Tag Archives: Bruce Springsteen

Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For May/June, 2018

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

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

The past month of May was an emotional one for me in that two things happened – one, a bit depressing and another that gave me some hope for the future – that showed me that the life of a researcher and writer will often be one that can be both rewarding for the work itself (e.g., the pleasure felt for completing a task as best as it could have been done) and one that will serve as a reminder that not all the rewards will be easily or rightfully measurable. Of course, I’m speaking about the campaign I ran to raise start-up funds to produce a collector-oriented, special-edition version of the book I’ve written (tentatively titled Unsung Heroes of the Music Business) that ended in early may after raising less than 10% of the money required to produce the book. The project ran on the popular Kickstarter site for 33 days and, if it had been successful, would have provided me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards that were available to sponsors at higher dollar levels). And while I do greatly appreciate the support I did receive, both in terms of the words of encouragement from fans/readers all over the world and the pledges I did receive, I do wish that I’d somehow been able to better-convince you to back me in this effort.

Well, all is not lost, as I do have encouraging news as a follow-up – I have been talking with a boutique publisher in the UK to produce a retail version of the book sometime soon and, with any luck, I’ll be able to get those who are interested in the book and all its wonders a copy (or two) sometime soon. More news to come as it’s made available and, of course, will be posted on the ACHOF site.

May was another month in which a goodly number of news releases and articles were made available on the exhibitions, interviews, artist profiles, book/print publications and other album cover art/artist-related topics and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including a) information on album art shows in the U.S. (Los Angeles, Brooklyn and NYC) and the U.K. (Liverpool and London); b) profiles (including two obituaries) on album art-makers including photographers working in the hip-hop and punk music areas; c) a new U.S. postage stamp featuring John Lennon and a limited-edition poster series showcasing Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour; and, as always, d) a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics including news about several different artists fighting for just and fair compensation for the use of their works, an opportunity to meet one of the world’s most-respected commercial photographers (and have your own portfolio reviewed by him), Kanye West’s most-recent attempt to shock and confuse most everyone and much, much more. So much, in fact, that I might be forced to post some today and the balance ASAP…

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the month of November, 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, 2016

 

By Mike Goldstein, Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

It’s early December, 2016, and WOW! has a lot happened since we last communicated. Of course, the results of the U.S. elections early in the month have either demoralized or energized half the population here, with only the news of the Chicago Cubs breaking their 108-year World Series drought bringing everyone together in peace and harmony, if only for a short while…With all of the uncertainty remaining as to what’s in store for us here, you’d think that there’d have been a brief slow-down in the output of news relating to the art and music scenes but, no, creative people continue to do what comes naturally and, therefore, other people with related businesses and interests (galleries, publishers, collectors, etc.) continue to do what they do to share what they do with the rest of us. As you’ll find in this most-recent summary of news from the world of album cover artists and the wonderful products they’re creating for us fans and collectors of the genre, I believe that we’ll all find enough inspiration to see us through whatever comes our way.

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Album Cover News Recap – August, 2015

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Album Cover News Recap – August, 2015

By Mike Goldstein – Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

It’s September and the world has finally cooled off a bit – well, the stock market is on a wild ride and there are still fires burning in Eastern Oregon and Washington, which has done a number on our air quality here in Portland – but the album art world continues to burn up the news wires, with August delivering a continuous stream of interviews, features, book releases and gallery/museum show items finding their way into our news feeds. In the following paragraphs, I’ll highlight several of them, and you won’t find one speck of anything Trump or Hillary-related (we need to focus on something new and exciting, right?)…

There were interviews galore with the noted men and women who’ve added their talents to the world of creating/preserving album cover art, including Brazilian artist Marcello Vaseo (new cover for Slayer), John Simpson (Sgt. Pepper’s mural in MA), John Berg and Eric Meola (on the 40th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run), Paul Cornell and Tony Parker (rock comics), Paul Natkin (on a career retrospective) and, for fans of the Charlie Rose interview, one with musician/artists Skrillex and Diplo.

In the fine art book category, artists and their publishers were promoting their new releases, with monographs featuring the works of Barbara Pyle (70s-era Springsteen), Janet Macoska (DEVO and many others), Robert Del Naja (AKA “3D” – famed graffiti artist and member of Massive Attack) and a newly-revised book on the 50+ record covers produced by Andy Warhol, written by Paul Marechal.

In August, several noted exhibitions and shows built around rock-related imagery were launched, with museum curators and gallery owners around the world displaying collections that show a broad range of album art and related imagery. You’ll find info on exhibits such as one in Woodstock, NY,  featuring the works of several rock photographers (including Elliott Landy and Graham Nash); a multi-media show called Sound & Vision in St. Louis, MO; the latest mounting of the David Bowie Is travelling show (now in Australia) and Bay area gallery owned Scott Nichols’ show featuring 75+ notable rock photos from top shooters in the field.

Other stories included Rachael Stevens’ monthly record sleeve review, a look at illustrator Dave McMacken’s studio/gallery in Astoria, OR, several illustrators alt-takes on the well-known cover photo found on NWA’s Straight Outta Compton record,  info on the latest record-themed postage stamp issued by the USPS (featuring Elvis Presley), and you won’t want to miss Canadian singer Kalle Mattson’s  new video for his single “Avalanche” that has him re-creating 35 classic album cover images. Of course, I don’t have room to include everything in this summary, so please take a moment to dig through the list – I’m sure you’ll find something that piques your interest!

As always, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the several new biographies posted on the ACHOF site during the month. I’m prepping to provide as much new info as I can to the expert panel that make up the voters of the ACHOF, with our next class set to be inducted in late November, 2015. And while I know that with all of the distractions caused by the back-to-school season that might keep you from checking in with us every day, I’m going to do what I can to help you in your efforts to catch up on news you may have missed while you were forced to do what’s needed to live/work/enjoy yourselves. As I continue to say (every month!), regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without getting yourselves up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics, so you can be sure that we’ll continue to work every day (except weekends) 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 (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).

August 31st –

1) Following in the footsteps of Sir Peter Blake is Springfield, MA artist John Simpson who, in addition to recreating the famous Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s cover in a mural on a wall in the town’s Court House Square, has also painted a number of portraits as part of the “City Mosaics” project that, according to Noah R. Bombard’s article on the topic on the Masslive.com site, “features portraits of mostly music and film stars ranging from Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash to local celebrities like Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno.” Simpson’s been working on this project for over a year (at the same time, working hard to keep graffiti off of his existing works!), and you can learn more about the project and the artist in a video interview also featured on the story page – http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2015/08/springfield_symphony_orchestras_kevin_rhodes_added_to_court_square_artwork.html 

2) Over on the “And Justice For Art” site, fans of album cover art found on metal music recordings can find a recent interview article with Brazilian designer Marcello Vasco about his most-recent commission, that for the cover image for Slayer’s new album Relentless. Vasco has done a number of covers for bands in the genre, but getting to do a cover for such a well-known band – and one with a long history of impressive cover art – forced the designer to dig deep to create something new and yet “classic” at the same time (don’t want to disappoint metal fans – it can get dangerous if you do!). After producing a lot of comps, I think you’ll agree with the band that this is a worthy addition to their cover collection – http://www.andjusticeforart.com/2015/06/slayers-brazilian-connection-interview.html

3) Not to be confused with the British punk band from the late 1970s, the fictional rock group featured in the first 4 issues of the new comic series This Damned Band (out on DarkHorse comics, with art by Tony Parker and words by Paul Cornell) – named MotherFather – seems to have a lot more to think about than most bands trying to crack the music business in the early 1970s – i.e., how to separate their stage act (which involved devil-worshiping) from the fact that the Horned One took their antics quite seriously! Writing for the Comics Alliance site, writer Patrick A. Reed inteviews Parker and Cornell – both well-known for their previous work on well-established graphic novels including Mass Effect and Wolverine – about creating a new approach to a series based on a topic – life in the music industry – that’s had a very mixed history of success with fans throughout comic history. http://comicsalliance.com/paul-cornell-tony-parker-this-damned-band-interview/

August 29th – Just heard from photo great Elliott Landy about a new exhibition that opened up today at the Fletcher Gallery in Woodstock, NY and, if you can make it to the opening party, you’ll get a chance to meet Elliott along with two of the three other artists whose works will be on display – Graham Nash, Joel Bernstein and Amy Granatham. According to Elliott – “Graham, Amy and I will be at the opening night, Saturday, August 29th from 5-8 pm at the Fletcher Gallery, 40 Mill Hill Rd. Woodstock, NY.” The show’s titled “Legends At Large” and, in addition to some of the best-known works he’s produced – covers for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison and others – Mr. Landy tells me that “I’ve selected some one of a kind prints that I don’t normally exhibit, including a Sepia toned Band print used on the 1968 cover of Rolling Stone, a one of a kind Cibachrome print of Jim Morrison, several personally made silver gelatin prints along with a selection of my favorites.”
The exhibiton runs through Oct. 14th, and I am hoping to add some photos from the event soon. More info via the link – http://www.fletchergallery.com/572463/about-us/

August 28th – 1) On the Noisey Music By Vice site, staffers there are happy to share the results of the images they commissioned from six of their favorite illustrators who were asked to re-do the cover of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton record (a record that’s been getting a lot of attention lately due to the success of the top-grossing movie out by the same name). I think that you’ll find their respective efforts interesting and amusing, particularly the remake by UK-based illustrator Tom Slater, who wanted to show us the group’s family-friendly side – http://noisey.vice.com/blog/we-asked-six-illustrators-to-re-imagine-the-straight-outta-compton-album-cover

2) Recently, TV interviewer Charlie Rose presented an interview with two top-selling EDM artists – Wesley “Diplo” Pentz and Sonny “Skrillex” Moore – in which they discussed their unique approach to the successful blending of art and music. In some of the clips showing the duo in performance, you’ll see how integral the visual aspects are to the overall enjoyment of their music, and Charlie works to get them to explain just how important that is in any modern act’s quest for fame and fortune in a media-saturated world – http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60609054  (about 26 minutes in to the episode)

3) In another example of the growing availability of “one-stop shopping” in the music production business, Daily Breeze reporter  Nereida Moreno takes us to All Welcome Records in Inglewood, CA, a studio where musical acts looking to take the next step in their careers (i.e., making a record) will find a staff of mentors, engineers and Art Director Anthony Woods, whose team (including photographer Allie Paz) is available to produce designs and photographs for the custom packaging they’ll produce for their clients. Bring your talent and your checkbook – best of luck! http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20150825/all-welcome-records-in-inglewood-serves-as-one-stop-shop-for-musicians

August 27th –  1) Famed album cover illustrator Dave McMacken (Frank Zappa, AC/DC, The Beatles, Kansas, etc.) has opened a new art studio/gallery (called “Ratz & Co.) in the hip-and-happening port town of Astoria, OR that showcases both his work and that of several other artists, including Cal Schenkel, another noted Zappa record cover alumnus. A native of Newport, OR, McMacken lived and worked all over the U.S. before returning to his Pacific NW roots a few years ago, so if you’re ever looking for something unique to add to your collection, do as Daily Astorian reporter Edward Stratton did and stop in to visit Dave – you’ll be glad you did – http://www.dailyastorian.com/20140515/ratz-and-co-keeps-it-weird

2) Creative Review‘s Rachael Stevens has just posted her monthly overview of what’s new and exciting in record sleeve design, with new works on records by Chemical Brothers, FKA twigs (who gave us last year’s most-lauded cover), The Orb and several others. I was particularly impressed with the techniques employed by artist/photographer Chen Man in creating the captivating cover for Venetian Snares’ record titled Your Face (not like any face I’ve ever seen, and yet, I can’t stop looking at it!). See the rest via the link – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/august/record-sleeves-of-the-month

3) Last but not least – fans of “old fashioned” record stores will be pleased to finally see the official trailer for Colin Hanks‘ ode to all things Tower Records, with the Harrison-like title All Things Must Pass. What began long ago as a Kickstarter program will be in theaters October 16th, but you can get a sneak peak via the link at http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/allthingsmustpass/

August 26th – 1) August 25th was the 40th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal record, Born To Run, which featured a great album cover photo by Eric Meola. Being that Meola’s originally from Syracuse, NY, Syracuse.com writer Sean Kirst tracked down the talented photographer to get him to reminisce a bit about that original photo session and to find out what he’s been up to lately (storm-chasing on the Great Plains!).
http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2015/08/fifty_years_after_release_of_his_legendary_cover_photo_syracuse-born_eric_meola.html
In a related story, NJ.com‘s Bobby Oliver posted an illustrated interview with “unofficial” Springsteen photographer Barbara Pyle, a friend of the band who was also on hand during the sessions leading up to the release of the BTR record and shot a number of interesting candid photos of the band while they worked through the many takes required to make The Boss and his band-mates happy with the finished release. She’s put these photos in a new book just out titled Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band 1975, and you can see samples of her work via the link at http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2015/08/exclusive_born_to_run_era_springsteen_photos_detai.html
Finally, “E Street Radio” (on Sirius/XM radio) contributor Kevin Farrell premiered a specially-produced radio show yesterday (to be re-run several times over the next few days) during which he interviews both photographer Eric Meola (see above) and famed Columbia Records art director John Berg – along with others – about their memories of their respective roles in the creation of this Springsteen classic. Writing for the Asbury Park PressChris Jordan gives us the rest of the important details of this superfan’s celebration of an important day in the band’s history – http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/2015/08/25/boss-way-celebrate-bruce-springsteen-born-run-day/32334703/

2) For an article featured in Rolling Stone Magazine back in 1968 (issue 8!), noted writer Thomas Albright (the man credited with creating the term “underground music”) gave readers his views on the then state-of-the-art in album cover design. Now available for reading on the Rolling Stone archive site, I found his take on the subject quite compelling, particularly as he notes that “album covers are now becoming as creative as the music within“, taking some of their inspiration from the emerging art scene of the day. While he finds some of the works produced fairly mundane, he does find a lot of talent on display in the works found on Beatles records (particularly, the cover collage on the just-released Sgt. Pepper’s LP), as well as the humor displayed on Zappa & The Mothers’ parody of said record cover collage, found on that band’s We’re Only In It For the Money. It’s also keen to see which of Albright’s favorites would go on to be considered “classic” examples of album art design – http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/the-new-album-art-19680406

August 25th – 1) In another example of a “Top 100 album covers of all time” list – sure to spark some discussion and many questions as to what the criteria were in selecting “the best” – the editorial team on the Insomniac site have, at least, presented a list that focuses on a niche that boasts huge audiences and not an awful lot of respect from the music press in general. It shows Electronic Music as a genre that has a long history (nope, it didn’t start at the Pitchfork Festival – sorry!), with some of the most-popular of the acts – Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Tomita, etc. – also packaging their music in covers featuring leading-edge artistry by some of the best-known talent from the fine art world. I remember attending a computer music conference in the early 90s when I was selling an MPC “PC upgrade kit” (remember those?) featuring a Roland SCC-1 card and recall hearing from fans of this genre about musical acts from other parts of the world for the first time – it was truly a movement by artists from all different backgrounds and disciplines, and the album art that accompanied it represented that quite appropriately –
https://www.insomniac.com/media/100-best-electronic-music-album-covers/1

2) Inspiration for album art comes from many sources, but I have to admit that I haven’t seen many better examples of an artist in the field sharing the details of where he finds art that inspires him that Lief Podhajsky’s recent posting on the Junkee site titled “Nine Of Europe’s Best Art Galleries That You Won’t Find On The Tourist Trail”. Being located in London gives Lief the opportunity to traipse across Europe with relative ease, allowing him to visit museums and galleries that display many different styles of art in a variety of motivational settings, such as the new Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, contemporary arts in the collection at The Me Collectors Room in Berlin and closer to (his) home, exhibits at the Pace, Saatchi and Whitechapel galleries. Follow Podhajsky – whose created many a record cover for modern acts including Kelis, Tame Impala and Bonobo, just to name a few – as he takes you on a tour of his favorite places to find new influences for his latest projects –
http://junkee.com/nine-of-europes-best-art-galleries-thatll-take-you-off-the-tourist-trail-4/63495

August 24th – 1) Not quite sure what to make of this recent article on the NME site in which they present a comprehensive overview of the artwork featured on 27 album and singles covers by The Smiths. While I was happy to learn who some of the characters were that were featured on Morrissey & Co’s covers, I’d have preferred to learn a bit more about why these images were chosen besides “Morrissey always liked to include pictures of his favorite pop stars on his records” (unless, of course, it was that simple). In any case, the band always gave fans something provocative and interesting to look at, particularly if you were a fan of James Dean – http://www.nme.com/photos/the-smiths-the-stories-behind-the-sleeves/384620#/photo/1

2) I did want to promote an article written by Bruce Jenkins on his Vinyl Connection site regarding album covers featuring images taken inside automobiles. Looking to follow up a couple of earlier postings he did built around covers that used photos or drawings of cars on the cover – a very popular motif used throughout the modern rock era – Bruce sharpened his focus and brought us inside, letting us look out the windshields and side windows of records by Pennywise, Bela Fleck, Mars Volta and several others. Not sure if he’s done an article on covers featuring motorcycles and scooters (Meatloaf, Hendrix, The Who and others come to mind) but, if not, here’s your next assignment – http://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/08/18/7-car-covers-from-the-inside/

3) Here’s another article on do-it-yourself record-making, with this one highlighting a new service called Vinylify that, for around $55, will press and package a custom 33-1/3 vinyl LP for you. Based in Amsterdam, the company gives customers the opportunity to create both the record and the album cover easily online, so those of us who felt restricted by the artistic opportunities afforded us creating customized cassette mix-tapes can now – for a price – expand our musical and visual canvases back to a full 12″ square. Read more about this service in Paul Ridden‘s article on the Gizmag.com site – http://www.gizmag.com/vinylify-custom-cut-records/38954/ or, if you’re ready to go, take a look at some of the examples of records already created by amateur label owners via the link – http://vinylify.com/#examples

August 21st – 1) Perfectly timed for that week’s premiere of the new movie about famed gangsta rappers N.W.A. was Wayne Drash‘s article about the photograph found on the cover of the group’s debut record Straight Outta Compton. Eric Poppleton’s well-known photo was taken during a day in which the photographer followed Dr. Dre and Co. around Los Angeles, at one point deciding to lay down on the ground in an alley and take a shot up (perhaps a bad term, considering the number of guns featured as the group peers down at him) and the rest, they say, is history. Read all the details, and click through a grouping of 26 other famous record cover that accompany this article, via the link – http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/14/entertainment/straight-outta-compton-photograph/index.html

2) Straight Outta Akron – back in 1978, photographer Janet Macoska assembled the members of local new wavers DEVO in front of a well-known area eatery – the Chili Dog Mac diner – and produced a photo that became a popular poster of the band, found in the collections of art museums (and, in my case, personal collections of rock art collectors such as yours truly). The location now is part of the Akron Civic Theater and, as part of a special commission for the local business/tourism bureau, a huge reproduction of the photo now graces the building in the same spot the original was taken 37 years ago. Devo member Gerald Casale was on hand for the unveiling this past week, with the event covered by Kathleen Folkerth on the Akron.com site. Janet has a new book of her rock photography due out soon – look for “All Access Cleveland: The Rock and Roll Photography of Janet Macoska,” by Cleveland Landmarks Publishing at your local book-sellers. http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-entertainment-news.asp?aID=27438

3) The Proud Galleries in London and Chelsea have two shows now running that will be of interest to rock photography fans in that area. “Led Zeppelin From the Beginning 1963-1975“, which runs thru October 4th, features Yardbird/New Yardbird/Led Zep photos of Beck, Clapton, Page and others taken by former Yardbird Chris Dreja, jargen Angel, Lynn Goldsmith, Dan Fong, Michael Putland and others, while in “Masters & Luminaries“, which runs through the 13th of September, Proud features works by a number of the photographers they’ve featured during their 20 year existence, including Brian Duffy (Bowie), Brian Aris (Debbie Harry), David McCabe (Dylan and Warhol at The Factory) and many others. Based on what I’ve seen of their exhibits over the years, they have every right to be Proud (I’m certainly the first to use that pun). More details at https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

August 20th –  1) Gotta love how news is distributed on the Web – today, I’m reporting on someone else’s reporting about someone else’s video blog concerning the trend-setting album covers featured throughout the career of The Beatles, with a particular focus on everyone’s #1-rated record cover – the one for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In this article by Joe Blevins on the A.V. Club site, you’ll learn about a recent video posting by Nerdwriter1 titled “How The Beatles Changed Album Covers” in which he discusses – quite knowledgeably, I might add – how each Beatles cover served nicely as a snapshot of how the Fab Four felt about their place at that moment in Pop Culture along with their development as a musical unit. He provides a brief-but-informative backgrounder on album covers in general before digging in to the band’s efforts – based on some of the other videos he’s produced in the three years he’s been creating these shorts about art and pop culture, this might be a good YouTube channel to subscribe to going forward – http://www.avclub.com/article/video-argues-beatles-lp-covers-tell-bands-story-223792
To take an even more-detailed dig into the history of Beatles record covers, here’s a link to a 15-page article by Ian Inglis in the Jan. 2001 edition of Popular Music (you can read it free online, after registration) – http://www.jstor.org/stable/853696?&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

2) James Stafford‘s latest “Cover Stories” posting takes us back to the early days of the punk music scene in Los Angeles by giving us the story behind the flaming cover image found on the debut record for John Doe/Billy Zoom’s band X. Like so many examples of the do-it-yourself punk ethic, this cover was the result of the owner of the band’s label – Slash Records’ Bob Biggs – taking matters into his own hands – http://diffuser.fm/cover-stories-x-los-angeles/

3) C’mon, admit it – rock and roll has always had a strong basis in “if you like it, buy it”, so it’s no surprise to find an article like the one Elly Ayers posted recently on AOL’s Cambio site – one targeted at young girls who, at least in this case, actually WANT to look like their parents did back in the 1960s. “How To Rock The Best 1960s Album Cover Looks” gives us six instances where the magazine’s fashionistas have reviewed the clothes worn on classic rock/pop album covers – including records by Bob Dylan, Sonny & Cher and several Motown hit-makers – and then suggest similar ensembles readers can buy at some of their favorite clothing outlets. Lookout Topshop, Vans, Zara and A&F – prepare to be trampled by youngsters looking to put on their best Highway 61 Revisited look! What, no Nehru? http://www.cambio.com/2015/08/13/rock-best-1960s-album-cover-looks/

August 19th – 1) Patti Smith’s best-selling memoir titled Just Kids – which focuses on her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the man that provided us with an album cover photo (the one found on her record Horses) that is included in nearly every “best album cover” list ever published, will serve as the basis of a new Showtime TV series produced in cooperation with Penny Dreadful creator John Logan. Smith’s 2010 book won several major awards after its release, including the National Book Award for non-fiction and gave readers an intimate look at the influence these two artists had on the emerging music and art scenes in NYC during the late 1960s – early 1970s. Read more in Caitlin White‘s recent article on the Bustle web site –
http://www.bustle.com/articles/103713-patti-smith-memoir-just-kids-will-be-adapted-into-showtime-limited-tv-series-by-penny-dreadful

2) San Francisco-based photo gallery owner Scott Nichols has taken a photo of The Who in concert – in which Nichols is seen as part of the crowd in attendance – and used it as the basis of a new show running in his space that features 75 iconic rock-and-roll photo images produced by a “who’s who” of rock photographers (Baron Wolman, Elliott Landy, Linda McCartney, Ebet Roberts and several others including Michael Zagaris, the man who shot the photo Nichols is seen in). Running now through September 16th, “It’s Only Rock & Roll” features several well-known album cover images in its collection, including shots featured on records for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Blind Faith and others. Back in the mid-1970s, when the photo of The Who at Winterland was taken, Nichols was the stage manager for a U.C. Berkeley student-run organization called “Superb”, who worked with local concert venues to produce shows, and that served as his entree into show business. You can get all of the details on the gallery’s site at http://www.scottnicholsgallery.com/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

3) Here’s another nice example of the frequent cross-over between the worlds of fashion and album cover photography…former model-turned-shooter Ellen Von Unwerth has taken memorable fashion photos and celebrity portraits that have graced the covers and pages of many of the top magazines, so when top pop music act Rihanna needed an impactful image for the cover of her 2011 record Talk Talk, she turned to someone that she felt would be able to capture both her beauty and the attitude she brings to her music – that someone being Von Unwerth. In this recent article by Caroline Leaper on the Marie Claire site, you’ll find this photo and several more including shots of Natalie Portman, Gisele Bundchen and the impressive product of rock icon Mick Jagger and fashion model Jerry Hall’s relationship, Georgia May Jagger (who is herself a popular fashion model). http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion/550069/ellen-von-unwerth-pictures-the-fashion-and-celebrity-photographer-s-greatest-shoots.html#index=1

August 18th – 1) There’s a new book out about the wonderfully-talented artist and musician Robert Del Naja, a man that’s lead a double life in the arts, splitting his time between his graphic artist personna (the graffiti artist known as “3D“) and his work as the singer/songwriter and album art designer for the UK hip-hop group known as Massive Attack. The 400-page career retrospective is titled 3D and the Art of Massive Attack and provides readers with a well-illustrated look back at Robert’s rise from early 80s Bristol (UK)-area street art denizen to an artist whose style and outspoken anti-war/government work has influenced many others in the field, including another well-known purveyor of art in this genre, Banksy. You can read Robert Whitfield’s overview of the book and the talent featured in it in this recent article on The 405 site – http://www.thefourohfive.com/culture/review/3d-and-the-art-of-massive-attack-143

2) Recently discovered a new purveyor of pop culture-related and rock and roll fine art/photography called House of Roulx, a spin-off of JG Autographs, a company located in Peabody, MA run by two brothers, Jared and Trevor Gendron. They just released a new series of art prints taken by the late photographer Peter Warrack, who happened to be on-hand to shoot what turned out to be the last live show done by Janis Joplin, performing in front of a crowd of 40,000 fans at the Harvard Stadium. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the show (Aug.12th), the company now offers a selection of photos from this event, sold individually or in specially-packaged sets of 24 of these images, including a $2500 one-of-a-kind set that also includes an original Jace McTier painting of Ms. Joplin. I’d also like to note that the publisher is also offering a number of photos – including several famous album cover images (Ramones, Run-DMC, The B-52s and others) – by photographer George DuBose. Read and see more about the exclusive Joplin photo collection via the link at http://www.houseofroulx.com/collections/janis-joplin-the-last-concert

3) What’s the line – “everything that’s old is new again”? Here’s an interesting example of a revival of a seemingly-on-its-way-out technology – the fax – being used creatively by pop duo Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (AKA YACHT, which stands for “Young Americans Challenging High Technology”) to help deliver a unique experience to folks who are considering buying their latest music offering titled I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler. While I won’t spoil you with all of the details here (better to read the story by Lizzie Plaugic on The Verge‘s web site), I was impressed with the creativity of their approach to giving fans something new and yet retro in its approach to delivering their album art and liner notes/manifesto.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/11/9130155/yacht-band-album-i-thought-the-future-would-be-cooler-fax-machine

August 17th – 1) Writing for Music TimesRyan Book notes the recent 50th anniversary of the day that the Beatles’ song Help! (from the film of the same name) hit #1 on the charts. While he was a fan of the song and the movie, he offers less enthusiasm when talking about the outfits that the band members were forced to wear for the cover photo (remember those weird blue raincoats?) and this motivated him to look back a bit to find a selection of other covers in which the folks included in the cover shots also chose to dress rather strangely. As you might figure, each decade showed us musicians clothed in period garb which, in the cases show, should not have us yearning for a return to the fashion of the day…http://www.musictimes.com/articles/44994/20150807/7-bad-dress-codes-album-art-beatles-rolling-stones-kiss.htm

2) While the ACHOF’s main focus is on the artists that have created memorable album cover images, we can’t forget that another reason that fans always liked record cover packages was that the information provided on most of the packages – AKA “the liner notes” – often served to give us some insight into the minds of the people making the music we purchased. And, just as the bands often chose to hire the top artists of the day, they also often decided to take advantage of the talents of their favorite authors and poets to take care of the verbiage for their releases (the Grammy organization still awards a Grammy each year for “best liner notes”, so it’s still an integral part of the album-making process), so I think that you’ll enjoy the run-down of some of the literary greats that provided their services to many of your favorite acts over the years, served to us in Chris Mugan‘s recent article on The Independent (UK) site – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/album-sleeve-notes-dont-have-to-be-boring-just-look-at-those-written-by-thomas-pynchon-hunter-s-thompson-and-other-literary-greats-10445086.html
Personally, I’m just impressed with the article’s URL – well written!

3) While I was in Chicago in early August, I had the chance to stop by the River North Arts District area and stopped in to see the Zack Whitford photo show that I’d written about recently at the Hilton|Asmus Contemorary Art Gallery (mounted for music fans hitting the Windy City this summer to attend the Grateful Dead’s final shows and the yearly Lollapalooza event). I have to say that I was impressed with both the gallery and young Mr. Whitford’s photos of friends and bandmates of his Dad (Brad Whitford of Aerosmith). His portraiture is really nicely-done and he should enjoy a long career in the business. The gallery just sent notice that they’re having the show’s closing reception on Wednesday, Aug. 19th, with a new show scheduled to open in mid-September that will feature the photos of Paiit Boyd, Henry Diltz and Carinthia West – more details available on the gallery’s site at http://www.hiltonasmusfoto.com/schedule.html?utm_source=ZACK+WHITFORD+CLOSING+II&utm_campaign=RESCHEDULED+Zack+Whitford+Closing+reception
Thanks again to Africa Hilton for her hospitality during our visit – keep up the nice work!

August 14th – 1) For those of you who have owned the soundtrack to the Woodstock film for all these years and have wondered “just who are those people on the cover”, here are two items that will serve to both identify these individuals and, if you’re in the upstate NY area over the weekend, a chance to meet them as well!
In an article posted recently on The Guardian‘s web site titled “That’s Me In The Picture”, Bobbi Ercoline (the girl wrapped in the blanket, wearing sunglasses) gives us the story about how she, her then-boyfriend-now-longtime-husband Nick and their friend Corky ended up in Burk Uzzle’s cover photo. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/07/thats-me-in-the-picture-woodstock-bobbi-ercoline
Bobbi and Nick were also on hand to chat, sign autographs and sip the local wine at an event at The Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake, NY called “Woodstock At The Winery”. In addition to these album cover celebs, you’ll find music, food and, of course, hand-made goods for sale. Read more about it in Frank Mojica‘s article on the topic on the Yorktown (NY) Daily Voice site – http://yorktown.dailyvoice.com/events/famed-woodstock-album-cover-couple-be-yorktown

2) St. Louis-area music/art fans are also in for a treat during the month of August while a new group of multi-media exhibitions – collectively called Sound + Vision – are on display at several local venues. At venues including the Kranzberg Arts Center, the Craft Alliance Center Of Art And Design and The Dark Room Wine Bar, you’ll find displays of photography by Abby Gillardi, Kenny Williamson and John Paul Torno; artist Mark Dethrow‘s grouping of 51 portraits he’s painted of his re-interpretations of classic David Bowie album covers and several live music performances. You’ll find the details in Willis Ryder Arnold‘s recent article on the KWMU/St. Louis Public Radio site – http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/multi-gallery-show-explores-connections-between-fine-art-and-rock-and-roll-fandom

3) They say that Elvis will live forever in the minds and hearts of fans, and so its only appropriate that the USPS has just released a new “Forever” 49-cent postage stamp and a specially-produced CD of classic Elvis tunes. Both the stamp and the CD feature an Alfred Wertheimer image of “The King” taken in 1955 (when he was 20 years old – he’d have turned 80 this year) and, in addition to the stamp and CD, fans can also buy a folio featuring a mint 1993 Elvis stamp, 16 of the new stamps and a specially-produced booklet of info/images ($24.95) or a framed, ready-to-hang 14″ x 17″ framed art collectible that includes another Wertheimer photo, four of the new stamps and a reproduction signature plaque ($39.95). The designer for the project was Leslie Badani, with art director credits given to Antonio Alcala. Learn more about these items on the USPS web site – https://www.usps.com/stamps/elvis-presley.htm

August 13th – 1) Well-known punk album artist Raymond Pettibon has created the cover for this year’s edition of Best American Comics, the publication that brings readers the most up-to-date examples of the “best of” in the fields of cartooning, illustration and graphic novels. You’ll remember Pettibon’s work for Black Flag, The Minutemen and Sonic Youth, among others, but his status as an innovator in editorial cartooning and a chronicler of all aspects of American Pop Culture made him an obvious choice for this year’s efforts. J.E. Reich gives us the details in this article on the Tech Times web site (warning – the site has an annoying habit of playing video ads while you’re there – the price you have to pay sometimes, I suppose). http://www.techtimes.com/articles/74508/20150805/best-american-comics-series-gets-new-look.htm

2) Staying the punk rock genre, here’s a story that involves not one but two well-known NYC-based shooters who’ve made their mark by giving us years of great images of the early punk scene there. You’ll recall Roberta Bayley‘s iconic photos of The Ramones – particularly her shot of them in a nearby alley that graced the cover of their 1976 debut record – and David Godlis‘ memorable shots of Patti Smith, Richard Hell and other denizens of the CBGB’s era. Well, they’re still neighbors, and Godlis tried to do the neighborly thing recently when Bayley and her dog were attacked while walking to nearby Washington Park, with the details provided here in Lincoln Anderson‘s article on The Villager web site. Very sorry for your loss, Roberta… http://thevillager.com/2015/08/06/famed-punk-photogs-dog-dies-after-attack-by-big-crusty-pit-bull/

3) Just want to give a shout-out to long-time ACHOF friend and talented artist Jeff Davis at Vinylux for being selected as an “Eco Choice Awards” finalist at the NY Now event this week. His beautifully-designed 78RPM album clock was included in the “Sustainability – Designs for a Better World” exhibition at the Jacob Javitz Center – I think you’ll agree that the honors were well-deserved. Keep up the great work, Jeff! http://www.nynow.com/press-release/thirty-finalists-to-compete-for-three-eco-choice-awards/

August 12th – 1) I really enjoyed reading Yo Mannion‘s post on the DJ Booth site about his efforts to learn more about some of the great cover photographers whose work has somewhat been overlooked in the age of “selfies” and phone-camera-based photography. While many musical acts have fed the photo frenzy via their own multiple posts of amateur photos on their own Twitter/Instagram/etc sites, the author was really interested in who created the most-memorable images of his favorite acts and found the answers in the works of shooters including Jonathan Mannion, Danny Clinch, Janette Beckman and many others. Glad to see that there’s still a longing for quality from “the younger generation” – http://www.djbooth.net/index/news/entry/2015-08-03-classic-hip-hop-photography

2) Love these stories of how a fan ends up shooting a photo that ends up on the cover of his favorite act’s latest record! In Joanna Bartlett‘s story on The Register-Guard‘s (Eugene, OR) site, you’ll read about how Bradley Cook – who hadn’t known anything about Buddy Guy and his influence on modern rock guitar-playing until a chance meeting at a festival – took his new-found passion for Guy’s music and, after years of attending shows and snapping fan photos (which he shared with the guitar legend), getting a request to use one of the photos on Guy’s most-recent record, Born To Play Guitar. Read all of the heart-warming details via the link – http://registerguard.com/rg/entertainment/33307937-67/buddy-guy-fan-gets-own-shot-at-glory.html.csp

3) Well, for an old guy, I at least was able to recognize half the cover images in this latest quiz, designed to test your knowledge of popular covers that would be most-familiar to Millennials…Let me know how you do on this VH-1-sponsored quiz (please forgive me for not knowing Katy Perry vs. Britney vs. Pink, OK?) – http://www.vh1.com/news/43977/youre-not-a-millennial-unless-you-can-name-these-album-covers/

August 11th – Back from my road trip and happy to share these three items with you:

1) Canadian singer Kalle Mattson created a very cool new video for his single “Avalanche” that has him re-creating 35 classic album cover images (7 just in the intro!). It’s a great example of how classic album art continues to inspire today’s young musical artists.
http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427427711/first-watch-kalle-mattson-avalanche
I’m very impressed – I mean, he included Trout Mask Replica, for goodness sake!

2) In this recent article for the Gigwise site, writer Will Butler works to track down 15 people who were featured on album covers from acts including Arctic Monkey, Smashing Pumpkins and many others, While some (the Nirvana baby and the Blink-182 nurse) have been covered frequently, there were a number of “new bits” of information shared, particularly on some of the children featured on record covers who have since grown into adulthood…http://www.gigwise.com/photos/101879/15-people-behind-the-album-covers-arctic-monkeys-bob-dylan

3) Late last month, a group of music industry heavyweights including U2’s Bono and The Edge, along with Jimmy Iovine, combined their resources to commission NYC-based artist Peter Sis to create a special commemorative work of art to honor Yoko Ono for her ongoing contributions to Amnesty International, with the resulting work – a tapestry featuring the island of Manhattan re-done “Yellow Submarine-style” – unveiled where it is currently installed at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Yoko has raised millions of dollars for the group via the donation of a share of all of the royalties from John Lennon’s post-Beatles music, so it is fit that, on the tapestry, Lennon is the captain steering the ship. AP’s Luqman Adeniyi provides us with the details and photos in an article recently posted on the Billboard.com site – http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6649120/john-lennon-yellow-submarine-tapestry-ellis-island

August 2nd –  1) As a follow-up to two books he released last year on the artist, author Paul Marechal has updated and re-released a book on the record cover artwork done by Andy Warhol titled Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Record Covers (published by Prestel). As a working artist in the album cover arena since 1949, Warhol received over 50 commissions for record cover work, beginning in the jazz genre before taking on projects for popular acts including the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and his own favorite band, the Velvet Underground. Reporter Michael Machosky has put together a nice backgrounder that provides additional details on the late artist’s career in the music business, and you’ll find it on the Trib Live site via the link – http://triblive.com/aande/books/8737524-74/warhol-marechal-says#axzz3hhYanwsE

2) Having been seen by over 1 million people thus far in its various showings in museums around the world (setting a record for a V&A Museum-curated show), the David Bowie Is exhibit has moved again, this time to the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Melbourne, where it will be viewable until November 1st. You’ll find costumes, stage sets, hand-written lyrics, photographs and, of course, lots of album cover-related materials, so if you’re in the area, take an afternoon and immerse yourself in all things Bowie, with details via the link – http://www.acmi.net.au/exhibitions/bowie/

3) Are you Jewish and looking for a unique arts and crafts project to work on this weekend? Writing for the Jewish JournalJonathan Fong provides readers with step by step instructions on how to make a new tzedakah (i.e., charitable donation) box out of a record album cover. Rightly so, he suggests staying away from using your rare copy of the White Album by The Beatles and, instead, he uses a Mel Torme cover (I’m thinking Dylan or Barbra Steisand, but hey, that’s just me). Even if you’re not Jewish, the box is a great method to collect money for your favorite charity, so if you’re a fan of music and charitable to boot, here’s your chance to make something special – http://www.jewishjournal.com/lifestyle/article/a_new_tzedakah_box_from_an_old_album_cover

August 1st – This one almost slipped by – fellow Chicagoan (I haven’t lived there in 30+ years, but still love my Cubbies) and famed rock shooter Paul Natkin was the subject of a brief-but-inspiring exhibition that ended August 2nd at the Ed Paschke Art Center in Jefferson Park. Simply titled “Superstars”, the show’s name makes perfect sense when you see the list of music celebs he’s photographed during his 40+ year career (with his first concert gig capturing local club icon Bonnie Raitt performing in Evanston in 1976). In this interview for the Gapers Block site, writer Nancy Bishop talks to Paul about his encounters with Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, a host of Chicago Blues greats and what he’s working on these days (including his blog on which he talks about life these days as a professional photographer) – http://gapersblock.com/ac/2015/07/27/paul-natkin-relives-his-life-in-rock-photography-from-abba-to-zz-top/

Ending – 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.

Copyright 2015, Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com & RockPoP Productions – All rights reserved.

Album Cover News Recap – September, 2014

Album Cover News Recap – September, 2014

by Mike Goldstein, Curator/Editor – AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Fall is finally here and, although your Curator out of the office early in the month, the flow of album cover-related news stories continued unabated. The news was dominated by several classic rock-related events, including the opening of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the MCA in Chicago, the over-sized release of U2’s latest album and the preview of Pink Floyd’s first new record in over 20 years, which features cover art from a soon-to-be-well-known new artist. Of course, there were also a number of stories posted about various aspects of the world of album art – “best ofs”, “rejected covers” – even a photo-story about “hidden images” found in famous record covers (very mysterious and cool at the same time).

There was good news on the self-funded book publishing front, with several artists/photographers raising enough money to be able to produce and publish books of their work for fans eager to own them (which only gave me more incentive to consider doing this myself!). You’ll also read about several exhibitions using albums/album art as a central theme for their designs, proving to cover art fans that album art – particularly vinyl record art – continues to serve as a cornerstone reference for Pop Culture fans.

In preparation for this year’s ACHOF voting efforts, many new biographies have been added to the site this past month so that, by the end of November, our voting panel (as well as our fans) will be well-prepared to select this year’s inductees into the ACHOF Class of 2014. I’m proud to announce that we’ve added several new voters to the panel, including writers, gallerists and film-makers from the U.S., U.K., Australia and Italy, which helps illustrate that there are fans and experts on the subject all over the world now part of the ACHOF effort.

In the meantime, here’s your chance to catch up on stories you might have missed while enjoying your late-Summer vacations, getting the kids back to school, etc.. We’re working 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.

September 30 – Album covers can be so inspiring and mysterious….

1) Writer Lucy Dayman’s recent article on the ToneDeaf site presents 13 examples of “hidden images” or messages found on classic rock album covers of acts ranging from Black Sabbath to Frank Zappa. While I’ve been aware of several of them – the little Klaus Voorman image in George Harrison’s hair on the cover of Revolver by The Beatles, for example – most of them were news to me. I was particularly impressed with the drug reference buried on the cover of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats and the optical illusion featured on The Black Lips’ 200 Million Thousand – freaky, man! Spend a little time on this slide show and, of course, if you’re aware of any other fine examples of this art, please share it here with your friends. http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/419684/13-hidden-images-classic-album-covers.htm#1

2) I’m often asked to share info on “my favorite album cover” with others and, while of course this is impossible for me to answer, when I do run across a discussion of the subject by others in the album cover art world, I’m more than happy to share that with ACHOF fans. Today’s example is from an article on the Design Week web site, featuring the opinions of a number of established and up-and-coming designers, art directors and others involved in the making of today’s album cover imagery. Of course, there are mentions of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc., but there are a few that I hadn’t seen before and am now glad that I have. Take a look and see if you agree –http://www.designweek.co.uk/voxpop/whats-your-favourite-record-cover-art-of-all-time/3039133.article

September 29 – It’s U2 Monday (is it Monday for you, too?):

1) For those fans that intend on purchasing a physical copy of U2’s latest record (titled Songs of Innocence – I could have sworn that it was called “Now, Where Did That Come From?”) when it is released in mid-October – the band has released the album cover image which features a shot by photographer Glen Luchford featuring drummer Larry Mullen hugging his son Aaron Elvis. Fans of the band will recall that two of their earlier releases – Boy and War – both featured the image of the son of Bono’s friend Guggi Rowen, so they say that they chose another youthful subject in order to illustrate the band’s efforts to reach back into their youth in a search for inspiration for material for their new record. The writers for Ireland’s RTE site provide more details in this article –http://www.rte.ie/ten/news/2014/0926/648174-u2-to-release-new-songs-larry-cuddles-naked-bloke/ 

2) As you might figure, the controversial record has encouraged a number of people to express their feelings about the music (and how it was somewhat forced upon them), so it only makes sense that they’ve also taken to doing something creative with the father-hugging-son imagery that is featured on the record’s cover. One good example of this (actually, almost 30 good examples) are on display on Diffuser.FM’s site in a photo essay they call “Rejected U2 Album Covers” – take a look – http://diffuser.fm/rejected-u2-album-covers/

September 26

1) You don’t often find the opportunity to bid on items from the personal archives of a famous album cover photographer, so I’m particularly interested in following the bidding on the dozens of photos that will be put up for sale this weekend in Backstage Auction’s offering of works from Ian Wright. Wright’s photos of the “who’s who” in musical talent in London in the 1960s – The Beatles, Hendrix, the Stones, Bowie, etc. – have been featured in countless articles, exhibitions and, of course, album covers, and a collection of these images is in the archives of the National Portrait Gallery in London. Author Peter Lindblad’s interview of Mr. Wright is a really good read, diving into his relationships with his subjects and providing details on several of his most-memorable photo sessions. Well worth the read, whether you’re looking to add to your knowledge or your collection (or both) –http://backstageauctions.blogspot.com/2014/09/ian-wright-is-ready-for-his-close-up.html 

Update – The auction ends on Sunday, October 5th, so there’s still a few days to bid on any/all of the items in this auction. One thing that I didn’t mention in the original article was that the purchasers of most of the Ian Wright works in this auction not only receive a print, but they also get the negatives and the rights to the images themselves, making them valuable investments. Starting bids are in the $500 – $1000 range….

2) Album cover artwork often includes images that reflect the musical act’s politics or world view in general, so it was nice to see this recent article by the folks at Music Times about “5 Album Covers That Use Famous Photos”, featuring records by The Roots, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against The Machine and two bands I was unfamiliar with – Anthony & The Johnsons (I Am A Bird Now) and the Lovely Bad Things (The Late Great Whatever). Many of these images, on their own, might be a bit disturbing (e.g., a photo former “Warhol Superstar” Candy Darling on her deathbed), but that only makes them more memorable and, in most cases, appropriate for this particular use. For extra credit/consideration, I’d like to also include several of the Dead Kennedys’ records, such as Frankenchrist (with its Shriners in mini-cars cover) and Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, which features a photo of several police cars on fire, shot during the White Night riots that took place in San Francisco in 1979 after the sentencing of the man that killed Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk. Anyone else care to add to the list?
http://www.musictimes.com/articles/10624/20140922/5-album-covers-that-use-famous-photos-the-roots-led-zeppelin-and-more.htm

September 25 –

1) More coverage of the Bowie exhibition in Chicago – Sun Times Media writer Jeff Elbel put together a nice overview of “iconic” David Bowie album covers, including bits on The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and Low. In the “runner up” positions, he added The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust… and The Next Day. While he did include some information about several of the people who’d created these works of art, much was left out which, of course, your Curator must quickly add for the entire story to be told:
a) Hunky Dory – art direction by George Underwood;
b) Low – art direction by Kevin Cann, who was also responsible for the liner notes and designs for several of Bowie’s records. He also authored the critically-acclaimed 2010 Bowie bio book (say that fast 3 times!) Any Day Now. Cann had gone to art school with Brian Eno and met Bowie via that connection.
c) Ziggy Stardust – design/art direction by Terry Pastor;
d) The Next Day – the original photo used as the basis of this controversial design was the one Masayoshi Sukita had taken for Bowie’s 1977 record Heroes. Designer Jonathan Barnbrook, who was also responsible for the covers for Bowie’s Heathen and Reality releases, adapted this well-known photo for the new record.
e) The Man Who Sold The World – a collaboration between designers Wit Hamburg and Keef.
Now you know “the rest of the story”….
http://entertainment.suntimes.com/entertainment-news/david-bowie-found-album-cover-inspiration-myriad-sources/

2) The album cover paintings – both originals and his re-interpretations of classic LP covers – of designer/artist Howie Green were on display in an exhibition that began on September 28th at the Massbay Community College in Wellesly Hills, MA titled (appropriately) “The Album Cover Paintings of Howie Green”. The show kicked off with a reception there from noon – 3PM and all were invited. More info on this show is available on the artist’s site at http://www.hgd.com/gallery/howie_green_events.htm

Update – per Howie’s Facebook page, this event was quite the success, with many collectors going home with new Howie Green prints to present proudly on their walls.

September 24 –

1) The cover art for Pink Floyd’s first album in over 20 years – titled The Endless River, and due out in November – has been released. The work, done by a young digital artist from Egypt named Ahmed Emad Eldin, was proposed by Aubrey Powell, part of the famed Hipgnosis team (led by the late Storm Thorgerson) who were responsible for the band’s best-known covers, after examples of his work were seen online. Once the designs were finalized, examples of the finished cover have been put on display prominently in major cities throughout the world, including a 25-foot cube installed in the South Bank area of London. The Independent‘s Adam Sherwin interviewed the lucky and talented young artist for this article, which you can review via the link at http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/the-endless-river-pink-floyd-unveil-cover-art-for-their-first-new-album-in-20-years-9749012.html

2) And now for something completely different – a new touring exhibition has been launched featuring examples of “DIY”/punk record cover artwork, with the first show on the tour now up in London. Titled For The Record, the show features examples of the design work by many of the best-known designers in the genre, including Malcolm Garrett, Julian House, Central Station Design, Barney Bubbles and many others. Conceived and organized by designer Steve Rowland of MadeLab Studio, the display will be put on in a variety of “pop-up” locations, with the schedule of events and list of participating artists/record labels available on the show’s site at http://www.fortherecordproject.co.uk/ Based on the samples I’ve seen, this is a must-see for fans of classic indie record design.

September 23 –

Today is opening day for the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and, based on the reports I’ve seen on the show, this is a must-see for fans of music-related art and design. A subset of the show that ran recently at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, this show features over 400 items that help illustrate Mr. Bowie’s impact on popular culture – costumes (Ziggy Stardust, Scary Monsters, etc.), album art, lyric sheets, music videos, stage props, etc.. It is presented in chronological order, allowing fans to view the progression of the man from street mime to accomplished and influential musician, actor and design icon. The show runs through January 4, 2015 – more info and a list of related events is available via the museum’s site – http://www2.mcachicago.org/exhibition/david-bowie-is/
There’s even a show hotline available – 312-397-4068 – if you’d like to hear more via phone….

On a related note – one of the photographers who, from the years 1972 thru 1980, was an important contributor to Bowie’s public image via his shots of the Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Scary Monster, Lodger and “Thin White Duke” personnas the artist adopted – was the late Brian Duffy, and I’m pleased to report that the folks at the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery will soon be launching an exhibition/sale of prints of a number of images taken during those five photo sessions. The show, titled Bowie|Duffy: Five Sessions, opens this Saturday, Sept. 27th with a reception at the gallery. A selection of photos from the show – which runs through November 1 – is available for viewing on the gallery’s site at http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400088

September 22 –

1) Photographer/album cover designer/film-maker Anton Corbijn, best-known to record cover fans for his covers for U2, has been given the “Best International Literary Adaptation” award from the Frankfurt Book Fair for his recent thriller A Most Wanted Man, which was based on a John LeCarre novel of the same name. The film stars, among others, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams and Willem Dafoe and focuses on the many intricacies of “the global war on terror”. It only seems proper that the man that directed the music videos for Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove” and “Barrel of a Gun” should have created such a compelling film – more about this award is available on this announcement on the BookTrade web site – http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/55878

2) Saw this item listed in a current Artnet auction and thought you might want to see it as well – Mr. Brainwash – the graffiti artist best-known for the excellent 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary on the world-wide graffiti scene (Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, Banksy, etc.) and his promotion of the art form in the fine art world (as well as the cover for Madonna’s 2009 hit single “Celebration”) – has a work that depicts this week’s birthday boy, Bruce Springsteen, who turns 65, made from broken CDs and vinyl records. Projected to sell in the $25-35K range, the work is one in a series of portraits the French artist has created over the past several years, including ones of Jim Morrison and KISS. To read more about this unique work, head on over to the item’s page on the Artnet site –http://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/mr-brainwash/bruce-springsteen

Update – bidders in the September 23rd auction for this print did not bid enough to meet the Reserve set for the item, so if you’re interested in this print, you can contact the specialist responsible for the sale of this work – Gracie Mansion – at her office in NYC at (212) 497-9700 Ext. 494 494.

September 19 –

1) The folks at the Grammy organization just released an interview they recorded at the Lollapalooza event in Chicago with graphic artist Shepard Fairey, who was there to curate an art exhibit and talk about his recent “Sound + Vision” collaboration with DJ Z-Trip. During the interview, Fairey – best known for his Andre The Giant and Obama/Hope images, but also a prolific album art designer, having created designs for Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Billy Idol and many others – talks about the sources of his design inspirations, which range from Russian Constructivist/Propaganda posters to the works of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Jamie Reid and Winston Smith (he was also a fan of Hipgnosis/Thorgerson and Stanley Donwood, who has done memorable covers for Radiohead). A thoughtful interview with a very talented screen-print artist – https://www.grammypro.com/professional-development/video/grammy-pro-interview-shepard-fairey

2) This week included the release of a record collection in a very cool package – Def Jam Records’ Def Jam 30 box sets, which are limited-edition/numbered packages – either CD or vinyl – that come in a box that looks remarkably like a turntable/dust cover combination. Designed by a team that includes Darkness Bros. Inc.’s Dawud West (who used to be creative director at the label), Andy Proctor, Sharon Lamb and Tai Linzie, the boxes also include booklets featuring a comprehensive liner notes essay by NYU Prof. Dan Charnas and additional photography and “memorabilia”, along with a limited-edition Def Jam 30 logo t-shirt (along with the music, of course!). More details are available on the DJ site via the link – http://www.defjam.com/dj30-box-set-sept/

September 18 – Two interesting items for lovers of great design –

1) There’s a new book coming out on October 1st that should be of interest to album art fans. Titled Fifty Years of Illustration (published by Lawrence King, UK) and written by two experts in the field – Lawrence Zeegen (Dean of the School of Design at the London College of Communication) and Caroline Roberts (journalist and founder of Grafik magazine) – the book’s focus on contemporary illustration, of course, includes many works by people who’ve created memorable album covers, such as Klaus Voorman (The Beatles’ Revolver), Ian Wright (T.I.’s Paper Trail), David Larkham/Ian Beck (Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), Gerald Scarfe (Pink Floyd’s The Wall), Shepard Fairey (Led Zeppelin’s Mothership) and many others (over 700 illustrations!).

There’s a corresponding exhibition running at the London College of Communication from now thru September 21st as part of the London Design Festival, but if you’d like to learn and see a bit more about the book/show, link on over to this article on The Guardian (UK) web site –http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/sep/15/chewbacca-barack-50-years-illustration

2) Design buffs have always swooned over the work of Porsche’s design team, so this new pop-up display in downtown NYC – done as a “modern record store” featuring custom-designed media players that play music and videos inspired by the automaker’s products, delivered on 12″ platters with stylized record covers. In addition to the unique audio experiences, visitors to the store can slide on a pair of headphone to enjoy themed programs that elicit the excitement of a drive in the big city, racing, or a drive in the country, all while viewing video projected on a shiny (I’m assuming) 911 Carrera 4s Coupe (quite the screen, no?). The display, on W 14th St in the Meatpacking district, runs now through October 5th. Read more – and see a photo gallery – on David Pinter’s article on the PSFK.com web site – http://www.psfk.com/2014/09/porsche-popup-sound-store-nyc.html

September 17 –

1) Fans of album cover art now have a new place to visit when they have a craving to add to their fine art collections. Continuing in his father’s tradition (the family was involved in one of the first record art publishing businesses back in the early 1990s), Theodore S. has launched the Hazyrock.com site, where you’ll find an impressive range of album art prints – many signed by either/both the artist that created the image and/or members of the featured musical act – along with DVDs, CD, concert memorabilia, limited-edition toys and other items any music fan would be happy to receive (with the Holidays not too far off, it is always nice to have your resources lined up for your gift-giving needs). Hope that you’ll take a look and tell your friends (I will add this to the ACHOF list of Buying/Selling Resources today, too.). Of particular note to me was the limited-edition DEVO “Energy Dome Throbblehead” – very cool. http://hazyrock.com/ 

2) Received a note yesterday from a writer who’d posted an article I thought you might be interested in. While not specifically album art-related, as a former gallery owner and art preservationist, I feel that it is my duty to provide collectors with this sort of info – the article gives you an overview of how to best store your vinyl record collections. If you’re like me, you have some/all of your collection in boxes in your basement/attic/self-storage unit and, while that may be (in some cases) better than leaving them on a hot radiator, if you want your collection to remain playable for the foreseeable future, you should heed the info you’ll find on Stephanie Hyland’s posting on the Storage.com site –http://blog.storage.com/storage/store-vinyl-record-collection/

September 16 –

1) While most music art fans are familiar with the photos and illustrations that serve as the basis of their favorite album cover designs, there’s also been a lot of time taken during these projects to consider the logo designs and letter (AKA “typography”) and, in many cases, this work proves to be just as memorable. One recent example can be found in the work of the inter-continental design team (one’s in Norway, while one’s in Minnesota) named Non-Format in a recent design – based on a custom typeface – they did for musician Amy Kohn’s latest release, titled PlexiLusso. Their resulting work seems totally appropriate as packaging for new music by Ms. Kohn, an accordion player whose work spans jazz, avante-garde, pop and classical and who has played with Norah Jones, Phil Collins and Dianne Reeves. More about this can be found in Margaret Rhodes’ article on the Wired Magazine site – http://www.wired.com/2014/09/custom-typeface-isnt-perfectly-legible-thats-point/

2) This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Arcade Fire’s Funeral record and, to mark that milestone, Billboard‘s Chris Payne tracked down the artist who created the memorable cover imagery (along with a mural placed strategically in Brooklyn, NY), the talented Tracy Maurice, to find out more about “the making of” this work. The story is somewhat reminiscent of the early NYC music/art scene, with opportunities for folks floating in the same social circles to work together and, hopefully, share in each others’ successes. To read this interview with the Juno Award-winning designer, just follow the link – http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6251421/funeral-arcade-fire-album-art-tracy-maurice-neon-bible-win-butler

September 15

1) Sunday would have been Amy Winehouse’s 31st birthday, so it was nice to see news of the unveiling of a work of art – a bronze statue, created by Scott Eaton – that was commissioned by her father, Mitch, who attended the ceremony held at the Stables Market in London along with other members of her immediate family. The statue shows the late singer in a memorable pose, complete with red rose in her hair and Star of David necklace proudly on display. This tribute joins the growing roster of rock star tributes – Hendrix (Seattle), Freddie Mercury (Switzerland), Phil Lynott (Dublin), Bon Scott (Australia) and many others that continue to draw fans from all over the world. More details in this story by Saba Hamedy on the LA Times web site – http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-amy-winehouse-sculpture-unveiled-20140914-story.html

2) A photo of Bruce Springsteen’s legendary 1974 performance at the Harvard Square Theater in Boston will be auctioned off this month to raise money for the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. The photo is part of an exhibition of photos by Barry Schneier that is currently on display at the University’s Pollack Gallery thru Sept. 30 – details regarding the auction will be announced soon. More info on this show/auction is available via Chris Jordan’s article on the Asbury Press web site at http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/music/2014/09/11/bruce-springsteen-photo-auction-benefits-collection/15487347/

September 12

1) Happy to report on a new album cover history article series – the folks on The Pier web site – “your No. 1 online destination for good times, great music and up to date news from the Reggae-Rock community” – have published the first article in a series titled “Album & Cover Art History” in which they provide some of the details behind the making of some of your favorite record covers. This first episode includes an interesting mix of covers from musical acts including The Clash, No Doubt, Bad Brains and several others. The writers say that it’s their plan on releasing a follow-up article in late October, so why not get started now and let them know if there are any covers you’d like to know more about – http://www.thepier.org/the-pier-album-cover-art-history-vol-1/

2) The records released by one of glam rock’s early pioneers – T. Rex – always featured interesting and memorable album cover art, so fans of the band will be happy to see it preserved and enhanced in the upcoming (Nov. 3, in time for holiday gift-giving) release of a set titled T. Rex: The Vinyl Collection. 2 versions of the 8-record set, which includes LPs beginning with the group’s first post-Tyrannosaurus Rex record (1971’s T. Rex) up through their 1977 Dandy In The Underworld record, released shortly before Marc Bolan’s tragic death by car crash in September of that year.

Box sets on black vinyl will be generally available thru most music retailers, while those looking for something truly unique can buy one of 500 colored vinyl collector’s edition packages directly from the publisher. There will also be a related, 10-CD set titled T. Rex: The Albums Collection released at the same time for those not vinylly-inclined. More details on this are provided in this article on the Vintage Vinyl News site – http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2014/09/t-rex-first-eight-albums-being.html?m=1

September 11 –

1) Photographer Merri Cyr, well-known for her portraits of luminaries in various aspects of the entertainment business, is perhaps best known for her photos of the late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley. When Buckley asked her to photograph him and detail his life on tour (as well as shooting the album cover image) – in support of his record titled Grace, she took full advantage of the opportunity, creating a fascinating portfolio of images that are now on display in an exhibition titled “20 Years of Grace” at the Blender Gallery in Sydney, Australia. Many never-before-seen images are included in the show, and Buckley fans can also see more (over 300 more) of Cyr’s intimate photos in her book, A Wished-For Song, Portrait of Jeff Buckley, that’s also available. More on this exhibit, which runs now through September 20th, is included in this recent article by Cindy Tran on the Daily Mail/Australia site at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2743040/He-blew-mind-Photographer-reveals-story-intimate-pictures-Aussie-music-legend-Jeff-Buckley.html

2) Fans of heavy metal music and art can now help fund a project to create a new book dedicated to the display of all that is dark, loud, lurid and fascinating. In support of a new Indiegogo.com project posted by writer and artist Ramon Martos, you can be one of just 300 lucky people who will be able to own a limited-edition, signed book titled …And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers. Having worked several years to secure the rights to the 400+ images that will be included in the finished product, your contributions, according to the author’s pitch, “would make a tremendous difference in the outcome of this project, that—according to Morbid Angel’s front man, David Vincent (who wrote the foreword)—has all the potential to become “a historical document about the importance of Metal album covers.”
Although the campaign has already reached its first goal, there’s still time to secure one of the first run copies, so buzz on over to the project’s page and grab one before they’re gone – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-print-and-justice-for-art

Update – as of October 1, I’m pleased to note that this project has raised over $14,000, well over its $8,310 goal, so supporters will be getting this new book when it is published. With the Indiegogo project still having a month to go, I’m suspecting that there will be a number of other supporters coming, giving the author plenty of resources to create the best version possible of this new book. Congratulations!

September 10 –

1) Not willing to let Nicki Minaj steal all of the limelight with a nearly-naked album cover photo, classic British act Status Quo released a teaser for their soon-to-be-released record (an acoustic set titled Aquostic (Stripped Bare)) that shows two original members of the veteran rock band standing in the nude, with their naughty bits shielded only by strategically-placed guitars. While certainly a bold move by the boogie-woogie band, I don’t think that it will draw the same attention and public outcry as more-recent extremely-revealing covers, as it is doubtful that anyone will be fantasizing about the well-over-60 bodies on display (still quite trim, though). More on this in this article on Ireland’s Independent web site – http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/status-quo-get-naked-for-new-album-cover-photographed-by-bryan-adams-30551637.html

September 9 –

1) Artist/Designer David Larkham – best known to ACHOF fans as the talent behind most of Elton John’s album graphics – sent me a link to a video he’s produced showing him in the process of creating one of a series of large-scale painted portraits of the Rolling Stones. The video, which gives us a look into the painstaking detail of David’s depiction of Bill Wyman, is set to the music of Wyman’s 1981 hit single, “(Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star”. I am always intrigued by what it takes to make great art, and so I’m glad that David saw fit to give us this insight into his latest project – take a look and share it with your friends –http://youtu.be/ToXYb3MXQYI

2) Writer Joey DeGroot of the MusicTimes site has assembled seven examples of unusual record packages that have been released over the years in an article that is a testament to the creativity – and commitment to album packaging as an art form – that has been on display from time to time over the years. Most I’d seen and admired before – Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, Public Image Ltd’s Metal Box, etc – while I wasn’t aware of some of the more-recent examples shown of packages by The Flaming Lips (limited-edition skulls), Street Dogs (a playable package) and, most-amusingly, the Ultimate Box Set by The Residents, which comes packaged in its own refrigerator (!!) for a princely price. Gotta love ’em – http://www.musictimes.com/articles/9712/20140905/7-artists-who-released-music-in-bizarre-packaging-led-zeppelin-the-flaming-lips-and-more.htm

September 8 –

Back from Alaska and happy to announce that the ACHOF site has been added as a resource (under the heading “Other Resources”) to the National Recording Preservation Board of the U.S. Library of Congress. This list includes links to a number of sites/organizations that are there to help inform anyone interested in both the history of recorded music and in preserving the legacy of the people and places that have contributed to recorded music’s rich history.

I’m very proud to see that album cover imagery has been included as part of this effort and look forward to adding more to it as time goes on. If you’re interested in learning more about the NRPB and see what they have to offer (it’s a treasure-trove of info), please follow the link – http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/nrpb-OTHERRESOURCES.html

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.