Tag Archives: Giger

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

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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 Summary For August, 2016

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It’s the beginning of September, 2016, with Labor Day upon us, marking the “official” end of this year’s Summer season. If you’re done packing your kids off to school and find yourself with a little extra “me-time” during the day, I’d like to propose that you spend a little time catching up on your album cover art/artist-related news which, as you all know by now, you’ll find nicely-summarized in my weekly and monthly recaps.

In this month’s summary – continuing on in the much-appreciated “less talk, more info” format I launched several months back – the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to make news with their ongoing contributions to the field of album art/packaging, contributing to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, info on museum and gallery shows and the like on a wide range of related topics. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions or comments:

1) Upcoming, recently-launched and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Launching September 1st at the San Pedro (CA) First Thursday Art Walk is an exhibition at the huZ Gallery featuring a selection of the photo portraits taken over the past 40+ years by photographer Peter Figen, a man who has produced stunning promo images of top talent including George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt along with album package photos for David Grisman, Robert Earl Keen, Chris Hillman, Carl Verheyen and many others. With a career that was jump-started while shooting at an early 1970s Hot Rise show in California and being spotted by the art director for Frets Magazine, who asked him to submit his shots after the show, Figen has used his passion for folk/roots music to create confidence in his abilities as a photographer in his well-known subjects, with the results now on display during this gallery show. Writer Kathy Leonardo posted this profile on the artist recently on the Huffington Post site – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-leonardo-/music-and-photography-sha_b_11298832.html – while those interested in seeing and learning more about this new print collection can click on over to the gallery’s site at http://www.huzgalleries.com/ . The gallery has also teased visitors with the fact that they’ll also be unveiling several new photo prints of a ready-to-be-discovered young musician named Elvis Presley taken by an Air Force photographer during a performance in Lubbock, TX in 1955…

b) Running now through September 10th at the Gabba Gallery on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood is a show featuring over 80 real and not-so-real album cover works created by a whole host of well-known and soon-to-be-well-known artists that’s called Cratedigger: The Lost Art of Album Cover Art. According to the gallery’s press, the exhibition “celebrates one of the twentieth century’s most influential art forms – the record sleeve cover. Curated by (gallery owner and accomplished artist in his own right) Jason Ostro, the exhibition showcases the work of 85 local and international artists. Each artist has imagined a cover design for a real or fictional album. Just like classic record covers, every piece in the show is 12” x 12”…

The gallery also shows music-related works by artists including Joey Feldman, Jules Muck and photographer Jeff Kravitz, so there will surely be a lot to take in during your visit. More info on the album art show is available on the gallery’s site – http://www.gabbagallery.com/cratedigger

c) Photographer Gerald Fearnley cemented his place in rock and roll album art history with the shot he provided for the cover of David Bowie’s debut record, but the folks at the Snap Gallery in London didn’t stop with just that image when they organized a show built around a recently-unearth cache of ’66 – ’67-era photos of the soon-to-be-recognized creative force that was Mr. Bowie. Fearnley was introduced early on to Bowie through his brother, bassist Derek Fearnley, who played in Bowie’s early backing band The Buzz, and used that access to arrange for a series of photo shoots that produced what looks to be a fascinating collection for fans of the era’s music and fashion. You can read an intro on the show – which runs through September 24th – via Tom Pinnock’s quicky posting on the Uncut site – http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/david-bowie-exhibition-feature-unpublished-photographs-86903 and get further details directly from the Gallery via this link – https://www.snapgalleries.com/exhibitions/bowie-photographs-by-gerald-fearnley/

d) The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX is where you’ll find a major collection of photos of rock’s best-known female stars taken by shooter (that takes on a new meaning in TX, no?) Anastasia Pantsios, an artist who’s been busy taking great photos for rock music clients including AC/DC, Journey, Eric Clapton, Michael Stanley and many others over the past 40+ years. Titled ” “Girls on Film, 40 Years of Women in Rock”, the show was originally organized several years ago and has been updated to include both some of Pantsios’s earliest works (e.g., Grace Slick with Jefferson Airplane in 1969, Deborah Harry in Blondie and mid-70s Patti Smith) and later examples including Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado and Shirley Manson of Garbage. While no longer working with clients in the music business (what, you want to get PAID to do your work?), Anastasia can look back proudly on her contributions to several Cleveland, OH-area publications including The Plain Dealer (where she also contributed as a writer) and alt weeklies including The Free Times and Cleveland Scene. More info on this show, running now through September 11th, via this article on the LubbockOnline.com site – http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2016-07-30/kerns-buddy-holly-center-displays-photo-exhibit-influential-women-rock#

e) What a combination – a prime collection of wonderful paintings and prints of worlds beyond our own put on display in a museum located on a mystical island! From now until the 19th of November, visitors to the Manx Museum – a National Heritage organization on the U.K.’s Isle of Man – can tour a collection of works by the impressively-talented Roger Dean, best-known to album cover art fans for his contributions to the visuals for bands including YES, Uriah Heep, Asia, Osibisa and many others.

With a portfolio that includes not only album cover imagery but (both alone and working with his talented brother Martyn) stage designs, architecture, calendars and a wide variety of merchandise, Dean’s work continues to impress and astound fans with its ability to take you to the farthest reaches of your imagination. You’ll find works in many media, including several models of designs he’s done for living spaces you can only dream you’d be able to live in. An article on the Isle of Man web site provides an intro – http://www.isleofman.com/News/details/80357/islands-and-bridges-the-art-of-roger-dean  while additional details are available on the museum’s site – http://www.manxnationalheritage.im/whats-on/detail/islands-and-bridges-the-art-of-roger-dean/

f) Since the time of the Woodstock Festival at the end of the 1960s, the exhibition of fine art with music has gone hand in hand, with everyone from poster/merch designers, painters, fabric artists and many other disciplines plying their wares and providing the visual backdrop for attendees at these festivals. One of the latest examples of this was on display recently during the Panorama festival held on Randall’s Island in New York City (as seen via the AFP-penned article that appeared on the ArtDaily.com site – http://artdaily.com/news/88984/For-New-York-s-new-festival–an-immersion-in-art).

Organized by the same team that puts on the popular Coachella festival (i.e., Goldenvoice), the festival features an area called The Lab which, according to the promoters, is an “interactive experience which features installations that combine technology, artistry, and design, created exclusively by New York-based artists for display only at PANORAMA.” Inside The Lab is “The Dome”, which is a huge dome that accommodates up to 400 people at a time and provides a 3D Virtual Reality display using music, animation and other forms of “immersive media”. The works of 11 studios combined to make this experience a fun and fascinating one, providing festival-goers with a place to take a break from the performances by acts including the Alabama Shakes, Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem and the act which has produced a number of very interesting album covers the past couple of years, FKA Twigs.

g) Friend of ACHOF Emily Smeaton of the UK’s Hypergallery was kind enough to share the details of an upcoming event that should be of great interest to anyone interested in both seeing a superb collection of album art prints and hearing from two of the most-respected designers in the field. Beginning on September 26th in lovely Henly-On-Thames outside of London, our chums at Hypergallery will host a pop-up exhibition called “The Art of the Album Cover” that will feature ” prints by Literary Festival speakers, from the days when all music was vinyl, and album covers became an art form of their own.” On the last day of the event – Sunday, October 2nd, at 5pm local time, in the Town Hall venue – two of rock music’s design greats – Aubrey (Po) Powell, the co-founder of the celebrated design studio Hipgnosis (best known for their covers for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel/Genesis and many others, and author of a book on his studio’s work titled Hipgnosis Portraits) will be joined by Richard Evans (who, in addition to his many well-known album art credits both with the team at Hipgnosis and on his own, was author of The Art of the Album Cover book) where, according to Emily’s note, “the two artists will be sharing anecdotes from the time they spent at the epicenter of the rock and roll tornado of the late 1960s and 1970s.” After the event, Hypergallery will host a book signing and exhibition of the authors’ design work in their print room, just across from the Town Hall. You’ll be able to meet the authors, have a drink or two and view the great collection of works that will be on hand.

Advanced tickets for the event are now on sale via the link – http://tiny.cc/hlf_artofthealbum  and you can visit the gallery’s site at https://www.hypergallery.com/event_hlf/  for more details. Of course, I will work to get hold of any photos, transcripts or videos that emerge from this event, so stay tuned. I am, of course, immediately jealous of anyone who’ll be able to attend this event…

h) Having just celebrated his 75th birthday (Happy Birthday, John!), graphic design superstar John Van Hamersveld marked the occasion with the launch of a new exhibition (running now thru October 16th, at the Manhattan Beach Art Center in Manhattan Beach, CA) titled Contemporary Post Future! The Dichotomy of Design and Art – John Van Hamersveld which, according to the gallery’s PR, ” presents past and present artworks where John Van Hamersveld explores the connection between art, design and commerce.” The centerpiece of the display is a 47-panel modular black and creme-colored collage/mural JVH created that surrounds the building with his talents. Inside, two galleries showcase a number of examples of both his commercial design work and his striking and imaginative fine art designs, so if you’re in the area or need a destination for an art-filled excursion, I’d suggest a trip on over to see this show, with details available via the link at http://www.citymb.info/city-officials/parks-and-recreation/cultural-arts/exhibition/creative-arts-center-exhibitions#ad-image-1

i) Just as a tease, the folks at the V&A Museum in the U.K. just announced that they’re going to stage a new exhibition beginning in May 13th, 2017 built around the imagery of one of Britain’s most-valuable exports – that being the rock band Pink Floyd. According to the press (as exemplified in this BBC Entertainment & Arts section article recently published – http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-372284960 ) the show – to be titled “The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains” – promises to offer “an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world which will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day”. With over 350 examples of Floyd-related visual imagery, including a whole host of album cover artwork created over the years by Storm, Po and the team at Hipgnosis, there will certainly be a lot to take in. Advance tickets are now on sale on the Museum’s website at https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/pink-floyd

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) When a long-time fan of a musical act – in this case, South Carolina-based artist Dave Beard – has the opportunity to provide design services for that act – in this case, the Beach Boys – great joy ensues, as is evidenced by this recent article by Andrew Stark for the Fort Mill Times (as shared with the HeraldOnline.com site). The article tracks Beard’s path from fan to fanzine editor/designer to Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean fame) design cohort to a 2014 commission by the Beach Boys to create what Beach Boy Mike Love called “In the 54 years of touring and (a) multitude of concerts and concert programs, the new Beach Boys’ 2015 Official Tour Program is far and away the best I’ve ever seen.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn more about this story? Don’t worry, baby – here’s the link – http://www.heraldonline.com/news/local/community/fort-mill-times/article91728932.html

b) Fine artist Filipe Molina has been showing his works in top-notch galleries throughout his career, but when he was contacted by the folks at Capitol Records in 2014 to come up with artwork for the Counting Crow’s then-upcoming record titled Going Under Wonderland, he saw it as an opportunity to be able to share his work with potentially millions of the band’s fans and proposed that he create a unique work for each song on the album, greatly multiplying the “collection” each record’s owner would acquire. He then went on to create a really nicely-done multi-media light show that the band used during their 2015 World Tour. As I’m working on adding Molina’s bio to the ACHOF site, Felipe shared a link to a 25 minute video on YouTube that gives you an overview to the artist and the wonderful images he created for this record package – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz-Gj33Kg0g

To see more of the artist’s works, you can also visit his website at http://www.molinaart.com. Once there, you’ll find more about some of his other projects, including a “Wine Art Music” project (inc. custom labels for proprietary blends released by Standing Sun Winery) and The Outlaw Roadshows (indie rock music festival staged in Nashville and NYC) where Felipe both exhibits his artwork and is one of the event’s five producers.

c) Fascinating article by writer Anna Buksowicz for the British Journal of Photography on art director Samuel Burgess-Johnson that focuses on his most-recent work for the latest record by The 1975, with neon signs placed in unusual locations that are used to illustrate each of the album’s 10 song titles. It’s certainly a testament to the value of a proper budget for stunning album cover work, but I wonder if they paid whoever was hired to come up with the record’s title by the word – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It.

Burgess-Johnson also spends a fair amount of time sharing his feelings about what makes for a good album cover and why it’s still an important part of any new record release, so if you’d like to read more of the insights of one of the busier art directors working in the music business these days, click on over to http://www.bjp-online.com/2016/08/how-samuel-burgess-johnson-snapshots-music-through-art-direction/

d) I’ve written previously about the mega-exhibition (“Exhibitionism“) currently in London featuring a heaping helping of Rolling Stones art, photography, music and memorabilia, but fans of notable album cover imagery are in for a treat if you bop on over to this interview article posted on the Clash Music site featuring the wonderfully-talented photographer Gered Mankowitz, someone with several shots included in the show, including his cover photo for Between The Buttons and a portrait of the band’s metronome, drummer Charlie Watts.

While the interview provides an in-depth look at Gered’s relationship with the band, their management/record label and then touches on his other well-known subjects, including Jimi Hendrix (the iconic “Smoking” shot) and newer acts such as Oasis, Mankowitz does go on record with the lament that the first album package image he took of the band – the artsy alleyway shot used on their Out of Our Heads record back in 1965 – was NOT included in the show. “This will be the last time” (or, based on the total control the band has over its image, maybe not)….  http://www.clashmusic.com/features/gered-mankowitz-shooting-the-stones

e) While most album artist profile articles are cobbled together by writers (such as yours truly) asking the subject questions about themselves and their work, today I’d like to point you to one that presents an artist profile that’s been provided by one of the (late) artist’s better-known clients, by whom I mean guitarist Steve Miller, sharing his recollections of working with the famed art director/photographer Storm Thorgerson. One of Storm’s last record cover commissions was for Miller’s 2010 release titled Bingo, with the photo impressing Austin Chronicle writer Raoul Hernandez so greatly that he tracked down Mr. Miller to get his take on the collaboration with Thorgerson that produced such a memorable image.

Armed with a list of what he needed (logo, cover and a new take on a “Space Cowboy” image) and a rather nice budget for these elements, Miller got all he wanted and more and was left with what I’m sure you’ll agree was a long-lasting impression of what it was like to work with a talent such as Storm, even late in his career and having faced a stroke and cancer as obstacles. Really quite the talent…


3) Sales/Auctions –

a) The folks at the WA-based Visual Gallery have announced a sale on a select grouping of limited-edition album art prints that I thought you might want to check out. You’ll find promo pricing on prints including Cream’s Disraeli Gears (a Martin Sharp masterpiece), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, a Charlie Watts-signed Bridges To Babylon print and others. They’re also offering some nice deals on posters by Ioannis, Bob Masse and others, so click on over to see what’s on sale before it’s too late – http://www.visualgallery.com/

b) Works by the late artist Frank Frazetta have fed the fantasies of many a young science fiction/adventure fan as well as musical acts including Molly Hatchett, Nazareth, Yngwie Malmsteen and Wolfmother (who chose to use Frazetta paintings on the covers of several of their record albums), so it was interesting and exciting to see that one of the artist’s best-known paintings – titled At The Earth’s Core and used on the cover of the 1978 paperback release for famed writer Edgar Rice Burrough’s first Pellucidar novel – sell for over a million dollars during a recent Heritage Auction event in Dallas, TX (the actual selling price was $1.075 million, the most ever paid for a Frazetta work). You can click on over to this recent article on the Fine Books & Collections Magazine site in which the details are shared about both this impressive purchase, along with other big-ticket illustration art items that found new homes post-auction – https://www.finebooksmagazine.com/press/2016/08/world-record-for-frank-frazettas-painting-used-as-paperback-cover-art.phtml

c) Kanye West‘s design company – DONDA Design – pulled out all of the stops when they created an animatronic sculpture featuring 12 of the era’s most-recognized celebrities lying naked in a large bed, a prop then used in one of the musician’s latest music videos. Now, Mr. West has entrusted the Los Angeles-based gallery Blum & Poe to find a collector who’d be willing to spend $4 million to take the sculpture – complete with platform bed, bed linens and batteries – home for their very own. Made from silicon (a substance most-widely used for other purposes in today’s entertainment business), the work shows life-like models of Pop Culture icons such as Taylor Swift, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bill Cosby and others all asleep, lying alongside West and two of his family members – wife Kim and Caitlyn Jenner. The gallery held a brief showing recently and is actively seeking a buyer among its contact list of well-heeled collectors and museums, so we’ll keep an eye out to see if/when/where it lands. For more details on the work, you can read NY Times writer Adam Popescu’s late-breaking story via the link – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/arts/design/gallery-hopes-to-sell-kanye-wests-famous-sculpture-for-4-million.html? or see more on the gallery’s site at http://www.blumandpoe.com/exhibitions/kanye-west

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) If you were impressed with the 50+ “variant covers” that Marvel produced last year which were creatively-reworked versions of well-known examples of hip-hop album cover art, you’ll be happy to read the details of a new series scheduled for this year, with the details provided to us in an article by Fuse‘s Zach Dione. Characters who’ll be featured in the first of this new series include Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Mosaic, built around designs originally found on records by King Mez, Infinite Mind War and Earl Sweatshirt. Keep ’em coming, folks!


b) While I’ve been working hard gathering and organizing the materials for my own book, I look on with great envy as author Ramon Martos Garcia shares the details of his latest release – a thoroughly-revised edition of his critically-acclaimed book on Heavy Metal album art/artists that’s titled And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers (Vol.2). The book, in a signed, limited-edition release (only 270 copies will be produced), is now available for pre-order ($39.99 plus shipping), with shipping set to commence next week.

According to the author, ” This new revised edition has many, many changes—some of them more significant than others, but equally important. Although the new book has the same number of pages (264) and a similar layout, I added a few new images that weren’t available at the time I published the first edition and exchanged some artworks for similar ones with much better quality.

Some parts of the text have also changed, in some cases dramatically. It’s not something you will notice at first sight, but once you go deeper, there are things that are unequivocally different. There are also new comments or interviews with bands and artists I interviewed after the first edition came out. Also, the color reproduction is richer and closer to how the original artworks look like. It took a lot of time and effort.”

If you, like me, are a fan of the many styles of art found on your favorite metal music recordings and you haven’t seen this book before, I’d suggest visiting the publisher’s site now to see more and order your own copy. Here is the pre-order link – http://andjusticeforart.bigcartel.com/product/and-justice-for-art-stories-about-heavy-metal-album-covers

c) The folks at UK print publisher The Flood Gallery recently emailed with some info and imagery about the latest in their series of releases featuring album cover fine art prints of designer/photographer Carl Glover‘s cover images for Marillion’s 2006 LP titled Marbles. In addition to the provocative cover shot, prints of the equally mind-bending graphics that were featured on the record label, CD and inner sleeve are also being offered, with collectors able to preview and purchase any/all of these memorable works via the link – http://www.thefloodgallery.com/search?q=marillion Fans can also check out the prints available for two more Glover-produced Marillion covers – Somewhere Else and Radiation – the latter image being a crafty combination of two photos taken 14 years apart!

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Writing for the DJ Booth site, writer Yoh has put together an interesting look at album cover designs that don’t show the musical acts on the cover. Its an interesting thing to see young writers looking at this as if it were something unusual, considering the number of covers that have been produced over the years that didn’t show the acts or, as evidenced very early on, were hesitant to show the acts for a variety of reasons (e.g., not showing black artists for fear of losing sales to predominantly white audiences or, in the case of some early American acts looking to hop on the British Rock invasion, adopting English names and clothing styles).

In the hip-hop world, where it tends to be important to look tough/rich/street-smart/etc., fans will typically find their favorite musical acts pictured prominently on the cover, so it seems that usually only the well-establish artists (Kanye, Jay-Z, etc.) are the ones willing to take a chance and show off their graphic design inspirations. Here’s hoping for more…  http://djbooth.net/news/entry/2016-07-22-album-covers-no-face

b) For an article posted recently on the Austin Chronicle‘s web site titled “Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler”, several of the publication’s writers were asked to pick their favorite illustrated album covers and album cover artists and let readers know why they feel these examples were stand-outs in their field. The people and images selected represent a very broad range of talent, including artists such as Roger Dean (YES, Uriah Heep, Asia, etc.), H.R. Giger (best-known for ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery, Debbie Harry’s cheek-pierced Koo Koo and the monsters in the Alien films) and Daniel Johnston, among others with works created for musical acts including Pink Floyd, Ramones, Miles Davis, The Beatles and Chance The Rapper. Whether you’re a fan of the hyper-realistic artwork of Mati Klarwein or the trippy, comic-inspired R. Crumb cover created for Big Brother & The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills, you’ll find a hand-drawn example you’re sure to appreciate.


c) Washington Post columnist John Kelly recently posted a profile of Ken Orth, a retired urban planner/Beatles fan extraordinaire who travels the Beatles-related gatherings circuit putting on display selections from his 2000+ item collection of spoofs of Beatles record covers. Orth has been collecting these works of art since the early 1980s, and included in his collection are examples of well-known parody covers such as Frank Zappa & The Mothers’ We’re Only In It For The Money (a satirical take on the collage found on the Sgt Pepper’s LP) alongside lesser-known items such as Floyd Domino’s take on the Abbey Road street crossing scene, re-staged using four toddlers in diapers.

The entire parody sub-set of album art collecting is an interesting one, with a number of collectors doing a great amount of researching and Ebay purchasing in order to find prime examples of imagery inspired by classic album art. Ken’s working on gathering the nitty-gritty information on every original Beatles album cover so, with any luck, I hope to be able to share some of that with you when its made available. In the meantime, click on over to https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/beatles-album-parody-art-he-loves-it-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-/2016/08/09/b90e66fc-5dcb-11e6-8e45-477372e89d78_story.html  to read more about Ken and his most-interesting of album art collections.

Related content – if you’re really wanting to see a broad selection of parody covers – including hundreds of examples of “re-imagined” covers inspired by designs for the packages of records from the soundtrack for The Sound of Music to The Who’s Live At Leeds, you must pick up a copy of the 2011 book compiled and written by Jan Bellekens and ACHOF chum Simon Robinson titled Covered. The gall of some musical acts is truly mind-blowing (and, most-often, quite hilarious) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/095614392X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?

d) Leave it to the writing team on the Ultimate Classic Rock site to treat us to album art-related stories with a twist (or, in this case, with a piss). Author Nick Deriso recounts the story told by photographer Ethan Russell about “the making of” the cover image for one of The Who’s best-remembered records – 1971’s Who’s Next – which, you’ll recall, features a shot of the band having seemingly just relieving themselves on a concrete tower found along the motorway in Sheffield. In fact, only one of the stains resulted from a much-needed pit stop, with the others craftily created by the photographer, so if you’d like to get to the bottom of this story, click on over and the truth will be revealed – http://ultimateclassicrock.com/whos-next-album-cover/

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (usually, on Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved.

Album Cover News Recap – May 2014

Album Cover News Recap – May, 2014

Spring brought us the blooming of flowers, correspondingly, a lot of album cover-related talent emerged from their winter slumber to bring fans a lot of visual stimuli as well with regards new exhibitions, interviews and designs for classic and emerging musical acts. Highlights of this past month’s coverage include information on these shows (both in the U.S. and overseas), interviews with both a Grammy Award-winning designer (Kosh) and young designers now making names for themselves in the field, several new books and fine art print editions of rock and album cover photography, a new Featured Fan Collection and notes on the passing of some great artists, as well. As we always like to say (and show you), there’s always something new to see in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site

May 30 – 1) If you’re feeling creative and in need of a project – artist Richard Evans (who created a number of great covers himself for clients including the Beach Boys, Van Morrison, The Kinks and The Who), on the web site for his excellent book The Art of the Album Cover, has been kind enough to provide us with a number of templates we can download and use to create our own album cover masterpieces (for both CDs and LPs). Grab your pens, pencils, crayons, paints, cameras and computers and get cracking – there’s a future for you as an album cover designer!

2) After reviewing over 400 entries in this year’s design competition, the St. Louis chapter of the AIGA organization selected 30 winners and, for their work on the colorful packaging for the band Popular Mechanics’ record titled Anti-Glacial, honored the design firm Husbandmen for their work. I’m very impressed with all aspects of this package – particularly the multi-colored CD. More on this on the Riverfront Times site in an article by Allison Babka –http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/rftmusic/2014/05/regional_design_organization_lauds_popular_mechanics_album_art.php

3) To note the passing of artist H.R. Giger earlier in the month, the folks on the DeviantArt site have put together a career retrospective with loads of excellent examples of the late artist’s work and, quite interestingly, many submissions of Giger-influenced art created by others in the DeviantArt community. If you’re a fan at all of Giger’s fantastic work, you’ll really enjoy a visit to this tribute – http://techgnotic.deviantart.com/journal/A-Tribute-to-Hans-Ruedi-Giger-455363395

May 28 – When you have so much talent in one area, it only makes sense to exhibit it in all its glory! Fans of music-related graphics will surely enjoy the new “Paper Covers Rock” show on display at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA from now until July 26th. In it, you’ll find an impressive collection of 1975-1985-era album covers, posters and other promotional images for local talent including R.E.M.,The B-52’s, Pylon, Love Tractor and many others. The show was curated by Atlanta-area artist Sean Bourne, and you can read more about it in Barbette Houser’s article on the Flagpole site –http://flagpole.com/blogs/culture-briefs/posts/paper-covers-rock-covers-graphic-arts-of-athens-bands-from-75-85

May 27 – Album cover talent is available from sources all over the world – here’s an interview with Czech artist Mila Fustova in which she discusses her work on the cover for Coldplay‘s most-recent album titled Ghost Stories. It’s a story of international love, happenstance and intrigue (OK, just trying to give it some spice), but it is fascinating how a musical act finds the talent for its album cover imagery – click on over to this story by Ian Willoughby on the Radio Prague web site – http://radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/inspiration-worked-both-ways-says-artist-mila-fuerstova-of-close-collaboration-with-coldplay

May 26 – Now, here’s a tour I want to take!
Imagine being on a Beatles-oriented walking tour in Liverpool and coming upon one of the band’s “inner sanctum” friends – bassist and album cover designer (Revolver, for example) Klaus Voorman – while he’s out for a stroll! From the photos, the very-talented Mr. Voorman looks to be in excellent health and spirits – here’s an article on the chance encounter by Steve Marinucci of the Beatles Examiner site – http://www.examiner.com/article/liverpool-tour-guide-bumps-into-longtime-beatles-friend

May 23 – 1) The weekend beginning May 23 was a holiday in both the US and the UK, so if you found yourself in South Wales anywhere near the Oystermouth Castle, you’d have had a chance to meet one of the giants in album cover design, Sir Peter Blake, who was on hand during the “Mumbles Marvellous Weekend” celebration there. Sir Peter’s “greatest hit” is the inimitable cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album, and he was there on Saturday for a live interview with author Jeff Towns. More info on this via the link to Nino Williams’ article on the South Wales Evening Post site – http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Art-legend-festival/story-20971260-detail/story.html

2) CBS News reporter Jim Axelrod recently posted a video feature on the prolific NYC-based photographer Jim Cummins, whose works are finally being cataloged and will be available as fine art prints soon. Cummins’ photos have been featured on nearly 1000 album packages, including records for Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave. It’s a nice way to spend 2 minutes – http://www.cbsnews.com/news/photographer-remasters-iconic-album-cover-art/

3) Mr. Cummins is one of the many new bios you’ll find on the ACHOF site which, as you’ll see, is being updated every day with new material. Interesting tidbit – One of the most-recent additions to the bio are is designer Neville Brody, and I was fascinated with some of the details about his long list of accomplishments. For example, Brody and his team were chosen to be the designers of the standard type font for The Times (of London) newspaper, replacing the 75-year-old standard – Times Roman – in 2006 with Times New Roman. As you can see, the talent that has worked on album covers is truly impressive! More bios are available at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-featured-artists-main-page/

May 22 – 1) In another example of why it is important to have strong visuals to go along with the music, the folks that curate the “Woodstock” brand recently appointed two new companies – Perryscope and Epic Rights – as their agents and launched a new web store to sell apparel and accessory items bearing well-known Woodstock graphics. They have a very nice selection of items – I particularly like the tie-dye poster I saw there –http://store.woodstock.com/

2) I’m happy to report that the people behind the Secret 7″ record art-based fund raiser have announced that, with over 700 artists participating this year, they were able to raise £41,500 (almost $70K) for War Child, taking the total raised for the charity by the program over the last three years to £105,000 ($180K). Read more about this fine effort in writer Chris Cooke’s article on the CMU web site – http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/secret-7-confirms-41500-raised-for-war-child-via-this-years-programme/

May 21 – 1) To follow-up my headline from the previous day concerning artist Ken Kelly‘s appearance at the Pop Culture Expo Memorial Day weekend, here’s a link to an article on the Blabbermouth.net site on his newest KISS-related work – Ace Frehley has commissioned Mr. Kelly to create the album cover artwork for his newest release (coming out June 24) titled Space Invader. Fans of classic sci-fi art will surely appreciate this new work –http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/ace-frehley-enlists-kiss-destroyer-cover-artist-ken-kelly-for-space-invader/

2) A new exhibition at the Original Art Shop in Lancashire, U.K. features the work of graffiti artist “Temper” and his re-makes of classic album covers, now featuring some of his own characters integrated into cover scenes we all know and love. I was particularly impressed with his version of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust LP, but also enjoyed his takes on covers from Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Oasis and many others. I’d like to find out a bit more about this series and will report back to you all with any updates. In the meantime, take a look –http://www.originalartshop.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=179

May 20 – 1) If you were in the Boston area this past Memorial Day weekend, I hope that you had a chance to spend some time at Gary Sohmers’ Pop Culture Expo at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, MA. Two rock imagery makers of note were on hand – a) Ken Kelly, the artist responsible for the Destroyer album cover for KISS (as well as great illustrations for Conan, Vampirella and many other graphic novels), and b) photographer Roger Farrington, the man who documented “the making of” John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s record Double Fantasy. He was there signing copies of his new book titled Starting Over: The Making Of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy…Lots more to see, details are available via the link –http://www.popcultureexpo.com/collections/artists-and-authors

2) Was doing some album cover research (as I always seem to be doing!) and saw something that caught my eye that I hadn’t seen before, so I wanted to share it with y’all – a few years back, a Vancouver, BC-based company called GGRP Sound came out with a really innovative way to promote their services – a record packed inside a cardboard cover that turned into a working record player (yes, really!). It was a phenomenally successful promotional mailing with, I’m told, a 90% response rate (yes, really!). Take a look at the coverage (which, incidentally, won a number of prestigious advertising and marketing awards). They say that album covers are an important part of promoting records – this is about as integrated a promotion as I’ve ever seen! http://www.coolthings.com/ggrp-sound-folding-cardboard-phonograph/

May 19 – In advance of the voting later this year for the ACHOF Class of 2014, I’ve been regularly adding new bios to the site. Coincidentally, last week I added designer/photographer Brian Cannon‘s bio and just saw (and wanted to pass along) this nice article on the U.K.’s Longridge News site about his work on the now-20-year-old LP, Definitely Maybe, by Oasis. Cannon teamed up with photographer Michael Spencer-Jones on the imagery for the remastered, reissued version of the classic 90’s album and shares some of his experience in this interview – http://www.longridgenews.co.uk/what-s-on/music/the-best-lp-of-the-90s-maybe-an-iconic-cover-definitely-1-6619127

May 16 – 1) The folks at Julien’s Auction House in LA put together quite the assemblage of music memorabilia for their “Music Icons 2014” auction the weekend of May 16th. Included in the mix were two album cover artwork mock-ups for records by The Beatles, including one for Beatles ’65 and one for the Beatles Story (both with $1-2K auction estimates). In addition, there are a number of signed record sleeves – Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Beatles and others and, if you were looking to both do something charitable AND put something shiny in your garage, you could have bid on Lady Gaga’s shiny red Rolls Royce, which she donated to raise funds for the MusiCares Foundation (it sold for $125,000!). More info at http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2014/music-icons/index.html

2) Now, this is an art program I can really appreciate! On the “Album Covers For Kids” Tumblr site, you can view re-creations of classic album art done by kids with crayons. My favorites so far include Peter Gabriel’s So, Yellow Submarine by The Beatles (always appreciated the child-like art of the original) and a very well-done Brian Wilson Smile cover. You can also submit your own kids’ efforts, so I’m sure that we’ll see more great work going forward –http://albumcoversbykids.tumblr.com/

May 15 – 1) Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page will be re-issuing his 2010 photo-filled autobiography Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page in a new, more-affordable format via Genesis Publishing. Originally published as a limited-edition collectible, the new 512-page version (priced at $60) still features hundreds of photos of Page – taken by himself and other photographers including Jim Marshall, Pennie Smith, Ross Halfin, Gered Mankowitz and others – chronicles the musician’s entire career. More info on this is available in Ross Trakin’s article on the Billboard web site at –http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6084587/jimmy-page-to-re-release-photographic-autobiography

2) Blondie guitarist Chris Stein has also had a successful career as a photographer, so fans in the NYC area will be happy to note that, from now until June 24, there’s an exhibition of his photos – titled “Blondie 4(0) Ever” on display at the Morrison Hotel gallery. Stein began to follow his passion for photography while he was a student at NY’s School of Visual Arts in the late 1960s, so his photos of the burgeoning downtown music scene are a must-see for fans of the era. Read more in writer Peter Aaron’s article about the show on the Chronogram.com site –http://www.chronogram.com/hudsonvalley/blogs/Post?basename=photo-show-by-woodstocks-chris-stein-now-open&day=15&id=DailyDose&month=05&year=2014

May 14 – Two “making of” interviews – one for the latest tribute to Dio, the other on a Weezer classic:

1) Artist Marc Sasso has painted a wonderful “who’s who” in metal music cover for the tribute package titled This Is Your Life. The proceeds from the tribute CD go to benefit the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, which was founded by Dio’s wife Wendy after the singer’s passing to stomach cancer in 2010. Read more about how this image was crafted in this article on the BlabberMouth site at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/dio-cover-artist-discusses-this-is-your-life-cover-artwork/

2) Writer Ryan J. posted a nice interview on the “Smoking Section” blog with Geffen Record A&R rep Todd Sullivan, Art Director Michael Golob and Weezer band historian Karl Koch on the collaborative effort that led to the creation of the album cover for the band’s 1994 debut record Undone. This year marks the record’s 20th anniversary (!!), so it’s a good opportunity to get the real story behind this memorable cover.  http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2014/05/weezer-the-blue-album-cover-story-interview#page/1

May 13 – Important passings in the last few days –

1) Best-known for his impactful and intricately-detailed images for the Alien films and album covers including ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery and Debbie Harry’s Koo Koo, I’m sad to note the death of artist H.R. Giger, succumbing to injuries that he suffered in a fall. He was 74 years old. Giger was one of the artists most-mentioned by other successful artists as an inspiration – more details to follow, but you can get the initial story via this article on the Washington Post web site –http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/alien-artist-hr-giger-dies-at-74/2014/05/13/868b4178-da7e-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

2) Last week, famed photographer and film-maker Darius Anthony died after a battle with cancer. The 60 year-old Anthony worked with many famous clients in the entertainment world, beginning his career as the assistant to another album cover photo great, Norman Seeff. Here’s a tribute to Darius as assembled by the team at Lee Bailey’s EURweb site –http://www.eurweb.com/2014/05/we-remember-filmmakerphotographer-darius-anthony-dies-at-60/

3) I would be remiss not to also note that another credited album cover artist – illustrator Patrick Woodroffe, who created great fantasy covers for bands including The Strawbs, Greenslade and Judas Priest – also died this past Saturday at the age of 74 after a short illness. Way too much talent has left the planet – condolences and best wishes to their families – more on Woodroffe on the Prog Rock Magazine site – http://www.progrockmag.com/news/2014-05-12/prog-artist-woodroffe-dead-at-74

May 12 – Two great new exhibitions for you to see –

1) If you liked our recent interview with designer Kosh about his work for So. CA music scene fixture Linda Ronstadt, you’ll want to head on over to the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles sometime between now and Nov. 30th to tour through their new “California Dreamin’: The Sounds of Laurel Canyon 1965 – 1977” exhibition. You’ll find a boatload of exciting things to see and do, including an exhibit of photos by Henry Diltz and Graham Nash, interviews, posters and handbills from the era and artifacts including a chair hand-painted by Cass Elliot and one of Richie Furay of Poco’s famous “Nudie” suits. More info is available via the link –http://www.grammymuseum.org/on-display/special-exhibits/laurel-canyon

2) Starting on May 17 and running for two months is a new exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI curated by the R&R Hall of Fame Museum titled “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power”. Promo from the museum states that the exhibition gives visitors “an unprecedented chance to revisit the musicians who helped shape the soundtrack of your life — innovators like Madonna and Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner and dozens of others.” Memorabilia on display includes clothing from Joan Jett, The Supremes, Lady Gaga and Madonna, along with guitars, musical manuscripts and much more. On May 15th, the exhibition staged a special party hosted by original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood – more at  http://www.thehenryford.org/events/womenWhoRock.aspx

May 9 – 1)Just posted – my new interview with album designer Kosh about his work on Linda Ronstadt’s Lush Life. With Linda’s recent induction into the R&R Hall of Fame, it only made sense to get hold of the man who has collaborated with Ms. Ronstadt on 24 (!!) of her records, winning 3 Grammys along the way. Kosh was kind enough to provide me with some images of his work-in-progress on that record package, so you’ll see some great examples of how great album cover art develops into the finished product. Take a read and please share with your friends – enjoy –https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/interview-with-kosh-linda-ronstadts-lush-life-album-cover/

2) As part of the “Classic Album Sundays” listening events held in London, NYC and Portland, ME, the producers of the series have teamed up with The Flood Gallery in the UK to create a limited-edition series of promo posters and, for this week’s event, they’ve commissioned artist Zeb Love to publish a work based on Neil Young’s Harvest album. These prints will be available at the events and via their post-event web site – nice work, and a great idea for music fans – http://classicalbumsundays.com/classic-album-sundays-presents-neil-youngs-harvest/

3) Singer/songwriter Julian Lennon‘s love for art and photography is now available to enhance your own collections via a series of prints being sold by the folks at RockPaperPhoto, including the cover image he produced for his latest record titled Everything Changes. In addition to his album cover image, you’ll find photo portraits of great musical acts including ZZ Top, U2 and Alejandro Escovedo –

May 8 – 1) Dave Mason is releasing a new album of Traffic tunes he’s re-worked and, in keeping with showing off the best examples of that era’s talent, has enlisted Graham Nash to create the album cover image. The album’s title is Futures Past, although there are no re-works of Moody Blues tunes to be found on the record. Hope to hear/see this record soon – here’ a link to an article on the Pollstar.com web site – http://www.pollstar.com/news_article.aspx?ID=811134

2) Although my focus has always been on “classic” album cover art, I always look forward to seeing the examples of what perhaps will become “classic” record artwork that are summarized each month on the Creative Review site. In this month’s posting by writer Rachael Steven, you’ll see examples of fine photography, graphic design, sculpture and, to prove the point that album art always reflects what’s new and exciting in Pop Culture, a cover where the subject is wearing an Oculus virtual reality head set (EMA – The Future’s Void) –http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2014/may/record-sleeves-of-the-month

May 7 – 1) Photographer Jay Blakesberg was sifting through his archives (his concert and album cover photos are well-known to fans of the Grateful Dead and many other bands) and discovered a theme throughout his 30+ years of shooting – hippie chicks make for great photographs! So much so that he’s going to release a book of these photos – here’s more about this upcoming effort as reported by Sara Iravani on the SFGate.com site –http://www.sfgate.com/style/article/Jay-Blakesberg-captures-Bay-Area-s-hippie-chicks-5447355.php#photo-6217292

2) Painter Mark Ryden – you’ll remember him for his great album covers for Michael Jackson, Aerosmith and others – has just released a limited-edition album package that features a number of well-known musical acts doing their own rendition of the classic 1892 hit “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built For Two)”. The cover painting for the record – titled Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell, features a portrait of singer Katy Perry in Rydens inimitable style. It’s a fund raiser and is expected to sell out immediately as part of a show of Ryden’s work on display now through June 28 at the new Kohn Gallery on Highland Ave. in Los Angeles. More on this via this article on the Hollywood Reporter site –http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/katy-perry-featured-pop-artist-700730

May 6 – 1) Musician/writer Danko Jones posted an article on the HuffPo Canada site recently that was rather thought-provoking…in an article titled “Don’t Be Precious About Your Vinyl Collection“, Jones wonders why so many vinyl collectors take their entire enterprise so seriously when, in his words, “goal for me has never been to listen to music on the best ‘googlephonic stereo’ with ‘moon rock needle’ but simply to hear as much music as humanly possible before I go deaf.” While I agree with much of his premise, I like to think that many music fans simply want to feel as “close to the source” as possible and that vinyl does that better than most digital formats. I would also think that the entire package – album/CD cover, liner notes, booklet, coordinated web sites – gives fans more for their money, which makes them feel special as well. Here’s a link to his tome online – would love to hear what y’all think – http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/danko-jones/vinyl-collection_b_5239650.html

2) The same article also served as an introduction to the talents of designer Robert Penney at Penney Design in the U.K.. I think that you’ll enjoy seeing what he’s done to take modern musical acts (Gaga, Interpol, Libertines, etc.) and developed treatments of their visuals that are in classic 50’s – 60’s style – very creative, and I’m hoping that he gives us a few more sometime soon –http://www.penneydesign.com/folio_im_retrosingle.html

May 5 – Was trolling the Dust & Grooves site over the weekend and found a nicely-produced video featuring film-maker Roddy Bogawa, who was the producer/director of the acclaimed movie about the late album cover artist, Storm Thorgerson titled Taken By Storm. In this video, D&G site maven Eilon Paz (and author of the recent book about album collectors under the same title) works with Bogawa to create a collage made solely of Thorgerson’s album covers – it’s very cool. There’s also a link on the page that will take you to Eilon’s interview with Roddy, which is also a good read (you’ll find the ACHOF interviews with him in our archives). Very much worth a watch, I must say –http://vimeo.com/60627506

May 2 – Fans of classic album cover design should enjoy the new Featured Album Cover Fan Collection article I posted today. The subject – Gary Freiberg of RockArtPictureShow.com and Vinyl Record Day – shares his love for the works of the person many call “the Father of Album Cover Art” – the late great Alex Steinweiss. Gary was fortunate enough to have met and spent some quality time with Steinweiss, and so he shares some of his memories with us – as well as images from his extensivecollection of early album covers – in today’s posting. Gary’s also working on getting the USPS to create a new series of postage stamps based on great American album cover designs and gives us an update on those efforts – hope that you’ll take a look and pass it on to anyone you know who is a fan of “classic” album cover design – enjoy –https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/featured-album-cover-fan-collection-gary-freiberg-rock-art-picture-show/

That’s all for now – see you at next month’s recap!