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.
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for January, 2023
Posted New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all, and a Happy New Year 2023 to you and yours!
Hope that you all enjoyed your Holidays and have much to look forward to this upcoming year. While we were all involved with our celebratory efforts, efforts continued on several fronts to help determine everyone’s favorite album cover/packaging work of the past 12 months, with voting taking place in several name-brand competitions. The results of those contests will be released in ceremonies taking place in January and February and you can be sure that they’ll be highlighted here on the ACHOF site.
2023 will also be one of change here on the ACHOF site. As you know, for the past 10+ years, we’ve involved both our readers and our anonymous panel of experts in our own nominating/voting efforts in order to select people – i.e., the designers, photographers, art directors, etc. working in the music business and creating retail album packaging – for special honors, and while those efforts have produced lists of artists who’ve all built impressive portfolios of work in their respective areas, it has been an effort that – at least to me, this site’s principal – has distracted me from the main focus of the site, that being to give my readers in-depth interviews, information and ongoing coverage of the output of these talented individuals and design teams. With that said, I am announcing that, going forward, I’ll be working on creating a new site where the general, artist-specific info (bios, interviews and news) will go, with the “hall of fame”-related materials remaining on the albumcoverhalloffame.com site. More details on that effort will be announced soon, but I thought it important to share my intentions with you now with the hope that you’ll provide me with some feedback and suggestions as to how best to move forward.
Anyway, this month’s newsletter is a simple summary of the news in all of the main topic areas, with updates and info about several museum/gallery exhibitions, new auctions and sales results from previous ones and a large number of art and artist-related articles, so I’d like to once again say “thanks” for your help, your support and your patience while I work to get this site set on its new track in the long and short-term. Let’s get started with some updates on the award shows currently in progress:
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.
Posted onOctober 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for October, 2022
Posted October 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. I have to first warn you that this month’s edition of the ACHOF newsletter will be a truncated one as I’ve had to spend a lot of time and energy managing several things that have popped up and couldn’t be ignored. It will also force me to put off the publishing of the next summary until December 1st.
Sorry about that.
In any case, there should be enough basic info now to get you the basics, but it’ll be up to you to click through to get “the rest of the story” (apologies to Mr. Harvey).
I’m also working feverishly to set up the voting for this year’s fan-driven voting for “the best of the best of” in all of the main ACHOF categories, so be on the lookout in a week or so for the official announcement and a link to the polling site. Voting will be open from October 10th thru November 13th, with the final tallies announced right before Thanksgiving here in the U.S.. It’ll be exciting to see who the fan favorites are in each category – tough choices must be made, but let’s do our best to honor all of those whose names will be on the lists.
Thanks in advance for your help and your patience while I get my world back in order. Now, on with the newsletter.
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 onAugust 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for August, 2022
Posted August 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Mid-Summer greetings to you all. Since we last spoke, many of you have experienced extremes in several aspects of our lives – temperature, drought, economic uncertainty, politics, etc. – and so I hope that you’ve all managed to keep your heads above water (assuming that you have water) and your focus on what’s going well in your lives. I’ve been trying hard to keep a positive mindset, but I have to admit it’s been an effort aided by my discovery of some delicious new gins and other mixers (drop me a note if you’d like some recommendations). In any case, let’s get back to the matters at hand.
This past month’s research into all things album cover-related has uncovered a lot to read about and look into – some items being continuations of ongoing serials and other stories providing us with some new and exciting things: exhibitions, items for sale or auction, deeper dives into artists’ portfolios and several articles that uncover new and never-before-divulged details about some of our favorite covers. Overall, the frequency and quality of these news bites continues unabated. The fact that this news comes from sources all over the world certainly adds to the notion that the interest in great album cover art (and in the people that make it) knows no boundaries.
Posted onJuly 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for July, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for July, 2022, posted July 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Happy pre-Independence Day greetings to you all. We here in Chicagoland have gone through several days of nearly 100-degree heat as we passed from Spring into Summer, so we can only hope that things moderate a bit soon so we can leave our air-conditioned cocoons and enjoy the outdoors a bit. Wish us luck, and we’ll return the favor.
The month of June did include the conclusion of another auction featuring a rare item of original album art – the cover painting for one of the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s albums – which hit a fairly-impressive sales number when all of the bidding was done, the release of some fine art books featuring the works of some of the music business’ best-known designers and photographers and the passing of one of rock music’s (and the comic book/fantasy publishing world’s) better-known illustrators, Ken Kelly, along with a lot of interesting editorial work about album cover images and the people that make them so, with all that to consider, I’m suggesting that you take a moment away from the summertime activities you might typically enjoy and take a few moments to review and absorb all of the items and links I’ve shared with you this month.
Interview with designer David Turner regarding his album cover work for Lulu, a 2011 release on the Warner Bros./Vertigo labels, based on a collaboration between musical artists Lou Reed and Metallica (and winner of a “Gold Award for CD/DVD Packaging” in the 2013 Graphis Annual).
by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
During a press interview about their collaboration on Lulu, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recalled the late Lou Reed’s challenge to the band, asking them “are you game for a little adventure – do you want to go on a ride with me?” They well-understood what working with Reed would entail, having performed together in 2009 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary concert and being witnessing first-hand, in rehearsals, why he had a well-deserved reputation as a perfectionist (during which, via sheer force of will, they earned his respect and an invitation to work together again under the right set of circumstances).
Those circumstances arose a couple of years later when Reed asked the band to work with him to set music to lyrics he’d created based on German playright Frank Wedekind’s “Lulu” series of plays written at the turn of the 19th & 20th centuries (and later re-interpreted in the great silent film Pandora’s Box by GW Pabst). Wedekind, also well-known for his play Spring Awakening, created stories (quite scandalous at the time) in which the main character, Lulu, dances her way through German high society in tales involving sex, lies and murder in degrees never before depicted in the theater. The poems/lyrics that Reed created to retell these stories needed music with the weight and energy that a band like Metallica produced naturally so, again, Lou tasked the group to work with him in methods outside their normal “comfort zone” – in other words, impulsively, without the thought, analysis and studio precision that they were used to in a recording session.
Having successfully lived up to the challenge of creating new music with a man considered one of the ultimate music industry “outsiders” (perceiving themselves as always having been outside the musical mainstream as well), the band turned to designer David Turner of the international design firm Turner Duckworth, who had worked with them on the highly-lauded, Grammy Award-winning packaging for 2008’s Death Magnetic, to come up with designs for the record that would best-reflect the unique nature of the music inside. The resulting packages – including a limited-edition deluxe, 12″ square bound hard-cover version with an illustrated lyric book and a book of photos of the musicians shot in Sweden by 2013 ACHOF inductee Anton Corbijn – were honored with a “Gold Award for CD/DVD Packaging” in the 2013 Graphis Annual. I was eager to learn more about the process and inspiration behind these stunning products and, with the help of David Turner and his team, I’m happy to provide you, my readers, with the details …