With all of the discussions taking place regarding the advent and rapid rise of AI-generated words, music and art, it reminded me that, over the past 20-25 years, there have been similar discussions about the tools that have been created during that time to enable artists of varying degrees of capability to both express themselves in ways that they might not have been able to (or, perhaps, thought of) and explore their ideas in a more highly-productive fashion. For example, several artists I know who were originally trained to draw with pen and ink (and who, at first, were hesitant to use these new tools for fear of having their artistry questioned) have told me that computer-based hardware (pens, tablets, 3-D printers, etc.) and software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Blender and many others) have added many degrees of capability and efficiency to their day-to-day work. Draw an outline, stretch it, color it in, review, erase, substitute another color, etc., all without putting a pen to paper! Even those who consider themselves “purists” have, over time and given access to some of these newfangled tools, admitted that even when they’re committed to producing finished products using traditional methods, they find themselves doing some/all of their “ideation” prior to actually doing the work.
Posted onMarch 1, 2023|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Posted March 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
February might be a bit shorter than other months, but that doesn’t mean that we album art/artist fans were short-changed in the news department. Starting off with the Grammy Awards and continuing with new exhibitions, art and book releases and a lot of ancillary items, there’s plenty for us fans of album cover art/artistry to dig into, so let’s cut the chit-chat and take a look at what I’ve put together for you.
Preliminary judging has begun on the entries vying for another noted industry award – the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards – and, as one of the judges on the panel tasked to review the hundreds of submissions received, I’m curious and eager to see what always turns out to me a fascinating cross-section of examples of album covers/packages coming in from all over the world.
This month’s newsletter contains a human-curated (as opposed to an AI-generated – we’re old school here at the ACHOF) summary of the news in all of the main topic areas, with updates and info about several new museum and gallery exhibitions, new auctions and sales and a goodly number of art and artist-related articles. As always, I’d like to once again say “thanks” for your help and support, so let’s get started with some updates on the award shows recently ended and currently in progress:
Posted onFebruary 5, 2023|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News Update – 2023 Grammy Awards Winners
ACHOF BREAKING NEWS UPDATE for February 5, 2023 – posted by Mike Goldstein
The 2023 Grammy show – the 65th annual show, just 10 months after the COVID-delayed 2022 Award Show and taking into account music/packages that were released between the first of October, 2021 and the last day September, 2022 – took place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, February 5th, 2023.The Grammy Award Winners in the Packaging Categories were announced earlier today during the web-cast Grammy Awards “Premiere Ceremony”, and I’m now pleased to share the info on who the winners were below:
Posted onJanuary 6, 2023|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News for January 6, 2023 – Special Award Show Updates
Special Award Show updates posted January 6th, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
a) With the voting for the 18th annual Best Art Vinyl awards having finished in mid-December, we’ve all had to sit and wait impatiently for the announcement of who were the top vote-getters. Well, the waiting is now over, with the winners announced at a ceremony held on the 5th of January 2023 at the Hari London Belgravia.
According to the press info on the Best Art Vinyl site, the top vote-getters in this year’s competition were as follows:
1st place was awarded for artwork done by Simon Monk for Black Country, New Road’s album ‘Ants From Up There’;
2nd place was awarded for the artwork produced by Bart Balboa for Birds In Row’s album ‘Gris Klein’
3rd place was awarded for the Illustration done by Jake Blanchard for Richard Dawson’s album ‘The Ruby Cord‘
Published December 22, 2022 by Mike Goldstein (or was it?)
While everyone who regularly visits the ACHOF site knows of my passion for research and writing related to the topics of album cover artists and the output of their efforts, what many of you might not know is that I’m an admitted techno-geek. Understanding that that disclosure might lead you to think that I’m inclined to spend most of my time these days lost in the nether regions of technology, I can assure you that most of those behavior traits are now long lost and while I can recall with great accuracy my time spent first as passionate-yet-greatly-underfunded stereophile (someday, we’ll swap stories about building several Dynaco amplifier kits before trading up to a GAS Ampzilla) – before moving into careers in the cartoon animation/CD-ROM authoring/TV & Web content production business – I can say with much pleasure that, these days, checking my emails, doing research on the Web, editing images with Photoshop and then writing articles using MS Word is the extent of my regular relationship to technology (OK, I do use Google Maps when I’m in the car – don’t we all at this point?).
With all that said, I do still try and pay attention to the intersection of technology and entertainment and have followed with great interest the developments of streaming music/TV, blockchain technology/NFTs (as a basis for tracking ownership and/or licensing of digital assets) and, most recently, the capabilities of artificial (general) intelligence systems as they relate to the creation of content – research tools, text-defined images and, most-relevant to my efforts these days, writing assistants. While some early adopters have impressed me with some rather imaginative uses of AI/AGI tools to create newly-rendered versions of their favorite artwork (some of which I reported on earlier, such as one enterprising individual’s use of the “DallE2” AI image-making tool to reimagine some of our favorite album covers), much has been written – particularly in the fields of education and the media – about the upsides and downsides of using these tools, with some suggesting that a great percentage of what we’ll read, hear and see in the future will have been created by authors that simply input a list of requests for articles (images, videos, podcasts) based on a few select criteria and then share the output with the public. Will what we see/hear be “real”, or “factual” or are we simply too busy/lazy to care?
Holiday Gift Suggestions for the Album Cover/Vinyl Record Lovers in your Life
As compiled by Mike Goldstein, Writer/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
December 13, 2022
We’re now in the final couple of weeks of the Holiday gift-giving season and, since the ACHOF site is not ad-supported, I think you’ll agree that the approach I take to sharing info about what you might consider buying as gifts for your album cover art-loving friends is a bit different in that I simply let you know what it is that’s caught my eye, vs. promoting things I’ve been strongly-motivated to show you (via ad/promo money).
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 that this year seemed to have started sometime in mid-late Summer – 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. To help you succeed in this effort, over the years I’ve published a series of (usually) 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 and so this year I’ve decided to do that again.
I believe that – 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 on your part (“So, remind me…what’s the name of your favorite band?”) and perhaps a phone call or two, I’m feeling confident that you’ll be able to locate and purchase gifts that will be long-appreciated by their recipients. Who knows, maybe it will start a new tradition in your family!
Posted December 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greeting to you all – nice to see you all again!
Once again, I have to apologize for leaving you without an update for the month of November, but my wife and I decided to brave the travel scene to complete a vacation trip we’d started in late 2019 that had to be truncated a) by a death in the family and b) that crazy COVID-19 thing that shut things down a bit for a year or two. This journey, which took us to NYC and then over to the U.K. and Ireland, was quite restorative and, I must admit, was timed so that we’d be out of the country on November 8th so we’d be able to have some distance between us and the pre-and-post-election media madness for a while. Of course, there was no escaping the news, but at least it was offset by all of the excitement that took place in the UK’s government while we were there, and we enjoyed the scenery/people/food there so much that it kept us in the right frame of mind, allowing us to return after a month with some degree of sanity and appreciation of life’s better things in tact.
Of course, during our travels we came across a number of album/music art-related things that added to the overall enjoyment of the experience, including a visit to the site of the new (set to open in its entirety in 2024) Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx Marketplace (NYC), with a tour provided by the museum’s director, Rocky Bucano; a visit to Liverpool, England (our first) that included an escorted overview provided by designer/author/all around great guy Andrew Dinely (of the Soft Octopus design studio there) that also included a stop at the British Music Experience – an “immersive exhibition” that takes attendees through an illustrated (via memorabilia, videos, etc.) review of the immense and diverse pop music scene in the U.K., from its beginnings in the 1950s through the most-recent BRIT Award-winning artists, and several other finds along the way (such as a memorial sculpture dedicated to the late Irish rock guitarist Rory Gallagher). I’ll be including brief articles about that as I unpack the info gathers and photos taken over the course of the next month or so.
Of course, while I was away, the first ACHOF Reader’s Poll took place, and the results of the voting will be shared a bit later in this newsletter. At the same time, another major album art-related poll – Art Vinyl’s Best Art Vinyl Awards – began gathering votes on its site (see more on this a little later as well) and the Recording Academy here in the U.S. released the names of the nominees for their upcoming Grammy Awards voting, with results to be announced early next year. Lots of great art and artistry on display, so it’ll be interesting to see how the voters/voting public responds to the announcements of the top vote-getters in all of these competitions.
posted November 22, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com
For the past 10 years, the contributors to the Album Cover Hall of Fame have worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and those of us that appreciate both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, design, graphics and photography.
Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic to register their opinions, I’ve been able to deliver these details to my readers and, once a year in November, present the top vote-getters in our annual poll as inductees into the hallowed (virtual) halls of the ACHOF. What I haven’t been able to do until now is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first class of inductees into the ACHOF, I asked you all to participate in a poll that would serve to track and the report on your feelings about who of our past inductees deserved special commendation.
This year’s poll allowed you to look over the past winners in each of the active award categories and then asked you to select those who are your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, with the top vote-getters placed in special categories that will be called…well, what will we call them? We don’t want to call them “the best”, nor do we want to repurpose some of the popular names that the awards industry has used over time – “People’s Choice”, “Fan Favorites”, “Vox Populi”, “Diamond/Platinum/Gold Medal Winning”, etc. A quick trip to the thesaurus presents words and phrases like “title holder”, “prize winner” and “top dog”, among others, along with some that I think are a bit over the top, such as “conquering hero”, “vanquisher” and “numero uno”, so while I know that it had to have been something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think we’re quite ready to commit to anything beyond “Top Vote-Getters”.
Posted onOctober 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for October, 2022
Posted October 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. I have to first warn you that this month’s edition of the ACHOF newsletter will be a truncated one as I’ve had to spend a lot of time and energy managing several things that have popped up and couldn’t be ignored. It will also force me to put off the publishing of the next summary until December 1st.
Sorry about that.
In any case, there should be enough basic info now to get you the basics, but it’ll be up to you to click through to get “the rest of the story” (apologies to Mr. Harvey).
I’m also working feverishly to set up the voting for this year’s fan-driven voting for “the best of the best of” in all of the main ACHOF categories, so be on the lookout in a week or so for the official announcement and a link to the polling site. Voting will be open from October 10th thru November 13th, with the final tallies announced right before Thanksgiving here in the U.S.. It’ll be exciting to see who the fan favorites are in each category – tough choices must be made, but let’s do our best to honor all of those whose names will be on the lists.
Thanks in advance for your help and your patience while I get my world back in order. Now, on with the newsletter.
Posted onSeptember 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Posted September 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
A late-Summer greeting to you all.
For the past 10 years, the ACHOF has worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and hybrids of both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, graphics and photography. Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic, I’ve been able to deliver these details to my readers and, once a year in November, present the top vote-getters in our annual poll as inductees into the hallowed (virtual) halls of the ACHOF. What I haven’t been able to do is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the ACHOF, I’m going to do just that.
Later next month, I will be posting a poll that will allow you to review the past winners in each of the active categories and then ask you to select your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, who’ll then be placed in special categories that will be called…well, what will we call them? We don’t want to call them “the best”, nor do we want to repurpose some of the popular names that the awards industry has used over time – “People’s Choice”, “Fan Favorites”, “Vox Populi”, “Diamond/Platinum/Gold Medal Winning”, etc. A quick trip to the thesaurus presents words and phrases like “title holder”, “prize winner” and “top dog”, among others, along with some that I think are a bit over the top, such as “conquering hero”, “vanquisher” and “numero uno”, so while I know that it must be something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to anything. Now that I think about it, perhaps we should also rely on our readers to present their ideas for this project, keeping this year’s efforts all about YOUR notions for what’s good and right, so I’ll be adding a poll question for this task as well. Eager to see what you come up with – we have a LOT of creative types reading this newsletter, so I’m sure something great will show up.
Thanks in advance for your help. Now, back to the matters at hand.