Posted onMay 11, 2023|Comments Off on Interview with 2023 Grammy winner Dave Van Patten on the award-winning work for Rhino Records for the Grateful Dead
ACHOF’s Mike Goldstein’s interview with artist and illustrator Dave Van Patten on his 2023 Grammy Award-winning (for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package”) work for Rhino Records on the IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ’81 ’82 ’83! package for the Grateful Dead.
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Posted May 11, 2023
Each year, I look forward to learning more about the talented people who bring their abilities to clients in the music industry, because each year I realize that there are many artists, from all different backgrounds and disciplines, who are asked to contribute to album package projects of all sizes and styles. The past few years, while serving as a judge for some of the better-known packaging awards, I get to see the results of efforts to produce packages that, at least to me, run the gamut from pedestrian (AKA “cookie cutter”) to truly inspired and everything in between. I’m typically most-impressed by artists and design teams that, rather than take the simple path (particularly on projects for clients with a well-establish design guide), try something new and exciting, even at the risk of ticking off the purists who will accept nothing but the status quo.
I personally experienced the wrath of fans for a particular anime series that the company I was working for adapted for an American audience, even BEFORE we showed any of it to the public (“don’t you DARE touch this or change that, or you’ll be sorry” was the typical threat), so when I learned more about how the team behind this year’s Grammy-winning package in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” category approached the project for their client – i.e., the Grateful Dead, the band with perhaps the most-integrated fan base in the music business – and made the decision to introduce some new graphics to the package, my first reaction was “I wonder if they felt the need to take alternate routes to the office for a while?” (perhaps that was a bit dramatic, but I’m damaged goods). Of course, I also wanted to know more about the coordinated effort to produce such an impressive package, so I took my questions to one of the people responsible for this year’s award-winning project – artist Dave Van Patten – to see what he could do to both illuminate the details of the creative/production effort and also show me proof that he’d survived (and in fact, been fortified by) the reactions of Dead fans to the set he’d help put together.
Posted onMarch 1, 2023|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March, 2023
Posted March 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
February might be a bit shorter than other months, but that doesn’t mean that we album art/artist fans were short-changed in the news department. Starting off with the Grammy Awards and continuing with new exhibitions, art and book releases and a lot of ancillary items, there’s plenty for us fans of album cover art/artistry to dig into, so let’s cut the chit-chat and take a look at what I’ve put together for you.
Preliminary judging has begun on the entries vying for another noted industry award – the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards – and, as one of the judges on the panel tasked to review the hundreds of submissions received, I’m curious and eager to see what always turns out to me a fascinating cross-section of examples of album covers/packages coming in from all over the world.
This month’s newsletter contains a human-curated (as opposed to an AI-generated – we’re old school here at the ACHOF) summary of the news in all of the main topic areas, with updates and info about several new museum and gallery exhibitions, new auctions and sales and a goodly number of art and artist-related articles. As always, I’d like to once again say “thanks” for your help and support, so let’s get started with some updates on the award shows recently ended and currently in progress:
Posted onFebruary 1, 2023|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for February, 2023
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for February, 2023
Posted February 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
January was a busy month in the world of album cover art and artists and, to be honest with you, it was all a bit overwhelming as I’ve begun to do the work to re-organize ACHOF-related content into the various silos that will ultimately make up the two sites I’ll be maintaining going forward. I’ve spoken with several people whose experience and gut instincts I appreciate and have a pretty good idea as to how to best proceed so, with your support and patience, I think we’ll all be happy with the new/revised formats that will come out of these efforts.
February looks to be chock-full of exciting news to come, first with the announcement of the winners of this year’s Grammy Awards in the Packaging categories (to be posted here on February 5th as soon as they’re announced), which closely follow the Best Art Vinyl Awards results that were posted in early January (click here to see the results, if you missed my original article) and which included some really great examples of human-generated art and design. Voting will also begin soon for another noted industry award – the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards and, as one of the judges on the panel tasked to review the hundreds of submissions received, I’m curious and eager to see what always turns out to me a fascinating cross-section of examples of album covers/packages coming in from all over the world.
Posted onJanuary 6, 2023|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News for January 6, 2023 – Special Award Show Updates
Special Award Show updates posted January 6th, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
a) With the voting for the 18th annual Best Art Vinyl awards having finished in mid-December, we’ve all had to sit and wait impatiently for the announcement of who were the top vote-getters. Well, the waiting is now over, with the winners announced at a ceremony held on the 5th of January 2023 at the Hari London Belgravia.
According to the press info on the Best Art Vinyl site, the top vote-getters in this year’s competition were as follows:
1st place was awarded for artwork done by Simon Monk for Black Country, New Road’s album ‘Ants From Up There’;
2nd place was awarded for the artwork produced by Bart Balboa for Birds In Row’s album ‘Gris Klein’
3rd place was awarded for the Illustration done by Jake Blanchard for Richard Dawson’s album ‘The Ruby Cord‘
Posted December 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greeting to you all – nice to see you all again!
Once again, I have to apologize for leaving you without an update for the month of November, but my wife and I decided to brave the travel scene to complete a vacation trip we’d started in late 2019 that had to be truncated a) by a death in the family and b) that crazy COVID-19 thing that shut things down a bit for a year or two. This journey, which took us to NYC and then over to the U.K. and Ireland, was quite restorative and, I must admit, was timed so that we’d be out of the country on November 8th so we’d be able to have some distance between us and the pre-and-post-election media madness for a while. Of course, there was no escaping the news, but at least it was offset by all of the excitement that took place in the UK’s government while we were there, and we enjoyed the scenery/people/food there so much that it kept us in the right frame of mind, allowing us to return after a month with some degree of sanity and appreciation of life’s better things in tact.
Of course, during our travels we came across a number of album/music art-related things that added to the overall enjoyment of the experience, including a visit to the site of the new (set to open in its entirety in 2024) Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx Marketplace (NYC), with a tour provided by the museum’s director, Rocky Bucano; a visit to Liverpool, England (our first) that included an escorted overview provided by designer/author/all around great guy Andrew Dinely (of the Soft Octopus design studio there) that also included a stop at the British Music Experience – an “immersive exhibition” that takes attendees through an illustrated (via memorabilia, videos, etc.) review of the immense and diverse pop music scene in the U.K., from its beginnings in the 1950s through the most-recent BRIT Award-winning artists, and several other finds along the way (such as a memorial sculpture dedicated to the late Irish rock guitarist Rory Gallagher). I’ll be including brief articles about that as I unpack the info gathers and photos taken over the course of the next month or so.
Of course, while I was away, the first ACHOF Reader’s Poll took place, and the results of the voting will be shared a bit later in this newsletter. At the same time, another major album art-related poll – Art Vinyl’s Best Art Vinyl Awards – began gathering votes on its site (see more on this a little later as well) and the Recording Academy here in the U.S. released the names of the nominees for their upcoming Grammy Awards voting, with results to be announced early next year. Lots of great art and artistry on display, so it’ll be interesting to see how the voters/voting public responds to the announcements of the top vote-getters in all of these competitions.
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.