Tag Archives: punk

Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of December 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 2016

So, we’re done with 2016 – let us all heave a sigh of relief. What a year.

While I typically have a lot to say in these intros, I find myself somewhat shell-shocked and, therefore, at a loss for words, so I suppose that, rather than ramble on meaninglessly, I should simply relate what’s new and exciting in the world of album cover artistry. Whenever I’m in a funk, I trek on over to my favorite art museum and find something to inspire. Several days ago, my wife and I set out on a trip to the fabled Chicago Art Institute and, on the way, stopped at the impressive Chicago Cultural Center (a must-see for classic Chicago architecture fans) and, much to my surprise, found an excellent show of the works of Harlem-based abstract expressionist painter Norman Lewis on display (PROCESSION: The Art of Norman Lewis is on display until January 8th – https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/norman_lewis.html). Music – particularly, jazz – influenced a number of Lewis’ works (his brother Sol was a musician), and although he never did an album cover (at least, not to my knowing), it was uplifting to see such creativity and imagination on display that drew inspiration from the local music scene. And while Lewis didn’t garner the art world fame that many of his other WPA-era contemporaries did (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, etc.), I am glad to have been able to discover his talents at this point in my life – it made me smile again.

This month’s summary, which comes on the heels of the release of my annual recap of the “Best of” and “Worst of” album cover design in the year 2016 (some of which also sparked some hope that great talents continue to ply their trades on behalf of musician/label clients), will impress you with the fact that  creative people continue to do what comes naturally and that other people with related businesses and interests (galleries, publishers, curators, etc.) continue to do what they do to share what they do with the rest of us. The people that make our favorite album imagery are still working hard to regularly contribute to the news cycle, adding items of interest and fascination to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information you’ll read on a wide range of related topics.

Please share this info with everyone you know who might be a fan of great album cover art and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

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

a) David Bowie by Duffy exhibition at the Proud Gallery in London starting January 6th (running thru February 5th) – David Bowie, who would have turned 70 this year had he not left this mortal coil a year ago, was an often-photographed subject, but only a few photographers have produced images of the ever-changing artist that would be considered “iconic” – one of them being the late Brian Duffy, perhaps best-known for his photos used on the covers of classic Bowie records including Aladdin Sane, Lodger, Scary Monsters and others. In a recent article on the Music Week site by writer Ben Homewood, you’ll learn of an upcoming exhibition being staged at the Proud Gallery in London titled Bowie By Duffy which will, according to the Gallery’s PR, be “a celebration of the dynamic relationship between two of the century’s greatest artistic innovators. This exhibition of original prints signed by the late Brian Duffy is a moving insight into the minds of two exceptional creatives in partnership between 1972 – 1980. Duffy’s iconic images emphasize the longevity of Bowie’s distinctive persona and offer a poignant retrospective to one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times…”

Homewood tells us that this show will coincide with another significant Bowie-related event – a concert that will be staged at the O2 Brixton Academy venue that’s called “Celebrating David Bowie” and will feature a large cast of Bowie band alumni including Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew and many others.

http://www.musicweek.com/talent/read/a-new-david-bowie-photography-exhibition-set-to-open-in-london-in-2017/066603

https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

b) As the city of Sunderland works to impress in order to earn the title of the “UK City of Culture” in 2021, what better way to get the attention of the city’s elders and other taste-makers than by staging a 40th anniversary celebration of all things Punk? Titled Punk 1976-78, this exhibition at the Sunderland Museum, Library & Winter Garden kicked off with a music filled opening party on December 2nd, after which visitors were able to tour the show which includes a number of important punk-era items from the archives of the British Library such as “Original posters, gig tickets and flyers from the clubs that would become synonymous with the scene are displayed alongside original record sleeves, many of which have never been on public display before. Highlights also include John Peel’s personal copy of the Undertones’ single, Teenage Kicks and original t-shirts from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s SEX boutique on the Kings Road…”

The show was curated by a number of notables from both the British Library and Liverpool John Moores University, so you can be sure that you’ll find a wide range of things to see covering the music, fashion, politics and pop culture aspects of this norm-altering era. Read more in the local papers at: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/our-region/sunderland/anarchy-in-sunderland-punk-exhibition-opens-at-city-museum-1-8272527 and click on over to the museum’s web site to learn more about attending – http://www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk/punk-1976-78

c) December 9th marked the launch of the most-recent staging – now, at the C/O Gallery in Berlin, Germany – of an album art exhibition that features 500+ of the most-impactful record covers produced over the past 50+ years. You’ll recall that, back in September, I’d reported on this comprehensive exhibition – titled Total Records: Photography and the Art of the Album Cover – that was most-recently on display in Budapest, Hungary and was built around the images included in an album art book (published by the French photo collective known as Aperture) that features the works of many esteemed record cover artists, including David Bailey, Anton Corbijn, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Jean-Paul Goude, Brian Griffin, Danny Lyon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Martin Parr, Irving Penn, Cindy Sherman, Pennie Smith, Andy Warhol, Albert Watson and many, many others.

According to the gallery’s press, “… Total Records presents both classic and lesser-known album covers, and traces the musical and photographic history of the twentieth century through the sometimes surprising album cover collaborations that have emerged between artists” (i.e. musicians and the people they’ve collaborated with on their album art projects). To introduce us to this new staging of this travelling exhibit, the team at Deutsche Welle (AKA “DW”, Germany’s international news network) has recently posted an article on the DW.com site that you can reach via the link at http://dw.com/en/how-art-made-album-covers-iconic/a-36703281

If you can’t attend the show in Germany during its run (now through April 23rd, 2017), it will be available to album art fans in the Rotterdam, Netherlands area when it moves to the Kunsthal Rotterdam for several months later next Spring.

More info on the Berlin show can also be found on the gallery’s site (in English) at http://www.co-berlin.org/en/total-records

d) Running now through the end of January at the 70 South Gallery in Morristown, NJ is a show featuring the photo work of one Roberto Rabanne, a man who over the years has had the pleasure of capturing stars from the music, entertainment and fashion worlds such as Lady Gaga, Prince, Springsteen and Hendrix for use in record and publishing projects and, as you’ll see when you visit the Gallery and its web site, many less-traditional venues. Part of a larger show called “Revolutionary Reflections”, Rabanne’s collection is being show under the title Photoplasticity: Fashioning The Image When Music Meets Fashion and includes images of all of the aforementioned celebrities and many others (Jerry Garcia, Madonna, Bob Marley and many more), along with those of top fashion models that were taken for top magazines such as Marie Claire, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vogue and Woman, among others.

Meet the photographer and get more info on this exciting new gallery show via the link – http://www.70southgallery.com/revolutionary-reflections/

e) December 11th was the final day that visitors were able to tour the “Coming On Home Exhibition 2016” show of recent works by noted album artist Roger Dean that was on display at the beautiful Trading Boundaries gallery complex located in Sussex, U.K.. What made this show so unique is that, in addition to examples of some of his best-known work for YES, Asia, Uriah Heep and others, you were able to see the paintings Dean created that were used on the cover of the recent release by former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett titled Premonitions – wonderful examples of classic Roger Dean fantastic imagery. For more information on this show and some of the upcoming musical events taking place at Trading Boundaries, follow the link – http://www.tradingboundaries.com/pages/roger-dean-gallery

f) Creative Review reporter Rick Poynor takes us on an illustrated tour through the You Say You Want A Revolution? Records And Rebels 1966-70 exhibition at the V&A Museum now through February 26th of 2017 – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/decade-disruption-vas-say-want-revolution-records-rebels-1966-70/

The curators have identified seven different revolutions that were taking place during the five years covered in the exhibition – revolutions in Youth Identity, in “the Head” (i.e., drug culture), in “the Street” (political/social protest), in Consumerism, in Living (as part of a community, or in participating in one of the many music festivals held during that period), in Communicating (spreading “the word” pre-personal computer/social media) and the on-going efforts in the areas of environmentalism, neo-liberalism, etc. – and so they used these as the basis of their groupings. Far out, man!

https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/you-say-you-want-a-revolution-records-and-rebels-1966-70

g) Alongside the recent release of their new blues-based record Blue & Lonesome, the Rolling Stones have brought a large selection of items featured in their tremendously-successful Exhibitionism show in London to a new venue in New York city and opened this display recently to fans at the Industria event space in the West Village, available for viewing from now until March 12th. Billed as the largest show of Stones memorabilia (costumes, instruments, artwork, etc. – along with a detailed re-creation of an apartment several of the band members lived together in early on in their careers) ever assembled, USA Today’s Patrick Ryan recently toured the space and shares his take on the impressive, career-spanning show in this article (complete with large photo gallery) posted on the paper’s site – http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2016/11/11/rolling-stones-exhibitionism/93586032/

Ryan was particularly impressed with some of the album art on display, which included original production elements and finished prints of the images found on records such as Sticky Fingers, Some Girls, Love You Live, Undercover, the GRRR greatest-hits recording and others, along with various iterations of the iconic Lips & Tongue logo. You can learn more about what’s on display on the show’s site – http://www.stonesexhibitionism.com/exhibition/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) British photographer Pennie Smith’s photo of Clash bassist Paul Simonon has become one of rock music’s best-known images, with the shot combined with designer Ray Lowry’s typography (that aimed to re-create the energy found on Elvis Presley’s debut recording) to produce an album cover that is always in everyone’s “Top 10” of all time listings. And although Smith was an experienced photographer working for a top music publication (NME), she wasn’t totally prepared for Simonon’s guitar-smashing expression of his unhappiness at the moment and, therefore, found herself snapping a photo that turned out to be a bit out-of-focus and, in her mind at the time, not quite fit for public consumption.

In this recent interview on the topic posted on the TeamRock.com site, you can read more about Smith’s recollections of the event, including an act of self-preservation that ended up creating a cover photo for the ages – http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-12-04/the-story-behind-the-clashs-london-calling-album-artwork

b) I’m told that there was a nice interview with noted photographer Jill Furmanovsky – who also runs the RockArchive Gallery and agency – in a recent posting on the Financial Times site, but as I’m not a subscriber, I can’t tell you much about it! If you are lucky enough to be a FT subscriber, here’s the link – https://www.ft.com/content/69583b9c-b109-11e6-a37c-f4a01f1b0fa1 – please let us know what you found, OK?

c) – It is my sad duty to inform you that another well-known album cover contributor – photographer Richard E. Aaron – has died at the age of 67. He is perhaps best-known to album cover fans for the photo he took that was used on the cover of one of the best-selling live albums of all time – Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive – his prodigious output has been seen in thousands of magazines, books and web sites over the years.

I had the pleasure of meeting with him several times and sold a number of his fine art prints when I had my gallery – he was always eager to find something special in his huge archive that’d make my customers happy.

There’s a detailed obituary that will give you more of the details of his storied career on the Billboard web site – http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/obituary/7624386/richard-e-aaron-photographer-frampton-comes-alive-dead

and if you’d like to read the interview I did with him a number of years ago about “the making of” the Frampton Comes Alive photo, I’d invite you to visit my archive at http://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/04/cover_story_fra.html

Those who’d like to take a stroll through Richard’s online archives can do so via this link – http://www.rockpix.com/  There, you’ll find hundreds of memorable photos, including one of my favorites of Bruce Springsteen (http://www.rockpix.com/infamous-fifty-plus-classic-rock-photos/bruce-springsteen.html) and an awesome shot of the recently-departed piano great Dave Brubeck (http://www.rockpix.com/infamous-fifty-plus-classic-rock-photos/dave-brubeck.html).

He will be missed.

d) Back in 2003, aspiring photographer Nabil Elderkin was looking to find out more about a rapper whose mixtape he’d heard and was thoroughly impressed by. He Googled “Kanye West” only to find that the domain was available for sale. He snapped it up, hoping to be able to track Mr. West down at some point, and when West’s label came knocking to negotiate for the rights to the domain, what transpired next was the foot-in-the-door moment for a photographer whose career has gone on to include album cover, publicity and other photo work for West and many others, including Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Bon Iver and many more top acts. After expanding his horizons into directing music videos and TV commercials, Elderkin is now looking to break into the feature film business, with details on these efforts, as well as stories of his early and ongoing successes, now found in a recent profile written by Rob LeDonne for The Guardian (U.K.) web site – https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/nov/09/nabil-elderkin-collaborator-kanye-west-weeknd-bon-iver

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) I was originally going to pass on reporting about something, even though I was aware of a special sale of important rock-era artworks had been announced to collectors (yes, I’m one of “those people” too) because the gallery that had sent the email – the San Francisco Art Exchange – had stated that we weren’t supposed to share the info on the sale except directly with friends/acquaintances with the means to be able to purchase one of the works (i.e., no press, no social media, etc.). As a reporter, it is hard having news quarantined, but I always respect these requests as I was once both a marketer and a gallery owner and fully understand the need sometimes to manage the flow of information so that only “legit” buyers are in contact regarding the sale of valuable works of art.

Imagine my surprise then the next day when I saw this article on the ArtDaily.com web site – http://artdaily.com/news/92632/Original-paintings-from-Pink-Floyd-s-The-Wall-on-view-at-San-Francisco-Art-Exchange in which some of the details about this sale were in fact made public. And while I won’t tell you exactly what’s going on in deference to the original request, I will simply say that, if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd and want to add something unique to your music-related art collection, you should read this article and then get hold of one of the nice people at SFAE to learn more.

b) While I didn’t find a lot to report about re: album art-related items to be featured in Bonham’s December 15th Entertainment Memorabilia auction in London, one item that did catch my eye was a set of 10 ceramic tiles that spell out the words “Abbey Road” – a set quite similar to the ones used to illustrate the back cover of The Beatles 1969 recording of the same name. While it can’t be verified that these were in fact the tiles that Iain MacMillan photographed for use on the cover, they were taken from a now-demolished wall nearby, so you can always present them to your friends with a shrug and a “well, they COULD be…” statement, right? Pre-auction estimates for this item were in the $10 – 13K range, with more info available at http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23527/lot/83/

 Auction update – A set of 10 ceramic tiles that spell out the words “Abbey Road” – a set quite similar to the ones used to illustrate the back cover of The Beatles 1969 recording of the same name – that was featured in this week’s Entertainment Memorabilia auction at Bonham’s London facility did not find a buyer. ? Pre-auction estimates for this item were in the $10 – 13K range, and while this unique item did not find a new home, the auction did succeed in selling some other great items, including

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23527/lot/83/

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) It’s been recently reported that music journalist/fine art photographer and rock photo collector Raj Prem is in discussions to have a new, career-spanning book published next year. Over the years, Prem has worked with a number of leading galleries, including San Francisco Art Exchange, the Atlas and Snap galleries in London and several others, to curate rock photo shows that feature the works of many of the industry’s best-known shooters and, along the way, he’s put together a personal collection that would make any die-hard music/art fan quite envious. With a fan’s obsession for gathering mementos from important milestones along rock music’s 60+ year timeline, when you see a Prem-curated display, you’ll find many of the most-iconic images alongside examples of timeless memorabilia, so it will be interesting to see what will be included in this upcoming tome. You can read more about Prem and his career in this recently-published posting on the SAT Press Releases site – http://satprnews.com/2016/12/12/raj-prem-reveals-plans-to-publish-new-book-on-his-career-in-music-photography/ and stay tuned here for more information about the book’s availability as it becomes public.

b) Well-known to anyone who follows the Bay Area music scene, photographer Bob Minkin has been a staple on the scene for many years, contributing his photos of all of the key players in the area to magazines, newspapers, web sites and, of course, record company clients. As you might figure, Bob has amassed a large archive of photos of acts over the past 40 years, including shots of the Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Moonalice, Dark Star Orchestra and many, many others, some of which were included in Bob’s 2014 book titled Live Dead: The Grateful Dead Photographed By Bob Minkin. That book proved to be so popular that it inspired Bob to revisit his archive once again, this time to focus on images of the performances that have taken place at venues in Marin County, Minkin’s home turf. The results of this deep archive dive will soon be shared in a new book that Bob is hoping to produce and ship in 2017.

According to Mr. Minkin (per his new Kickstarter project page), “THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED — a one-of-a-kind 200+ page coffee table book of photography — will feature hundreds of never-before-seen images from my archives, including live performance shots, intimate backstage, off-stage and at home photographs of our favorite players, including Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and close to 100 musicians/bands will be featured!” Supporters can opt for the book in one of two formats (“Standard” or a limited-edition “Collector’s” edition) and choose to upgrade their purchase to include one of the hundreds of photos that will be included in the book (quite the deal!). Find out more via the link – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/915441459/the-music-never-stopped-epic-live-music-photos-by

Update – Just an update to the article above regarding photographer Bob Minkin’s Kickstarter project in support of a new photo book (to be titled “The Music Never Stopped” and featuring hundreds of great shots of the creme-de-la-creme of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene) – Mr. Minkin has sent out a new email in which he tells us that he’s adjusted the amount he’s hoping to raise upward to the $25-30K range, and is offering to sweeten the pot by giving supporters an opportunity to get something special. Here’s how Bob put it in today’s email – ” I need to keep this campaign growing as the book will cost $25,000-$30,000 to produce… Therefore, if I reach $25,000 in funding, everyone who has contributed $50 and above will be entered into a drawing to win a 11 x 14 signed photograph of a Grateful Dead photo I’ve taken.”

Today’s the last day to pledge your support for this project (which has raised a bit over $25K, so I think that supporters will be in for that drawing), so I hope that you’ll take a look and support one of the music business’ nicest (and most talented) guys by clicking on over https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/915441459/the-music-never-stopped-epic-live-music-photos-by

c) You might recall my reporting about photographer Elliott Landy’s own book project last year built around his collection of photos of The Band (The Band Photographs, 1968-1969), a publication that included an impressive selection of shots Landy took of his chums at work, at leisure and in the middle of some beautiful country scenery. As Landy selected the 300 photos that would be included from the over 12,000 he had in his archive of that band at the time, he produced proof pages of pairs of these shots – truly-important by-products of the time-consuming process of assembling such a book. People who saw these proofs commented that Elliott should preserve them as historical documents, but as he’s such a giving person, he’s decided (after keeping one set for himself) to share these nearly one-of-a-kind images (produced with the same care and inks as his fine art photo prints) with fans, putting them up for sale, while they last.

Priced at $575 (a real bargain for a Landy print!), there are about 450 of these double-image prints available directly from Mr. Landy on his site – http://elliottlandy.com/nearly-one-of-a-kind-proof-prints-from-the-band-photographs-book/

I can’t think of a better gift for fans of The Band, can you?

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Album cover artists, like most other talented people, are often solicited to “do something special” for the Holidays, and such is the case with graphic artist Don Pendleton, well-known for his Grammy-winning work on Pearl Jam’s 2013 record Lightning Bolt, who donated his time and creative energies to create a poster for a recent concert benefitting the local (Bloomington, IL) Toys for Tots efforts. When a major sponsor from the previous year’s event pulled out, local promoters, musicians and others banded together to make sure that the show took place and worked to replace the $15,000 deficit, guaranteeing that the neediest kids still will be getting something memorable this Holiday season.

Read more about it on the Pantagraph news site (you’ll need to click thru some impediments to get there – sorry) – http://www.pantagraph.com/blogs/craft-from-pearl-jam-to-toys-for-tots/article_73487330-0ec9-5265-b8ef-7071fb144434.html

b) Designer/record label co-owner Peter Saville’s contributions to the world of album art imagery are many, with his Factory Records label releasing albums by bands such as Pulp, OMD, Roxy Music and New Order/Joy Division (among many others) encased in packages that set a new standard in post-modern design (how many of us still proudly wear our Unknown Pleasures t-shirts as a sign of new wave appreciation?). The label’s Manchester club, called the Hacienda and built inside a vacated yacht showroom, was a venue that allowed Saville to apply his design expertise in a grander scale (working alongside designer Ben Kelly), with the club’s floor done up in the warning stripe motif used often on the label’s recordings as well.

Since then, Saville has worked on a number of projects around the Manchester area, including designing ones for the Welcome area and entrance doors of the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry, a design that is now being used as the basis of a new series of glassware now being sold by the Museum. You’ll find three examples of Saville’s new glassware for sale in the museum’s gift shop, including this nice jar – https://www.sciencemuseumshop.co.uk/museum_gifts/peter-saville/msi_peter_saville_gas_jar.htm

Wallpaper Magazine’s site has posted an article on the topic, including insights from Peter, by Kasia Maciejowski that you can read via this link – http://www.wallpaper.com/design/peter-saville

The museum has also put together a nice overview of the role Factory Records played in the development of both Manchester’s music scene and its emergence as a hotbed of style and design – http://msimanchester.org.uk/en/collection/stories/factory-records

c) Finally, as we are at the tail end of the Holiday season and the giving and receiving gifts of a questionable nature is part of the yearly ordeal, I just had to share this article posted recently on the Society of Rock web site in which you’ll be shown a collection of Christmas sweaters that have been decorated with album cover/logo-based artwork.

Whether this is good or not is in the eye of the giver/recipient, but you’ll most-certainly be the center of attention at any post-Holiday party if you walk in wearing one of these colorful creations – http://societyofrock.com/7-ugly-rock-christmas-sweaters-guaranteed-to-make-you-an-office-party-hit-this-season/

Links are provided in the article to the vendors offering these items, so if you’re wondering what to do with one of those Visa or AMEX gift cards you received from someone, now’s your chance to add one of these to your rock & roll clothing collection.

d) Video game fans have always enjoyed these things called “Easter eggs”, which are special, hidden items – images, sounds, videos, animations, extra powers, etc. – that developers have chosen to include in their products that avid game players are always on the hunt for (there are special newsletters and blogs devoted to the topic, too). Those of us who have been paying close attention to music-related artwork over the years know that, from time to time, album cover artists have hidden objects on their miniature canvases that, over time, have become just as memorable as the images themselves. Famed illustrator Al Hirschfeld included several instances of his daughter Nina’s name in his cover art for Aerosmith’s Draw The Line album (in fact, there are always Ninas hidden somewhere in a Hirschfeld illustration), but as you’ll discover in this recent article on the Radio X web site, there have been a number of well-known records released that include hidden imagery and messaging, including albums from Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beastie Boys and others.

http://www.radiox.co.uk/features/revealed-secret-hidden-messages-album-cover/

One of this year’s Grammy-nominated records – David Bowie’s final record Black Star, featuring artwork done by Jonathan Barnbrook, includes several hidden treasures, so the trend continues to this day.

e) Another Grammy-nominated recording package – that being for Trey Anastasio’s Paper Wheels Deluxe Limited Edition release, featuring art by Varnish Studio’s Matt Taylor – also showcases artwork that includes secretly-coded text strings that were built with a cipher created in the 1850s for use by British intelligence services at the time (and through the end of World War II). As you might figure, today’s young technologists quickly figured things out, with the results shared with inquiring minds in this article by Andy Kahn that I found which was published last year on the Jambase site – http://www.jambase.com/article/cracking-the-code-trey-anastasio-band-paper-wheels-artwork

It is work like this that makes me feel secure that, regardless of how some might be working to limit free speech, there will always be technologists and artists working together to deliver important messages…

f) com writer Fidel Martinez presents us with a summary of seven hip-hop/rap album covers that, compared with the rest of the imagery used to promote recorded music in these genres, are “tougher than the rest”. While some acts have decided to use their covers to establish their “street cred”, others have worked to put the conditions of their neighbors and neighborhoods on display for the rest of us to take in and appreciate how these conditions have shaped their music.

The article includes examples of powerfully-rendered images that have been used in the packaging of recordings by Tupac, N.W.A., DMX, Geto Boys and others. Some are hard to look at, but all are impactful in their own ways.

http://uproxx.com/realtalk/hip-hop-album-covers-tougher-than-the-rest/4/

g) Life as a music industry photographer is a life of luxury and never-ending partying with the coolest people on the planet, right? As much as we’d like to think so, a recent article by Mark Butler on the com site that features anecdotes from two U.K.-based photographers – Euan Robertson and Anthony Longstaff – gives readers a lesson in the realities of earning a living in this fashion. Yes, you do get to be in the presence of music industry royalty (at least for a few songs), but you also have to deal with over-zealous security personnel, rowdy fans and clients often more-interested in “fast and cheap” than “reliable and high-quality”. You’d also be correct in assuming that their subjects aren’t always accommodating with their time and attention…another music-industry fantasy, nicely deflated, can be found via the link at https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/music/life-as-a-music-photographer/

h) Artist Derek Riggs – best-known in the album art world for creating Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” mascot (first seen on their self-titled 1980 recording) – shares the story about “the making of” one of the better-known Eddie-based album covers, that being his artwork for 1982’s The Number of the Beast in which our hero is pictured accompanying The Devil as he makes a fiery swing through the neighborhood…the prolific staffers at com share this story in an article found recently on their site – http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-09-16/the-story-behind-iron-maiden-s-the-number-of-the-beast-album-artwork

i) Album art has long been used by musical acts to promote their feelings regarding the issues of the day (think System of a Down’s Toxicity or Ice Cube’s Death Certificate), but for a Boomer like me, my heart just leapt when I saw one Chicago-based design group’s proposal to use a quartet of strategically-placed golden flying pigs (ala Pink Floyd’s Animals) to block street views of the huge logo found on the river-side of the Trump Tower Chicago building located in the Windy City. Symbolism runs two ways in this story, as Trump Tower was built on a parcel created after tearing down the original building that used to house one of Chicago’s premier newspapers, the Sun Times. Make of it what you will – more info and photos can be found in Matthew Messner’s recent article on The Architect’s Newspaper site – https://archpaper.com/2016/12/trump-chicago-gold-pigs/

If you’d like to watch a short time-lapse video of the demolition of the Sun Times headquarters and the phoenix-like rising of the new Trump building that was created by a local photographer, hop on over to YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnEGFHRW3js

j) ACHOF News Flash – The nominees for awards in the Packaging Category in the upcoming 59th Annual Grammy Awards have been announced, with the lists for each category including both some familiar names and others getting recognition by the Recording Academy for the first time.

In the “Best Recording Package” category, art directors for records put out by acts including Bon Iver, David Bowie, Parquet Courts, Reckless Kelly, and Rihanna will duke it out for top honors, while in the “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition” category include works done for a broad range of talent – from the late singer Edith Piaf to Paul McCartney, Trey Anastasio to the 1975 and J. Views, who crowd-sourced most everything for his nominated project.

You can get the details on the Grammy Awards site via the link at http://www.grammy.com/nominees?genre=22

with the winners being announced the weekend leading up to the Sunday, February 12, 2017 live telecast.

Of course, you’ll learn more about the nominees and eventual winners here, so stay tuned for further updates.

Congratulations go out to all of the talented people who’ve been nominated – great work, folks!

k) The 2016 ARIA Awards (Australia’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards) in the “Artisan Categories” – including “Best Cover Art” – were announced in late November, and while it seems to have taken a while for the info to arrive here in the U.S. (must have been sent by steamship), I would be remiss if I didn’t publicize the names of the nominees and the winner in the category – Best Cover Art: Karen Lynch for Bernard Fanning – Civil Dusk (Dew Process/Universal); Kristen Doyle for Delta Goodrem – Wings of the Wild (Sony Music Australia); Jonathan Zawada for Flume – Skin (Future Classic); Jack Vanzet for RÜFÜS – Bloom (Sweat It Out / Sony Music Australia) and Lost Art for The Avalanches – Wildflower (Modular / EMI)

And the winner was…Jonathan Zawada for his design for Flume’s record Skin.

http://www.ariaawards.com.au/nominees/2016/Artisan-Awards/Best-Cover-Art

and you can find out more about the winning art director/artist on his web site at http://www.zawada.com.au/

l) At the end of every year, the writers working for art/music/design publications of every size put themselves in a position that I will most-certainly never put himself in – i.e., having to name the “best” and “worst” album cover designs of the previous 12 months and then, somehow, justifying those choices to my readers. This year, it’s become quite clear that expressing opinions on what’s “best” or “worst” in any pursuit can prove to be a dangerous enterprise, with some of those decisions accepted with great gusto while others mercilessly berating the choices that they might disagree with. Now that it is that time of year again, I have completed this basic research and am simply ready to offer you his summary of what these (some of them) esteemed music and art critics have presented as their “best of” and “worst of” selections regarding the album covers and packaging that helps deliver – both online and in physical form – music from your favorite artists.

As I have noted in my previous summaries, “each year, music and art critics work to provide readers and viewers with their ‘Top 10/20/50′ lists in a variety of categories (by musical genre, by who most-effected pop culture, by who “raised the bar”, by who revealed the most of their inner souls or their outer skin, etc.). Many of these same publications and sites also attempt to arrive at – by their design standards and/or knowledge of the relationships between musicians, their record labels/distributors and the people they hire to create a new graphical representation of their latest music releases – which records came with the best (or worst) associated album covers.” The past several years, I found smaller and smaller numbers (but no-less-passionate) of publications and sites who were eager to proffer their opinions on the “state of the art” in album cover design, so while there was less data to take into account (particularly in the “Worst” category), it is no less interesting to read what critics have to say on the subject.

Today’s summary – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/album-cover-hall-of-fame-year-end-summary-of-best-and-worst-album-cover-art-lists-2016/

is presented simply, with links to the sites that have presented their own takes on “what’s good/bad” in album cover design these days. As for myself, I was impressed with several examples of close collaborations between the designers and musical acts that invested in projects that pushed the boundaries of how “album art” is defined. Taking into account the prevalence of both digital deliver platforms and hybrid physical/digital products at retail (i.e., those that have add-ons that are experienced via a computer/smartphone), I can say with a high degree of certainty that next year’s lists will continue to put highly-imaginative works on display for us all to take in, appreciate and discuss at great length. As always, please be sure to share your takes on which of these lists perhaps best-or-least-represented your feelings on the topic by leaving a comment for us – thanks, and here’s wishing all of you the “Best Of” Peace, Level-headedness and Prosperity during the New Year 2017!

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016/2017 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 November, 2016

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, 2016

 

By Mike Goldstein, Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

It’s early December, 2016, and WOW! has a lot happened since we last communicated. Of course, the results of the U.S. elections early in the month have either demoralized or energized half the population here, with only the news of the Chicago Cubs breaking their 108-year World Series drought bringing everyone together in peace and harmony, if only for a short while…With all of the uncertainty remaining as to what’s in store for us here, you’d think that there’d have been a brief slow-down in the output of news relating to the art and music scenes but, no, creative people continue to do what comes naturally and, therefore, other people with related businesses and interests (galleries, publishers, collectors, etc.) continue to do what they do to share what they do with the rest of us. As you’ll find in this most-recent summary of news from the world of album cover artists and the wonderful products they’re creating for us fans and collectors of the genre, I believe that we’ll all find enough inspiration to see us through whatever comes our way.

This month’s summary, which includes the results of both our own activities here at the ACHOF and those of other experts in the world of music-related design, art and photography, will still provide you with sufficient proof that the people that make our favorite album imagery are working hard to contribute quite regularly to the news cycle, adding items of interest and fascination to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information and the like on a wide range of related topics. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions or comments:

Special Note – In case you missed the mid-November announcement of the people who were inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, you can click on over to the special intro page on the ACHOF site where you’ll find the details. This year’s list of inductees in each of the six major categories will impress you with their range of talents and depth and breadth of their respective portfolios, so why not take a moment to review the details at https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2016-inductee-intro-page/

Very exciting to see names such as Roberta Bayley, Brian Griffin, Dave McKean, Stan Evenson, Paul Whitehead, Laura Lipuma-Nash, Jeri & John Heiden, Vaughan Oliver and Roland Young included in this year’s list, but each inductee’s impressive list of accomplishments has served to entertain and impress us all, so let’s give them all a hand and kudos for jobs well done.

Please share this info with everyone you know who might be a fan of great album cover art and, of course, your comments and feedback are quite welcome.

Once again, congratulations to all of this year’s inductees, and thanks for the contributions you’ve made to the careers of many of the music industry’s best-known and admired musical acts (and their fans, too).

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

a) Not exactly sure if this counts as an “exhibition” in the normal sense of the word…no, I have to say that it is not “normal”, but it will certainly be an exhibition, and a very punk one at that. On Saturday, November 26th, Joseph Corre, the son of two punk-era icons – designer Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, the creator/manager of the Sex Pistols and himself the man behind the Agent Provocateur lingerie line – celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of the Pistol’s record “Anarchy In The U.K.” by setting fire to a collection of punk-era memorabilia worth an estimated £5 million ($6.2 million) somewhere in Camden, U.K. and invites other like-minded individuals to add their trinkets to the bonfire.

Corre believes that this was the best way to draw attention to the degree that Britain has commercialized what was supposed to be the most anti-commercial movement, particularly as the country has spent all of 2016 staging some very commercial (and government-sponsored) celebrations of “the birth of punk’s” 40th anniversary. Whether you agree or disagree with the degree and style being put on display by this protest, you must admit that it serves as a wake-up call to those of us overtaken by complacency lately. As you’ll read in Hili Perlson’s article on the Artnet.com site – https://news.artnet.com/people/punk-memorabilia-to-burn-450458?

Joseph believes that “the most dangerous thing is that they have stopped fighting for what they believe in. They have given up the chase. We need to explode all the shit once more.”

UPDATE – To bring new meaning to the Holiday tradition of roasting things on open fires, punk scion/fashion industry heavyweight Joe Corre kept true to his word and, this past Saturday, set ablaze a valuable collection of punk memorabilia to protest the over-commercialization of all things and punk things in particular (“Come celebrate Punk’s 40th Anniversary”, the headlines read). In this just-posted BBC video of the event (held, quite appropriately, on a barge in the Thames River, ala a stunt staged by the Sex Pistols 40 years ago), you’ll watch as Corre briefly introduces the stunt and then uses a flaming torch to set ablaze items including clothing, posters, etc.. “Punk was never meant to be nostalgic”, he stated. No punks were harmed in the making of this video.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38120496

b) The Albany Institute of History & Art recently launched an exhibition featuring the work of rock photographer Patrick Harbron that will be of great interest to fans of classic rock imagery. The show, titled “Rock & Roll Icons: Photographs by Patrick Harbron” (and runs through February12, 2017) is built around the portfolio of the photo-journalist and portrait artist who has contributed his talents to album packages for acts including Black Sabbath, George Carlin, Bruce Cockburn, The Nylons, Rush, Triumph and everyone’s favorite Canadian talk show hosts, Bob & Doug McKenzie (The Great White North– “Take Off, You Hosers!”). In addition to a fine selection of photos, the show adds other items from Harbron’s personal memorabilia collection, including posters, magazines and tour souvenirs.

Read more about the show and the talent behind it via Michael Hallisey’s recent article on the topic on the web site of local (Albany, NY-area) news service “The Spotlight” – http://www.spotlightnews.com/thespot/2016/11/10/harbron-photos-of-rock-icons-at-the-albany-institute-of-history-art/ and then on the Gallery’s own site – http://www.albanyinstitute.org/rock-and-roll-icons.html

c) In November, the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor (Long Island), NY gave its customers a chance to see photographer Eric Meola’s display of a collection of previously-unseen photos taken during the June, 1975 shoot for one of Bruce Springsteen’s best-known album cover images – that for his mega-hit record Born To Run. Meola, who went on to become one of the world’s busiest shooters, has spent his time more-recently travelling around the country to photograph tornados (I guess that standing next to the late Clarence Clemons while he played his sax wasn’t loud enough for him!) and other scenes off the beaten path, but it was his photos of the emerging superstar taken to help package his then Magnum Opus that established the Long Island, NY resident as one of rock’s go-to photographers.

The Gallery in Sag Harbor was not too far from the place where Eric and his family have called their home for many years. An intro article about the show and the man whose photos are featured in this exhibition can be found on the Dan’s Papers site – http://www.danspapers.com/2016/11/eric-meolas-born-to-run-shares-unseen-bruce-springsteen-photographs/

More info about the show and the gallery can be found on their site at http://www.tullaboothgallery.com/index.shtml

d) Blondie founder/photographer Chris Stein’s photo show at the Gallerie Agnes MonPlaisir in Paris (“Me, Blondie and the Advent of Punk”) closed after the weekend of November 13th, but if you’re in the area and are a fan of Stein’s band, his band mates (inc. singer Debbie Harry) and his amazing photos of other mega-stars of the era – Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Andy Warhol and others, shot in classic venues including CBGBs and Warhol’s Factory in NYC or the Beverly Hills Hotel out West, be sure take a look a pix from the event on the gallery’s site – http://www.agnesmonplaisir.com/en/9-cs.html

e) In support of a new show now on display at the Society of Illustrators’ Gallery in NYC called “Drawn To The Music” – in which a slate of illustrators have created unique works of art based on lines from their favorite songs – the gallery held an Opening Reception during which visitors had the chance to see these wonderful examples of the way “music influences art influences music”. Illustrators have always played an important part in the world of music product packaging and promotion – from mega-works such as Klaus Voorman’s cover for Revolverfor The Beatles, Lee Conklin’s trick-of-the-eye “Lion” pen drawing found on Santana’s debut record and Al Hirschfeld’s one-of-a-kind portraits found on Aerosmith’s Draw The Lineto the lettering and background images found on countless other albums – so it’s fascinating to see how today’s illustrators use their talents to visualize  famous song lyrics…Society of Illustrators “Drawn To The Music” show – https://www.societyillustrators.org/exhibits/drawn-music

f) Ron English “Popaganda” pop-up art show at The Wood Shoppe ” (a “‘bodega’ of cannabis-themed pop art and images”) was on display in NYC through November 8th – see interview in Section 2, below, to read more about this influential and prolific artist…

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Rarely do you get a chance to see an album cover as it is being made and, in this amazing example of having a video camera on hand in the right place at the right time, fans of the band Radiohead can actually watch long-time band album artist Stanley Donwood paint the cover while the band is recording the record in the studio next door! Clicking on over to Gil Kaufman’s recent article on the comsite, you’ll be able to launch a video, taken late last year, where you can act as a “fly on the wall” in Donwood’s studio (in France) as he works while you hear singer Thom Yorke recording vocals to a track on their most-recent record – A Moon Shaped Pool– in the background.

I often ask album artists if they’re given the chance to hear the music before they begin work on a project (usually “yes”, often “no”) but here, in this case, inspiration comes right through the walls!

http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7580291/radiohead-artist-stanley-donwood-a-moon-shaped-pool-video

b) 36 years ago (1980), U2 released their first record, simply titled Boy. In Europe, the record featured the photo of a very young, shirtless boy on the cover and, although the boy in question turned out to be the young son of one of Bono’s friends, record distributors in more-puritanical countries (yes, that means the U.S.) were “unhappy” with the image and demanded an alternative, which was put together by photographer/designer Sandy Porter and used up until 2008, when re-issues were able to use the original photo.

In this recent article by U2Songs.com contributors Aaron J. Sams and Don Morgan, you’ll read an interview they did with Porter about that project and how he created the new image as one of the first projects he worked on after his 1979 graduation from London’s Royal College of Art (rather an auspicious start to a career, wouldn’t you say?). Working with little time, no budget and not much in terms of source materials (sounds familiar, doesn’t it, fellow producers?), Porter and Island Records designer Bruno Tiley collaborated on what would turn out to be an important early image for a band set on super-stardom. What you’ll like about this article is that Porter dug into his archives to provide several fascinating images of works-in-progress and some of the alternative designs that were proposed prior to the final one being selected – fascinating, I think you’ll agree – http://www.u2songs.com/news/coverboy

c) New to the Modern Vinyl site and podcast is a feature built around album cover artist interviews conducted by artist Michael Paul Escanuelas titled “Missing Artwork”. The first interview posted is with artist Dewey Saunders about the very psychedelic cover image he created for Oxnard, CA-based recording artist Anderson.Paak’s 2016 release titled Malibu. Saunders has created several other trippy collages for other Paak records and has produced nice work for clients such as Traffic Skateboards and the Red Bull Music Academy, so this interview provides fans of album art/illustration a unique peek behind the scenes of an artist hard at work for his clients and their fans – http://modern-vinyl.com/2016/11/01/missing-artwork-s01e01-dewey-saunders-anderson-paak/

Interviewer Escanuelas’ own site shows a nice music packaging portfolio as well – http://cargocollective.com/michaelpaul

d) Boy, does this man know his pixels! Artist David Larkham, long an icon to fans of album cover artwork due to his memorable work for Elton John, Three Dog Night, Leo Sayer, Ambrosia and many others, continues to impress us with his newer works, such as the fine art portraits he’s created using a fascinating pixel-based technique he’s perfected. David just sent me a link to a video he’s created that shows him producing his latest work, a portrait that introduces us to the winner of the recent presidential election in the U.S. (well, at least in a parallel universe, thus giving us the title for the 3-minute “making of” film he’s produced that features the music of Late Show with Steven Colbert‘s house band, Jon Batiste & Stay Human).

Thanks, David, for sharing this and for your continued great work – https://youtu.be/F98rYAaUZ9A

e) When he’s not conducting and performing as part of the ensemble that provides the music for the Broadway production of the Disney musical “Aladdin“, Andy Grobengieser uses his artistic talents in a rather unusual -yet-impressive fashion – he creates Lego versions of some of his favorite album covers, musical acts, classic rock instrumentation and other Broadway productions. He’s rightly proud of his work and, as you’ll read in Stan Polanski’s article for the Effingham (IL) Daily Newsservice, he’s hoping that large numbers (at least 10,000) of people like his work enough to vote on the Lego site so that the company will consider adding Andy’s creations to their line of available project kits.

You’ll get a kick out of his cover recreations for bands including Boston, ELO and Journey (I was particularly fond of his Jeff Lynne Lego figure) along with his takes on electronic instruments (including the Moog synthesizer) and everyone’s favorite album art prism image. Read the EDN article first at http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/altamont-native-proves-legos-aren-t-just-for-kids/article_5010419f-e163-5df1-ba37-2fa78a3a2cc1.html and then click on over to Andy’s site at http://www.grobiebrix.com/ to see his full line of creations.

f) Over on the Thump/Vice site, writer Ali Gitlow treats us to profiles of ten graphic designers who have excelled at creating visuals for many of today’s most-successful electronic music artists – people who are often not well-represented in the mainstream music press but who have legions of fans in clubs all over the world. While early electronic musicians – Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Synergy and others – used album cover imagery to raise the visibility of their recorded music products in the days before the Internet, today’s designers are tasked with creating graphics for their clients’ many touch points with their fans – set designs, web sites, merchandise, videos and more – and so to learn more about these talented (young) creatives and see their work is quite the treat.

You’ll meet designers based in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Europe and Russia, each with their own unique take on how best to create just the right imagery for their popular clientele – https://thump.vice.com/en_us/article/graphic-designers-electronic-music-list

g) I had the opportunity last year to see a small gallery show that featured photographer Jerry Uelsmann’s fascinating (and, sometimes, disturbing) photo-montages, so when I saw this recent article on the Music Universe site about the composition that rocker Bon Jovi has included on the cover of their most-recent record – This House Is Not For Sale– I knew that I had to share it with you. Considered one of the pioneers in digital photo manipulation, Uelsmann was a professor at the University of Florida and has displayed his works in exhibitions and galleries all over the world. In addition, over 20 books have been published that include his work, so it is with particular pride that Floridian and Music Universewriter Buddy Iahn lauds the artist’s latest commission – http://themusicuniverse.com/bon-jovi-album-cover-is-work-of-florida-artist/

To see what Uelsmann is doing these days – and to see many more examples of his work (for which he won a Lucie Award For Achievement in Fine Art Photography in 2015) – I’d invite you to visit his web site at http://www.uelsmann.net/

h) The writing staff at teamrock.com recently posted an article on their site in which they talk to noted cover designer Aubrey Powell (of Hipgnosis fame) about “the making of” one of Pink Floyd’s best-known cover images – that for the band’s 1975 release titled Wish You Were Here, an image which showcased a handshake between two nicely-dressed men, one of whom happened to be on fire. According to the article, executives at the group’s label at the time (Harvest/Columbia) didn’t appreciate the liberal use of symbolism (no one likes “getting burned” by their partners), and so it’s interesting to hear from Powell about how the team managed to include a number of unusual elements in the record’s packaging, including their use of a black plastic wrapping which concealed the provocative cover…

http://teamrock.com/feature/2016-10-21/pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-album-artwork-interview

i) World-renowned pop artist Ron English – who has a very nice portfolio of album cover images to his name, including work for The Dandy Warhols, Slash and Korn, among others – has used his talents to help illustrate just how crass, manipulative (but, ultimately, influential) ads for consumer products can be at times, so with his unique eye and mind set brought to task, we now have a chance to see how he thinks the world might look one year after the world has decriminalized cannabis products in a new show now on display in NYC. Writer Ben Adams, in a recent article for Merry Jane magazine, shares an interview he did recently with English about the new show during which he shares his take on the world of advertising, consumerism, info on some of his newer works and how album covers and posters can still be valuable additions to the arsenal of products that musical acts can enable to engage and communicate with their fans – https://www.merryjane.com/culture/ron-english-popaganda-popaganja-art-show-interview

j) Photography has always been an important part of how rap and hip-hop artists have both shared their creative visions with us and used those images to project whatever aspects of their personalities and life styles – whether real or imagined – the so chose to share, but the identities of many of the photographers who’ve been there to document these personalities and participate in their projects remain somewhat hidden. Artsy writer Demie Kim helps lift that veil of secrecy a bit with a new article featuring profiles on a dozen of the most-prolific shooters working in that genre since its earliest days, including Chi Modu, Michael Miller, Lisa Leone, Ricky Flores and Jonathan Mannion, among others – https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-12-photographers-who-captured-hip-hop-from-old-school-to-the-90s

k) Jonathan Mannion shows up again in another recent posting on Hip-Hop album cover photography, this time in an article on the Bella Naija info/entertainment portal about a new show of his photos of artists including Jay-Z, Nikki Minaj, Drake and others in Lagos, Nigeria organized as part of Cognac-maker Hennessy’s art and music series called “Hennessy Artistry”. Learn more about the show, titled “Beyond The Music” with Jonathan Mannion – via the link at https://www.bellanaija.com/2016/10/hennessy-nigeria-presents-jonathan-mannion-the-legend-behind-hip-hop-album-covers/

https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/music/hennessy-artistry

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Now with all the ads for “Pre-Holiday Black Friday Extravaganza Super Sales” bombarding us, it’s nice to find an opportunity to find a unique product (or several) on offer from one of today’s better-known rock photographers. Ami Barwell’s portfolio of projects for acts including Motorhead, Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop, R.E.M., Paul Weller and The White Stripes (among many others) has given us fans many great portraits of our favorite musicians, so it’s great to see that she’s now going to offer several of her better-known images on a line of t-shirts that are available via her Etsy site – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ByAmiBarwell

Barwell’s photos have also graced the covers of music released by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Interpol, Bang Bang and The Cribs, so now you have a chance to add works by an accomplished shooter to your collection for a song (they make great gifts, too).

b) The Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction house’s soon-to-end Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction and, for fans of album art, there are several items you might want to take a look at. There are photos – both for the actual album covers and alt takes shot during the same sessions – as well as artwork, printer’s proofs and other related production items for albums by The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat, Lita Ford, Journey, Stevie Nicks, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zant. Of course, memorabilia collectors will also find 800+ items including costumes, instruments used on stage, lyric sheets, posters, gold record awards and much more, so hop on over to the company’s site to take a look and get ready for the final auction action that takes place December 2nd.

Take a look and, if you’re lucky, bring home a new addition to your collection this holiday season.

All album cover-related items –  http://www.gottahaverockandroll.com/catalog.aspx

Original Artwork – http://www.gottahaverockandroll.com/Category/Artwork-206.html

c) Some pretty impressive sales results were posted during Heritage Auction’s Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction (as described in detail in earlier postings) which took place Saturday, November 12th in Dallas, TX both online and in person at their facilities. Examples of the items sold include:

– a “first state” mono Beatles “Butcher Cover” (the recalled cover to the band’s Yesterday & Today record) sold for $42,500, while a stereo version realized $8,125;

– a set of 12 color photos (including the negatives) taken on the set of The Beatles’ in performance for the film Hard Days Night was snapped up for $9,000;

– a promo stand-up for the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers LP – featuring Mick Jagger – was sold for $3, 000;

– a 1976 EMI promo poster for the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The UK” was picked up by some lucky collector for $1,875

There were loads of other interesting items that found new homes, so if you’d like to scour through the listings, feel free to click on over to – http://www.ha.com/7154

d) Remember that auction at Sotheby’s in London I told you about recently that was built around portions of the late David Bowie’s personal art collection? Well, they held the first segment (one of two) yesterday (Nov. 10th) and – well, let’s put it this way…rich people still have money to spend! For the 49 lots offered for sale – which included works by Warhol, Basquiat, Duchamp and others – the auction house raised over $30 million, well over twice the pre-auction estimates. Then on Friday the 11th, they held the auction for the remaining lots (with a focus on a collection of works of the “eccentric” Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and the Milan-based Memphis group) which, until now, looked to bring in another $3-5 million to the estate’s coffers. I had thought that it’d go a bit beyond that (wouldn’t you agree) but, in reality, the entire collection raised just under 1.4 million GB pounds, or approx. $1.75 million You can read more about that night’s details on the comsite in reporter Colin Gleadell’s summary of events, via the link – https://news.artnet.com/market/744056-744056? Two key items from the collection – Bowie’s Giacomo/Castiglioni record player and a lipstick-red “Valentine” typewriter – sold for big money, with the stereo going for £257,000 and the typewriter fetching £47,500.

There had been opportunities to look through examples of the items that were put up for auction during shows that have been staged in venues in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York and London over the past year, but collectors at the London event had the unique opportunity to preview the entirety of what was be put up for sale (over 400 items!) at the Sotheby’s location in London, with an overview to this display provided to us by Artsy‘s Lorena Munoz-Alonso in this recent posting on their site – https://news.artnet.com/market/memphis-bowie-collector-sale-sothebys-london-730169?

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) Photographer Michael Zagaris has taken some of the best-known photo portraits of rock’s royalty – the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Blondie, The Clash and so many others who found their way to the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970’s – and since he approached his subjects as a fan (rather than a paid shooter) most of the time, he was able to capture them in ways that more formal photo sessions would not have been able to. It also produced a large archive of unused photos which, until now, have mostly remained unseen, but Zagaris and the folks at Reel Art Press have worked hard to rectify that situation and recently released an anthology of his work called TOTAL EXCESS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL ZAGARIS.

The books 272 pages include hundreds of shots of stars in performance, behind the scenes and just mugging for the camera, capturing many of them early on in their careers. Fans of the ever-changing popular music scenes of the 70s and 80s will find a lot to love here. Zagaris, who started his career as a law student working for Robert Kennedy, took up photography to help him recover from the shock of Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 and soon after began covering the awe-inspiring local music/cultural scenes, which The Guardian‘s Charlotte DeFazio provides more details about in her recent profile on the man behind the camera – https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/nov/07/rock-photographer-michael-zagaris-the-who-rolling-stones

Read more about the book on the publisher’s web site at http://www.reelartpress.com/catalog/edition/91/total-excess-photographs-by-michael-zagaris

b) While the late Swiss artist H.R. Giger may perhaps be better-known to the art world for his contributions to the movie business – after all, he did come up with the Oscar-winning surreal designs for James Cameron’s 1979 and 1986 sci-fi classics Alienand Aliens(who can forget the uber-scary Xenomorph creature and the doomed cargo ship?) – music fans have always been most-impressed with Giger’s fantastic cover images for classic rock records including Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery and Debbie Harry’s solo effort titled Koo Koo.

To honor the painter/sculptor/set designer’s amazing portfolio of work, the folks at Taschen Books have just released a new book for collectors (simply titled H.R. Giger) that includes 400 “SUMO-sized” (15″ x 20″) pages that detail his paintings, sculptures, record covers and designs for films, the stage and his own unique take on architecture and design. The limited-release tome has been produced in an edition of only 1000 copies and includes scholarly essays, a number of multi-page spreads, examples of the artist’s own writings and much more. Priced at $900 per copy, the book is available now via Taschen’s web site – https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/art/all/06390/facts.hr_giger.htm where you will also find details on the two additional “Art Editions” of the book that are also available – a $2000 edition of 100 pieces that is signed by Carmen Giger (the artist’s second wife and director of the Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland) and is packaged with Untitled, “a ready-to-hang relief cast from an original polyester sculpture created by Giger in 1964” and a 100-piece package priced at $3000 which adds a copy of a 1965 photogravure titled Gebärmaschine (Second state).

Make this book your lucky star…”You…lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky…”

c) Publisher United Editions has released a new limited edition compendium of designs made for punk and post-punk record releases called Action Time Vision: Punk & Post-Punk 7″ Record Sleeves which, according to the publisher, “is a celebration of DIY graphics… all have an urgency and an exhilarating disregard for design conventions that makes them exceptional. They are all clarion calls for independence and freedom from pop industry norms.” Examples of these works were in the collections of Unit Edition’s founder Tony Brook and scholar Russ Bestley, and the book also includes interviews with luminaries and experts in the field, an example of which is designer Malcolm Garrett, whose covers for the Buzzcocks, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and others helped usher in the use of computers and other DIY tools to create memorable images for music industry clients going forward. Creative Reviewwriter Mark Sinclair caught up with Garrett to discuss both his role in the development of this still-impactful aesthetic and, in particular, how his collaborations with the Buzzcocks moved him along the path to a new visual language for the punk era – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/action-time-vision-malcolm-garrett-buzzcocks/

You can take a closer look at the book on the publisher’s web site at https://uniteditions.com/

d) Wilfred Limonious might not be well-known to rock music fans here in the U.S., but to fans of album art – particularly to fans of Jamaican dancehall music – his illustrations are legendary and continue to influence many in the world’s design community. To document his work, author and Edmonton (AB, Canada) library technician Christopher Bateman undertook a lengthy world-wide search (including multiple trips to Jamaica) to collect hundreds of examples of work and the details behind them, ultimately publishing the results in a new 272 page hardcover book (published by One Love Books) titledIn Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred LimoniousEdmonton Journal reporter Fish Griwkowsky talked to Bateman just prior to his book launch event this week and shared the details in an article –  http://edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/books/edmonton-author-pays-tribute-to-legendary-jamaican-artist-limonious

e) Continuing on my reporting of new punk-era-themed books coming to market (you’ll recall my earlier report on United Editions’ new book on punk/post-punk 7″ single sleeves), I found a recent report on the Creative Review(U.K.) site about publisher Phaidon’s recent book built around the archives of collector/punk era historian (and one of the designers who founded the London-based artist collective called the Grey Organisation) Toby Mott called Oh So Pretty – Punk in Print 1976-80 that I want to point you to. With a collection of over 1000 items to select from (posters, flyers, ‘zines, album covers, etc.), the book’s 512 pages include over 500 photos/illustrations that, according to the publisher, reflect “a DIY spirit and instantly recognizable aesthetic that was as raw and strident and irrepressible as the music. As disposable as the items in this book once were, together they tell a story about music, history, class, and art, and document a seismic shift in society and visual culture.”

Read more about the book in Mark Sinclair’s article at Punk book – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/oh-pretty-punk-print-1976-80/

and you’ll find additional details on the Phaidon site at http://www.phaidon.com/store/fashion-culture/oh-so-pretty-punk-in-print-1976-1980-9780714872759/

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Voting has begun for this year’s “Best Art Vinyl” competition, staged by frame-maker and lover of all records packaged in 12″ square sleeves, the U.K.’s Art Vinyl. Visitors to the site (http://www.artvinyl.com/LP-records-displayed-as-artwork-prize/) can view the 50 nominated album cover images and then select three to put your support behind during the voting period which lasts from now until early January, with the results being posted on January 5th.

Fans in Italy and the U.K. also can look at the covers in person at two exhibits currently on display – one at the Semm Music Store in Bologna, Italy and the other at London’s Vinyl Cafe (Kings Cross), with the winners being announced in an event at the Hari Hotel in the Belgravia section of London on January 5th.

The team at the Creative Review site have put together a nice overview of the competition for your perusal prior to voting – https://www.creativereview.co.uk/art-vinyls-record-sleeves-year-2016/

and then, when you’re ready, you can head on over to the voting page to add your input – http://www.artvinyl.com/best-record-cover-design-competition/

May the best designs win – stay tuned for more details.

b) Film-maker Adam McDaniel has launched his fund-raising campaign on the IndieGogo site for the film he’s working on about the career of the late great illustrator Richard Amsel.

One perk available to supporters provides a double-dose of album art talent – Art Director Mike Salisbury, who worked with Amsel on promo art/materials for films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Dark Crystal (and who, like Amsel, also created an impressive collection of album cover images), has donated two signed copies of his now-out-of-print book An Art Director Confesses: I Sold Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll to the campaign, each available to collectors in return for a $150 donation.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amsel-illustrator-of-the-lost-art-movie#/

c) Boulder, Colorado-based specialty vinyl publisher/record club Vinyl Me Please has impressed collectors with their dedication to special packaging, delivering music by both established (Beck, Black Sabbath, Fugees, Weezer and others) and “emerging” (The Books, Nils Frahm, Glass Animals, etc.) in packages that include colored vinyl, unique album imagery, posters, stickers, etc. – a much more-fulfilling retail packages for fans of the acts featured each month.

Another Vice-related site called The Creator’s Project recently posted an article written by Beckett Mufson about how VMP artists have reworked ten classic album images to create something new and exciting for the club’s subscribers. The new covers for Sabbath’s Paranoid and Beck’s Odelay certainly are eye-catching, but it’s up to you to decide which ones best-represent the music packaged inside…

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/10-classic-album-covers-get-modern-illustration

d) The Beatles’  Sgt. Pepper’s record features what is perhaps (if you believe the polls – is that a wise thing to do these days?) the best-known and loved album cover image in rock music history. The assemblage created by Sir Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, Michael Cooper and art director Robert Fraser featured life-size cardboard cut-outs, wax figures and other props, with the band and many famous/infamous people included in the mix. Over the years, this image has been spoofed, recreated and bastardized for a variety of different purposes, so it is not surprising to see another like the one featured in this ITV News article. However, this one – created by Twitter user christhebarker – is particularly poignant as it includes images of the many celebrities – including musicians such as David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen (talk about up-to-the-minute) and others well-known around the world (it even includes a bright red “Make America Great Again” cap in the foreground).

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-11-11/touching-tribute-to-celebrities-lost-in-2016-using-sergeant-pepper-album-cover/

To see the larger version posted on the artist’s site, follow this link – http://www2.b3ta.com/host/creative/4270/1478856455/2016lc.jpg

Bonus content – If you’re like me, you thought that 2016 was a pretty horrible year overall (for a variety of reasons). If you’d like to tell the year to “Kiss Off” in a slightly more vulgar fashion, here’s a link to a video that comedian/social commentator John Oliver created that features appropriate send-offs supplied by celebrities and us “normal” (i.e., depressed) people, too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ6WPo-oW5Q

e) I’m very excited to be able to share some preliminary details with you regarding designer Lawrence Azerrad’s newest project with the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) that, based on my first read, should be of interest to anyone actively involved in the design community (either as an artist/illustrator, branding/marketing executive, packaging designer, etc.) and, in particular, those who focus on the intersection of the worlds of art/design and music.

Boing Boing‘s David Peskovitz recently posted an intro article on the project –https://boingboing.net/2016/11/04/design-and-the-future-of-the-m.html in which Azerrad relates why he believes that, in today’s much-more-passive music world, people are missing out on many of the aspects – particularly the visual ones – that used to draw fans closer to the musical acts they admired, so he hopes that, with this initiative, designers can work to re-establish these ties. This also has the nice side-effect of keeping more of those working in the visual communications field employed and busy with music industry-related projects… Read more about the project in an aptly-titled article (“The Design + Music Industries are BFFs—They Just Don’t Know it Yet”) you’ll find on the AIGA site – https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/the-vital-links-between-the-design-music-industries-how-can-they-enhance-one-another/

I’ll be sure to share more as I learn more about this exciting new initiative.

f) You’ve seen examples of “sleeve-facing” before here in our news summary, but this is the first time I’ve seen one brought to life and, in this case, it was done in support of the efforts of a classic rock radio station, so it’s all the more appealing (at least to me). If you click on over to this article by David Kiefaber on AdWeek’s “Adfreak” feature page, you’ll find more info and a link to a video created by Vancouver (Canada) ad group Spring for their client, local classic rock station Rock 101to promote it’s morning oldies show where staffers lip-synch to song clips from the Rolling Stones, Bowie, Loverboy and others all while having a portion of their faces/bodies covered by a classic album cover image.

Nicely done, and proving, once again, the long-lasting connection between time-honored music and the sleeves they’re packaged in – http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/radio-station-made-fun-clever-use-album-covers-ad-its-morning-show-174094

g) While singer/actor Jarrod Spector has garnered a good reputation for his own musicality via his featured roles in the Broadway musical hits Jersey Boys and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, if given the opportunity to star in a new musical featuring the songs of his own favorite musical act, without hesitation he’d star in one – if it existed – that was based on the music of Bruce Springsteen. Raised in the Philadelphia, PA area, Spector has been a fan of The Boss and his music for as long as he can remember, and so when Playbill Magazine photographer Monica Simoes approached him to work on re-creating several of Springsteen’s best-known album covers, he was only too happy to oblige (in fact, he includes his own version of “Born To Run” in his cabaret act). Playbill writer Mark Ezovski talks to Jarrod about his career and Bruce fandom in this article – complete with photos and performance video – for the Playbill web site –  http://www.playbill.com/article/exclusive-jarrod-spector-covers-bruce-springsteen-and-recreates-iconic-album-covers

R.I.P. I’d like to note the passing of Al Brodax this past week at the age of 90. For those of us growing up in the 1960’s, Mr. Brodax delivered a couple of examples of what would turn out to be very-influential cartoon animation while at King Features Syndicate – the Saturday Morning Cartoon Beatles series (beginning in 1965) and then, in 1968, working with a meager budget and very little help from the band, produced a psychedelic film (directed by George Dunning, art-directed by Hanz Edelmann and featuring art/animation by a large crew that included Ron Campbell, Paul Driessen, Dianne Jackson and Heavy Metal director Gerald Potterton, among others) for the ages – Yellow Submarine.  You can read Brodax’s William Grimes-penned obit in the NY Times via the link – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/movies/al-brodax-who-steered-the-beatles-yellow-submarine-to-the-screen-dies-at-90.html?

He’s a REAL Nowhere Man, now, but will forever hold a place in this young (now old) Beatles fan’s heart.

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016 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 October, 2016

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 2016

 

It’s the first of November, 2016, with the elections here in the U.S. taking place a week from today and, if you’re like me, we’re all probably suffering from election-related anxiety. Wouldn’t it be great to have some good, positive, uplifting news for a change (besides the possibility of a Cubs World Series win looming large – sorry if I’ve offended anyone in the Cleveland area, but we’ve had to wait 40 more years than you have for a World Series win!)? Well, with today’s summary of the most-recent news in the world of album cover artists and the wonderful products they’re creating for us fans and collectors of the genre, I believe that you’ll find enough inspiration to see you through whatever comes our way.

This month’s summary, while a little light with regards to sales/auction-related news, still provides us with ample proof that the people that make our favorite album imagery continue to contribute quite regularly to the news cycle, adding items of interest and fascination to the ongoing stream of articles, interviews, museum and gallery show information and the like on a wide range of related topics. Enjoy the read and let me know if you have any questions or comments:

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

a) Sunday, October 30th marked the close of an exhibition of photo works by Toledo, OH-based shooter Harry Sandler. The show, titled “Harry Sandler: Images From a Photographic Journey,” had been on display for the past week in the Porter Gallery at the Toledo School for the Arts and included selections of Mr. Sandler’s 40+ year portfolio, including shots of rock stars both old (The Who, Peter Frampton, John Mellencamp, etc.) and new (Katy Perry and Queen with Adam Lambert filling the shoes of the late Freddie Mercury), and prints of these images were available for sale as part of a fund-raising effort that demonstrates his commitment to groups supporting the needs of military vets.

A military veteran himself, this show was one of several he’s done to benefit veteran’s causes, with the proceeds of this show benefiting Veterans Matter, the Toledo-based nonprofit housing military veterans in a dozen states.  Sandler’s made a lot of friends over the years as he’s worked not only as a photographer but also as a tour manager and concert engineer, allowing him to tap into those resources from time to time to help raise both money and awareness of the causes he supports (for example, he enlisted Mr. Mellencamp to come and sign autographs at the exhibit’s launch party on October 21st).

Read more about this fine fellow in writer Tom Henry’s article on The Blade web site – http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2016/10/10/Rock-artist-wants-his-journey-to-assist-homeless-in-Toledo-area.html   and also about the work done by the Toledo-based Veterans Matter charity by visiting their web site at http://veteransmatter.org/

b) While it was the intense concentration of classic rock acts that brought thousands of people to the California desert for two weekends in October, I’m hoping that festival-goers did find the time to tour the mega-sized rock and roll photo exhibition staged there. The Desert Trip Photo Expo put on display over 200 photographs from the portfolios of a who’s who of rock photographers – Michael Cooper, Elliott Landy, Bob Gruen, Jim Marshall and many others – and include well-known album cover and magazine shots featuring the six acts who headlined the four days of concerts – Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, The Who and Neil Young.

In this article posted by staffers on the Orange County Register web site – http://www.ocregister.com/articles/captures-732290-trip-music.html  you will find some of the stories behind a selection of the images on display as told by the people who took them (for example, Bob Gruen tells us that Mick Jagger was at a 1982 concert by The Clash at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia because his daughter wanted to see the band (“C’mon, Dad…they’re great!”). More info on this exhibition, organized by the San Francisco Art Exchange gallery and presented in cooperation with Getty Images, at http://deserttrip.com/photoexp/   You’ll also find a nice video short featuring Henry Diltz talking about why being a rock photographer is such a great gig…

Finally, Paul Resnikoff shares his on-site experience, including several photos of the 36,000 square foot tent that housed the exhibit, in this posting on the Digital Music News site – http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/10/10/rock-n-roll-art-gallery-desert-trip/

c) I hate it when I’m late…a show recently closed that I just learned about but, even so, I am so impressed with the creativity shown by this artist that I wanted to make sure you had a chance to see his work. Rather than simply listening to his favorite albums, artist Peter Wilkins considered aspects of records – that they spin, that certain covers have unique color palettes, etc. – and set out to present each record in a way that shows us these elemental qualities in a way we’ve never seen them. He first experimented with the idea of capturing a photographic image of a spinning album cover but, unhappy with those first images, he decided to turn to computer technology to help him better-express the unique way he was seeing these records. The results of these efforts were put on display in a series of shows (including one that just ended at the Christina Parker Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and new ones scheduled for viewing in other venues across Canada in 2017) that are sure to impress and amaze anyone who gets the chance to see these prints.

While Wilkins has created dozens of prints – including rock classics such as Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix, Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, Cream’s Disraeli Gears and newer works from acts including Florence & The Machine and Broken Social Scene – he’s also applied a similar approach to other subject material, such as wine, cityscapes, airports and “iconic Canadian chairs”, examples of which you can find on his web site – http://peter.wilkins.ws/

You can view an illustrated capsule summary of his most-recent show in reporter Joan Sullivan’s article on the topic on The Telegram (Canada) web site – http://www.thetelegram.com/Living/2016-09-12/article-4637137/Rock-%26rsquo%3Bn%26rsquo%3B-roll-and-take-cover/1  – which includes input from the artist about his inspirations and processes. I was a little bit impressed with myself for being able to identify several of the examples just by their colors and where they’re shown in the circular prints – give it a try, it’s fun!

d) Ben Marks recently published an article for Collector’s Weekly that I thought you all might enjoy as it highlights the many years of excellent album cover-focused work of the craftspeople at “the premier record jacket printing company in America” – that being the Stoughton Printing Company, located in City of Industry, CA. Stoughton has been printing and assembling record sleeves for clients in the music industry for over 50 years and, as part of this year’s Los Angeles Printers Fair that was held October 14th at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA, visitors were invited to tour a special exhibit titled “The Music of the Presses: The Vinyl Sleeves of the Stoughton Printing Company” which showcased, according to the show’s press, “a half-century of album covers, from the first printing of the album that introduced The Beatles to America, to the latest retro vinyls”, with every visitor getting a limited-run sleeve as a souvenir of their attendance.

Stoughton Printing Company’s head honcho, Jack Stoughton, Jr., was in attendance to take show visitors on a tour through the record cover-making process, making a stop at a display that showcases 50+ examples of the company’s work, including sleeves for top musical acts including The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Carole King, Jack White and many, many others. Viewers were also able to see the entries for a juried competition called “The Art of the Album Design & Printing Competition” which included include designs by many of the printing industry’s most-respected practitioners of the craft.

You can read Ben’s article online via the link – http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/music-of-the-presses/  and see more of what’s on display during the exhibit’s run (which remains “on view for several months”) –  http://www.printmuseum.org/printersfair/general-information/

e) The Copper House Gallery – in Dublin, Ireland, just a few minutes West of St. Stephen’s Green – hosted a new show that opened October 13th (and ran one week, through October 20th) that wass called the “Fantasy 12 Exhibition” and which featured dozens of unique works created by a number of music industry artists, designers and record label staffers who responded to a simple question – “If you could release a record from any iconic artist (past or present), what would the cover look like?” This show was organized by This Greedy Pig (online art/music mag), record label Choice Cuts and the Hens Teeth Gallery in Dublin, Ireland and, in a special event, Irish Times writer Jim Carroll hosted an opening weekend ticketed discussion (Saturday, October 15th at Dublin hot spot The Sugar Club) which featured three people well-versed in the subject of music-related art/packaging – Paul Diddy, art director for NYC record label Luaka Bop; artist/editor Nick Gazin of Vice Magazine (who also created the much-heralded artwork for Run The Jewels) and the multi-talented Vlad Sepetov, whose “Yours Truly” collective has been responsible for a noted list of today’s top recording acts, including Kendrick Lamar and Vic Mensa.

Show-related info can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/1643345045980477/ and on the gallery’s site at http://www.thecopperhousegallery.com/exhibitions/66/overview/

f) There have been a number of fascinating events staged during the past year in the UK to celebrate Punk’s 40th Anniversary, with a recent one catching my eye that I felt compelled to share with you. As reported on recently by Michael Holland on the Southwark News (London, U.K.) site – http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/lifestyle/dont-punk-appreciate-punk-art/ members of a punk “supergroup” called the Bermondsey Joyriders organized a show geared towards letting punk musicians – particularly those who attended art school as part of their upbringing – show off their visual art talents, with this year’s crop of participants including Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, Keith Levene of The Clash, Spizz of Spizz Energi, Luke Morgan of The Highliners, Nicky Tesco of Members, Ultravox’s John Taylor and others (over 30) contributing works to the showcase, all of which were available for sale.

While the show ran only a few days (October 8th through the 10th at the Underdog Gallery on Crucifix Lane), it received a lot of coverage, including this video interview on ITV News, London, hosted by Nina Hossain and reporter Victoria Grimes, with Keith Levene from The Clash – http://www.theunderdog.london/single-post/2016/10/11/ITV-NEWS-reports-on-the-Punk-Rock-Roll-Show-at-The-Underdog   and photos on the gallery’s site provide ample evidence that a good time was had by all during all of the event’s festivities – http://www.theunderdog.london/single-post/2016/09/02/7th—10th-Oct-Punk-Rock-Roll-Art-Show

g) The nice folks at the Concert Poster Gallery were kind enough to send me/us a reminder for all East Coast rock/album art fans I want to make sure you’ve seen – hope you get the chance to visit the newly-launched staging of the hugely-popular exhibition – originally on display in both Los Angeles and San Francisco – built around the incredible cache of artwork – posters, handbills, photos and more – created over the years in support of the events put on by one of rock music’s most-successful promoters – the late Bill Graham. On display now through next January 16th at the National Museum of Jewish History in Philadelphia, Bill Graham & The Rock And Roll Revolution presents the stunning visuals that promoted and accompanied Graham’s events at the Winterland and Fillmore venues on both coasts, as well as the mega-events he was such a huge part of – Watkins Glen, Days On The Green, the US Festival, Live Aid and others for Amnesty International.

His efforts to promote his events brought us the talents of many who are now considered the most-influential artists of the era – Rick Griffin, Mouse and Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Lee Conklin and Wes Wilson – who all went on to produce a number of iconic album images for musical acts including the Grateful Dead, Santana, Steve Miller and many others. While his life included times both harrowing (his escape from Nazi-controlled Germany and France in 1939 ultimately brought him to his new home in the U.S.) and personally-fulfilling (his desire to be an actor brought him roles in films including Apocalypse Now, Bugsy and The Doors), his death in a helicopter crash in 1991 cut short the life of one of the music industry’s most-memorable impresarios. Now’s your chance to revisit an era via this impressive collection of memorabilia – why not catch a train and get on over to the museum while you can?

http://www.concertpostergallery.com/concertposters/bill-grahams-rock-and-roll-revolution-museum-exhibit-opens-in-philadelphia/

More info on the museum and this exhibition can be found at http://www.nmajh.org/BillGraham/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Minneapolis, MN Star Tribune reporter John Bream has posted an article which includes an interview with First Avenue’s (“Your Downtown Danceteria Since 1970” and a space familiar to anyone who has seen the film Purple Rain) man-of-many-hats (facilities manager, tour guide and official photographer) Daniel Corrigan on the occasion of the release of a new book that taps into his 35+ year archive of great photos taken with music industry notables including Prince, Husker Du, Michael Jackson, U2 and many others.

Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis” includes over 500 images taken over the years, including album cover shots for acts including Babes In Toyland, The Replacements, The Cows (Cunning Stunts – always loved that title), They Jayhawks and others. He worked with Josh Leventhal at the Minnesota Historical Society Press (who’ll be publishing the book, set to hit store shelves on November 1st) to choose just the right images from his huge archive and asked local writer/DJ Danny Sigelman (DJ Paper Sleeves) to contribute the intro essay. An exhibition of photos from the book will launch in mid-November at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, so fans of Mr. Corrigan’s work will have a great opportunity to see selections from this book on display in a proper setting.

http://www.startribune.com/starting-with-prince-first-avenue-photographer-chronicled-rise-of-twin-cities-music-scene/398894281/#1 

b) If you’re like me, it is easy to say that, of the images created for the packaging of most all of the various genres of music, hard rock/metal music, in all of its variations, tends to sport covers that are almost immediately identifiable as being of that genre (for a long time, this honor has been shared with rap/hip-hop covers, particularly of the “Pen & Pixel” variety). There’s a designer in the Bay Area named Sean Ross that seems to feel the same way but, as a creative type, he was curious as to what would happen if he applied the same design sense to the imagery created for another area of Popular Culture – that being technology, and the logos of some of the biggest names in the business.

If you click on over to read Owen Pritchard’s recent article on the It’s Nice That site on the topic, you’ll find a number of examples of “the visual language of disruption” as applied to logos for firms such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Uber and many others. He then takes things a step farther by reimagining classic album covers and type – featuring notable imagery from acts including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and AC/DC (among others) – to now represent products in the technology space. While I don’t see many of these companies deciding to adopt these designs in the real world, an Iron Maiden-influenced Snapchat logo would certainly shake up NerdWorld a bit, don’t you agree?

http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/heavy-metal-tech-branding-141016

c) To help commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of rapper Tupac Shakur, TIME Magazine writer Kenneth Bachor caught up with photographer Danny Clinch, the man that took what many consider to be the most-famous (and intimate) portrait of Shakur three years prior to Tupac’s untimely demise, and present a video interview during which Danny explains the circumstances that lead up to that memorable shoot, some of the details of what went in to staging/producing the image and how he felt that, after looking at the results of the session, his gut instincts told him that he had an image for the Ages.

ACHOF Inductee Clinch has produced scores of great photos for album covers for acts including the Afghan Whigs, Old Dirty Bastard and Simon & Garfunkel (quite the range!), so it’s a pleasure to be able to hear this tale directly from his mouth (and heart). http://time.com/4486307/tupac-shakur-photo/ 

d) While not technically an artist interview or in-depth profile, I believe that there’s enough interesting information given to us in Zoe Wilder’s article on the MerryJane.com site about ten artists currently producing a new breed of “psychedelic” art – including covers for a number of mainstream and indie musical acts in several genres – that a read is worth your time. Fans of artists such as Martin Sharp (Disraeli Gears for Cream), The Fool art collective (Evolution for The Hollies) and Victor Moscoso (Headhunters for Herbie Hancock) will find a lot to like in the works of Jen Stark, Sean Cormac and Ricardo Cavolo, who are among the 10 artists included in this overview. As a fan of “Flash-style” animations, I was particularly impressed with the music video artist Robert Wallace (AKA “Parallel Teeth”) created for New Zealand-based musical act Ladi6…

https://www.merryjane.com/culture/Psychedelic%20Artists%20You%20Should%20Know

e) Singer Solange Knowles (another talented Knowles sister!) discovered the works of young Spanish art director/photographer Carlota Guerrero on Instagram and, after working with her on a show at the Tate Modern museum in London, brought Carlota on to provide the imagery for her new album – A Seat At The Table – as well as the 112-page digital book that accompanies the new recording.

Billboard‘s Griselda Flores spoke with Ms. Guerrero and presents us with the artist’s telling of how two talented  you women collaborated on this project, each exploring their own sense of womanhood, the solidarity felt between two black women establishing their own identities in a fast-paced entertainment space and, quite interestingly, how the staff at their hotel reacted upon seeing a gold-painted woman in a cape approach the check-in desk after their photo/video shoot! –  http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/7534279/solange-a-seat-at-the-table-photographer-art-director

f) Each month, the talented team at The Archivist’s Gallery in north London publish an informative article that showcases the work of one of today’s most-creative album art producers and, in addition to giving us some “making of” info from the featured artist, offer readers and collectors an opportunity to see more of that person’s work and, perhaps, buy an art print of one of those images. I was particularly intrigued by the beautiful surrealistic photography created by this month’s artist – Louis Lander Deacon – for his client Imagine Dragons for their 2012 recording titled Continued Silence. The band went on to earn numerous nominations and awards for their 2012 album Night Visions (including a Grammy in 2014 for “Best Rock Performance”) while Louis has continued to build up an impressive portfolio of work for clients in the music, fashion and portrait arenas.

I think you’ll enjoy this look at the work of a rising star in the album art world – http://thearchivistsgallery.com/aotm/

g) It is the hope of all bands that, as its been proven by the long-term value of the iconic logos/cover images of bands such as AC/DC, KISS, the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, the investments they make in these visuals will continue to pay off for years – even long after the original players have ceased to produce new music (or, in the case of LA-area ska/reggae/punk act Sublime, our subject today, after the band’s singer/guitarist died of a heroin overdose). While most of us remember the cover of the band’s third and last studio album – the multi-platinum record simply titled Sublime and featuring a photo of the late Brad Nowell’s tattoo of the band’s name across his back – it is artist Opie Ortiz’s crying sun logo, which consists of several images, including a mushroom, the devil, a pocket knife, some skeletal items, a genie and a worm – that lives on in various incarnations of merchandise created with the help and approval of the band’s management and Nowell’s widow, Troy Holmes.

In this article by the Orange County Register’s Josh Chesler, you’ll meet the players in this enterprise, learn more about ongoing plans to bring this folk art masterpiece to the masses, talk to the artist (Mr. Ortiz) who created the original design “using nail polish and Krazy Glue” and, finally, with some of the fans for which this art serves as an ever-present reminder of their fanship.

http://www.ocweekly.com/arts/the-story-of-sublimes-iconic-sun-logo-and-how-its-rising-into-the-mainstream-7374609

h) Aspiring young art student Garfield Larmond had expanded his artistic tool box to include a camera (with which he could film his friends) and after moving as a teen from New York to Atlanta, GA, one day saw a Tweet from a local musician who announced that he would be filming a music video and inviting the public to attend. Bringing along his camera, he shot some “behind the scenes” footage which that artist’s label liked, and that simple reassurance gave him the motivation to apply his talents to work for other local musical acts and other clients. A freelance job to produce product shots and short videos for a clothing line run by rapper Young Thug’s fiancée provided an introduction to the musician and, ultimately, the opportunity to provide the cover image for Mr. Thug’s hugely-popular 2016 mixtape-turned-record titled Jeffrey and a series of intimate portraits of the artist that have garnered much critical acclaim. Writer Justin Davis, in a recent article found on The Hundreds site, shares an interview with the photographer – now known as GLP – where you can learn more about the details of his career, his ongoing relationship with the talented Young Thug and how the two worked together to create a cover image that is VERY different than those most of us are used to seeing on rap album covers….

https://thehundreds.com/blog/glp-young-thug-interview-jeffery-cover/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Heritage Auctions has just posted the details of their upcoming (November 12th) Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction, and fans of album art will find a nice selection of items that should be of interest, including autographed album covers from The Police, Prince, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin and others; costumes worn by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek and singer Linda Ronstadt for their cover photos; RIAA and UK Gold Record award presentations for records by Elton John, Robert Plant, Tina Turner and more, and several different versions of the notorious and much-desired “Butcher Cover” for the “Yesterday & Today” LP by The Beatles, with opening bids beginning at $750 for a “third state” version and $5,000 for a “first state” version.

https://entertainment.ha.com/c/search-results.zx?N=53+4294941297+794+793+792&Ntk=SI_Titles-Desc&Nty=1&Ntt=album+cover&limitTo=4294941297&ic4=KeywordSearch-A-K-Y-071316

4) New Print/Book Publishing –

a) Combining aspects of two popular album cover-based sites – Pop Spots (locating the places where original album cover photos were taken) and Sleeveface (where you find people “obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion”, as described on the Sleeveface site) – photographer Alex Bartsch has worked to locate sites in London where a batch of notable reggae album cover photos from the late 1960s through the late 1980s were taken and then create new photos of those covers integrated in new shots of those locations.

For his new book project titled Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London, Bartsch has selected over 40 of these new creations and shares the stories behind how he located and recreated each cover. In order to get his book published, he’s set up a Kickstarter program where he’ll first produce 200 limited-edition, signed copies of his book and, depending on your level of support, backers can also get bonus items such as photo postcards, signed art prints and, for a pledge of 500 GBP or more, he’ll even take you on a bike tour of London, stopping at several of the spots where these new works were created.

Daily Mail writer Mark Duell gives us an intro to the project at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3870008/Back-reggae-roots-Photographer-recreates-classic-vinyl-covers-original-London-locations.html

while those of you who might want to grab one of the first copies of the book (scheduled to be shipped in June, 2017) can find out more via this link – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1060504029/covers-retracing-reggae-record-sleeves-in-london

b) Daniel Corrigan’s book “Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis” is released on November 1st (see article in Section 2, above). There is a nice photo album on the Star Tribune site that includes descriptions of 18 of the photos that will be on display, so take a moment to tab on through – http://www.startribune.com/starting-with-prince-first-avenue-photographer-chronicled-rise-of-twin-cities-music-scene/398894281/#1

c) Former Billboard Magazine Editor-in-Chief Adam White and Motown Records President Barney Ales have teamed up to create a just-published new book (400 pages, with over 1000 pictures) that, according to White, serves to tell the whole story behind the rise and success of Motown Records, with a special focus on the people behind the scenes without whom, he claims, “the music wouldn’t have been played and the bills wouldn’t have been paid”. In Motown: The Sound of Young America (with a forward by producer extraordinaire Andrew Loog Oldham), you’ll find, according to Thames & Thames, the book’s publisher, the “first official visual history of the label, new research, a dazzling array of images, and unprecedented access to the archives of the makers and stars of Motown lend new insight to the legend. In addition to extensive specially commissioned photography of treasures extracted from the Motown archives, as well as the personal collections of Barney Ales and Motown stars..” Interviews featured in the book include ones with Motown founder Berry Gordy and several of the label’s best-known acts, including Smokey Robinson and original Supreme Mary Wilson, among others.

The label also focused a lot of resources on the visuals of their acts which introduced audiences world-wide to the colors, textures, hair styles and dance moves that helped make kids of all colors and backgrounds fans of “the Motown Sound”.

http://www.thamesandhudsonusa.com/books/motown-the-sound-of-young-america-hardcover

Via this link to the Fox 2 Detroit web site – http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/204681762-story – you can also watch a 6-minute interview with White and Barney Ales’ son Brett as they discuss the book and share some of the stories found inside.

d) Bowie fans, take note – I just received a note from the Modern Rocks Gallery in Austin, TX letting me know that they now carry a range of David Bowie photo prints – including the famous Aladdin Sane, Lodger and Scary Monsters cover images – produced by the estate of the late photographer Brian Duffy. These new open edition prints (stamped by the Duffy Archive) are available in one size only (19.75″ square overall; 10.5″ square image size) are a very affordable way (at $300 each) to own these famous photos, so click on over to the Modern Rocks site to see what’s available – http://www.modernrocksgallery.com/duffy-archive/

e) You will recall an article from the not-too-distant past talking about the upcoming release of a revised edition of author/art expert Ramon Martos Garcia’s wonderful book on heavy metal album covers titled “And Justice For Art“. Well, our patience has been rewarded – the book is done and available for sale in a limited-edition version that delivers a lot of value for the money. The book was published by Dark Canvas, with more details and links available in a recent article on the KNAC.com site by Larry Petro (AKA “News Monkey”) – http://www.knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=21711

Ramon is a dedicated and knowledgeable writer with a true passion for his subject – hope you’ll check out his book and, if so inspired, make one your own.

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Record and consignment shop owners partially-attribute the rise of vinyl LP sales to the fact that folks “just like the album cover art”, an article posted by Danbury, CT-based News-Times writer Chris Bosak stated recently. While those of us who grew up with vinyl are not all that surprised to learn this, the fact that a 70+ year-old method of delivering music to fans is still appealing – particularly to those young folks who’ve grown up with digital music-capable devices attached to their hands and heads – is cause for a bit of reflection. From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, music products sold in either smaller physical formats (CD, DVD, etc.) or without physical packaging at all (MP3s and more-current digital formats, playable on computers, music players and mobile phones) sounded what seemed to be a death knoll for analog albums, but it seems that young people with an inquisitive streak and “audiophiles” who appreciate the seemed sonic advantages of uncompressed music have both worked together to re-kindle interest in the format, bringing much joy to those involved in the manufacturing, packaging and selling of vinyl music products, from records to turntables to $100/ft. speaker cables (!!). All those interviewed for this article made note of the fact that great album covers – and digging through stacks of records – were still very much part of the mystique.

http://www.newstimes.com/business/article/Vinyl-resurgence-boosts-independent-record-stores-9516228.php

b) Although this isn’t an album cover-related item (although, they did give us many great covers during their time in the limelight), the fact that the city council in Forest Hills, Queens, New York is honoring the Ramones by renaming the street in front of the entrance to Forest Hills High School (AKA the “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”, located at the intersection of 67th Avenue and 110th Street and the alma mater of members of the band as well as Burt Bacharach, Simon & Garfunkel and guitarist Leslie West) “The Ramones Way” should be of great interest to music fans world-wide. The new street sign was installed on a nearby lamppost, with the honor being bestowed during a ceremony held on Sunday, October 30th. In attendance was Mickey Leigh (Joey Ramone’s brother), former band manager Danny Fields and their former tour manager, Monte Melnick. Gallery 98’s Marc H. Miller also participated in the ceremonies, and the exhibit he co-curated (Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! Ramones and the Birth of Punk) continues draw crowds to the Grammy Museum in LA, where it remains on display through February 28th.

Read more on the band’s web site – http://www.ramones.com/street-in-front-of-forest-hills-high-to-be-renamed-ramones-way-on-october-23/ and, if you’ve got an hour to kill, you can watch a video of the ceremony, including an introduction by the delightful (and “varry, varry, New Yawky”) City Council member Karen Koslowitz, who represents the 29th District that includes Forest Hills.

c) In 1996, the EMI record label turned to long-time Pink Floyd album cover designer Storm Thorgerson to come up with a promo image for an upcoming re-release of several of the band’s best-known records (AKA, their Back Catalog). Working with photographer Tony May, designer Finlay Cowan and top-tier body painter Phyllis Cohen, the team produced an image that went on to become one of the band’s most-popular poster images – one called simply Pink Floyd’s Back Catalogue. The image of six of the group’s record covers deftly painted on the backs of six young female models seated on the edge of a swimming pool was the first of several done over the years, with the later ones done to show off the breadth of Thorgerson’s studio’s album cover archive, including covers for acts including Black Sabbath, The Cranberries, Peter Gabriel and many more.

More recently, South Bay (LA/Long Beach-area) body painter Paul Roustan drew upon his inspiration from these previous works to create his own take on the subject, with each of the six models painted to represent an iconic image of the area’s history and culture. Calling his work Painted Ladies of the South Bay, he shot the models (all natives of the area) in two locations – at historic Hermosa Beach pier and on the nearby Strand Wall – and the effort has served to introduce new fans to his award-winning (1st place “North American Body Paint Champion” at the North American Body Paint Championships) work, with his latest book, titled Roustan Body Paint, which includes over 200 photos and several handy tutorials in case you want to try this on your own, winning 1st Place – Best Photography Book – at the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards. Read more at http://www.easyreadernews.com/136358/artist-paul-roustan-creates-south-bay-take-pink-floyd-album-cover-body-painting/    and, to see more of his work and his book, click on over to http://www.roustanbodypaint.com/book

d) Yes, he’s an amazingly-talented singer/songwriter but, in some circles, he’s almost as well-known for his contributions to the art of photo taking and printing, and for that he’s going to be feted several times over the next month or so…In addition to his career as a solo artist and member of bands including the Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Graham Nash has been the co-owner of a company called Nash Editions, a place where seriously-picky photographers go to have their fine art prints produced to their exacting specifications. Over the years, Nash and his team have derived several new technologies and printing processes that have upped the quality of photo printing (particularly, in digital photo printing) to the level where those who had sworn off the notion of having their images produced for collectors on digital printing machines can now rely on certain companies to execute their print orders with great integrity and stunning image quality.

For these efforts, Nash was lauded at events including the October 23rd 2016 Lucie Awards Gala (the “Oscars” for photography) and the annual induction ceremonies for the International Photography Hall of Fame, which took place in St. Louis, MO on October 28th. It’s that museum’s 50th anniversary, and Nash was inducted alongside other famed image-makers including photographer Annie Leibovitz and film-maker Ken Burns.

You can read more about Nash’s Double Exposure Award from the Lucie Foundation via this link – http://www.lucies.org/honorees/graham-nash/   and  about the IPHF’s 50th Anniversary award event at http://iphf.org/events/hall-fame-induction-50th-anniversary-celebration/

Nash’s portrait at the IPHF will live alongside those of previous inductees which include photographers Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank and Edward Weston (actually, he’s right after Eadweard Muybridge and right before Beamont Newhall – pretty significant neighbors, no?) and other technologists including George Eastman, Steve Jobs, John & Thomas Knoll (inventors of Photoshop) and Victor Hasselblad. Congratulations, Mr. Nash, for making both our ears and our eyes very happy and proving, once and for all, you’re more than just a Simple Man.

e) Looking for something crafty to do with your duplicate/triplicate album covers? Join the “upcycling” revolution and turn your favorite old cardboard sleeves into a useful and unique folder. Based on what I know about your collections, you’ll be the only one showing up to work with folders sporting Lee Conklin’s “Santana Lion” or Barry Godber’s screaming-face King Crimson image – certain to spark conversations with your friends and co-workers.

To follow up a previous “How To” article (about making a folder out of an old album cover – http://craftingagreenworld.com/2016/10/03/how-to-make-a-folder/ – the folks at Crafting A Green World have published an article that will allow us to expand our portfolios of album cover-derived products to now include bookmarks, Christmas Tree ornaments, greeting cards and more. There’s even plans for a hand-held fan! If you’re like me and have several covers we’ve kept long after the records have become unplayable, then “12 Ways To Reuse An Album Cover” will serve as inspiration for you to grab a hobby knife, some glue and get started in time for Holiday gift-giving.

http://craftingagreenworld.com/2016/10/14/ways-to-reuse-an-album-cover/

 

Not only is it easy and fun, you get to play with an X-Acto Knife and Duct Tape, too (surely you have these items from your last kidnapping project – I know that I do)!

f) 12-inch “big sleeves”, “Mondo vinyl” packages and other alternative methods of giving fans and collectors a way to show off their favorite media packages – it seems clear that there are a number of media production/promotion companies these days that are turning back to a tried and true method of delivering content and art/accessories in ways that will entice fans to spend real money to own them. While many in the music and general entertainment industries continue to rail against digital products and how they’ve effected their bottom lines, others – some small upstarts along with some of the biggest names in the business – have looked for new opportunities to both build strong bonds with fans and get them to reach deep into their pockets to pay for specially-made, often limited-edition media products.

In an article published the other day by Ben Travis of the Evening Standard, you’ll get to see and learn more about some of the long-standing efforts (box sets, colored vinyl, etc.) and many of the newer ones, including Disney’s newly-released “Big Sleeve” packages for six of their most-popular films (Aladdin, Beauty & The Beast, Star Wars, etc.) that deliver DVDs sheathed in 12-inch LP-sized sleeves that also include bonus items (photos, prints, booklets, etc.).  Some feature updated graphics, while others reprise designs from the past, but all give consumers something to show their friends during their next visit to their respective media rooms.

http://www.standard.co.uk/stayingin/disney-s-vinylsized-big-sleeve-editions-and-the-special-formats-all-pop-culture-junkies-should-own-a3366551.html

g) I continue to be impressed and amazed with the amount of great album art being produced in markets all over the world, with one site from Australia – ToneDeaf.com – regularly presenting articles about record packages being produced for musical acts that may not be familiar to music fans outside their local markets. One example is this article by Tyler Jenke titled “15 TIMES RECORD PACKAGING GOT COOL, CREATIVE AND WEIRD” in which you’ll see a number of examples of artwork and special packaging (including one that includes a full-on board game!) that, for the most part, represent the exception and not the norm these days. It seems clear that there are a number of artists that have figured out the value of great packaging and visuals and have committed significant resources to these efforts, so while you might not love all you see, you can’t help but be impressed by the sincerity of their efforts..

http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/487987/cool-creative-weird-record-packaging.htm

h) On Friday, October 14th at the Society of Illustrators/Museum of Illustration located at 128 East 63rd Street (just East of Park Ave.) beginning at 6:30PM EST – noted author Steven Heller moderated a panel discussion titled “Can Art Affect Social Change?”, and which featured award-winning artist/illustrator Anita Kunz and a group of influential illustrators (Barry Blitt, Nora Krug and Peter Kuper) as well as music producer Hal Willner, each of whom has produced works that “focus on current issues and strive to affect social and political change.” You might recall from an early posting here that the Museum recently hosted (through October 22nd) an exhibition of works by noted illustrator and cultural satirist Ralph Steadman and so this panel, which included folks who’ve all been influenced by Steadman’s “Gonzo” style, should all be very qualified to add color and substance to the topic at hand.

Both Kunz and Blitt have contributed their talents to clients in the music space, and Willner, who has established himself as a producer of many “tribute” concerts, events and records (as well as the music for all of the sketch pieces on SNL since the early 1980s), was happy to share his unique perspectives on how the visual and musical arts can both reflect and impact audiences with their power and messaging.

More information can be found via the link at

https://www.societyillustrators.org/events/can-art-affect-social-change

i) Now, here’s an “album art/packaging is dying/dead” article with a twist! While the smaller 5″ square canvas reserved for the images used on CD covers did somewhat stifle the visual impact of art created for the format, the jewel case did in fact offer designers an opportunity “to go deep” – i.e., to craft multi-page booklets in which they could include multiple images, lyric pages and other items of interest. To do this with LPs required the creation of either specialized (mostly gatefold) packages or, more often, a box in which to hold the records and the booklets made to give fans “extra value”. As with any addition to a retail package, most buyers would only invest a limited amount of time digging through the extras, but those that did would typically come away with a slightly-better understanding and appreciation of the artist and his/her/their music.

I’m not quite sure just how old DJ Booth writer Yoh is (I’m assuming that he’s quite a bit younger than I am), but I have to think that his lament about “the slow death of the album booklet” – with its appreciation of more-recent packages (i.e., those released within the past 10 years or so) such as Kanye West’s George Condo art-filled package for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, with its collection of striking black and white photos taken by French shooter Denis Rouvre – focuses mostly on how the author feels that digital “booklets” and linked web sites lack the personal (read “physical”) value found in the printed materials that accompany a CD. How quaint.

http://djbooth.net/news/entry/2016-09-21-the-slow-death-of-the-album-booklet

j) A day late, perhaps, but still a topic worth exploring – of course, yesterday was Halloween, a night where we’re expected to honor and experience all things horrible and frightening (no, I’m not talking about our upcoming election again). Over the years – particularly in certain sub-genres of the heavy metal music world – a fair number of scary/disturbing/disgusting album cover images have been put on display to entice fans to explore the music packaged inside, so it only seems fitting that a yearly capsule summary of the most-memorable of these covers becomes the subject of an article. This year’s best summary comes to us from writer Matthew Wilkening in a posting for the UltimateClassicRock site titled “Rock’s 30 Scariest Album Covers”, in which you’ll find examples from your favorite metal music masters (Black Sabbath/Ozzy/Dio, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, etc.) as well as some classic designs that routinely show up on “everyone’s favorite sick sleeves” listings, including Barry Godber’s ultimate screaming face for King Crimson and Funkadelic’s truly-disturbing Maggot Brain. Click thru the list slowly, making sure to relish the artistry on display, all the while telling yourself “it’s only an album cover”… http://ultimateclassicrock.com/scary-album-covers/

Bonus content – Just wanted to share a photo of an advert in a recent edition of Portland Monthly magazine that, I think you’ll agree, shows just how deeply that certain influential album cover designs (like that for Abbey Road, by The Beatles) have been integrated into our collective consciences…Here’s an ad by a rug/carpet dealer in Portland, OR named Kush regarding their upcoming move from one location to a new one in town. I wonder if anyone will be analyzing the ad for all its symbolism – is the little dog on staff, or the embodiment of the soul of a long-dead area carpet weaver?

kushabbeyrdnov2016v2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now – look for updates every week (typically, on a Friday) on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back early next month with another summary for you.

All text Copyright 2016 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 News Recap for January, 2016

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Album Cover News Recap for the month of January, 2016

It’s early February 2016 and, while we here in the Pacific NW continue to endure a mostly-dreary Winter season (sun lamps are hot sellers here), we must consider ourselves lucky considering the bashing that many other areas of the country have been getting. And, while the circus sideshow we call “politics” continues to grab much of our attention these days, your Curator (hey, that’s me!) has been fortunate enough to tour art exhibitions in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and here in Portland, where the 2016 Print Fair was held this past weekend at the Portland Art Museum – lots of great art was seen and appreciated – yes, there is an art world beyond Album Cover-land!

My travels did, of course, slightly reduce the number of days I was able to share the latest album art-related news with you (and, even with a Leap Day added, this will occur again naturally in February), but the steady stream of album art-related news remained unabated, with the ACHOF news feed showcasing the many exhibitions, books and other such activities we reported on during the last 30 days. With stories on the interviews, features, profiles, gallery/museum shows and annual  “best and worst” lists adding to the impressive number  of exciting and inspiring articles you found in our news feed, I’ll now spend just a few paragraphs giving you a summary of these highlights and updates. After that,  it’ll be up to you  to visit our site to complete your re-reading of these items of interest on this list by reading/viewing these items at your leisure… Continue reading

ACHOF Featured Artist Portfolio – Photographer Edward Colver

ACHOF Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio – Photographer Edward Colver

This Featured Artist Portfolio was a long time in coming.

I was first exposed to Edward Colver’s work on a grand scale in late 2009 while visiting the “Who Shot Rock & Roll” photo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, during which I found myself staring at Colver’s photo of Black Flag singer Henry Rollins who, seemingly, had just punched a mirror and bloodied his fist in doing so. As a die-hard rock/fusion jazz music fan since the late 60s, I’d always thought of the punk scene as just a way for young people with not much going on in their lives to release some steam (and blood) within the confines of clubs located in industrial neighborhoods and the urban wasteland of suburbia, so besides getting a kick out of the antics of The Ramones and the Sex Pistols, I’d never truly considered punk as anything serious – at least, not until I’d seen Colver’s shots of sweating, flying, bleeding, sneering, energetic and downright serious bands and their fans.

When I first made contact with Edward Colver back in early February, 2010 via the efforts of one of the contacts I had made via my old art gallery (thanks for trying, Robert B.!) to see if he’d be up for an interview, I had been pre-warned that the photographer had maintained much of his disaffected punk spirit (“we were drunken morons and geniuses co-mingling all of the time”, he said in a recent interview), the result of having attended well over a thousand punk concerts – often, five per week – and, having stated publicly that he hasn’t watched television since 1979 (and, therefore, never having watched any of my much-praised work on the trend-setting interactive TV shows I helped produce for the Fuse music TV network) or actively promoted his career in any traditional sense, I figured that he might be less-than-eager to work with me in an article for my slightly-less-than-anarchic album art site. Continue reading