Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for January, 2023
Posted New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all, and a Happy New Year 2023 to you and yours!
Hope that you all enjoyed your Holidays and have much to look forward to this upcoming year. While we were all involved with our celebratory efforts, efforts continued on several fronts to help determine everyone’s favorite album cover/packaging work of the past 12 months, with voting taking place in several name-brand competitions. The results of those contests will be released in ceremonies taking place in January and February and you can be sure that they’ll be highlighted here on the ACHOF site.
2023 will also be one of change here on the ACHOF site. As you know, for the past 10+ years, we’ve involved both our readers and our anonymous panel of experts in our own nominating/voting efforts in order to select people – i.e., the designers, photographers, art directors, etc. working in the music business and creating retail album packaging – for special honors, and while those efforts have produced lists of artists who’ve all built impressive portfolios of work in their respective areas, it has been an effort that – at least to me, this site’s principal – has distracted me from the main focus of the site, that being to give my readers in-depth interviews, information and ongoing coverage of the output of these talented individuals and design teams. With that said, I am announcing that, going forward, I’ll be working on creating a new site where the general, artist-specific info (bios, interviews and news) will go, with the “hall of fame”-related materials remaining on the albumcoverhalloffame.com site. More details on that effort will be announced soon, but I thought it important to share my intentions with you now with the hope that you’ll provide me with some feedback and suggestions as to how best to move forward.
Anyway, this month’s newsletter is a simple summary of the news in all of the main topic areas, with updates and info about several museum/gallery exhibitions, new auctions and sales results from previous ones and a large number of art and artist-related articles, so I’d like to once again say “thanks” for your help, your support and your patience while I work to get this site set on its new track in the long and short-term. Let’s get started with some updates on the award shows currently in progress:
Posted May 27, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Last November (2021) I’d received a comment on the ACHOF site that read as follows – “My partner and I love album covers so much that we have written 2 books about it: Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America (2017) and Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance (2021), both published by MIT Press. We range far and wide in the Designed for Dancing book and feature many rock n roll albums from the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to identity photographers, illustrators, and designers, and celebrate album cover art”. Now, considering that most of the submissions to the comments section are either complaints about things I’ve left out of a description or that I hadn’t praised or panned with sufficient vigor (or are spam links to CBD product sites), you must admit that this comment deserved some degree of follow-up, so I contacted the writer – Jonathan Schroeder, William A. Kern Professor in Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology – to learn more about them and their interest in album cover design.
Posted January 14th, 2022, with an update posted January 18th, 2022
Highlights from the original exhibition curated by Jules Seamer, with text edited/updated by the Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Mike Goldstein
#1 in the Art on My Sleeves series – All Nerve: Album Cover Graphic Design – In addition to the musical and business aspirations that have inspired individuals and record labels to produce packaged music products for sale to fans worldwide, the album cover art projects associated with these records have benefitted over the years from the talents of the people who’ve worked on them, the tools they had available to create “just the right” cover image and the dynamics of what constituted “Popular Culture” at the time they were created.
The use of Graphic Design – or “Commercial Art”, as it was once called – on album covers was brought about due to the successful efforts of several early pioneers, the most notable being commercial artists including Alex Steinweiss who, in 1938, became the first art director for Columbia Records and, in 1940, Introduced first individually-designed record cover (Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart) and went on to pioneer cardboard sleeve-based packaging for 33-1/3 RPM LPs in 1948. He was joined at Columbia by Jim Flora and Robert M. “Bob” Jones in the mid-1940s (followed by Saul Bass, S. Neil Fujita and Bob Cato) while, over at the jazz labels Verve, Blue Note and others, talented artists including David Stone Martin, Reid Miles and Andy Warhol produced covers that brought them fame thanks to their iconic design work. Whether helping to shape the vision of a label, as Barney Bubbles did at Stiff, Vaughan Oliver did at 4AD or Peter Saville crafted for Factory or establishing a style that became synonymous with the bands they had as clients (like Hipgnosis for Pink Floyd orJamieReid for the Sex Pistols), album cover graphic designers were deservedly hailed for creating mini-masterpieces that made an art form out of the album cover.
Posted onJune 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for June 2021
Posted June 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all from Chicagoland and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. Is everyone beginning to emerge from your self-imposed exiles (hopefully, fully-vaccinated and doing all you can to stay safe and healthy)? I am happy to announce that the hummingbirds have returned to my balcony, my herbs and flowers have been planted and, with any luck, Spring will stick around long enough for my wife and I to get out and enjoy it.
Another sign of Spring’s arrival is my yearly announcement that I’ve been able to speak with one of this year’s Grammy winners in the Packaging Category – designer Lawrence Azerrad, the winner (along with his collaborator, Chicago’s own Jeff Tweedy) of this year’s Grammy Award for “Best Box/Special Limited-Edition Package” for the work done on Wilco’s Ode To Joy set – and have just posted this interview on the site for your reading pleasure.
Posted onOctober 30, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for November, 2020
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…
Posted onOctober 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for October, 2020
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.
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – September, 2020
Posted September 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
We’re entering the final stages of Summer 2020 – a summer unlike any I can remember – and now that we’ve heard the arguments from both sides regarding either the re-election of the current administration or its replacement with a new one, I know that the next couple of months will be full of messaging, news and theater but, while you might think that there’d be little news coming from the world of album cover artists and their art, in fact, there’s been a lot to look at, read and learn about. Visual artists have always played an important part in politics and have made some quite-memorable statements about society with their works (think of album covers released over the past 5-6 decades from musical acts such as Pink Floyd, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots and many, many others), so you won’t be surprised to find examples of such work included amongst the articles included this month’s news summary.
Posted onJuly 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for July, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Monthly News Update and Summary – July, 2020
Posted July 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (updated on July 3, 2020)
Early July greetings to you all from my now-extremely-familiar home office – with the Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend and the state I live in (Illinois) slowly (at least on paper) re-emerging from a self-imposed quarantine, I wanted to make sure that I’d put together and delivered my monthly update prior to my move to the den to view the carefully-curated shows that make up my Holiday Watchlist (inc. a recording of the Chicago Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qarHJOSYg). While many of my local countrymen seem to feel that it’s time to “get back to normal” (based on what exactly?), my wife and I are happy to continue on keeping to ourselves, venturing out only as-needed and enjoying the great take-out food and downloaded books, music and movies that have kept us safe and sane over the past few months while this pandemic remains active and dangerous.
I’ve continued to add new bios to the ACHOF site and will soon be adding some new themed searches to the site that will let you dig deep into the ACHOF archives for more stories, interviews and news about your favorite album cover makers. I’ve also spent some quality time trying the impressive number of quality gins and tonics that are now available on the market, so certain aspects of my quarantine time have proven to be quite fruitful (and delicious).
Posted onJune 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020
Posted June 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings once again from my office – a place I’ve been spending WAY too much time in lately on account of the local/state “keep away from others” rules currently protecting me from that crummy COVID bug. Like many of you, I’ve been staring at screens half the day, and while I’ve been committed to getting out of the house at least a minute or two every day (long walks around the neighborhood and visits to local parks have been great sanity-savers), I’m both completely understanding that keeping my distance from others is my best option for continued good health and really anxious to return to whatever “normal” life will be soon.
Posted onApril 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for April, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – April, 2020
Posted April 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings from Chicagoland. While it’s my hope that my monthly news summaries bring a little joy into your lives, I must admit that the preparation and delivery of this month’s article during a world-wide health and economic crisis had me wondering whether any of you would be disappointed if I’d chosen to put things off for a while. With many of us sequestering ourselves from the outside world and/or having to deal with the loss of a job, serious health and family issues and a general fear of the unknown, it seems to me that we all have a lot more on our minds than the answer to the question “what’s happening in the world of album cover art and packaging?” Keeping this in mind, and accepting the fact that I’m sure most of you realize that I have more time on my hands to sit at my computer than usual, I’ve decided to shoot out a somewhat-truncated summary document both to keep fans of album art informed and to give this lonely and frustrated soul something to do while we ride this out together.