In early 2023, I was reading a travel article in the FT about how some of the towns in Newfoundland were working hard to shift their economies from what they’ve relied on for ages – fishing the icy offshore waters – and learning to rely more on tourism as a source of income (if you’ve never been, you’ve got to go – it’s beautiful up there!). In the article, they introduced a local entrepreneur who was chasing two of his passions – fine art and distilling spirits – and as a fan of the products produced by both of those pursuits, it really caught my attention. What also caught my attention was that the person being featured – Peter Wilkins – had produced a series of art pieces that were based on his photographs of album covers spinning at high speed on turntables so that the resulting circular images showed only the relative positions of the graphics and their respective colors. For example, his image based on the Are You Experienced? LP cover for Jimi Hendrix shows circles of the psychedelic reds, yellows and blues (and all of the variations within) but, when you see it, you know immediately that it’s that record cover! I reached out to Peter and asked him whether he’d be up for an interview about his process and the inspiration behind this particular series (available for viewing and purchase on the website of his local gallery partner Christina Parker – https://christinaparkergallery.com/artist/peter-wilkins/). I also wanted to learn a lot more about the seaweed-flavored gin he manufactures (not yet available in the U.S., sadly, but all the more reason to venture on up there sometime soon, perhaps), but that’s for another article…
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 onSeptember 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Posted September 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
A late-Summer greeting to you all.
For the past 10 years, the ACHOF has worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and hybrids of both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, graphics and photography. Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic, I’ve been able to deliver these details to my readers and, once a year in November, present the top vote-getters in our annual poll as inductees into the hallowed (virtual) halls of the ACHOF. What I haven’t been able to do is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the ACHOF, I’m going to do just that.
Later next month, I will be posting a poll that will allow you to review the past winners in each of the active categories and then ask you to select your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, who’ll then be placed in special categories that will be called…well, what will we call them? We don’t want to call them “the best”, nor do we want to repurpose some of the popular names that the awards industry has used over time – “People’s Choice”, “Fan Favorites”, “Vox Populi”, “Diamond/Platinum/Gold Medal Winning”, etc. A quick trip to the thesaurus presents words and phrases like “title holder”, “prize winner” and “top dog”, among others, along with some that I think are a bit over the top, such as “conquering hero”, “vanquisher” and “numero uno”, so while I know that it must be something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to anything. Now that I think about it, perhaps we should also rely on our readers to present their ideas for this project, keeping this year’s efforts all about YOUR notions for what’s good and right, so I’ll be adding a poll question for this task as well. Eager to see what you come up with – we have a LOT of creative types reading this newsletter, so I’m sure something great will show up.
Thanks in advance for your help. Now, back to the matters at hand.
Posted onNovember 10, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for November 10, 2020
ACHOF Breaking News for Tuesday, November 10, 2020, by Mike Goldstein
a) I’m saddened to report that, after a long battle with ALS, the great rock photographer Baron Wolman died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 2, 2020 at the age of 83.
Wolman’s most-notable album cover credits include – Janis Joplin – Cheap Thrills (back cover), Super Hits, Collection and Live At Winterland ’68; Sun Ra – Antique Blacks; Tony Bennett – Sings His All-Time Hall Of Fame Hits; Chuck Berry – Gold and Anthology; Booker T. & The MGs – Essentials; Credence Clearwater Revival – Platinum and Absolute Originals
Posted onOctober 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for October, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – October, 2020
Posted October 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Well, while I can’t say that I know how you’re all feeling these days, I’m quite certain that some of you are in the same shape I’m in – mentally exhausted, greatly disappointed by the greed, hate and hypocrisy put on display by many of our leaders (and the people that support them) and, frankly, wondering what our short-and-long-term futures might be. Try as I might to distract myself from the daily news cycle (and, how about that first Presidential debate?), it’s nearly impossible to avoid learning about the biggest stories (R.I.P. RBG) and then trying to keep myself focused on providing my readers the information they’ve (i.e., you’ve) come to rely on me for, so I must apologize for the somewhat-truncated list of things to read and enjoy that I’m presenting you today. I will reward you a bit later (either late this week or early next) with my long-promised interview with talented artist Faheem Majeed and, with any luck, I’m also going to launch the nominating/voting process for this year’s class of nominees and inductees (our 9th!) into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. My attention span seems just sufficient enough to have been able to gather basic info on nearly 100 more possible nominees, so the voting panel will have a heaping helping of new names to consider in this year’s effort.
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – September, 2020
Posted September 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
We’re entering the final stages of Summer 2020 – a summer unlike any I can remember – and now that we’ve heard the arguments from both sides regarding either the re-election of the current administration or its replacement with a new one, I know that the next couple of months will be full of messaging, news and theater but, while you might think that there’d be little news coming from the world of album cover artists and their art, in fact, there’s been a lot to look at, read and learn about. Visual artists have always played an important part in politics and have made some quite-memorable statements about society with their works (think of album covers released over the past 5-6 decades from musical acts such as Pink Floyd, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots and many, many others), so you won’t be surprised to find examples of such work included amongst the articles included this month’s news summary.
Posted onJanuary 11, 2019|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News Update for January 11, 2019
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Breaking News Update
posted January 11th, 2019 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
For your weekend reading pleasure – here are a few timely links to articles or events I thought you should know about….
– Noted British artist/musician/illustrator Rodney Matthews is kicking off 2019 with a return to his English roots and a two-day-only album cover show in a city – Birmingham – often considered the birthplace of “heavy metal” music. With album cover clients (including Amon Duul, Asia, Hawkwind, Magnum, Nazareth and many others) who’ve relied on Matthews for just the right fantasy imagery to keep their fans happy, it’s no wonder that Rodney has been kept busy (over 140 covers and counting!) for over 50 years.
The show’s titled “Electric Rock” and will be staged the weekend of January 19th and 20th at Highbury Hall in Birmingham (4 Yew Tree Road, B13 8QG) and Matthews’ entire portfolio of album cover art will be on display, including many never-been-shown original artworks and related memorabilia. Fans of the Stormbringer book and the Shadow Master video game, as well as collectors of fantasy artwork and Big O posters will find much to see (and to buy to display proudly at home). More on the show – as well as details of special VIP admission packages – can be found on the artist’s site at – https://www.rodneymatthewsstudios.com/pages/electric-rock
I’ve also been hording links to the many recent “making of” articles that have been published over the past 4-8 weeks, and so without further delay:
Juxtapoz Magazine’s “Sound & Vision” series of album cover art-related articles continues in fine form with the following:
– While photographer Karl Ferris and guitar legend Jimi Hendrix shared a mutual admiration for one another’s talents (with Hendrix once telling Karl that “You‘re doing with photography what I’m doing with music – going far out beyond the limits”), there were times when Hendrix and his bandmates were less-than-happy with the covers that the record companies produced for their retail products. Here’s the story behind one of those times – the Hindu-inspired psychedelic cover for the Experience’s Axis: Bold As Love LP – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/illustration/sound-and-vision-the-jimi-hendrix-experience-vibrant-axis-bold-as-love/
That’s all for now – back to you sometime soon with more on our favorite people working on our favorite album packages.
Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2019 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.
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Posted onJune 1, 2018|Comments Off on Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For May/June, 2018
ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JUNE.
BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM
The past month of May was an emotional one for me in that two things happened – one, a bit depressing and another that gave me some hope for the future – that showed me that the life of a researcher and writer will often be one that can be both rewarding for the work itself (e.g., the pleasure felt for completing a task as best as it could have been done) and one that will serve as a reminder that not all the rewards will be easily or rightfully measurable. Of course, I’m speaking about the campaign I ran to raise start-up funds to produce a collector-oriented, special-edition version of the book I’ve written (tentatively titled Unsung Heroes of the Music Business) that ended in early may after raising less than 10% of the money required to produce the book. The project ran on the popular Kickstarter site for 33 days and, if it had been successful, would have provided me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards that were available to sponsors at higher dollar levels). And while I do greatly appreciate the support I did receive, both in terms of the words of encouragement from fans/readers all over the world and the pledges I did receive, I do wish that I’d somehow been able to better-convince you to back me in this effort.
Well, all is not lost, as I do have encouraging news as a follow-up – I have been talking with a boutique publisher in the UK to produce a retail version of the book sometime soon and, with any luck, I’ll be able to get those who are interested in the book and all its wonders a copy (or two) sometime soon. More news to come as it’s made available and, of course, will be posted on the ACHOF site.
May was another month in which a goodly number of news releases and articles were made available on the exhibitions, interviews, artist profiles, book/print publications and other album cover art/artist-related topics and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including a) information on album art shows in the U.S. (Los Angeles, Brooklyn and NYC) and the U.K. (Liverpool and London); b) profiles (including two obituaries) on album art-makers including photographers working in the hip-hop and punk music areas; c) a new U.S. postage stamp featuring John Lennon and a limited-edition poster series showcasing Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour; and, as always, d) a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics including news about several different artists fighting for just and fair compensation for the use of their works, an opportunity to meet one of the world’s most-respected commercial photographers (and have your own portfolio reviewed by him), Kanye West’s most-recent attempt to shock and confuse most everyone and much, much more. So much, in fact, that I might be forced to post some today and the balance ASAP…
In today’s Featured Fan Collection, we’re going to take a look at selections from the personal collection of Ed Boyd, CEO of Tymphany, maker of high-quality loudspeaker components and systems and long-time admirer and collector of album cover/rock music art. Ed’s been in the consumer electronics business for 25 years, helping clients including Beats, Bowers and Wilkens (AKA to audiophiles as “B&W”) and Bang & Olufsen make beautiful music via their use of his company’s components and audio design expertise. Tymphany has been a designer and manufacturer of high end audio products for over 10 years, “supporting companies globally to offer consumers the best in premium audio products”.
I met Ed via my (now-closed) RockPoP Gallery site and, I have to say, I was impressed with his desire to build a great collection of his favorite images and his willingness to search all over the world to find the galleries and self-publishing artists who might sell the prints he was interested in. While many folks in the music arena will decorate their offices and studios with gold record presentations and photos of themselves with other musical luminaries, Ed truly seemed interested in the art of the album cover, both from the standpoints of the creativity of the designs and the quality of the productions and the impact the image had on his own love of all things music. Remembering this, I knew that I had to try and convince him to share some of his collection with us and, as you’ll see, he’s been kind enough to share photos of some of his favorites along with the reasons why they mean so much to him. And so, let’s let Ed take us on a personal tour…