Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News for January 21st, 2022 –
Posted 1/21/22 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Some things just can’t wait….
a) The accomplished and acclaimed album cover designer Ioannis is scheduled to participate in a series of two appearances in the Cape Cod area during which he’ll put on display the original art he created for two projects – one for Boston and one for the Allman Brothers Band – and will be sharing the stories behind these images with all those in attendance. Kicking the series off on Friday, January 28th at The Music Room gallery and wine bar, Ioannis will show off the production artwork that was originally intended to be featured on the band’s third album (Third Stage) and which, after the powers that be decided to go with another artist’s imagery (with the album’s progress delayed a number of years due to personnel disputes and a lawsuit by the group’s label), this artwork was lost only to be found later by a fan, so this will be the first time that it’ll be on public display. Also on stage this first night will be the original Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau and his latest band – how’s that for a great tie-in?
posted 1/14/22 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame
a) The long-promised first “episode” of the tour through the “Art On My Sleeves” exhibition is now up and available for viewing at your leisure. The focus of this article is on the covers featured in the section titled “All Nerve”, which shows a good number of examples of great graphic design produced over the past 50+ years and includes works by both very well-known designers/studios (George Hardie, Hipgnosis, Barney Bubbles, Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg of v23, etc) and some perhaps lesser-known talents whose work nonetheless is memorable and eye-catching. There’s a lot to see and learn, so why not just click on over to https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2022/01/14/achof-presents-the-art-on-my-sleeves-series-episode-1-all-nerve-album-cover-graphic-design/ to begin your journey?
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.
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.
Holiday Gift Suggestions for the Album Cover/Vinyl Record Lovers in your Life
As compiled by Mike Goldstein, Writer/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
December 3rd, 2021 (updated December 7thand December 10th)
One thing that our lives under the pandemic has taught us is that shopping for gifts doesn’t have to be a chore, since most everything we might want to give or receive can be had by simply going to a site and using a credit card or Paypal or some other form of digital payment. Since closing my own gallery almost ten years ago (my, how time flies), I’ve had to approach buying collectibles (for myself and/or as gifts for others) just like everyone else (please, don’t cry for me) – scouring the Web looking for just the right things and then hoping that I can buy from a trust-worthy source. To help you in the same effort, over the years I’ve published a series of (usually) annual overviews of record cover-related “artistical” things that, in my opinion, might make nice gifts for anyone who is a fan of album cover art and packaging and so, after a couple of years of laziness, I’ve decided to do that again.
As I’m sure you all know, getting just the right gift for your loved ones at Holiday time can be such a puzzle – what with all of the advertising that bombards you from every direction and “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” sales that now seem to begin sometime in mid-late July – that you’re left with little time and inclination to search for just the right thing when all you want to do is “get this over with”…
Posted December 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Season’s Greetings and Happy Post-Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday cool-off period to you all. The last month has surely been both a joy (being able to see certain family members and friends in person) and a challenge as we enter the Holiday season having to deal with new derivations of COVID, the availability (or lack thereof) of some of the things we wanted to give (or get) as gifts and the general sense of “who knows what’s next” we’re all faced with, so it is with great pleasure that I’m dedicating this month’s ACHOF news summary to the delivery of interesting stories about your favorite album package image-makers both here in the U.S. and around the world.
The people responsible for packaging your favorite music products continue to astound (although, in some cases, confound) us with the results of their efforts, so this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary includes a number of great examples of album cover artist/art news – the kind of updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. Leading off in the news department are stories about the nominees (and, in one case, inductees) in several significant album cover art-related annual polls, including those for The Grammy Awards, the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards, the Best Art Vinyl Awards and, my favorite, the Album Cover Hall of Fame. You’ll find this info in its own separate section, below.
posted November 26, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Announcing the 2021 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame
Chicago, IL-based organization celebrates its 10th Anniversary with the announcement of its latest class of honorees in the 6 major categories – as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging – which represents a “who’s who” of creative and production talent, including many recognized names of craftspeople working in the worlds of fine art, graphic design and photography.
Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve previously enshrined nine classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys, with the voting panel considering the creative output of all producers active any time since 1960. Dozens of additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.
While we followed our standard voting methodology, this year’s Class is smaller than those in the past as we decided to make each induction more unique and special. Allowed for consideration this year was anyone not previously inducted into the ACHOF’s six major categories. The people under consideration this year are people who BEGAN their careers in the field at any time during the period the ACHOF focuses its attention on (1960 – present). As you can figure, this was a very long list, but after a research, nominating and voting process that began in September and ended in mid-November with our final vote (with everyone participating safely from the comfort of their own homes), the ACHOF Voting Panel has selected a list of individuals, record labels and musical acts that very clearly represent the best examples of a large number of talented men, women and teams who’ve cumulatively created and published a huge portfolio of memorable album cover images and record packages.
The Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Mike Goldstein had this to say about this year’s efforts – “While the past two years have been like no others in recent memory, through the ongoing efforts of those who support of this Hall of Fame, we’ve been able to continue our work (online, to keep us all healthy) to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact in the ongoing development and advancement of rock and roll album cover-related art direction, illustration, photography and package design, along with the record labels and musical acts who’ve supported great work in the field.
Based on each inductee’s body of work in the field, we feel that their talents have exemplified the best possible efforts made to package and promote their clients’ recorded music, and so we’re privileged to have been able to include them in this year’s voting efforts and, ultimately, our new list of honorees.”
Goldstein added “I’d also like to note that this year’s voting showcases the great range of package and promo designs for musical acts popular in the many rock and pop music genres we focus our attentions on, showing fans that album cover imagery continues to be an important part of the relationship between musical acts and their buying/listening public of all ages and musical tastes. I’m happy to say that, while many considered the album cover as a relic of the music industry as it existed before its shift into the digital arena, the commitment shown by musical acts and their labels to continue to invest in the visual aspects of their products – vinyl records, web sites, merchandise, NFTs, etc. – and to work hard to impress fans with the totality of their creative output is a true testament to the importance of this aspect of the recorded music business.”
Inductees have been divided into their respective categories so that fans can get to know each winner individually and within their group of peers. Below, you’ll find a summary of the winners in each category:
Album Cover Photographer Inductees
Ø Brian Duffy, Laura Levine and Jerry Schatzberg
Album Cover Illustrator Inductees (inc. those specializing in logos and typography)
ØRichard Amsel, Lou Beach and Overton Lloyd
Album Cover Designer Inductees
Ø Fritz Klaetke, Paula Scher and Tony Wright
Album Cover Art Director Inductees
Ø Neville Brody, Philip Lloyd-Smee and Jay Vigon
Inducted Record Label with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery
Ø Factory Records
Inducted Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery
Ø Chicago/CTA and Radiohead
A more-detailed document that includes samples of each Inductees album cover credits, along with links to their respective web sites, can be found on the ACHOF site at
Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 10 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image. Please note that some names will be seen in more than one category, as it is that certain individuals have served in more than one role in projects.
Going forward, the Voting Panel – currently consisting of over 65 experts in the fields of packaging design, illustration, photography and music product marketing – will continue the process each year (beginning again in late Summer 2022 to nominate the next class of Inductees representing those whose works were published any time during the period of 1960 – present) by selecting nominees in each of the featured categories for consideration by both that voting body and those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted. Panel members discussed the possibility of opening some aspect of next year’s voting to the public – we’ll notify fans and the press once any decisions have been made regarding this effort.
Posted onNovember 19, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News for November 19, 2021
Posted 11/19/21 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
I have the very sad duty to ruin the beginning of your weekend with the report that legendary rock shooter Michael David “Mick” Rock has died. Well-known as “The Man Who Shot The Seventies” in reference to the huge number of albums, magazine articles, books and museum/gallery shows that featured his photos from that era, he was 72.
Mick Rock first met David Bowie in early 1972 and most of the memorable images of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust were shot by Mick in his capacity as Bowie’s official photographer. Rock was instrumental in creating many other key rock ‘n roll images such as album covers for Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, Lou Reed’s Transformer, Queen’s Queen II (recreated for their classic music video ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’) and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll. He was the chief photographer on the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus and he also produced and directed the seminal music videos for Bowie to be found on Bowie’s Sound and Vision DVD collection: ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, ‘Jean Genie’, ‘Space Oddity’, and ‘Life On Mars’. Other notable examples of Rock’s album cover work include the covers for Lou Reed’s Coney Island Baby; Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power, Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack and End of the Century for the Ramones.
Tributes from fans and many of the people who knew, worked and loved him have been pouring in from all over the world, as you’ll find in the obituaries and articles referenced in the links posted below:
I had the pleasure of corresponding with him several times over the years and, back in 2007, he helped me put together an article about his work on the cover for the 1974 hit record Queen II, which features one of his best-known images of the band. He was kind enough to also share some other shots that came from that photo session, so I’d invite you to read more about this project and the man behind it by clicking on over to https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/08/cover-story-que.html
Take a dive into this great talent’s work by visiting his website – https://www.mickrock.com/ – where you’ll also find a statement from his daughter, Natalie, who is also quite the talent. A man as unique as his work, he’ll surely be missed.
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Posted onNovember 10, 2021|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News Update for November 10th, 2021
Posted November 10th, 2021 by Mike Goldstein
Bonham’s Head of Pop Culture Claire Tole-Mor recently shared an article of some of her favorite items going up for bid at their 11/11 “Pop X Culture” and 11/17 “Rock and Pop” auctions – https://www.bonhams.com/video/33186/?
The works of some of rock music’s best-known image-makers (Neal Preston, Gered Mankowitz, Bob Gruen, Jill Furmanovsky and many others) are represented in these collections, so please feel free to read Claire’s intro and then take a look at what’s available. Some pre-Holidays shopping, perhaps?
Bit of trivia – the Nov. 17th auction includes items from the estate of the late actress Diana Rigg (The Avengers on TV, many musicals). What’s the ACHOF connection? She served as the cover model for The Cuff Links’ 1969 album Tracy that contained the hit single by the same name.
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Posted onAugust 18, 2021|Comments Off on ACHOF Breaking News Update for August 18th, 2021
Album Cover Hall Of Fame’s Breaking News Update for August 18th, 2021
By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Here are a few rather-timely items that I want to share with you:
a) Author Ramon Oscuro Martos – the music historian who has so far given us several great books (in the …And Justice For Art series) about the mind-bending array of artwork found on the sleeves of some of metal music’s best-known recordings – spent his COVID-induced “down time” putting together a new book, this time focused on the art/imagery you’ll see on the covers of some of the genre’s most-loved LIVE albums. As he’s done in the past, he’s looking for fans to help him bring this new tome to market via pre-order commitments.
As Ramon describes the project in his latest appeal, “…AND JUSTICE FOR ART… LIVE! Stories About Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Live Album Covers reveals the stories behind hundreds of cover artworks for live Heavy Metal/Hard Rock albums. It contains more than 100 chapters, more than 500 graphics (including original artworks, sketches, behind-the-scenes images, etc.) and exclusive comments by approximately 100 bands and visual artists.”
He’s looking to produce 500 copies of this new book and, as he puts it, “to make it accessible to everyone, I will only be accepting contributions of $20 dollars. In gratitude for your contribution, you will receive the following benefits:
1 – Your name will be included in the book’s THANK YOU credits.
2 – You will be able to order the signed book 3 weeks before the rest of the public, so you can secure your copy.
3 – You will get a 12% discount when you purchase the book (this discount doesn’t expire, so you can use it any time you want).
4 – A free bookmark featuring the book’s artwork.
5 – You will receive with your purchase either a free CD, a SIGNED POSTER, or a SET OF CARDS featuring exclusive artworks.
6 – Since you will be contributing to Metal history, helping to save all these album cover stories for posterity and future generations, you will receive an appreciation letter thanking you for your support. This letter will be signed either by the book’s author OR one of the artists/musicians involved in the book.”
So, if you’re like me and are always happy to help bring good album art-related publications out for fans to enjoy, I’d invite you to help Ramon bring his labor of love out and make the commitment today. Simply send him an email at email@example.com with the subject line “Yes, I will participate in this campaign” and he’ll get back to you with more info as it becomes available.
b) Remember that I told you that I’d let you know when the next Backstage Auction house-curated sale, containing a number of items from my personal collection, was up-and-running? Well, it’s up-and-running as of today, and runs through this Sunday, August 21st. There are thousands of items available to bid on in this bi-annual “Clearance Auction”, with many starting bids below $10 (!!), so I’d invite you to click on over to https://www.backstageauctions.com/catalog/auction.php to take a look and consider adding something new and exciting to your own personal collections.
c) Lastly but not leastly – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has just launched its own store on the Reverb.com site that looks as though it will give collectors an exciting new place to look for unique/one-of-a-kind items in several categories – signed instruments being the core of the initial mix – but what caught my eye were several limited-edition prints of Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and others from the portfolio of one of rock’s best-known photographers, the late Baron Wolman. The pre-launch press promised that this store would be updated on a regular basis, so why not pay the site a visit and see if there’s something right for you – https://reverb.com/shop/the-official-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-reverb-shop?
Be sure to check back with me at the beginning of next month for the complete ACHOF News Summary. See you then.
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