posted November 22, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com
For the past 10 years, the contributors to the Album Cover Hall of Fame have worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and those of us that appreciate both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, design, graphics and photography.
Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic to register their opinions, 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 until now is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first class of inductees into the ACHOF, I asked you all to participate in a poll that would serve to track and the report on your feelings about who of our past inductees deserved special commendation.
This year’s poll allowed you to look over the past winners in each of the active award categories and then asked you to select those who are your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, with the top vote-getters 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 had to have been something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think we’re quite ready to commit to anything beyond “Top Vote-Getters”.
Posted January 14th, 2022, with an update posted January 18th, 2022
Highlights from the original exhibition curated by Jules Seamer, with text edited/updated by the Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Mike Goldstein
#1 in the Art on My Sleeves series – All Nerve: Album Cover Graphic Design – In addition to the musical and business aspirations that have inspired individuals and record labels to produce packaged music products for sale to fans worldwide, the album cover art projects associated with these records have benefitted over the years from the talents of the people who’ve worked on them, the tools they had available to create “just the right” cover image and the dynamics of what constituted “Popular Culture” at the time they were created.
The use of Graphic Design – or “Commercial Art”, as it was once called – on album covers was brought about due to the successful efforts of several early pioneers, the most notable being commercial artists including Alex Steinweiss who, in 1938, became the first art director for Columbia Records and, in 1940, Introduced first individually-designed record cover (Smash Song Hits by Rodgers & Hart) and went on to pioneer cardboard sleeve-based packaging for 33-1/3 RPM LPs in 1948. He was joined at Columbia by Jim Flora and Robert M. “Bob” Jones in the mid-1940s (followed by Saul Bass, S. Neil Fujita and Bob Cato) while, over at the jazz labels Verve, Blue Note and others, talented artists including David Stone Martin, Reid Miles and Andy Warhol produced covers that brought them fame thanks to their iconic design work. Whether helping to shape the vision of a label, as Barney Bubbles did at Stiff, Vaughan Oliver did at 4AD or Peter Saville crafted for Factory or establishing a style that became synonymous with the bands they had as clients (like Hipgnosis for Pink Floyd orJamieReid for the Sex Pistols), album cover graphic designers were deservedly hailed for creating mini-masterpieces that made an art form out of the album cover.
ACHOF Interview with designer and illustrator John Kehe
posted July 29, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Back in the early 1970s, several members of the popular British band The Move – drummer Bev Bevan and singer/songwriters/instrumentalists Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne – were motivated to concentrate their efforts on a side-gig designed to test their concept that rock music would be made a bit more interesting with the addition of the instruments traditionally found in classical “light orchestras”, such as strings, horns and woodwinds. Calling themselves the “Electric Light Orchestra”, the group released several singles and one LP in the U.K. on the Harvest label, including a Top-10 hit “10538 Overture” in 1971 (on the Electric Light Orchestra album, released in December), “Roll Over Beethoven” in 1972 and “Showdown” and “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle” in 1973.
Posted onJune 16, 2017|Comments Off on Interview With Designer James Faulkner – Public Image Ltd’s 9 Album Cover
Interview with James Faulkner – Public Image Ltd’s 9 album cover
Today’s Interview Topic – the making of the album cover artwork for Public Image Ltd’s 9, a 1989 release on the Virgin Records label
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
When a team is assembled to create an album cover/package, a lot of talent can be brought to the table. In larger-scale endeavors – like the ones you’d often see for big-name acts, backed by significant budgets – a team might include an art director, a designer, a photographer and/or an illustrator (sometimes, both, particularly if there were logos and lettering to be done) and, as the folks tasked with these parts of a project would often find (and want to take advantage of), new techniques, materials and tools would be brought to bear. In the 80s and 90s, as computer-aided design was integrated into a products development and production, sometimes the tools that were “state of the art” at the time were found to be challenging to use, which would either slow down and frustrate some of the players or be seen as an opportunity to experiment and come up with something never before seen. Things like the budget, the production schedule and other distractions might force folks to knuckle down and get creative or, as might be the case in the production of the cover for PiL’s 1989 release simply titled 9 (which stood for the fact that it was the band’s ninth record), to frustrate the art director and leave him with less-than-fond memories of the process and, as a result, of the people who were there to apply their skills to the project via these new technologies.
Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio – Mick Haggerty
by Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
March 24, 2014
Every once in a while, I get to pinch myself with pleasure when I realize that I’ve been given the opportunity to meet and interview many of the talented artists that have created some of the world’s most-iconic album cover images. While, of course, I appreciate most all of the works I’ve featured in these articles, there are certain works that, for my own personal reasons, are deeply-affecting to me and, therefore, are often images that I’ve added to my own art collection, and so when I get a chance to interview the people who’ve produced these particular images, the whole enterprise takes on additional meaning and emotion for me.
In today’s Featured Artist Portfolio, I’m pleased to highlight the accomplishments of a designer who has created more than one of my favorite album covers – that being the supremely talented Mick Haggerty. As someone who has created covers for musical acts both here and in the U.K., it also gives me pleasure to learn more about a small number of covers for bands that, for whatever reason, never had much of a following in the U.S. but, as you’ll see, some of those images will impress you as much (or more) than some of his better-known covers. Great art is great art, no matter whether you’re just seeing it for the first time or appreciating it again for the hundredth time, don’t you agree?
So, without any further delay, please enjoy a selection of works by Mick Haggerty, along with some running commentary provided by the designer himself.