Tag Archives: record sleeve

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for July, 2020

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Monthly News Update and Summary – July, 2020

Posted July 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (updated on July 3, 2020)

Early July greetings to you all from my now-extremely-familiar home office – with the Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend and the state I live in (Illinois) slowly (at least on paper) re-emerging from a self-imposed quarantine, I wanted to make sure that I’d put together and delivered my monthly update prior to my move to the den to view the carefully-curated shows that make up my Holiday Watchlist (inc. a recording of the Chicago Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qarHJOSYg). While many of my local countrymen seem to feel that it’s time to “get back to normal” (based on what exactly?), my wife and I are happy to continue on keeping to ourselves, venturing out only as-needed and enjoying the great take-out food and downloaded books, music and movies that have kept us safe and sane over the past few months while this pandemic remains active and dangerous.

I’ve continued to add new bios to the ACHOF site and will soon be adding some new themed searches to the site that will let you dig deep into the ACHOF archives for more stories, interviews and news about your favorite album cover makers. I’ve also spent some quality time trying the impressive number of quality gins and tonics that are now available on the market, so certain aspects of my quarantine time have proven to be quite fruitful (and delicious).

With a lot of the news headlines focused on the state of civil rights, inequality and justice here in the U.S., I thought that it was right to include an article I found (on the UK-based site Culture Matters) that dove into Civil Rights-focused album cover design. It was written back in 2018 (please note that a number of links to supporting images are now broken, but the text descriptions and overall writing are good) – https://www.culturematters.org.uk/index.php/arts/music/item/2724-wearing-politics-on-record-sleeves

In the meantime, I continue to be grateful to those of you who’ve decided to spend some extra quality time on the ACHOF site to enjoy the reams of content available for your there so, in keeping with my ongoing commitment to the delivery of my ongoing series of short-but-sweet monthly summaries of album cover artist and art-related news, interviews, sales and more, let’s get down to business:

Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info

While most galleries and museums continue to be closed to the public, some have announced plans to either/both re-open soon, making sure that they’re doing all they can to keep customers and their employees safe and/or continuing on in their efforts to create content (ala the Morrison Hotel live and recorded speaker series called “Behind The Lens” which, you’ll read below, has added several new video segments) and offer a more-enhanced online presence. Many are also available to help by appointment, so if you’re looking to learn more about what’s taking place in art spaces in your area, I’d invite you to look through the list of sellers I’m maintaining on the ACHOF site –  https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-buying-and-selling-resources-page/ – and then visit their sites to see who is doing what.

Artist News and Interviews

a) In a recording of a live (6/30/2020) video conferenced interview hosted by curator/educator/lecturer Anne Braybon from the FORMAT International Photo Festival, you get to see and hear the latest from famed photographer Brian Griffin (a man with a long list of notable album cover credits). He’s got a new book he’s working on – Part 2 of his “Black Kingdom” biography series (the first book, published in 2013 by Dewi Lewis Publishing, with the second to be titled “Black Country Dada”, covering works of his from the 1980s thru 1990) – and is “at” the festival promoting its 2021 release – https://www.facebook.com/formatfestival/videos/273251277450943/

Braybon and Griffin have a long history together, having worked at Management Today magazine (she as Art Director and he as a significant contributor) and then later on when she took on the role of Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, when she invited Brian to serve as the inaugural photographer for the major three-year project which was developed and directed titled Road to 2012. When a historian/creative director and renowned image-maker share stories of their respective and collective endeavors, much can be learned and thoroughly enjoyed, so I’d suggest you spend some time watching this fascinating interview.

b) In early May, Beatles fans marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the band’s final record together – 1970s Let It Be – and it was photographer Ethan Russell who was commissioned to shoot the four portraits featured on the album’s cover. Recently, the folks at PBS put out a News Hour report featuring an interview (done by Christopher Booker) with Russell in which he discusses what it was like to be with the band to witness the final moments of their amazingly productive career together –  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/watching-the-end-of-the-beatles-through-the-lens-of-a-camera

c) Summertime brings us thoughts of time spent at the beach but, in this recent article published on the Devonlive.com site, you’ll read about how photographer David Montgomery was part of the Hipgnosis creative team that decided to stretch the term “getting ready for a trip to the beach” to an incredible extent, dragging 800 beds on to the sands of a beach in Devon (England) to serve as a backdrop – along with several notable characters – for the cover photo they’d create for Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason album – https://www.devonlive.com/news/history/day-pink-floyd-album-cover-4224756  It turns out that that same locale was also used in several other films, TV shows and, several years before this album, on a music video for Pink Floyd’s The Wall

d) For the past couple of months, I’ve been reporting on how artist Roger Dean has been making the most out of his self-quarantine time by producing a very regular series of video sessions, shot live in his studio, during which he’s let us watch over his shoulder as he was working on a variety of projects, with Dean providing “play-by-play” commentary as he worked. During the month of June, Roger continued on in his efforts, sharing an intro to an online painting course he’s offering (now sold out), a presentation of his architectural efforts and several in-depth Q&A sessions, with his daughter serving as producer and interviewer – https://www.rogerdean.com/interviews/ As always, a fascinating look into the mind and process of such a talented artist as Mr. Dean is.

e)  The team at the Morrison Hotel Galleries continued to be most-generous with their time and resources this past month as they added to their ongoing series of presentations featuring well-known rock photographers taking us on tours through their portfolios (first seen as live events on Instagram, with the videos then archived on the gallery’s site).

Since my last report, they’ve added several new episodes to this series (titled “Behind The Lens”) that will be of interest to album cover and general rock photography fans, beginning with Al Satterwhite in Episode 21 and Allan Tannenbaum in Episode 22. Both men have long and heralded histories providing us with memorable images of many of our favorite musical acts, so be sure to take a look at these and the other previously-pumped episodes on the gallery’s main blog page –   https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/blog/

Items for Sale and/or at Auction

Previously posted, but in case you missed them….I thought you’d want to know about the results of three recent auctions I previously reported on, with some of the results confirming, once again, that “money talks”:

a) To follow up on my early June posting about photographer Mark Seliger’s fund-raising auction of 26 of his photo portraits of celebrities from the worlds of music, film, TV, stage and politics, I’d like to report that the total raised for the COVID-19 relief organizations he’s supporting was a remarkable $232,375, with the item raising the most money – that being Seliger’s portrait of past President Barack Obama – selling for an impressive $37,500. Well done, Mr. Seliger!

Proceeds from this auction, hosted by Christies.com and which ended on June 12th (and raised money to benefit charities through an advocacy campaign called RADArt4Aid), will be shared with the following organizations – The American Red Cross, America’s Food Fund, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, New York Cares, The Prince’s Trust, World Central Kitchen, UN Women, One Family LA, Direct Relief, Meals on Wheels, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Get Us PPE, Good+ Foundation, Hidden Heroes, The Let Love Rule Foundation, Middle Way House, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, Support + Feed, and Pieta.

Original link – https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/radart4aid/lots/1768?saleid=28910&salenumber=19606

I’m so happy to see the many ways that those involved in the arts have used their talents and their good names to help those in need while we all struggle through the disruptions in our lives caused by this terrible pandemic and the varied responses to it. For more information on this artist, please visit – http://www.markseligerphotography.com

b) In news about another Christie’s auction-related event, bidders participating in a June 18th online auction featuring historic items in many categories brought fat wallets to do their best to take home a truly one-of-a-kind item – George Hardie’s original artwork for the first LP released by Led Zeppelin (titled Led Zeppelin, but known by most as “Led Zeppelin 1”). With bidding beginning on June 2nd, and with the pre-auction estimate for the stipple tracing of the 1937 photograph of the doomed airship Hindenburg estimated in the $20K-30K range, the well-heeled participants quickly drove bidding up to the stratosphere for this type of work, with the final price paid for the work being £260,500, or approximately $325,000.

As I mentioned in my earlier reporting, George was paid about $125 for his work back in 1969, which since has been reproduced on countless posters, t-shirts and the nearly 10 million copies of this record sold since its release. He’d stuck the flimsy in a drawer to keep the work after it was used in production. He put a note on it that read “George’s Pension Fund” – you have to wonder how he’d know it would be just that. The item was included in a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts including a copy of the first newspaper printing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and a letter by George Washington on the significance of the American victory at Yorktown – https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/open-book-fine-travel-americana-literature-history-print-manuscript/original-art-led-zeppelins-debut-lp-88/86909

You can read a summary about this auction and Mr. Hardie’s work in this article on the UK’s Daily Mail web site – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8454899/Artist-designed-Led-Zeppelins-iconic-debut-album-sells-original-tracing-260-000.html?

c) Lastly but not leastly, I’d earlier reported on a huge entertainment industry auction, staged in four sessions over two days (June 19 – 20) by the Julien’s Auction house in which, in addition to a slate of items that included the guitar Kurt Cobain used on a a memorable TV performance and one of Prince’s custom guitars (both items going on to sell for unimaginable amounts of money) a fair number of  album cover-related items were offered. In its catalog of over 800 lots, the two previously-mentioned guitars made headlines on their own, with the 1959 Martin acoustic guitar Cobain used during their 1993 MTV Unplugged appearance selling for an astonishing $6,010,000 (about 6X more than the pre-auction estimate), while the 1984 Prince-owned Cloud 2 Blue Angel guitar, with an estimated value of $400K – $600K, selling for a cool $563,500.

And while both of those items produced many a raised eyebrow, the several items that might have made the album art fan in your life very happy as well included several lots that did well for their owners as well: Lot 1 was a black and white Anton Corbijn photo print from the estate of Karen Roberta Stanley (Steely Dan’s manager at ABC Records and guitarist Walter Becker’s lady friend) that was used on the cover of the band’s Greatest Hits record (pre-auction estimate in the $300 – $500 range, sold for $5120); Lots 41-42 and 45-46 were test proof prints of the iconic album art for Steely Dan’s Aja (est $500-$700), sold for anywhere from $448-$576 per lot; Lot 172 – A printer’s proof of the unreleased original cover art for Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland LP framed with a print of the released artwork to show the slight differences $1-$2K est., sold for $1875; Lot 189 – a framed, limited-edition print of the painting that Joni Mitchell produced for use on the cover of her 1982 album Wild Things Run Fast ($1-2K est), sold for $1280; Lot 195 – while not exactly a “real” album cover image, this was a pretty cool piece of memorabilia…used as a prop in Oliver Stone’s film starring Val Kilmer titled The Doors, this cover image, modeled after the band’s debut cover, substitutes the film’s stars for the original band members (est. $100 – 200), sold for $448; Lot 208 – David Alexander’s photo used on the cover for Hotel California by the Eagles was offered in a limited-edition print ($400 – 600), a steal at $320; Lot 223 – A 1993 art print of the cover art for Elvis Presley’s 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong album ($400-600), selling for only $192; Lot 361 – a Rush band-signed, limited-edition print of the cover for their 1976 hit LP 2112 ($600-800 est) sold for $2560, proving that autographed items still seem to be selling for big money; Lot 522 – a fully-band-signed limited-edition print of the cover for Bon Jovi’s Cross Road, printed in 1995 ($600-800), sold for $1024; Lot 528 – Artist David Welker’s original oil painting used on the cover of Phish’s 1993 album Rift ($10K-20K), sold for nearly 4X the low estimate at $38,400; Lot 714 – a portfolio package including 10 limited-edition prints by artist/musician Klaus Voorman of the art he produced for Ringo Starr’s 1973 album Ringo ($2k-3k), taken home by a thrifty bidder for only $1280; Lot 740 – a framed promo poster of the famed “baby in a pool” photo by Kirk Weddle used on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind LP, signed and hand-embellished by all three of the band members ($6K-8K), sold for an extraordinary $56,250 – https://www.julienslive.com/m/lot-details/index/catalog/320/lot/138595? and, our final item, Lot 831 – a set of 2 printer’s proof prints of artist Alan Aldridge’s unused artwork for the unreleased 1975 album Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus by the Rolling Stones. The package was released over 30 years later, but with different packaging (est $2K – 4k), splitting the difference at $2880. There were many interesting items in this auction, so if you’d like to see more of the details, I’d invite you to tour the online catalog yourself for this auction event at https://www.juliensauctions.com/flip-through-catalog?id=307

d) I don’t often get a chance to share info on a couple of album art-derived items that are both incredibly timely and in support of such a good cause, but today I’m simply sharing a couple of links to web sites where you can buy i) a Black Lives Matter t-shirt that’s being produced and sold by the masters of metal music, Black Sabbath. The design is simple and straight-forward, using the well-known type style and color scheme that’s found on the cover of the band’s 3rd studio album – Masters of Reality – to spell out BLM. 100% of the proceeds of the sale of this shirt are going directly to the BLM organization in support of their ongoing efforts to bring about a society built on “Freedom, Liberation and Justice”. I hope that you’ll support the band in this effort and share this posting with anyone you think will want to join us as we work together to achieve a truly fair, honest and just country – https://blacksabbathapparelshop.com/products/black-lives-matter-t-shirt?variant=32403498696794

ii) As part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the release of Sonic Youth’s Goo album, the band has just started selling a really cool-looking face mask that’s based on Raymond Pettibon’s memorable pen-and-ink artwork found on the record’s cover. This is the second mask that the band has made, with the first sporting an adaptation of the band’s 2004 Sonic Nurse artwork. In both cases, proceeds from the sales of these masks are earmarked for charitable organizations that the band supports, including Act Blue’s AOC COVID Relief Fund, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Bed Stuy Strong. Overseas orders support Doctors Without Borders in the U.K. and Germany.

Goo Facemask

 

Peace and Love to you all (don’t forget to say this to a friend on Ringo’s 80th birthday – 12PM your time on July 7th).

e) COMING SOON IN SEPTEMBER – The final Secret 7” fund-raising auction, originally scheduled for this past May, has been re-scheduled – Readers of this site might remember having seen my annual reporting on the “Secret 7” hand-made record sleeve project and the impressive amount of talent on display each year. 2020 celebrates the organization’s seventh edition of the show – with this year being the final one – and so, as you might imagine, there will be a number of big-name participants who’ll be donating both music and art in an effort to raise funds for their chosen charity – pioneering humanitarian aid agency Help Refugees. As I quoted in an article about the project earlier this year, “Combining Music and Art for Good, Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then openly invite visual artists to create artwork for the 7 tracks, resulting in 700 unique records which are exhibited in London from September 4th through the 13th before being sold on a first come, first served basis (limit 4 to a customer – no online sales) in a quick sale staged on the final day“. Priced at £70 each, buyers don’t know who created the artwork or even which song it’s for, until they have parted with their cash. In past years, lucky buyers have gone home with art by contributors such as David Shrigley, Gilbert & George, Ai Weiwei, Es Devlin, Sir Paul Smith, Sir Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Polly Morgan, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Yoko Ono, Sir Peter Blake, Julian Opie, Martin Parr, Jenny Holzer, Harland Miller, Gavin Turk and many other photographers, illustrators, painters, graffiti artists and sculptors. With the support of these collectors, they’re hoping to take their grand total given to charity to over £250,000.

While those of us not in the London area can only watch with intense jealousy, it is always fun to see who each year’s sale brings to the table in reports after the event. On the music side, this year’s participants include Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Internet Come Over, Koffee Toast, Miles Davis, Vampire Weekend and the Foo Fighters, with more info on the event available on both their web site at https://secret-7.com/page/about and in this recent article on The Guardian (UK) web site – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jun/15/the-best-new-design-from-african-arcade-games-to-art-you-can-smell Best of luck to the Secret 7” team – I’m sure we’ll see more from them in the future.

Miscellaneous Items

OBITS) The past month has been a particularly bad one for fans of great design and art, what with the passing of design icon Milton Glaser, who died late in the month at the ripe old age of 91, and earlier in the month with the death of painter Terry Quick, whose psychedelic masterpiece for the cover of the mis-spelled-but-still-timeless record for The Zombies – Odessey & Oracle – still stands out for its colorful grooviness. Quirk died at the age of 78, with more details available in this tribute on the Digital Journal web site – http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/music/artist-poet-songwriter-and-educator-terry-quirk-dies-at-78/article/572557

Mr. Glaser’s career produced so many well-known images – from the I LOVE NY logo (seen on countless T-shirts, posters, etc.) and the masthead logo for New York Magazine to timeless images for clients including the School of Visual Arts, The Nation and Esquire magazines, the Fairway grocery store chain, the New York Film Society and scores of others. His psychedelic poster included in Columbia Records’ 1967 release Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits is a design museum staple (and, highly collectible) and his logo and album cover work for Tomato Records still brings great joy to album art lovers like myself (note that one of my most-prized album art prints in my personal collection is the “Guitar and Piano in Black” that was used on the cover of Muddy Waters & Otis Spann’s Collaboration LP – see image, below).

Mike G’s Milton Glaser print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you might figure, there are a lot of articles about Mr. Glaser’s passing, including ones in the NY Times and his own New York Magazinehttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/obituaries/milton-glaser-dead.html

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/milton-glaser-new-york-and-iny-designer-dies-at-91.html

but I’m inviting you to also take a look through his portfolio of art – including many album covers – that’s found on this School of Visual Arts overview – https://archives.sva.edu/about-collection/milton-glaser-collection?autoscroll=0 and on the Discogs record database – https://www.discogs.com/artist/1131756-Milton-Glaser

Since he was active until the end, he had been the subject of an article about a year ago in the NY Times that showed him “still going strong at 90” – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/04/nyregion/why-this-famous-graphic-designer-at-90-still-ny.html?

Both will be missed.

a) While you know that I tend not to try and highlight the many “what’s your favorite album cover” articles that appear mostly as click bait these days, I did find one recently on the AV Club site that seemed a bit more thoughtful as the publication asked a number of its editors and contributors to pick their favorite album cover and, remarkably, tell us why they were chosen – https://music.avclub.com/what-s-your-favorite-album-artwork-1844084329 While the “classics” were well-represented, there were several selections that were well-supported by the accompanying explanations, so “cheers” to this group.

b) The recent sad truths about aspects of our lives brought on by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the discussions of racial inequality and justice here in the U.S. have not gone un-noticed in the album art world, in both good and not-so-good ways. Let’s start with the “good” – all of this quarantine time spent on video calls has created a new opportunity for the folks who make/own the rights to memorable album cover art by being able to offer them as backgrounds for those video conference calls where you just want to be seen in front of something other than your book shelves or a refrigerator sporting your 5-year-old’s finger paintings. On the web site for Sony Music Entertainment (UK)’s “Iconic Music Backgrounds” service – https://www.iconicmusicbackgrounds.com/ – you’ll find more than a dozen images (with more to come) that include well-known images from label’s roster of top artists, including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Judas Priest, Wu-Tang Clan and NSYNC, among others, which can be downloaded and laid in to your own video conference calls.

Here’s how the service explains it – “What’s this all about? Spice up your online video conference calls with one of our musical artist backgrounds. Simply click “Download” on the background you’d like to use, and then add it into your library of Zoom Backgrounds for your next online video chat party. You might also click “Listen” for some background music as well! We will be adding more backgrounds periodically, and we can notify you when they’re available.” I think I’ll start with the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover and go from there….

c) Now, on to the “not-so-good” (and, in one case, downright despicable) – After the short-but-highly- productive music career of rapper/songwriter Pop Smoke was cut short early in 2020 at the hands of a gun-wielding masked home invader, his record label hired notable designer Virgil Abloh to come up with an enduring image for the cover of his now-posthumous debut album titled Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon and, after the resulting design was pre-released to his fan base, a huge amount of negative feedback was received. As you’ll read in this recent article on the Complex.com site – https://www.complex.com/style/2020/06/virgil-abloh-designed-cover-art-pop-smoke-debut-album-to-be-changed-following-backlash – the designer is now working to change the image into something (he hopes is) more acceptable as, as the album’s producer has put it, “Pop would listen to his fans”. While the designer has yet to pipe in on the predicament he finds himself in, fans and friends of the late rapper have made it quite clear that (as rapper 50 Cent just stated) “they ain’t going for this bullsh*t”. We know that the talented Mr. Abloh is quite capable of great design, so I’m hoping he delivers.

Now, on to that downright despicable item – Lately, we’ve all been subjected to videos and statements from those who seem to possess an unexplainable need to impress their superiority upon those of us (meaning, nearly ALL of us) who are less-than-deserving. And while fans of metal music and its accompanying album art are quite used to seeing images often meant to disturb and test our intestinal fortitude, we tend to understand that this art (and the people that make it) does help differentiate it from “the norm”, which is why fans like it so much. What I don’t appreciate is when artists of this or any genre feel the need to express their feelings of hate and disgust of their fellow human beings while maintaining – without any visible proof to support their contentions – their own senses of superiority, so I was both happy and sad to read this recent article on the Metal Sucks site (sporting the masthead “Not Insisting Violence”) about artist Samuel Mills (AKA “Defame”) and his recent postings featuring “subjective/satirical art” he created that likens the Black Lives Matter movement, socialists, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and billionaire philanthropist and Holocaust survivor George Soros to the Nazis. As I don’t feel much like dwelling on the subject at this point in time, I’d simply ask that you click on over to this article and then formulate your own opinions about how we might respond to this disturbed young man’s world view – https://www.metalsucks.net/2020/06/29/artist-for-bands-like-whitechapel-and-carnifex-compares-black-lives-matter-to-nazism/

d) Wait, wait – one more “good” article with a tinge of sadness – just out in the NY Times is another Milton Glaser interview article which details the artist’s work on a design for the word “TOGETHER” that was meant to help us all visualize what’s most important as we go on with our lives during these troubled times – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/arts/design/milton-glaser-together-design-coronavirus.html?  The man behind the I LOVE NY logo decided, as one of the last things he did, to expand his love and appreciation to all people, regardless of where they’re living, so he certainly leaves us with both a legacy of great design and an inspiration to aspire for much, much more in life.

e) Posted earlier (6/5/20) online, but worth a re-visit (particularly after that last article) – In early June, I received an email from photographer/art director Glen Wexler in which he told me about some of his recent work, including an example of a new “live album cover” he created for his long-time music client, new age keyboardist/composer/Emmy Award-nominated songwriter and producer Chuck Wild, better known as recording artist Liquid Mind. Glen’s work is found on 13 of the 16 albums Liquid Mind has released and, according to Glen, when the popular streaming music service Spotify looked to introduce an enhancement to their content under the name “Spotify Canvas”, they invited a handful of artists from different genres to create some examples of these music files with integrated animation loops, with Liquid Mind being selected to represent the New Age music category. You can take a look at this mesmerizing image – an animation of the cover for Liquid Mind XIII: Mindfulness – via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/wexlerliquidmind13.mov

Glen also shared a bit about the inspiration behind, and process used, to create this work – “. The idea is about expanding the possibilities of album art design for digital platforms which, of course, is now the primary medium to see album art… The album cover was originally created as a static digital illustration. For the animated version, I deconstructed the original art to isolate the woman’s profile. The background and foreground elements were recreated. The layers were animated in After Effects and exported as a movie file with a 20 second audio clip, all designed to seamlessly loop.”

Those of you who’ve been reading should know about my ongoing curiosity as to why musical acts haven’t been a lot more pro-active in this area. While I know that the cost of producing a video-based work is typically more than a static image, acts have long-invested in music videos (with budgets from little money to HUGE money) and, as the tools made it easier to do, animated presentations (ala this recent one from Gordon Lightfoot –  https://youtu.be/WdSH0ru4AHQ  – pretty cool for a man in his early 80s).

When the Internet became the predominant place to promote and sell music, I was amazed that more acts/labels didn’t devote significant time and resources to giving fans more cool content via their web sites. When I was helping with the launch of MuchMusicUSA/Fuse TV in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I tried hard to get acts and labels to work with me to bring fans more “bonus” items as a way to build stronger relationships with their fans, and some “got it” but, sadly, most didn’t – at least, not for many years, and then they were playing catch-up. What’s weird is that a band like The Beatles “got it” 50 years ago, deriving films, cartoons, lyric books and tons of merch from their album-related imagery. Glen proffered a bit on his own experiences along these lines – “I’ve pitched the idea on animated album covers for over ten years, but as you know, the labels and bands have mistakenly devalued album art as physical sales decline. Of course, this is shortsighted and neglects to recognize the marketing importance of the cover art as the primary visual representation of the music for the life of the recording.” So, taking all of this into account, I had to ask whether his client was pleased with the possibilities presented by the finished product, he replied that “the label manager sent me an email a few days ago expressing his excitement about the social media uses” so, perhaps, this is a good step in the right direction.

Learn more about this most-recent Liquid Mind release on the artist’s web site – https://liquidmindmusic.com/mindfulness/index.html

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

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2020 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 Hall of Fame Special Edition News Release – June 5, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACHOF QUICKIE NEWS UPDATE FOR June 5, 2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings to you all – while we continue our slow (hopefully, not too fast) emergence from the COVID-related quarantine we’ve been living under since early March, I am hoping that you are all doing as best you can under the circumstances. While I’m not due to put together a big news summary for a few weeks, I’d read about a couple of things that I felt needed to be shared ASAP – one about an in-progress auction of prints from a noted album cover photographer designed to raise money for COVID-19-related service organizations and the second about some fascinating album cover imagery created for an emerging streaming media platform. Also, I’m sad to say, I’ve included a brief note about the death of a noted album cover designer who was responsible for one of classic rock’s most-memorable psychedelic album covers…

1)  Glen Wexler creates an animated album cover for use on Spotify’s new “Spotify Canvas” audio/visual format – In early June, I received an email from photographer/art director Glen Wexler in which he told me about some of his recent work, including an example of a new “live album cover” he created for his long-time music client, new age keyboardist/composer/Emmy Award-nominated songwriter and producer Chuck Wild, better known as recording artist Liquid Mind. Glen’s work is found on 13 of the 16 albums Liquid Mind has released and, according to Glen, when the popular streaming music service Spotify looked to introduce an enhancement to their content under the name “Spotify Canvas”, they invited a handful of artists from different genres to create some examples of these music files with integrated animation loops, with Liquid Mind being selected to represent the New Age music category. You can take a look at this mesmerizing image – an animation of the cover for Liquid Mind XIII: Mindfulness – either below or on a browser via this link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/wexlerliquidmind13.mov

Glen also shared a bit about the inspiration behind, and process used, to create this work – “. The idea is about expanding the possibilities of album art design for digital platforms which, of course, is now the primary medium to see album art… The album cover was originally created as a static digital illustration. For the animated version, I deconstructed the original art to isolate the woman’s profile. The background and foreground elements were recreated. The layers were animated in After Effects and exported as a movie file with a 20 second audio clip, all designed to seamlessly loop.”

Those of you who’ve been reading should know about my ongoing curiosity as to why musical acts haven’t been a lot more pro-active in this area. While I know that the cost of producing a video-based work is typically more than a static image, acts have long-invested in music videos (with budgets from little money to HUGE money) and, as the tools made it easier to do, animated presentations (ala this recent one from Gordon Lightfoot –  https://youtu.be/WdSH0ru4AHQ  – pretty cool for a man in his early 80s).

When the Internet became the predominant place to promote and sell music, I was amazed that more acts/labels didn’t devote significant time and resources to giving fans more cool content via their web sites. When I was helping with the launch of MuchMusicUSA/Fuse TV in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I tried hard to get acts and labels to work with me to bring fans more “bonus” items as a way to build stronger relationships with their fans, and some “got it” but, sadly, most didn’t – at least, not for many years, and then they were playing catch-up. What’s weird is that a band like The Beatles “got it” 50 years ago, deriving films, cartoons, lyric books and tons of merch from their album-related imagery. Glen proffered a bit on his own experiences along these lines – “I’ve pitched the idea on animated album covers for over ten years, but as you know, the labels and bands have mistakenly devalued album art as physical sales decline. Of course, this is shortsighted and neglects to recognize the marketing importance of the cover art as the primary visual representation of the music for the life of the recording.” So, taking all of this into account, I had to ask whether his client was pleased with the possibilities presented by the finished product, he replied that “the label manager sent me an email a few days ago expressing his excitement about the social media uses” so, perhaps, this is a good step in the right direction.

Learn more about this most-recent Liquid Mind release on the artist’s web site – https://liquidmindmusic.com/mindfulness/index.html

To see more of Mr. Wexler’s impressive portfolio of music industry-related work, I’d suggest popping on over to his web site at https://www.glenwexlerstudio.com/portfolios-/music-+-entertainment/1/caption

2) Here’s a new story about how a talented and generous visual artist is aiding his fellow humans suffering through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic via an auction – taking place now through June 12th on the Christies.com web site – https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/radart4aid/lots/1768?saleid=28910&salenumber=19606 where all of the proceeds raised by the sale of a collection of limited-edition fine art prints are being used to benefit a slate of COVID-19 relief organizations.

The auction features 26 or photographer Mark Seliger’s portraits of celebrities from the worlds of music, film, TV, stage and politics, including (in alphabetical order): Jennifer Aniston, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Laura Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Billie Eilish, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hanks, John Lee Hooker, Nicole Kidman, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courtney Love, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Willie Nelson, Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Keith Richards, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon, with 100% of the proceeds of sale from each portrait being donated to the subject’s charity of choice.

Here’s some more info taken from the auction’s press release – “Christie’s, Mark Seliger Studio, and RAD (Red Carpet Advocacy) are thrilled to announce a new joint fundraising and advocacy campaign, RADArt4Aid, a dedicated global auction to benefit multiple COVID-19 relief organizations. Award-winning American photographer Mark Seliger, known for iconic portraits of politicians, musicians, actors and celebrities featured on the covers of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, is kindly contributing limited-edition prints from his own archives to raise as much money as possible for charity during these unprecedented times. RAD is producing the campaign and driving advocacy for the benefiting charities, which include The American Red Cross, America’s Food Fund, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, New York Cares, The Prince’s Trust, World Central Kitchen, UN Women, One Family LA, Direct Relief, Meals on Wheels, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Get Us PPE, Good+ Foundation, Hidden Heroes, The Let Love Rule Foundation, Middle Way House, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, Support + Feed, and Pieta.”

Album cover fans will note Mr. Seliger’s numerous album cover credits, which include – Lenny Kravitz – Greatest Hits; Paul McCartney – Back In The U.S.; Sheryl Crow – The Very Best of Sheryl Crow; Tony Bennett – Playin’ With My Friends and The Ultimate Tony Bennett; Bob Dylan – Blues; Bon Jovi – These Days; Ice-T – The Ice Opinion; Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again and Elvis Costello – Il Sogno among others.

After a 15 year stint as a shooter for Rolling Stone Magazine (where he’d contribute over 125 cover photos and countless other editorial images, in 2002 Mark left Rolling Stone to take on assignments for magazines within the Conde’ Nast publishing group, shooting photos for GQ, Italian Vogue and Vanity Fair while also taking on commercial assignments for Miramax, MTV Networks, Sony and Universal Pictures. His specialty is creating stunning, large-scale prints using a high-end photographic printing process called “platinum palladium printing”, similar to the technique used by artistically-inclined photographers such as Edward S. Curtis, Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz.

Throughout his career, Seliger has received many awards for his photographs, including the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award in 1999 and the Gold Medal Awards from the Society of Publication Designers in 2001 and 2004. Books featuring his work include:  Listen (published by Rizzoli International in 2010); Mark Seliger: In My Stairwell (Rizzoli, 2005); Lenny Kravitz (Arena Editions, 2001); Physionomie (Editions du Collectionneur, 2000) and When They Came to Take My Father – Voices of the Holocaust (Skyhorse, 1996). In addition to the many other books on various subjects that he’s licensed his photos to, Seliger has also exhibited his work in museums and galleries all over the world.

For more information on this artist, please visit – http://www.markseligerphotography.com

3) It’s with great sadness that I must note the death on June 2nd of artist (and musician and teacher) Terry Quick, whose work on the cover art for The Zombies’ 1968 sophomore release Odessey & Oracle bent many a mind back in the day (was the spelling mistake intentional, or was it part of a conspiracy to mess with our heads?).

Quick was also responsible for the cover for the still-hard-at-work band’s 2015 record titled Still Got That Hunger, certainly putting him in the running (now, posthumously) for the award for “most years in between album art gigs”. Terry died in his home in Salisbury, England at the age of 78. A note on the group’s Facebook page included the following – “Terry’s visionary cover art is eternally connected to our 1968 album Odessey and Oracle. Almost 50 years later, he graced us again with the covers for our album Still Got That Hunger and book The Odessey,” concluding with “Most importantly, Terry’s irrepressible and mischievous spirit left a smile on the face of every person he met, and that spirit will live on forever in his artwork. Our hearts go out to his wife Erica and their family. Rest in peace dear friend.”

Read more online on the Digital Journal.com site – http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/music/artist-poet-songwriter-and-educator-terry-quirk-dies-at-78/article/572557

That’s all for now – see you later with a new summary article.

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020

 

 

 

Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020

Posted June 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings once again from my office – a place I’ve been spending WAY too much time in lately on account of the local/state “keep away from others” rules currently protecting me from that crummy COVID bug. Like many of you, I’ve been staring at screens half the day, and while I’ve been committed to getting out of the house at least a minute or two every day (long walks around the neighborhood and visits to local parks have been great sanity-savers), I’m both completely understanding that keeping my distance from others is my best option for continued good health and really anxious to return to whatever “normal” life will be soon.

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ACHOF Interview with Bert Dijkstra and Dick Van Dijk about the Vinylize! exhibition and book project

ACHOF’s Interview with Bert Dijkstra and Dick Van Dijk about their Vinylize! exhibition and book project

Posted May, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

interview article illustration

 

Back in April, 2017, I reported on a show that was being staged in Amsterdam as part of the world-wide Record Store Day festivities which each year, if you’ve gone to take a look, put a lot of talent on display including, I think you’ll agree, a lot of fine work on the packaging, with colored vinyl, limited-edition releases and a ton of related merch showcasing the output of designers, photographers, illustrators and the like in close collaboration with the musician and label clients. At the time, I’d referred you to an article in Creative Boom by Katy Cowan (http://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/vinylize-paper-crafters-nearly-normal-celebrate-record-store-days-10th-anniversary-with-kraftwerk-tribute/), where you were shown an example of the extra degrees of creativity in the RSD-related work of the “masters of paper craft” – Nearly Normal – as they joined forces with Amsterdam-based record retailer Concerto to produce some quite-special items for an exhibit that was on display in the store through that May called Vinylize! What’s Vinylize!, you might ask? Well, according to the store’s site, “at the invitation of the Amsterdam Shop Around, about 50 artists used their favorite record sleeve as a canvas. The artwork of various artists such as Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Jimi Hendrix, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Blondie (to name a few) got a “VINYLIZE! makeover”, resulting in completely new and unique artwork.” In the case of the one-off cover created by Nearly Normal’s Jaime Kiss, the inspiration was Kraftwerk’s 1981 hit Computer World, and not only did the agency produce a cut paper-based cover homage, they also took it further by creating a series of fine art prints for collectors and producing an animated (8-bit style) music video for the song based on that artwork.”

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for May, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – May, 2020

Posted May 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from my home office, a place where I’ve spent a good chunk of the last month sitting at my desk, reading emails and news stories and watching videos (both live and recorded) on a million different subjects. I’m trying so hard not to watch too much TV (I did, however, find a 9-show series produced in 2015 by Irish TV called Treyvaud’s Travels that left me longing to spend the rest of my life in SW Ireland – highly recommended) and I’ve read several books while stretched out in my comfy chair but, quite honestly, the one thing that’s perhaps made me the happiest – and something I did a lot less of when I was free to do whatever I wanted without catching the plague – has been staying in contact with some of the people I know around the world, getting their unique perspectives of how they’re living their lives and maintaining a positive lookout on life in spite of the hardships we’re all having.

Keeping this in mind, I still work hard to reserve time to continue typing like a madman to prep interviews, articles and news summaries for all my chums out there, most of who are, like me, stuck indoors. Accepting that my readers’ priorities are not so focused on what’s happening in the world of album cover art and packaging, I’m continuing to proffer a truncated-yet-informative summary document both to keep fans of album art informed and to prove that creative people are continuing to create and entertain while we ride this storm out together.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for April, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – April, 2020

Posted April 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings from Chicagoland. While it’s my hope that my monthly news summaries bring a little joy into your lives, I must admit that the preparation and delivery of this month’s article during a world-wide health and economic crisis had me wondering whether any of you would be disappointed if I’d chosen to put things off for a while. With many of us sequestering ourselves from the outside world and/or having to deal with the loss of a job, serious health and family issues and a general fear of the unknown, it seems to me that we all have a lot more on our minds than the answer to the question “what’s happening in the world of album cover art and packaging?” Keeping this in mind, and accepting the fact that I’m sure most of you realize that I have more time on my hands to sit at my computer than usual, I’ve decided to shoot out a somewhat-truncated summary document both to keep fans of album art informed and to give this lonely and frustrated soul something to do while we ride this out together.

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ACHOF’s Interview with 2020 Grammy Award-Winning Art Director Masaki Koike

Interview with 2020 Grammy Winner Masaki Koike on his 62nd Annual Grammy-winning (for “Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package”) work for Rhino Records on the now-sold-out Woodstock – Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 9, 2020 By Mike Goldstein, Album Cover Hall of Fame.com

I was only 13 years old when the Woodstock festival was staged. I’d already collected several rock and roll recordings, mostly coming from my grandfather, who worked at a newsstand in the building that housed WLS Radio in Chicago and was tight with several of the DJs there (I was the only kid on the block who had albums stamped “Demo Copy: Not For Sale”!). My tastes at the time ran to music by The Turtles, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Iron Butterfly and the Moody Blues, but I’d read that there were some great new bands who’d wowed the crowd and so I was eager to learn more. The newspapers and magazines at the time made a big deal about the performances given by acts like Santana, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After, Sha-Na-Na and many others (two of my favorite bands – Iron Butterfly and the Moody Blues – were originally supposed to play at the concert but, for various reasons, didn’t make it) but, since I lived hundreds of miles away and couldn’t convince my parents to take me (something about “having to work”), I had to be satisfied with whatever was shown on TV (mostly aerial shots of the crowds) and then, a couple of years later, getting to revel in what I got to see when the concert film was shown in a local theater.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Early March, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – March, 2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Hello once again from Chicagoland. As we’re working our way towards pushing Winter away and replacing it with the warmer breezes and greener trees of Spring, I’m hoping that you’re all doing well and looking to be inspired by the latest news about your favorite album cover artists (and related stories of their work). I hope that you all have had a chance to read my Featured Artist’s Portfolio/interview article featuring art director/illustrator Larry Vigon (if not, you really should – https://wp.me/p15kTT-IZ    ) and, as I mentioned in last month’s summary, I’m about 75% done with another interview article featuring none other than this year’s Grammy Award winner in the Box Set/Limited Edition category, Masaki Koike that I know you’ll like (he won for his work on the very-impressive Rhino package commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock festival), but now as it is once-again approaching mid-month, I thought it wise to provide you with a bit more to read as there’s been a nice supply of articles and news stories popping up all over the Web. So, check that you have fresh batteries in your mouse, and let’s get going….

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ACHOF Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio and Interview with Art Director Larry Vigon

Album cover hall of fame’s Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio and Interview with Art Director Larry Vigon

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Posted February, 2020

In my wife’s list of “all-time favorite albums”, Fleetwood Mac’s smash hit Rumours is certainly in the Top 5, up there with great records by Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, David Bowie and Queen (I did confirm this list with her, correcting it as needed but, after 40+ years of togetherness, I’m happy that I initially got most of the list right). Even a prog rocker like me found much to appreciate in the band’s music (how can you not like Lindsay Buckingham’s wailing guitar solo at the tail end of “The Chain”?) and, after sales of over 40 million copies world-wide (over 20 million in the U.S. alone) since its 1977 release, it must also be considered as having one of the most-seen album cover images of all time. Of course, most of us will recall the arresting Herbie Worthington photo of the very tall Mick Fleetwood, with foot raised on a small stool (and what exactly were those balls seen dangling between his legs?) standing next to the mysterious, black-veiled form of one of the group’s two new members, Stevie Nicks. Those of us, though, who appreciate fine design were just as taken by the beautifully scripted logo/title found on the cover, which I later found was done BY HAND by Larry Vigon, one of this year’s inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame in the Art Director category.

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Mid-February, 2020

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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – Mid-February, 2020

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Greetings to you all from mid-Winter Chicagoland. Hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you’re located (if you love the cold and snow, you should really be HERE!). I hope that the several recent mini-updates have kept you all somewhat in the loop regarding important album artist/art-related news while I’ve been working on bringing you two new long-form articles (one, a Featured Artist’s Portfolio article featuring art director/illustrator Larry Vigon and the other with one of this year’s Grammy Award winners, Masaki Koike), but now as it is approaching mid-month, I thought it wise to provide you with a bit more to read as there’s been a nice supply of articles and news stories popping up all over the Web. So, let’s go….

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