Tag Archives: Album Covers

Interview with artist Kyle Lambert on his work on the cover for Muse’s Simulation Theory

 

Interview with artist Kyle Lambert on his work on the cover for Muse’s  Simulation Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 22, 2019 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Those of you who’ve been reading my interviews with album cover artists over the years have seen many examples of “crossover” talents. In some cases, its musicians who, whether through their genes or through constant exposure to the visual arts, have taken on very active roles – as art director, illustrator, designer, photographer or muse – in the projects that produce the imagery that helps promote their music to the press and fan bases. In other examples, it is a visual artist’s exposure to new music (and the people that make it) that leads them to pursue opportunities to collaborate with a musical act or their label’s art departments. I’ve also shown you several instances when a visual artist who has built a portfolio of work for clients in the music business has then gone on to more/greater fame in other aspects of the art world (fine art, music videos, film and television, advertising, etc.).

Back in 2009, I published an interview article about a design firm called Pacific Eye & Ear (lead by Ernie Cefalu) who had an illustrator on staff at the time – Drew Struzan – who’d done some memorable covers in the 1970s for musical acts including Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Iron Butterfly, Bee Gees and others – who’d later go on to great fame and fortune as a movie poster artist, creating iconic images for movie series including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Back To The Future and many, many more. Drew was a commercial artist (he stopped taking on commercial commissions several years ago) who learned how to work in a variety of traditional media – acrylics, pen and ink, airbrush, etc. – and then brought his own unique eye and abilities to create masterworks for each of his clients and, as a result, became an artist greatly respected by both music/movie fans and experts/critics in the fine art world.

Last year, working to update a list of people who’d worked on Grammy Award-winning projects (in this case, the rock band Muse and their 2016 “Best Rock Album”-winning effort Drones), I saw an article about the band’s then-upcoming release (Simulation Theory, released in November, 2018 on Warner Bros. Records) and that they’d hired a young movie poster artist – Kyle Lambert, whose work on promo imagery for hit movies including Stranger Things and Jurassic Park, among others – to work with them to come up with just the right cover art for that record and was so impressed with his successful effort on that music industry project – his first album cover – that I knew I’d have to find out more and share that conversation with you. Lambert’s choice of digital tools might rankle the egos of certain purists from the art world, but the results – done with a fan’s passion for his subject material – are certain to have evoked wide smiles from both casual fans of the visual arts to the most die-hard of ComicCon attendees.

I interviewed the ever-in-demand Mr. Lambert via email over the past few months about his work on this cover (its inspirations, the use of specific tools and what it was like to take on a collaboration with an internationally-renowned music industry client) and am now happy to share that with you, below:

Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – Kyle, I first want to thank you for taking a break for a few minutes from what seems to be a very busy work schedule to answer a few questions about your project with Muse.  If it’s OK with you, I’d like to first take you through my “regular” list of questions and so, to get things started, can you tell me how it was that you were first introduced to your clients – that is Muse, their management, the label or anyone else who served as your artistic cohorts on this project? Had you worked with them before?

Kyle Lambert – This was the first time I worked with Muse. I was contacted by Creative Director Jesse Lee Stout on behalf of the band to create the album cover for what would be their eighth studio album. Jesse was my point of contact throughout the process and the one who provided me with the brief and supplied feedback at various stages of the process.

Mike G – Prior to working on this project, were you familiar at all with the band, it’s “style” and approach to music and their back catalog?

Kyle L – I grew up listening to Muse while I was in school. I remember the song “Time Is Running Out” (from the 2003 album Absolution – MG) being a particular favorite among my friends. When I was hired for this job, I immediately went back to their catalog and listened to their music to reacquaint myself with their sound.

MG – I really want to know a) whether you got to hear any of the new record’s music before starting on the design project and b) whether any of the music influenced your approach to the design.

KL – At the time I was brought on board for the project, Muse had already released three singles that would be featured on the album and also had produced some visually creative music videos.

MG – So, was there a particular track from the record’s track list of what was to be included in the package – or something special about the music overall – that served as the inspiration for the package’s overall design?

KL – The final art combines portraits of Matt (Bellamy), Chris (Wolstenholme) and Dom (i.e., Dominic Howard) with the characters seen in the music videos for the songs “Something Human”,” Thought Contagion”, “Dig Down” and “The Dark Side”. In particular, I really responded to the video for the track “Thought Contagion”. The video has a really vibrant color palette and was filled with characters that looked like they belonged in a science fiction movie. After seeing it, I had a very clear idea about what I wanted to create for the album cover.

MG – Knowing what you grew to know about the people involved and your overall knowledge of “what works” in the entertainment business, do you feel that there’s something that makes Muse different from other bands in their “category”? Was the band – or the people at Warner Bros. Records – known to have a particular approach to promoting and packaging their music?

KL – Muse are a notoriously creative band, and the band members are the driving force behind all aspects related to their music. The idea to have a movie poster image serve as the album cover came from Dom, who was also involved in reviewing my designs throughout the process.

I think this direct contact with the artists was refreshing and led to the artwork being a true reflection of the sound of the album. For Muse, this was a unique approach to advertising their music, as they had never previously appeared personally on any of their album covers.

MG – Certainly a good example of a band working hard to deliver something “more” to their fans. So, let’s talk tech for a bit. How did you choose the tools you’d use on this effort? Can you help me better understand the “how the heck did you do that?” aspects of the project? I know that Apple products were used pretty extensively, but do you normally use their hardware and software to create your art?

Simulation Theory work drawing – Photo Credit Kyle Lambert and Muse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KL – The workflow that I used for this album cover is consistent with how I’ve worked on movie posters in the past. I use an app called Procreate on an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil to sketch the initial idea for the artwork, and to do the detailed drawing. I use these tools because the Apple Pencil provides me with a very natural drawing experience, and this setup also allows me to work mobile if necessary. Most of the coloring is done using Adobe Photoshop on a Mac in combination with a Wacom tablet. I prefer to color in Photoshop because, at this stage of the process, I need a lot of layers and working on a bigger screen helps see more of the artwork. To finish it, I go back to Procreate to add some final highlights and details.

MG – It seems like you’ve found a good set of tools for this kind of work. Can you tell me whether any other special tools or techniques were used and incorporated into your work processes and how they helped you create the finished product?

Muse’s Simulation Theory iPad Drawing – Photo Credit Kyle Lambert and Muse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KL – One of the aspects of the artwork that took a while to figure out was the spaceship you see at the top. Initially, I placed a smaller version in the top right hand corner at an angle, but everybody wanted a more prominent placement for it. They felt it would be cool to have the spaceship looming above the band, similar to how Star Wars movies begin (Editor’s Note – the original Star Wars movie poster displayed the dreaded Death Star space ship and other fighter vessels).

I thought this was a great idea, but it did lead me down a path of drawing multiple iterations of the ship to convince the viewer that it’s coming towards them. For the final version, the ship is perfectly centered, which allowed me to use a feature in Procreate called the “symmetry tool”. It essentially let me draw only half of the ship, and then this tool mirrored my drawing on the other side of the page, which saved me a ton of time.

MG – Taking into account all of the production coordination needed for this work, can you tell me how long this process took – from start to finished product?

KL – I was given two weeks to illustrate the cover, which is quite typical for the entertainment industry, where everything is heading towards a specific release date, and so a quick turnaround is expected. This timeline also included a few rounds of changes and approval processes.

MG – So, no sleep allowed, right? While you’ve already described a lot about the process and how and when the artists were involved in the day-to-day development and review of your work, when all was said and done, did you feel as though you were given enough time and resources to do what you wanted to do? Were your clients happy with the results, and how did they express that to you?

Kyle Meets Muse – Photo Credit – Kyle Lambert and Muse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KL-Like you said, most of this was already answered in your previous questions, but I can tell you that Muse were really happy with how the final artwork turned out. The band invited me to meet them a few weeks after finishing the project, and I got to personally give them an insight into my work process.

MG – Of course, as I’m always hoping to give my readers something special in my interview articles, I’d like to ask you – without betraying any confidences, of course – if there are any other anecdotal bits of info about this project you’d be willing to share…every project I’ve ever looked into seems to have something of an “a-ha moment” or an “OMG moment”, so anything you’d be willing to share with me and my readers would be quite a treat!

KL – For me, my “OMG moments” have been seeing the reception of the artwork and all of the creative ways it has been used to market the album. Beyond posters and billboards, it was also turned into a digital coloring book, a retro 80s cassette, an Etch-A-Sketch portrait and a wrap for an arcade game. It was even featured in the music video for another track from the album – “Algorithm”!

Link to bonus content – follow this link to read a recent interview with Muse regarding the “look and feel” of their Simulation Theory record done by reporter Ed Masley for the Arizona Republic news service – 2/19/19 – https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/02/19/muse-interview-simulation-theory-tour-levitation-stranger-things/2882662002/

About our interviewee, artist Kyle Lambert –

Artist Kyle Lambert – Photo Credit – Kyle Lambert and Greg Preston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in July, 1987 and raised and educated in Manchester, U.K., Kyle Lambert is an Illustrator whose portfolio includes advertising/promo and related work for a number of the world’s top brands including Apple, Adobe, Disney, GQ, Marvel, NBC, Netflix, Paramount Studios, the San Diego Zoo, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Vanity Fair and Variety, among others. He is perhaps best known for his artwork for the hugely-popular and award-winning Netflix science fiction/horror series Stranger Things, but fans have also raved about his artwork for The Blacklist and Timeless for NBC, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams’ 2011 film Super 8 and posters and packaging he’s done for releases for the films Jumanji, Jurassic Park and Wicker Man.

After first studying traditional painting techniques and attaining a B.A. in Illustration/Animation from The Manchester Metropolitan University – Kyle soon transitioned over to the use of digital tools/techniques and was first hired to create illustrated posters for an Apple fan event called Macworld in 2011. The posters were created on an iPad and were displayed at the event. You can find some images of this work on Kyle’s Behance page: https://www.behance.net/gallery/3926845/Mara-Digital-Painting

He continued his work for Apple Inc., U.K., as a Creative Trainer, teaching students how to use creative applications (such as the Final Cut Studio, Aperture, iLife, iWork, Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects as well as Autodesk’s Maya 3-D modeling package) while providing them with the support and inspiration they’d need to launch their own careers. He moved to Los Angeles, CA in 2016 to open his own studio (Kyle Art Studio) after he completed his commission to do the poster artwork for Season 1 of the aforementioned Stranger Things series for Netflix and where he’s been kept quite busy ever since.

You can follow Kyle’s career via his web site at http://www.kylelambert.com/

About Muse’s Simulation Theory

Muse Simulation Theory Box Set Package – Photo Credit Warner Bros Records and Muse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally released in November 2018 via multiple formats (CD, Deluxe CD, Vinyl, Cassette and Digital Downloads, as well as a CD/Vinyl Box Set) on Warner Bros. Records, Simulation Theory immediately topped the U.K., Dutch and Swiss sales charts (topping out at #12 on the Billboard charts in the U.S.). In addition to Kyle’s design and illustration credits (for the cover and for related merchandise, including clothing, song books and lithograph prints based on his artwork), other packaging/production credits go to MUSE and Jesse Lee Stout for Art Direction and Jesse Lee Stout and Alex Tenta for Graphic Design. For the Deluxe set, that artwork was created by artist Paul Shipper.

To see all of the available ways you might purchase this record, click on over to https://usstore.muse.mu/music/simulation-theory-super-deluxe-cd-vinyl-boxset-1.html , while a t-shirt featuring Kyle’s cover art illustration is available at https://usstore.muse.mu/clothing/mens/stacked-logo-simulation-theory-t-shirt-5.html

All images are credited as noted – Copyright 2018-2019 Kyle Lambert, Muse and Greg Preston – and are used by permission to illustrate this article. All text Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein/AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All rights reserved.

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

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update for February 8, 2019

 

 

 

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Here are three album cover art and book-related stories, just in time for your weekend reading pleasure:

1) Just heard from rock photographer Glen Wexler today regarding the impressive consumer response to his upcoming new book Glen Wexler: The 80s Portrait Sessions. You may recall my earlier report about his super-successful Kickstarter project of late last year (which was fully-subscribed at the time), but now he’s worked it out with his publisher and will be offering 50 more first-run copies to his fans at the same pre-order price of $75, with the book shipping in about three weeks. He’s still accepting orders for the fine art prints, posters and deluxe-edition book box set (which includes a print of Michael Jackson), so if you hurry on over to   https://www.facebook.com/glen.wexler/timeline, you’ll be able to see/read more and snap up a copy before they’re gone.

2) Designer and author of one of my most-referenced album art books (Album Art: New Music Graphics) John Foster has launched a new “making of” series of album art articles on The Vinyl Factory site. After the success of his previous sequence of monthly album art summaries (“Judging A Cover By Its Cover”) on the same site, John’s new monthly column will feature one cover he selects for a deep-dive look/see, with the debut article built around artist Dave Thomas (AKA “DLT”) and his work on the package for It Won/t Be Like This All The Time by The Twilight Sad on Rock Action Records – https://thevinylfactory.com/features/twilight-sad-it-wont-be-like-this-record-sleeve-design/

3) I first became aware of the writing skills of author/heavy-metal music aficionado Ramon Oscuro back in 2015 after learning about his book And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers and the regular series of “making of” articles on the topic of metal music album art that appears on the Metal Underground site. As I wrote at the time, the book included the stories behind over 50 memorable metal covers and explored the enormous range of styles and subject material featured in those images.  Now, for 2019, Ramon is prepping a new, limited-edition Volume 2 of his book – 252 illustrated pages of “exclusive interviews and comments by members of Judas Priest, Slayer, Soulfly, Amorphis, Testament, Carcass, Orphaned Land, Cannibal Corpse, Emperor, Candlemass, etc., and legendary visual artists like Costin Chioreanu, Eliran Kantor, Travis Smith, Dan Seagrave, Valnoir, and more.”

Whatever you might think of the subject material, there’s no denying the artistry often on display. There have been some beautifully-disturbing covers created in this genre, so it is nice to be able to better-understand – in the words of the people who produced these works – their underpinnings and back stories. Pre-orders for the 200 author-signed copies (sensibly priced at $58.97 each, to ship in March) that will be produced in this edition are now being accepted, so I’d suggest clicking on over to his order page at https://andjusticeforart.bigcartel.com/product/and-justice-for-art-stories-about-heavy-metal-album-covers-volume-2 to reserve one for your collection now.

If you’d like to take a quick video tour through the book in advance, he’s made that easy to do via this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_eah8XwA9A

Album Cover Hall of Fame Art and Artist News Update for February 1, 2019

 

Album Cover Art and Artist News Update for February 1, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

We made it! It was rather exciting to step out into a -54 F wind chill (-21 F actual temp) yesterday morning here on Chicago’s North Shore – it’s amazing how fast your eyeglasses freeze to your nose.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for January 18, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update for January 18, 2019

Posted on January 18, 2019 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

I recently learned about two new album art-centric art programs that have been launched – one, by a large music label with a long history of great and genre-leading design and a second by a large home furnishings retailer whose goal seems to be to include large-scale Beatles-related imagery in any self-respecting music fan’s home, office and/or lobby area…

1) Blue Note Records, founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion, has a well-deserved reputation for trend-setting album cover design (for noted jazz acts including Art Blakely, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk and others), with projects lead by designers and artists/photographers including Reid Miles, John Hermansader, Francis Wolff and Andy Warhol, among others. During the 1950s and 60s, Blue Note designs helped set the standard for modern album art, with classic covers such as Dexter Gordon’s GO, Art Blakely’s Free For All, Sonny Clark’s Cool Struttin’ and, one of my personal favorites, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s 1962 record Hub Tones (which, I think, had to have influenced designer Raymond Pettibon’s logo for punkers Black Flag), all which demonstrated the prodigious talents of the aforementioned producers via their impressive use of new era photography, typography and overall graphic design. Recently, the Blue Note team selected 12 of their most-stunning cover designs and have released them in a series of large-scale (either 22”, 33” or 44” square) framed art prints on canvas, priced at $295, $399 and $499 respectively – https://shop.udiscovermusic.com/collections/blue-note/products/thelonius-monk-framed-canvas-art?

The new series is covered nicely in a recent article by Estelle Caswell on the Vox web site, which provides a particular focus on the “look” of Blue Note records in the hands of Reid Miles. The article also includes a link to a short film they’ve produced on the subject titled The Greatest Album Covers of Jazzhttps://www.vox.com/videos/2019/1/2/18165211/jazz-album-design-blue-note-records which packs a lot of educational insight into its < seven minutes.

2) With 21 prints on canvas ranging in price from $199 to $650, the Chicago-based home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel recently launched an impressive addition to their art print collection using licensed imagery – primarily photos and album cover prints – that make it easy to update your décor any time at all. Do you want to know a secret? Well, the prints range in size from 20” square (Yellow Submarine) to 50” square (With The Beatles), with other prints based on photos including shots of the Fab Four in various studio, airport and park-like settings around the world, so whether you’re fixing a hole or just want to see your favorite Beatles images here, there and everywhere, I need you to click on this link – https://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/beatles-prints/1 – because I’ve got a feeling that you’ll see that there’s a place in your home for one of these fine examples of rock ‘n’ roll music imagery.

Bonus item – in another example of “time marches on” whether we like it or not, the folks at the U.K.’s Radio X have recently posted an article that brings us some updated stories and pictures of the people that were featured on a number of our favorite album covers. You’ll see what the two little girls we saw on the cover of 1993’s Siamese Dream for Smashing Pumpkins look like now as adults (still playing dress-up); learn and see more of everyone’s favorite nasty nurse character (as seen on Blink 182’s Enema of the State and NOT one to be considered for inclusion in any New Right fundraiser); what U2’s Boy looks like now that he’s a man and many other examples from the Rolling Stones, The Smiths, Pink Floyd, Super Furry Animals and others – https://www.radiox.co.uk/features/what-do-these-famous-cover-stars-look-like-now/  Art is timeless, but it’s subjects get old and wrinkly just like everyone else…

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.

ACHOF’s Annual Summary of the Best & Worst Album Covers of 2018

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve, 2018

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

While I can’t speak for all of you, I’m fairly certain that there are a great number of you who are tired of hearing other peoples’ opinions. Nearly every conversation you’re exposed to these days – on your Twitter or Facebook feeds, your favorite TV news channel or penetrating your personal space from that group of guys that sit behind you on the train or next to you in your health club’s locker room – it’s nearly impossible to not overdose on other peoples’ takes on what’s “good” or “appropriate” or “the best/worst” these days. And so, rather than talk about “what’s best” this year, after both participating (as a judge) in several album cover art competitions and having had the chance to review the articles by others in which the “best covers of 2018” are discussed/rated, I thought that I’d simply make note of several of the trends I’ve seen in record package design lately, leaving the pontificating to those who are perhaps better qualified (or, at least, prepared to convince you that they are) while I remain simply a teller (or re-teller) of tales and one that will continue to monitor the field for my readers so that you’re aware of who is behind the projects that produce the most-notable packages for your favorite LPs, CDs, DVDs and box sets/compilations.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame’s 2018 Holiday Gift-Buying Guide

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

 

Works offered for sale by (above, left to right) – Snap Galleries, UK, Vinylux and KnuckleBonz

As suggested by Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Holidays, 2018

Well, it’s been five years since I published the first of what were supposed to be annual overviews of “artistical” things that, in my opinion, might make nice gifts for anyone who is a fan of album cover art and packaging. Of course, I could come up with several excuses as to why I’ve back-burnered this until now – my book project, my move from Portland to Chicago or my heavy drinking since November, 2016 – but suffice it to say that it wasn’t because I didn’t want to provide this information to you. So, if you’ll accept my apology, let me continue 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” 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 others, 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, who’s 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!

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For August/September, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR SEPTEMBER.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once more to you all – hope that you’ve all had a good time this Summer, however you chose to occupy your time. Even though my work on updating the bio section of the ACHOF site continues slowly but surely, I’m still happy to announce that there’s been a fair amount of album art/artist-related news to review – more interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – and as you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll be able to find out more about the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of the world’s most-talented album art creators.

I am also pleased to announce that the second part of the two-part article I wrote about album cover art, artists and album art production has been added to the Illustration History web site – https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/design-and-illustration-in-the-record-business

Titled Design and Illustration by the “Early Influencers” working in the Record Business, this new article was designed to allow you to meet some of the most-notable purveyors of note-worthy and memorable album packaging and read what they have shared about what they do, why they do it, and what the future holds for this unique craft. To remind you, the Illustration History site is a project of the esteemed Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA) and serves as an educational resource for fans, students and teachers of the fine arts of illustration and design. It’s been an honor to be able to share some of my research and writing on a subject – album cover art – that features so many great examples of work by the talented people who’ve contributed to the visual side of the modern music business, so once again I’d like to thank curator Jesse Kowalski for this opportunity and hope that you’ll spend some time reading both articles and then digging through the site’s impressive archives as well..

In addition, I’ll soon be adding another article to the ACHOF site titled “Album Art and Packaging Trends Timeline and Overview” that seeks to answer, decade-by-decade, beginning in the 1940s up to the present, this important question for those of us interested in the history of album cover art “what was it exactly that the products produced during each decade or era have shown us about Pop Culture and the status of record music promotion at that time?” The article will first be posted on the ACHOF site, with announcements made via social media, and I do hope that you’ll take the time to read, absorb and comment.

Several of you may recall from last month’s summary that I was asked (one of a number of music packaging gurus) to serve as a judge for the upcoming (early October) Making Vinyl Packaging Awards extravaganza that will be a keystone event at this year’s Making Vinyl conference in Detroit. The first round of judging has been completed and, from an impressive number (nearly 250!) of entries in all of the categories, the finalists have just been announced, with the list available for your viewing pleasure at – https://makingvinyl.com/making-vinyl-packaging-awards-announces-finalists-in-12-categories/

I gotta tell you, folks…I really had no idea that there was so much creativity and ingenuity (and, by the looks of some of the packages, resources) being put to task to create new retail packaging for recorded music products until I spent some time – nearly 3 full days! – looking at each of the entries before posting my opinions. What was more interesting to me was to learn more about the people working on these projects, with a nice balance seen between entries submitted by major labels working with “household name” designers/art directors/photographers and the impressive output from people/teams I’ve never had the pleasure to meet before. While I can’t release any of the details now, you can rest assured that I will be introducing myself to some of these new (at least to me) names ASAP and will be sharing the fruits of those efforts with you when I can.

The winning entries – that is, those picked from the aforementioned list of finalists – will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the NYC offices of the AIGA design organization and awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony that will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit on the evening of October 1st. You will, of course, find more information on the winners immediately thereafter here on the ACHOF site and, with any luck, will be able to read an interview or two with some of the winners ASAP after.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) I’m happy to announce that my friends at the U.K.-based art publisher/art gallery Hypergallery are taking a road trip to Berlin, Germany to stage, along with album cover design great Aubrey Powell, a survey exhibition that will “explore and unpack the significant influence of the Hipgnosis design studio through an unprecedented display of images from the Hipgnosis catalogue.” The show – titled Daring To Dream – is scheduled as part of the European Month of Photography (EMOP) 2018 event and is being co-curated by Emily Smeaton and John Colton, under the watchful eye of Mr. Powell.

The show will run from September 30th thru the 28th of October, staged in a courtyard located on the 1st floor of Bergmannstr. 5, 10961 in Berlin, with an opening party scheduled at that location on the evening of September 29th, beginning at 7PM local time. Mr. Powell will be on hand that evening – along with members of a local opera company – and will be signing copies of his own retrospective book of Hipgnosis-generated album art called Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art which was recently published in Germany by Edel Books. More info can be found on the Hypergallery web site at https://www.hypergallery.com/event-hipgnosis-in-berlin/

I’m eagerly awaiting to see photos from the show/opening night event and will point you to those when they’re available.

b) For those of you who weren’t able to attend the Bill Graham-centered art/memorabilia show (BILL GRAHAM AND THE ROCK & ROLL REVOLUTION) that toured last year, you’re being given a reprive of sorts with the staging of the Summer of Love poster show at the Andaz Gallery/Hotel in Hollywood, CA, put on in cooperation with the Grammy Museum and featuring 17 original posters from the 1960s by noted visual psychedelic artists including Wes Wilson, Bonnie MacLean (AKA Mrs. Bill Graham), Jim Blashfield, Greg Irons and Stanley Mouse.

http://westhollywoodmag.net/press-release-andaz-west-hollywood-and-the-grammy-museum-unveil-original-summer-of-love-posters-in-new-salon-art-exhibit/

If you’d like to read my exhibition recap from the Bill Graham show as it was staged here in the Chicago area last year, click on over to https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/achof-exhibition-tour-bill-graham-and-the-rock-roll-revolution/

c) There’s a show taking place in London in mid-September that, if I understand what it is that I’m reading, looks to introduce show-goers to several new formats of visuals that might be accompanying and augmenting recorded (and live) music as time goes on. Based on work done by musician/artist Beatie Wolfe and cohorts at Nokia Bell Labs, you’ll be given the chance to see/listen/experience works including (as they’re described in this article by Oisin Lunny on the Forbes.com site) “the world’s first live 360˚ Augmented Reality (AR) stream combining live, 360˚ stereoscopic video and real-time AR visuals” that will “create a modern ‘Fantasia-like’ live streamed album experience.” A short video documentary is also there to better-explain what it is that Ms. Wolfe and her chums have created.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oisinlunny/2018/08/26/beatie-wolfe-explores-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-at-the-va/#6d1f677f1217

The show at the Victoria & Albert Museum – titled “The Art of Music in the Digital Age: a series of world-first designs” – runs from September 15th through September 23rd in the Prince Consort Gallery on Level 3 and will, in addition to the Raw Space Chamber described above, put on display such must-be-seen-to-be-understood items as “a theatre in the palm of your hand, an album as a deck of cards and wearable record ‘jacket’” designed by former D. Bowie tailor Mr. Fish, among other equally-innovative items.

The entire effort is delivered as part of the London Design Festival, with more information available at  https://www.londondesignfestival.com/event/beatie-wolfe-art-music-digital-age-series-world-first-designs and additional details on the V&A site at https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/bJR1B3Ng/ldf-2018-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-a-series-of-world-first-designs  If any of you do attend and can share what you’ve seen with the rest of us, it’d be greatly appreciated as we are all curious as to where the future of music-related visuals is headed.

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) NYC Radio show host Zach Martin just posted links to Parts 1 & 2 of his Big Fat American Rock Show! interview with NYC-based album design gurus Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz, well known to album art fans for their award-winning work for Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Bon Jovi, Ramones and many others. The stories they share in Part 1 of how the two worked both alone and together to produce a huge portfolio of commercial work for their clients in the music business over the past 40+ years will make your head spin, so make yourself a dirty olive martini, place yourself in your favorite comfy chair and enjoy the ride – https://youtu.be/4LAwoiNtjy4

In Part 2, Spencer shares the details of who his favorite band is (and why) and how he and Judith seem to do their best work “when everything flows” – https://youtu.be/g144AXr4S_g

On a related note – for both this article and the one you’ll read on the upcoming Making Vinyl trade show – Mr. Drate and Holly Stephey will be hosting an online interview with Mr. Larry Jaffee, the producer of the event and the Packaging Awards show that will be taking place during that event. The live event takes place Friday, August 31st at 5PM EST and you can catch it online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redvelvetmedia/2018/08/31/larry-jaffee-making-vinyl

You won’t meet anyone with more passion about the resurgence of the vinyl record and the importance of album cover art, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen to this interview.

b) While Madonna may have been making headlines recently for both celebrating her 60th birthday and enduring some music industry flack after delivering a not-so-well-received tribute to the recently-departed Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Award ceremonies, one thorough read of this recent amply-illustrated FOTO Story interview article with photographer Kevin Mazur reminds you of just how much she’s influenced Pop Culture since launching her career as a singer/dancer in the early 1980s in the clubs surrounding New York City. Having met Ms. Ciccone while he was himself a young lad from Long Island (he’s 57 now), Kevin has been on hand to document the Material Girl’s meteoric rise, being on-hand to shoot scores of her concerts (beginning with 1985’s Virgin tour) and producing a huge portfolio of work we’ve all seen in magazines, books and web sites over the years. He’s also produced album cover shots for top musical acts including Bob Dylan, Elton John and U2, but in this article, the focus is on just how much fun he’s had being on hand and moving from gaga-eyed fanboy to long-time friend of someone who has impressed us all with her talent, dedication and fearless approach to success in a really tough business – https://foto.gettyimages.com/celebrity/musicians/madonna-in-motion/

c) NYC-area music art fans might want to quickly click on over to the Eventbrite site (via the link at the end of this notice) to register for what’s sure to be a sold-out event at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003) this coming October 19th (from 7-8PM EDT) featuring Metallica’s drummer (and famed fine art collector) Lars Ulrich talking photography with the Brooklyn-based photo duo Herring & Herring (the team behind the album cover imagery for the band’s hit 2016 release Hardwired…To Self Destruct) about how artists like themselves collaborate to create great art.

Herring & Herring consists of Dimitri Scheblanov (who is himself a 2005 graduate of The Cooper Union’s School Of Art) and Jesper Carlsen (who was schooled at the Art Academy on the Danish island of Funen, graduating in 2006) and has worked with Metallica – serving as creative directors, photographers and music video directors – since 2014. In addition to their corporate work – with celebrity clients including musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Beyonce and Questlove, film stars Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Billy Bob Thorton, TV personalities Fred Armisen, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Cohen and sports celebs Derek Jeter and Abby Wambach (among many others) – the partners also produce and publish the highly-praised image-only photo magazine also titled Herring & Herring (available on newsstands everywhere).

Ulrich will be taking a short break from the band’s tour in support of this album, which kicks off September 2nd with a show in Madison, WI.

Event info/registration  at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/photography-duo-herring-herring-talk-with-metallicas-lars-ulrich-tickets-49040489424?aff=MetallicaFanClub  The event is free and open to the public, although the promoters warn that pre-registration doesn’t guarantee a seat, so get there early!

Article on the Blabbermouth site – http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallicas-lars-ulrich-to-talk-with-photography-duo-herring-herring-at-new-york-city-event/

d) We’ve all had to consider, at some point in our lives, just what the proper “work/life balance” would be in order for us to continue to enjoy both aspects of our day-to-day existences. For some of us, the choices were quite simple, being dictated by the status of our health or of our continued relationships with friends and loved ones. For others, it’s when they’ve noticed “something missing” from the enjoyment of their day-to-day activities, whether at work or at home. For Grammy-winning designer Stephan Sagmeister, as you’ll read in this recent article (and audio interview) by Ayse Burcell on the Salon.com web site, he noticed that “once I started to allow for repetition in the work, there was just less excitement.” What did he do to get his life back in balance? Well, he did something we all wish we could do – he took a year-long sabbatical. To do this, he had to overcome fears of “being forgotten” and/or being seen as “unprofessional” but, once he did, you’ll see that it was time well-spent. I’d suggest taking a break from your own hectic schedules to read and listen to this compelling interview via the link at https://www.salon.com/2018/08/27/the-case-for-taking-a-sabbatical-why-grammy-winning-designer-stefan-sagmeister-took-a-break/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Being touted as the “most-metal” of all memorabilia auctions, the estate of the late singer Ronnie James Dio is soon to offer a nice selection of Dio-owned property at Julien’s auction house that includes original album cover paintings, artwork, costumes and much more – http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2018/ronnie-dio/index.html

Slated for two days in mid-September at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC (September 15th and 16th), the event (titled PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF RONNIE JAMES DIO) includes well over 600 items and will showcase both “normal” personal effects (his little league baseball jersey, autographed baseballs and jerseys signed by his favorite pro sports players, etc.) and those things he aggregated during his multi-decade career as the lead singer for Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band, Dio. Album art collectors will have the opportunity to bid on:

The Last In Line original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by Barry Jackson and used as the cover art for the Dio album The Last in Line (Warner Bros., 1984). Framed, 26 1/2 by 45 1/2 inches; Sight, 18 by 37 inches

Sacred Heart original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by artist Robert Florczak and used as the cover art for the Dio’s 1985 Warner Bros. Records album Sacred Heart, signed by Florczak in the lower left. Framed, it’s sized at 25 1/4 by 25 1/4 inches;

Dream Evil original artwork (est $2-4K) opening bid $1K – The original acrylic on canvas board painting done by Steve Huston and used as the cover art for the  1987 Dio album Dream Evil (on Vertigo), signed in pencil in the lower right by Huston. This was the last album to feature “Murray” on the cover. Unframed, it measures 27 by 40 inches;

– A trio of Alan Aldridge items from Dio’s personal collection – opening bid $150 – A signed print of the cover art for The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, a copy of the book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast and an LP copy of the album of the same name. That 1975 album was produced by Roger Glover of the band Deep Purple and featured Dio in the role of “Froggy”. Framed, it measures 24 by 32 1/4 inches

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Fans of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia know that he considered himself as (as he’s been quoted) “an artist who played music” and that he expressed himself via a paintbrush with just as much passion as he did via his playing and song-writing. In the early 1980s, he began to study the visual arts much more seriously and, from that point until the end of his life, he dedicated himself to drawing, painting and creating images on his computers.

Recently, Jerry’s ex-wife Manasha Garcia and his daughter Keelin Garcia teamed up to create “a mission-based company inspired by musician and artist, Jerry Garcia” that’s called “Jerry Garcia Music Arts” and, as part of this music/fine art company’s launch – and to honor what would have been Jerry’s 76th birthday in August – they’ve released what they’re calling a “thematic pairing of art and music”, meaning that they’ve created both a new fine art print of a JG watercolor titled “Ripple” and have released a newly-remastered live version of the Garcia/Hunter-penned song of the same name on streaming music services including  iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Napster, MediaNet, VerveLife, Tidal, Gracenote, Shazam  and 7Digital..

The print – an unframed, museum-quality giclee piece printed on Hanhnemuhle Bamboo 290 gsm paper and offered in an unsigned edition of 500 – is sized 11”w x 15”h, priced at a very-affordable $130.00 and comes with a certificate of authenticity and is available from Terrapin Stationers in their Terrapin Gallery

https://www.terrapinstationers.com/collections/terrapin-gallery/products/terrapin-gallery-and-jerry-garcia-music-arts-present-ripple-unsigned

A portion of proceeds from these sales support ocean conservation (Mr. Garcia was a strong proponent of saving the coral reefs and even shared these beliefs as he testified before a conservation committee for the State of Hawaii in 1990), with more details about the company and its mission available on their web site at – https://www.jerrygarciamusicarts.com/fine-art.html

b) New clothing and wall art designs featuring album cover-inspired imagery by “speed painting “ master Stephen Fishwick was introduced by art/marketing agency Get Down Art at the MAGIC Las Vegas event at the Mandalay Bay Hotel this past August 13 – 15, with these images and products looking to extend the popularity of several well-known album cover designs to a younger demographic via the fashion brands and trends they’ve shown they appreciate. For example, Pink Floyd’s memorable Dark Side of the Moon cover image, as reworked by Mr. Fishwick, shows the iconic diamond on a paint-splattered background, while the new version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” image shows Mr. Young bravely facing a very colorful electrical storm. The company is offering these designs and many others printed on t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts for both men and women, along with poster prints on canvas and other household items. Now your kids can wear their own unique iterations of their parents’ favorite album art and, in doing so, inter-generational love and understanding will finally be achieved – https://getdownart.com/collections/icons-collection

5) Other articles of interest –

a) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has stayed true to his promise to give us a new story every week, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– Michael Trevithick’s Magritte-inspired (well, at least to me) artwork on the cover of the late Nick Drake’s third and final studio release – 1972’s Pink Moon – replaced the photograph originally taken for the project, which showed the musician in declining health – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-nick-drake-s-pink-moon-cover-by-michael-trevithick/

– Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 indie release In The Aeroplane Over The Sea was viewed by music critics as a “game-changer” – an album based on the life of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank – with its artwork the result of a collaboration between songwriter Jeff Magnum and album cover designer Chris Bilheimer and based on the artwork found on a turn-of-the-century travel postcard –   https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-neutral-milk-hotel-s-in-the-aeroplane-over-the-sea/

– In 2009, the Portland, OR (yeah, baby)-based experimental rock band called Portugal The Man released its fourth studio album The Satanic Satanist, which featured a very trippy cover crafted by the band’s own lead singer, John Gourley, who combined photos with watercolors to create the image – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-portugal-the-man-s-the-satanic-satanist-cover-by-john-gourley/

– What is that thing jumping over the hurdle in Joan Ludwig’s photo featured on the cover of Beck’s 1996 hit record Odelay? A floor mop? A batch of ramen noodles? The answer is available via the link at https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-beck-s-odelay-cover-photography-by-joan-ludwig/

b) Now you can help two young-but-experienced artists in Portland, OR (yeah, baby!) launch a new “multi-disciplinary creative studio” via your support of their Indiegogo campaign and, as a reward, receive a limited-edition print and music compilation created just for this fund-raising effort. Over the past 13 years, composer/musician/sound designer Courtland Urbano and award-winning illustrator Anthony M. Benedetto worked on and off together on projects, but after Urbano moved to Portland to join the Humble Beast label roster, Anthony followed in 2014 to join the team as Creative Director. They both realized that, as a team, they could offer external clients a whole slew of services, so they decided to strike out on their own and launch a new agency they’re calling Nova Nimbus, with Anthony currently working out of Court’s garage.

Help Anthony get out of the garage into a proper office with your pledge of support and, with a commitment as little as $75, you’ll get a print of a work Benedetto created to show off both the natural beauty of their Pacific NW location and his respect for great mid-Century graphic design called Modern Romanticism.  Urbano adds music to the package with a download of a 19-cut collection of tracks he’s produced over the years, with both testifying to the fact that they love to listen to his soundscapes while they work, so you ought to, too.

The program runs for about another month, with details available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nova-nimbus-a-multi-disciplinary-creative-studio/x/18934317?#/

c) Using album cover art to find out the identity of one of the art world’s most-mysterious creators – is Robin Gunningham the real “Banksy”? Those bidding on a work of art printed on the sleeve insert for an early 1990s Bristol-based ska band sure hope he is! Artnet.com’s Henri Nuendorf provides us with the details, and happy value-hunting – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/early-banksy-auction-1329194

d) Orlando Sentinel reporter David Whitley provides “a public service” for us in his article “All Great Album Covers lead back to Abbey Road” by providing us with a “10 Greatest Album Covers of All Time list” (what, again?) based on his contention that “everybody can be an expert” (this is why I stay away from these lists) – http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/audience/david-whitley/os-ae-album-covers-david-whitley-0808-story.html His email is provided at the end of the article, so feel free to respond.

e) Don’t they know that it’s just not safe out there? Several times each year, someone takes it upon his/herself to present a list of the “worst” record covers of all time and, each time, I share a link to this list with the hope that enough of you are outraged to the point of expressing yourself somehow on the author’s site. And while I will be the last one to promote any form of censorship, I would ask that folks look deep inside themselves before releasing “best/worst of all time” lists like this one. Yes, there’s been some horrible/disturbing/nonsensical album art used to package recorded music over the past 70+ years (just as there’s been a lot of “bad” music packaged and offered for sale), but the subject has really been beaten to death and is usually built around the same content, which just makes it boring. Please don’t click on this link. I’m asking you nicely…

http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/because-everyone-loves-awful-album-cover-art-heres-another-gallery-of-some-of-the-worst/

f) Now, after the last entry, here’s one for the “Looking Forward” folder – Is this the “future” of album covers? Rapper/style icon (and very funny talk show guest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s9joL_AGfo ) Nicki Minaj uses artificial intelligence/virtual reality to bring fans up close-and-personal with her and her album art for her new record Queenhttps://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/snapchat-strikes-familiar-chord-with-shoppable-ar-lens-for-nicki-minajs-new-album-0186464/

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For July/August, 2018

 

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR AUGUST.

 AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all. Work continues on updating the biography section of the ACHOF web site and so, as I noted last month, this month’s news summary is an abridged one, with less commentary from me and a somewhat-reduced number of stories featured in each section. Even so, much work continues in this area, and there’s a lot to review – interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – that I think you’ll appreciate and enjoy. As you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of your favorite – or soon to be favorite – album art creators.

I am pleased to announce that the first part of a two-part article I’ve written about album cover art, artists and album art production has been added to the Illustration History web site – https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/producing-album-cover-art-for-clients-in-the-music-business

A project of the esteemed Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), the Illustration History site serves as an educational resource for fans, students and teachers of the fine arts of illustration and design, so it’s an honor to be able to share some of my research and writing on a subject – album cover art – that features so many great examples of work by the talented people who’ve contributed to the visual side of the music business since the 1940s. Part 2 is due soon but, in the meantime, hope you’ll take a look and share this with your friends. I’d like to thank curator Jesse Kowalski for this opportunity and hope that you’ll spend some time digging through the site’s impressive archives, too.

Also earlier this month, I posted a special alert letting you know that, for the second year in a row, album packaging creators from all over the world are being invited to submit examples of their best, most-recent works for consideration by the esteemed judging panel for the 2018 “Making Vinyl Packaging Awards”. According to the show’s advance press, they’re “now accepting submissions in 14 categories that highlight why packaged media is still important in the digital age. Entries may come from record labels, pressing plants, brokers, packagers, printers, mastering facilities, artists, and distributors from anywhere in the world. Submissions will be judged online by award-winning art directors in the U.S. and Europe. In late August, the winners will be selected from the finalists at the offices of AIGA, the prestigious design organization, and receive their prizes at a ceremony at the MAKING VINYL conference in Detroit on Oct. 1st.”

Last year’s judging panel included a number of album art industry notables, including Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Sylvia Reed, Gail Marowitz, Sean Mosher-Smith, Stefan Bucher, Craig Braun and Making Vinyl founder, PR guru/journalist/educator Larry Jaffee. The 2017 Awards, given then in 8 categories, showcased the talents of both well-established designers, such as Lawrence Azerrad, who lead the efforts to create the fantastic Voyager, 40th Anniversary Edition box set and Shepard Fairey, who was nominated for an award in the same category for Blondie’s Pollinator, alongside emerging talent such as the team of young designers/art directors at Third Man Records (Rex Runyeon and Ryon Nishimori), who took home an award in the “Best Record Art” category for their captivating photo-based cover for their label’s release titled The Monks, Hamburg Recordings 1967. You may recall that last year’s “Best Overall Package” category featured a tie between creators of the packaging for AKATRE’s BLCK RCK and Pet Symmetry’s Vision, and now that this year’s top prize has been re-named “The Alex Steinweiss Award” in honor of the noted record packaging innovator, the nominees in this category should be extra proud to be in the running.

For 2018, there are two new categories being added for CD packaging, an award for best use of sustainable materials, one that recognizes the special limited-edition products that are created for the annual Record Store Days and two awards being proffered (one vinyl, one digital) called “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done” which, according to the award show’s producers, “Recognizes innovation in structural design that takes into account the use of new machinery or materials or folds or printing processes that stretches the boundaries of album packaging that previously existed.“ I can’t wait to see whether packages are submitted that were made on 3D printers. One more addition to the 2018 awards process is the addition of a highly-esteemed writer, researcher and self-described expert on album cover packaging to the panel of judges reviewing submissions prior to the final voting, with that person being ME! I’m quite honored to have been asked and look forward to being able to review all of the work being submitted.

The deadline to enter your online submission(s) with digital photos is Wednesday, Aug. 15, 11:59 pm (EST). Eligible works include packages offered for sale between the dates Sept. 1, 2017 to Oct. 1, 2018. There’s a page on the Making Vinyl site that provides anyone interested with all of the info they’ll need (submission formats, costs, etc.) to send in their work – https://makingvinyl.com/awards-2018/

I’ll be updating this story as more info comes in and, of course, will be announcing the winners immediately after they’ve been given their honors. As always, it’s my plan to be able to interview one or more of the honorees about “the making of” their winning works, so stay tuned for more.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) There’s a truly-impressive Michael Jackson-inspired art show now on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London from now through October 21, 2018 that features works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Kehinde Wilde and a whole host of word-class artists who’ve been inspired by the late King of Pop.“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” includes works by 48 artists and includes a number of works from private collections that have never been put on public display before.

After the show wraps up in London, it will travel to Paris, Bonn, and Espoo in Finland, with more details provided in Henri Nuendorf’s exhibition overview as seen on the ArtNet News site –https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/michael-jackson-npg-london-1310123?

One of the items included in this show is Mark Ryden’s memorable cover for MJ’s 1991 hit album Dangerous, with the story behind this gorgeous cover provided in one of Eben Benson’s recent Juxtapoz Sound and Vision  articles – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-michael-jackson-s-dangerous-cover-artwork-by-mark-ryden/

b) In mid-July, the San Francisco Art Exchange launched a show based on photographer Jim Marshall’s portfolio of images of country music legend Johnny Cash, with gallery visitors being treated to a number of rare and never-before-seen photos, including a series taken during the performer’s storied concert recorded 50 years ago at California’s Folsom State Prison.

According to the gallery’s press release, “These photographs include images of Cash onstage and touring the prison grounds, along with several from the legendary sound check at San Quentin when Cash so famously ‘flipped the bird’ for Marshall. These new photographs and a selection of the estate editions released in 2011 will be featured in our upcoming exhibition along with several extremely rare and highly sought-after signed photographs from Jim Marshall’s personal archive of prints.”

The gallery also announced that collectors who purchase one of the prints made available during the show will also receive a free copy of the soon-to-be-released book of Marshall’s photos titled Johnny Cash at Folsom & San Quentin Photographs by Jim Marshall , due to be published by Reel Art Press  later this summer.)  PLEASE NOTE: Collectors who purchase any Jim Marshall photograph during the exhibition will receive a complimentary copy of the new book coming out later this summer.

Fans can view a PDF version of the exhibition’s catalog of the artwork via this link – http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400162

c) Juxtapoz also provides us with the details of another gallery show that ended July 21st that would have been of great interest to anyone drawn to great examples of the intersection of music and art. While not specifically album cover-centric, the sheer number of musical and visual creatives who teamed up to create both this show and the coffee table book it’s derived from has forced my hand… https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/painting/nick-cave-tom-waits-swoon-and-many-more-collaborate-for-children-s-literacy/

The Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles hosted the show built around the music and art created for the book Waxploitation: Stories For Ways & Means, a nearly 10-years-in-the-making effort that resulted in a 350-page book featuring stories written by famous musicians (Frank Black, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and others), all illustrated with artwork by a number of artists that Juxtapoz readers will be familiar with (Joe Coleman, Anthony Lister, Swoon and many others). A portion of the proceeds from both the show and the book are being donated to several worthwhile charities, with more details available on the gallery’s web site at http://www.coreyhelfordgallery.com/shows/waxploitation-stories-for-ways/the-devouring/

d) I promised to bring you news of album cover artists working all over the world, and today’s no exception. Here’s an article about a Malaysian artist named Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir, who works under the pseudonym “Tapa”, who has spent the last 40 years designing/producing over 300 album covers and who last year released an award-winning coffee table book that was published by the Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Malaysia Bhd. 12×12 Album Cover Design offers up almost 200 of his covers, along with the stories behind them, and beginning on August 4th, fans and lovers of album art will be able to take in a week-long exhibition of his works in a show at the Penang House of Music during the George Town Festival. If you happen to be at the venue a 3PM on August 5th, Tapa will be on-hand to lead a lecture about his career as an album cover designer.

For more info on the artist and his career, click on over to this recent article in the local Sun Daily newspaper – http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/06/drawing-attention

And to see more about the festival and Tapa’s show there, please visit – https://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/12-x-12-album-cover-design

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) To read my recent mini-interview with Ashley Simerman of KnuckleBonz about their new series of 3D album covers, please scroll down to Section 4 of this news summary

b) Here’s a link to a video posted by YouTube star/fashion and lifestyle blogger Karen Yeung (IAMKARENO) of an interview and photo session during which famed photographer Marcus Klinko works with the not-very-camera-shy blogger poses to try and re-create the look of his famous Beyonce Dangerously In Love album cover – https://petapixel.com/2018/07/13/hanging-out-with-the-photographer-of-beyonces-diamonds-album-cover/

Klinko tries to make it all sound so scientific for the Petapixel reader (“I use top end modifiers from Broncolor and Elinchrom, with custom adapters I built… all the lights in the video are by Flashpoint/Godox….I use a combination of 600Pro, and H1200 for all of my studio and location setups, and occasional use the Evolv200 as well”), but Karen’s just having fun pretending to be Mrs. Jay-Z for a while….

c) Almost slipping past my Google Alert web was this recent interview by Eric Skelton on the Pigeons & Planes site with photographer Nick Walker about his recent work with Playboi Carti for the cover of the rapper’s Die Lit album. The cover image works to bring a very punk-inspired aesthetic to the singer’s “against the grain” approach to his music-making – https://pigeonsandplanes.com/in-depth/2018/05/die-lit-playboi-carti-cover-photo-nick-walker-interview

Walker’s worked with many of the top names in the R&B and Rap world – from Beyonce to Nikki Minaj and FKA Twigs, along with a number of other artists on the Interscope label, so the pairing of the two talents seemed both inevitable and a really good idea, I think you’ll agree…

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) This just in – the nice folks over at the Psychedelic Art Exchange just sent me a note about their current poster auction (on now through August 9th) that peaked my interest and, therefore, I’m duty-bound to share the news with you as well. As you know, many of the people who’ve made some of your favorite album cover images – Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin and many others – began their careers creating posters for some of the now-famous concert promoters and venues on the West and East Coasts – The Fillmores, The Avalon Ballroom, Winterland, etc. – and as the years go by, the original posters these artists created are becoming increasingly-rare and valuable, so when a collection of posters are presented that include some of the rarest and finest-quality examples available, doesn’t it make sense to go and take a look?

The highlight of the offering is, what I’m told, the finest example of what’s known to collectors as “FD-26-OP-1”, better-known to us mortals as the “Skeleton & Roses” or “Skull & Roses” poster Mouse & Kelley did for the Grateful Dead’s September, 1966 appearances at the Avalon Ballroom. The same basic design was also featured on the band’s 1971 2-record live album titled Grateful Dead (which became their first gold-selling record). This poster will sell for a load of money (it’s current bid, as we go to press, is $19,000). The auction company people go on to tell me that there are many other posters available that would, on any other occasion, themselves be headliners, and a quick look at the offering certainly backs up their claim, so why not take a few minutes sometime soon and visit the online catalog at https://auctions.concertpostergallery.com/Catalog.aspx  Happy bidding – buy yourself something nice!

b) Earlier in July (on July 6th, to be precise), I did a special posting about Gotta Have Rock & Roll’s latest Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction that was scheduled to take place beginning July 11th and ending July 20th, so now that the bidding’s over, I wanted to get back to you with some of the results on the key items I’d highlighted in that preliminary posting.

From the Larry Vigon collection – most everything sold for prices that were the opening bids for the items up for auction (good deals, overall, with several exceptions), such as the paintings he did for the front and back covers of Eric Clapton’s 1985 record Behind The Sun (listed with opening bids of $3,000 and $2,000, respectively and sold at those prices) and the comps, including George Hurrell’s hand-tinted photographs, of the cover art he created for Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 hit record Mirage (opening bid, $3,000; sold for the tidy sum of $9,422!). In addition, bidding on his hand-drawn lettering  created for the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours ($2,000 to start) sold for $2,000, whereas several other production elements (photos, drawings, etc.) for other Fleetwood Mac records – as well as some of the band members’ solo album efforts – sold for prices ranging from $1,289 for photos of Lindsay Buckingham from Law and Order to $2,000 for Helmut Newton shots from Christine McVie’s Songbird.

Also available were the original cover painting Vigon created for Chicago’s 1984 record titled Chicago 17, a rather unique take on the well-known John Berg/Nick Fasciano band logo-based covers, this time with the logo seemingly popping through a brown-paper wrapper (art director credits to the talented Simon Levy), with starting bids accepted over $3,000 (sold for $3,000). Pat Benetar fans were be able to bid on a nice archive of 20 photos (B&W and color) and layouts for records including her 1987 hit Seven The Hard Way ($1,000 opening bid; sold for $1,000), while fans of the Counting Crows placed bids to own the artwork Vigon created for the debut record August And Everything After ($1,000 opening bid; sold for $1,000).

Other album art-related items available in this auction included drawings by artist/illustrator Greg Hildebrandt done for Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules and composer/TSO founder Paul O’Neill’s rock opera Beethoven’s Last Night (surprisingly, all unsold), while further items of interest, including original drawings by Michael Jackson (sold for $2,200 – $3,500), a John Lennon/Yoko Ono-signed photo from their 1969 “Bed-In” protest in Montreal  album ($15,000 asked opening bid – unsold) and CD/LPs signed by Nirvana (unsold) and Led Zeppelin (also unsold).

There were over 900 items in the auction, so if you’d like to go and see what was available and sold, you can now head on over to the company’s auction site – http://gottahaverockandroll.com/#

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) 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 that they’re going to be manufacturing a line of limited-edition album cover art recreations they’re calling “3D Vinyl”. The first two items they’ve announced are 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.

https://knucklebonz.com/product/pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-3d-vinyl/

They’ve produced a nice intro video on this new Pink Floyd-based item that you can view at https://vimeo.com/276302319

https://knucklebonz.com/product/guns-n-roses-appetite-for-destruction-3d-vinyl/ will take you to the page on their site with all of the details on the AFD 3D Vinyl product, with the promo video available at https://vimeo.com/276296813

I’ve reached out to the talented team of designers and marketers who’ve created these new products and hope to bring you an update on their efforts soon.

UPDATE/INTERVIEW – Earlier in July, I shared the initial information about the intriguing new series of 3D album cover art pieces that the talented folks over at KnuckleBonz have begun producing and now, as a follow-up, I’m happy to be able to   parcel out a bit more on the subject based on a brief interview I did recently with one of the founders of the company, Ashley Simerman, whose excitement for these new products is pretty evident from the answers she’s provided…

Mike Goldstein, ACHOF – Hello again, Ashley. Nice to be in touch with you again. I was thrilled to read the preliminary info on your 3D album cover sculptures and, as you might imagine, I was eager to learn more about them and your work on making them so I can share this info with my readers. Let’s start with a bit more about your decision-making process. I know that all of your products are licensed collectibles, but I’d be curious as to how you chose the first two covers to produce. Were these your first choices, or did they come as the result of existing or new relationships with the musical act/management/record label/licensing companies?

Ashely Simerman, KnuckleBonz – Hi, Mike. Thanks for checking in and for featuring us! Our first two projects we announced for our new KnuckleBonz 3D Vinyl® are:

1) Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction – This is an obvious choice for KnuckleBonz to lead with this album as we announce this new category that pays homage to the great album art over the last several decades. Appetite for Destruction is undoubtedly one of the greatest debut albums in rock music history. Not only was the album successfully from the standpoint of album sales, but Guns N’ Roses went from nothing to touring with the Rolling Stones as a result of the success of this album. Artistically, it is a great fit , as well. The skulls and subtle detailing make this 3D Vinyl® stand out.

2) Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd undoubtedly mastered combining amazing visuals for all their album covers. Launching with this particular album is a more personal choice for us here at KnuckleBonz. This is an album that we love to just put on here at the studio and listen to in its entirety. This is a favorite, for sure, just because the music is so amazing. But add the robot handshake on the cover and that was a project we all were very excited to recreate in 3D. Wish You Were Here is a perfect fit for 3D Vinyl®, after all, we intend for these collectibles to pay tribute to the most iconic and artistic album covers over the last several decades.

Mike G – How did you guys approach the creative aspects of the projects – meaning, how did you determine what would be 3D, what would be on the back cover, etc.? Did you work with anyone from the original design team in order to make these choices, or were they your decisions to make?

Ashley S – Everything we do creatively for these 3D Vinyl® designs are done internally here at KnuckleBonz. We are long-time fans, just like our customers. We are simply interpreting what would be cool for each project. Ultimately, what we come up with is a design we would like to have on our own wall on display shelf. Once we get that point, we share with the artist or band and we do have to get approval. Then we hope fans around the globe agree that it is a proper tribute to the original album. We only make a finite number of each; typically we limit the production to less than 2000 of each 3D Vinyl® project, making these highly collectible and exclusive.

Mike G – So, of course I must ask you –  Any hint of what’s coming next or later?

Ashley S – We have quite a few coming later this year – including the two KISS albums we’ve announced*- so stay tuned to knucklebonz.com or follow us on FaceBook for new product news. Everything we do is officially licensed so we can’t reveal any projects just yet, but I think rock music fans will be excited about the line-up. We certainly are thrilled to be working on these amazing projects.

* their debut album titled KISS, along with Destroyer.

Learn more and place your pre-orders on the KnuckleBonz site at https://knucklebonz.com/product-category/3d-vinyl/

b) There’s been a lot of recent press about Madonna’s efforts to raise money for, and awareness of, her charity called Raising Malawi that works to improve the lives of children in that country (since 2012, she’s built 12 schools that have served nearly 10,000 students in the area). In this article on the Bored Panda site, you’ll learn about French fashion photographer Vincent Flouret’s imaginative efforts to add to the fund-raising efforts by selling prints of photos he’s taken of his beloved dog Max. What makes these images unique (and of interest to us album cover fans) is that he’s made up and costumed Max so that he appears as Madonna did on the covers of several of her best-known albums – Ray of Light, Music, Like A Virgin, True Blue and more – along with scenes lifted from some of the Material Girl’s most-famous music video. “Maxdonna” is a very attractive Golden Retriever, so these recreations, while a bit campy, are still quite nice-looking.

https://www.boredpanda.com/iconic-madonna-scenes-recreation-maxdonna-vincent-flouret/?

You can also find Vincent’s Maxdonna photos on display from now until the 16th of August in Arles, France at  L’AGENCE ARLESIENNE, 26, place Paul Doumer, 13200 Arles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkC6JY4FNXs/?taken-by=max_et_vincent

In French, but you’ll figure it out….

c) Fans of the band Rush will find a lot to like here…While perhaps best-known for his drumming skills, Rush’s Neal Peart was also the band’s lyricist and, therefore, quite handy with words, as was evidenced in his co-authoring (with sci-fi writer Kevin J. Anderson) of the novel Clockwork Angels. Skip ahead six years since the book’s 2012 (no, not 2112) debut and what do you find but a new version of the book, done this time as a graphic novel (published by Insight Comics) and featuring a cover by life-long Rush cover artist Hugh Syme. Writer and long-time Rush fan Skip Owens gives us a preview in this article on the GeekDad site  – https://geekdad.com/2018/06/clockwork-lives-is-now-a-graphic-novel/

5) Other articles of interest –

a) A couple of months ago, I introduced you to Juxtapoz Magazine’s weekly series called Sound and Vision that, with each article, shares the details behind the making of some of your favorite album covers. Since that time, Managing Editor Eben Bensen has stayed true to his promise to give us a new story every week, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 Loveless cover, featuring a stylized photo of a guitar done by photographer Angus Cameron –

https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-my-bloody-valentine-s-loveless-cover-photography-by-angus-cameron/

– Stanley Donwood’s cover for Radiohead’s The Bendshttps://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-stanley-donwood-on-the-making-of-radiohead-s-the-bends-cover-art/

– Robert Mapplethorpe’s striking photo of Patti Smith for the cover of her 1975 debut album Horseshttps://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-patti-smith-s-horses-cover-photo-robert-mapplethorpe/  (Am I the only one who always thinks of Gilda Radner when I see this image?)

I’ve since contacted Eben B. and asked him more about the origins of this series in Juxtapoz – whose founder Robert Williams himself has several album cover credits on his impressive resume, including the original (banned) robotic rapist-based cover for Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction – and I’ll soon be posting the text from a mini-interview I did with him about his interest in the subject. I was very pleased to see someone representing “Millennials” with such knowledge and wisdom and so I look forward to sharing this with you soon.

b) I’m hoping that many of you have had, at one time or another, the opportunity to attend one of the world’s premiere art-related events, that being the celebrated “Pageant of the Masters” in Laguna Beach, CA, where the folks that put this extravaganza on every summer amaze audiences with their recreations of famous works of art built around live models placed in meticulously-recreated sets. I was lucky enough to live in Laguna for a number of years many years ago and, although the throngs of tourists made driving difficult for locals, we always made sure to see at least one performance of the POM each year.

This year, I’m proud to say, one of the masterpieces that will be given the POM treatment will be the famous 1964 theatrical poster for the film Endless Summer, created by one of the design world’s most-respected artists, that being John Van Hamersveld, who also holds a special place in the hearts of album cover art fans for the covers he created for The Beatles, KISS, Rolling Stones, Blondie and many others. I can’t think of a better way to honor JVH’s contributions to the art/design world than by having one of his best-known works presented in a bill (with this year’s theme being “Under The Sun”) that also includes paintings by Masters such as Claude Monet, John Singer Sargeant, Paul Gauguin and other modern masters – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155665181841444&set=a.10151014367531444.424291.612486443&type=3&theater

They finish off each year’s performance with a recreation of DaVinci’s Last Supper, which I think would only be cooler-looking if they included JVH himself in the scene (or, at least, someone wearing his trademarked round glasses). In any case, congratulations to one of our own Modern Masters!

c) Southern California is one of the world’s most-visited tourist destinations, with one nice stretch of road – Laurel Canyon Drive, in Laurel Canyon – on most maps due to the number of celebrities from the music, film and TV industries who’ve made their homes there over the years. For the last six years, residents of the area have celebrated just how lucky they are to live (or have lived) there via an annual festival called the Love Street Fest, and this year’s festivities drew a good crowd due to the fact that they were honoring two men – Henry Diltz and Gary Burden – who’ve contributed greatly to the music business by producing photos and designs for a number of famous album covers. You can take a look at some of the photos taken a couple of week’s back during this year’s celebrations on the group’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/lovestreetfest – where you’ll find pix of the throngs of attendees, including surviving members of The Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore, whose fellow band-member Jim Morrison wrote a song about the Drive called “Love Street”.

d) Last month, I wrote a bit about a surprise visit Paul McCartney made to his old home town of Liverpool and the sense of joy and happiness that followed him wherever he went and, in another article I saw recently, Maca worked his magic again as he hit the zebra crossing in front of Abbey Road studios again, 49 years later – https://www.nme.com/news/music/paul-mccartney-crosses-abbey-road-49-years-iconic-album-cover-shoot-ahead-intimate-gig-2358292  I believe that he kept his shoes on this time…and he’s still not dead.

e) In all the years I’ve been a music fan – a fan of most all genres of music, but with a particular love of hard rock, Prog rock, jazz-rock fusion, punk rock and pretty much anything put out by a Beatle (including Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne) – I’ve only on occasion found myself out of my element, with that taking place when I talk to fans of two genres – jazz and metal – where I often find fans with an intense passion for music/musicians in those genres and an intense dislike for those on the outside. Once again, I felt a bit of this attitude in Jon Wiederhorn’s recent Loudwire Magazine article about album covers that “look metal, but they’re not” – http://loudwire.com/14-album-covers-look-metal-but-arent/

In the mix, you’ll find examples of those who truly don’t belong – Lady Gaga, Grateful Dead, ELP and DMX – while others were from bands that seemed to be on the cusp (Demon, Uriah Heep, Necro, Nazareth and others) but who at least, according to the author, didn’t achieve the level of metal-ness required to be included as a “true” metal act (at least, on the featured record). Whether you agree or disagree with whether they belonged on such a list or not, you have to give each of them a bit of credit for wanting to express themselves so heavily.

f) Hoping to “shed a little light” (you’ll see how clever I am when you see the cover image) on the story behind the Nick Cave album cover for his 2013 release Push The Sky Away which featuring his wife, model and fashion designer Susie Bick, in the buff in a photograph taken at the couple’s home by Dominique Issermann- https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-perfect-story-behind-nick-caves-naked-album-cover-starring-wife-susie-bick/

The French fashion photographer was on hand to capture this image as part of an assignment for a French fashion magazine, which only goes to show you…how to save money on an album cover shoot?

g) Finally, if you find yourself with a few minutes to kill this weekend and want to challenge your knowledge of album-related artwork – particularly, band logos – I’d invite you to take this quiz you’ll find on the Topix.com site – Not meaning to brag (too much), but I got 40 out of 40, although I did have to guess on one of them, but got it right, lucky me! – https://offbeat.topix.com/quiz/17911/  In this brand-driven society, it’s nice to see that I’ve been thoroughly penetrated by the power of these iconic images.

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For May/June, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JUNE.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

The past month of May was an emotional one for me in that two things happened – one, a bit depressing and another that gave me some hope for the future – that showed me that the life of a researcher and writer will often be one that can be both rewarding for the work itself (e.g., the pleasure felt for completing a task as best as it could have been done) and one that will serve as a reminder that not all the rewards will be easily or rightfully measurable. Of course, I’m speaking about the campaign I ran to raise start-up funds to produce a collector-oriented, special-edition version of the book I’ve written (tentatively titled Unsung Heroes of the Music Business) that ended in early may after raising less than 10% of the money required to produce the book. The project ran on the popular Kickstarter site for 33 days and, if it had been successful, would have provided me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards that were available to sponsors at higher dollar levels). And while I do greatly appreciate the support I did receive, both in terms of the words of encouragement from fans/readers all over the world and the pledges I did receive, I do wish that I’d somehow been able to better-convince you to back me in this effort.

Well, all is not lost, as I do have encouraging news as a follow-up – I have been talking with a boutique publisher in the UK to produce a retail version of the book sometime soon and, with any luck, I’ll be able to get those who are interested in the book and all its wonders a copy (or two) sometime soon. More news to come as it’s made available and, of course, will be posted on the ACHOF site.

May was another month in which a goodly number of news releases and articles were made available on the exhibitions, interviews, artist profiles, book/print publications and other album cover art/artist-related topics and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including a) information on album art shows in the U.S. (Los Angeles, Brooklyn and NYC) and the U.K. (Liverpool and London); b) profiles (including two obituaries) on album art-makers including photographers working in the hip-hop and punk music areas; c) a new U.S. postage stamp featuring John Lennon and a limited-edition poster series showcasing Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour; and, as always, d) a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics including news about several different artists fighting for just and fair compensation for the use of their works, an opportunity to meet one of the world’s most-respected commercial photographers (and have your own portfolio reviewed by him), Kanye West’s most-recent attempt to shock and confuse most everyone and much, much more. So much, in fact, that I might be forced to post some today and the balance ASAP…

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For April/May, 2018

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR MAY.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

I don’t know how the rest of the world is handling the changing of the seasons – or the lack thereof – but I’m really hoping that we see a regular Spring weather pattern here in the Chicago area soon (I really want to plant my herbs). Spending more time indoors has had one benefit, though – I’ve been able to research and gather a very nice selection of articles to fill each of the five regular sections included in my monthly news summary. Indeed, the information about the exhibitions, artist profiles, new books and prints, auctions and sales and other items of interest serves as an ongoing testament to the fact that music industry-related visual artistry continues to make fans and draw audiences world-wide.

On a personal note – while, at the moment, it seems as though the Kickstarter project I launched in support of my new book project will fall (far) short of its goal, I’m trying not to get too down about it and, in fact, am now quite energized to find a publisher or two who might be able to help me bring this book to album art/artist fans both here in the U.S. and to readers/fans overseas as well. There are still a few days before the KS project draws to a close, so if you are interested in reserving a copy of the limited-edition version of the book for your very own, I’d invite you to visit the project page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/232122114/unsung-heroes-stories-from-your-favorite-album-cov before May 8th.

As I mentioned previously, the last 30 days has given us a lot to look at in the area of album art and artistry and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including:  album art and rock photo shows in the U.S., the U.K. and Italy featuring works by and/or about David Bowie, photographers Charles Moriarity and Art Kane and John Lennon/Yoko Ono, among many others; profiles on album art-makers including creative director Craig Braun, photographers Frank Ockenfels and Gunnar Stahl and the designer/illustrator known as Sixmau; another intriguing podcast from GOLDMINE Magazine about an impressive line of portable record players; info on the upcoming NY-area art show booth hosted by printmaker Gary Lichtenstein featuring new works by former Def Jam Records creative guru Cey Adams; new books coming out by two noted photographers – long-time Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger and Astrid Kirchherr, who chronicled the early growth of a band called The Beatles – as well as a book of Amy Winehouse photos by the aforementioned Mr. Moriarity, plus my mini-review of John Foster’s recent book on album art/artists (titled ALBUM ART: NEW MUSIC GRAPHICS and, as always, a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics such as the premiere of a new documentary film about famed Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita (perhaps best known for his enormously-influential folio of portraits of David Bowie), a new 35th anniversary DVD about the making of the album cover for Michael Jackson’s huge hit Thriller, a “best album cover art” listing that is actually fairly thought-provoking, a restaurant in Wisconsin that offers rock music-themed craft cocktails (with an LP-style menu to match), details on vinyl LP-inspired bathroom fixtures (!!) and much, much more.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) To follow-up on last month’s details about the David Bowie Is show currently running at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, there’s a new article by Claire Voon on the HyperAllergic site that shows you just how far NYC-area promo teams are willing to go to deliver “All Bowie, All The Time” to his legions of fans – https://hyperallergic.com/438500/david-bowie-metrocards-spotify-mta/

You’ll read more about how NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) newly-released line of pre-paid fare cards (AKA “MetroCards”) that feature one of five (5) well-known DB images, with each one representing one of his best-known personas (Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, etc.). Customers at the Broadway/Lafayette and Bleeker Street stations can step up to the special kiosks and try their luck on collecting one, two or all five of the specially-designed cards ($6.50 minimum for 2-rides) and also look around the station for several other Bowie-themed art displays, including silhouettes on the famed white tile walls, lyrics printed on stair risers and a very cool photo image that has been sliced into strips and laid in sequence along a number of cross-beams, allowing viewers standing at just the right angle to see the entire image at once.

250,000 total cards were printed, but with 5 million+ subway riders using the service every day, they’ll probably be snapped up rather quickly. I’ve already found sets of all five cards being offered on eBay for approx. $150.00!

The Bowie archive-sanctioned, Victoria & Albert Museum-organized David Bowie Is show has now moved on to what looks to be its final exhibition space – the Brooklyn Museum in New York – where the impressive display of costumes (over 60 of them), music, videos, photo and graphic imagery, Bowie’s own paintings and ephemera from his own collection – over 400 items in total – will be available for viewing by fans thru July 15th – https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/davidbowieis

b) Irish photographer Charles Moriarity was first introduced to singer Amy Winehouse in London in 2003 while she was looking for – and not finding – “just the right shot” for the cover for her debut album Frank. They stopped for a bottle of white wine and spent some time wandering the streets of the city, getting to know each other a bit better. The two hit it off nicely and, ultimately, found a pub on Princeton Street and a chum with a couple of cute dogs, both which served as the backdrops to what would end up being that cover shot (they also rendezvoused again in New York City while she continued recording in order to get some additional shots for the rest of the album package. Over the course of the next several years, while Winehouse worked hard on recording and touring, Charles would stay in close touch until he made the decision to move from London back to his native Ireland several years later, after which they lost touch.

While we all know that the story doesn’t end well for Ms. Winehouse (Charles admits that he was shocked when he saw her obvious decline in the press coverage she received throughout the remainder of her short-but-glorious career), Moriarity had rebuffed some of the more-exploitative offers he received to use these early photos commercially in the immediate aftermath of her death in 2011 but more recently, after the National Portrait Gallery asked that one of his photos be added to their permanent collection and a meeting with Asif Kapdia, the director of the acclaimed 2015 documentary about Winehouse (Amy), he decided that the world would benefit from the opportunity to see a collection of these images, with the results being a photo exhibition in Dublin featuring a collection of 25 early shots by Charles Moriarity – http://chq.ie/amy-winehouse-photo-exhibition-comes-to-chq/

along with a book (Before Frank) that shows, in 50+ photographs, the transformation from a young girl (recording Frank at the age of 19) to a world-renowned recording artist. The hardbound book’s 144 pages contain an introduction by Dazed Arts and Culture editor Ashleigh Kane, a foreword by Academy Award-winner Asif Kapadia (director of Amy) along with an interview with Charles Moriarty by acclaimed author Martin Belk.

Irish Mirror contributor Demelza De-Burka has penned an article/profile that intros this show, the corresponding book  and shares some of the details about the relationship between the two young artists  – https://www.irishmirror.ie/showbiz/irish-showbiz/irish-photographer-who-close-friends-12386226

­­c) When Arthur Kanofsky was young, he was fascinated with fairy tales, fantasy illustrations and, as a Boy Scout in his Bronx troupe, reptiles (earning himself a Reptile Study merit badge!). Hoping to become a world-famous artist when he grew up, he took the first step in preparation for this career when he enrolled in NY’s Cooper Union College but, a year into his studies, he was drafted into the Army, bringing his talents to a special unit – the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops AKA “The Ghost Army”. These artistically-trained troops were sent in to areas where they created the illusion of the presence of actual Army units, fooling the enemy into thinking that they were out-manned/gunned via inflatable tanks, artillery, sound effects and dummy battalions. After his deployment, he returned to the U.S. and worked briefly in the theater before returning to his studies in art, design and photography at Cooper Union and graduating with honors in 1950.

With his experience and impressive talents clear to prospective employers, Arthur (now Kane) accepted a position as the art director for Seventeen Magazine becoming, at age 26, one of the youngest holding this position at a major publication. With his highly-unique talents and experiences combining to give Kane exceptional conceptual/compositional skill set, over the years Kane became a must-have photographer for all of the best-known photo journals and magazines of his time, with his works appearing in the U.S. in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Look, McCall’s and others and overseas in the Italian versions of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Amica, Stern, German Vogue and Zeit. His subjects included celebrities in the fields of music (Bob Dylan, Cream, Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Airplane, Jim Morrison, Sonny & Cher, The Who and Frank Zappa), art (Christo, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers and Cy Twombly) and photo illustrations for a wide range of subjects, from the struggle for civil rights down South to the plight of wounded war vets and many articles on the politics and cultural changes taking place in the 1960s and 1970s.

Having developed his skills as a playwright, songwriter and videographer, Kane was able to offer his advertising and commercial clients a broad range of services including, as we now know, photos for album covers by many of the music industry’s best-known acts. Examples of his album cover credits include – Johnny Winter – White, Hot & Blue; Jim Morrison – An American Prayer; The Who – The Kids Are Alright, The BBC Sessions and Greatest Hits; Judas Priest – Point of Entry; Gloria Gaynor – I Am Gloria Gaynor and I Am What I Am and Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The Royal Albert Hall Concert. Beginning in 1989, Kane led a series of week-long summer photography workshops featuring a number of his notable peers at his studios in Cape May, New Jersey, which he continued hosting until his death in 1995.

His works were honored many times during his career, with major awards including the “Photographer of the Year” Award in 1964 from the American Society of Magazine Photographers, the “Page One Award” in 1966 from the Newspaper Guild of America, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Medal for Distinguished Achievement awarded by Cooper-Union in 1967 as well as medals and awards from the Art Directors Clubs in Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. His works were also included in a number of museum and gallery shows around the world, with the last one on display back in 2015 at the Palazzo Santa Margherita in Modena, Italy – a retrospective show titled Art Kane, Visionary. This year, beginning May 3rd, a somewhat-abridged version of that show, curated by the Wall of Sound Gallery’s Guido Harari, brings examples of Kane’s great works back to Italy (in Turin, at the Spazio Don Chisciotte tthrough July 14th as part of the FO.TO.” Festival (see more at https://www.fotografi-a-torino.it/art-kane-visionary – it’s in Italian, of course).

According to Mr. Harari, he’ll have 40 iconic images, “including all of Kane’s rock portraits – those of The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, Cream, Johnny Winter, Aretha Franklin, Sonny & Chér and the historic ‘Harlem 1958’, considered quite likely the most significant image in jazz history. All the photographs on show and more are featured in the catalogue published by Wall Of Sound Gallery.”

d) Down in Austin, TX, the team at the Modern Rocks Gallery kicked off a new show called “The Art of the Contact Sheet” with an opening reception on Friday, April 27th that featured examples of this unique photo art print format from rock photographers such as legendary Columbia Records photographer, Don Hunstein and the photographer responsible for the iconic Aladdin Sane album cover for David Bowie, Brian Duffy. Other leading music photographers included in the show are Barrie Wentzell, Alec Byrne, Tracy Anne Hart, Alan Messer, Allan Ballard, Matt Anker, David Corio and more.

Featuring large-format (several sizes, from A2 to A0) contact sheets from photo shoots of musical acts such as AC/DC, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Nirvana, Ramones, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Zappa and several others, the prints show several of the artists at different times during their careers and often include alternative shots where their true personalities shine through. I’m particularly fond of Don Hunstein’s shots of a young Bob Dylan, shot in 1963, mugging for the camera, with his best work and world-wide recognition just ahead of him. I’m sure you’ll all find something that resonates with you so, if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the gallery sometime between now and the show’s close on August 31st  and say “hello” to Steven (the owner) or, if you can’t attend in person, be sure to look at what’s available on the gallery’s site at https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/contact-sheet-prints

e) Here’s a reminder for folks of the designer persuasion – in last month’s summary, I’d reported on an exhibition/competition currently being managed by noted album cover designers/authors Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz and Sylvia Reed that’s looking for submissions. According to the info I rec’d from Mr. Drate, the curators are asking designers everywhere to send in their best examples of well-designed record packaging for consideration, with entries due no later than June 1, 2018 to be eligible for consideration for this show.

After the initial competition is over and the best entries selected, the curators will be teaming up with the folks at NYC’s One Space Art Gallery to put up a show (actual dates TBD) that will be called For The Record: The Vinyl Cover Show 2018, the latest in a series of such shows the curators have staged over the years, including a well-received show that took place at The One Club back in 1995 called the “Special CD Packaging Show” (which featured over 100 examples of album art on display) and another show that was held in May, 2004 at the sadly-closed CBGB Gallery built in support of the release of their Rock Posters of the 90s books and which included 250+ posters sourced from 50 different designers.  It’s quite clear that this team has been working hard for years to promote the talents of the artists working in the music business with their fans and collectors of these works.

More details about this show and the folks behind it can be found on their Facebook page –  https://www.facebook.com/spencer.drate/posts/10156195245043288

Of course, I’m hoping to be able to share more info on the winners of this competition and the gallery show as it becomes available.

f) While its opening is still a few weeks away, I am still excited to report the news of a new John/Yoko exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool in Liverpool, UK that will include a lot for those of us who’ve always appreciated that pair’s contributions to the world of music-related art. Double Fantasy – John & Yoko is one large part of the city’s celebration of its 10th anniversary as “European Capital of Culture” and will, according to the Museum’s PR, have visitors “taking a chronological journey… the exhibition starts with two unique individuals – a leading figure in the avant-garde art world and a global rock ‘n’ roll star. From a tender first meeting at Indica Gallery in London, it was 18 months later that the album ‘Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins’ was issued. What followed was breathtaking in its rapidity and productivity until John’s tragic and untimely death on 8 December 1980.”

On display during the shows run, which begins on May 18th and will stay up for nearly a year (through April 22nd, 2019), are many items of original art created by the pair (individually and together) such as Yoko’s Ceiling Painting/Yes Painting, Painting to Hammer A Nail and Apple: Acorn Peace, War Is Over and others, along with a selection of hand-written lyrics by John Lennon, including those to songs including “In My Life”, ”Give Peace a Chance”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and “Woman”. There will also be a music room where visitors can listen to the couple’s music and review all of the album art that we remember and love. You can learn more about this tantalizing show on the museum’s web site at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/doublefantasy while those with a bit of patience for poorly spaced and punctuated overview articles can read more on one found recently on the Music-News.com site – http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/111842/John-and-Yoko-s-story-in-their-own-words-at-Museum-of-Liverpool

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/exhibitions/double-fantasy/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Craig Braun, a man with some pretty-impressive album cover credits including packages for Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper and, working with Andy Warhol and a talented design team, brought us both the famous “banana cover” for the Velvet Underground & Nico’s debut record and Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones in 1971, is featured in a multi-page spread in the March issue (Issue #12) of Long Live Vinyl (U.K) magazine. In this interview with writer Teri Saccone, Craig takes us through some of the details of his storied career, including his start in the record business in Chicago (go Cubs!) in the early 1960s to the formation of one of the best-known vinyl record packaging companies (Album Graphics, Inc., or AGI) and on to his partnership with designer Tom Wilkes in 1973 to form the design firm Wilkes & Braun, Inc. where, in addition to being awarded a number of illustrious album cover art commissions, the pair were awarded a Grammy Award in 1974 for “Best Recording Package” for their designs for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1973 recording of the orchestral stage version of The Who’s Tommy.

After earning a reputation as a somewhat “over-the-top” creative director (i.e., one not afraid to spend his client’s money on one-of-a-kind packaging ideas), Braun’s success found him enjoying both the good and the bad of a “rock-star lifestyle” before moving on to “corporate jobs” at several large record labels in the 1980s. After the recorded music business began to take a hatchet to packaging budgets, Craig chose – at the age of 55 – to pursue another passion of his – acting. He spent years studying his craft with legendary acting coach, Milton Katselas, in his master class and, in 2010, Craig was named a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. He has since appeared in many films (inc. Great Expectations in 1998, Flawless in 1999 and Swordfish in 2001) and TV shows including Law & Order, Cold Case, E.R. and Gone. Returning to his design roots for a special occasion in 2017, Craig was enlisted to emcee the rejuvenated Alex Awards ceremony at the “Making Vinyl” trade show.

While you can’t yet read the article online, I did find that the publication has also had several album art-related articles in the past, including 2 posts in their Essential Covers section (http://www.longlivevinyl.net/category/classic-album/essential-covers/) where you’ll see career-spanning summaries on Roger Dean and Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal and in their “The Story Behind The Sleeves” archives, you’ll find postings on covers for Alice Cooper, Bjork, Miles Davis and the Mothers of Invention – http://www.longlivevinyl.net/category/story-behind-sleeve/

For more information on this artist, please visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0105733/

b) Keeping his passion for photography mostly to himself while growing up in a suburb of Niagrara Falls, NY, young Frank Ockenfels’ talents weren’t truly discovered until his senior year in high school, when he was asked to shoot the scores of photos needed for his high school yearbook. In 1978, he moved down to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts there, whereupon he met a fellow student named Jodi Peckman. Jodi got a job working at Rolling Stone Magazine and asked her friend to help her with projects here and there, once being sent to photograph Buster Poindexter at a New Year’s Eve performance. After graduation, he worked as an assistant to photographer Joshua Greene (famed celebrity photographer Milton Greene’s son) and at other related jobs until his “big break” came in 1988, when Rolling Stone selected a photo he’d taken of singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman to run full-page in the magazine. Her new album was a hit and, as a result, others wanted to hire the guy who’d taken the best-known picture of the new star, which began a string of commissions to capture the images of many of the world’s best-known celebrities that continues to this day. Ockenfels is perhaps best-known to rock music fans for his portfolio of images taken of the late David Bowie from 1989 to 2006, including album cover/package shots for records including Earthling, Reality and Hours…

The School of Visual Arts is particularly proud of the achievements of many of its alumni, illustrated here by this recent article and intro video found on the school’s site and corresponding to the inclusion of a number of Ockenfels shots in the David Bowie Is exhibition currently on display in Brooklyn, NY. Just goes to prove that both a good education and strong social networks  can work together to bring talented people great opportunities (I sound like a school recruiter, don’t I?) – http://www.sva.edu/features/sva-features-alumnus-and-photographer-frank-ockenfels-3-strikes-with-light-video

c) While fans and journalists alike are working hard to figure out which drug reference – “Kidz on Drugs,” “King Overdose” or “Kill Our Demonz” – is the true meaning behind rapper J. Cole’s new album titled KOD, album art fans have a new artist to focus their attention on – 22-year-old Detroit artist Kamau Haroon, a.k.a. Sixmau. He’d just completed work for rapper Childish Manor when he was commissioned to come up with a memorable cover image for this recently-released new record and, as J’na Jefferson describes it in this recent posting on the VIBE web site – https://www.vibe.com/2018/04/sixmau-j-cole-album-artwork/, delivering a painting that depicts “a glassy-eyed Cole is featured wearing a crown. Children smoking, drinking lean, snorting coke and dropping acid are seen beneath his elegant robe, and two eerie skulls are pictured above them.”

The artist was happy to explain a bit about himself, his career and some of the inspirations and direction he received in this collaboration between two musically and visually-inclined talents, and you can see more of his work on his own site at https://www.sixmau.com/ (note – the home page features an image which reminded me of one you’d see after your computer had been hijacked, but fear not…).

d) With newer hip-hop acts showing more and more creativity when it comes to their related visuals, I was intrigued by this recent profile of 25-year-old hip-hop/fashion photographer Gunnar Stahl on the Coveteur.com site – http://coveteur.com/2018/03/15/gunner-stahl-hip-hop-photographer-profile/ as his portfolio now has been enhanced by the addition of  two newer album covers for Playboi Carti and Rae Sremmrud (both on Interscope). Writer Jodi Taylor spent some time recently in Atlanta with the young photographer, who’d she’d met late in 2017 when he’d just returned from a working trip to Tokyo and was getting ready to jet down to Miami for his next assignment and, after a whirlwind three months of work, had just returned from Los Angeles and had a lot of info to share about his rocket-propelled career these days.

According to the article, drastic circumstances had the self-taught photographer discovering and then settling on the use of film cameras, with Stahl describing it this way – “’I was doing digital, but then my camera broke,’ he explains. ‘I just had no other choice but to use film.’ Film is now what he is known for, with a quick scroll through his IG presenting you with film portraits of pretty much every rapper. You’ll see the likes of A$AP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Travis Scott, Skepta, and even Jaden Smith all within one quick glance.”

Researching for this posting led me to find another interview and video profile of this in-demand shooter, which you can read and watch via the link at – http://www.thefader.com/2016/09/20/gunner-stahl-documentary-video-interview  More about his latest projects can be found on his blog at http://www.blog.gunnerstahl.us/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Last I heard from the folks at the famed Gary Lichtenstein Editions print house/gallery in New Jersey, they were hosting a gallery show late last year built around the ground-breaking hip-hop photography of Janette Beckman (“Legends of Hip-Hop”). Now, in a promo email I just received, I’ve learned that they’re going to be manning a booth at the upcoming Art New York fair (May 3 – 6 at the Pier 94 exhibition hall in NYC) and will have some new works by artist Cey Adams, who us album art fans know and love for his previous work as the creative director for Def Jam Records during their mid-late 1980s heydays, bringing us memorable covers for musical acts including Mary J Bilge, Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans, Ice Cube, R Kelly and, most-notably, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.

Since that time, Adams has gone on to work independently on a string of projects for clients on both coasts of the U.S. Included in this work were campaigns for Coca-Cola, HBO, Ervin “Magic” Johnson and Nike, NY-area radio stations Hot 97 and WBLS and, working with curators and designers at the Experience Music Project/Museum in Seattle, Adams brought meaningful designs to the hip-hop-centric  displays there. Additionally, he’s produced logos for Dave Chapelle’s popular The Chapelle Show, more album covers, stage designs, tour merchandise and more for a wide range of clients including Adidas, Burton Snowboards, Comedy Central, Eminem, Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Moet & Chandon,  Stevie Nicks and Roca Wear. Later this year, you’ll find Mr. Adams’ talents on display again in a special box set to be released by Smithsonian Records – the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap – which will feature both his packaging design and a special poster he created just for this set.

In 2008, Harper Collins Design published a book co-authored by Adams and Bill Adler, Def Jam’s former Director of Publicity, titled DEFINITION: The Art & Design of Hip-Hop that presented a comprehensive look at “hip-hop as a visual phenomenon. In 2011, Adams and Adler paired again, this time for Rizzoli, to produce Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, a retrospective of Def Jam’s design output over the label’s first 25 years.

The photos of Cey’s new works look quite nice, but I’d invite anyone in the NYC area to head on over to the show and see them in person – https://www.artnyfair.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=10&tabindex=9&dealerID=36906

Last minute update – I’ve just learned that Cey Adams will be in the Gary Lichtenstein Editions booth at the upcoming Art New York Fair this Saturday, May 5th, 3pm-4pm to talk about his new work and sign copies of his new catalog of work. Gary Lichtenstein Editions – Booth ANY-107 at Art New York, Pier 94 Exhibition space, NYC.

b) An auction to raise funds for the Benefit Shop Foundation in Mt. Kisco, NY took place this past April 18th that featured large-format (6ft. square!) album cover artwork from noted artist Joe Taylor – http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/6071-choice-artworks-abound-at-benefit-shop-april-18 and, as a follow-up, I’m pleased to report that the item raised $2,000 – nearly 2X the pre-auction estimate!

The Texas-born Taylor is perhaps best-known for the mega-scale promo billboards he created to promote new releases inside Tower Records stores in the 1970s and 1980s. What made this particular auction item even more rare and unique was that Taylor took the large masonite boards he used on each project and painted them over after they were used with new artwork, so this huge re-creation of Buckwheat Zydeco’s Hey Joe LP is a rare remnant of his work, indeed (Taylor has also written a book, Art & Music, that shares the stories behind his billboard artwork).

Since leaving the art/advertising world a number of years ago, Taylor has spent his time as Owner/Operator of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum – a museum that presents the Earth’s history from a Creationist perspective – in Crosbyton, TX (near Lubbock). He has also put up a display at the museum of the remaining album art paintings he retained ownership of – http://mtblanco.com/2016/03/joe-taylors-album-art/

I’m sure that the winning bidder will soon be the envy of all his/her/their friends…

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) During his 15-year career as a photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine, Mark Seliger contributed countless images to the publication, including over 125 cover shots. He’d then expand his portfolio to include work as a popular director of music videos, directing shorts for Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Willie Nelson and others. In the area of album cover art, he’d contribute memorable cover images for records by Tony Bennett, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Ice-T, Lenny Kravitz, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears and many others.

In 2002, Mark left Rolling Stone to take on assignments for magazines within the Conde’ Nast publishing group, shooting photos for GQ, Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair while also taking on commercial assignments for Miramax, MTV Networks, Sony and Universal Pictures. His specialty is creating stunning, large-scale prints using a high-end photographic printing process called “platinum palladium printing”, similar to the technique used by artistically-inclined photographers such as Edward S. Curtis, Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz. To note his artistic output, throughout his career Seliger has been bestowed with many awards for his photographs, including the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award in 1999 and the Gold Medal Awards from the Society of Publication Designers in 2001 and 2004.

With such an illustrious background, it’s with great joy that I’d like to report that there is a new book coming out May 1st by Abrams Books that’s simply titled Mark Seliger Photographs. The 256-page publication features 173 illustrations, with portraits of celebrities including David Byrne, Kurt Cobain, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z , Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen and Emma Stone, along with some great, never-before-seen examples of works taken during his travels throughout the world. There’s an interview of Seliger done by writer/director Judd Apatow during which Marc shares the stories behind some of his best-known shots, so it seems sure that there’s as much interesting to read as there is to see.

http://www.abramsbooks.com/product/mark-seliger-photographs_9781419726613/

b) While you’ve already read my intro article about photography Charles Moriarity’s new photo exhibition in Dublin, Ireland built around a selection of the photos found in his new book about the late Amy Winehouse (Before Frank), I took a look at his site and, in addition to more info on the book, there’s a nice 4-minute+ video intro on the site that gives you a somewhat-more-intimate look into the interactions between these two rising young artists – https://beforefrank.com/ The book’s set to be released this May.

c) Last month, I purchased my own copy of John Foster’s latest book on album cover design and designers – Album Art: New Music Graphics – the details of which I’d shared with you in last month’s news summary. As I said, what makes this book all the more interesting is that it’s been compiled and authored by an award-winning, working designer, with Foster serving as the principal of the MD-based design firm Bad People Good Things and in possession of a portfolio of notable album art credits. He’s also written a number of other design-oriented books included titles such as New Masters of Poster Design (Volumes 1 and 2), Paper and Ink Workshop and 1,000 Indie Posters, among others, and is an in-demand speaker at design industry conferences, so you know he knows his material through and through.

Now that I’ve had a chance to go through the book myself, I did want to let you know that, in addition to all of the nice images used to illustrate the book and interviews with several well-regarded designers I’ve covered over time here at the ACHOF (including Art Chantry, Stefan Sagmeister and Spencer Drate/Judith Salavetz, among others), there are portfolios of work and details of a world-spanning list of designers I’ve never seen before that serve to make this book very different from the many books we’ve seen on the subject in the past. For example, from Denmark, you’ll see cover images created by Jacob Jensen and Hvass & Hannibal for acts (new acts, to me) such as Prins Thomas and Efterklang; from Germany, designers Feld and SchultzSchultz and their work for Ben Lukas Boysen and Daniel Stefanik and, from Australia, Daniel Oorloff, whose crafted photo-collage-based covers for Lucid and Sam Setton, among others.

The 320 page book was being released in the UK on March 8th by the noted Thames and Hudson Ltd publishing house (I got mine via Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Album-Art-New-Music-Graphics/dp/0500294151/ref=sr_1_1? ) , and if you’d like to see more of Foster’s work, I’d invite you to visit his company’s site at http://www.badpeoplegoodthings.com/?page_id=2

d) When the young designer/artist/photographer Astrid Kirchherr was attending college in Hamburg, Germany (the Meisterschule) in the late 1950s, she befriended two other students – Klaus Voorman and Jurgen Vollmer – who shared her interests in Pop culture and music. Voorman became her love interest and, in 1960, the two stumbled in to a club on the Reeperbahn called the Kaiserkeller where they listened to a band from England called The Beatles (who, at the time, consisted of five members, including drummer Pete Best and guitarist Stu Sutcliffe), bringing their friend Vollmer back with them to the club immediately thereafter. Kirchherr became entranced with the young lads from Britain, and one of the bandmembers – Sutcliffe, himself a former art school student – found himself smitten with the beautiful blonde, with the pair starting to date soon after. She’d soon apply her skills as a designer and fashionista to her friends hair and wardrobe, with Astrid being credited for the band’s early “mop-top” haircuts and tailored suits.

With access to the band both onstage and behind the scenes now easily granted, Kirchherr asked the band if they’d mind her bringing a camera along, with the goal being to get them to pose artistically for her as she had sensed something special about the band and its members. Now, over 50 years after these photos were taken, Astrid has teamed with publisher Damani to release a new book of these important photos of the beginnings of a band that would become the most-influential in rock music history. Titled ASTRID KIRCHHERR WITH THE BEATLES (co-authored by Maurizio Guidoni), the book’s imagery focuses on a period of time – from 1960 through 1968 – during which she chronicled the band from its hard-working club band beginnings, during their brief times away from their rapidly-rising careers, on the set of the making of the movie A Hard Day’s Night and up to the time she produced a headshot of George Harrison for his 1968 solo record Wonderwall Music. While her photos have been included in several limited-edition and commercial books of Beatles photos, this is the first time that many of the photos in this 96-page photo-book have been made available to the general public.

You can find this book on the publisher’s web site at https://www.damianieditore.com/en-US/product/634

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Still feel that, for its sonic purity and well-designed packaging, vinyl LPs are still the best expressions of the various ways you can purchase your music? If so, there’s a company in Italy that would like you to consider extending that love for all things vinyl to how you outfit your bathroom. WTF, you say? Well, if you click on over to the MyModernMet site, writer Emma Taggart is happy to show you the various designs now available from the Olympia Ceramica company in their “Vinyl Collection” of LP-and-turntable-inspired bathroom vanities and fixtures. “Resembling a retro sound system, vinyl artwork is featured in the center of the basin; the sink’s faucet mimics a stylus; and taps, styled as “volume” knobs, can be used to adjust the water flow and temperature.

The stylish sink also includes a shelf for storage, a towel bar, a leather toiletry bag, and even an LED mirror featuring lights that resemble an audio equalizer. The best part? Each piece also comes equipped with built-in bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you brush your teeth.”

Can’t wait to find out when these are available for delivery and what the prices will be but, I’m assuming, you’ll soon be seeing these in the public and private bathrooms of many (well-heeled) music businesses  – https://mymodernmet.com/bathroom-sinks-vinyl-collection-olympia-ceramica/

https://www.olympiaceramica.it/en/

b) Another design-inspired article that should be of interest to LP fans – Goldmine’s recent podcast includes a discussion with Marshall Blonstein, a former record industry exec who is now co-owner of a company that makes a line of really impressive portable “record players” (much improved over the Kenner “Close&Play” models I remember growing up) – http://www.goldminemag.com/features/ufo-portable-turntable-subject-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-24

I’m particularly intrigued with the “UFO” model – a boombox for us Geezers!

http://www.myrocknrolla.com/products/rock-n-rolla-ufo/

c) Last month, I’d reported on a couple of group photo exhibitions – one in Italy and another in Los Angeles – in which the works of famed photographer Masayoshi Sukita were featured prominently. Sukita is probably best-known for his portfolio of photos that captured 40 years of David Bowie’s life and career, with several of his shots used on the covers of some of Bowie’s best-known recordings (from Heroes to The Next Day). In addition to Bowie, Sukita has collaborated with other trend-setting musical acts such as Marc Bolan (T. Rex), Iggy Pop, David Sylvian and influential Japanese electronic music band YMO to create memorable portraits to help chronicle and promote their respective careers.

Now, there’s a new film that premiered at the recent Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy that chronicles the work of this important lensman, with a focus on his unique and intimate portraiture of Mr. Bowie taken during the dozens of photo sessions they worked on together. Sukita – The Shoot Must Go On follows the upward-arcing career path of the now 82-year-old photographer, taking viewers behind the scenes – often with Sukita providing the commentary – during his studio and on-location work with his favorite clients. Included in the film is a special look at “the making of” the album cover for YMO’s second album (Solid State Survivor) and words of praise from many of Sukita-san’s fellow creatives, including famed Japanese composer Sakamoto Ryuichi, musician Hotei Tomoyasu (best-known here for his song “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” featured in the film Kill Bill), guitarist MIYAVI and film director Jim Jarmusch, who teamed with Sukita to create the arresting visuals for his 1989 film Mystery Train.

The documentary is directed and produced by Aihara Hiromi and will be in general release beginning May 19th, so check your local theaters/film festivals/streaming services for showtimes/availability. Reporter Patrick Brzeski gives us a preview on the Hollywood Reporter site at https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/far-east-film-fest-premiere-documentary-david-bowies-photographer-1098267

And if you’d like to watch the trailer for the film (in Japanese, mostly) – http://sukita-movie.com/

d) Whenever I see an article in which the author(s) list their favorite album cover designs/images, I typically feel deflated, as I’m forced to wonder why these articles were written. Is there an album art or music-related exhibition taking place nearby, or is there a local artist currently working in the music space that they felt needed profiling, or did they need to fill some space on a page? These articles tend to simply give us a collection of album cover images and little or no useful information about them.

Once in a while, though, even though I don’t quite understand what inspired the article, I am impressed with the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of an article that has pressed its authors to select their favorite designs and then also delivers us the “whos” and the “whys” relating to each featured item. Such is an article recently posted by the Michigan Daily News Music Writers Roundtable on important album cover works – https://www.michigandaily.com/section/arts/album-cover-art-round-table

Compiled by Shima Sadaghiyani, Daily Music Editor for the Ann Arbor, MI-based college daily newspaper, the panel selects several of “the classics” (Revolver by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book and Doolittle by the Pixies) along with a number of newer “hidden gems”, such as the covers for the Memory Tapes’ 2009 record Seek Magic, M.I.A.’s colorful 2007 release Kala and Lorde’s 2017 megahit Melodrama. While of course I’m impressed with the fact that college writers can find great pleasure and inspiration from “the oldies” as well as the covers for today’s generation’s packaged music. When looking at the cover for the Stevie Wonder record, writer Laura Szubay notes that “only two years previously, on Signed, Sealed And Delivered, Wonder was popping cheerfully out of a cardboard box labeled ‘Handle With Care.’ Now he was sitting on the ground, his face turned thoughtfully to the earth, solemn and contemplative,” while writer Sam Lu shares his take on the connection between the intimate oil painting featured on the cover of Lorde’s Melodrama with the music found inside – “Lorde condenses the essence of teenage relationships in all of their turbulent glory, from the before to the during to the after,  and does it all without abandon. She leaves us with a final parting gift: an image of her at her most striking, when she’s unflinchingly staring right at the viewer.”

There’s hope yet for these young people…

e) I’m having a hard time thinking of a recorded music product with as much (well-deserved) notoriety as Wu-Tang Clan’s 2015 one-off double album – the “ultimate box set” – titled Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. When news of its upcoming availability via auction – coming after a six-year production schedule – was announced several years ago, it caused a sensation in the press as many in the media were perplexed as to who would ever buy such a thing, which also came with an entire agreement that limited the owner to how it could be shared with others (no commercial exploitation, period). Unless you’ve lived off the planet since the sale, you know that it was purchased at auction for $2 million by now-convicted pharma wunderkind Martin Shkreli only to be forfeited in a 2018 sale of assets to cover a $7.3 million dollar judgment against him after his conviction for securities fraud.

Now, further trouble seems to be following this record in the case of photographer Warren Patterson, whose work graces the cover of the infamous album and who is now suing the rappers for $1 million, claiming that he was never paid for the 80 hours of work he put in to the project. Hypebeast’s Isaac Rouse shares the sordid details in his article – https://hypebeast.com/2018/4/wu-tan-clan-sued-once-upon-a-time-in-shaolin-cover

As it turns out, the Department of Justice is still trying to locate the record, which has not yet been turned over even though its owner is in jail and is appealing his conviction.

f) It’s been 35 years since Michael Jackson’s best-selling-album-of-all-time (66 million copies sold so far!) Thriller was released, with that album featuring portrait photographer Dick Zimmerman’s iconic shot of the not-yet-surgically-destroyed young singer stretched out wearing a white suit (with the gatefold inside cover showing Jackson acting all buddy-buddy with a tiger cub). The new 35th anniversary DVD package now available on Zimmerman’s FanArtClubGallery.com site ($24.95) on the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller features an updated interview with Zimmerman and includes loads of behind-the-scenes footage taken during the photo session for the record cover.

More details about the project and the new DVD can be found via this press release posted at https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/18/03/p11422213/michael-jackson-thriller-photographer-interviewed-for-just-released-vi along with this feature you’ll find on a popular MJ fan site, the UK’s Michael Jackson World Net (also celebrating their 20th anniversary) – http://www.mjworld.net/news/2018/03/30/dick-zimmerman-talks-about-michael/

You can order one for your very own at http://fanclubartgallery.com/product/thriller-35th-anniversary-interview-with-dick-zimmerman-dvd/  , and you’ll also see that Zimmerman runs a gallery that sells limited-edition art prints based on some of the celeb photos he’s taken over the years, etc. – http://fanclubartgallery.com/store/

g) Missed this when it first ran several months ago, but now that I’ve found it, I wanted to share this info as it helps us laypeople understand the thought processes of those talented people who are tasked to make the packaging for our favorite retail music products – https://99designs.com/blog/design-other/how-to-design-album-cover/

While I’m quite certain that most designers working in the field don’t follow these guidelines all that closely, it is interesting to see that, in a day where it seems that most people are focused on success via rote memorization and/or applications development, even an outlined process like the one presented here reserves time and energy for existential searches, inspiration and the importance of finding the right people to collaborate with.

h) When those of us who’ve worked in the recorded music business hear the word “mixer”, it immediately brings to mind either the piece of studio equipment used to select and blend inputs from various sources or the people that operate these machines. In today’s foodie scenes, folks us laypeople used to call “bartenders” are now known as “mixologists” and, in many cases, seem to have advanced degrees in chemistry as best evidenced by the strange and wonderful concoctions they create. Recently, a Madison, WI-based restaurant called Merchant has developed and launched a craft cocktail program with inspirations drawn from the titles of classic rock tunes and uses album cover-style imagery to help market them. Want a “Black Magic Woman”? Order one and you’ll get a cocktail made from a blend of tequila, mezcal, fruit juices and other ingredients, while ordering a “Killer Queen” brings you a gin drink with sherry, poppy liquor (?), various juices and bitters. The menu looks like an LP cover, with co-production and “song-writing” (i.e., cocktail-invention) credits listed as they would be on a recorded music product. Contributor Lindsay Christians for The Cap Times shares the important details – http://host.madison.com/ct/entertainment/dining/with-s-rock-inspired-cocktail-list-merchant-is-stayin-alive/article_489df93e-4375-5779-b1e0-3ae6a36af903.html

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you. If you’ve found that these stories have added some joy and appreciation for the arts to your lives, I’d like to ask you to let your friends and loved ones know more about the album art and artistry-related information you’ve found here on the ACHOF site.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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.