ACHOF’s Mike Goldstein interviews Grammy-winning art director Darren Evans about the All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Album Package for George Harrison – Darren Evans, Dhani & Olivia Harrison, Art Directors – winners of the Grammy Award “Best Boxed or Limited-Edition Package” at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards show (2022).
Posted August 26, 2022 by Mike Goldstein
Throughout each year, the many members of the professional organizations related to the entertainment industry gather together to review the work product of their peers (or, in the case of several prominent media organizations, projects done by those they track and report on), select the best examples of that work and then honor those who produced and/or performed those works with awards that symbolize these achievements. Some awards are quite niche-oriented, perhaps representing a great example of creativity in a particular aspect of the work produced (like a product manufacturer’s award for best use their products), while others are much broader in scope and meant to bring a sense of great accomplishment, value and joy to both the winners and their fans. In the recorded music business here in the U.S., some of the most-coveted and highly-valued awards are those handed out by the Recording Academy, AKA “the Grammy organization”, with Grammy Awards handed out each year in dozens of categories, including three in the “Packaging” category.
Posted onFebruary 4, 2022|Comments Off on ACHOF Resources – Box Sets and Special/Limited-Edition Packages – An Overview
Posted February 4, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
This is the first part of a multi-part series on a part of the music-making-and-selling business that’s enjoyed a resurgence over the past several years and, at least from my point of view, is one of the best ways to see the full extent of both the creativity and marketing savvy of the people tasked with producing these products – those being what the Recording Academy has labeled “Boxed or Special or Limited-Edition Packages” (AKA “Box sets”, “enhanced packages”, “Record Store Day special releases”, “Fan Collections”, etc.).
In this initial posting, I’ll provide you with an overview of the topic, give you a little history (including some personal takes on the subject) and perhaps better-define the breadth and depth of the offerings that have come to market since the early days of the rock/pop music business. Later, I’ll describe what each of the participant’s roles are in creating these packages and then spice that section up with a number of quotes and anecdotes I’ve collected from some of the most-prolific (and awarded) players in that game.
Now sit back and relax while we begin our journey through the exciting world of “special products”…
Posted onJanuary 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for January, 2022
Posted January 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Happy New Year to you all. Hope that you (safely) enjoyed the gift-giving season (did you get anything you’re particularly happy about? Hope so!) and have already made positive progress on your New Year’s Resolutions lists. I know that one of the gifts I’m looking to deliver ASAP is that long-promised series of articles built around Jules Seamer’s album art exhibition and collection. Good progress has been made, and Jules was kind enough to share a video of an interview he was featured in about his show (see link below), so watch that and maybe, with any luck, by the time you’re done digesting that content, my first article will be up.
This month’s summary about the work and the people responsible for packaging your favorite music products continues include examples of some very-impressive work. In addition to updates about some of the soon-to-be-announced winners in the album art categories at the Grammy Awards, the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards and the Best Art Vinyl Awards, you’ll read about new and ongoing exhibitions, news about the exploits of some of your favorite image-makers, new items available for sale or at auction and a number of other tidbits of album cover art miscellany. Of course, since this summary was our year-end review, you’ll also find links to the articles written by the brave souls who’ve dared to decide what made for good/bad album art this past year. Whether you agree with their assessments or not, you will find a number of interesting examples of what’s being done in the area by creative types all over the world.
Interview with Annie Stoll and Meghan Foley on the making of the Grammy-winning package for Weird Al Yankovic’s Squeeze Box box set
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Posted July 28, 2021
For the past several years, I’ve served on the judging panel for the revitalized Making Vinyl Awards competition and, as part of that effort, I’ve had the chance to review hundreds of different entries in the various categories up for MVA consideration – a truly eyeball-testing experience. While I must admit that, after a while, I found myself glossing over a number of the entries (corrected, luckily, by coming back to the viewings after much rest and a commitment to limiting each session to about an hour’s time), there were a number of entries – particularly, in the box set-related categories – that were so ingeniously done that I knew that they’d be hits with both the other judges and the buying public. Back in early 2019, one of those nominees was a package put together by Sony Music built around the 40+ year output of the seemingly never-aging musical satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic and called, quite appropriately due to the accordion-focused nature of many of Weird Al’s performances, Squeeze Box.
Frank Harkins, Mike Goldstein and Dave Bett, clockwise from upper left.
Published July 23, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
The packaging of retail (i.e., physical) recorded music products is an expression of the relationship – often, a delicate balance – between a musical act, his/her/their record label, the creative/production teams commissioned for the projects and, of course, the music-buying public. Each brings a certain set of expectations to every project and expects those desires to be appreciated and respected if the resulting products are to ultimately please each constituency:
the musicians want to make sure that their new musical efforts aren’t reduced to secondary importance or that their fans aren’t left wondering “what the #%!* were they thinking?”
label execs will want to know that their investments in packaging and related marketing will eventually pay off via increased product sales.
the design and pre-production personnel working on the project (whether in-house and/or freelance talent), along with the printing/manufacturing companies tasked to bring designs to life as finished products, all want to deliver work they can be proud of and that makes their various client(s) happy and
consumers of recorded music products want to feel that their purchases are moneys well-spent and, as a benefit, are left feeling that their favorite musical acts have delivered “something special” to them as their loyal fans.
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 onMay 28, 2021|Comments Off on Interview with Lawrence Azerrad about his Grammy Award-winning vinyl package for Wilco’s Ode To Joy
By Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com
Posted May 28, 2021 – It’s called “Album Cover Art”, so what I take from that name is that it is something created by artists (artisans?) who create the products we see by hand, using their innate talents and abilities to deliver something unique and appealing (and, in the case of product packaging, something that sells and makes the people that buy these products happy with their purchases). In the case of box sets and limited-edition “special” packages, it’s all the more important that the artists/artisans working on those products “get it right”, as the products are typically more expensive, as collectibles are expected to be, so the value proposition (OMG – I’m back in Marketing!) has to appeal to fans who are being asked to spend (often, many) hundreds of dollars on a product that there may only be a few hundred copies made. Additionally, the designers of these products have to be sure that their client(s) is/are ultimately happy, since the packages are typically the latest/best expressions of their music or, even more often lately, career retrospectives that are attempting to put the totality of the featured musical acts’ musical and lyrical (and, in most cases, visual) output out in a comprehensive package. To do that well, there must be an effective collaboration between the design teams and their clients, with the best examples of those successful collaborations garnering positive critical/fan reviews and, in special cases, special recognition from their industry peers, such as the Grammy Awards that were handed out earlier this year to musician Jeff Tweedy and designer/art director Lawrence Azerrad for Wilco’s Ode To Joy limited-edition set that they produced and released in late 2019 on the dBpm label.
Posted onMarch 31, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021
Posted right around April 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Spring Greetings to you all from Chicagoland. The weather has become rather consistently pleasant, allowing us to venture outside the house a bit, even sitting on outside patios at some of the local eating establishments (what a treat!). We’re still waiting for our turn at the local COVID vaccine center but, with any luck, we’ll get our shots in the next month or so and, if the rest of our fellow countrymen continue to do the right thing and help build our herd immunity, we might all be able to get out a bit more later this Spring/Summer. I’m not counting on everyone doing the right thing on behalf of the rest of the local citizenry – the loonies continue to proudly flout their warped notions of what “freedom” really means – so it’ll be quite some time before I think we’re “back to normal”, but let’s hope for the best.
Posted onMarch 14, 2021|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News – Here Are The Winners of the 2020 Grammy Awards for Packaging
ACHOF Breaking News – Here Are The Winners of the 2020 Grammy Awards for Packaging
Posted 3/14/21 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
2020 Grammy Awards special update – Having been delayed until today due to precautions taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grammy Awards in the Packaging category were presented during the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony® that took place today beginning at 12:00 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. EST) and streamed live internationally via GRAMMY.com. Preceding the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast tonight, the Premiere Ceremony have been hosted by current three-time nominee Jhené Aiko and feature a number of performances by current GRAMMY nominees.
And now, here are the details of the winners in each of the three Packaging categories: