Featured Fan Portfolio – writer/photographer David Hamsley’s Favorite Gatefold Covers
(intro by Mike Goldstein, Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com)
Earlier this year, I received an email from a photographer and author named David Hamsley. He was looking to track down an artist that he thought I might know in order to talk to him about including an example of his work in a book that David was working on. After talking a bit more about his project, we agreed to stay in touch, but after thinking about it a bit (and about his talents and background and what he shared with me about his current work), I pitched the idea to him that he should consider working with me on an article that I’d feature in the ACHOF’s “Featured Album Cover Fan Collections” section – something that would allow him to share his knowledge about – and passion for – album cover imagery.
Spring ahead a few months and I received another note from David, this time telling me that his project – a comprehensive book about Disco-era record art – was nearly complete and that he’d be open to working with me on the article I’d proposed. Rather than focus on Disco covers, though, he suggested that we work on presenting a collection of images in another segment of album art production that, since the rise of the CD and other digital music delivery mechanisms, has been pushed to the back burners of music packaging history – i.e., “gatefold” covers.
Intrigued with the notion, I asked David why this particular segment in the chronicling of album cover art was of interest to him, to which he replied that “gatefolds were a natural stretch of the boundaries for designers to have experimented with, especially as album art evolved into something that was more like a packaging “event” that included postcards, booklets, posters, etc. When thinking about putting this together for you, I decided a spotlight on gatefolds in particular would be another thread that weaves a disparate group of images together”. After looking at the records he proposed that we would include, I agreed that this would be a great opportunity to show what talented cover art producers could do when given a much-larger-than-normal canvas to work on and so, for your pleasure and education, here are David’s selections, along with both the results of his research into each cover image and his own anecdotes about what made each so compelling and memorable.