Published December 22, 2022 by Mike Goldstein (or was it?)
While everyone who regularly visits the ACHOF site knows of my passion for research and writing related to the topics of album cover artists and the output of their efforts, what many of you might not know is that I’m an admitted techno-geek. Understanding that that disclosure might lead you to think that I’m inclined to spend most of my time these days lost in the nether regions of technology, I can assure you that most of those behavior traits are now long lost and while I can recall with great accuracy my time spent first as passionate-yet-greatly-underfunded stereophile (someday, we’ll swap stories about building several Dynaco amplifier kits before trading up to a GAS Ampzilla) – before moving into careers in the cartoon animation/CD-ROM authoring/TV & Web content production business – I can say with much pleasure that, these days, checking my emails, doing research on the Web, editing images with Photoshop and then writing articles using MS Word is the extent of my regular relationship to technology (OK, I do use Google Maps when I’m in the car – don’t we all at this point?).
With all that said, I do still try and pay attention to the intersection of technology and entertainment and have followed with great interest the developments of streaming music/TV, blockchain technology/NFTs (as a basis for tracking ownership and/or licensing of digital assets) and, most recently, the capabilities of artificial (general) intelligence systems as they relate to the creation of content – research tools, text-defined images and, most-relevant to my efforts these days, writing assistants. While some early adopters have impressed me with some rather imaginative uses of AI/AGI tools to create newly-rendered versions of their favorite artwork (some of which I reported on earlier, such as one enterprising individual’s use of the “DallE2” AI image-making tool to reimagine some of our favorite album covers), much has been written – particularly in the fields of education and the media – about the upsides and downsides of using these tools, with some suggesting that a great percentage of what we’ll read, hear and see in the future will have been created by authors that simply input a list of requests for articles (images, videos, podcasts) based on a few select criteria and then share the output with the public. Will what we see/hear be “real”, or “factual” or are we simply too busy/lazy to care?
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.
Posted onMay 11, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Timely News Release for May 11, 2022
Posted May 11, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
While my monthly newsletter allows me to provide you with a reasonably-up-to-date recap of album cover artist/art-related news, often times there are items of interest that come and go rather quickly and don’t comport with the limitations of a once-a-month schedule, so I find myself having to do the occasional special release, of which this is an example. This month, there are several exhibitions and sales that start and end in May, so please continue scrolling down the page to see all of the pertinent details laid out right before your very eyes –
A) Friend of ACHOF Dr. Richard Forrest’s Banksy album art collection is a featured part of a new show on the mysterious artist opening later this month in NYC. “Banksy – Building Castles in the Sky (An unauthorized exhibition)” will open May 28th at the former International Center of Photography Museum. 250 Bowery, New York (running thru December 31,2022).
Posted onMarch 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for March, 2022
Posted March 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (updated 3/4/22)
After nearly forgetting that February is a short month and that I had 3-4 fewer days to prep this monthly summary, something sparked inside my head and I realized that I had to get things together, so what you’re reading today comes as the result of a couple of self-inflicted bonks to the sides of my head. As a result, I’m hoping that everything is in order and makes sense since, after reviewing all of the materials I’d gathered, there seems to be a lot going on world-wide that should be of interest to fans of album cover art and the people that make it, so get ready for a fairly-lengthy summary article.
Posted onFebruary 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for February, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for February, 2022, posted February 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Hello again from the frozen tundra we call home and you call Chicagoland. While Winter continues to make for somewhat scenic snowy images outside our windows and, at the same time, some very slippery walking/driving conditions, I am happy to be able to sit safely and comfortably in my office and, via the miracle of a medium-speed internet connection, research, organize and deliver my monthly ACHOF news summary. Having nothing to do with my New Year’s resolutions, I was also able to finally deliver (partially) on my promised article that summarized and presented more in-depth info on one section of the album cover art exhibition that was staged in Western Scotland last fall (https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2022/01/14/achof-presents-the-art-on-my-sleeves-series-episode-1-all-nerve-album-cover-graphic-design/), with another section summary from that show to be published ASAP.
I’m also working on completing a multi-part article on the history of what the record industry sells as “special products”, with a focus on the people and companies that produce and market the stunning box sets that have come to market over the past several years. From “enhanced” and “special-edition” album packages to the multi-disc (and, in some cases, multi-multi-multi disc) packages that include some wonderful things unearthed from the music and memorabilia archives of your favorite musical acts, this will also be a multi-act writing performance by yours truly, so stay tuned.
Posted onSeptember 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Posted September 1, 2021 (and updated September 6th) by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
As we approach the Labor Day weekend and the “official” end of the Summer season (our hottest on record, and I have the A/C bills to prove it!), I’m working hard on improving my overall attitude towards life these days by throwing myself into prepping for this year’s ACHOF voting efforts – adding/updating artist bios and looking around the planet for new examples of great work. After watching all six episodes of the ICON music photography series on PBS, it also brought to my attention that there are several gaping holes in this site’s bio section that must be filled immediately if I want this year’s nominating process to reflect who is left of the “best of the best” that might be nominated for inclusion in this year’s class of inductees, so I’ve put a few research projects on “hold” until this bone-headed oversight on my part can be corrected.
With that said, this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary is still rather chock-full includes the album cover artist/art news and updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. What follows below is a summary of these articles, posts and announcements I’ve gathered recently regarding all things regarding album cover artists and the art they produce. Their work continues and so should our interest and excitement about that work and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary.
Posted onAugust 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for August 2021
Posted August 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Entering the second full month of Summer, I find myself a bit perplexed as to how I’m supposed to approach living Life each day. While my wife and I have enjoyed getting out a bit more, we’re still very wary about spending time around our fellow human beings – particularly, the ones who are insisting that “everything’s back to normal” and, as such, looking at those of us still wearing masks as people who are holding back progress in some way. Having recently graduated into “senior citizenry”, I’m now free to become the COF (crotchety old fart) that I prefer to be so, you do your thing and I’ll do mine and, as part of what I’m choosing to do, I’m going to continue to search out items of interest to album cover art fans and share them with you all in my monthly news summaries, regardless of your vaccination status.
This month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary includes a nice crop of album cover artist/art updates and not one but two examples of ACHOF original content, those being the two interviews I’ve posted with two pairs of creative execs working for Sony Music Entertainment – Frank and Dave and Meghan and Annie – who were kind enough to share their takes on how they have gone about producing several award-winning box sets and special-edition packages. You’ll find links to both of those articles in the “Artist News and Interviews” section of this month’s summary.
Frank Harkins, Mike Goldstein and Dave Bett, clockwise from upper left.
Published July 23, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
The packaging of retail (i.e., physical) recorded music products is an expression of the relationship – often, a delicate balance – between a musical act, his/her/their record label, the creative/production teams commissioned for the projects and, of course, the music-buying public. Each brings a certain set of expectations to every project and expects those desires to be appreciated and respected if the resulting products are to ultimately please each constituency:
the musicians want to make sure that their new musical efforts aren’t reduced to secondary importance or that their fans aren’t left wondering “what the #%!* were they thinking?”
label execs will want to know that their investments in packaging and related marketing will eventually pay off via increased product sales.
the design and pre-production personnel working on the project (whether in-house and/or freelance talent), along with the printing/manufacturing companies tasked to bring designs to life as finished products, all want to deliver work they can be proud of and that makes their various client(s) happy and
consumers of recorded music products want to feel that their purchases are moneys well-spent and, as a benefit, are left feeling that their favorite musical acts have delivered “something special” to them as their loyal fans.
Posted onJuly 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for July 2021
Posted July 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Early Summer greetings to you all from Chicagoland – where it’s not 115 degrees in the shade, thank goodness – and welcome to this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary. As we approach the Independence Day weekend break, where many of us will be experiencing our first in-person get-togethers in over a year (us with a pre-cleared group, just to be safe), I thought that I’d cobble together a quick-and-to-the-point monthly news summary for you all to read in case you get a moment or two to yourselves and want to escape a bit into the fantasy world that surrounds the lives and work of our favorite album cover artists.
I know that I’ve been promising the imminent publication of my article on box sets and limited-edition packages and my interview with Dave and Frank from Sony Music, so while I’m late with those, I can report that I’ve finished the transcription and should have the interview up for your review very soon. In prepping that interview, I also found an interview that I’d never published with the talented team (also from Sony) who had put together the Grammy-winning package for Weird Al Yankovic a couple of years back, so I’ll be able to reward you for your patience with some nice bonus content as well.
Posted onApril 30, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for May 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for May 2021
Posted April 30, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all from our on-again/off-again Spring season in Chicagoland. While the temps have been swinging from near-freezing last week up to the 80-degree-mark this week, we’re proceeding on with our clean-ups, plantings, switching out the big bird feeder (seeds for cardinals, nuthatches, woodpeckers and chickadees of various styles and colors) for the hummingbird feeder, etc. assuming that all will manage to grow and prosper in spite of the extremes. Hope that you’re enjoying Springtime wherever you are as well.
Very happy to announce that my wife and I both got our first jabs last week so, with any luck, we’ll be in a better position to mingle with our fellow (fully-vaccinated) human beings in a month or so. That is, of course, if everyone else behaves themselves and joins in on the herd-immunity bandwagon. I’m so used to wearing a mask now – and have built up a nice collection of them, to boot – that I might just wear one whenever I’m in an enclosed space from now on. They’ve done it in Japan and Taipei for years now, so why not here?