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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 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.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for January 11, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update

posted January 11th, 2019 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

For your weekend reading pleasure – here are a few timely links to articles or events I thought you should know about….

– Noted British artist/musician/illustrator Rodney Matthews is kicking off 2019 with a return to his English roots and a two-day-only album cover show in a city – Birmingham – often considered the birthplace of “heavy metal” music. With album cover clients (including Amon Duul, Asia, Hawkwind, Magnum, Nazareth and many others) who’ve relied on Matthews for just the right fantasy imagery to keep their fans happy, it’s no wonder that Rodney has been kept busy (over 140 covers and counting!) for over 50 years.

The show’s titled “Electric Rock” and will be staged the weekend of January 19th and 20th at Highbury Hall in Birmingham (4 Yew Tree Road, B13 8QG) and Matthews’ entire portfolio of album cover art will be on display, including many never-been-shown original artworks and related memorabilia. Fans of the Stormbringer book and the Shadow Master video game, as well as collectors of fantasy artwork and Big O posters will find much to see (and to buy to display proudly at home). More on the show – as well as details of special VIP admission packages – can be found on the artist’s site at – https://www.rodneymatthewsstudios.com/pages/electric-rock

I’ve also been hording links to the many recent “making of” articles that have been published over the past 4-8 weeks, and so without further delay:

Revolver Magazine’s J. Bennet shares the details behind the collaboration of two talented visual artists (designer P.R. Brown and painter/musician Marilyn Manson) that resulted in the the making of the cover for Mr. Manson’s 1996 record (produced by Trent Reznor) Antichrist Superstarhttps://www.revolvermag.com/culture/marilyn-mansons-antichrist-superstar-story-behind-album-cover-art

Juxtapoz Magazine’s “Sound & Vision” series of album cover art-related articles continues in fine form with the following:

– While photographer Karl Ferris and guitar legend Jimi Hendrix shared a mutual admiration for one another’s talents (with Hendrix once telling Karl that “You‘re doing with photography what I’m doing with music – going far out beyond the limits”), there were times when Hendrix and his bandmates were less-than-happy with the covers that the record companies produced for their retail products. Here’s the story behind one of those times – the Hindu-inspired psychedelic cover for the Experience’s Axis: Bold As Love LP – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/illustration/sound-and-vision-the-jimi-hendrix-experience-vibrant-axis-bold-as-love/

– An existing shot – a stark, red and black photo from designer/photographer Sean McCabe’s portfolio -seems like the perfect image to illustrate the cover of the 2002 debut record – titled Turn On The Bright Lights – from NYC-based rockers Interpol –  https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/design/sound-and-vision-interpol-s-2002-debut-turn-on-the-bright-lights/

– Is it cute, weird or just a little bit dirty…influential designer/artist Mark Kelley was asked by his chum, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, to come up with the cover image for their second major-label release (1992’s Dirty), and whether you get it or not, it certainly became something that stuck in our collective memories – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-sonic-youth-dirty-album-cover-art-by-mike-kelley/

That’s all for now – back to you sometime soon with more on our favorite people working on our favorite album packages.

Mike G

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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For November/December, 2018

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

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

With the holiday season fully upon us, I know that you don’t have much time for reading (other than ads and reviews for the electronic gadgets you must buy this season), so I’ll get straight to the point – I was happy to announce the names of the talented individuals and design teams that were selected for inclusion in this year’s Class of Inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame a short while back, and with the Best Art Vinyl and Grammy Award noms and voting straight ahead of us, there’s been a fair amount of album cover artist/art-related news this past month. With my book project back on track, I really have only had the chance to gather a small selection of album cover artist/art-related news tidbits for you (and I’m even late doing that) so, without any further delay, here are those highlights, for your reading pleasure (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):

Inductees announced for the Class of 2018 of the Album Cover Hall of Fame – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2018-inductee-intro-page/

Best Art Vinyl voting has begun – https://www.artvinyl.com/award-year/2018/

Grammy Award nominations are to be announced on December 7th (originally was to have been 12/5, but delayed in deference to the funeral for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush), so I’ll post those in the album cover-related categories in a special announcement later this week.

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For October/November, 2018

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

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Let me be straight with you – with both the upcoming mid-term election here in the U.S. and this year’s nominating/voting process for the Album Cover Hall of Fame Class of 2018 dominating my time, I really have only had the chance to gather a small selection of album cover artist/art-related news tidbits for you (and I’m even late doing that) so, without any further delay, here are those highlights, for your weekend reading pleasure (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):

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

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

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

With the cool breezes of Autumn now upon us, we can all look back at the memories created this past Summer with a combination of happiness for the times spent with friends and family and with sadness for those who experienced the wrath of Mother Nature (you can still donate to provide some relief to those driven from their homes due to floods and fire – the folks at Mercy Corps continue their quest to bring better solutions and immediate assistance to those in need around the world – https://www.mercycorps.org/ ). With the mid-term elections soon upon us here in the U.S. (please do all you can to vote and help others to get registered and vote, too – click on over to Vote Save America https://votesaveamerica.com/ to find out how) and the Holiday season following soon after, it’s also time for the annual Album Cover Hall of Fame nominating and voting process to begin, so rest assured knowing that yours truly and my merry band of album cover gurus will be working hard to deliver a fresh crop of inductees to you by November’s end.

I’m  happy to share the news that, in spite of all of the distractions pitched at us by various media outlets and hyper-active Twitter feeds, there’s been a goodly 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, all you’ll need to do is just read the summaries I’ve written and then click the links provided in order to 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.

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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.

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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.