Tag Archives: Book

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for November, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary – November, 2020

Posted October 30th, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

I realize that, for most of you, this summary is coming at a time of great emotional disturbance, having to deal with both an ongoing pandemic (and what it’s done to our “regular” lives) and an election here in the U.S. that will provide us all with a window into what America might look like going forward and so, keeping that in mind, I’m going to keep things really simple this month (quite honestly, I don’t currently have the mental bandwidth to do much more).

The nominating and voting process for this year’s class of inductees into the ACHOF has begun in earnest and, with any luck, I’ll be able to announce the list of top vote-getters just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday here, or around the 20th of November (the 23rd the absolute latest). Two other album cover-related award competitions – the Best Art Vinyl awards in the U.K. and the Making Vinyl Awards here in the U.S. – are also in-process and so it’ll be interesting to see who’s determined to be providing the most visual excitement in the recorded music business when all the votes are tallied…

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for October, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – October, 2020

 

Posted October 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Well, while I can’t say that I know how you’re all feeling these days, I’m quite certain that some of you are in the same shape I’m in – mentally exhausted, greatly disappointed by the greed, hate and hypocrisy put on display by many of our leaders (and the people that support them) and, frankly, wondering what our short-and-long-term futures might be. Try as I might to distract myself from the daily news cycle (and, how about that first Presidential debate?), it’s nearly impossible to avoid learning about the biggest stories (R.I.P. RBG) and then trying to keep myself focused on providing my readers the information they’ve (i.e., you’ve) come to rely on me for, so I must apologize for the somewhat-truncated list of things to read and enjoy that I’m presenting you today. I will reward you a bit later (either late this week or early next) with my long-promised interview with talented artist Faheem Majeed and, with any luck, I’m also going to launch the nominating/voting process for this year’s class of nominees and inductees (our 9th!) into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. My attention span seems just sufficient enough to have been able to gather basic info on nearly 100 more possible nominees, so the voting panel will have a heaping helping of new names to consider in this year’s effort.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for August, 2020

 

 


Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – August, 2020

Posted August 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

As Summer 2020 marches on, the political season’s kicking into high gear and many things work to occupy our minds (perhaps to distraction) while the year progresses, my wife and I have continued to stay vigilant, quarantined and busy reading, watching 1990s BBC crime mystery series and, as you may have seen, doing more research and writing, as is evidenced by the publication of my most-recent ACHOF interview, this one with accomplished designer, illustrator and musician John Kehe, with a focus on his work in the early-mid 1970s for the Electric Light Orchestra.

I’ve continued to work to add new bios to the ACHOF site (tracking down some info from several great talents who I’ve finally been able to add to our database) and soon hope to add some new themed searches to the site that will let you dig more deeply and easily into the ACHOF archives for more stories, interviews and news about your favorite album cover makers. I’ve also found more examples of artists who’ve decided to lend their “brands” – logos, album art, etc. – to efforts to provide personal protective equipment to their fans (now, if they could only convince some of them to actually wear these masks!) and also raise money for COVID-related support efforts, so I hope you’ll take a look at those articles and respond accordingly.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a sampling of album art/artist-related articles and remain grateful to those of you who’ve decided to spend some of your free time on the ACHOF site, sifting through the archives of content available for your there so, in keeping with my ongoing commitment to the monthly delivery of short-but-sweet summaries of album cover artist and art-related news, interviews, sales and more, here’s my latest summary:

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ACHOF Interview with Bert Dijkstra and Dick Van Dijk about the Vinylize! exhibition and book project

ACHOF’s Interview with Bert Dijkstra and Dick Van Dijk about their Vinylize! exhibition and book project

Posted May, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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Back in April, 2017, I reported on a show that was being staged in Amsterdam as part of the world-wide Record Store Day festivities which each year, if you’ve gone to take a look, put a lot of talent on display including, I think you’ll agree, a lot of fine work on the packaging, with colored vinyl, limited-edition releases and a ton of related merch showcasing the output of designers, photographers, illustrators and the like in close collaboration with the musician and label clients. At the time, I’d referred you to an article in Creative Boom by Katy Cowan (http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/vinylize-paper-crafters-nearly-normal-celebrate-record-store-days-10th-anniversary-with-kraftwerk-tribute/), where you were shown an example of the extra degrees of creativity in the RSD-related work of the “masters of paper craft” – Nearly Normal – as they joined forces with Amsterdam-based record retailer Concerto to produce some quite-special items for an exhibit that was on display in the store through that May called Vinylize! What’s Vinylize!, you might ask? Well, according to the store’s site, “at the invitation of the Amsterdam Shop Around, about 50 artists used their favorite record sleeve as a canvas. The artwork of various artists such as Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Blondie (to name a few) got a “VINYLIZE! makeover”, resulting in completely new and unique artwork.” In the case of the one-off cover created by Nearly Normal’s Jaime Kiss, the inspiration was Kraftwerk’s 1981 hit Computer World, and not only did the agency produce a cut paper-based cover homage, they also took it further by creating a series of fine art prints for collectors and producing an animated (8-bit style) music video for the song based on that artwork.”

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early March, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – March, 2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hello once again from Chicagoland. As we’re working our way towards pushing Winter away and replacing it with the warmer breezes and greener trees of Spring, I’m hoping that you’re all doing well and looking to be inspired by the latest news about your favorite album cover artists (and related stories of their work). I hope that you all have had a chance to read my Featured Artist’s Portfolio/interview article featuring art director/illustrator Larry Vigon (if not, you really should – https://wp.me/p15kTT-IZ    ) and, as I mentioned in last month’s summary, I’m about 75% done with another interview article featuring none other than this year’s Grammy Award winner in the Box Set/Limited Edition category, Masaki Koike that I know you’ll like (he won for his work on the very-impressive Rhino package commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival), but now as it is once-again approaching mid-month, I thought it wise to provide you with a bit more to read as there’s been a nice supply of articles and news stories popping up all over the Web. So, check that you have fresh batteries in your mouse, and let’s get going….

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Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release – Holidays, 2019-2020

Album Cover Hall of Fame Special-Edition News Release – Holidays, 2019-2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

In wishing you all a peaceful, joyful and prosperous New Year 2020, I must also live up to my commitment to delivering you the latest and greatest album cover artist/art-related news, so while it’s not quite as robust as my typical news summary (an update will come in early January), here’s my little gift to you and any lover of album art you’d care to share it with:

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

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

As suggested by Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Holidays, 2018

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

As I’m sure you all know, getting just the right gift for your loved ones at Holiday time can be such a puzzle – what with all of the advertising that bombards you from every direction and “Black Friday” now beginning sometime in mid-late July – that you’re left with little time and inclination to search for just the right thing when all you want to do is “get this over with”…

And, while I’ve been told never to buy “art” for others, because of the link between music and art, buying a gift for lovers of album cover art has never been so simple. As you’ll see by the list of companies that specialize in album cover-related items of all types (and fitting all budgets), with a little research (“Hey Honey, who’s your all-time favorite band?”) and perhaps a phone call or two, I’m feeling pretty confident that you’ll be able to locate and secure a gift that will be long-appreciated by its recipient. Who knows, maybe it will start a tradition in your family!

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