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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early November, 2019

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early November, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Dear Readers – This month’s summary will follow in my newest tradition – short intros and lots of links to the most-interesting stories I could find on the topic of album cover imagery and the people that make it. Later this month, you’ll meet the newest inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame (voting is taking place this month) but, for now here’s what you’ve been waiting patiently for:

1) The 2019 Making Vinyl Awards were presented on October 15 at a ceremony that took place during the “Making Vinyl” conference in Hollywood, CA, with the judges handing out awards to the talented people who created some intriguing examples of the craft. As a judge again this year, I have to admit that there were a number of examples that challenged my own pre-conceived notions of what “good” album cover art is, and several of the winners of this year’s polling went out of their way to reinforce the fact that “art is never easy” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (which is why I never publicly answer the question “what’s your favorite album cover”). At the end of the day, it’s just great to see so many talented people working so hard to conceive and produce record packaging that keeps fans coming back for more – http://makingvinyl.org/2019-winners-runner-ups/

This year’s “Alex Steinweiss Award” (for best overall package) was handed out to the team of creatives that came up with the package for the record titled Aesop Rock & Tobacco are Malibu Ken, a collaboration between hip-hop MC Aesop Rock and electronic music guru Tobacco released in early 2019 on the Rhymesayers Entertainment label. The principal design/illustration was done by artist James Quigley (AKA “Gunsho”), with the unique vinyl packaging including a custom die-cut gatefold jacket housing custom blue-colored vinyl, a 4-page insert with album lyrics, a perforated pop-out wearable mask with elastic string and a free digital download card (the CD packaging includes a custom die-cut 6-panel digipak housing a 12-page booklet with full album lyrics and a 8-panel cut-out wearable paper mask). Kudos also to the nice people at A To Z Media, who coordinated the manufacturing of this winning package. See more at https://pro.evalato.com/813/submissions/21863?round_id=617

New Exhibitions/gallery shows –

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

I was fortunate enough to obtain some related info about this show from super-collector/album art historian and curator Frank Edwards that I’d like to share with you now. According to Frank, “Specifically, included are The Nation’s Nightmare record (derived from an anti-drug radio program) from 1951; the Velvet Underground and Nico ‘Banana’ record from 1967, and The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers record from 1971. Additionally, the wonderful book produced for this exhibition includes images of Moondog’s The Story of Moondog (from 1957), the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat record from 1968, as well as images from the magazine Aspen’s Fab issue from December 1966 (which included a “flexi-disc” record) and Andy Warhol’s Index Book (which he called “a children’s book for hipsters”), which also included a flexi-disc. Additionally, two of the portraits included in the exhibition or catalog were used for record covers – Aretha Franklin’s portrait was used for the record, Aretha, and the Debbie Harry portrait was used for Blondie’s Greatest Hits: Deluxe Redux.”

Frank also maintains an excellent blog (now part of the ACHOF “Resources” section) that I’d invite you all to read as well – Art Record Covers (Vinyl Record Covers by Renowned Visual Artists) – https://artrecordcovers.wordpress.com/

2) NEW BANKSY ART SHOW in GENOA, ITALY – Friend of the ACHOF and fellow album art lover Richard Forrest recently shared the details of a new art show featuring the works of the mysterious and ultra-popular artist Banksy that will be opening later this month (November 22nd) in Genoa, Italy. What makes the show even more intriguing is that a number of items from Dr. Forrest’s personal collection will be included in the exhibition.

While I don’t have all of the details yet (he just signed the loan agreement, so some of the details are still TBD), the show’s title is “The Second Principle of Banksy” and is scheduled to run at the Palazzo Ducale (on the Piazza Matteotti) until March 20, 2020. According to the venue, “War, capitalism and freedom are current issues addressed by this exhibition, by using the artworks of the internationally famous street artist named Bansky. The exhibition is curated by Stefano Antonelli and Gianluca Marziani and includes paintings, limited edition prints, sculptures and rare items, many of which will be exposed for the first time.” As regards to the Forrest-supplied Banksy-produced album art that will be on loan to the show, let me recap some of the related info as I first reported it this past August during my exclusive review of this part of Richard’s collection – “I started collecting Banksy’s art on record and CD covers around 2005-6, at a time when most could be bought at standard record prices. I found a second issue version of Banksy’s/Danger Mouse’s Paris Hilton CD and a DJ offered me his copy of the promo version of Röyksopp’s Melody A.M. album with the Banksy-sprayed cover. I have since completed the series of Paris Hilton CDs by obtaining the first Bansky/Danger Mouse issue and by buying a copy of the original CD by Paris Hilton for comparison. Back in 2012, I curated an exhibition of Banksy’s record cover art and made a digital copy of the ultra-rare Capoiera Twins promo 12″ 4 x 3 / Truth Will Out, the cover of which was also spray-painted by Banksy (it wasn’t until 2017 that I actually got hold of a genuine copy)…Another rarity I have is the printer’s proof of Dirty Funker’s 2008 remix of The Knack’s hit single My Sharona which he’d renamed Let’s Get Dirty. As you know, in 2005 Banksy made a series of portraits of Kate Moss – six in all – done in the style of Andy Warhol. Dirty Funker used two of the Bansky Kate Moss portraits – one each on the front (red background) and rear (green background) covers – for his remix, and the one I own being the rarer version without the title strip across Kate Moss’ eyes on the front.” To find out more about Richard’s entire album art collection, you can read the complete interview on the ACHOF site via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/achof-featured-fan-portfolio-a-tour-through-collector-richard-forrests-favorite-album-covers/

Here’s a link to the show – http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/war-capitalism-liberty-artworks-artist-known-banksy

3) NEW – COMING LATER IN NOVEMBER – It’s been 25 years since the release of the debut record by Oasis called Definitely Maybe (OMG!), and fans/collectors will soon be able to tour a 25th anniversary display of photography and memorabilia gathered by the band’s preferred photographer at the time – Michael Spencer Jones –that will be on display at London’s Archivist’s Gallery and h Club beginning November 23rd through January 12th, 2020. Spencer was on hand to both document the behind-the-scenes inner-workings of a band on a rapid rise to fame and produce the memorable album cover images and tour photos we’ve all seen and loved. The UK’s Standard provides us with a preview of the show – https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/arts/unseen-photographs-oasis-exhibition-definitely-maybe-a4222796.html, and if you’d like to learn more about the details of this exciting review, please visit the venue’s site at https://hclub.com/london/

ONGOING Exhibitions/Gallery Shows –

1) 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 the previously-quoted 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/

2) 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.

3) The Sir Paul McCartney-approved show of his talented late wife Linda’s photography – spanning a career that began in the mid-1960s with a gig as a house photographer at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East venue and, over time, moving on to shoot portraits of 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 (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). After meeting Beatle Paul while covering the release of the band’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP and marrying 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. 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

4) Still on display at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is the show launched 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

Artist News and Interviews –

1) Back when I lived in Portland, OR, I was a member of the Pacific NW chapter of the Grammy organization, which held their member meetings in Seattle, WA (a beautiful 3.5 hour train ride up along the coast brought me there – oh, the memories), and during those visits I’d inevitably make the pilgrimage up to the city’s Easy Street Records – partly, to peruse the stores offerings and partly to admire the mega-sized album cover recreations painted on the store’s exterior. To show you more about this establishment’s extra-special efforts to promote what’s new and exciting inside, the folks at the local paper (The Seattle Times) recently published an interview with the window design guru whose job it is to super-size the covers selected for this honor – https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/our-window-to-the-world-love-of-music-art-inspires-window-dresser-at-seattles-easy-street-records/

2) Among photographer Jay Blakesberg’s hundreds of shots used to illustrate articles, books and hundreds of album packages, perhaps his best-known are the photos he took of The Grateful Dead and its various noted players, most-notably the late guitarist Jerry Garcia (e.g., there are photos of his in the package for the 2019 Jerry Garcia Band release Electric On The Eel). Last month, Jambands.com published an interview with Mr. Blakesberg about his new book of J. Garcia images, a tome titled “ –  with the focus of the 208-page book being “a collection of Jay’s iconic images of Garcia from 1978 until Garcia’s death in 1995. The book will include photographs of Garcia with members of the Grateful Dead as well as guest musicians and solo projects Jerry worked on.” https://jambands.com/features/2019/10/25/jay-blakesberg-shares-jerry-garcias-secret-space-of-dreams/?

3) More – Two more interviews I thought you might want to take a look at are a) the one found on the Hypergallery site with photographer David Goldman about his best known Blink 182 cover photos (including everyone’s favorite – the “are you ready for your examination?” shot found on Turn Your Head and Coughhttps://www.hypergallery.com/interview-david-goldman/?mc_cid=7ab59d0bc8&mc_eid=7549bdd503 and b) one with Christine Hult-Lewis, who works as a curatorial assistant with The Bancroft Library’s archives and who is pleased to talk about their latest acquisition, that being the archives of music industry photographer Howard Brainen, someone who spent years producing images for clients in the rock, jazz and blues genres and who was given his break and inspiration by another famed shooter, the late, great Jim Marshall – https://news.lib.berkeley.edu/brainen

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

1) Designer Brian Cannon lends a hand on creating color schemes for new sneakers based on color palettes from classic album covers he created for bands including Oasis, Suede and The Verve (among others) – https://hypebeast.com/2019/10/size-exclusive-adidas-originals-training-pt-album-covers-release-information

2) Not to be outdone by Brian Cannon and the folks at Adidas, the team behind the design-it-yourself “Customs” line of shoes at Vans found themselves inspired by classic album art from musical acts including blink-182, Twenty One Pilots, Fall Out Boy and Andy Black and created 14 examples for your consideration, all of which can be found in Alyssa Quiles’ recent article on the AltPress site – https://www.altpress.com/features/custom-vans-ideas-music/ Not a bad idea, with the Holidays coming up….

3) One of the most-inspired album cover projects put in front of fans back in 1968 – the images photographer Michael Joseph staged and created for the Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet – are the subject of a new series of photo prints available for purchase at the San Francisco Art Exchange. According to the Stones (as stated on their web site), this is the record “that changed everything” for the band, so anyone looking to add examples of one of the most-noted covers to their album cover fine art collection should certainly peruse this collection at SFAE – https://sfae.com/Artists/Michael-Joseph

4) The nice people at the UK’s Hypergallery recently announced that they’re releasing a special edition “Schizoid Man” King Crimson print –  https://www.hypergallery.com/barry-godber/?  This image was one of the first inducted into the ACHOF’s “Individual Achievement Award” category and, sadly, this work – with the “Schizoid Man” on the cover and the “Crimson King” (AKA – Beelzebub) on the inside – would then be his only album cover painting. The original is owned by guitarist Robert Fripp, who remarked in a 1995 interview with French magazine Rock & Folk that the image reflected the music and, if you cover the smiling face, the eyes show an incredible sadness… Born in 1946, Barry Godber was an artist (trained at the Chelsea Art School in the U.K.), computer programmer and a co-worker of Peter Sinfield (King Crimson’s lyricist, lighting designer and art director) at English Electric/ICL Computers and was asked, after listening to several tracks on the record that Sinfield had shared with him, to contribute the cover image for the band’s debut album (released in October 1969 on Island Records). He painted the album cover, formally titled Portrait of 21st Century Schizoid Man, in 1969 but would never appreciate the impact the cover art would have because soon after the record’s release (in February, 1970), Godber died of a heart attack.

Movie trivia buffs will notice that this same image was re-created on a wall featured in the widely-panned 1987 film Surf Nazis Must Die, and King Crimson biographer Sid Smith has contributed a nice essay on the impact that Godber’s best-known work has had on album cover history since it began staring out a record buyers nearly 50 years ago.

Also, the gallery has announced the availability of two more Talk Talk album art prints by the supremely-talented artist James Marsh – https://www.hypergallery.com/talktalk?. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Marsh several years back about his work for the popular 80’s “post-rock” trio and how he brought his own unique surrealist approach to album art making to bear in covers for records such as The Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden (among others) – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/james-marsh-talk-talk-interview/

Miscellaneous Items –

1) There’s an interesting new report on the Vox.com site that dives into a rather obscure-but-fascinating album art-related topic – i.e., what it is that a certain style of furniture – the wicker chair/throne – has been featured on many an album cover.  “There’s one genre of cover so ubiquitous it almost flew under the radar. The covers typically featured a wide shot of the artist sitting on a throne-like wicker chair, like a king or queen. Usually the artist looked casual and relaxed; sometimes props would sit around them to decorate the scene. No matter what, the over-sized woven chair was the main feature. This was the peacock chair album cover, and it was everywhere.” A seven-plus minute video produced by Vox tracks the origin of the peacock wicker chair portrait and tells the unlikely story of where this unique giant chair came from – https://www.vox.com/2019/10/4/20897269/peacock-chair-album-cover

2) Throughout the history of recorded music and its packaging, there have been many examples of cover art that have caused the hearts of the most-sensitive of consumers to flutter out of control. While some managed to slip by the censors and a record label’s marketing management, others weren’t so fortunate, so here’s a nicely-produced recap of twenty of these “banned” album covers and the stories behind them on the Kerrang! site – https://www.kerrang.com/features/20-album-covers-that-were-banned-or-censored/

3) While many of us scratch our heads almost daily about what some folks in the public eye manage to say and do without reproach, there are cultures elsewhere in the world where, even today, work hard to establish and maintain long-held beliefs and traditions that, particularly to us “heathens”, seem so overbearing that we can only look on in wonder (and feel fortunate that we’re not – yet – subject to the same censorship). In this recent article on the PetaPixel site, you’ll see examples that put on display Iran’s politics as it relates to album cover imagery in which women are erased from album covers, including the women who made the music on the album – https://petapixel.com/2019/10/23/iranian-music-streaming-site-erases-women-from-their-own-album-covers/

4) Some impressive album cover-related sleuthing by Guy Minnebach/Andy Earhole uncovers another previously unaccredited Andy Warhol-designed cover – https://warholcoverart.com/2019/10/13/the-bossa-nova-cover-no-one-knew-was-a-warhol-paul-desmonds-take-ten/

5) It seems as though the editors at Juxtapoz Magazine have been focused on other things lately and have not added any new entries to the magazine’s “Sound & Vision” album art series. I’ll dig into this to see if there are plans to add to this fine collection of stories but, until then, I’d invite you to look at their archives – https://www.juxtapoz.com/search/sound%20and%20vision/

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 – End of July – August, 2019

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – End of July – August, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Summer marches on. After driving by the area in downtown Chicago where the annual Lollapalooza music event is being held (making motoring down Lake Shore Drive extra fun) and seeing the happy crowds enjoying the performances/shenanigans taking place there (although, with ticket prices starting at $130 for a one-day general admission pass and going up to $4200 for a 4-day “platinum pass”, which gets you “access to the luxurious, climate-controlled North & South Platinum Lounges featuring signature cocktails, craft beer, champagne, wine and curated culinary offerings; premium viewing areas in front of five stages; access to on-stage viewing at the North & South main stages; complete access to the VIP Lolla Lounges, including the new stage featuring performances by Lolla artists” and, my favorite perk, “golf cart transportation between the Platinum Festival entrance, Lounges, and front-of-stage viewing areas” – I mean, who can walk after all of that champagne and “curated culinary offerings”? – this is one fest I’ll have to live without), it reminds me that there are simpler and no-less-enjoyable ways to spend a few minutes of your time, such as reviewing this month’s easy-to-digest 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 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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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 Art and Artist News Update for February 1, 2019

 

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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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 8, 2019

Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update

January 8, 2019

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 Best Art Vinyl Awards

Winners of the Best Art Vinyl Awards 2018 – Copyright 2019 Art Vinyl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam-based designer/artist Rahi Rezvani (http://www.rahirezvani.com/home/), perhaps best-known for his portfolio of designs for the Netherlands Dance Theater and other works with performance artist Marina Abramovic and Dutch singer Alain Clark, earned top honors in this year’s Best Art Vinyl Awards for his cover for British rockers Editors 2018 album Violence.

From the 50 nominees originally posted for voting last year, the 2nd place design award went to Tom Hingston (along with photographer Julia Noni) at the London-based Hingston Studio (http://www.hingston.net/) for their work on the cover of Cocoa Sugar, the third studio album by UK electronic dance band Young Fathers. Third place in this year’s competition went to the team at the Sheffield, UK-based design group The Designers Republic (http://www.thedesignersrepublic.com/) for their design work on Aphex Twin’s Collapse EP.

The awards were presented in ceremonies at the Hari Hotel in London, and you can take a look at all of this year’s nominees (along with the winners) on the Art Vinyl site at https://www.artvinyl.com/award-year/2018/

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 Art & Artist News Update for January 4th, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update

posted January 4th, 2019, by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hope that you all had happy new year celebrations (some of you may still be in the midst of one!) and, while 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…

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

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve, 2018

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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Album Cover 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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