931865/

Back to you soon with more. Mike G.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release, v.2 – Holidays, 2019-2020

Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release, v.2  – Holidays, 2019-2020

Quickie Update – December 28, 2019, by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

2015 & 2019 Yuletide CDs by David Larkham

 

 

 

 

 

a) The coming of a new year reveals that I’m continuing to lose my mind…After posting my News Release yesterday, I turned to look at my printer and found that I’d forgotten to scan in the covers for two self-published music CD packages I recently received from famed album cover designer/illustrator David Larkham, so here’s that image (see above) and a little bit of background info about them. As David tells it – “A number of years ago, rather than sending out the usual ‘Best Holiday Wishes’ at Christmas, I thought I’d do a seasonal CD for friends and family. I selected a few off-the-wall, obscure yuletide tracks (as opposed to the standard December ‘shopping mall muzak’) and then added a personal ‘album cover’…I’m a painter who got side-tracked by the music industry, and since I’m the ‘client’ in these annual projects, I get to stretch my creative legs with an occasional painting (or, sometimes, I get into a photography or illustration mode) and, perhaps, combine those with computer-generated images. One recent approach included combining my painting of Santa with a graphics background created on my computer. This went down so well that it’s become an annual thing for me…”

For those of us who were involved in the creation and embellishment of customized mixtapes, it was so cool to see what one might look like done by a truly talented artist, and I’m happy to be able to share this with you (with David’s permission, of course). For a brief overview of Mr. Larkham’s impressive portfolio, I invite you to visit his under-construction web site at http://davidlarkham.com/#

b) Over the years, the album cover collage produced by Sir Peter Blake, Jann Haworth and Michael Cooper for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album has served as the inspiration for derivative works done in the same style, including many parodies and even several newer versions produced by Blake and Haworth based on different source materials. Several years ago, an artist by the name of Chris Barker began what’s become an annual effort to honor those who’ve died during the current year – celebrities from all walks of life – using a Pepper’s-style collage as his way of making note of these passings. In a recent article I found on The Poke (U.K.) site – https://www.thepoke.co.uk/2019/12/20/sgt-pepper-cover-moving-tribute-2019s-departed-stars/ – you’ll get to see this year’s work (produced with the aid of retoucher Carl Price), delivered along with a handy chart identifying the 97 whos and whats that are included. The article also includes images of the past several years’ creations done by Barker as well. While I’m eager to see next year’s version, I’m not so eager to see who (and what) has passed away in order to be included L

c) Finally, just a quick note of congratulations to designer Peter Saville (perhaps best-known for his memorable album covers for Joy Division and New Order, and a 2013 inductee into the ACHOF) as he’s been given one of his country’s top honors, becoming a CBE – a Commander of the British Empire – in the recently-announced “New Year Honours” List. Other notables from the entertainment business included in this year’s list were Elton John, Olivia Newton-John and film director Steve McQueen. https://inews.co.uk/culture/music/new-year-honours-list-sir-elton-john-olivia-newton-john-and-nadiya-hussain-recognised-in-the-world-of-showbusiness-1350738 more info at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-50924985 A founder of influential record label Factory Records, Saville responded to the news of the honor by noting that it “had been his great good fortune to work with some extraordinary people and it is with them in mind that respectfully I receive this honour”. Those of us in the album art fan world congratulate you, too.

And so, once again, that’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019-2020 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 Special-Edition News Release – Holidays, 2019-2020

Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release – Holidays, 2019-2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

In wishing you all a peaceful, joyful and prosperous New Year 2020, I must also live up to my commitment to delivering you the latest and greatest album cover artist/art-related news, so while it’s not quite as robust as my typical news summary (an update will come in early January), here’s my little gift to you and any lover of album art you’d care to share it with:

New/Recently-Opened Exhibitions and Gallery Shows –

a) The work of multi-Juno-Award-winning artist/illustrator Hugh Syme (best known for the scores of images he’s created for Canadian power trio RUSH) is the basis of a show in an Indiana gallery (opened in November and runs thru end of January, 2020) – https://cbs4indy.com/2019/12/16/rock-n-roll-cover-artist-hugh-syme-thrills-fans-with-art-of-rush-book-signing/  The 2013 inductee into the Album Cover Hall of Fame staged a signing on December 14th that rec’d a lot of local coverage (and made fans quite happy) – https://www.wishtv.com/indy-style/artist-hugh-syme-discusses-legendary-works-and-new-book-art-of-rush/, with more pix and info on the Gallery’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/renditionsframingcenter/

b) Very happy to announce the opening of the “pop-up” exhibition that I had a small part in the creation of. On December 2nd, the Universal Hip Hop Museum made history with the debut of the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop show at the Bronx Terminal Market, which is where the museum will ultimately be housed. In addition to a collection of unique memorabilia, there’s an interactive timeline kiosk (covering the history of the genre’s music, art, fashion, dance and more) and a very cool kiosk that asks users to share some basic details about themselves before kicking out a custom-tailored playlist (local news station News 12 brought a camera crew there to give viewers a quick tour – http://bronx.news12.com/story/41398750/team-behind-universal-hip-hop-museum-opens-exhibit-at-bronx-terminal-market. ).

You are welcome to visit the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop anytime, but please make sure you get a reserved ticket to help the team there manage crowd flow (thousands have visited from all over the world so far).  Tickets are available at www.uhhm.org/revolution-of-hip-hop  Congratulations to Rocky and all of the people who made this first phase of what looks to be an impressive, ongoing organization meant to share a treasure trove of information, artistry and pride in this art form, spawned in the very neighborhood this museum now lives in. It seems that the locals are very excited about getting this new museum up-and-running ASAP, too, as NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed off on a $3.7 million grant that will be used towards the construction of the 50,000 square-foot home for this museum collection https://www.complex.com/music/2019/12/new-york-state-puts-up-375-million-to-help-build-universal-hip-hop-museum-the-bronx.

Artist News & Interviews –

a) Former Ealing Art College student Pete Townshend reflects on six of The Who’s covers, including comments on his favorites and the ones he’s particularly unhappy with (which does NOT include the one done by long-time Townshend favorite Sir Peter Blake for their first new album in 13 years, titled WHO) – https://ew.com/music/2019/12/05/pete-townshend-who-album-covers/ There’s also a new limited-edition print available of the Blake WHO cover that should prove to be pretty popular with collectors – here are the details as found on the CCA Publishing (UK) site – “Get ready for The Who’s first studio album in thirteen years, titled Who. To celebrate this monumental occasion, renowned British artist Sir Peter Blake has produced the official album artwork, which is now available as part of a limited edition silkscreen print. The glossy new artwork has been made up of a rich variety of twenty five colours and varnishes, and has even been made into an animation for the official video of their two new songs, ‘Ball and Chain’, and ‘All This Music Must Fade’. Image Size: 550 x 550 mm (a little over 21.5” square), with the overall print being 730 x 750 mm (approx. 28.75”w x 29.5” h). Edition Size: 150 silkscreen prints, signed and numbered by the artist. £1995.00 (incl. VAT, excluding delivery charges). https://www.ccagalleries.com/artists/peter-blake/the-who.html

b) Interview Magazine interview with photographer Ethan Russell – by Evalena Labayen – https://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/ethan-russell-best-seat-in-house-rolling-stones-beatles

Ethan has recently released a new photography book titled Ethan Russell Photography: Best Seat in the House. The book shares the same title as Russell’s popular travelling multi-media presentation, which he’s presented at a number of locations in the US over the past several years. A man with a truly impressive resume, having provided us with memorable photos of top music acts including The Beatles (Let It Be and many intimate photos of John and Yoko), the Rolling Stones, The Who (including the iconic “pissing on the wall cover found on Who’s Next), The Doors, Linda Ronstadt and so many more, Russell shares the stories behind the photos, with some 375 of them included in the presentation.

The 248-page book includes an introduction by the Smithsonian Museum’s Curator of Photographic History Collection Shannon Perich and a preface by another talented shooter, Neal Preston. Several versions of the book are available directly from Mr. Russell, including a $20 downloadable interactive PDF, a $130 unsigned fine art version (available signed for an additional $15) and an absolutely enticing Deluxe version which, for $495, includes the 248-page book, a 50-page bonus book titled The Inside Story (which provides multiple essays and a page by page, image by image commentary which, according to Mr. Russell, “does a couple of things. It provides a context outside of the photo(s) and it really allows for a much deeper immersion into my photographic journey, ups and downs) and – to be shipped separately – an 8” x 10” archival print of your choice from Ethan’s online shop (a $400 value alone). Get the details at https://shop.ethanrussell.com/products/ethan-russell-photographs-deluxe-version-plus-print-signed-and-optionally-dedicated?

More info – https://shop.ethanrussell.com/pages/ethan-russell-on-stage-live

ADDITIONAL RELATED CONTENT – One of the travelling show’s local producers – CORE Entertainment, in Canada (one of the stops Russell has made with his multi-media show) – provide us with an introduction to the man and his work and, via a link on their site, an interview with Russell produced by a local TV station – http://www.coreentertainment.ca/events/detail/ethan-russell

c) DEC 2019 Lynn Goldsmith interview in The Guardian (UK) – to add some additional background to the news about Lynn that I’d included in last month’s news summary –  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/dec/12/patti-smith-easter-lynn-goldsmith-best-photograph   Lynn tells us more about her Easter sessions with Patti Smith, such as which shot she considers her best from that get-together (“When she started putting her poetry to rock’n’roll, Patti Smith was electric. So I always chose colours – yellow, red, blue – that punctuated that aspect of her”..).

Sales and Auctions –

a) Why not take all the goodies you got for Christmas, return them for cash and then head on over to photographer Elliott Landy’s online store before January 7th to enhance your album cover fine art collection with one of Mr. Landy’s prints/lithos, available until then at 25% off the regular price (you must use the code XMAS19 in order to get the discount, with the prices also including free shipping to U.S. addresses). It’s a “Picture Perfect” way to end the Holidays.  See the collection in Mr. Landy’s online store – https://www.elliottlandy.com/product-category/eshop/

Included in the sale are images that were used on album packages and covers for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others, along with many more fetching photos from his collection.

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

a) Artist Wes Freed recently published a new art book and this effort serves as the basis of a new interview about the 10 album covers he’s done for the Drive By Truckers (since 1999’s Alabama Ass Whuppin’) – https://www.al.com/life/2019/12/the-secrets-of-drive-by-truckers-trippy-album-covers.html  He’s also been responsible for notable album covers for other pop/rock musical acts including Dirtballs, Shiners, Marlee MacLeod, Patterson Hood and Johnny Hickman.

The 160-page, coffee table-style tome is titled “The Art of Wes Freed: Paintings, Posters, Pin-ups and Possums” and available at https://wesfreed.com/ for $55. On the site, you can page thru the chapter headings and see what’s included.

Miscellaneous Items –

a) A number of years ago, I interviewed photographers Karl Ferris (Jimi Hendrix) and Vic Singh (Pink Floyd) about their use of a “fisheye” lens in their album cover assignments, creating images that we just the right amount of “trippy” for the time (late 1960s). While the lens did find fans over and over again in the decades since by various musical acts from The Beatles to Busta Rhymes (and, just recently by Harry Styles, in another example of “what goes around, comes around”), a new video feature on the Popular Photography site about fisheye lens-based album covers and music videos serves to educate and entertain both long-time fans and those new to this unique accessory lens  – https://www.popphoto.com/story/culture/how-fisheye-lens-became-staple-of-music-industry/

b) From old-school augmented reality (i.e., fisheye lens-based images) to new, here’s an article about the new Pink Floyd augmented reality (AR) site – https://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/8th-walls-web-ar-brings-album-art-pink-floyd-life-0219358/ – that’s meant to coincide with the release of the group’s The Later Years mega set, https://pflateryears.com/

As it’s stated in the article – “…the entertainment industry has welcomed augmented reality with open arms, but the music industry, in particular, has been in harmony with the technology. Examples include standalone mobile apps for David Bowie, AR headset experiences from Sigur Rós and Brian Eno, and mobile AR from Childish Gambino, as well as camera effects from DrakeChildish Gambino (again), Slipknot, Guns n’ Roses, and many more.” Add to this list the 3-D live concert experiences that have been staged over the past 10 years or so and the always-improving holograms used to bring Elvis, Tupac and others back to life and it’s pretty clear that the music business is working hard to find new and exciting ways to replace those dollars no longer spent on recorded music…

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019-2020 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’s 2019 Holiday Gift-Buying Guide

 

Works offered for sale by James Marsh/Hypergallery, Vinylux and George DuBose

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s 2019 Holiday Gift-Buying Guide

Holiday Gift Suggestions for the Album Cover/Vinyl Record Lovers in your Life

As compiled by Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Holidays, 2019

For the past several years since I closed my own gallery in 2012, I’ve published a series of annual overviews of record cover-related “artistical” things that, in my opinion, might make nice gifts for anyone who is a fan of album cover art and packaging. While my regular contributions to the ACHOF site have slowed to a trickle for several what-I-believe-to-be-reasonable causes, including my on-eternal-hold book project, my eldercare responsibilities here in Chicago or the never-ending melancholy I’ve experienced since November, 2016, I’m always a bit more inspired to share what I can with my readers this time of the year, so, if you’ll accept my apologies and think of me warmly, I’ll continue on with what I hope is some valuable information in this update.

As I’m sure you all know, getting just the right gift for your loved ones at Holiday time can be such a puzzle – what with all of the advertising that bombards you from every direction and “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” sales now beginning sometime in mid-late July – that you’re left with little time and inclination to search for just the right thing when all you want to do is “get this over with”…

And, while I’ve been told never to buy “art” for other as it’s such a personal choice, because of the link between music and art, buying a gift for lovers of album cover art has never been so simple. As you’ll see by the list of companies that specialize in album cover-related items of all types (and fitting all budgets), with a little research (“Hey Honey, what’s the name of your all-time favorite band?”) and perhaps a phone call or two, I’m feeling pretty confident that you’ll be able to locate and secure a gift that will be long-appreciated by its recipient. Who knows, maybe it will start a tradition in your family!

Enjoy the hunt, as well as the squooshy feeling you’ll experience upon seeing the smiles of gratitude from your gift(s) recipient(s), too.

Items made from Albums and Album Covers –

Vinylux – Pennsylvania-based artist Jeff Davis has created an impressive line of household items and gifts from the thousands of records he sources each year (he estimates that he recycles over 250,000 records, or over 55,000 pounds of materials each year) and turns into objects such as clocks, holiday ornaments, journals, bottle openers, book ends, coasters, bowls, magnets and jewelry. He’s been doing this since 2002, with his products currently found in a number of galleries, retailers and online. To see the current collection and to find out where to buy a Vinylux product, visit the company site at
https://vinylux.net/collections/all
1-888-852-0294 x1

Cb Vinyl Record Art – originally a successful Kickstarter project, these nice people from France now offer a nice selection of nicely-produced laser-cut art objects made from recycled vinyl records – https://www.cbvinylrecordart.com/en/70-design-vinyl-record-music

According to the info on their web site, Cb Vinyl Record Art “is a collective of enthusiasts, influenced by the cultures and subcultures of the 80s to date. Unconditional lovers of vinyl record, art, design and decoration, we are tired of seeing old vinyl records end up in the bin,” and I think that you’ll find many examples of unusual and unusually-intriguing vinyl-based fine art objects.

Fans of the Etsy crafts site will find hundreds of items for sale made by a trove of crafty people who’ve elected to create objects of all kinds – wallets, coasters, frames, notebooks, bowls, book covers, calendars, etc. – out of album covers. Recycling-minded gift givers can browse the selection via this handy link – http://www.etsy.com/search?q=recycled+album+cover&page=1  While the listing here is a bit mind-boggling, one item that stuck out to me was one made by Arizona-based artist Eric Kruse, who’ll hand-craft (from reclaimed/recycled wood) a recreation of your favorite album cover and then customize it with a personalized message, with prices beginning at $129.95 for an 18”x18” work of art – https://www.etsy.com/listing/730735089/album-covers-recreate-and-personalize?ref=shop_home_feat_4&frs=1

Rediscover Handbags – this Chicago-based firm crafts custom-made totes and purses out of record album covers and theater programs. Buyers can choose the album cover from the company’s large collection of standards (Beatles, Bowie, Elvis, Sinatra, Streisand and others – over 4000 covers in stock), and then select the interior/side fabrics that will be used to line the bags, select a strap and complete the order. 4-5 weeks later, your 12” x 12” x 5.5” (approx.) bag arrives and you become the envy of all your friends. These hand-made designer totes are priced at $475.00, while the smaller purses made from theater programs cost $175.00 (full-front with black strap) or $195.00 for a full-front purse with a stylish beaded handle. https://www.rediscoverhandbags.com/products

Modern/Pop Art collectors will find a lot to absorb and enjoy when taking in the large selection of unique, vinyl record-based works of art made by one of Snap Gallery’s (U.K.) most-popular artists, Keith Haynes – https://www.snapgalleries.com/portfolio-items/snap-crackle-and-pop/

This collection caught my eye after reading about the show the gallery hosted late last year which showcased Mr. Haynes’ collection of over 75 different works. Per the gallery’s PR, “Keith’s work explores pop art in its purest form, using album sleeves, record labels, badges and, of course, beautiful vinyl records – the hard currency of pop culture – to create striking and witty pop art pieces with a strong graphic design aesthetic. Whether it’s a graphically iconic portrait or a meaningful song lyric, each piece is created from original vinyl records chosen to enhance the subject matter; in these works the subject and the object are of equal importance.” All I can tell you is that you really need to see these to fully appreciate their artistry. Prices for these unique works begin at £275.

The Tunes Company – based in North Carolina, this firm showcases two fascinating decorator items – lamps made from full-sized 12” vinyl LPs and a new wall hanging/room divider made the prime center-cut labels from LPs. There are space-agey table lamps starting at $129.00, hanging lamps priced at $159.00 and a really spiffy floor lamp (called “The Jetson”) that will cost you $249.00. The 36” square wall hanging is made from 48 original labels and decorative chain and is priced at $98.50 (only $2.05 per label). The company also offers a wide range of wall and desk clocks made from album covers and album labels. The clocks are made by attaching an image cut from a LP cover to a short stack of vintage vinyl records and are mostly priced at $59.95 (some higher, depending on the rarity of the record). https://tunesco.com/index.html

Album Art Display Frames –

Music/art fans that have nice collections of vinyl may simply need a good way of showcasing their favorite album covers and so an industry has grown to serve this need via the sale of album cover display systems that make it easy to mat/frame your records. Some of the better-known vendors of these framing solutions include:

Rock Art Picture Show – Offers mat and clear acrylic frame kits for LPs, singles, picture discs, comic books and more, all priced under $20 (with volume discounts available)  – http://www.rockartpictureshow.com/

Art Vinyl – based in the UK, this company sells the well-received “Play & Display” framing system that lets you quickly swap out albums (great for stores with a “what’s playing now” display area). Priced from $59.00 for the single frame to $159.00 for the “triple pack” (in black or white) –
https://www.artvinyl.com/buy-the-original-and-best-record-frames/

Frame My Record.com – Run by the TX-based Picture Perfect framing and collectibles company, Frame My Record offers album, 45 RPM, 78 RPM, CD and DVD frames/frame kits of professional quality. Featuring custom-cut mats in a variety of styles and a unique mounting process (using conservation-safe
materials), these kits provide album owners with a near-custom look for a more-affordable price. Prices for an LP cover kit with wood frame, one of 18 mat selections and UV-glass front begin at $49.99 (frames without matting begin at $21.95).
https://framemycollection.com/collections/record-album-frames

Basic frames are also available from major retailers including Urban Outfitters, Michael’s, Target and IKEA.

Framed Album Covers (AKA Album Art Displayed IN Frames) –

If you’re looking for a simple way to get the whole package (i.e., your favorite album covers, framed and ready-to-hang) in one fell swoop, this has also become a cottage industry on Etsy, eBay and other sites. In addition to the products made by these enterprising individuals, there are a number of collectors/companies offering vintage album covers for sale – some framed in basic album cover frames and some “a bit more fancy”, but all seem to offer a broad selection of covers in a number of musical styles. To see their latest selections, please visit these sites:

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – Cleveland, Ohio’s top rock and roll-related tourist attraction is also the home of one of the better-fitted-out museum stores, and fans of ready-to-hang album cover art will be happy to find a wide selection of framed album presentations on sale there, including records from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Prince, U2, The Cure and many others. The shop also offers related book, t-shirts, socks and other collectibles, most of which you’ll find via this link – https://www.rockhallstore.com/search/?storeId=4938&includeArtistSearch=false&searchTerm=%22album+Cover%22

Level Frames – one of the “more fancy” vendors ($150 and up), this company creates full-on, custom-framed presentations of many of your favorite record albums – https://www.levelframes.com/vinyl

Rock Art Picture Show’s Gallery – The previously-mentioned album frame maker also offers a rather large selection of pre-framed album covers at  http://www.rockartpictureshow.com/cgi-bin/gallery/List.cgi? 
F=l&A=Album%20Covers presenting albums alone or in themed groupings.

Album Cover Books –

Over the years, there have been a number of books written covering the History of the Album Cover, highlighting the development of the art form from its humble beginnings as a simple sleeve with a title, to Alex Steinweiss and Jim Flora and their breakthrough works for Columbia and Decca Records in
the 1930s/40s up to today’s most-recent efforts. Many are written and compiled by well-known cover designers (Roger Dean, Richard Evans, Storm Thorgerson, Nick DeVille, Spencer Drate, others), so they bring an interesting spin to their respective compilations. With their authors’ various perspectives and experiences guiding their respective efforts, all are interesting in their own right and contain hundreds of images for you to enjoy. We keep an updated list on our site –
https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-resources-page-intro-and-links-to-album-cover-books-and-sites/

In addition, over the past few years, there have been several new books released by album cover creators of note – Brian Griffin’s POP, Glen Wexler’s The ’80s Portrait Sessions, Jerry Schatzberg’s tome on Bob Dylan (Dylan By Schatzberg), Mark Seliger’s book of portraits (Mark Seliger Photographs) and Drew Carolan’s photo book (Matinee – All Ages on the Bowery) taken from his portfolio of shots of the denizens of NYC’s club scenes), plus some great tomes taking an overall look at 60+ years of great album art, including Taschen’s Art Record Covers and author John Foster’s most-recent book featuring in-depth looks at the work of many more purveyors of great album cover design – Album Art: New Music Graphics. Lots to choose from, for sure.

Licensed Album Cover Image-based Products –

Dennilu – while you might not be able to find (and afford) the original artwork created for the cover of The Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine, you can turn to talented artist Jon Blosdale and purchase one of his hand-crafted (and Beatles-authorized), limited-edition re-creations. These multi-layered, hand-painted sericels are uniquely mounted and framed to give you the feel of a 3-D image ($1195 plus S&H) – http://www.beatlescartoon.com/YellowSubmarine/ysac_framing/ys_ac_index.htm  Jon also offers an impressive selection of Beatles art – animation cels, 3-D art, photo presentations and more – something that will certainly please the Beatle fan on your list – http://www.beatlescartoon.com/

Take a brief ride in a time machine to my archive site where you can read my interview with Jon about his art and, in particular, the work it took for him to bring this YS-based artwork to life, via the link at https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2008/11/

Eclipse Gift Ideas (via Amazon.com) – album art-based mouse pads, mobile phone covers and more; hundreds of choices beginning at only $8.99 – https://www.amazon.com/l/10173439011

KnuckleBonz 3-D Album Cover Recreations – Some of you who might remember my old gallery days will recall that I sold items from a line of intricately-crafted sculptures of iconic rockers/rock imagery made by a company called KnuckleBonz and, I’m glad to report, they’ve recently announced some new additions to the line of limited-edition album cover art recreations they’re producing called “3D Vinyl”. The first two items they announced were their stunning renditions of two great albums – Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, both of which are perfectly suited for a 3-dimensional sculpture.

Since then, they’ve released additional titles from top acts including KISS, Motley Crue, Megadeth, Mercyful Fate  and others ($249 each, ready-to-hang) – https://knucklebonz.com/product-category/3d-vinyl/

LPGI album cover fabric posters – large poly fabric prints (many choices, including Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Bob Marley, The Doors and scores of others) made to hang on a wall, or attach one to your motorcycle’s whip antenna if you really want to grab the attention of your fellow riders – http://www.lpgi.com/fabric-posters.html

PopArtUK  album cover art prints on wood, canvas, tin and more, with prices beginning at £9.99 – https://www.popartuk.com/music/rock.asp?product-type=6

Rocker Rags album cover t-shirts – many, many acts are included for men, women and the kiddies. Who has enough album cover t-shirts? Not me (hee hee) – http://www.rockerrags.com/rock-album-t-shirts/

Rockabilia lists dozens of different t-shirt designs, along with a wide range of cover-based merchandise including sweat shirts, beer and coffee mugs, timepieces, seatbelt belts, fleece blankets and pub/shot glasses – https://rockabilia.com/pages/search-results?q=album%20cover

Album Cover Fine Art, Photography and Related Limited-Edition Merchandise –

If you’re looking to truly impress your best-loved album art fan, the ultimate gift would be one of the many fine art prints available, either produced by the designers and/or photographers that created the original images or via their publishers and licensees. Products in this category will vary greatly in price, quality, rarity, etc., so please take your time and get to know some or all of the various purveyors listed.

The Album Cover Hall of Fame is always searching for galleries and other retailers that offer selections of prints in many genres and styles, with an updated list available on our site via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-buying-and-selling-resources-page/ (please note – we do NOT have any promo/advertising affiliations with any of the galleries listed, so feel free to contact any of them directly for help with your specific needs). Just to whet your whistles, my survey of what was new for this year made a hard-stop on the Hypergallery site (https://www.hypergallery.com/) to find their special 50th anniversary edition prints of both the outer and inner covers of Barry Godber’s never-to-be-forgotten art for King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King (done with the late Mr. Godber’s estate) and two archival inkjet prints of Talk Talk’s It’s My Life and Laughing Stock, done by 2015 ACHOF inductee James Marsh. So much great art, so little wall space…

George DuBose 2020 Calendars – former Spin/Interview Magazine photo editor and album cover photographer extraordinaire George DuBose recently announced that he has published – via his Cologne, Germany-based Wonderland Publishing company – four calendars featuring photographs of many of the musicians that he’s worked with over the years. Choose from calendars built around George’s portraits of early-1980’s Madonna (fronting The Breakfast Club playing clubs in the NYC area); Tom Waits (with photos taken during shoots for Spin and Interview magazines); “Rockers” featuring shots of the many New Wave bands DuBose worked with, such as The Go-Gos, B-52s, R.E.M. and others and a calendar featuring many of the old school hip-hop artists he photographed, such as Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Run-DMC and others.

These signed and numbered calendars (in editions of 500) are available for $33 each plus postage ($10 to the U.S., 5 Euros to addresses in Europe – up to 4 calendars can be shipped in the same envelope) by contacting him at boss@george-dubose.com or sending the appropriate amount to the same email address via Paypal.

Peter Saville 3-D Sculptures –  http://www.paulstolper.com/artists/portfolio/91-peter-saville-other-works

In addition to these oh-so-impressive original 3-D reimagined sculptures of Mr. Saville’s time-honored design for Joy Division’s 1981 release Unknown Pleasures, the Paul Stolper Gallery in London also offers works from several other artists who have album cover credits, including Sir Peter Blake, Jamie Reid, David Bailey, Shepard Fairey and Damien Hirst, among others…

Other Items of Interest –

Our chums at Snap Galleries are also offering music/art fans a chance to get truly creative in their gift-giving efforts for “that someone special” via their large-scale “The Temple of Wax” custom-made vinyl record re-creations (from 40cm up to 100cm, or approx. 39”, in diameter). Select one of the four sizes available, any frame style and then let them know which single, EP or LP you’d like and, 4-5 weeks later, the finished work arrives at your door (free shipping of unframed-yet-ready-to-hang works of art anywhere in the world). See examples of these bespoke works of art at https://www.snapgalleries.com/product/the-temple-of-wax-bespoke-large-format-artwork/

Staying on the oversized LP record theme, here’s a 23” diameter polyester/rubber record album-shaped doormat (designed by graphic artist Jim Holodak) for $35.00 that can be personalized, too – https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/personalized-record-doormat

The folks on the Musician’s Friend site suggest that you take a gander at these Gama-Go Record Placemats – well, they look like real records, but they’re actually made from heat-resistant silicon ($19.99 for a set of 2) – https://www.musiciansfriend.com/lifestyle/gamago-record-placemats–set-of-2

Limited-edition/Record Store Day Vinyl Records/Sets – of course, what most record fans really want is a record (!!), and while you can certainly fill their soon-to-be-distended stockings with traditional LPs and singles, the resurgence of vinyl over the past several years has prompted many musical acts and record labels to pull out all of the stops when it comes to collectible record packages, particularly around the annual Record Store Day celebrations and the end-of-the-year Holidays. If you’ve been reading my columns and news summaries, there are so many great examples of these now that it’d be impossible to list them all for you, but there have been a number of award-winning designs this year that were so well-done and innovative that I can certainly point you to the Winners & Nominees page on the recently-awarded “2019 Making Vinyl Packaging Awards” site – http://makingvinyl.org/2019-winners-runner-ups/ – for inspiration.

To see all of the specially-produced, limited-edition vinyl records being released on RSD’s “Black Friday” list, click on over to https://recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases where you’ll find the latest details.

I hope that I’ve given you all the info you need this year to find just the right gifts for the people you like/love/have to suck up to, so please go out and enjoy your Holiday shopping experience, and don’t forget to get yourself something nice as well…

Mike G

Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein/AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All other products shown/mentioned are for informational purposes only, with copyrights held by their respective owners.

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early November, 2019

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early November, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Dear Readers – This month’s summary will follow in my newest tradition – short intros and lots of links to the most-interesting stories I could find on the topic of album cover imagery and the people that make it. Later this month, you’ll meet the newest inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame (voting is taking place this month) but, for now here’s what you’ve been waiting patiently for:

1) The 2019 Making Vinyl Awards were presented on October 15 at a ceremony that took place during the “Making Vinyl” conference in Hollywood, CA, with the judges handing out awards to the talented people who created some intriguing examples of the craft. As a judge again this year, I have to admit that there were a number of examples that challenged my own pre-conceived notions of what “good” album cover art is, and several of the winners of this year’s polling went out of their way to reinforce the fact that “art is never easy” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (which is why I never publicly answer the question “what’s your favorite album cover”). At the end of the day, it’s just great to see so many talented people working so hard to conceive and produce record packaging that keeps fans coming back for more – http://makingvinyl.org/2019-winners-runner-ups/

This year’s “Alex Steinweiss Award” (for best overall package) was handed out to the team of creatives that came up with the package for the record titled Aesop Rock & Tobacco are Malibu Ken, a collaboration between hip-hop MC Aesop Rock and electronic music guru Tobacco released in early 2019 on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label. The principal design/illustration was done by artist James Quigley (AKA “Gunsho”), with the unique vinyl packaging including a custom die-cut gatefold jacket housing custom blue-colored vinyl, a 4-page insert with album lyrics, a perforated pop-out wearable mask with elastic string and a free digital download card (the CD packaging includes a custom die-cut 6-panel digipak housing a 12-page booklet with full album lyrics and a 8-panel cut-out wearable paper mask). Kudos also to the nice people at A To Z Media, who coordinated the manufacturing of this winning package. See more at https://pro.evalato.com/813/submissions/21863?round_id=617

New Exhibitions/gallery shows –

1) OPENED October 20 – The works of Pop artist Andy Warhol comes to Chicago – A show that’s drawn crowds and received rave reviews since its premiere at the Whitney Museum in NYC – Andy Warhol From A to B and Back Again – opened at Chicago’s Art Institute with a newly-curated collection of hundreds of the pop art master’s most-impressive works, including many from the museum’s vast collection. And yes, there will be a small collection of his album covers included in the display. I’ll be touring through the show soon and will share that coverage with you post-haste. Until then, you can learn more about what will be on display – running there through January 26, 2020 by visiting the museum’s site at https://www.artic.edu/exhibitions/2937/andy-warhol-from-a-to-b-and-back-again

I was fortunate enough to obtain some related info about this show from super-collector/album art historian and curator Frank Edwards that I’d like to share with you now. According to Frank, “Specifically, included are The Nation’s Nightmare record (derived from an anti-drug radio program) from 1951; the Velvet Underground and Nico ‘Banana’ record from 1967, and The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers record from 1971. Additionally, the wonderful book produced for this exhibition includes images of Moondog’s The Story of Moondog (from 1957), the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat record from 1968, as well as images from the magazine Aspen’s Fab issue from December 1966 (which included a “flexi-disc” record) and Andy Warhol’s Index Book (which he called “a children’s book for hipsters”), which also included a flexi-disc. Additionally, two of the portraits included in the exhibition or catalog were used for record covers – Aretha Franklin’s portrait was used for the record, Aretha, and the Debbie Harry portrait was used for Blondie’s Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux.”

Frank also maintains an excellent blog (now part of the ACHOF “Resources” section) that I’d invite you all to read as well – Art Record Covers (Vinyl Record Covers by Renowned Visual Artists) – https://artrecordcovers.wordpress.com/

2) NEW BANKSY ART SHOW in GENOA, ITALY – Friend of the ACHOF and fellow album art lover Richard Forrest recently shared the details of a new art show featuring the works of the mysterious and ultra-popular artist Banksy that will be opening later this month (November 22nd) in Genoa, Italy. What makes the show even more intriguing is that a number of items from Dr. Forrest’s personal collection will be included in the exhibition.

While I don’t have all of the details yet (he just signed the loan agreement, so some of the details are still TBD), the show’s title is “The Second Principle of Banksy” and is scheduled to run at the Palazzo Ducale (on the Piazza Matteotti) until March 20, 2020. According to the venue, “War, capitalism and freedom are current issues addressed by this exhibition, by using the artworks of the internationally famous street artist named Bansky. The exhibition is curated by Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani and includes paintings, limited edition prints, sculptures and rare items, many of which will be exposed for the first time.” As regards to the Forrest-supplied Banksy-produced album art that will be on loan to the show, let me recap some of the related info as I first reported it this past August during my exclusive review of this part of Richard’s collection – “I started collecting Banksy’s art on record and CD covers around 2005-6, at a time when most could be bought at standard record prices. I found a second issue version of Banksy’s/Danger Mouse’s Paris Hilton CD and a DJ offered me his copy of the promo version of Röyksopp’s Melody A.M. album with the Banksy-sprayed cover. I have since completed the series of Paris Hilton CDs by obtaining the first Bansky/Danger Mouse issue and by buying a copy of the original CD by Paris Hilton for comparison. Back in 2012, I curated an exhibition of Banksy’s record cover art and made a digital copy of the ultra-rare Capoiera Twins promo 12″ 4 x 3 / Truth Will Out, the cover of which was also spray-painted by Banksy (it wasn’t until 2017 that I actually got hold of a genuine copy)…Another rarity I have is the printer’s proof of Dirty Funker’s 2008 remix of The Knack’s hit single My Sharona which he’d renamed Let’s Get Dirty. As you know, in 2005 Banksy made a series of portraits of Kate Moss – six in all – done in the style of Andy Warhol. Dirty Funker used two of the Bansky Kate Moss portraits – one each on the front (red background) and rear (green background) covers – for his remix, and the one I own being the rarer version without the title strip across Kate Moss’ eyes on the front.” To find out more about Richard’s entire album art collection, you can read the complete interview on the ACHOF site via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/achof-featured-fan-portfolio-a-tour-through-collector-richard-forrests-favorite-album-covers/

Here’s a link to the show – http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/war-capitalism-liberty-artworks-artist-known-banksy

3) NEW – COMING LATER IN NOVEMBER – It’s been 25 years since the release of the debut record by Oasis called Definitely Maybe (OMG!), and fans/collectors will soon be able to tour a 25th anniversary display of photography and memorabilia gathered by the band’s preferred photographer at the time – Michael Spencer Jones –that will be on display at London’s Archivist’s Gallery and h Club beginning November 23rd through January 12th, 2020. Spencer was on hand to both document the behind-the-scenes inner-workings of a band on a rapid rise to fame and produce the memorable album cover images and tour photos we’ve all seen and loved. The UK’s Standard provides us with a preview of the show – https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/unseen-photographs-oasis-exhibition-definitely-maybe-a4222796.html, and if you’d like to learn more about the details of this exciting review, please visit the venue’s site at https://hclub.com/london/

ONGOING Exhibitions/Gallery Shows –

1) A show at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI looks to be a must-see for students of the art of the album cover. According to the press release for the show, “For the Record: Artists on Vinyl mines a unique vein of creative expression, the design of the record album cover and the use of phonographic recordings by artists as a vehicle for creative expression…This exhibition features more than 50 designs, many of which are paired with artworks, drawn from our permanent collection, by the same artist.” Most readers of this site know how often it is that now-famous artists either got their start in the album cover art business (Andy Warhol and Drew Struzan are prime examples of this) or, as musical and graphical artists are often on the same wavelength, how many successful collaborations there have been between music and art makers.

For the Record: Artists on Vinyl is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum curator Ian Gabriel Wilson, the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow, with the assistance of the previously-quoted Frank M. Edwards, with many of the artworks on display drawn from the collection of Mr. Edwards. Previously, Mr. Edwards and his wife, Ann M. Williams, who serve on the museum’s board, were the principal sources for another Crankbrook exhibition – Warhol On Vinyl The Record Covers, 1949-1987+ that was on display there June 21, 2014 – March 21, 2015. Artists in the show include: Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Harry Bertoia, Salvador Dalí, Richard Diebenkorn, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, among many others.

For the Record: Artists on Vinyl can be found in the museum’s deSalle & Lower Level Galleries – now through April 19, 2020 – https://cranbrookartmuseum.org/exhibition/for-the-record-artists-on-vinyl/

2) While not specifically an album cover art show, there is a new show at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles that opened September 12th featuring the portrait work of Richard Ehrlich, a photographer whose five-year project meant to capture the emotional expressions of music-makers enjoying their favorite music – a project called “Face The Music” – was originally shared via several videos and a book of the same title that was published in 2016. According to the museum’s advance PR, Face The Music showcases Ehrlich’s artful shots of 41 musicians in a variety of musical genres. “To showcase these portraits, the GRAMMY Museum® proudly announces Face The Music, a new photography exhibit showcasing 41 legendary musicians including Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Iggy Pop, Esperanza Spalding, Herb Alpert, Sir Graham Nash, Sheryl Crow, RZA, Philip Glass, Emmylou Harris and many more, each who were photographed while listening to three pieces of music of their choice.” The samples I’ve seen are truly stunning examples of just how deeply music can touch anyone/everyone, so I hope that you’ll take the time to visit the exhibit during its run (through January 6, 2020). More details of the show are available on the museum’s web site –  https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/traveling-exhibits/face-the-music – with more examples from the photographer’s portfolio available on his own site (including some of the aforementioned video clips) – https://www.ehrlichphotography.com/facethemusic; https://www.ehrlichphotography.com/face-the-music-video

BTW – Mr. Ehrlich does indeed have an album cover credit – he shot the cover for Steve Tibbet’s 2010 jazz/rock album titled Natural Causes – so I feel much better now about including this item in my summary.

3) The Sir Paul McCartney-approved show of his talented late wife Linda’s photography – spanning a career that began in the mid-1960s with a gig as a house photographer at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East venue and, over time, moving on to shoot portraits of music superstars including Eric Clapton, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young (one of her photos of Young performing in 1968 at Canterbury House would later become the cover of a record called Sugar Mountain) and others (her photo for Rolling Stone Magazine’s May 11, 1968 issue was the first cover taken by a female photographer to appear in that magazine). After meeting Beatle Paul while covering the release of the band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP and marrying him a couple of years later, it marked the beginning of a long and productive creative relationship as well – one that ended, sadly, with her death in 1998.

So, while she might not be with us, her portfolio lives on and is the subject of a show which has toured the world for the past 5+ years, with stops in Vienna, Montpellier and Seoul and is launching today at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland – it’s first display in the U.K. and is on display now through the 12th of January, 2020. Simply titled “The Linda McCartney Retrospective,” the show was curated by the photographer’s husband, fellow musician Paul McCartney and their two daughters, Mary and Stella, and, according to the pre-show press, “It brings together dozens of Linda McCartney’s photos—from famous portraits of 1960s rock icons to more personal snapshots of her quiet home life with Paul—as well a trove of archival materials being shown in public for the first time, including cameras, her personal magazine collection, and even a diary from the ’60s.” More info is available at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/event/1/linda-mccartney-retrospective

4) Still on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is the show launched this past August built around memorabilia – album and advertising art, clothing, tour documents and lots of photos – taken from the archives of one of the music industry’s best-known concert promoters/artist managers, Jerry Weintraub and Concerts West – the man/team responsible for a number of memorable shows by  musical acts including John Denver, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Carpenters, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Rick James, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, The Commodores, the Bee Gees, The Moody Blues, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and many others. While he’d begin his rise to the top of the entertainment business in the early 1970s, he’d expand his empire to include a long list of successful film/TV productions, including hits such as Oh, God!, Nashville, Diner, the Karate Kid movie franchise and the Emmy Award-winning TV documentary on global warming – Years Of Living Dangerously – among many others. This expansive look into the career of one of the best showmen in the business runs through early December, and you can learn more on the Grammy Museum site –  https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/jerry-weintraub-presents; https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/jerry-weintraub-presents-exhibit-coming-grammy-museum

Artist News and Interviews –

1) Back when I lived in Portland, OR, I was a member of the Pacific NW chapter of the Grammy organization, which held their member meetings in Seattle, WA (a beautiful 3.5 hour train ride up along the coast brought me there – oh, the memories), and during those visits I’d inevitably make the pilgrimage up to the city’s Easy Street Records – partly, to peruse the stores offerings and partly to admire the mega-sized album cover recreations painted on the store’s exterior. To show you more about this establishment’s extra-special efforts to promote what’s new and exciting inside, the folks at the local paper (The Seattle Times) recently published an interview with the window design guru whose job it is to super-size the covers selected for this honor – https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/our-window-to-the-world-love-of-music-art-inspires-window-dresser-at-seattles-easy-street-records/

2) Among photographer Jay Blakesberg’s hundreds of shots used to illustrate articles, books and hundreds of album packages, perhaps his best-known are the photos he took of The Grateful Dead and its various noted players, most-notably the late guitarist Jerry Garcia (e.g., there are photos of his in the package for the 2019 Jerry Garcia Band release Electric On The Eel). Last month, Jambands.com published an interview with Mr. Blakesberg about his new book of J. Garcia images, a tome titled “ –  with the focus of the 208-page book being “a collection of Jay’s iconic images of Garcia from 1978 until Garcia’s death in 1995. The book will include photographs of Garcia with members of the Grateful Dead as well as guest musicians and solo projects Jerry worked on.” https://jambands.com/features/2019/10/25/jay-blakesberg-shares-jerry-garcias-secret-space-of-dreams/?

3) More – Two more interviews I thought you might want to take a look at are a) the one found on the Hypergallery site with photographer David Goldman about his best known Blink 182 cover photos (including everyone’s favorite – the “are you ready for your examination?” shot found on Turn Your Head and Coughhttps://www.hypergallery.com/interview-david-goldman/?mc_cid=7ab59d0bc8&mc_eid=7549bdd503 and b) one with Christine Hult-Lewis, who works as a curatorial assistant with The Bancroft Library’s archives and who is pleased to talk about their latest acquisition, that being the archives of music industry photographer Howard Brainen, someone who spent years producing images for clients in the rock, jazz and blues genres and who was given his break and inspiration by another famed shooter, the late, great Jim Marshall – https://news.lib.berkeley.edu/brainen

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

1) Designer Brian Cannon lends a hand on creating color schemes for new sneakers based on color palettes from classic album covers he created for bands including Oasis, Suede and The Verve (among others) – https://hypebeast.com/2019/10/size-exclusive-adidas-originals-training-pt-album-covers-release-information

2) Not to be outdone by Brian Cannon and the folks at Adidas, the team behind the design-it-yourself “Customs” line of shoes at Vans found themselves inspired by classic album art from musical acts including blink-182, Twenty One Pilots, Fall Out Boy and Andy Black and created 14 examples for your consideration, all of which can be found in Alyssa Quiles’ recent article on the AltPress site – https://www.altpress.com/features/custom-vans-ideas-music/ Not a bad idea, with the Holidays coming up….

3) One of the most-inspired album cover projects put in front of fans back in 1968 – the images photographer Michael Joseph staged and created for the Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet – are the subject of a new series of photo prints available for purchase at the San Francisco Art Exchange. According to the Stones (as stated on their web site), this is the record “that changed everything” for the band, so anyone looking to add examples of one of the most-noted covers to their album cover fine art collection should certainly peruse this collection at SFAE – https://sfae.com/Artists/Michael-Joseph

4) The nice people at the UK’s Hypergallery recently announced that they’re releasing a special edition “Schizoid Man” King Crimson print –  https://www.hypergallery.com/barry-godber/?  This image was one of the first inducted into the ACHOF’s “Individual Achievement Award” category and, sadly, this work – with the “Schizoid Man” on the cover and the “Crimson King” (AKA – Beelzebub) on the inside – would then be his only album cover painting. The original is owned by guitarist Robert Fripp, who remarked in a 1995 interview with French magazine Rock & Folk that the image reflected the music and, if you cover the smiling face, the eyes show an incredible sadness… Born in 1946, Barry Godber was an artist (trained at the Chelsea Art School in the U.K.), computer programmer and a co-worker of Peter Sinfield (King Crimson’s lyricist, lighting designer and art director) at English Electric/ICL Computers and was asked, after listening to several tracks on the record that Sinfield had shared with him, to contribute the cover image for the band’s debut album (released in October 1969 on Island Records). He painted the album cover, formally titled Portrait of 21st Century Schizoid Man, in 1969 but would never appreciate the impact the cover art would have because soon after the record’s release (in February, 1970), Godber died of a heart attack.

Movie trivia buffs will notice that this same image was re-created on a wall featured in the widely-panned 1987 film Surf Nazis Must Die, and King Crimson biographer Sid Smith has contributed a nice essay on the impact that Godber’s best-known work has had on album cover history since it began staring out a record buyers nearly 50 years ago.

Also, the gallery has announced the availability of two more Talk Talk album art prints by the supremely-talented artist James Marsh – https://www.hypergallery.com/talktalk?. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Marsh several years back about his work for the popular 80’s “post-rock” trio and how he brought his own unique surrealist approach to album art making to bear in covers for records such as The Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden (among others) – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/james-marsh-talk-talk-interview/

Miscellaneous Items –

1) There’s an interesting new report on the Vox.com site that dives into a rather obscure-but-fascinating album art-related topic – i.e., what it is that a certain style of furniture – the wicker chair/throne – has been featured on many an album cover.  “There’s one genre of cover so ubiquitous it almost flew under the radar. The covers typically featured a wide shot of the artist sitting on a throne-like wicker chair, like a king or queen. Usually the artist looked casual and relaxed; sometimes props would sit around them to decorate the scene. No matter what, the over-sized woven chair was the main feature. This was the peacock chair album cover, and it was everywhere.” A seven-plus minute video produced by Vox tracks the origin of the peacock wicker chair portrait and tells the unlikely story of where this unique giant chair came from – https://www.vox.com/2019/10/4/20897269/peacock-chair-album-cover

2) Throughout the history of recorded music and its packaging, there have been many examples of cover art that have caused the hearts of the most-sensitive of consumers to flutter out of control. While some managed to slip by the censors and a record label’s marketing management, others weren’t so fortunate, so here’s a nicely-produced recap of twenty of these “banned” album covers and the stories behind them on the Kerrang! site – https://www.kerrang.com/features/20-album-covers-that-were-banned-or-censored/

3) While many of us scratch our heads almost daily about what some folks in the public eye manage to say and do without reproach, there are cultures elsewhere in the world where, even today, work hard to establish and maintain long-held beliefs and traditions that, particularly to us “heathens”, seem so overbearing that we can only look on in wonder (and feel fortunate that we’re not – yet – subject to the same censorship). In this recent article on the PetaPixel site, you’ll see examples that put on display Iran’s politics as it relates to album cover imagery in which women are erased from album covers, including the women who made the music on the album – https://petapixel.com/2019/10/23/iranian-music-streaming-site-erases-women-from-their-own-album-covers/

4) Some impressive album cover-related sleuthing by Guy Minnebach/Andy Earhole uncovers another previously unaccredited Andy Warhol-designed cover – https://warholcoverart.com/2019/10/13/the-bossa-nova-cover-no-one-knew-was-a-warhol-paul-desmonds-take-ten/

5) It seems as though the editors at Juxtapoz Magazine have been focused on other things lately and have not added any new entries to the magazine’s “Sound & Vision” album art series. I’ll dig into this to see if there are plans to add to this fine collection of stories but, until then, I’d invite you to look at their archives – https://www.juxtapoz.com/search/sound%20and%20vision/

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.

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 News Update and Summary – September/October, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of September/October, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Dear Readers – This month’s summary will be perhaps my most-truncated effort ever, and for that I must apologize. Sometimes Life really gets in the way of doing what you love, and when you’re caring for a relative with profound dementia, it can be a bit overwhelming, as it is today.

With that as my excuse for this month’s abbreviated summary, let’s take a look at my digest of what’s happening/happened lately in the world of album cover art and the people that make it:

New Exhibitions/gallery shows –

a) The Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles will be sponsoring and hosting a special fund-raising event this coming Thursday, October 3rd that will be built around a 30-year career retrospective of noted rock photographer Chris Cuffaro – https://www.mrmusichead.com/events/2019/10/3/puppies-and-pearl-jam-photography-exhibition-amp-fundraiser? 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Wags & Walks charity, an organization that provides new homes for rescue dogs and much happiness to the people who adopt these animals.  https://www.wagsandwalks.org/our-story

b) Warhol comes to the Art Institute in Chicago – A show that’s drawn crowds and received rave reviews since it’s premiere at the Whitney Museum – Andy Warhol From A to B and Back Again – will open at Chicago’s Art Institute later this month (October 20th, running through January 26, 2020) with a newly-curated collection of hundreds of the pop art master’s most-impressive works. And yes, there will be a small collection of his album covers included in the display. I’ll be touring through the show soon after it opens and will share that coverage with you post-haste. Until then, you can learn more about what will be on display by visiting the museum’s site at https://www.artic.edu/exhibitions/2937/andy-warhol-from-a-to-b-and-back-again

ONGOING Exhibitions/Gallery Shows –

a) Previously posted 9/13/19 – Sunday, September 15th was the launch date of the Fall Open House at Mana Contemporary (888 Newark Ave in Jersey City, NJ) and the talented folks from Gary Licthenstein Editions are hosting a show of new works by a whole host of artists whose work they produce, including several who are well-known to fans of album cover/music-related imagery, such as Cey Adams, Bob Gruen, Eric Orr and others (I’m particularly excited to see works by noted artist/film director Charlie Ahearn, whose Wild Style documentary is required-watching for fans of hip-hop culture). I’m told by GLE’s Melissa Marr that the exhibition will be on display for at least a month. For those of you who would be visiting the venue for the first time, Mana Contemporary is a few blocks away from the Journal Square Path Train Station in Jersey City, NJ.

https://www.manacontemporary.com/event/fall-2019-open-house/

b) While not specifically an album cover art show, there is a new show at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles that opened September 12th featuring the portrait work of Richard Ehrlich, a photographer whose five-year project meant to capture the emotional expressions of music-makers enjoying their favorite music – a project called “Face The Music” – was originally shared via several videos and a book of the same title that was published in 2016. According to the museum’s advance PR, Face The Music showcases Ehrlich’s artful shots of 41 musicians in a variety of musical genres. “To showcase these portraits, the GRAMMY Museum® proudly announces Face The Music, a new photography exhibit showcasing 41 legendary musicians including Quincy Jones, Ringo Starr, Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Shorter, Iggy Pop, Esperanza Spalding, Herb Alpert, Sir Graham Nash, Sheryl Crow, RZA, Philip Glass, Emmylou Harris and many more, each who were photographed while listening to three pieces of music of their choice.” The samples I’ve seen are truly stunning examples of just how deeply music can touch anyone/everyone, so I hope that you’ll take the time to visit the exhibit during its run (through January 6, 2020). More details of the show are available on the museum’s web site –  https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/traveling-exhibits/face-the-music – with more examples from the photographer’s portfolio available on his own site (including some of the aforementioned video clips) – https://www.ehrlichphotography.com/facethemusic; https://www.ehrlichphotography.com/face-the-music-video

BTW – Mr. Ehrlich does indeed have an album cover credit – he shot the cover for Steve Tibbet’s 2010 jazz/rock album titled Natural Causes – so I feel much better now about including this item in my summary.

c) There’s an exhibition that opened on Saturday, July 20th at  the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA that I urge any fan of great design – particularly in the realm of album/poster art – to make a beeline to ASAP. Era of Cool: The Art of John Van Hamersveld (running now thru Sunday, October 20, 2019) includes a selection of Van Hamersveld’s album covers, poster designs, drawings, mural designs, photography and paintings. His portfolio of music-related artwork is legendary – Exile on Main Street for the Rolling Stones; Hotter Than Hell for KISS; The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour; Blondie’s Eat To The Beat and Autoamerican; Skeletons From The Closet for the Grateful Dead and many others for Steve Miller, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane and more. If you’ve been to Fatburger, you’ve seen his work (that’s his logo). And that “Endless Summer” artwork you see on t-shirts, beach bags and on a poster that hangs in the lobbies of many beachfront hotels – it’s his work as well. Quite the portfolio, you have to admit…

Nice interview with JVH by Bonnie C. West, the curatorial assistant at The Westmoreland – https://thewestmoreland.org/blog/

For more information on this exciting new show featuring one of the best-recognized album cover artists/graphic designers in the business, click on over to the museum’s web site at https://thewestmoreland.org/exhibitions/era-of-cool-the-art-of-john-van-hamersveld/

Local reporter Lisa Cunningham, writing for the Pittsburgh City Paper, provides us all with more background on John and this news show – https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/artist-behind-hundreds-of-iconic-album-covers-debuts-first-solo-show-at-westmoreland-museum-of-art/Content?oid=15431122

John’s work has been featured many times in many different articles on the ACHOF site. I’m a proud owner of several of his works of art and had the pleasure of meeting him (and his wife, Alida), interviewing him and, back in the day, selling his works in my gallery, so you can imagine how happy I am to see such a retrospective made available to fans of great art and design. Go, Go, Go!

d) A show at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI looks to be a must-see for students of the art of the album cover. According to the press release for the show, “For the Record: Artists on Vinyl mines a unique vein of creative expression, the design of the record album cover and the use of phonographic recordings by artists as a vehicle for creative expression…This exhibition features more than 50 designs, many of which are paired with artworks, drawn from our permanent collection, by the same artist.” Most readers of this site know how often it is that now-famous artists either got their start in the album cover art business (Andy Warhol and Drew Struzan are prime examples of this) or, as musical and graphical artists are often on the same wavelength, how many successful collaborations there have been between music and art makers.

For the Record: Artists on Vinyl is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum curator Ian Gabriel Wilson, the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow, with the assistance of Frank M. Edwards, with many of the artworks on display drawn from the collection of Mr. Edwards. Previously, Mr. Edwards and his wife, Ann M. Williams, who serve on the museum’s board, were the principal sources for another Crankbrook exhibition – Warhol On Vinyl The Record Covers, 1949-1987+ that was on display there June 21, 2014 – March 21, 2015. Artists in the show include: Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Harry Bertoia, Salvador Dalí, Richard Diebenkorn, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, among many others.

For the Record: Artists on Vinyl can be found in the museum’s deSalle & Lower Level Galleries – now through April 19, 2020 – https://cranbrookartmuseum.org/exhibition/for-the-record-artists-on-vinyl/

e) Let’s begin with a fun fact – although Linda McCartney had great talent with the camera and had the last name Eastman, she was NOT, as was widely thought, a scion of the Eastman family associated with the Eastman-Kodak company (her dad was, in fact, a copyright attorney). Nevertheless, after graduating from high school in Scarsdale and then becoming an Art History major at the University of Arizona, where her love for nature motivated her to purchase a Leica camera and stud the photography of horses under the tutelage of Hazel Larsen Archer (and then marrying/divorcing cultural anthropologist Melville See, with whom she had her first child, daughter Heather, in 1963), Linda and her daughter moved back to New York City, living off an inheritance her mother had left her and take a job as a receptionist/editorial assistant for Town & Country Magazine in 1965.

A romantic relationship with photographer David Dalton allowed Linda to study how a professional shooter works and, soon after, she began to manage her own photo sessions, using her knowledge, good looks and ability to communicate with even the most-difficult subjects to secure gigs featuring people in the music business. She became a house photographer at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East venue and, over time, she’d shoot music superstars including Eric Clapton, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young (one of her photos of Young performing in 1968 at Canterbury House would later become the cover of a record called Sugar Mountain) and others – in fact, her photo for Rolling Stone Magazine’s May 11, 1968 issue was the first cover taken by a female photographer to appear in that magazine – and so when she met Beatle Paul McCartney while covering the release of the band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP and married him a couple of years later, it marked the beginning of a long and productive creative relationship as well – one that ended, sadly, with her death in 1998.

So, while she might not be with us, her portfolio lives on and is the subject of a show which has toured the world for the past 5+ years, with stops in Vienna, Montpellier and Seoul and is launching today at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland – it’s first display in the U.K. and is on display now through the 12th of January, 2020 (Editor’s note – I’m hoping to tour this show during my visit to Glasgow later this month – photos to be shared upon my return). Simply titled “The Linda McCartney Retrospective,” the show was curated by the photographer’s husband, fellow musician Paul McCartney and their two daughters, Mary and Stella, and, according to the pre-show press, “It brings together dozens of Linda McCartney’s photos—from famous portraits of 1960s rock icons to more personal snapshots of her quiet home life with Paul—as well a trove of archival materials being shown in public for the first time, including cameras, her personal magazine collection, and even a diary from the ’60s.” More info is available at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/event/1/linda-mccartney-retrospective

Linda was also credited with a number of well-known-and-loved album cover photos, including the shot of Paul and his newborn daughter Mary taken in Scotland that was used on the back cover of Paul M’s solo debut album in 1970 titled McCartney. Available in the museum’s shop – quite the nice souvenir – is a limited-edition (one of 12), 20” x 24” fine art print of that photo (signed by Mary, who is now old enough to sign her name), priced at only £4,200.00  https://shop.glasgowlife.org.uk/mccartney-album-cover-scotland-1970-limited-edition-print. Get one for someone you love.

More details also at https://www.lindamccartney.com/the-linda-mccartney-retrospective/

f) Also in the UK (London), the Design Museum has put on a display of the nominees and winners of their annual “Beazley Designs of the Year” competition. Now in its twelfth year, the Beazley Designs of the Year is an annual celebration of “the most original and exciting products, concepts and designers across the globe today.” New this year was the addition of designs nominated by the public.

The last time an album cover was given one of these prestigious awards was back in 2017, when designer Jonathan Barnbrook won for his memorable package for the late David Bowie’s Blackstar album (being crowned “Graphic Design of the Year”). I’ve seen some impressive work this year, so let’s hope the judges are as impressed as I’ve been…

https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/beazley-designs-of-the-year;

g) In addition to the photo portrait shows covered here previously, the busy curators at the Grammy Museum launched a show this past August built around memorabilia – album and advertising art, clothing, tour documents and lots of photos – taken from the archives of one of the music industry’s best-known concert promoters/artist managers, Jerry Weintraub and Concerts West – the man/team responsible for a number of memorable shows by  musical acts including John Denver, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Carpenters, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Rick James, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, The Commodores, the Bee Gees, The Moody Blues, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and many others. While he’d begin his rise to the top of the entertainment business in the early 1970s, he’d expand his empire to include a long list of successful film/TV productions, including hits such as Oh, God!, Nashville, Diner, the Karate Kid movie franchise and the Emmy Award-winning TV documentary on global warming – Years Of Living Dangerously – among many others. This expansive look into the career of one of the best showmen in the business runs through early December, and you can learn more on the Grammy Museum site –  https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/jerry-weintraub-presents; https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/jerry-weintraub-presents-exhibit-coming-grammy-museum

h) Some of you might recall that I was honored a few years back to write an article for Rockwell Museum curator Jesse Kowalski’s “Illustration History” site about album cover design and production (which you can find at https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/producing-album-cover-art-for-clients-in-the-music-business). As we corresponded recently about a VR-based initiative the Museum is involved with (people love their little screens these days, right?), Jesse shared some info on a new show he’s got up that focuses on two hot topics this year – the 50th anniversaries of the Woodstock Art & Music Festival and Man’s landing on the Moon – along with everything else that made the year 1969 a memorable one in our history. Running now through October 27th, “Woodstock to the Moon: 1969 Illustrated” fills two of the museum’s galleries and, according to the show’s PR, “those galleries are well provided for and cover a lot of range. A display relating to Sesame Street, which debuted on public television that year, is an implicit reminder that Woodstock was by no means the most important cultural event of 1969. An early draft of the screenplay for Easy Rider sits near a poster for the movie version of Hello, Dolly!…In a nice nod to another Massachusetts museum, the show includes artwork for ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ (yes, published in 1969), whose author-illustrator is the namesake of the Eric Carle Museum, in Amherst.” The show also includes a number of famous concert posters (including Arnold Skolnick’s iconic Woodstock poster) groovy examples of mind-bending psychedelic found on the album covers and other materials from bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, and the Grateful Dead. I do hope that you’ll visit https://www.nrm.org/2016/12/woodstock-to-the-moon-1969-illustrated/ to plan on your trip to see this show, and if you’d like to read a recent review on it as seen in the Boston Globehttps://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/art/2019/07/10/illustrating-year-when-rad-met-trad/8PUuaMrm3FOREZV0PoONkL/story.html

Artist News and Interviews –

a) NEW, BUT NOT REALLY – Noted designer/illustrator/album cover artist Stefan Bucher has re-launched his daily video journal called the Daily Monster, where each day he takes you through the steps of creating a  monster with the hopes that he’ll inspire you to create monsters of your own – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNGRtjBO4IFMWWuzJ1spS4w

b) Previously posted 9/27 –  With all of the recent excitement (and articles a-plenty) about the celebration of the 50th anniversary (on September 26th) of the release of the Abbey Road album by The Beatles, I wanted to simplify your approach to reviewing the memorable album art via this recent with the designer who was tasked with putting together the original package for this recording – the immensely-talented Mr. John Kosh (or, as he prefers, simply “Kosh”). Two recent interviews with the 75-years-old-but-still-working-like-a-madman designer were published this past week – one in Forbes and one in the NY Post –  about his work on Abbey Road

Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidchiu/2019/09/24/beatles-abbey-road-album-cover-design-john-kosh/#6a4fec7d1c07

NY Post – https://nypost.com/2019/09/25/inside-the-story-of-the-abbey-road-album-cover/

and to mark the occasion, I’d like to share a photo of myself (see below) with two items that arrived in the mail today – my copy of the 50th anniversary edition (remixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell) 2-CD set and, because I realized this week that I’d never added the book to my personal collection, my copy of Aubrey Powell’s generously-illustrated 2017 book Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue which, I can assure you, will provide me with much to be happy about this weekend as I read it (while listening to the Abbey Road CDs, perhaps). Both items contrasted nicely with my Abbey Road in silhouette t-shirt, don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to read my own interview with Kosh about his work on another well-remembered (and honored, as it won a Grammy) cover – Linda Ronstadt’s 1984 recording of her takes on classic big band tunes titled Lush Life – I’d invite you to click on this link and you’ll be whisked right there –  https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/interview-with-kosh-linda-ronstadts-lush-life-album-cover/

Bonus anniversary mention – Not quite as old as Abbey Road, but sporting a cover photo that is perhaps as well-known (to a slightly younger crowd) –  this year (December, actually) marks the 40th anniversary of the release of The Clash’s London Calling album which featured photographer Pennie Smith’s photo of Joe Simonon’s frustrated bass-smashing on stage in NYC – Fox5 NY posted a video interview this week with Smith and Rolling Stone’s Anthony DeCurtis on the topic – https://www.fox5ny.com/news/the-clashs-london-calling-album-cover-photo-turns-40

c) One of the best-known photo-journalists covering the Seattle/grunge scene is Charles Peterson (guests of the Hotel Max in the city will find his work incorporated into the hotel’s décor). Here’s a recent interview on the UDiscover Music site about shooting Soundgarden covers – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/charles-peterson-soundgarden-photos-interview/

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

a) The folks at KnuckleBonz continue to impress as they expand their 3D album cover sculpture line to include Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power and Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic to their line – (shipping this fall, pre-orders accepted now) – https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/pantera-iconic-vulgar-display-power-181409936.html

Miscellaneous Items – 

a) Sir Peter Blake, who created the cover for The Who’s Face Dances 1981 LP (along with covers for The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Paul Weller and many others) was commissioned once more by Misters Daltrey and Townshend to create the designs for their upcoming album for The Who titled, quite controversially, Who. The designs were premiered at the opening for the new Pace Gallery in NYC, with special guests (guess who? No, not the Guess Who) there to play an acoustic set – https://petetownshend.net/news/the-who-perform-acoustic-set-and-reveal-new-album-cover-at-pace-gallery-in-nyc

b) Kerrang Magazine just had to publish this article about 12 albums with really-embarrassing album covers –  https://www.kerrang.com/features/13-amazing-albums-with-embarrassing-covers/

Perhaps one day I’ll publish a piece about 12 magazine articles about album cover art that were really embarrassing…that’ll show ‘em.

c) Perhaps this article on the Yardbark site about the “most-iconic album covers of all time” will make the cut?  – https://www.yardbarker.com/entertainment/articles/the_most_iconic_album_covers_of_all_time/s1__30083705#slide_1. Or how about this one from the editors at the UK’s Radio X on the “Most Boring Album Covers” – https://www.radiox.co.uk/features/x-lists/most-boring-album-covers/

d) Here’s a new review of the latest in heavy-metal album art design – https://www.treblezine.com/shadow-of-the-horns-metal-album-covers-have-come-a-long-way/

e) Part of the process of making album art – working hard to produce designs, only to have them rejected by your clients – is illustrated nicely here in this article which uncovers a rejected design for AC/DC’s Black Ice LP – http://www.alternativenation.net/new-acdc-album-cover-finally-leaks-years/

f) RIP – Previously posted on 9/11/19 – It’s my sad duty to inform my readers that photographer Robert Frank, perhaps best-known to rock album art fans for his contributions to the Rolling Stones’ classic 1972 double album Exile On Main Street, has died at the age of 94. Born in November, 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland to Jewish parents whose Swiss citizenship kept the family relatively safe while the War raged on around them, Robert Frank saw how Nazism oppressed individual expression and, rather than focus his attentions on business, decided to dedicate himself to expressing himself through photography and studied the subject with several photographers and designers. He took his talents to the United States in 1947, working first as a photographer for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, leaving a short while later to tour the world and returning in 1950 when he met famed photographer Edward Steichen and was asked to participate in his group show at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.

That same year, he met and married his wife Mary (a fellow artist) but, after a few years of life in the U.S., Frank was bothered by society’s pace, intense focus on capitalism and, to Frank, a lingering loneliness he felt there. Looking for an escape, he embarked – with his wife and two young sons – on a tour of the world, returning to NYC in 1953. He took on freelance work for a number of fashion and news magazines and, along with several other photographers (such as Diane Arbus, Walker Evans and others) became part of what was called at the time “The New York School of Photographers”.

In 1955, supported by a Guggenheim fellowship, he began a journey across the United States, looking to photograph people and places from all walks of life and in all parts of the country. From the nearly 30,000 photographs he took over the next two years, he selected 83, which became the basis for a book he titled “The Americans”.  After completing this work, Frank decided to put his still camera away and focus his talents on film-making, with one of his best-known works from this time being his 1959 film titled Pull My Daisy and featuring many of the best-known “Beat” artists, writers and poets of the generation.

After Frank and Mary’s marriage ended, he then married sculptor June Leaf and, in 1971, the couple moved to a community on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Family tragedies struck hard when his daughter Andrea was killed in a plane crash in Guatemala in 1974 and his son Pablo was later hospitalized for a mental disorder and later (in 1994) took his own life, moving the artist to create the Andrea Frank Foundation, an organization that supports artists with grants.

His introduction to music industry clients came in 1972 when he was hired to document the Rolling Stones while they were on tour. So accurate was the portrayal of the band (and its excesses and, notably, the loneliness of their lives on the road) that the band and its management demanded that the resulting film – Cocksucker Blues – not be shown in theaters in the U.S.. The band and Frank reached a settlement that allowed for the movie to be shown only 5X per year (with Frank required to attend the showings) and the photographer was then asked to supply the photographs that were used on the group’s famed Exile On Main Street record cover. He continued throughout his life s to work on a wide variety of projects (spending time both in Canada and back at his loft in NYC) and had directed several music videos. Notable album cover credits in his portfolio included Kraftwerk’s Radio Aktivitat; Philip Glass – Hydrogen Jukebox; Jerry Garcia – Shady Grove; John Hiatt – Greatest Hits: The A&M Years ’87 – ’94 and Chronicles; New Order – Item; The New Lost City Ramblers – 50 Years: Where Do You Come From, Where Do You Go? and Tracy Nelson – Tracy Nelson Country.

There have been a number of showings of Frank’s art over the years, including a 1994 retrospective at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, a 2004 show at London’s Tate Modern Museum, shows in 2008-9 in Germany, a 2012 show at Moscow’s Multimedia Art Museum along with a 2014 exhibition at Stanford University. In 2009, The National Gallery of Art organized a large exhibition that went on to tour both the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  The same gallery has also assembled what they call “the largest repository of materials related to renowned photographer and film-maker Robert Frank”, ready in its entirety in time for Frank’s 90th birthday in November, 2014.

Upon hearing of his death on September 9, 2019 at the age of 94, the Rolling Stones issued the following statement – “We’re very sad to hear the news that the visionary photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank has died. Robert collaborated with us on a number of projects including the cover design of Exile on Main Street and [he] directed the Cocksucker Blues documentary. He was an incredible artist whose unique style broke the mould. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

Learn more about this artist at http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/features/robert-frank.html

On a related note, I’d like to invite you to read my May, 2010 interview in Goldmine Magazine with designer John Van Hamersveld, who worked with Frank on making of the Exile cover – https://www.goldminemag.com/articles/the-rolling-stones-exile-on-main-street-and-the-artwork-by-john-van-hamersveld

g) The National Portrait Gallery recently added a photo portrait of pop goddess Beyonce to their collection. Here’s an interview with the talented shooter – Tyler Mitchell – who took the photo – https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2019-08-07/beyonce-vogue-cover-smithsonian

h) The editors at Juxtapoz Magazine have added three new entries to the magazine’s “Sound & Vision” album art series:

  1. Takashi Murakami’s cover work for Kanye West’s Graduation album – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-vision-kanye-west-s-graduation-by-takashi-murakami/
  2. Eric Timothy Carlson’s most-recent assignment to create the artwork for Wisconsin-based rockers Bon Iver’s i,ihttps://juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-vision-an-interview-with-eric-timothy-carlson-the-artwork-behind-bon-iver-s-i-i/
  3. Miles Davis chose his “best friend”, Corky McCoy, to create the colorful cartoon-style artwork for his 1972 album On The Cornerhttps://juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-vision-miles-davis-on-the-corner-and-1970s-releases-by-corky-mccoy/ He’d go on to create the covers for several more albums by the legendary jazz trumpeter.

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.

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 News Update and Summary – End of August/September, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of August/September, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

It’s almost Labor Day weekend again, which most of us use to mark the end of Summer while some of us cling with every fiber of our being to hold on to the season’s last vestiges. We did use a nice day recently to tour Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood (visiting the National Museum of Mexican Art, which sports one of the best museum stores I’ve ever been to) and, while strolling down W. 18th Street after a dessert stop at Creperia Nuevo Leon, we came upon Pinwheel Records, a place that was advertising an upcoming fund-raiser for a local kitten support group with a window display of well-known album covers that had been “kittenized” (see photo). This reminded me of just how important album cover imagery is in the promotion of music products and in building lasting memories for fans and consumers of these products. Great new examples of these can be found in the 200+ submissions we judges had the opportunity to see and review for this year’s Making Vinyl Packaging Awards (see item on this competition, which follows) and also in the many shows, articles and more you can read about (if you give me a few minutes of your time) by scrolling through this month’s easy-to-digest run-down of all of the album cover artist/art-related news I think might be worth your time investigating:

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ACHOF Featured Fan Portfolio – A Tour Through Collector Richard Forrest’s Favorite Album Covers

 

ACHOF Featured Fan Portfolio – A Tour Through Collector Richard Forrest’s Favorite Album Covers

In an article published in the October 12, 2017 issue of Psychology Today, Dr. Matthew J. Edlund relates a story about a patient who’d come to him suffering from, as he described it, “art collecting induced insomnia…He could not stop thinking about modern and contemporary prints, what he possessed and more possessively what he further wished to have. A universe of potential desire awaited him each night. The prices, places, avenues of acquisition, bidding strategies, and the potential profits all negated the calm and comfort of his night-time life. ‘Is my art collecting healthy?’ he wondered.” Dr. Edlund suggests that his patient buy a book about the artist who produced a desired print in order to learn more about him/her and their motivations, allowing the collector to “connect with ideas larger than oneself”, which seems to have allowed this patient to rest more easily. After reading this article, all I could think of was that I’d simply start collecting books about artists – wait, I’ve already done that!

Suffice it to say, collectors are a funny bunch, 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 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. Some of you might recall that I’ve been corresponding with Dr. Forrest – also known as the “Rockdoc” – for many months now after discovering a blog he maintains (https://recordart.net/) in which he talks about his collections, one of which – his collection of all of the album covers ever created by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol – that serves as an important section of a museum on the artist that’s on display (thru September 8th) at the Moderna Museet in Malmo, Sweden.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of July – August, 2019

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of July – August, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Summer marches on. After driving by the area in downtown Chicago where the annual Lollapalooza music event is being held (making motoring down Lake Shore Drive extra fun) and seeing the happy crowds enjoying the performances/shenanigans taking place there (although, with ticket prices starting at $130 for a one-day general admission pass and going up to $4200 for a 4-day “platinum pass”, which gets you “access to the luxurious, climate-controlled North & South Platinum Lounges featuring signature cocktails, craft beer, champagne, wine and curated culinary offerings; premium viewing areas in front of five stages; access to on-stage viewing at the North & South main stages; complete access to the VIP Lolla Lounges, including the new stage featuring performances by Lolla artists” and, my favorite perk, “golf cart transportation between the Platinum Festival entrance, Lounges, and front-of-stage viewing areas” – I mean, who can walk after all of that champagne and “curated culinary offerings”? – this is one fest I’ll have to live without), it reminds me that there are simpler and no-less-enjoyable ways to spend a few minutes of your time, such as reviewing this month’s easy-to-digest run-down of all of the album cover artist/art-related news I think might be worth your time investigating:

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Independence Day Weekend, July, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update – Independence Day Weekend, July, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hope that all of you here in the U.S. are enjoying your 4th of July holiday break – BBQ-ing, fireworks, trips to the beach, sun burns, little kids spilling sand on your blanket while their parents are checking their Facebook feeds, etc. – oh such fun! We had great weather (i.e., no rain) here in Chicagoland and were lucky enough to enjoy two nice fireworks displays, so with my ears still ringing and bursts of color burned into my corneas, here is a quickie, much-streamlined run-down of all of the album cover artist/art-related news I think might be worth your time investigating:

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