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.
ACHOF’s Mike Goldstein interviews Grammy-winning art director Darren Evans about the All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Album Package for George Harrison – Darren Evans, Dhani & Olivia Harrison, Art Directors – winners of the Grammy Award “Best Boxed or Limited-Edition Package” at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards show (2022).
Posted August 26, 2022 by Mike Goldstein
Throughout each year, the many members of the professional organizations related to the entertainment industry gather together to review the work product of their peers (or, in the case of several prominent media organizations, projects done by those they track and report on), select the best examples of that work and then honor those who produced and/or performed those works with awards that symbolize these achievements. Some awards are quite niche-oriented, perhaps representing a great example of creativity in a particular aspect of the work produced (like a product manufacturer’s award for best use their products), while others are much broader in scope and meant to bring a sense of great accomplishment, value and joy to both the winners and their fans. In the recorded music business here in the U.S., some of the most-coveted and highly-valued awards are those handed out by the Recording Academy, AKA “the Grammy organization”, with Grammy Awards handed out each year in dozens of categories, including three in the “Packaging” category.
Posted onJune 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for June, 2022
Posted June 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. Now that June is upon us and thoughts of summertime fun and frolic begin to fill the empty (or is it “not yet filled”?) spaces of our minds, I know that it is up to me to work even harder to bring you things on the ACHOF site that have enough intrigue to grab your eyeballs and whatever attention span you have left to take a look at and, if I’ve done my job right, enjoy and pass on to your friends and others you think might enjoy them as well. This month’s summary, I believe, has enough examples of “who is doing what” in the world of album cover art and packaging that it may be worth your while to put down the barbeque tongs for a minute, grab your favorite beverage and scroll down the page a bit to see what’s on offer.
In this month’s summary, you’ll find updated reports about new and ongoing exhibitions, news about the ongoing efforts and output of some of the top talents working in music packaging, new items available for sale (including several new books and some interesting new prints) or at auction and scores of other items on our favorite topics. One item I’m hoping you’ll look at is the link in the Exhibitions section to a virtual display of the recent show of photographer Richard Beland’s works at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto as its really well-done and shows off how today’s technology can be used to transport us to places we might not see otherwise.
Posted May 27, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Last November (2021) I’d received a comment on the ACHOF site that read as follows – “My partner and I love album covers so much that we have written 2 books about it: Designed for Hi-Fi Living: The Vinyl LP in Midcentury America (2017) and Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance (2021), both published by MIT Press. We range far and wide in the Designed for Dancing book and feature many rock n roll albums from the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to identity photographers, illustrators, and designers, and celebrate album cover art”. Now, considering that most of the submissions to the comments section are either complaints about things I’ve left out of a description or that I hadn’t praised or panned with sufficient vigor (or are spam links to CBD product sites), you must admit that this comment deserved some degree of follow-up, so I contacted the writer – Jonathan Schroeder, William A. Kern Professor in Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology – to learn more about them and their interest in album cover design.
Posted onMay 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for May, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for May, 2022
Posted May 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Wow, what a month. Busy with so many things, and “the hits keep on coming”. You’d have thought that everyone’s attention would be focused on truly important things happening in and to our world – war, a refugee crisis, the world economy zig-zagging with every bit of news and several people who think that it is more important to legislate to remove vague references about some of the sad truths about U.S./World history than to address the ongoing issues head on – and yet those in the visual and musical arts continue to produce works that inspire us and make us think and smile. This month’s summary is my valiant attempt to share coverage of those efforts with all of you, so I do hope that you’ll spend a little time digging through the sections and sharing things you find interesting with others as well. We all need to learn how to share better, no?
Posted onMarch 15, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Breaking News for March 15, 2022 – Award Show Update
The winners of the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards have been announced, and they are…
Posted March 15, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
After a several-month-long organizing, reviewing and voting process, the folks behind the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards have just announced the winners of the most-recent competition and, as both a participant in the process and as a fan of great work in the field of record packaging, I have to say that this year’s list (in the 15 categories represented) is an impressive and inspirational one. What’s all the more enjoyable to see is that musical acts and record labels both large and small have been included in the ”Best X” selections and that art producers both famed and up-and-coming will have their works admired by fans all over the world.
I’m going to highlight just a few of the winners here and then invite you all to click on over to a page on the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards site where you’ll find the complete list and all of the details on the winning designs – https://pro.evalato.com/3875/submissions?round_id=5257
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.
I’m not a critic. In my mind, to be a critic, you need to know a lot about a topic and, to make your criticisms more believable, you should also have some first-hand experience and/or expertise in the creation of some things similar to what you might be expressing your opinions about. While the word “critic” is first defined (on dictionary.com) as “a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes” (with the definition then expanded to “a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for a newspaper or magazine”), it’s the third definition that’s given – “a person who tends too readily to make captious, trivial, or harsh judgments” or a “faultfinder” that seems to better-define many of today’s professional critics in the arts and, for that reason, I’ve stayed away from really ever saying anything critical about the work of the people I cover on the ACHOF site.
Of course, it can be said that I do make value judgements when deciding what to include on the site or in my monthly news postings, and I really can’t argue with that. Editors and writers are critics by default, since we’re choosing to present a story (or a character in that story) from our own unique viewpoints, but I’d like to think that I’m presenting people and their stories in such a way that you as the readers are given enough basic information so that you then can make up your minds as to whether a story has been worth your time and/or has left you with some sense of satisfaction having learned something new and exciting (even when the subjects might have been well-covered previously). I’ve made one example of this – any article I find in which has been headlined something along the lines of “the Top 10” or “the 25 best album covers of all time – a running joke in my writing over the years, as I’m sure some of you have noticed. Yes, people are entitled to their opinions but, in most cases, scant thought or evidence of any specific method of how these “best” things are determined is ever presented and so, in those cases, I’ll either present them to you with a short-but-snarky intro or, perhaps more often lately, I’ll leave them for you to stumble across in some other fashion.
Posted onJanuary 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for January, 2022
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.