Tag Archives: photographer

Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For September/October, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR OCTOBER, 2017.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of October, 2017. When I signed off with you 30 days ago, never did I think that I’d be sending out my next news summary on the heels of not one but three more catastrophic weather events (Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the Mexico City-area earthquake) and that millions of people in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean would be in such need of the basic necessities of life…then, this would be followed up in a 9/28 article by the Washington Post that detailed the results of a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that stated that, now, a majority of Americans admit that “climate change contributed to the severity of the recent hurricanes” (as opposed to the results of the same poll, taken a dozen years ago, which showed that most Americans “dismissed the role of global warming and said such severe weather events just happen from time to time”).

Ya think?

For now, you can make a difference in the lives of people who were affected by these natural disasters with some guidance from the Center For Disaster Philanthropy, an organization whose partner charities have gotten together to “transform the field of disaster philanthropy to increase donor effectiveness throughout the lifecycle of disasters through our educational, fund opportunities and strategic guidance.“ Very helpful and informative – http://disasterphilanthropy.org/

While I firmly believe that Mother Nature will one day – sooner rather than later – rid her planet of all us pesky and self-absorbed critters in a very theatrical fashion, I can only hope that, for the time being, this doesn’t prevent some of us from enjoying (and respecting) the beauty of the natural world and how it continues to inspire creative-types to do interesting work. The month of September proved to be a VERY busy one for folks reporting on happenings in the world of album cover art/artists, and in the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring fascinating and interesting stories on a wide range of related topics.

As always, I ask that you please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/currently running and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Highly-respected British photographer Martin Parr – who has given us memorable photos for musical acts including Salad (Drink Me), The Saw Doctors (Songs From Sun Street), Madness (Wonderful) and several others – has an interesting show up at Blackwell Hall (in the Weston Library) on the campus of Oxford University (UK) that puts on display the results of a multi-year commission he was given there several years ago to photograph the place and its interesting array of people. The university press has also released a book – simply titled Oxford by Martin Parr – to accompany the show, which is on display now through the 22nd of October, with Diane Smyth, writing for the British Journal of Photography, providing us with an introduction at http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/09/shooting-the-establishment-martin-parrs-oxford/

More details about the show can be found on the Photo Oxford 2017 web site – http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2017/sep/martin-parr-oxford

While info on the book – co-authored with noted journalist Simon Winchester – can be found on the Oxford University Press site at https://global.oup.com/academic/product/oxford-9780198724414?cc=us&lang=en&

b) I’ve received a bit more information about the November 1 opening of the Spencer Drate/Judith Salavetz/Sylvia Reed-curated record art show that will be on display at the One Art Space Gallery on Warren Street in New York City…There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, November 1st from 7PM – 9PM EST at the gallery (there’s nothing up yet on this event, but if you go to the gallery’s “Upcoming Events” page (http://oneartspace.com/upcoming-events/) soon, I’m sure you’ll find out more.

As I’ve previously noted, the exhibition is called “FOR THE RECORD: THE VINYL RECORD COVER SHOW” and, according to the show’s producers, it will be “the first Vinyl Record Cover Show integrating the history of 12″ and 45 record covers together with a selection of some of the best designed 12″ and 45RPM record covers from the past to the present.” It will run through November 30th.

The award-winning team of Mr. Drate and Ms. Salavetz have been creating memorable promo and packaging imagery for music industry clients for many years now, with examples of their work including Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Album, Glorious Results of A Misspent Youth and Good Music; Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi; The Ramones – It’s Alive, Road To Ruin and End Of The Century; Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation; Talking Heads – Fear Of Music; The Searchers – The Searchers; Billy Squier – Don’t Say No; Lou Reed – New York and Magic And Loss; Buster Poindexter – Buster’s Spanish Rocketship; Marshall Tucker Band – Walk Outside The Lines; The Fabulous Thunderbirds – Hot Number and Powerful Stuff; Bobby Brown – King Of Stage; The Beach Boys – Summer In Paradise; Dee Dee King – Standing In The Spotlight and many others, so you can rest assured that there will be much to look at on display.

They’re also the authors of several books on the topic of rock music-related imagery, including Rock Art: CDs, Albums & Posters, published in 1994; SWAG: Rock Posters Of The 90s (with a forward by designer Art Chantry, published in 2003) and its follow up titled SWAG 2: Rock Posters Of The 90s And Beyond (2005); as well as 45 RPM, the first visual history book on 7″ record sleeve design and Five Hundred 45s (2010).

c) Launched on Saturday, September 16th with an opening reception was Eastern Projects Gallery’s new group exhibition of some of the best examples of Southern California art and design, produced by a group of five artists known as “The California Locos”. While, as the press release indicates, “for the last five decades, each LOCO has created their own distinct and recognized style, built out of the kaleidoscope that is the West Coast experience”, for this show the group (which includes Chaz Bojórquez, Dave Tourjé, John Van Hamersveld, Norton Wisdom and Gary Wong) has opened their arms to embrace works added by several more heralded designers/artists from the area such as Mister Cartoon, Shepard Fairey, Estevan Oriol, RETNA, SLICK and Robert Williams, and with a number of these participants sporting a nice portfolio of album cover images in addition to their work in the Graffiti, Hot Rod, Skate, Surf and Tattoo arenas, the entire display will be truly entertaining for all attendees.

Several brand-new works, including a low-rider automobile created by Mister Cartoon, a hot rod by Dave Tourje and more, will help make this event all the more intriguing.

The show runs through October 28th,, with more information available at – http://www.californialocos.com/event.html
EASTERN PROJECTS GALLERY – 900 North Broadway #1090, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – http://www.easternprojectsgallery.com/

d) More dates and venues have been announced for the upcoming Best Art Vinyl 2017 album art awards show. With this celebration of great record cover packages and the talented designers, photographers and artists in other specialties that create them – staged by the fine people at Artvinyl.com – now in its 12th year, the show’s producers have delivered on their promise to allow more public access to displays of the 50 shortlisted record covers (nominated by experts in the arts and music marketing) and, ultimately, the winner of this year’s competition, with shows now slated for the following places and dates:

The Vinyl Café London – November 13th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Civic Barnsley – November 10th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Mono Art & Design Budapest – November 16th 2017 – January 30th 2018; Semm music Store Bologna – November 20th 2017 – April 30th 2018; The Hari Hotel London – January 9th 2018 – March 30th 2018 and High End Society Munich 2018 in May 2018

Exhibiting alongside the examples of the nominated artworks will be the winning covers from the previous 12 years. Voting for this year’s nominees will commence on November 10th, with votes placed online at http://www.artvinyl.com/lp-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/
Be sure to visit starting November 10th to place your votes, with the winners announced in a ceremony next January. More details to follow here…

e) Always-controversial artist Richard Prince has recently launched a solo exhibition of new works that are on display at both locations of Berlin’s Galerie Max Hetzler that should be of interest to anyone who’s been following his 40+ year career during which he’s often pushed the limits of art world norms, particularly when it comes to the term “appropriation” in that he’s often times “borrowed” other peoples’ images to spin them to his own liking.

In this show, titled “Super Group”, Prince has created a series of visuals for a make-believe musical acts seemingly already at the top in terms of both fame and fortune, with these works being assembled from (according to the gallery’s press) “actual or scanned and printed record sleeves, stapled and glued onto the surface as well as photos, posters, magazine covers, some even contain real bras along with images of such (perhaps hinting at a two person rock band called Black Bra that Prince once was part of). Paint and oil stick are seemingly rapidly applied, covering parts of the collaged surface and canvas while leaving others empty so that the underlying plane stays visible, creating an impression of depth through overlapping layers.” What’s also notable is that, for these new works, he’s appropriated from his own earlier works, with figures and other items from an earlier series of work (called “Hippie Drawings”) showing up in many places.

Earlier this year, the 68-year-old, New York-based photographer and painter became embroiled in another lawsuit when another photographer challenged Prince’s “fair use” claim for another “borrowed” image. Album art fans will remember his art and photos found on records released by Hole, Air, Sonic Youth, Robbie Robertson and others. With more information about this new show shared by Artnet’s Kate Brown in an article titled “Richard Prince, Rock Star? The Artist Indulges His Inner Musician With Trippy New Album-Cover Paintings”, fans can learn the latest about this always-fascinating artist/provocateur – https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-exhibition-max-hetzler-1096808? , while gallery information can be found on their site (in English) at http://maxhetzler.com/exhibitions/richard-prince-super-group-2017/press-en/

f) When photographer Trevor Key died of a brain tumor at the age of 48 in 1995, he left behind a portfolio of images for clients like Phil Collins (Face Value, Hello I Must Be Going!, …But Seriously and Both Sides Now), New Order (Fine Time and Technique), Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge), OMD (Organisation), the Sex Pistols (The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle), Ultravox (Rage In Eden) and many more both done alongside of Art Director Peter Saville for Factory Records and for others.

While he spent his career in London, he grew up and attended school in the northern city of Hull, the U.K.’s 2017 city of culture and home to the Hull School of Art and Design, which is hosting a show of Key’s photo from now through October 18th, after which it will be on display in various venues within the city.

Here’s a link to some recent BBC coverage of the event – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-41331715 along with a link to a video on the Hull 2017 site where noted editors, designers, art directors and Key’s former assistant (photographer Toby McFarlan) discuss Key’s work and its ongoing influence in the world of music photography – https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/trevor-keys-top-40/

g) Two shows that ended their runs in September include Rob Tufnell’s tribute to the late, great designer Barney Bubbles (“Optics and Semantics”) – http://www.robtufnell.com/Exhibitions/Barney%20Bubbles/index.html which included examples of the talented artist’s album art, posters, videos and furniture, while back on September 18th – the 47th anniversary of the death of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, but on that day I found a link to a recent interview with famed photographer Karl Ferris – responsible for the memorable photos found on the first three Jimi Hendrix Experience covers – http://ib3tv.com/lautor-de-les-portades-historiques-de-jimmy-hendrix-exposa-a-lhotel-pacha-deivissa.html regarding his recent gallery show (which closed on September 17th) at the Hotel Pacha on the island of Ibiza, where Karl has lived for many years and the place where he met his early collaborators, the Dutch design duo of Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma AKA “The Fool”.

Although the interviewer’s audio track of Karl’s interview is in Catalan, you can still here bits of his statements and answers in English. In either case, it’s nice to see him looking so well and surrounded by so many great examples of his best-known photographs, including those for Hendrix.

h) Although the Summer has ended, it was a big one for exhibitions focused on the 50 anniversary of the emergence of Hippie counter-culture, with all its trappings, which has been labeled the “Summer of Love”, with one in particular, “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll” at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum (according to information in this recent article on the Art Daily site) setting attendance records, with over 25,000 visitors during “its final week before closing on August 20. Over its 19-week run, almost 270,000 visitors from around the world came to the de Young to relive the Summer of Love, making the exhibition the highest attended since Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis debuted at the de Young in 2013. – http://artdaily.com/news/98712/-The-Summer-of-Love-Experience–Art–Fashion–and-Rock—Roll–closes-with-record-attendance-numbers#.WbhDd7pFyM8

i) Also just received an announcement (with details forthcoming) about a Michael Jackson art show (to be titled “Michael Jackson: On The Wall”) at National Portrait Gallery in London next year (which would have been the singer’s 60th birthday), with some initial details in this article on The Guardian (UK) site – https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/20/michael-jacksons-impact-on-art-explored-in-national-portrait-gallery-show

I’m sure it’ll be a thriller, and I hope to beat it on over there to rock with you at the show. I’ll not stop til I’ve had enough unless, of course, it’s bad… 😉

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Photographer Danny Hastings, whose portfolio of images reads like a who’s who of major hip-hop music originators – Big Pun, KRS-One, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and many others – is the subject of a nicely-detailed profile and interview on the Remezcla site (a top lifestyle site for Latino Millennials) by reporter Matthew Ruiz that also includes info on recent show in LA – http://remezcla.com/features/music/danny-hastings-profile/

b) Goldmine Magazine’s chief editor Patrick Prince shares an interview with Pink Floyd artist Gerald Scarfe from his house in Chelsea, London that was featured on a recent Goldmine Magazine podcast about the original works (paintings and storyboards) from The Wall that are on sale at the San Francisco Art Exchange – http://www.goldminemag.com/podcast/pink-floyd-artist-gerald-scarfe-carlos-santana-band-jackyl-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-7

Scarfe had originally met Roger Waters after the PF bassist/songwriter had seen an earlier (1971)hand-drawn animated film produced by Scarfe about his impressions on America titled Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches From Los Angeles on TV and thought that he’d be the right person to help him realize his visions for Waters’ record/film/concert masterpiece.

c) In the early 1990s, there was a rather well-known photo taken of the late Kurt Cobain wearing a t-shirt featuring the album cover art from Austin, TX-based musician/artist Daniel Johnston’ Hi How Are You? record (featuring a strange, frog-ish creature named “Jeremiah, The Innocent”), after which the self-taught artist gained cult status internationally.

While battles with mental illness made it difficult for Johnston’s career to take off in any significant fashion, he has remained a person of great interest to those impressed with his strange abilities (as shown in the 2005 documentary The Devil And Daniel Johnston, by Jeff Feuerzeig. Health issues have recently forced Daniel to curb his touring, so he’s just embarked on what’s been announced as his final tour, with a schedule posted for the 8 shows (plus one in Austin, date TBD) – http://austin.culturemap.com/news/arts/09-18-17-hi-how-are-you-daniel-johnston-final-tour/#slide=0

d) Fans of the strange-but-wonderful cartoons of artist Edward Steed’s that are often found in the New Yorker Magazine will want to read this recent interview by Min Chen on the Surface Magazine web site about the almost “Where’s Waldo-like” work he created for the cover of singer/songwriter Father John Misty’s just-released record called Pure Comedyhttp://www.surfacemag.com/articles/edward-steed-talks-pure-comedy-album-illustrations/ According to Steed, his inspiration for the detailed artwork was pretty straight-forward – “I was just trying to make something that’s good for people to look at while listening to the record. I just drew the type of album cover I would want if I made an album, which I never will.” Job well done, sir!

e) The photo team of Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are known for their creative force, and lately they’ve been known specifically for Taylor Swift’s album art. Take the link to read a nice profile of them and their work and their collaborations – including on the controversial cover for her upcoming release (Nov. 10th) called reputation – with the immensely-popular Ms. Swift on the Fans Of Taylor Taylor Swift fan site written by contributor Kara Johnson – https://fansoftaylor.com/2017/09/16/photographers-mert-and-marcus-discuss-collaborating-with-taylor-swift/

f) Fans of great monster/horror art (hey, that’s me!) mourn the passing of a great one…On September 14th, 2017, the legendary artist/illustrator Basil Gogos died, leaving behind a legacy of illustrations for magazines, books and, as you might figure, album covers for acts including Electric Frankenstein, The Misfits and, most-notably, rocker Rob Zombie. He’s probably best-known for the scores of covers he did, beginning in 1960, for monster fan magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Creepy and MonsterScene (his takes on The Creature from the Black Lagoon were, to me, his most-impressive works).

A coffee table book which included a retrospective of many of his best works, titled Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos, was published by Vanguard Productions in 2005 and, the next year, Gogos received the “Best Book” award as well as being named to the “Monster Kid Hall of Fame” at the Rondo Hutton Classic Horror Awards gathering for his exceptional contributions to classic horror. In 2008, he won both “Best Cover” and “Artist of the Year” award from the same organization.

The Horror News Network presents us with his obiturary – http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/rest-peace-basil-gogos-dead-78/ while over on the Rob Zombie site (Gogos did the memorable image on the Hellbilly Deluxe album cover), you’ll find another tribute to this impressive talent, now gone… https://robzombie.com/tag/basil-gogos/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) From the PR Newswire, here’s a story about an auction of a highly-desireable set of Markus Klinko photos taken for the cover of Houston, TX native Beyonce’s debut solo album, 2003’s Dangerously in Love – “ that was held in early September and intended to help raise money for Red Cross efforts to provide relief for victims of the recent weather disasters in Houston and along the Gulf Coast – “Award-winning, international fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko and Texas-based Modern Rocks Gallery today announced the launch of “Dangerously in Love with Houston: Modern Rocks Gallery / Markus Klinko Auction,” an online auction of signed, first worldwide edition Beyoncé photographs with proceeds benefiting the Red Cross and its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. “

It continues – “The online auction will feature three 16″ X 20″ photographs …signed by Markus Klinko. Fujifilm supports the auction with printing and mounting, while Broncolor will donate shipping of the photographs to auction winners. All money raised from the auctions will go to the Red Cross Houston and Gulf Coast relief efforts.

Bidding opened at $2500 for the set, with the auction currently online (hosted by 32Auctions.com), reached via the button at https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/hurricane-relief
https://www.facebook.com/ModernRocksGallery

b ) Michael Spencer-Jones Oasis album art goes on sale with special event – while the gallery is still working with the photographer on just the right date to do this (was originally scheduled for October 6th), they have put up some preliminary information on the book and some of the prints that will be made available for sale as well. https://www.thearchivistsgallery.com/blogs/exhibitions/save-the-date-supersonic-the-oasis-photographs-book-signing-event-with-michael-spencer-jones-october-6th-2017?

I’d last reported on Spencer-Jones’ work back in 2014 when I’d done a profile on one of his collaborators, designer/photographer Brian Cannon, so it’s nice to see that the art world’s interest in these great photos (which became even more-popular as the records, such as Whatever, Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, Be Here Now, Don’t Look Back In Anger and Wonderwall, all became huge international hits. Spencer-Jones has also created notable cover shots for bands including Suede (Stay Together, Singles and So Young), The Verve (A Storm In Heaven, Urban Hymns and A Northern Soul), New Fast Automatic Daffodils (Bong and Body Exit Mind) and Lyres (On Fire), among others. More specifics as they’re released…

4) New Print/Book RELEASES –

a) Heralded Scottish photographer Harry Benson CBE has had a very busy schedule the past couple of years, first as the star of the successful documentary film Harry Benson: Shoot First, then receiving a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography, shooting a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump – he’s the only photographer who has taken portraits of the past twelve (!!) U.S. Presidents, beginning with Eisenhower – and now, working with the folks at PowerHouse Books, releasing what’s being called his “unparalleled magnum opus” – a 300-page career retrospective titled Harry Benson: Persons of Interest (Portraits That Defined An Era), with ’s new book hitting the shelves soon, with pre-orders now being accepted at – http://www.powerhousebooks.com/books/harry-benson-persons-of-interest/

According to the publisher’s news release, “Harry traveled to America with the Beatles in 1964 and never looked back. Under contract to LIFE Magazine for 30 years, Harry has photographed for major magazines including Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, French Vogue, Quest, Paris Match, Forbes, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, People, and The London Sunday Times Magazine…With subjects ranging from Queen Elizabeth to Amy Winehouse, from Frank Sinatra to Brad Pitt, from Greta Garbo to Kate Moss, from Winston Churchill to Hilary Clinton, and Donald Trump, Benson explores and delights our public fascination with his images of the lives of the rich, powerful, and famous. “

b) While designer/artist Jamie Reid might be best-known to album art fans for the work that helped promote punk icons the Sex Pistols to international stardom in the late 1970s (and, later on, artists such as Billy Childish, Jo Fletcher and Afro Celt Sound System), lately Reid has continued to produce artwork that brings his anti-establishment sensibilities to highlight the absurdities in today’s world of political and corporate chicanery, but he’s also produced artwork for a project called Eight-Fold Year, during which he’s released a new work of art every day based on the Druid concept of the year being divided into eight “essential” parts (solstices, equinoxes and four other critical seasonal dates).

To bring the entire portfolio of these works to fans around the world, Reid has just released a new paperback book (also titled Eight-Fold Year) where all 365 of the images (paintings and photographs) can be enjoyed all in one place. To provide an introduction and explain things to us laypeople, Reid enlisted the help of Philip Carr-Comm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, to write such texts.

More information on this book and project can be found on his web site at http://www.eightfoldyear.org/, while you can keep up-to-date on Reid’s latest efforts on his web site at http://www.jamiereid.org/

c) While not specifically a book about album cover art, a new book just out by author Kent Hartman titled Goodnight, L.A.: The Rise and Fall of Classic Rock – The Untold Story from Inside the Legendary Recording Studios that focuses on the often outrageous (self-indulgent, narcissistic, etc. – I’m sure we can all think of appropriate adjectives) behaviors and bacchanalia that took place inside these workplaces during the making of some of your favorite record albums. With the writer tapping the memories of two key people – producer Keith Olsen and session guitarist Waddy Wachtel – you’ll learn a bit more about the amount of hand-holding, ego-boosting and appetite-feeding it often took to get some of the most-iconic tracks put on to tape.

They also included stories by some of the others who were tasked to help produce, package and promote these products, such as ACHOF Inductee (John) Kosh, who recalls the heart-warming story of having to wait three days for a certain rocker to show up for a photo shoot, only to decide at that point that he’d changed his mind about the album cover concept and then suggested a “we’re not REALLY going to do this” idea as an alternative. Read more about this new tome in reporter Bob Ruggiero’s intro to the book on the Houston Press site -. http://www.houstonpress.com/music/cocaine-and-control-boards-la-classic-rock-in-the-70s-9780972

d) If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite Prog Rock fan (besides another record/CD or a certificate for the aforementioned mocha latte), you can now pre-order one of the 600 limited-edition copies of author Jerry Ewing’s new book on the topic titled Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through The Landscape of Progressive Rock. According to the publisher’s PR, the book will guide the reader through the genre’s history, “from the origins of the genre, through the glory years of the late 60s and 70s, to its contemporary resurgence led by, amongst others, Steven Wilson and Opeth. The book is introduced with a foreword written by Steve Hackett.”

The book’s “Deluxe Edition” was designed by famed album cover artist Carl Glover, the guy responsible for a number of memorable covers for acts including Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, The Pretty Things, Porcupine Tree, Blackfield and an entire series for Prog Rock stalwarts Marillion. The clothbound book’s 160 pages include over 450 images, including band photos, press images and, of course, album covers. The book includes a COA signed by both Glover and the author and also includes an 8” x 10” art print – a nice package for the quite-reasonable asking price of £50.00.

Pre-orders are now being accepted on The Flood Gallery’s web site – https://www.thefloodgallery.com/collections/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock/products/wondrous-stories-a-journey-through-the-landscape-of-progressive-rock?
with deliveries beginning in early December.

5) Other articles of interest –

Quick note – nominations and voting begins soon for this year’s class of inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame in the areas of design, photography, illustration and other related fields. Eager to see who are the top vote-getters this year – lots of talented people still yet to be inducted, so watch this space…

a) Research led me to a site, created by a mysterious and unknown artist simply called “Admin”, where you’ll find a collection of hand-made drawings of album covers along with a short story about the record. It’s called, in a straight-forward fashion, “Hand Drawn Album Covers”. Is it good? You be the judge. It is certainly inspired… http://www.handdrawnalbumcovers.com/

b) While some look at fans of Prog Rock as being people just as contemptuous as “mocha-sipping, Birkenstock wearing, Prius-driving Lefties”, I am proud to say that I’ve long been a fan of the genre – both the music and the art – and so I’m very pleased to be able to share two Prog-related stories – one being about the nominees – and the eventual winner – in the “Album Cover of the Year” category of the 2017 Progressive Music Awards festivities and the other (to be found back in Section 4 about New Books) being that a new book that looks to provide an in-depth historical review of “Prog Rock” (by Prog Magazine editor Jerry Ewing) which will be published in time for Holiday gift-giving.

To begin, here are the nominees for this year’s Progressive Music Awards’ “Album Cover of the Year” (musical act/album title):

Ayreon – The Source; Big Big Train – Grimspound; Heather Findlay – I Am Snow; King Crimson – Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind; Kylver – The Island; Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand; Opeth – Sorceress; Robert Reed – Sanctuary II; Tim Bowness – Lost In The Ghost Light and Wolf People – Ruins

The winner was announced at ceremonies on September 14th, with artists whose works are featured on these nominated covers including well-known creatives such as Ben Singleton, Alan Brown, Travis Smith, Jarrod Gosling and Luke Insect, so was most-interesting to see who fans eventually selected as this year’s top artist.

First, you can take a look at the nominated works via the link at http://2017.prog.awards.teamrock.com/vote/album-cover

AND THE WINNER WAS – from the previously-noted list of talented nominees, a winner was chosen in the “Album Cover of the Year” category, and that winner is the team responsible for the creation of the cover for Tim Bowness’ album Lost In The Ghost Light (credited to the multi-talented designer/musician Jarrod Goslling).

Here’s a link to the list of all of the winners in last week’s award ceremonies – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/steve-hackett-progressive-music-awards/
as well as a link to the musician’s site – http://timbowness.co.uk/lost-in-the-ghost-light/ Digging around a bit, I also found a video interview with designer Jarrod Gosling about his work on the previous Bowness LP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fekq273l4yo
Congratulations to the winner and all of the nominees for jobs well done – the fans are all very happy!

c) Filed under “way too cool for school” – those of you who thought that album covers created with “special effects”, such as the “3-D” and “lenticular” covers found on records such as 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request by the Rolling Stones, The Holy Land by Johnny Cash in 1969 and 1971’s Captain Beyond (with artwork by Pacific Eye & Ear artist Joe Garnett) will be pleased and/or surprised to know that the inspiration to display moving images on record packages remains, carried on by various musical acts/labels and, lucky for us, collected by collector DJ Food and shared via a regular column on The Vinyl Factory web site.

They kicked things off not too long ago with this nicely-illustrated (including some cool animated GIFs) article – https://thevinylfactory.com/features/freaky-formats-moire-effect/ in which you’ll find other examples of mind-bending album cover designs from around for musical acts in many different genres.
Looking forward to seeing more as time goes on…

BTW – on a related note – I wanted to share a link I found to a music video released by the Rolling Stones which uses artwork appropriated (there’s that word again!) from on the cover art from Satanic Majesties..http://yespleaseproductions.com/portfolio/rolling-stones-2000-light-years-from-home-official-lyric-video/ A very good example of recycling…

d) While I’m happy to note that the sales of vinyl records continue to grow (my most-recent purchase was a special-edition 2-LP package of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boy’s Smile that came with a nice bonus photo booklet) as both us oldsters and our younger brethren preserve the format with our pennies and dollars, there are still occasional stories like the two that follow that provide us with the sad details about record stores closing both here and abroad, with each venue’s closing also taking with it the sale of related album art items (SAD!, as one Tweeter often puts it) –

1) Author has an idea on how to turn a store’s closing into something of a time capsule for retail record store fans – https://www.athensmessenger.com/blogs/guest_columnists/an-ode-to-hoffa-s-music/article_b8dfeb82-0e43-554c-847a-bfb79939bcf3.html

2) “Seeing the art of music” article by Kerry-Ann Augustin for the New Straits Times (Malaysia) – https://www.nst.com.my/lifestyle/sunday-vibes/2017/09/280707/seeing-art-music
We’ll keep the fire burning…

e) Some of you might recall a story I reported on a year ago about a trio of enterprising entrepreneurs, including noted album cover designer Lawrence Azerrad and his chums at Ozma Records to embark on a Kickstarter-based project that would produce, for us mortals, a special 40th anniversary, special-edition package based on the “Voyager Golden Record” that astronomer Carl Sagan, along with a team that included writers Timothy Ferris and Ann Druyan, artists Jon Lomberg and Linda Salzman Sagan and astronomer/SETI pioneer Frank Drake (who served as the technical director), assembled for the 1977 satellite launch in order to present “strange new civilizations” with evidence of our intelligence (this was, luckily for us, before we had recordings from this past year’s elections).

Well, I just recently got my own personal copy of this box set, which included and three translucent gold, heavyweight vinyl LPs in black ink and gold foil jackets, a hardback full-color book, a 12″ x 12″ lithograph of the Voyager Golden Record cover diagram printed in gold metallic ink, a digital download card that includes all audio from the Voyager Golden Record inMP3 and FLAC formats, an enamel pin of the Golden Record diagram and a custom turntable mat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech’s heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecraft’s trajectories across the solar system (not bad for $98!), and all I can say is “WOW”.

And now that it’s been released and the second Voyager space craft is about to sail out of our solar system, I wanted to share a link to a follow-up article and interview with David Pescovitz found on the CNN.com site discussing the release of the special record package – http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/04/opinions/pescovitz-opinion/index.html

If so inclined, you can also listen to a BBC interview (on Soundcloud) that the folks from the record label posted last year with the original designer of the Golden Record – Jon Lomberg – which can be found via this link – https://soundcloud.com/user-482195982/interview-with-jon-lomberg?

f) A team of writers/contributors to Universal Music Group (UK)’s UDiscoverMusic.com site recently published one of those articles that undertakes the silly task of naming “the 25 most-iconic album covers” and, as my regular readers know, I typically HATE these lists. However, in this case, the group at least took some time to explain why each of the covers (all the usual suspects) was included and, to their credit, did NOT limit the list only to covers featured on their own labels.

Someday, I’ll have to learn what it is that motivates people to do articles like these but, until I’m ready to look into this further, I’ll just share the link and hope you’ll add your comments
https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/25-iconic-album-covers/

with some added info on designers – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/iconic-album-cover-designers/

Late in September, the group’s Martin Chilton hit the web with another album art-related posting – https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/album-packaging-amplified-music/

g) While we’re on the topic of articles that seem to annoy me a lot…while I appreciate the sentiment, here’s a link to an article posted recently on the Ultimate Guitar site by contributor “David89Zemun” (from Belgrade, Serbia, who plays a modified Gibson Les Paul BFG and is a big Black Sabbath fan) titled “Stories Behind Album Covers – It Was Never Just About The Music…” in which he provides us with a nice selection of album covers – from artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Red Hot Chili Peppers – and then a very brief tidbit about the cover art, so when he tells us in his intro that “we will be getting into some of the most interesting stories behind album covers”, I’m not sure if he means now or later.

You won’t learn much, but it is nice to see young people from all over the world go out on a limb and do a little digging into their favorite album art – https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/articles/features/stories_behind_album_covers-67281

h) The phrase “sex and drugs and rock & roll” has often been brought to life via the choices made by musical acts/record labels/art directors to focus on the “sex” part to illustrate and sell their record packages. As you might figure, this didn’t sit well with many folks because, as you might have guessed, it was usually (99.3% of the time, according to my casual observations) women who were objectified on many covers and, later on, in music videos. Does this continue on these days? You betcha!

As you’ll read in reporter Sahsa Geffen’s article on the Vulture.com site, there has been a slight subversion of this ongoing practice, evidenced by the fact that some of the creators of this sexy imagery are, in fact, women, with the two newer acts she’s focused on – St. Vincent and Torres – both assuming “the role of objectifier and objectified at the same time. They confound the power that borders the history of the genre in which they work, not as an act of empowerment but as a gesture of sublime confusion. “
http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/st-vincent-and-torres-are-subverting-rock-archetypes.html
Kudos are given to Christopher Guest for his attempts to point out the “do what you gotta do” approach to selling records in his great mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap…will things ever change? In today’s climate? I don’t think so….

i) In a recently-published series of articles on the Christie’s site about five London-area collectors and their assemblages, one of the featured collectors is designer/author Toby Mott, whose collection of punk-era ephemera and graphics served as the basis for the book he released last year (reported on in the Nov. 2016 News Summary) and includes original examples of album art by Jamie Reid and others. Of course, he can also look back proudly at his own album cover work – as part of the successful 1980s design firm and artist’s collective called the Grey Organization – for Tommy Boy Records and acts including De La Soul and Information Society – http://www.christies.com/features/5-London-collectors-and-their-collections-8553-1.aspx?

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Advertisements

ACHOF Exhibition Tour – Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

Album Cover Hall of Fame Exhibition Tour – Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution (July 16 thru November 12, 2017 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie, IL)

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Now that I live in a city that has a long history of design innovation, it’s a challenge not to be pulled in a million different directions when I hear about exhibitions being staged at the various venues found here. To manage that, I have several alerts set that inform me of anything album art-related that might be on display, but I have to admit that I came to learn about the local staging of a travelling show that’s been drawing crowds for the past two years a bit late (i.e., just a few days before its launch) and it was only due to the attentiveness of the venue’s media person that I was able to learn more and then tour the show right after its launch late last month. People before computers, I always say…

Continue reading

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for July/August, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR AUGUST, 2017.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once again to you all on this first day of August, 2017. I’m hoping that you’ve been able to enjoy some of the sunny Summer weather, wherever you are, and that part of your free time was spent visiting your favorite gallery or museum to see what’s on display there (and to take advantage of the air conditioning typically found there). As for me, I recently had the chance to tour two shows right here in Chicagoland that contained strong album art components (Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, which debuted on July 16th at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and the Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism extravaganza, which concluded its run at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall B on July 30th) and I’ll be posting summaries – complete with photos – of those visits in the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled…

Continue reading

Album Cover Artist and Art News Summary and Preview for the Months of June and July, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE, 2017, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JULY, 2017.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all on this last day of June, 2017. Hope you’ve all had a nice Spring-to-Summer transition and that your plans for the next month include time to take advantage of some of the best of what the world has to offer – trips to the shore, family visits, attending a game or two of your favorite sport, eating great food and stopping by your favorite gallery or museum to see what’s on display there. I’m happy to provide you with the details of what’s showing in the Shows/Exhibitions summary that follows.

Of course, I’d have hoped that the last month’s schedule would have allowed me to make great progress on my book, but Life sometimes steps in and decides that your time is best spent in some other fashion (those of you involved in the care of an elderly person know what I’m talking about), so while I didn’t get 85% of the things done which I’d planned, I did get some additional content for the book from notables including photographer/designer/chef/man in a van Ed Caraeff, designer James Faulkner and author/historian/educator Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, among others, so if I ever get this book done, I know that album art/artist fans will most-surely enjoy what’s included.

In this month’s summary, you’ll find both a helpful recap of last month’s stories about the designers, artists, photographers and others who continue to produce great visuals for clients in the music business along with previews of what’s going to be on display and in-stores next month. As always. you’ll find that the galleries, publishers, curators, etc. who support and promote these works continue on with their quests unabated, and it continues to be my pleasure to be able to share the details about what they do with you and whoever you choose to share this information with. In the summary and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the escapades and triumphs of your favorite (and soon-to-be-favorite) examples of album cover art/artistry that I’ve found in the daily news cycle, featuring stories of great interest and fascination delivered via the articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll find written on a wide range of related topics.

Once again, I urge you to please share this info with everyone you know who are fans of great album cover-related talent and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

1) Upcoming, recently-launched/CuRRENTLY-RUNNING and just-closed show/exhibitions –

a) Here’s a reminder about the Gered Mankowitz/Rolling Stones photo show in Paris up now through the 22nd of July at the Photo12 Galerie on Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul. It’s called “Gered Mankowitz, The Rolling Stones Backstage” and, according to the gallery’s press, the images included in this show were “taken at the height of their early British fame and during their fourth American tour, the exhibition and book feature a combination of iconic material and previously unpublished images.

Gered was with the band constantly between ’65-’67 and this unique collection of photographs offers an intimate insight into the personalities of the Rolling Stones as they became world famous. He became part of the Stones’ inner circle and was treated as another member of the band. This gave him complete and unrestricted access to their on and offstage life.”

Album art images that are included in the show include the covers for Out of Our Heads and Between the Buttons. Some of the many covers credited to Gered also include – The Nice – Ars Longa…; Ultravox – Ultravox!; ABC – Lexicon of Love and Jimi Hendrix – The Ultimate Experience.

As you might hope, there’s a corresponding, limited-edition exhibition catalog/book also available, highlighting these shots (including many never-before-published) taken early on and also during  their 4th tour of America. The 96-page photo album is beautifully printed and comes in a slip case with photos front and back.

I’d invite you to first read an Intro article by the editors of L’Oeil de la Photographie –http://www.loeildelaphotographie.com/en/2017/06/01/article/159953880/lintimite-des-rolling-stones-par-gered-mankowitz/  and then head on over to the gallery’s site for more – http://www.galerie-photo12.com

b) I rarely get to report on album art shows in the Asia/Pacific part of the world but, due to the availability of an article by Yukari Tanaka on the Japan Times site and the miracle that is Google Translate, I can now share some information about such a show now on display in Japan – KIT: Popular Music Collection — Exhibition of Album Art is currently on display (now through July 23rd) at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Grand Front Osaka, Knowledge Capital Event Lab.

According to the Museum’s introduction to this exhibition (unedited, so do your best) – “We will hold an exhibition entitled “Record Exhibition that Changed the World” this time. Following the history of “popular music” from the collection of 240 thousand records held by Kanazawa Institute of Technology will reconsider how the 20th century was creative. Please enjoy the unexpected dream trip that will lead to the future. In this exhibition, you can see about 5,000 record jackets… In addition, seven <installation booth> which close up important events in the history of popular music, you can experience the moment that changed the world.”

In other words, based on the photos of the show, it looks like they have set up a 50 meter-long chronology of world events and super-imposed important album art images to help illustrate what was happening in the world when these albums were released.

In Japanese, with English section titles – http://www.kanazawa-it.ac.jp/record/

Article on the Japan Times site – http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2017/06/27/arts/openings-outside-tokyo/kit-popular-music-collection-exhibition-album-art/

c) Part of the Manchester (UK) International Festival that’s kicking off today is an art exhibition titled True Faith that’s been built around the images of – and those inspired by – the talented artists who created the trend-setting album cover and promo imagery for Factory Records, lead by the iconic works done by designer Peter Saville, of which 14 images are included in this display.

Here’s a link to the recent Intro article in The Guardian featuring comments from show co-curator Jon Savage, who selects some of his favorites – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jun/27/factory-outlet-the-art-inspired-by-joy-division-and-new-order-ian-curtis

Saville’s favorite, as he relates in this interview by reporter Lucy Lovell found on the Manchester Evening News site, is Power, Corruption and Lies, the cover he produced in 1983 for New Order that’s based on French artist Ignace Henri Fantin-Latour’s 1890 oil painting titled A Basket of Roses after purchasing a postcard of the painting during a visit to The National Gallery… http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/iconic-joy-division-new-order-13206204

More info on the exhibition and other MIF events can be found at http://mif.co.uk/mif17-events/true-faith/

d) South Africa’s oldest newspaper, The Herald, just published an article about a recently-ended (but extended a short while in another location) album cover art show featuring over 60 years worth of cover artwork for musical acts from the region. A group of local designers and collectors curated the show, titled “SA Musical Graphics & Collectibles” and, according to the article, “this exhibition of 150 CD and album covers will take you on a nostalgic stroll down musical memory lane, from Arthur to Zonke, from Juluka to Savuka, from Springbok Hit Parade to the Springbok Nude Girls and plenty more in between.”

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/my-heraldlive/2017/06/08/alliance-francaise-soulful-exhibition-album-covers/

While I personally have next to no knowledge about the South African music/design scenes (although I have seen Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert 5-6 times – thanks, Paul Simon), I’m sure that this would have been an interesting show to see and learn more from.

e) As fate would have it, now that I no longer live in Portland, OR, one of the most-talented PDX-based designers was the subject of a new show that was held there recently and, as such, I wasn’t able to attend it in person but, according to the artist, the smart collectors back there swooped in and bought everything that was not nailed down, so while the show was scheduled to be running through early August, it’s now just a whisp of a memory…. The gallery that’s part of the East Side’s ultra-hip Jupiter Hotel complex was the temporary home of the aforementioned show by “the thinking man’s artist” and rock poster/album artist extraordinaire Emek, the Israeli-born artist and guy responsible for the surrealistic covers for records by artists including Erykah Badu, Neil Young, Bad Religion, Blue Cheer, Los Lonely Boys, Henry Rollins and many others.

https://jupiterhotel.com/artist-emek-first-friday-june-2/ for a recap and https://emek.net/ for the latest on this talented man’s career.

f) Genesis Publishing, responsible for some of the most-bautiful music art/photo-related collectible books made available to collectors, recently staged a gallery show in Soho, London to celebrate the release of their 100th edition. From Friday, June 16th to Sunday the 18th (including a reception on the 17th), company staffers moved in to the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms to set up an impressive exhibition of “prints, books, and rarities spanning our four decades of publishing.  Running across two floors, the show will include many of our authors and artists, including: Jeff Beck, Mick Fleetwood, George Harrison, Sir George Martin, Yoko Ono, Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr, Sir Jackie Stewart, Klaus Voormann, Paul Weller, Ronnie Wood and many more.”

Audiophile Man Paul Rigby just published an overview of exhibit on his site that gives you all of the details – http://theaudiophileman.com/george-exh/

g) It’s not often that I can share images I’ve taken of a show, but now that I live “in the big city” (Chicago) and one that has several world-class art establishments, I’m pleased to include some shots I took at the Takashi Murakami Exhibition at MOCA in Chicago, including several of the original works of art that were used in the packaging of Kanye West’s Graduation I was really taken by the scope of the artist’s work, but my day was made when I entered a room to find the “Dropout Bear” sculpture and the several oil paintings used on Graduation‘s packaging. As someone whose career included a stint in the animation business, it’s always fun to see the works of an artist whose own works reflect the cartoon world’s impact on his/her own creativity… Writing for the Chicago Tribune, reporter Audrey Gorden takes a look at the show and provides a lot of background into the relationship between two distinctive creative personalities and how they worked together (for nearly 3 years!) to achieve a milestone in contemporary album cover packaging – http://www.chicagotribune.com/redeye/culture/ct-redeye-murakami-exhibit-mca-chicago-20170605-story.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dropout Bear Sculpture (AKA “Kanye Bear, 2009”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation Cover Painting (2009)

h) Given the opportunity to showcase 25 of your favorite rock music-related images in a gallery setting, which ones would you choose? In a show called “The Music Seen: Beyond the Stage” now running in the St. Louis, MO area through July 14th, an admitted “photography addict” – Jeff Appel – has given visitors a lot of great imagery to absorb. According to Robert Bullivant, proprietor of the gallery where the 25 photos – most in B&W and sized at 11″ x 14″ – are currently on display, the show is “a unique opportunity to show some of the best-known musical artists in both their onstage as well as offstage moments, as captured in a documentative style by some very talented photographers – a combination of performance art and visual art, if you will, but also considering the human side, meaning sure, these were famous musicians, but they’re people, too.”

Here’s a show intro as provided in the local Ladue Newshttp://www.laduenews.com/arts-and-culture/features/new-bullivant-gallery-exhibit-showcases-years-of-musicians/article_d59eb885-4c20-5a43-bd1d-7828073d608b.html

i) Writing for the Kent Online site, Angela Cole gives us the details of a recent show at the Chappell Contemporary Art Gallery featuring the works of local and international art legend Sir Peter Blake, one of the noted designers whose work helped create some of the lasting images from 1967’s Summer of Love. In addition to the show, visitors to the area were given the opportunity to ride a Blake-decorated double-decker “art bus” – http://www.kentonline.co.uk/whats-on/news/dartford-born-sgt-pepper-album-cover-godfather-exhibits-in-whitstable-127036/

j) Another reminder to folks travelling through scenic Italy this summer – be sure to stop in at the Wall of Sound Gallery in Alba to look through the two exhibitions photographer/gallerist Guido Harari has up for your enjoyment – Stone Free, an exhibition of mid-1960s psychedelic posters, featuring the best-known practitioners of the form at the time, including Mouse & Kelley, Rick Griffin, Martin Sharp, John Van Hamersveld, Wes Wilson, Milton Glaser and many, many others. You’ll also see these artists’ works on album art for The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Cream, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa and more. Available for viewing through September 10th, Stone Free also includes a photo show with works by Ed Caraeff, Herb Greene, Art Kane, Jim Marshall and Bob Seidemann, with an illustrated catalog available to take home as well.

Also on display at the Fondazione Bottari Lattes in nearby Monforte d’Alba is Harari’s Wall of Sound 10 tenth anniversary exhibition that’s been built around fine art portraits – some in blue, on aluminum – of some of the many famed musical acts Guido has had the privilege to photograph over the years, including David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Bob Marley and dozens of others. This show will be available for viewing now through September 2nd before moving on to Spazio Don Chisciotte, in Turin, Italy from October 26th to December 24th.  More info on these shows is available at http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/exhibitions.php

k) Proud Gallery (UK) is soon launching a show of photos by Michael Joseph that were taken during the 1968 photo sessions for the Rolling Stones’ controversial Beggar’s Banquet. Most of us will remeber the outrage seen when the record was ultimately released in December of that year (after being initially rejected by the record company and banned in some areas) with a cover shot by Barry Feinstein (design by Tom Wilkes) that featured a graffiti-covered bathroom wall. According to this recent release on PhotographyBlog.com, these photos – used on the inside of the gatefold sleeve – were ”shot on location at the Gothic studio of Sarum Chase, Hampstead and the derelict ruins of Swarkestone in Derbyshire.” These atmospheric images, elaborately staged and including real animals and the band participating in a Medieval feast (were any animals harmed in the making of these shots?), completed the package, and you’ll find a number of photos from these sessions on display (and for sale) during this show, which runs through the end of July.

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/beggars_banquet_photographs_by_michael_joseph/

More info on the show is available on the gallery’s site – https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

l) The Fine Arts division of the UTA talent agency, launched in 2015, is participating in its first art fair by putting on a display of “rebel artists of the past 30 years”, lead by art by the late Nirvana songwriter/guitarist Kurt Cobain. Paintings by Cobain, including one used for the album cover for the band’s Insecticide collection, along with other works by Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon and others, will be shown during next month’s (Aug. 3rd thru 6th) Seattle Art Fair, with details on the upcoming show and, perhaps, a larger exhibition to come, covered in this recent article Eileen Kinsella on the ArtNet News site – https://news.artnet.com/market/kurt-cobain-artwork-to-get-star-treatment-at-seattle-art-fair-1009391?

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Over on The Undefeated site, Miss Rosen brings us an interesting interview with photographer Michael Lavine about his photo shoot in January, 1997, which resulted in the cover for Biggie Smalls/Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 record Life After Deathhttps://theundefeated.com/features/notorious-big-life-after-death-album-cover/

I always hesitate using the word “shot” when talking about a photo session and, in this case, it’s particularly germane as the subject of the photo was, in fact, shot to death a short time after the photo, which certainly seems prescient in hindsight, was taken at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. Lavine’s story about the entire project is an interesting-but-eerie read.

b) Century City News Pop Music and Film reporter Keith Chagall shares a recent interview with Henry Diltz re: the making of a number of different record covers, including those for Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Eagles, The Monkees, James Taylor and Mama Cass Elliott, who Diltz refers to fondly as the “Gertrude Stein of Laurel Canyon” – http://centurycityview.org/celluloid-picasso-of-laurel-canyon-p852-176.htm

c) While not specifically an article about an album artist, designer and partner in the well-respected Pentagram design agency Angus Hyland is featured in this recent video interview on the Design Week web site during which he shares the fact that his love of the work people did on the album covers he was exposed to during his childhood ultimately inspired his choice of careers – https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/15-21-may-2017/angus-hyland-record-sleeves-reason-ended-graphic-design/

The interview is presented as a part of the publication’s “Design Week at 30” series and was conducted by Aimée McLaughlin

d) While Sepultura’s guitarist Andreas Kisser was scouring the Web for inspiration for the band’s most-recent album release – a record titled Machine Massiah – he came across the work of Filipina visual artist Camille dela Rosa, whose paintings seemed to perfectly reflect the album’s concepts. Kisser then reached out through a representative of San Miguel Corporation (which sponsored the band’s show in Manila last year) and, as though it was Kismet, a deal was struck for the band to use dela Rosa’s painting (titled “Deux ex Machina” and inspired by her love and respect of the work of the late surrealist H.R. Giger) on the record’s cover. A former singer herself, Camille was known to local audiences after she had appeared on the long-running Ang TV youth-oriented variety series on ABS-CBN Filipino TV) before switching her career path to painting.

A recent article on the ABS-CBN site by Rick Olivares shares the exciting story of how this match made in Heaven all came about –

http://news.abs-cbn.com/life/05/16/17/ex-ang-tv-star-creates-album-cover-for-metal-band-sepultura

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) The most-recent Heritage Entertainment Auction (held in mid-June) included the original artwork presented by artist Alton Kelley as an alternate scheme for the 1970 Big Brother & The Holding Company Be A Brother LP, the band’s first record after singer Janis Joplin left for a solo career. The 14″ square item, made from a photo of the band placed on a board, with Kelley adding his signature design flourishes and lettering, was not sold during the auction and, if you hurry, you can still buy it for $500. https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/big-brother-and-the-holding-company-alternate-original-artwork-by-alton-kelley-for-be-a-brother-columbia-c-30222/a/7161-89422.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515

4) New Print/Book RELEASES –

Here are some quickie intros to several books hitting the market that should be of interest to album art fans –

a) The Austin, TX-based limited-edition art and music company Mondo has just released an interesting new package created in cooperation with the Z2 Comics company based on the score(composed by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys) to the “musical noir graphic novel” Murder Ballads which comes complete with music, graphic novel and art prints – now THAT’s how to sell something unique and desirable to your fans! The set includes music (on colored vinyl), a 160-page book and three exclusive prints by artist Tyler Boss. Packaged in a clamshell box decorated with artwork by Jon Langford of The Mekons (did EVERY great musician go to Art School?), it is available for viewing (and purchasing – $200) on the Mondo site via this link – https://mondotees.com/products/murder-ballads-deluxe-graphic-novel-10-ep-mondo-exclusive

b) Photographer and art show curator Raj Prem is releasing a new career retrospective photo book, with the details available in this PR release I discovered on a site called Military Technologies.net (??) – http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/05/20/raj-prem-announces-he-will-publish-new-book-documenting-career-in-music-photography/

c) Malaysian artist Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir, who goes by the name “Tapa”, has released a new book that contains 200 of his album cover projects in full color and showing again how works by world-renowned album artists such as Roger Dean and the team at Hipgnosis have influenced sleeve design all over the world. Titled 12 x 12, the book’s been published by Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Negara (ITBN). There had been a related exhibition in Kuala Lumpur which ended in early June, but you can read more about Tapa’s work via this article on the Star2.com site (an entertainment and lifestyle portal based in Malaysia) http://www.star2.com/culture/arts/2017/05/23/tapa-album-art-book/

d) While I don’t have a specific category for non-print/book releases, this will do – two new sets of sculptures being released by the talented artists at KnuckleBonz now allow fans to purchase statues of the members of KISS as they appeared in two of the best-known album cover images – KISS ALIVE! and Hotter Than Hell – Check out the product shots and details via the links – https://knucklebonz.com/product/kiss-alive-bundle/
KISS ALIVE! Rock Iconz Set

https://knucklebonz.com/product/kiss-hotter-than-hell-bundle/
KISS Hotter Than Hell Rock Iconz Set

Like all other products offered by the company, there are only 3000 of each statue made and are available as a set or individually. Each hand-painted statue is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity on the base.

Clear off your bookshelves – KISS is coming….

5) Other articles of interest –

a) In support of their ongoing celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the release of the seminal Beatles album, the web team at Goldmine Magazine has posted an interactive Sgt. Pepper’s cover collage image that give you the details of every character on that cover – http://www.goldminemag.com/sgtpepper50/

b) Writing for The Guardian, music reporter Christina Lee offers up an article titled From Midnight Marauders to cute and cuddly: how rap cover art softened up where she presents her arguments that many of today’s hip-hop stars, including Lil’ Yachty, Big Baby DRAM and Drake, are chosing to toss the gun-toting, bitch-slapping “hyper-masculine” imagery so commonly found on the genre’s record covers and, instead, present us with pix of their kids, their puppies and their friends of all colors and lifestyles (which the author calls “cute and cuddly”). While there certainly are those who still feel the need to present fans with the more-traditional album art elements, it can’t be denied that there are many fans that welcome these occasional variations on the theme – https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2017/may/26/rap-cover-art-softened-lil-yachty

c) Sales of tattoo maven-turned-lifestyle brand Kat Von D’s line of makeup are being promoted by videos that re-create several attitude-filled album covers to help sell makeup – http://www.nylon.com/articles/nylon-album-covers-kat-von-d-june-july-2017 (includes video)

d) Here’s an important and interesting read for those of you who are working in the album cover art field and would like to know a bit more about how to protect yourself/your work (AKA “intellectual property”). Just like song compositions, album art can also be registered with the U.S. Library of Congress (AKA “the Copyright Office). And, just like song compositions, creators can retain the rights and license the work for use on record packaging (and merch). Yes, even if you do it for your best friend’s record.

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/05/29/musicians-protect-music-intellectual-property/id=83619/

e) The design work done by the design team at FilthyMedia for British DJ Audio’s new record called Beastmode is featured in Sarah Dawood’s recent article on the Design Week site – https://www.designweek.co.uk/inspiration/beastmode-album-cover-filthymedia/

f) For the History Channel’s web site, reporter Christopher Klein writes about five people who were supposed to be on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s who were, for a variety of reasons, removed from the final product – http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/5-historical-figures-erased-from-the-sgt-pepper-cover

No surprise – Adolf Hitler. But why no Elvis or Ghandi or Jesus Christ or actor Leo Gorcey (HooTF is Leo Gorcey)? You’ll just have to read it to find out…

g) Speaking of cut-outs (sorry, clever play on words unavoidable) – Tony Curtis’ cut-out included in the famous collage by Sir Peter Blake and friends was put up for auction at the June 17th Heritage Entertainment gathering and had expected to bring around $60K. It went unsold, but you can read more about that item and its history in Tom Derbyshire’s recent article on the Antiques Trade Gazette – https://www.antiquestradegazette.com/news/2017/tony-curtis-cut-out-from-sgt-peppers-album-cover-up-at-auction/

h) As we’ve seen in the press recently, there are factions within our society that thrive on conspiracy theories (“Bigfoot surgically removed my congressman’s frontal lobes”), so it only makes sense that there have been a series of Album Cover Art-based conspiracies over the years (“Paul Is Dead” and “Breakfast In America predicted 9/11” are the ones I remembered quickly). But wait, there are more, shared by Rachel Sharer (?) on the Listverse site – https://listverse.com/2017/06/13/top-10-bizarre-conspiracy-theories-about-album-cover-art/

i) Grammy Award-winning rapper 2 Chainz recently took album cover “re-creationing” to a whole new level via his purchase of a house on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, GA, which he subsequently painted pink and tagged it with the word “TRAP”, creating a new neighborhood landmark that looks somewhat like the album cover art for his Pretty Girls Like Trap Music recording, released on Def Jam Records in June of this year.

Following up an earlier marketing stunt in which a local nail salon was redecorated in a similar fashion and where fans could get 2 Chainz song-themed nail treatments for free, this latest moved has been earning reactions in the press and from local businesses that range everywhere from kudos along the lines of “this was an act of marketing genius” to complaints from the neighbors about excessive traffic and loitering. Personally, I like anything that builds upon a record’s visuals and gives fans a chance to participate…read more about it in this article by Najja Parker on the Statesman.com site – http://www.statesman.com/news/national/chainz-creates-atlanta-latest-landmark/DsuAuVLVwlVuzgnYhqPC2O/

Over 500 people have posted photos of their visit to the TRAP house on the project’s Instagram site – https://www.instagram.com/thepinktraphouse/

j) Lastly but not leastly, here’s an article that I’m sure will make you toss your 4th of July cookies – we all know that there are celebrities that are famous merely due to their ability to market themselves, and not for any specific talents or displays of creativity, and nowhere is this more evident than in this sad display of Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s usurping other peoples’ album cover imagery and, after adding their own why do we see them so many times faces, putting the results on some t-shirts they’re trying to hawk. The Twitterverse has responded unkindly but, I’m certain we’ll see, that won’t stop adoring fans from snapping these products up (perhaps a copyright infringement suit will accomplish just that – go get ’em Tupac and Biggie!).

And this is “making America great again”, circa 2017. Sad.

http://ew.com/music/2017/06/29/kendall-kylie-jenner-music-t-shirts/

That’s all for now – be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another monthly summary for you.

All text and images included in this article are Copyright 2017 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of April 2017

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL, 2017

Happy May 1st to you all. While the weather here in the Chicago area has certainly swung towards Springtime (a day spent in the gardens at the nearby Baha’i Temple found the magnolias and spring flowers in full bloom), it hasn’t quite “stuck the landing”, but I’ve gone ahead and planted basil on my balcony and can vouch for the fact that there are trees with leaves on them as I look out my office window as I write this month’s summary and continue to work on my book.

Speaking of which – I’ve scripted my presentations for my upcoming crowd-funding project and, with any luck, will have something for you to look at quite soon. As I mentioned before, I’m mostly focused on deciding what to/not to include in this first collection (that’s been the toughest part, because I want to share everyone’s stories), but it looks like this will be a 400+ page book, so fans will most certainly find things in it relating to many of their favorite album cover creators. I also finished my inventory of the premiums (art prints, mostly) that will be used to incentivize you to support me at various funding levels, so I do hope you’ll take a look at my offering once it’s up and running. More to come, for sure.

Continue reading

Excerpts from Pierre et Gilles feature by Andrew Dineley for Classic Pop

Issue 28 – Classic Pop Magazine with Pierre et Gilles feature by Andrew Dineley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added by Mike Goldstein on March 31, 2017

In my ongoing effort to support album cover art fans wherever they may be, it’s been my recent pleasure to introduce you to the writing talents of Andrew Dineley, the Liverpool, UK-based proprietor of the SoftOctopus Design studio and regular contributor of album art-and-artist-related articles to the popular Classic Pop magazine and web site. As hard as I try to locate and promote the talents of people working in the album cover art space, I know that, due to my being located in middle-America, USA, I’m not always able to discover work done by people working for clients in other countries, so it was with great joy that I received Andrew’s friend request and link to a video he recently put together that showcases some of his latest contributions to the magazine – https://vimeo.com/205032038 and, if you’d like to see more of his own commercial work, check out his firm’s web site at http://www.softoctopus.co.uk/

Andrew was also kind enough to share some excerpts from a feature on the talented French design team of Pierre et Gilles he wrote and published recently in issue #28 of the U.K.’s Classic Pop magazine. Partners in work and in life for over 40 years, the duo has collaborated – and partied hard with – celebrities and those looking to the pair to create memorable images that might launch them into celebrityhood. Along the way, they’ve used their talents in painting (Gilles Blanchard) and photography (Pierre Commoy) to produce unique covers for records by artists including Erasure, The Creatures and Marilyn Manson as well as French acts such as Mathmatiques Moderne and Amanda Lear, so I hope that you enjoy this tidbit and will turn to the magazine soon for the full meal.

Continue reading

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of March, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2017

Greetings once again from Chicagoland. Winter is slowly turning into Spring and, I have to tell you, this past Winter wasn’t anything like the ones I remember as a kid growing up here 50+ years ago. In fact, it was almost like a Portland winter (rain, one big snow, lots of mild days) and it has confused the heck out of me (and the plants and trees and people who shovel snow for a living), but I’ll take it any day over -30 degree wind chills, snow up to here and icy sidewalks. Too bad that we had to ruin the planet to make for a nice winter in Chicago, but that’s another column for another publication…

Continue reading

Interview with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann about his newest book – Art Record Covers

Interview with Taschen’s Julius Wiedemann about his newest book –  Art Record Covers

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

March 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month, I reported on the latest effort by the prolific album cover art book editor and author Julius Wiedemann of the famed Taschen publishing house, who had recently announced the details of a new book just released in the U.K. (with buyers in the U.S. having to wait patiently until later in February to get theirs) titled Art Record Covers that, according to the press announcement, “showcases an alphabetized collection of artists’ record covers from the 1950s to today. Highlighting the relationship between image-making and music production, the anthology presents 500 covers and records by visual artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Ed Ruscha and many more.”

The new book was assembled by “contemporary art and visual culture historian, writer and artist” Francesco Spampinato who, in addition to be an art professor at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, has authored two other recent books on design, including 2015’s Can You Hear Me? Music Labels by Visual Artists, published in 2015 by Onomatopee (Eindhoven, NL).

While some of you may recall that I’ve been working on a book based on the interviews I’ve done over the years with many of the best-known album art creators (due out later this year, I’m hoping), I am the first to admit that, as I’m not a trained art historian, I have always lobbied for the inclusion of album cover art/artists in the bigger ongoing discussion about the relationship between music and the visual arts, so it is inspiring to read books written by educators that further that conversation. Based on what I’d read and seen on this new book, I knew that I’d need to work to get a more-detailed look at the book and its contents, and the always-interesting Mr. Wiedemann was kind enough to work with me on a special feature for the ACHOF that I’m presenting to you today.

Continue reading

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of February, 2017

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUary, 2017

by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from Chicagoland. It’s “awards season”, what with the Grammy Awards, BAFTAs, Writer’s Guild and Independent Spirit Awards and, to end the month with a bang,  the Oscars (followed, in a few months, by another flurry including the Billboard, Tony and BET Awards shows). I don’t know about you, but I’m growing a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of these shows and am somewhat confused as regards their relevance beyond the steady stream of production-related income enjoyed by the folks that stage them…Of course, people should be proud of what they do and want to praise the best examples of work within their respective fields of artistic endeavor, but I find it somewhat sad that some of the most-talented people – those working behinds the scenes, with their credits listed well-down from the top (you know, the part that’s sped through at an impossible-to-read pace during on-screen credit rolls) – are only mentioned in passing or, as we saw during the Oscar telecast, relegated to their own sparsely-attended and covered award ceremonies. Trust me, I understand why this is the case. I mean, who wouldn’t rather see a popular musician’s acceptance speech than hear from the recording engineer or the music video director (or the team that created the group’s logo and album cover), so that’s what sponsors and fans expect to see during an award show telecast. I guess that we fans of cover art can only take solace in the fact that you’ll probably see many more people wearing Dark Side of the Moon t-shirts than clothing emblazoned with a photo of Katy Perry thanking her fans, the label, her manager and her accountant for their support…

Continue reading

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of January, 2017

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF january, 2017

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from Chicagoland. The other night, I went to my first local Grammy chapter event – something dubbed a “member celebration” (due to the fact that there are scores of Grammy nominees living in the area) and held in a ballroom at a local landmark – the Chicago Athletic Club on Michigan Ave. Having moved here from Portland and having participated on occasion in local events sponsored there by the Pacific NW chapter (based in Seattle, about 3 hours away), it was great to see an event so well-attended and easy-to-get-to at the same time. The highlight for me that evening was a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir, a group of young people from all over the city who, when assembled and lead by a talented director, lifted spirits with an impressive set. It would also be inspiring to be able to work with both this and other local professional organizations to promote the talents of people that contribute great designs to the music industry, so wish me luck in my efforts.

Continue reading