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

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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

New Exhibitions/gallery shows –

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

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

ONGOING Exhibitions/Gallery Shows –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artist News and Interviews –

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

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

Miscellaneous Items – 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary and Preview for May/June, 2019

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update – May, 2019 (with previews for June/July, too)

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

6/1/19 update –

With Summer almost upon us, it’s important to know what’s going on with the people who make your favorite album cover images just in case their work is on display in your area (and, if you’re lucky, whether they’re going to be in your area in support of these shows). In addition to the details of these current/ongoing/just closed shows, you’ll also find interesting tidbits about new books, prints and other collectibles now available, as well as a little sad news about the passing of two well-regarded album cover artists. And so, without any further delay, heeeere’s this month’s summary…

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary and Preview for April/May, 2019

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update – April/May, 2019

Posted May 1, 2019 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Although last Sunday’s snowstorm dumped several inches of powder on my just-popping-open tulips, it looks as though that might have been the last of it and we can now look forward to Spring and all of the joy it brings us. My regular scours of the Internet also pointed me to a number of newly-hatched stories about our favorite subjects – album cover art and the work of the people that make it – and so here’s a quick summary about some of the new exhibitions, artist appearances, book releases and other stories that I think you’ll enjoy:

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Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for April 12, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update for April 12, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

For your weekend reading pleasure:

Part of Dr. Richard Forrest’s Andy Warhol album cover collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Several weeks ago I’d posted some basic info on an exhibition that was opening in Malmo, Sweden at the Moderna Museet featuring the works of Pop Art master Andy Warhol and that a fellow album cover lover/blogger – Dr. Richard Forrest – had given his entire collection of Warhol-crafted album covers – some 81 covers in all, spanning from the 1950s through the 1980s and including Warhol’s work for clients in the jazz (Artie Shaw, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Griffin, etc.), rock (Velvet Underground, John Lennon, Rolling Stones) and pop (Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Paul Anka) genres.

Part of Dr. Richard Forrest’s Andy Warhol album cover collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since that time, the show (which is on display now through September 8th) has attracted fans from all over the world, and Dr. Forrest was kind enough to send along several photos of his collection as it’s on display, and all I can say is WOW and suggest quite strongly that anyone travelling to that part of the world be sure to take the time to see these covers – and the entire Warhol collection – in this setting.

Description of Andy Warhol’s album cover display in Malmo, Sweden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More details on the show (and its previous staging in Stockholm) can be found on the museum’s web site at https://www.modernamuseet.se/malmo/en/exhibitions/warhol-1968/

2) The life and times of one of rock music’s most-heralded photographers – the late Jim Marshall – is now the subject of a new film that has been garnering great reviews and, most-recently – was chosen as an official selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Show Me The Picture: The Story Of Jim Marshall has been a long-standing labor of love of its director – Alfred George Bailey, a photographer, film-maker and former jazz drummer who has worked covering the music industry for more than 30 years.

Marshall’s work – first shooting album covers for ABC, Atlantic and Columbia Records, the on assignments beginning in the early 1960s for The Saturday Evening Post, Rolling Stone and LIFE magazines during which he captured memorable performances of The Beatles, acts at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Woodstock and other seminal moments in rock history – had a great influence on Bailey’s own career as a photographer and cinematographer, so I’m sure that it’d be a treat to be able to attend the upcoming event being hosted by the folks at the San Francisco Art Exchange next Friday, April 19th and to meet not only Mr. Bailey but also the film’s executive producers as well as other members of the film’s cast and crew.

Of course, the gallery will also have a large exhibition of fine art prints of Mr. Marshall’s work for you to view, so prepared to be overwhelmed with both the power of Marshall’s imagery and the talents on display that night at the SFAE reception. If you’d like to attend the opening reception (doors open at 7PM), contact the gallery (located at 458 Geary Street in the heart of downtown S.F.) at 415-441-8840 or visit them at www.sfae.com

My thanks again to Dr. Forrest for sending these photos to me to share with you.

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.).

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hope that you’re all looking forward to the day – soon, we hope – that the temps pick up, the buds appear on your trees and shrubs and all traces of ice and snow disappear from our lives. Enough already, right? In any case, you may recall when I said that I wasn’t going to be posting monthly news summaries for a while (in order to be able to devote more time to organizing the materials for my book and some other projects I’m involved with), I am still going to share a headline or two when I think that there’s something timely you should know about… Here’s some news about some exhibitions/apprearances you might want to look into, as well as info on a Kickstarter-hosted book project that will be of interest to fans of Hip-Hop and overall great photography…

a) My friends at the UK’s Hypergallery are debuting a new show in Berlin, Germany that’s built around the fan-pleasing covers created by the talented Michael Spencer Jones for the British mega-group Oasis that’s meant to show us that, 25 years later (since the release of Definitely Maybe), these memorable images still impress us with their beauty and inspired craftsmanship. Setting the Scene: Oasis 25 includes the cover images we all know and love along with many never-before-seen photos, alt versions and memorabilia used in the making of these covers.

The show – hosted by the Browse Gallery will also provide fans and collectors with retellings of how the images were made, what inspired them and several surprises that, if I told you, wouldn’t be surprises any longer, so if you’d like to go see the show yourselves beginning on March 9th(it runs there thru April 7th), click on over to the Ticketmaster site to reserve a spot now – https://www.ticketmaster.de/artist/setting-the-scene-oasis-25-tickets/1009188?

More details on the show, including dates and directions to the gallery, can be found on the Browse Gallery site at https://browse.gallery/en/exhibitions-2019/setting-the-scene-oasis25/

You can also preview some of the MSJ prints that will be on sale during the show on the gallery’s web site at https://www.hypergallery.com/shop/filter/designer/michael-spencer-jones?curpage=designer&dir=asc&order=name

b) My regular readers will recall my previous coverage of photographer Glen Wexler’s successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce a book (Glen Wexler: The 80s Portrait Sessions) of many of his most-memorable shots from that era, so it is now with great pleasure that I’d like to announce the upcoming book launch event and exhibition slated beginning on March 21st at the Mr. Musichead gallery/event space on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, CA – https://www.mrmusichead.com/events/2019/3/22/glen-wexler-exhibition-the-80s-portrait-sessions

The night of the show opening will be a humdinger, for sure, with an opening cocktail reception beginning at 7PM local time and a series of live music performances, with a portion of the proceeds set to benefit the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

If you’d like to learn more about Glen’s book, you can click on over to the video he and his publisher put together for the Kickstarter campaign – https://www.kickstarter.com/f820260b-0aa6-4b39-b820-908b9370db7a   You might also want to take a fast trip over to this page on the Bontena site – https://www.bontena.com/contents/2019/02/Interview-with-Glen-Wexler-Photographer-Director-and-Visual-Artist-19021802? to read a recent interview with Glen written by Melisa Kaya.

c) A recent article written by Victoria Priola for the SI Live site gives us the details about a rather-expansive album cover art exhibition currently on display (now through March 23rd) in the gallery at the College of Staten Island (NY) – https://expo.silive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/02/d7d8fcf90e2068/the-college-of-staten-island-hangs-200-album-covers-in-art-gallery-for-new-exhibit.html Titled If A Song Could Be Freedom… Organized Sounds of Resistance, the show is built around a 200+ item collection of politically-themed album covers donated by Brookly’s Interference Archive (“a volunteer-run library, gallery, and archive of historical materials related to social and political activism and movements”) and is, according to the show’s organizers, works to “expose the broad scope of the intersection of music and politics.” Album sleeves from the 1960s to the present make up the bulk of what you’ll find there.

d) Sorry, almost missed this one, but it’s not too late for those of you in the Chicago area (hey, that’s me!) to traipse on down to the gallery in the café area of the Logan Center on the campus of the University of Chicago before March 31st to view a show of works from one of the local Hip-Hop music scene’s most-admired album cover artists – Nikko Washington, whose role as the artistic director of the Savemoney Hip-Hop collective has given him the opportunity to design some memorable covers and promo materials for musical acts including Vic Mensa, Noname and Towkio, among others.

A recently-posted article by Hannah Edgar on the Chicago Magazine site  – http://www.chicagomag.com/arts-culture/March-2019/Nikko-Washington-53-til-Infinity/– features an interview with the talented designer and includes his comments on some of the newer works he’s got on display. You’ll learn a bit more about Mr. Washington’s unique approach to creating his art, his past personal histories with some of the musicians he’s created imagery for and his frustration with how gentrification has wrung much of the original soul from where he grew up (Hyde Park), forcing a move to another neighborhood in the city (Pilsen, itself going through a lot of changes) to enable him to “keep it real”. It also gives you clues as to the where the title of Nikko’s show – 53 ‘Til Infinity – originates.

More info on the solo show now up is available on the University’s web site – https://arts.uchicago.edu/event/nikko-washington-53-til-infinity – and if you’d like to enjoy a deeper look into the artist’s portfolio of work, I can think of no place better to do that than on his web site at https://www.nikkowashington.com/

e) As a photojournalist who began documenting the local Hip-Hop music scene in the early 2000’s with a disposable camera (and has since gone on to become the official photographer for the always-in-demand musical group The Roots), Mel D. Cole has also shot album photos for Jadakiss, Trey Songz and The White Mandingos and established himself as one of the principal documenters of the Modern Era of Hip-Hop. Mel’s come up with a great title for his new bookGREAT: Photographs of Hip Hop 2002-2019 – which features photos of many of the genre’s most-noted artists at various stages of their careers. You’ll see candid shots, beautiful portraits and performance photos of A$AP, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Common, Rihanna, The Roots, RZA, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and many others, and the book’s forward is being provided by famed drummer, music historian and late night TV star Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots.

The Kickstarter program now live (through March 29th) at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/greatthebook/mel-d-cole-presents-great-pictures-of-hip-hop-2002? offers fans a number of different ways to help Mr. Cole raise the $55,000 he needs to complete his project, with support levels beginning at $25 (which gets you a very nice postcard deck) up to $400, which will secure you one of 500 “Personal Photographer’s Edition” packages that includes a signed book, the aforementioned postcard package and a limited-edition signed photo print all packed in a custom clamshell case. The book itself will cost you $65-$75 including shipping, with a targeted delivery date of December of this year.

I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Cole’s portfolio of work until recently, but after visiting his site at https://meldcole.com/allaccess and seeing the scope of his archives, I’m now a fan (and suspect that you will be, too).

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

Interview with SMOG Design about the I’ll Be Your Girl box set for The Decemberists

The Decemberists’ I’ll Be Your Girl Box Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Smog Design, Inc. about the making of their award-winning package for The Decemberists’ I’ll Be Your Girl

 

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

 As we’ve seen take place a number of times since the introduction of the modern album cover 70 years ago, certain market-savvy musical acts have teamed up with specific visual artists to collaborate on their overall “visual branding” (sorry for the buzzwords) for significant portions of their careers. Examples of these pairings include artist Phillip Travers working with the Moody Blues, Roger Dean’s visual stylings for YES, team Hipgnosis’ catalog of covers for Pink Floyd and Cal Schenkel’s mind-bending images for Frank Zappa and his chums (among others).

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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.