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 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).
I know, I know, I’m early, but I thought you’d want to know about the results of three recent auctions I previously reported on, with some of the results confirming, once again, that “money talks”:
1) To follow up on my early June posting about photographer Mark Seliger’s fund-raising auction of 26 of his photo portraits of celebrities from the worlds of music, film, TV, stage and politics, I’d like to report that the total raised for the COVID-19 relief organizations he’s supporting was a remarkable $232,375, with the item raising the most money – that being Seliger’s portrait of past President Barack Obama – selling for an impressive $37,500. Well done, Mr. Seliger!
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.
Greetings from Chicagoland. It’s “awards season”, what with the Grammy Awards, BAFTAs, Writer’s Guild and Independent Spirit Awards and, to end the month with a bang, the Oscars (followed, in a few months, by another flurry including the Billboard, Tony and BET Awards shows). I don’t know about you, but I’m growing a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of these shows and am somewhat confused as regards their relevance beyond the steady stream of production-related income enjoyed by the folks that stage them…Of course, people should be proud of what they do and want to praise the best examples of work within their respective fields of artistic endeavor, but I find it somewhat sad that some of the most-talented people – those working behinds the scenes, with their credits listed well-down from the top (you know, the part that’s sped through at an impossible-to-read pace during on-screen credit rolls) – are only mentioned in passing or, as we saw during the Oscar telecast, relegated to their own sparsely-attended and covered award ceremonies. Trust me, I understand why this is the case. I mean, who wouldn’t rather see a popular musician’s acceptance speech than hear from the recording engineer or the music video director (or the team that created the group’s logo and album cover), so that’s what sponsors and fans expect to see during an award show telecast. I guess that we fans of cover art can only take solace in the fact that you’ll probably see many more people wearing Dark Side of the Moon t-shirts than clothing emblazoned with a photo of Katy Perry thanking her fans, the label, her manager and her accountant for their support…