Tag Archives: Baron Wolman

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

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

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

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. Prior to taking you through our regular news categories, I want to once again share several annual award announcements featuring honors bestowed upon the laudable people who make our favorite record album images and packages:

Award Announcement #1 – As promised in last month’s summary, I’m pleased to introduce you to the newest inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame (an announcement I know you’ve been waiting patiently for):

In the Album Cover Photographer category, the new inductees are Janette Beckman, Fin Costello and Hideki Fujii, Daniel Kramer, Simon Larbalestier and Linda McCartney;

In the Album Cover Illustrator/Typographer category, the new inductees are Pedro Bell, Ioannis, Tom Nikosey, Terry Pastor, Gerald Scarfe and Winston Smith

In the Album Cover Designer category, new inductees include John Berg, Mike Doud, Rod Dyer, Rob O’Connor (& Stylorouge) and Glen Wexler; 

Album Cover Art Directors inducted this year include Cey Adams, Stanley Donwood, Garbrielle Raumberger, Tommy Steele and Larry Vigon;

Inducted Record Labels with a long-standing commitment to great album cover imagery include Island, Nonesuch and Yep Roc;

And lastly, the list of inductees of the Musical Acts who’ve promoted and supported great album cover art includes Black Sabbath, St. Vincent, White Stripes and Kanye West

Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 10 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image.

Since this announcement was sent out on November 22nd, I’ve heard back from a number of this year’s inductees and – pardon me if I blush a bit – it seems that most of them were quite pleased to be included in our little old Hall of Fame. Several of them have agreed to work with me on interview and/or Featured Artist Portfolio articles in the upcoming year (always a fan favorite) and one of them – famed artist/illustrator Gerald Scarfe, whose work on Pink Floyd’s The Wall 40 years ago resulted in some of the most-memorable imagery ever associated with a rock music album – was kind enough to share something quite special with me (and now, you!) – “I am very honoured to be inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. The cover was the first design I made for Pink Floyd The Wall, and I had to create all the visuals – the Wife, the Teacher, The Marching Hammers and so on – inspired by Roger Waters’ music and lyrics. Now, on the 40th anniversary of the album, I am selling the whole of my personal, comprehensive collection of Wall memorabilia: original paintings, early scripts, story boards etc, through SFAE* .  In commemoration of this anniversary year, I have also personally created an oil painting of the centrefold of the iconic cover which is also for sale separately (see image of this painting taken in Mr. Scarfe’s studio, below)…”

Gerald Scarfe – Pink Floyd The Wall Inner Gatefold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*SFAE is the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery, and you’ll read more about this sale later on in this month’s summary. I’d like to thank the gallery’s Jim Hartley for sharing this note and other Scarfe-related info with me – much appreciated!

To see a list of all of the current inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame, please visit – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-inductee-list-main-page/

Thanks again to all of the members of the Voting Panel who participated this year – this couldn’t be done without your continued support.

Award Announcement #2 – On November 20th, the Recording Academy announced its list of nominees for 2019 Grammy Awards in the two album cover art-related categories we pay close attention to here at the ACHOF and, as you’ll see as you review these nominee lists, a number of different genres (rock, jazz, world music and others) and art directors with a wide range of past experiences producing effective packaging for retail recorded music products have applied their prodigious talents to create the examples included in this year’s nominated efforts. Let’s take a look at who is included in this year’s lineups:

– In the “Best Recording Package” category, the nominees are:

Anónimas & Resilientes by Voces Del Bullerengue – Luisa María Arango, Carlos Dussan, Manuel García-Orozco & Juliana Jaramillo-Buenaventura, art directors;

Chris Cornell by Chris Cornell – Barry Ament, Jeff Ament, Jeff Fura & Joe Spix, art directors;

Hold That Tiger by The Muddy Basin Ramblers – Andrew Wong & Fongming Yang, art directors;

I,I by Bon Iver – Aaron Anderson & Eric Timothy Carlson, art directors; and

Intellexual by Intellexual – Irwan Awalludin, art director

– In the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category, the nominees are:

Anima by Thom Yorke – Stanley Donwood & Tchocky, art directors;

Gold In Brass Age by David Gray – Amanda Chiu, Mark Farrow & David Gray, art directors;

1963: New Directions by John Coltrane – Josh Cheuse, art director;

The Radio Recordings 1939–1945 by Wilhelm Furtwängler & Berliner Philharmoniker – Marek Polewski, art director; and

Woodstock: Back To The Garden – The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive (featuring performances by Various Artists) – Masaki Koike, art director

As always, I’ll be digging in to the stories behind any/all of the nominated works and the people who created them and will be releasing more information as I find it. In the meantime, let’s congratulate all of the nominees for jobs well done. The complete list of Grammy nominees in all of the categories announced today can be found at –  https://www.grammy.com/grammys/awards/62nd-annual-grammy-awards-2019  with winners announced in ceremonies in Los Angeles on January 26th.

Award Announcement #3 – It’s time to submit your votes for this year’s Best Art Vinyl awards – https://artvinyl.com/best-record-cover-design-competition/  Now in its 15th year, the competition – sponsored as always by the team at Art Vinyl (maker/marketer of a very nice record album cover display frame/system) – has become a must-see-and-do activity for fans of album art from all over the world, with many of the top vote-getters in this competition going on to win nominations and awards at the Grammys. In fact, this competition, with voting by “the people” (i.e., you and me) reminds me of “alt-award” shows such as the Independent Spirit Awards (by and for movie fans) and the E! People’s Choice Awards, the long-running multi-media entertainment award show, as all are much more grass-roots in their style and approach to presenting the latest and best in entertainment industry talent.

Pick your three favorites from the display of many of this year’s most-intriguing designs and cast your vote ASAP, as voting is open for only a short while, with winners announced in January, 2020. If you’d like to see and learn more about this exciting annual event, I’d invite you to check out their archives at  https://artvinyl.com/lp-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/

New/Recently-Opened Exhibitions and Gallery Shows –

a) UHHM OPENS DECEMBER 2 – Very happy to announce the opening of the “pop-up” exhibition that I had a small part in creating. On December 2nd, the Universal Hip Hop Museum makes history with the debut of the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop show at the Bronx Terminal Market, which is where the museum will ultimately be housed. In addition to a collection of unique memorabilia, there will be an interactive timeline kiosk (covering the history of the genre’s music, art, fashion, dance and more) and a very cool kiosk that asks users to share some basic details about themselves before kicking out a custom-tailored playlist.

You are welcome to visit the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop anytime, but please make sure you get a reserved ticket to help the team there manage crowd flow.  Tickets are available at www.uhhm.org/revolution-of-hip-hop  Congratulations to Rocky and all of the people who made this first phase of what looks to be an impressive, ongoing organization meant to share a treasure trove of information, artistry and pride in this art form, spawned in the very neighborhood this museum now lives in.

b) 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 opened late last 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.

The show’s title is “The Second Principle of Banksy” and it’s 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.”

Right after the show opened, Dr. Forrest sent me an update as he was in attendance for the special opening event. As he related to me, “the exhibition is called “Il secundo pricipio di un artista chiamato Banksy”, which translated means “The Second Priciple of the artist known as Banksy”. Well, my question naturally is: if this exhibition is the SECOND principle, what is the FIRST? The curator Stefano Antonelli explains in the beautiful catalogue that Banksy’s two principles are first, ‘if you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask’; while his second principle is ‘If you want to be honest, then you have to live a lie’. I had no idea of these principles as I went round the beautifully presented and hung show. I only got to read the catalogue on the Saturday morning! So, I suppose I’m living a lie trying to be honest!

There is a whole room devoted to my collection of Banksy’s record and CD covers! One has to wander through the other four rooms before ending up in Room 5, the final room where my collection is on show. Here are photos of the records and the cover of the catalogue. The CDs and vinyl singles are displayed in a huge black trunk.”

Let me add some additional details regarding the Forrest-supplied examples of Banksy-produced album art that are display at the show via a 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.”

The exhibition, at Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale, Piazza Matteotti 9, Genoa, Italy will run until the 29th of March, 2020. Here’s a link to the show’s site – http://www.visitgenoa.it/en/evento/war-capitalism-liberty-artworks-artist-known-banksy

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/

c) BARON WOLMAN PHOTO SHOW, OPENED NOVEMBER 2 – Famed rock photographer Baron Wolman’s “Backstage Pass” travelling exhibit is now on display at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur, TX. This museum is perhaps best-known to rock music fans as having one of the better-curated collections of hometown heroine Janis Joplin memorabilia, and of course one of Wolman’s most-noted album art-related images is the photo of Janis and her fellow members of Big Brother and the Holding Company that’s found on the back cover of their iconic Cheap Thrills LP (he also shot her several times for early issues of Rolling Stone Magazine), so its easy to see why local fans would be eager to see this collection, which also includes many of Wolman’s famous photos of Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and many, many others.

https://www.panews.com/2019/10/31/going-backstage-museum-of-the-gulf-coast-to-open-new-rock-and-roll-photography-exhibit/

https://www.museumofthegulfcoast.org/

https://www.museumofthegulfcoast.org/janis-joplin

So proud are the folks in Port Arthur about their Janis’ place in history that they are offering fans a unique memento of her history – a brick taken from the singer’s childhood home – only $54 including shipping – https://www.museumofthegulfcoast.org/product-page/brick-from-childhood-home-of-janis-joplin

d) CLASH SHOW OPENED NOVEMBER 15 – Whenever a recap of the most-notable rock music-related photos is published, the photo that most-nearly-always tops that list is the one black & white image that Pennie Smith took of Clash bassist Paul Simonon about to smash his instrument in frustration during a not-so-well received performance at New York City’s Palladium in September of 1979. The image would go on to serve as the cover for the band’s London Calling double LP, which also featured lettering by famed designer Ray Lowry, who borrowed style cues from an early Elvis Presley album to create his new masterpiece.

Now, in London at the Museum of London as part of a new exhibit titled The Clash: London Calling, fans can see 100+ unique pieces of memorabilia related to the band/this record, including Simonon’s broken Fender bass, studio/production-related notes from Mick Jones and Joe Strummer (including Strummer’s typewriter) and Topper Headon’s drum sticks which, according to the curator, are the only remaining items of Headon’s that remain from this time period. According to the show’s PR, “London Calling was and is a hugely compelling melting pot of musical styles, driven by a passion for action and a fierce political anger, with music and lyrics which remain as relevant today as they were on release. As well as showcasing influences and context for the writing and recording of the seminal double album, this new exclusive exhibit at the Museum of London will also examine how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century.”

The show (free admission) runs through the 19th of April, 2020, with more details available on the museum’s web site at https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/news-room/press-releases/museum-london-host-clash-london-calling

So come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls, and get ye to this show while you can.

e) OPENED LATE 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 –

a) ANDY WARHOL IN CHICAGO (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 had the chance to visit the Andy Warhol exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute in early November and I have to say that the sheer scope of the show was mind-boggling. It was great to see so many examples of his early commercial work (ads, album covers, etc.) along with all of the “hits” (Elvis, Marilyn, Mao, soup cans, etc.). There were paintings, prints, films, books, an entire case of memorabilia/correspondence and much more.

I’ve put together a small photo show of some of the music-related items you’ll find – portraits of Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry and Aretha Franklin; photos/promo imagery featuring the Velvet Underground (and Lou Reed and Nico) and a compact display of a celebrity-drenched collection of covers from early issues of Warhol’s Interview magazine. You can view this show on the ACHOF Facebook page –

https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame/photos/rpp.375640709184505/2577208772361010/?type=3&theater

If you’re in the area between now and the show’s end date in late January (Jan. 26, 2020), you owe it to yourself to take a tour of this exciting display of pop art masterworks. Before your visit, you can learn more about what will be on display – running there through January 26, 2020, by clicking on over to the museum’s site at https://www.artic.edu/exhibitions/2937/andy-warhol-from-a-to-b-and-back-again

To give you some additional background info about the album cover art aspects of this show, I was fortunate enough to obtain some related info from super-collector/album art historian and curator Frank Edwards. 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/

b) ONGOING – 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/

c) ONGOING – 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.

d) ONGOING – 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

e) ONGOING, ENDING EARLY DECEMBER – 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 –

Nothing much to offer this month – sorry…I’ll keep looking…

Sales and Auctions –

a) Gerald Scarfe selling his personal collection of The Wall memorabilia – As you saw in this article’s opening paragraphs, one of the world’s best-known commercial illustrators, Gerald Scarfe, has teamed up once again with the team at the San Francisco Art Exchange to sell some of his seminal works from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. You may recall that, back in 2017, Scarfe’s original painting titled “The Scream” sold for $1.85 million as part of a series of 11 works from The Wall sold that year. Two recent articles, one in Rolling Stone Magazine and another in Forbes, provide some additional background into what must be the year’s most-intriguing album art-related offers.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/the-wall-artist-gerald-scarfe-pink-floyd-archive-905710/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebaltin/2019/11/23/qa-going-behind-pink-floyds-the-wall-with-artist-gerald-scarfe/

Further details of the amazing collection of Pink Floyd The Wall-related artwork from the collection of the artist Gerald Scarfe have been posted by the nice people at the San Francisco Art Exchange, with one grouping of imagery from Scarfe’s work done for Roger Waters’ in 2010 for his live staging of The Wall (which includes sketches, watercolors and hand-drawn lyric pages) and the other from the late 1970s/early 1980s, when Gerald created the original visuals for the album, film and live concert productions. According to Jim and Anna from SFAE – “We’ve worked closely with Gerald over the past two and a half years representing several of his most famous paintings and drawings with extraordinary success.  During that time, we’ve collaborated with him in setting the worldwide record price – $1.85 million – for the original painting for the “Scream” movie poster for the film The Wall.  While we’ve had such a wonderful reception to his work, Gerald, now at 83, has asked for us to look to find a collector, or collectors, who would acquire all or a major portion of his collection.  This could happen in any number of ways including the possibility of one collector or entity acquiring the entire archive for purposes of touring or museum/institutional presentation, or numerous collectors acquiring aspects of the collection either individually or as a curated selection of works.  Gerald very much wants his artwork to be in the homes of those who share his love for the art and the music…To begin the selection discussion, I’ve included links to two catalogs below which include numerous of his best known images.  These are paintings, drawings and the famed The Wall Commemorative fine art print that was specially created for the first-ever exhibition of his work here in our gallery during the summer of 2017.  Prices for the pieces are available over a very broad price range from several thousand to over a million $$ for the most famed paintings.”

Group 1 – Waters Tour of The Wallhttps://sfae.com/ECommerceSite/files/12/1287b8ba-3a69-443d-9c72-fa631ff418ad.pdf

Group 2 – Original Album, Film and Concert Production elements for The Wall – https://sfae.com/ECommerceSite/files/12/1287b8ba-3a69-443d-9c72-fa631ff418ad.pdf

https://sfae.com/ECommerceSite/files/37/3713bf58-1f95-4378-b22e-add7623431a1.html

BONUS material – Here’s a video I found on the ArtDaily.com site (titled “A Life Less Ordinary”) produced by the folks at the Sotheby’s art auction house – to coincide with their own auction of some of Gerald’s production elements from the making of The Wall, in which Mr. Scarfe muses about politics and Pink Floyd while giving us an insider’s look at his studio – https://artdaily.cc/?date=11/19/2019#video

b) NEW GALLERY – I recently learned about a new online gallery that specializes in selling fine art prints of well-known album covers, and that this gallery was also planning on sponsoring a series of “pop-up” gallery shows in Paris that I understand might be of great interest to collectors in that part of the world, so here’s some preliminary info (with more to come ASAP). Called Le Nouvel Opera, the gallery’s CEO and founder, Gilles Soulier, is an experienced art director (owning an ad agency by the same name, serving clients including Sofitel and Carlsberg), film director as well as a guitarist, so this gallery seems to be quite the passion play…You can learn more by visiting the online gallery at https://www.lenouvelopera.fr/ (in French) and, for you English speakers, by reading an article recently posted on The Eye of Photography site – https://loeildelaphotographie.com/en/event/the-masters-of-rock-art/

c) Auction sales results – The people at the Gotta Have Rock And Roll auction site recently held one of their “Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auctions” (with bidding taking place November 13 – 22) and I found a few things that were up for auction that were of interest to album art collectors, including:

–  a portfolio of signed/numbered artist proof prints (18 cover prints in all – examples include Cream’s Disraeli Gears, Blind Faith, Supertramp’s Breakfast In America and many more classic images) from the original early 90s “Record Art” collection (unsold, after asking for an opening bid of $10,000);

a 12 x 12 print of photographer Danny Clinch’s shot used on the cover of Don Henley’s Cass County record, autographed in silver pen by Mr. Henley himself (unsold, even after a low minimum bid $100);

a signed/numbered print of artist Margo Nahas’  provocative “smokin’ baby angel” cover image for Van Halen’s 1984 album (bids started at $1,000, with the item left unsold) and, for those of you who like to own original production artwork, a portfolio of sketches and final ink drawings of the elements for both the record album and movie titles for Prince’s Purple Rain from the personal collection of the artist/designer, Jay Vigon. With a minimum opening bid of $30,000 for the set it, too, went unsold.

While the production elements and fine art prints failed to attract buyers, autographed items did much better, including a fully-band-signed copy of Beggar’s Banquet from the Rolling Stones (pre-auction estimate from $6K – $10K, selling for $10,123); a fully-band-signed copy of Queen’s A Night At The Opera ($4K minimum bid, selling for $5,857) and a rare 1981 tour-signed copy of Pink Floyd’s Animals album, signed by David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright on the inner gatefold in blue ballpoint pen, which achieved a $5,990 sales price after a $4,500 minimum opening bid.

https://www.gottahaverockandroll.com/catalog.aspx?searchby=3&searchvalue=album%20cover

New Products (Books, Prints, Other) –

a) George DuBose 2020 Calendars – former Spin/Interview Magazine photo editor and album cover photographer extraordinaire George DuBose recently announced that he has published – via his Cologne, Germany-based Wonderland Publishing company – four calendars featuring photographs of many of the musicians that he’s worked with over the years. Choose from calendars built around George’s portraits of early-1980’s Madonna (fronting The Breakfast Club playing clubs in the NYC area); Tom Waits (with photos taken during shoots for Spin and Interview magazines); “Rockers” featuring shots of the many New Wave bands DuBose worked with, such as The Go-Gos, B-52s, R.E.M. and others and a calendar featuring many of the old school hip-hop artists he photographed, such as Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Run-DMC and others.

These signed and numbered calendars (in editions of 500) are available for $33 each plus postage ($10 to the U.S., 5 Euros to addresses in Europe – up to 4 calendars can be shipped in the same envelope) by contacting him at boss@george-dubose.com or sending the appropriate amount to the same email address via Paypal.

b) 2018 ACHOF Inductee in the Album Cover Photographer category Lynn Goldsmith has been grabbing the news headlines in a couple of quite interesting ways lately. While one of those ways, involving her case against the Andy Warhol Foundation concerning Warhol’s use of a photo Lynn took of the late musician Prince, is worthy of an article on its own (MORE TO COME), the other way – particularly of interest to Holiday gift shoppers, is the limited-edition book (Before Easter After) released by Taschen featuring Goldsmith’s mesmerizing portfolio of images of rocker Patti Smith (you’ll recall the glamorous album cover image Lynn took for Smith’s 1978 Easter album) –  https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/music/all/66938/facts.before_easter_after_lynn_goldsmith_patti_smith.htm

According to the publisher – “With hundreds of unseen photographs and exclusive texts by Smith, this signed edition documents a transformative moment in the artist’s career and celebrates two greats whose creative partnership continues to this day.” There are three editions of the book available – one edition of 100 copies signed and numbered by both Smith and Goldsmith and packaged with an art print titled NYC, 1977 ($1,750); one edition of 100 copies signed and numbered by both Smith and Goldsmith and packaged with an art print titled NYC, 1976 ($1,750) and an edition of 1300 signed/numbered books (no print) available for $700.

c) Just in time for Holiday shopping, 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/

Works offered for sale by James Marsh/Hypergallery, Vinylux and George DuBose

 

 

 

 

 

See more of the things I found that I think album art fans might want to find in their stretched-into-weird-shape Holiday stockings in my annual compendium of this infohttps://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2019/11/29/album-cover-hall-of-fames-2019-holiday-gift-buying-guide/

Miscellaneous Items –

a) ACHOF Sad News Posts – November was a particularly bad month with regards to the lives and legacies of iconic album cover photographers with the loss of two major figures in the arena, Robert Freeman and Terry O’Neill.

Freeman, who died in early November at the age of 82, was a photographer and designer, most famous for his five album cover photos for The Beatles, his design work on the end credit sequences of their first two films (Hard Day’s Night and Help!) and those films’ promotional and advertising materials. Having graduated from Cambridge in 1959, he first gained fame as a photo journalist on the staff of Britain’s The Sunday Times newspaper. While he’d worked for a couple of years shooting story assignments, in the summer of 1963 he was given the opportunity to photograph jazz great John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderly and others performing at a festival in London. He later contacted the press agent for The Beatles and was then introduced to the band’s manager Brian Epstein, who requested that Freeman put together a portfolio for his review. Robert included his beautiful B&W photographs taken at the jazz fest and immediately impressed Epstein and the band with the quality of his work. A week later, while the band was on the road, they met up with Robert and the relationship was established.

Freeman was given unprecedented access to the Beatles’ during the years 1963 to 1966 and shot many of the best-known photo images of them. He shot and art directed the album cover imagery for the band’s ’63 -’66 Parlophone (UK) and Capitol Records (US) releases, including With The Beatles, Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul. He also received the commission to shoot the first-ever Pirelli Calendar (shot in Majorca, Spain 1963 for the year 1964), which, over the years, has been considered one of the highest honors in commercial/fashion photography, featuring the work of famed fine art photographers including Brian Duffy, Bert Stern, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Karl Lagerfeld and including portraits of the world’s best-known fashion models. Freeman is also credited for the cover image for The Residents’ 1974 debut album Meet The Residents, in which he gave the Bay-area avant-garde rock band’s cover a very Beatle-esque treatment.

In 2015, former Beatle Paul McCartney posted a notice on his web site asking the public to help him preserve Freeman’s archive after the photographer suffered a stroke which left him unable to work. In an effort to offset the costs of his medical care and the maintenance of his photo archives, they began selling prints of a number of his photos, which can be viewed at http://www.freemanarchive.com/

After Freeman’s death, former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both posted tributes online, with Paul saying that Freeman was “imaginative and a true original thinker” and “was one of our favorite photographers during the Beatles years who came up with some of our most iconic album covers.” Mr. Starr tweeted “God bless Robert Freeman peace and love to all his family.”

More information available at – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Freeman_(photographer)

In late November, we received the notice that photographer Terry O’Neill, whose notable album cover credits include The Police – Police; Midge Ure – No Regrets; Paul McCartney – Give My Regards to Broad Street; The Who – Who Are You and Elton John’s Greatest Hits, among others, had died in his London home after a losing bout with prostate cancer at the age of 81. Born in July, 1938 in Romford, Essex (now London), U.K., young Terry had hoped to work as a musician before taking up photography and starting his career as a photographer for British Airways at London airports while also attending art school classes. A picture of a British politician sitting amongst visiting chieftains from Africa, shot as a homework assignment, introduced his talents to a local publication (The Dispatch), who asked him to work for them on a weekly assignment at the airport, photographing celebrities and dignitaries as they passed through Heathrow’s single terminal. Befriending another airport-based photographer from a competitive paper (the Daily Sketch), O’Neill was offered that man’s job after he was killed in a plane crash a few months later, and this served to launch his career.

This assignment gave him access to the music business elite at the time, with his portfolio including shots of The Beatles, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and many others. His photographs of Bridget Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Sir Laurence Olivier and super-model Jean Shrimpton beautifully captured each in their prime. O’Neill was also invited to shoot portraits of civic and world leaders, as well as the British Royal Family, and his reputation as a result of these sessions grew accordingly.

Some of O’Neill’s best-known images are from a series of shots showing actress Faye Dunaway (his girlfriend at the time – later, his wife) at dawn on March 29, 1977, lounging with her Oscar statue near the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel the morning after her Academy Award win for Best Actress for her work in the film Network. One image from the series now hangs in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.

O’Neill’s works are included in the collections of national galleries and private collectors worldwide. He has produced cover images for many publications, including for Newsweek, Paris Match, Stern, The Sunday Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and many others. Books featuring his photographs include Legends (1985), Celebrity: The Photographs of Terry O’Neill (2003), Sinatra: Frank & Friendly (2007), All About Bond (2012) and Terry O’Neill (by O’Neill and Dylan Jones), released in 2013. A selection of his photographs of Elton John also appeared in the 2008 book, Eltonography.

Retrospective exhibitions of Terry O’Neill’s photographs have been held on three occasions at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, London, in 2006, 2010 and 2011. Other notable exhibitions were staged in 2009 at the Getty Image Gallery in the Village, London, and the San Francisco Art Exchange while in 2011, O’Neill both staged a show at the Leeds Gallery in the U.K. and was awarded The Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary medal “in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography”. Plans for 2013 exhibitions include shows in Paris, Cork, Los Angeles, Miami, Istanbul, London, Munich, Sao Paolo Brazil and New York.

Looking to find and promote new talent and create a platform for up-and-coming photographers, the Terry O’Neill Award program was launched in 2007 with the support of the photographic industry and sponsors including the Sunday Times Magazine, Remote New Media, Hotshoe Magazine, TAG Creative, F22/State Magazine, Hungry Eye and The Strand Gallery. According to their website, “the Terry O’Neill/TAG Award is unique, as it is based around the series or the narrative; photographers must enter a minimum of 3 pictures a maximum of 6. The categories are open, so photographers can enter fine art, photo-journalism, still-life, portraiture, landscape, wildlife, fashion, in order that they can submit their current photographic practice. The judges are looking for the strongest series of work and for the strongest narrative…”

In 2019, O’Neill was awarded with Britain’s top honor for his services to the field of photography, being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

To see more of this artist’s work, please visit his web site at http://www.terryo.co.uk/

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 and photo elements mentioned or shown 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 August/September, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR SEPTEMBER, 2017.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of September, 2017. Since we last spoke, there’s been both a major astronomical event (the 8/21 total solar eclipse) and a major – i.e., catastrophic – meteorological event (Hurricane Harvey) along with a very disturbing display in Virginia of how some folks here in the U.S. just can’t seem to bring themselves to fully share the advantages and opportunities afforded to us here so, when you look at how those events have impacted people in very real ways, I have to ask myself why I’m spending my time reporting on album art/artist-related news versus focusing my efforts on activities that might somehow change/improve the world and the lives of folks just trying to enjoy the little time we’re given here on Earth.

I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t.

I know that art and music can combine to make our lives better in so many ways, and I also know how much I appreciate the talents of the people who work to bring these bits of joy and beauty to us, so in spite of the fact that my writing and reporting will most-probably disappear into the Ether over time, the positive notes and responses I get from my readers continue to provide me with some incentive to continue on in this overall-trivial-but-sometimes-rewarding effort.

Continue reading

Album Cover News Recap for January, 2016

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Album Cover News Recap for the month of January, 2016

It’s early February 2016 and, while we here in the Pacific NW continue to endure a mostly-dreary Winter season (sun lamps are hot sellers here), we must consider ourselves lucky considering the bashing that many other areas of the country have been getting. And, while the circus sideshow we call “politics” continues to grab much of our attention these days, your Curator (hey, that’s me!) has been fortunate enough to tour art exhibitions in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and here in Portland, where the 2016 Print Fair was held this past weekend at the Portland Art Museum – lots of great art was seen and appreciated – yes, there is an art world beyond Album Cover-land!

My travels did, of course, slightly reduce the number of days I was able to share the latest album art-related news with you (and, even with a Leap Day added, this will occur again naturally in February), but the steady stream of album art-related news remained unabated, with the ACHOF news feed showcasing the many exhibitions, books and other such activities we reported on during the last 30 days. With stories on the interviews, features, profiles, gallery/museum shows and annual  “best and worst” lists adding to the impressive number  of exciting and inspiring articles you found in our news feed, I’ll now spend just a few paragraphs giving you a summary of these highlights and updates. After that,  it’ll be up to you  to visit our site to complete your re-reading of these items of interest on this list by reading/viewing these items at your leisure… Continue reading

Album Cover News Recap – January, 2015

Album Cover News Recap – January, 2015

By Mike Goldstein – Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

The new year brings an ongoing stream of news in the world of Album Cover Art and Artists, with winners selected in the annual Best Art Vinyl voting and the day drawing near (Feb. 8th, to be exact) when we’ll find out who has been honored with this year’s Grammy Awards in the Packaging Categories. Nominees were also announced for “best album cover” in several other award shows world-wide, with those winners to be announced at various times over the next several months (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).

While a few sites/publications were a little slow in releasing the results of the “Best Of” and “Worst Of” lists for the previous year, Time and Talent marches on, with January being another busy album cover news-related month. Continuing to be popular are articles focusing on album art themes, including covers featuring food as the subject and the desolate landscapes often featuring on Alternative Rock/Grunge sleeves, along with another article on truly “bad” or “disturbing” covers (you know them when you see them, don’t you?). A number of new shows and exhibitions launched during the month featuring the works of artists and photographers from all areas of the art world, including famed Bauhaus/Yale designer Josef Albers, multi-media artist Christian Marclay, folk artist and self-proclaimed rock superstar “Mingering Mike”, Japanese “emoge” artist Tatsuya Shingyouji and modern classicist Kehinde Wiley, along with photographers Baron Wolman, Jason DeBord and Mark Weiss, among many others.

There were also examples of artists from other disciplines re-imagining album cover images as if they were done by European Modernists or by your best friend’s Mom on an Etch-A-Sketch (!!).  There were new books released featuring the work by a variety of accomplished artists for bands big (e.g., the Rolling Stones) and small, along with many interviews with creatives making their mark in the music/art world. Of note are two interviews with people that are well-known for their musical talents – Paul Simonon of The Clash and Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs – who are now happy to show us their talents in the visual arts and talk about the relationships between the two disciplines.

Of course, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the many new biographies posted on the ACHOF site – I’m working hard to update those already there with new information and to add another 50-75 new ones before taking a break to work on a book-related project (more to come on this later). I’m working on lining up some new interviews with some very talented men and women who make at least part of their living in the world of album cover art but, in the meantime, here’s your chance to catch up on news you may have missed while you were out shoveling snow, watching your favorite teams win/lose or doing whatever it is that makes you happy and satisfied. As I’ve said many times, regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics (don’t you agree?), so you can be sure that we’ll continue to work (nearly) every day to continue our efforts to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site.

January 30 – 1) Noisey/Vice writer Tony Rettman has posted a nice interview with Hardcore art star Sean Taggart in which he chronicles his rise from late 70s metal fan thru early 80s NYC punker to album cover illustrator for the genre’s top acts, including Agnostic Front, Crumbsuckers, Twitching Tongues, Cro-Mags and many others. Taggart’s art is intricately-detailed…the type of art that draws you in to look for all of the things you didn’t see the first five times you looked at it (depending a lot, of course, on your state of inebriation at the time). Rettman’s got a book out on the subject, so he’s good at digging deep into the mind of this talented artist – http://noisey.vice.com/blog/sean-taggart-interview

2) Writing for the Metro UK site, author Caroline Westbrook shares a collection of album cover images that seem to have truly disturbed her and, based on the covers included in her list of “album cover nightmares you can never unsee”, a lot of her fears for her sanity are quite well-founded. There are several covers that tend to make lists like this one, but the author does work hard to cross multiple genres and include examples from both obscure genres/labels and those meant to shock as well. Glad to see both 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be (the first officially-designated “obscene” cover) and the soundtrack for “karatist preacher” Mike Crain on the list – is there anything missing, you think?

http://metro.co.uk/2015/01/30/joyce-dick-black-and-2-live-crew-15-album-cover-nightmares-you-can-never-unsee-5043162/

3) As a follow-up to my recent headline about the new “Albers In Command” show that launches in Los Angeles this weekend, I would like to point you to some additional info and commentary on the subject that has been posted by the exhibit’s curators. You’ll find some additional details on the label Albers was commissioned by, particularly Enoch Light, whose releases on the Command Records label were engineered to highlight the advantages of a high-quality sound system…learn more via the following link – https://medium.com/vvvvvv-studio/albers-in-command-b3184edd7746

January 29 – 1) Album cover artist Shepard Fairey, whose work under the OBEY Giant moniker has provided him with a well-documented place in the history of “subversive” artwork, was seen in a cameo role in a recent episode of IFC’s Portlandia tv show playing, as you might guess, a clerk in an art store here that specializes in “shocking art supplies” – smashed TV sets, baby dolls in various poses, upside-down American flags and other basic needs for use by any serious producer of “scandalous” artwork. ArtNet News writer Eileen Kinsella was kind enough to post a link to their exclusive preview of Mr. Fairey’s work alongside Fred and Carrie – pretty cute, I think – http://news.artnet.com/art-world/take-an-exclusive-look-at-shepard-faireys-portlandia-cameo-219411

2) Artist Christian Marclay, whose “Sleevage-style” works combining sections of well-known album covers to create something new and fun (you might even say “shocking”) are just one example of his career-long efforts to combine music and art, will be the subject of a new solo exhibition that launched the weekend of Jan. 30 at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery in London. In addition to many new examples of his multi-media work, the gallery will play host to an ongoing series of events and performances, including a program this weekend by the London Sinfonietta. Of particular note for fans of the LP-making process, vinyl record manufacturer The Vinyl Factory and art printing house Coriander Studio will be installing and operating a full-bore record plant, showing visitors the entire production process of making and packaging an album. More info on the gallery’ site – http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/christian_marclay_bermondsey_2015/

January 28 – Two new photo shows and a chance to see an original classic cover painting:

1) From now through May 10, 2015, the Reading (PA) Public Museum is host to a show built around shots from the amazing photo archive of Baron Wolman, the photographer credited with being one of the first – and most-recognized – photo-journalists in the modern Rock era. Titled “Backstage Pass: Baron Wolman and The Early Years of Rolling Stone“, the show (according to the Museum’s web site) “…allows guests to explore how photographers and editors of Rolling Stone guided the creation of the “rockstar” persona, from concert, to cover, to icon. Immortalized by writers, filmmakers, and musicians from Stephen King to Dr. Hook, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine has embodied generations of popular culture.” Wolman’s photos also appeared on a number of record covers for artists including Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, Booker T. & The MGs, Tony Bennett and many others, so if you find yourself om the road from Philly to Harrisburg and are looking for an interesting side trip, be sure to stop and see this fine show, curated by Ben Ahlvers of the Lawrence (KS) Art Center – http://www.readingpublicmuseum.org/museum/exhibits/exhibitions/backstagepass.php

2) Over 40 photos from the collection of Pattie Boyd will be on display for six weeks – beginning with an RSVP-only reception on Saturday, February 14th – in a show at the San Francisco Art Exchange titled “Like A Rainbow; Love & Inspiration – Photographs by Pattie Boyd”. While most rock fans know of Ms. Boyd’s history as the muse/wife for George Harrison and Eric Clapton, for years collectors have been impressed with her photos taken from her life as a chronicler of, and active participant in, rock and roll history. To make the show even more intriguing, the gallery will have, on display for the first time in the U.S., the painting used for the cover artwork on Clapton’s epic Layla album (how cool is that?). To see a selection of the photos that will be on display, and to learn more about SFAE’s show, click on the link – http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400114

January 27 – Two design-oriented articles for your reading pleasure:

1) Was doing some cover-related research and followed a link to a site that I thought you might enjoy. Many album cover artists are also commissioned to produce the entire graphics package for their clients, bringing their design sense to merchandise, set design and, more commonly, gig/tour posters. So intrigued was he with the variety of styles found on such posters that one designer – Mike Joyce of NYC’s Stereotype Design studio – has developed quite the sideline – that being, recreating punk, rock, new wave and indie show posters in his own style, with the text in each design set in the lowercase Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk Medium (not Helvetica) typeface. On his site, you’ll find (and are able to buy) prints of designs for hundreds of shows that took place at a myriad of venues over a 30+ year period. A fascinating display (although I personally would have like to have seen some of the original poster images, just as points of comparison). In any case, it’s another great example of one artist’s creativity being influenced by years of great music industry design – http://www.swissted.com/

2) Keeping in the European Modernist mindset…long after former Bauhaus (the design school shut down by the Nazis in the early 1930s and not the British goth band lead by Peter Murphy) instructor Josef Albers came to the U.S. to teach at Yale’s department of design (leaving to work independently in 1958), he was hired by “lounge music” label Command Records to create several album covers. Working alongside label owners Enoch Light and George Schwager, Albers brought his minimalist design sensibilities to bear and created covers that still impress. A collection of these covers was found by studio VVVVVV creative director Nitzan Hermon and are the basis of a new exhibition launching on January 31st at the Ace Hotel gallery in Los Angeles. Titled Albers In Command, the display is all the more special as it represents almost all of Albers’ commercial work (aside for a book cover done in 1934). At 2pm on the 31st, Hermon will lead a presentation – complete with music samples and prints from designers commissioned specifically for this event – that will certainly be a must-see for die-hard fans of album cover design. For more information, please read writer Steven Heller’s intro to the display on The Atlantic web site – http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/01/when-bauhaus-met-lounge-music/384711/ or click on this link to the gallery’s events page for details and directions – http://www.acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/albers-command

January 26 – 1) Paste Magazine‘s food editor Sara Bir started off our week with a selection of 24 food-themed album covers. Some – such as The Who’s The Who Sell Out, Warhol’s banana cover for The Velvets and Whipped Cream & Other Delights for Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass – are well-known “classics”, but you’ll find many lesser-known examples from all genres of music. I’m glad that she included one of the Ohio Players’ honey-based covers and it has piqued my research genes to find others. Does Judas Priest’s Rock-A-Rolla (reimagining the Coke logo) count? Slideshow is available via the link – http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/01/hungry-sounds-album-covers-featuring-food.html

2) The Smithsonian’s American Art Museum will be launching a new exhibition at the end of February to display a collection of album covers for records that never were, created by an artist in the late 60s – early 70s who went by the name “Mingering Mike”. TItled “Mingering Mike’s Supersonic Greatest Hits”, the show is possible only due to the fact that the covers were discovered by a record collector at a flea market several years ago after having been somehow lost to the original artist. On February 27th, there will be a panel discussion featuring Mingering Mike (who’ll appear in costume) along with the collector who found him – sometimes, when you don’t find exactly what you want, it just makes sense to make it on your own, I guess… http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/mingering_mike/

January 23 – 1) Throughout album cover art history, there have been many examples of stylistic themes that have dominated certain periods of design – think about how many covers in the mid-late 1960s sported “psychedelic” colors and typestyles and the covers for records by early rap stars that featured band members standing in a semi-circle and looking down menacingly at the photographer…Catching us up on a trend that started 30 years ago and that still seems to be a popular theme even today, the editors for the music pages on the Death & Taxes site take us on a stroll through “The Grunge Forest”, showing us examples of barren landscapes that have been included in both album cover and music video imagery. You’ll enjoy revisiting these images from acts including U2, David Sylvian, Live, Nirvana and many others – http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/233546/enter-the-grunge-forest/ Hope that your local greenery is in better shape than the examples you’ll find here…

2) In his ongoing effort to establish himself as the supreme talent in both the music and art worlds, Kanye West has worked hard to bring his own imprint on album cover design via the work of his DONDA agency. To catalog the string of artistic designs generated for DONDA clients – for both singles and albums – HotNewHipHop writer Chris Tart has assembled a portfolio of the agency’s works and provided them to us in a nice slideshow featuring covers for acts including Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, ASAP Rocky, John Legend, Mr. West and others. Each image includes a brief description of the relationships that exist between Yeezus and his client base. http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/a-complete-list-of-kanye-west-s-donda-designed-music-artwork-news.13645.html?gallery-24783-photo-0

January 22 – 1) In another fascinating display of both creative artistry and someone with way too much time on her hands, Philly-based artist Alli Katz shows us what can be done with both in this display of classic album art done on an Etch-A-Sketch. In the slide show featured in Fast Company writer John Paul Titlow’s recent article on the subject, you’ll find faithfully-reproduced covers of records by The Beatles, David Bowie, Springsteen, Sonic Youth and several others. I’m particularly impressed with her version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours LP – what say you? http://www.fastcocreate.com/3040876/these-classic-album-covers-were-drawn-on-an-etch-a-sketch

2) Just downloaded a free guide published by DiscMakers called “The Musician’s Guide To Vinyl” and thought that I might share the link with those of you who might be interested in learning a bit more about both “the making of” vinyl records and things you should consider – including an impactful album cover design – if you’re setting out to release your own music in this format. While they didn’t spend a lot of time on the subject of album cover design, I did visit their site afterwards and found a lot more info, along with a number of good case studies, on the topic, published by their in-house design team. Warning – you will have to provide contact info in order to download the guide, but it’s a small price to pay for the info you’ll get (I think) – http://www.discmakers.com/request/musicians-guide-to-vinyl.asp?

January 21 – 1) Former President Bush is not the only one who is eager to show off his painting skills (?) later in life…In this article on the ArtDaily site, you’ll learn more about a new exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London featuring the works of Clash bassist Paul Simonon. The show is titled “Wot No Bike” and puts on display a series of oil paintings the former Byam Shaw School of Art student recently completed. An avid biker, the images are representative of Simonon’s own motorcycle-related effects – jackets, gloves, boots, etc. – and, according to the artist’s site, “the paintings are as much self-portraits as they are still lifes. By rendering possessions that he uses on an almost every day basis, Simonon transmutes Wot no Bike into a visual diary in paint.” The show runs now through the 6th of February – http://artdaily.com/news/75884/Paul-Simonon-presents-a-series-of-new-paintings-at-London-s-Institute-of-Contemporary-Arts

2) The French Canadian music arts organization known as the APCM has released the list of nominees for its annual Trille Or awards, with five records, featuring the works of four design professionals, nominated for “Best Album Cover” (“Meilleure pochette”, in French):

Christian Pelletier, for Alter Ego by Le Paysagiste;

David Langis, Hannah Ford for Le Scone à soir by Le Scone;

Guy Dutrisac for Perles et paraboles by YAO;

Marc Girouard for Papillon by Gabrielle Goulet, and

Christian Pelletier for Silence Radio by En bref

The winners will be announced and awards handed out at the gala ceremony set for May 7th. Que le meilleur concepteur gagner! To read about the rest of the nominees, please visit the APCM site at http://www.apcm.ca/apcm-gala-des-prix-trille-or/nouvelles/pleins-feux-sur-les-artistes-en-lice-pour-le-gala-des-prix and don’t forget your French dictionary!

January 20 – 1) To coincide with the release of a new series of limited-edition silkscreen prints of over 40 of his best-known images (currently on display in an exhibition at the Art629 Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ), the editors at New Jersey Stage magazine have published an interview they did with photographer Bob Gruen during which they touched on a number of topics, including his experiences shooting rock royalty including John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, The Ramones, etc., his feelings about the demise of many famous rock venues and his take on the benefits/drawbacks of allowing fans to bring their camera-equipped phones to concerts. There are also links to a couple of video interviews with Gruen in the article allowing us to see/hear him expand on some of the topics included in the interview. The show runs from now until February 28th, with Mr. Gruen on hand to sign copies of his latest photo book – See Hear Yoko – February 8th. http://www.njartsmag.com/new-jersey-stage-january-2015/0595784001421535801/p7

2) I was doing some research when I ran across a recent posting by Richard Butler – frontman of The Psychedelic Furs and an accomplished visual artist – during which he attempts to define the differences between “art” and “design”. He promotes three distinct differences, with design appearing to be a much more practical pursuit, and then includes a link to a video of Rex Ray – the man responsible for both a wide range of beautiful products found in the Jonathan Adler retail stores and distinctive album cover designs for David Bowie, The Residents and many others – in which Mr. Ray explains how he manages to keep his careers in both design and fine art separate-but-equally fun and challenging. Butler’s site and blog are consistently interesting reads – http://www.richardbutlerstudio.com/?p=37

January 19 – 1) The latest installment in writer Abigail Radnor’s ongoing series in The Guardian that she calls “That’s Me In The Picture”, the author tracks down and interviews the world’s best-known album cover naked baby swimming in a pool, Spencer Elden. Taken when he was just 4 months old, Spencer’s parents shared a mutual friend with photographer Kirk Weddle and responded positively when asked if they wanted to earn a quick $200 by throwing their newborn into a pool, with the resulting photo creating album cover history. He’s gotten over the fact that millions of people world-wide have seen his little penis over the past 24 years, but he’s still amazed that people claim to recognize him from time to time when he’s out in public…Ms. Radnor’s series focuses on people who’ve appeared in famous photos, with this latest posting available via the link –http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/16/thats-me-picture-spencer-elden-nirvana-nevermind

2) In reading the personal histories of many visual artists who work in the music business, one theme you’ll find over and over again is that a percentage of these creative individuals took up design or photography as a way to attach themselves to the music world since they had little or no musical skills themselves (all of us wannabe rock stars who gave up the pursuit of a career as a musician can most-certainly relate, right?). In a recent article about die-hard music fan-turned-photographer Jason DeBord – whose work is featured in a new show staged at the Monterey County Weekly’s new venue called the Press Club Gallery – tells about his journey from fan-with-a-camera to a photo pro whose images have appeared in galleries and museum shows alongside album cover photo greats including Ethan Russell and Tom O’Neal. There’s also a companion piece in which he shares the details of the times he’s met some of the industry’s best-known performers. This article proves that “stick-to-it-ievness” can a passion for what you do can certainly pay off in the long run…http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/cover/a-fan-turned-photographer-stocks-the-press-club-s-first/article_74f376f4-9c4a-11e4-bd63-af4988af8a4f.html?mode=jqm

January 16 – 1) With John Kerry in the news a lot these days, this seemed timely –  on Jan. 21, Mr. Kerry presented the US State Dept’s Medal of Arts to the artist Kehinde Wiley, the talented painter who is best-known to album cover art fans for the painting he created for Santigold’s hit 2012 record Master Of My Make Believe. I had the pleasure of seeing a showing of some of Wiley’s work at the Brooklyn Art Museum several years back and, since then, his stylish portraits of African-American subjects set in classic European settings have garnered a great deal of attention in the fine art world. Beginning in late February, The Brooklyn Museum will be launching a major exhibition of Wiley’s work titled “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic”, giving fans old and new an opportunity to fully-appreciate the scope of this artist’s talents. More on this in Sarah Cascone’s article on the artnet News site – http://news.artnet.com/art-world/john-kerry-will-present-the-state-department-medal-of-arts-to-kehinde-wiley-220370

I found a very nice video on YouTube detailing “the making of” the Santigold cover – well worth the watch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQvCwOxY3jQ

2) Launched on Jan. 16 at the MPLS Photo Center in Minneapolis, MN is a new exhibition featuring the works of a number of photographers who work in the rock music arena. Titled (I think) “The World of Rock & Roll Photography”, the show is an opportunity to see a nice collection of images taken by photographers both local and national in scope, and the Center is also hosting a juried exhibition where shooters of all stripes can submit their best shots for review by a group of established rock photographers including Paul Natkin, who has produced an impressive portfolio of portraits of well-known musicians over the years and whose work is also included in the show. The collection is on display from now until March 1st, with more info available via the link – http://www.mplsphotocenter.com/exhibits/current-exhibits.php

January 15 – 1) Vinyl record recycler/designer Jeff Davis at Vinylux has come up with a VERY cool new device – an amplifier for your guitar and/or mobile device made out of recycled vinyl records! Called the “Vinyltone”, each unit is hand-made and is built around state-of-the-art technology. Power is provided by a 9-V battery, with separate controls for volume and gain. You can attach your smartphone via an 1/8″ to 1/4″ plug adaptor (not included) and, if you’d like a floor-standing version, simply attach your practice amp to any standard camera tripod. Jeff’s company also makes bowls, picture frames, notebooks and more from recycled records and album covers, so it is nice to see him continuing to innovate to bring music fans these wonderful items. The retail price of the Vinyltone is $150 (check his site for availability), and you can find out more about the company on the Vinylux web site – http://vinylux.net/

2) Many (if not most) album cover designers have also produced graphics and imagery for their clients’ promo posters and, as you’ll learn in Roger McNamee’s recent posting on the Relix.com site, their status as “the unsung heroes” in the music and fine art businesses is just as confounding. Rather than wallow in frustration, McNamee created a consortium of artists to produce great art for his musical group’s ( Moonalice ) performances and, since 2007, has been able to offer fans over 750 different posters at affordable prices. Soon, he’ll be taking it one step further as he’s just received funding to create what will be called the Haight Street Art Center in San Francisco later this year. At the center, artists will be able to produce silkscreens, lithos and other styles of poster and then display them in an attached gallery space (yes, I’m jealous!). I hope to learn more about these efforts and report back to you soon but, in the meantime, read Roger’s posting to learn more – http://www.relix.com/articles/detail/my_page_roger_mcnamee_preserving_poster_art

January 14 – Hip-Hop site Boom Box is staging its second annual reader poll for the “Album Cover Of The Year” (2015), and this year’s nominees represent quite a collection of talent and progressive art. Included in the poll are several covers that topped most of the 2014 year-end polls, including LP1 by FKAtwigs, Run The Jewels 2 and And Then You Shoot Your Cousin by The Roots, as well as entries by YG, Wu-Tang Clan and many others. The poll is open to all and they’ll be tallying all votes entered before 10AM EST on February 16, so please take a look at the entries and add your votes. Of course, you’ll find the results here on the ACHOF site as soon as they’re announced – http://theboombox.com/album-cover-of-the-year-2015-the-boombox-fan-choice-awards/

January 13 – 1) While the recorded music business in the U.S. was centered in the NYC area, talent was enlisted from all over the country to contribute to the designs used to package and promote music products, with the state of California home to a large contingent of designers, illustrators and photographers. In the new book Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936–1986 (titled this way due to the constant changes in the state brought about by its environment and population and how those changes inspired and shaped design there) published this week in the U.K. by Thames & Hudson, you’ll find a collection of promo imagery for music, film and other events done by artists who have contributed greatly to album cover/concert poster art – John Van Hamersveld, Gene Howard and Earl Newman, among others. Writing for The Guardian, Corrine Jones provides and introduction and a nice selection of examples from the book – http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2015/jan/10/the-best-californian-graphic-designs-1936-1986-in-pictures

Knowing that Ernie Cefalu, Nick Egan, Drew Struzan, Kosh and others based in CA are continuing to contribute to the state’s impressive portfolio of examples of great design, I’m hoping that someone will do a follow-up book, taking us from 1987 to present…

2) Artist Tatsuya Shingyouji, best known for his contributions to the anime-style pornographic video game industry (AKA “emoge”) so popular in Japan, has just published a new collection of re-interpretations of classic rock album covers, updated to include characters done in the time-honored, “Speed Racer”-style cartoon look. The mash-up of classic scenes, poses and colors with the voluptuous, wide-eyed characters found in Shingyouji’s art are truly compelling – sometimes funny, always fascinating – and another example of classic album packaging continuing to inspire artists world-wide to take things “to a whole, nother level”. Scott Green’s article on the Cruncyroll site is illustrated with several great examples, including covers for Queen, Prince, Pink Floyd, ELP and more – enjoy – http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2015/01/11/classic-era-artist-illustrates-another-set-of-madoka-magica-classic-album-cover-parodies

January 12 – 1) The tradition of fine album cover art continues to be carried on by a number of talented and motivated artists – this statement is certainly backed up by several of the impressive examples included in Rachael Steven’s latest installment in the “Record Sleeves of the Month” section of the Creative Review site. Many different approaches to intriguing music packaging are on display – fine photography, illustration and design – with several examples of quality die-cutting that adds even greater dimension to the images presented. I particularly like the design of the box set package that holds one version of The Decemberists recently-released new album What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. For $69.98, buyers get (in addition to an autographed copy of the music on vinyl) several limited-edition prints done by the album cover designer (Carson Ellis), embroidered patches and a 14″ x 20″ “Masonic” satin banner. Read Ms. Steven’s rundown of the latest and greatest via the link at http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/december/record-sleeves-of-the-month and take a look at the special Decemberists fan package at http://www.myplaydirect.com/the-decemberists/deluxe-autographed-box-set-digital-album/details/33256560?feature-name=pre-order&feature=33227180

2) While there have been a number of musical acts that have shown a talent for the graphic arts as well, I find myself particularly impressed with the paintings of John Mellencamp and, apparently, my feelings are not unique in that there have been several exhibitions of his works over the years, the most-recent on having opened on January 11 at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA. Titled “American Dreams: Paintings By John Mellancamp, the exhibit features a large collection of his mixed-media and oil paintings and will be on display until April 12th of this year. Mellencamp decided early on in his artistic career that he’d focus on his music but, after years of training in the visual arts, I’m for one quite happy that he has since taken the time to explore, quite nicely, his painterly side as well. Additional details here on the Art Daily site – http://artdaily.com/news/75626/-American-Dreams–Paintings-by-John-Mellencamp–opens-at-the-Morris-Museum-of-Art

January 9 – 1) I am always impressed to find artists that have been motivated to re-imagine classic album cover art in new and exciting ways, so it’s my pleasure to introduce you to the work of Brazilian artist (and creative director at the Ópera Comunicação agency in Sao Paolo) Rafa Melandi, who has redone a series of well-known heavy metal album covers to present them as if they’d been created by 1950s’- 60s jazz record cover designers. You’ll find new versions of records such as Metallica’s Master Of Puppets, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Judas Priest’s British Steel and many others. Rafa’s tribute to the early greats in album cover design can be found on his Behance site at https://www.behance.net/gallery/22172745/Metazz-Metal-Album-Covers-Redesigned

Looking forward to new additions as they’re released.

2) Using Google’s Street View utility, Metro writer Stephen Marr has located the original settings for a number of well-known album covers and has set up a gallery of them with the ability to slide left-to-right (and back) to see the “before and after” versions – i.e., the actual locations and then the view given to us on the record cover. He’s scouted locations in the U.S. and U.K. to bring us the current views of well-known cover photos for Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Oasis, Pink Floyd, The Streets and several others. You’ll find that many spots still look remarkably the same, while others have gone through, let’s say, some “modernization”, but it’s cool to see them nonetheless. Click on over to http://metro.co.uk/2015/01/02/guess-the-classic-album-covers-from-these-google-street-view-snaps-5006837/ to find your favorites.

January 8 – Two items for fans of rock (music) photography:

1) Here’s an nice example of a well-known album cover photographer using his works to better the world – Mark Weiss, best-known for his photos of rock music icons including Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister and many others in the “heavier” end of the spectrum, is auctioning off a number of his photo prints to raise money for two humanitarian organizations – Light Of Day (which works on helping those afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease) and Lunch Break, a NJ-based organization that provides assistance to those who have difficulty affording food. In the last two years, Mark’s efforts have raised over $30,000 for these organizations, and his current auction on Charitybuzz.com looks to continue his efforts. You can read more about Mark and his charitable efforts (and find a link to take you to see what’s available in his latest fund-raising auction) in this article by John Pfeiffer on The Aquarian Weekly web site – http://www.theaquarian.com/2015/01/07/light-of-day-winterfest-2015-world-renowned-rock-photographer-mark-weiss-auctions-off/

2) Over in “Rock City” – i.e., Cleveland, OH – the work of local photographer Walter Novak is the subject of a new exhibition at the Cleveland Rock Gallery on Waterloo Road, presented by Space:Rock Gallery, titled “Walter Novak – He’s Back”. Included in the show are over 50 photographs of both locally-and-internationally known music acts – including The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Van Halen, Soundgarden and many more – taken during the Czech-born shooter’s career providing imagery to both local and national publications. Read Cleveland Plain Dealer writer John Petrovic’s article on the show and the talent behind it via the link – http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/01/cleveland_photographer_walter.html

January 7 – Follow-up on two previously-mentioned items:

1) The crew behind the new Taschen Gallery in LA have generated a lot of publicity both for their gallery and the book/collection behind their opening exhibition, titled “It’s Just A Shot Away: The Rolling Stones In Photographs” and featuring over 100 images of the Rolling Stones taken over the years (including several album cover photos, such as David Bailey’s memorable shot of Mr. Jagger for Goats Head Soup) by a number of talented shooters including Bailey, Gered Mankowitz, Terry Richardson and Ethan Russell, among others. The show runs through the end of the month, but if you’re unable to make it to the gallery during its run, the editorial staff on the Artsy site have put together a nice illustrated article for you – https://artsy.net/post/editorial-taschen-offers-the-rolling-stones-visual-greatest?

2) Last April, I wrote about the work of a mysterious visual artist by the name of “Harvezt” who maintains a Flickr site featuring artwork he’s created that works to show famous album covers as if the viewer is now looking at these scenes from behind. The collection has now expanded to include over 30 such scenes, allowing viewers to see covers including Nirvana’s Nevermind, Iron Maiden’s Killers, Bowie’s Aladdin Sane and many others from an entirely different perspective. Who knew that there was an actual image of the “Stairway To Heaven”? Paste Magazine’s Jeff Pearson gives us an update in today’s posting – you’re sure to find something new and controversial there (I still can’t find this guy – any clues?)…http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/01/the-dark-side-of-album-art-series-by-artist-harvez.html

January 6 – 1) The winners of the 2014 Best Art Vinyl album cover competition have been announced, with the top 3 spots going to 1) Royal Blood’s Royal Blood (design by Richard Welland and illustration by Dan Hillier), 2) FKA twigs’ LP1 (artwork by Jesse Kanda) and 3) Future Islands’ Singles (design by Matt de Jong and artwork by Beth Hoeckel). In its tenth year of popular polling, voters from all over the world selected covers from major and indie labels, with several of the top vote-getters having appeared on a number of year-end “Best Of” lists, while other lesser-known works obviously impressing fans of music art with their ingenuity and beauty. You can take a look at the whole list on the Art Vinyl site at http://www.bestartvinyl.com/previous-winners/2014.html and, for a more in-depth look, read Angus Montgomery’s overview in this article on the Design Week web site – http://www.designweek.co.uk/3039593.article

Congratulations to the winners!

2) Scottish photographer David Boni, known world-wide for his controversial photograph featured on the cover of The Stranglers’ 2012 album Giants, is garnering a lot of attention these days with a new exhibition of photos of six women who are coming up with interesting and cathartic methods (via the destruction of objects meant to represent whatever trauma they may have experienced) of dealing with the most-traumatic experiences in their lives. Titled “Behind The Social Media Mask” and produced in conjunction with the anonymous social media site Pencourage.com, the show will launch in London and travel to other venues in the U.K., letting viewers experience the powerful images themselves and, perhaps, help them deal with their own demons in an artistic way. More on this in this article on the Herald Scotland site – http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/shocking-new-exhibition-by-controversial-photographer-illuminating-dark-corners-of-ou.26176054

January 5 – 1) Just heard from Emily at Hypergallery in the U.K. (nice to hear from you, Emily!) – for fans of album cover art, it is a business dedicated to exhibiting and publishing high-quality art prints from an impressive list of album cover designers and photographer and definitely worth a visit. In any case, I clicked on over to their site and found a very nice interview they published recently with Marc Bessant (an album cover designer and head of design for Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios) in which he gives us a run-down of his favorite album cover designs (and why they rank so highly with him). His love for cover design spans a number of decades and genres, making this a very interesting and insightful Monday morning read – http://hypergallery.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/whats-your-favourite-record-sleeve-of.html

2) Writing for Goldmine Magazine, Susan Sliwicki just posted an informative article about one of the album cover art world’s most-intriguing packages – that being the one for The Beatles’ Yesterday & Today which, in addition to the two well-known covers (those being known as “the Butcher Cover” and “the Trunk Cover”), were also recorded in several different formats which, of course, collectors must all have. Add those to the various digital versions and their respective packages and, I’m estimating, you can spend the better part of a year digging through (and the better part of your savings buying). To get a better understanding of the details before beginning any quest to own one of everything, click on over to this article – http://www.goldminemag.com/article/variations-beatles-yesterday-and-today-lp-cause-collecting-confusion?

January 2 – Here are a couple of new stories to kick off the year (my summary of album cover news for the month of December will be posted later today):

1) The folks at the VH-1 site have put together a nice compilation/slideshow of their choices for the best (or, as they put it, “most important”) music magazine covers for 2014. As you might figure, most of the photographers that produced these impactful images have many album cover credits as well (unfortunately, for most, album cover work doesn’t pay all of their bills!) – you’ll find the work of Steven Klein, Miller Mobley, Tom Medvedich and other noted industry shooters on pix of artists including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Dr. Dre (who’d have thought that the last two would ever be mentioned in the same sentence?). To see the list, click on over to Chris Rosa’s article – http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2015-01-02/2014-magazine-covers/

2) Not sure if everyone has seen the article on the “interactive” album package produced for DJ Qbert’s new record Extraterrestria (I’d seen a posting in early January) but, after doing a bit of research, I thought that I’d continue promoting it a bit as I think that it’s another fine example of how smart music marketers can come up with unique products to help separate their products from the thousands released and promoted each year. Combine novel technology, a tech-savvy audience and a limited-edition/”cool factor” off the charts and you have a winning package that fans (and non-fans) will clamor for. Hope to see more of these as time goes on – in the meantime, congratulations to all involved (Algoriddim for their DJ app and Novalia for their impressive technology, as well as the musical act for their bravery and promo smarts). See more on the Fact Magazine site – http://www.factmag.com/2014/12/31/dj-qberts-new-album-sleeve-doubles-as-a-dj-controller/

That’s all for now – look for updates every week day on our news feed – https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back next month with another summary for you.