Tag Archives: album cover

An ACHOF conversation with Frank Harkins and Dave Bett from Sony Music Entertainment

Frank Harkins, Mike Goldstein and Dave Bett, clockwise from upper left.

Published July 23, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

The packaging of retail (i.e., physical) recorded music products is an expression of the relationship – often, a delicate balance – between a musical act, his/her/their record label, the creative/production teams commissioned for the projects and, of course, the music-buying public. Each brings a certain set of expectations to every project and expects those desires to be appreciated and respected if the resulting products are to ultimately please each constituency:

  • the musicians want to make sure that their new musical efforts aren’t reduced to secondary importance or that their fans aren’t left wondering “what the #%!* were they thinking?”
  • label execs will want to know that their investments in packaging and related marketing will eventually pay off via increased product sales.
  • the design and pre-production personnel working on the project (whether in-house and/or freelance talent), along with the printing/manufacturing companies tasked to bring designs to life as finished products, all want to deliver work they can be proud of and that makes their various client(s) happy and
  • consumers of recorded music products want to feel that their purchases are moneys well-spent and, as a benefit, are left feeling that their favorite musical acts have delivered “something special” to them as their loyal fans.
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ACHOF Breaking News/Reminders for July 16, 2021

Posted July 16, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

As we enter into the final weekend of my youth (I turn 65 next week and become an official “senior citizen” – OMG!), I find it necessary to prove to you all that I can still function pretty well mentally and will do so by reminding you of one thing that I’ve previously written about – i.e., the premiere on Friday of the six-episode series ICON: Music Through The Lens which will showcase many of the people who’ve created our favorite and most-memorable music-industry images – and also make you aware of a unique opportunity to bid in “timed-auction” style on a collection of David Bowie-related art from the personal portfolio of  Edward Bell, the artist who created the fascinating artwork and production elements used to package the Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps) record for Bowie in 1980 and for Tin Machine II – released in 1991 by the band he was a member of.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for July 2021

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Posted July 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Early Summer greetings to you all from Chicagoland – where it’s not 115 degrees in the shade, thank goodness – and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. As we approach the Independence Day weekend break, where many of us will be experiencing our first in-person get-togethers in over a year (us with a pre-cleared group, just to be safe), I thought that I’d cobble together a quick-and-to-the-point monthly news summary for you all to read in case you get a moment or two to yourselves and want to escape a bit into the fantasy world that surrounds the lives and work of our favorite album cover artists.

I know that I’ve been promising the imminent publication of my article on box sets and limited-edition packages and my interview with Dave and Frank from Sony Music, so while I’m late with those, I can report that I’ve finished the transcription and should have the interview up for your review very soon. In prepping that interview, I also found an interview that I’d never published with the talented team (also from Sony) who had put together the Grammy-winning package for Weird Al Yankovic a couple of years back, so I’ll be able to reward you for your patience with some nice bonus content as well.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for June 2021

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Posted June 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings to you all from Chicagoland and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. Is everyone beginning to emerge from your self-imposed exiles (hopefully, fully-vaccinated and doing all you can to stay safe and healthy)? I am happy to announce that the hummingbirds have returned to my balcony, my herbs and flowers have been planted and, with any luck, Spring will stick around long enough for my wife and I to get out and enjoy it.

Another sign of Spring’s arrival is my yearly announcement that I’ve been able to speak with one of this year’s Grammy winners in the Packaging Category – designer Lawrence Azerrad, the winner (along with his collaborator, Chicago’s own Jeff Tweedy) of this year’s Grammy Award for “Best Box/Special Limited-Edition Package” for the work done on Wilco’s Ode To Joy set – and have just posted this interview on the site for your reading pleasure.

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

Wilco’s Ode To Joy Special-Edition Vinyl Package

By Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com

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

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ACHOF Breaking News Update for April 23, 2021

Looking for a good way to invest your latest stimulus check besides NFTs, crypto-currencies or short-squeezing stocks?

Consider these items:

1) The original painting by commercial artist/designer Gary Norman that graced the cover of Boston’s 1978 smash hit album Don’t Look Back is one of the featured items in an upcoming “Illustration Art Signature Auction” to be staged by Heritage Auctions and scheduled for next Friday, April 30th.

After receiving the original painting (done with airbrush and acrylics on a 25” x 46” board) back from the label (surprise!), Gary hung it in a spare bedroom, where it’s sat for the past 40 years. According to the article on the Art Daily site – https://artdaily.cc/news/135040/Original-artwork-for-Boston-s–Don-t-Look-Back–heads-to-Heritage-Auctions#.YILvnpBKg7M – he just thought that it was time to find it a new home. Based on the fact that bidding so far has blown through the original $5-7,000 pre-auction estimate (bidding stands at over $15K at the time of this writing), it will be finding itself in a very nice new home sometime soon.

To see the item and consider a bid yourself, head on over to the Heritage Auction site – https://fineart.ha.com/itm/pulp-pulp-like-digests-and-paperback-art/gary-norman-american-20th-century-boston-don-t-look-back-album-cover-1978acrylic-and-airbrush-o/a/8030-71060.s Don’t look back post-auction and, instead of feeling satisfied, you find that you’ve become the man you’ll never be – it’s easy to bid and, if you win, party!

2) Several album cover-related lots are featured in an upcoming Bonham’s auction in London – https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26708/?#/aa1=1&MR1_length=48&w1=list&q1=album%2520cover&m1=1

Many of the items in the grouping that will be auctioned off on May 5th come from the personal collection of famed UK music producer Harvey Goldsmith, perhaps best-known to fans in the US as the promoter for such famed events as Live Aid, the several live tours of Pink Floyd’s The Wall  and the Prince’s Trust charity concerts. As a pre-auction bonus, the team at Bonham’s has organized a Zoom conference-based interview with Mr. Goldsmith on Thursday, April 29th at 6PM London time during which, according to pre-show publicity, he’ll be “joined by Journalist and Broadcaster John Wilson to reflect on his pop culture-defining career, share music industry insider knowledge, and discuss highlights from Goldsmith’s personal collection going under the hammer in our Entertainment Memorabilia auction at Bonhams”.

In addition to the host of items from Mr. Goldsmith’s collection, several lots that devotees of album cover imagery will appreciate include:

a) a concept drawing of the art Ray Lowry was working on for one of the best-known album covers of all time, that being London Calling by The Clash. Photographer Pennie Smith’s slightly-blurred B&W photo of a frustrated Paul Simonon smashing his bass on a stage is burned into our collective minds, but it was designer/artist Ray Lowry’s layout and text (inspired by an early Elvis Presley record cover) that delivered the completed image to us. What’s more, Heaven 17 fans will also have the chance to bid on three of artist Ray Smith’s original cover paintings for the band’s Penthouse & Pavement, The Luxury Gap and How Men Are albums;

b) Beatles fans can bid to own one of three lots from the estate of the late photographer Iain Macmillan, including two art prints of his famous “The Beatles On Abbey Road” image (pre-auction estimates from $21-28,000) plus a mock-up and set of seven photo prints from the photo session for Paul McCartney’s 1993 Paul Is Live record during which the pair reprised the stroll over the crosswalk located in front of the Abbey Road/EMI studios.

c) Another item that should draw keen interest from both art and music memorabilia collectors is a print of Sir Peter Blake’s cover image for The Who’s 1981 release Face Dances that’s been signed by Sir Peter, four members of the band and eight of the artists whose works were included in Blake’s design (including Clive Barker!). The print was owned by Jim Callaghan, who provided security for the band while on tour from 1975-83 and who got the art (and the signatures) at the record’s launch party. With a pre-auction estimate of $1100 – $1700 – https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26708/lot/124/ – this should also go for a multiple of that. There are nearly 300 other items of note in the auction, so please go take a look, and here’s wishing Claire Tole-Moir and her team good luck in her efforts.

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021

Posted right around April 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Spring Greetings to you all from Chicagoland. The weather has become rather consistently pleasant, allowing us to venture outside the house a bit, even sitting on outside patios at some of the local eating establishments (what a treat!). We’re still waiting for our turn at the local COVID vaccine center but, with any luck, we’ll get our shots in the next month or so and, if the rest of our fellow countrymen continue to do the right thing and help build our herd immunity, we might all be able to get out a bit more later this Spring/Summer. I’m not counting on everyone doing the right thing on behalf of the rest of the local citizenry – the loonies continue to proudly flout their warped notions of what “freedom” really means – so it’ll be quite some time before I think we’re “back to normal”, but let’s hope for the best.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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ACHOF Breaking Grammy Week News Update for March 9, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

ACHOF Breaking Grammy Week News Update for March 9, 2021

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

SPECIAL UPDATE 3/9/21 – MUSICARES EVENT) Just prior to the airing of the 63rd Grammy Awards show, the Recording Academy’s MusiCares charity is presenting a special fund/awareness-raising event – the “Music On A Mission” virtual concert that’ll be streamed this coming March 12th at 8PM EST (5PM PST) – will help this organization’s efforts to continue to support those in the music community who’ve been most-impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (musicians, production personnel, venue owners, etc.). The charitable arm of the Recording Academy (AKA “the Grammy folks”) has put together a star-studded special event that will include performances (both new and from their archives) and special guest appearances by top acts such as Jhené Aiko, HAIM, H.E.R., John Legend Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Usher, with 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales benefitting MusiCares’ work supporting those in the music community hardest hit by the pandemic.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March 2021

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March 2021

Posted March 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hello again from Chicagoland, where we’ve finally seemed to throw off the worst of Winter and can stop referring to where we live as “the frozen tundra”. While my wife and I are still avoiding having to go out for anything other than food, we have been able to take some walks around the neighborhood and, even better for our senses, our birds (cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches and the occasional woodpecker or two) have returned to our feeder. It’s calming to see that the parts of nature that Man hasn’t yet totally mucked up are still out there and free to travel and interact to their heart’s content. Maybe some day we’ll figure out how to do that as well.

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