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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For August/September, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR SEPTEMBER.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings once more to you all – hope that you’ve all had a good time this Summer, however you chose to occupy your time. Even though my work on updating the bio section of the ACHOF site continues slowly but surely, I’m still happy to announce that there’s been a fair amount of album art/artist-related news to review – more interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – and as you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll be able to find out more about the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of the world’s most-talented album art creators.

I am also pleased to announce that the second part of the two-part article I wrote about album cover art, artists and album art production has been added to the Illustration History web site – https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/design-and-illustration-in-the-record-business

Titled Design and Illustration by the “Early Influencers” working in the Record Business, this new article was designed to allow you to meet some of the most-notable purveyors of note-worthy and memorable album packaging and read what they have shared about what they do, why they do it, and what the future holds for this unique craft. To remind you, the Illustration History site is a project of the esteemed Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA) and serves as an educational resource for fans, students and teachers of the fine arts of illustration and design. It’s been an honor to be able to share some of my research and writing on a subject – album cover art – that features so many great examples of work by the talented people who’ve contributed to the visual side of the modern music business, so once again I’d like to thank curator Jesse Kowalski for this opportunity and hope that you’ll spend some time reading both articles and then digging through the site’s impressive archives as well..

In addition, I’ll soon be adding another article to the ACHOF site titled “Album Art and Packaging Trends Timeline and Overview” that seeks to answer, decade-by-decade, beginning in the 1940s up to the present, this important question for those of us interested in the history of album cover art “what was it exactly that the products produced during each decade or era have shown us about Pop Culture and the status of record music promotion at that time?” The article will first be posted on the ACHOF site, with announcements made via social media, and I do hope that you’ll take the time to read, absorb and comment.

Several of you may recall from last month’s summary that I was asked (one of a number of music packaging gurus) to serve as a judge for the upcoming (early October) Making Vinyl Packaging Awards extravaganza that will be a keystone event at this year’s Making Vinyl conference in Detroit. The first round of judging has been completed and, from an impressive number (nearly 250!) of entries in all of the categories, the finalists have just been announced, with the list available for your viewing pleasure at – https://makingvinyl.com/making-vinyl-packaging-awards-announces-finalists-in-12-categories/

I gotta tell you, folks…I really had no idea that there was so much creativity and ingenuity (and, by the looks of some of the packages, resources) being put to task to create new retail packaging for recorded music products until I spent some time – nearly 3 full days! – looking at each of the entries before posting my opinions. What was more interesting to me was to learn more about the people working on these projects, with a nice balance seen between entries submitted by major labels working with “household name” designers/art directors/photographers and the impressive output from people/teams I’ve never had the pleasure to meet before. While I can’t release any of the details now, you can rest assured that I will be introducing myself to some of these new (at least to me) names ASAP and will be sharing the fruits of those efforts with you when I can.

The winning entries – that is, those picked from the aforementioned list of finalists – will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges at the NYC offices of the AIGA design organization and awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony that will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit on the evening of October 1st. You will, of course, find more information on the winners immediately thereafter here on the ACHOF site and, with any luck, will be able to read an interview or two with some of the winners ASAP after.

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

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) I’m happy to announce that my friends at the U.K.-based art publisher/art gallery Hypergallery are taking a road trip to Berlin, Germany to stage, along with album cover design great Aubrey Powell, a survey exhibition that will “explore and unpack the significant influence of the Hipgnosis design studio through an unprecedented display of images from the Hipgnosis catalogue.” The show – titled Daring To Dream – is scheduled as part of the European Month of Photography (EMOP) 2018 event and is being co-curated by Emily Smeaton and John Colton, under the watchful eye of Mr. Powell.

The show will run from September 30th thru the 28th of October, staged in a courtyard located on the 1st floor of Bergmannstr. 5, 10961 in Berlin, with an opening party scheduled at that location on the evening of September 29th, beginning at 7PM local time. Mr. Powell will be on hand that evening – along with members of a local opera company – and will be signing copies of his own retrospective book of Hipgnosis-generated album art called Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art which was recently published in Germany by Edel Books. More info can be found on the Hypergallery web site at https://www.hypergallery.com/event-hipgnosis-in-berlin/

I’m eagerly awaiting to see photos from the show/opening night event and will point you to those when they’re available.

b) For those of you who weren’t able to attend the Bill Graham-centered art/memorabilia show (BILL GRAHAM AND THE ROCK & ROLL REVOLUTION) that toured last year, you’re being given a reprive of sorts with the staging of the Summer of Love poster show at the Andaz Gallery/Hotel in Hollywood, CA, put on in cooperation with the Grammy Museum and featuring 17 original posters from the 1960s by noted visual psychedelic artists including Wes Wilson, Bonnie MacLean (AKA Mrs. Bill Graham), Jim Blashfield, Greg Irons and Stanley Mouse.

http://westhollywoodmag.net/press-release-andaz-west-hollywood-and-the-grammy-museum-unveil-original-summer-of-love-posters-in-new-salon-art-exhibit/

If you’d like to read my exhibition recap from the Bill Graham show as it was staged here in the Chicago area last year, click on over to https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/achof-exhibition-tour-bill-graham-and-the-rock-roll-revolution/

c) There’s a show taking place in London in mid-September that, if I understand what it is that I’m reading, looks to introduce show-goers to several new formats of visuals that might be accompanying and augmenting recorded (and live) music as time goes on. Based on work done by musician/artist Beatie Wolfe and cohorts at Nokia Bell Labs, you’ll be given the chance to see/listen/experience works including (as they’re described in this article by Oisin Lunny on the Forbes.com site) “the world’s first live 360˚ Augmented Reality (AR) stream combining live, 360˚ stereoscopic video and real-time AR visuals” that will “create a modern ‘Fantasia-like’ live streamed album experience.” A short video documentary is also there to better-explain what it is that Ms. Wolfe and her chums have created.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oisinlunny/2018/08/26/beatie-wolfe-explores-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-at-the-va/#6d1f677f1217

The show at the Victoria & Albert Museum – titled “The Art of Music in the Digital Age: a series of world-first designs” – runs from September 15th through September 23rd in the Prince Consort Gallery on Level 3 and will, in addition to the Raw Space Chamber described above, put on display such must-be-seen-to-be-understood items as “a theatre in the palm of your hand, an album as a deck of cards and wearable record ‘jacket’” designed by former D. Bowie tailor Mr. Fish, among other equally-innovative items.

The entire effort is delivered as part of the London Design Festival, with more information available at  https://www.londondesignfestival.com/event/beatie-wolfe-art-music-digital-age-series-world-first-designs and additional details on the V&A site at https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/bJR1B3Ng/ldf-2018-the-art-of-music-in-the-digital-age-a-series-of-world-first-designs  If any of you do attend and can share what you’ve seen with the rest of us, it’d be greatly appreciated as we are all curious as to where the future of music-related visuals is headed.

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) NYC Radio show host Zach Martin just posted links to Parts 1 & 2 of his Big Fat American Rock Show! interview with NYC-based album design gurus Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz, well known to album art fans for their award-winning work for Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Bon Jovi, Ramones and many others. The stories they share in Part 1 of how the two worked both alone and together to produce a huge portfolio of commercial work for their clients in the music business over the past 40+ years will make your head spin, so make yourself a dirty olive martini, place yourself in your favorite comfy chair and enjoy the ride – https://youtu.be/4LAwoiNtjy4

In Part 2, Spencer shares the details of who his favorite band is (and why) and how he and Judith seem to do their best work “when everything flows” – https://youtu.be/g144AXr4S_g

On a related note – for both this article and the one you’ll read on the upcoming Making Vinyl trade show – Mr. Drate and Holly Stephey will be hosting an online interview with Mr. Larry Jaffee, the producer of the event and the Packaging Awards show that will be taking place during that event. The live event takes place Friday, August 31st at 5PM EST and you can catch it online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redvelvetmedia/2018/08/31/larry-jaffee-making-vinyl

You won’t meet anyone with more passion about the resurgence of the vinyl record and the importance of album cover art, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen to this interview.

b) While Madonna may have been making headlines recently for both celebrating her 60th birthday and enduring some music industry flack after delivering a not-so-well-received tribute to the recently-departed Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Award ceremonies, one thorough read of this recent amply-illustrated FOTO Story interview article with photographer Kevin Mazur reminds you of just how much she’s influenced Pop Culture since launching her career as a singer/dancer in the early 1980s in the clubs surrounding New York City. Having met Ms. Ciccone while he was himself a young lad from Long Island (he’s 57 now), Kevin has been on hand to document the Material Girl’s meteoric rise, being on-hand to shoot scores of her concerts (beginning with 1985’s Virgin tour) and producing a huge portfolio of work we’ve all seen in magazines, books and web sites over the years. He’s also produced album cover shots for top musical acts including Bob Dylan, Elton John and U2, but in this article, the focus is on just how much fun he’s had being on hand and moving from gaga-eyed fanboy to long-time friend of someone who has impressed us all with her talent, dedication and fearless approach to success in a really tough business – https://foto.gettyimages.com/celebrity/musicians/madonna-in-motion/

c) NYC-area music art fans might want to quickly click on over to the Eventbrite site (via the link at the end of this notice) to register for what’s sure to be a sold-out event at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003) this coming October 19th (from 7-8PM EDT) featuring Metallica’s drummer (and famed fine art collector) Lars Ulrich talking photography with the Brooklyn-based photo duo Herring & Herring (the team behind the album cover imagery for the band’s hit 2016 release Hardwired…To Self Destruct) about how artists like themselves collaborate to create great art.

Herring & Herring consists of Dimitri Scheblanov (who is himself a 2005 graduate of The Cooper Union’s School Of Art) and Jesper Carlsen (who was schooled at the Art Academy on the Danish island of Funen, graduating in 2006) and has worked with Metallica – serving as creative directors, photographers and music video directors – since 2014. In addition to their corporate work – with celebrity clients including musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Beyonce and Questlove, film stars Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe and Billy Bob Thorton, TV personalities Fred Armisen, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Cohen and sports celebs Derek Jeter and Abby Wambach (among many others) – the partners also produce and publish the highly-praised image-only photo magazine also titled Herring & Herring (available on newsstands everywhere).

Ulrich will be taking a short break from the band’s tour in support of this album, which kicks off September 2nd with a show in Madison, WI.

Event info/registration  at  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/photography-duo-herring-herring-talk-with-metallicas-lars-ulrich-tickets-49040489424?aff=MetallicaFanClub  The event is free and open to the public, although the promoters warn that pre-registration doesn’t guarantee a seat, so get there early!

Article on the Blabbermouth site – http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/metallicas-lars-ulrich-to-talk-with-photography-duo-herring-herring-at-new-york-city-event/

d) We’ve all had to consider, at some point in our lives, just what the proper “work/life balance” would be in order for us to continue to enjoy both aspects of our day-to-day existences. For some of us, the choices were quite simple, being dictated by the status of our health or of our continued relationships with friends and loved ones. For others, it’s when they’ve noticed “something missing” from the enjoyment of their day-to-day activities, whether at work or at home. For Grammy-winning designer Stephan Sagmeister, as you’ll read in this recent article (and audio interview) by Ayse Burcell on the Salon.com web site, he noticed that “once I started to allow for repetition in the work, there was just less excitement.” What did he do to get his life back in balance? Well, he did something we all wish we could do – he took a year-long sabbatical. To do this, he had to overcome fears of “being forgotten” and/or being seen as “unprofessional” but, once he did, you’ll see that it was time well-spent. I’d suggest taking a break from your own hectic schedules to read and listen to this compelling interview via the link at https://www.salon.com/2018/08/27/the-case-for-taking-a-sabbatical-why-grammy-winning-designer-stefan-sagmeister-took-a-break/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Being touted as the “most-metal” of all memorabilia auctions, the estate of the late singer Ronnie James Dio is soon to offer a nice selection of Dio-owned property at Julien’s auction house that includes original album cover paintings, artwork, costumes and much more – http://www.juliensauctions.com/auctions/2018/ronnie-dio/index.html

Slated for two days in mid-September at the Hard Rock Cafe in NYC (September 15th and 16th), the event (titled PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF RONNIE JAMES DIO) includes well over 600 items and will showcase both “normal” personal effects (his little league baseball jersey, autographed baseballs and jerseys signed by his favorite pro sports players, etc.) and those things he aggregated during his multi-decade career as the lead singer for Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band, Dio. Album art collectors will have the opportunity to bid on:

The Last In Line original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by Barry Jackson and used as the cover art for the Dio album The Last in Line (Warner Bros., 1984). Framed, 26 1/2 by 45 1/2 inches; Sight, 18 by 37 inches

Sacred Heart original cover painting (est $20-30K) opening bid $10K – The original acrylic and collage painting executed by artist Robert Florczak and used as the cover art for the Dio’s 1985 Warner Bros. Records album Sacred Heart, signed by Florczak in the lower left. Framed, it’s sized at 25 1/4 by 25 1/4 inches;

Dream Evil original artwork (est $2-4K) opening bid $1K – The original acrylic on canvas board painting done by Steve Huston and used as the cover art for the  1987 Dio album Dream Evil (on Vertigo), signed in pencil in the lower right by Huston. This was the last album to feature “Murray” on the cover. Unframed, it measures 27 by 40 inches;

– A trio of Alan Aldridge items from Dio’s personal collection – opening bid $150 – A signed print of the cover art for The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, a copy of the book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast and an LP copy of the album of the same name. That 1975 album was produced by Roger Glover of the band Deep Purple and featured Dio in the role of “Froggy”. Framed, it measures 24 by 32 1/4 inches

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Fans of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia know that he considered himself as (as he’s been quoted) “an artist who played music” and that he expressed himself via a paintbrush with just as much passion as he did via his playing and song-writing. In the early 1980s, he began to study the visual arts much more seriously and, from that point until the end of his life, he dedicated himself to drawing, painting and creating images on his computers.

Recently, Jerry’s ex-wife Manasha Garcia and his daughter Keelin Garcia teamed up to create “a mission-based company inspired by musician and artist, Jerry Garcia” that’s called “Jerry Garcia Music Arts” and, as part of this music/fine art company’s launch – and to honor what would have been Jerry’s 76th birthday in August – they’ve released what they’re calling a “thematic pairing of art and music”, meaning that they’ve created both a new fine art print of a JG watercolor titled “Ripple” and have released a newly-remastered live version of the Garcia/Hunter-penned song of the same name on streaming music services including  iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Napster, MediaNet, VerveLife, Tidal, Gracenote, Shazam  and 7Digital..

The print – an unframed, museum-quality giclee piece printed on Hanhnemuhle Bamboo 290 gsm paper and offered in an unsigned edition of 500 – is sized 11”w x 15”h, priced at a very-affordable $130.00 and comes with a certificate of authenticity and is available from Terrapin Stationers in their Terrapin Gallery

https://www.terrapinstationers.com/collections/terrapin-gallery/products/terrapin-gallery-and-jerry-garcia-music-arts-present-ripple-unsigned

A portion of proceeds from these sales support ocean conservation (Mr. Garcia was a strong proponent of saving the coral reefs and even shared these beliefs as he testified before a conservation committee for the State of Hawaii in 1990), with more details about the company and its mission available on their web site at – https://www.jerrygarciamusicarts.com/fine-art.html

b) New clothing and wall art designs featuring album cover-inspired imagery by “speed painting “ master Stephen Fishwick was introduced by art/marketing agency Get Down Art at the MAGIC Las Vegas event at the Mandalay Bay Hotel this past August 13 – 15, with these images and products looking to extend the popularity of several well-known album cover designs to a younger demographic via the fashion brands and trends they’ve shown they appreciate. For example, Pink Floyd’s memorable Dark Side of the Moon cover image, as reworked by Mr. Fishwick, shows the iconic diamond on a paint-splattered background, while the new version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” image shows Mr. Young bravely facing a very colorful electrical storm. The company is offering these designs and many others printed on t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts for both men and women, along with poster prints on canvas and other household items. Now your kids can wear their own unique iterations of their parents’ favorite album art and, in doing so, inter-generational love and understanding will finally be achieved – https://getdownart.com/collections/icons-collection

5) Other articles of interest –

a) This month’s collection of Sound and Vision articles – which provide in-depth details of the stories behind some of your favorite album art – offered to us by Eben Bensen and the nice people at Juxtapoz Magazine includes quite the range of music/art of both recent and historical vintages. Managing Editor Eben Bensen has stayed true to his promise to give us a new story every week, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– Michael Trevithick’s Magritte-inspired (well, at least to me) artwork on the cover of the late Nick Drake’s third and final studio release – 1972’s Pink Moon – replaced the photograph originally taken for the project, which showed the musician in declining health – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-nick-drake-s-pink-moon-cover-by-michael-trevithick/

– Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 indie release In The Aeroplane Over The Sea was viewed by music critics as a “game-changer” – an album based on the life of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank – with its artwork the result of a collaboration between songwriter Jeff Magnum and album cover designer Chris Bilheimer and based on the artwork found on a turn-of-the-century travel postcard –   https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-neutral-milk-hotel-s-in-the-aeroplane-over-the-sea/

– In 2009, the Portland, OR (yeah, baby)-based experimental rock band called Portugal The Man released its fourth studio album The Satanic Satanist, which featured a very trippy cover crafted by the band’s own lead singer, John Gourley, who combined photos with watercolors to create the image – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-portugal-the-man-s-the-satanic-satanist-cover-by-john-gourley/

– What is that thing jumping over the hurdle in Joan Ludwig’s photo featured on the cover of Beck’s 1996 hit record Odelay? A floor mop? A batch of ramen noodles? The answer is available via the link at https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-beck-s-odelay-cover-photography-by-joan-ludwig/

b) Now you can help two young-but-experienced artists in Portland, OR (yeah, baby!) launch a new “multi-disciplinary creative studio” via your support of their Indiegogo campaign and, as a reward, receive a limited-edition print and music compilation created just for this fund-raising effort. Over the past 13 years, composer/musician/sound designer Courtland Urbano and award-winning illustrator Anthony M. Benedetto worked on and off together on projects, but after Urbano moved to Portland to join the Humble Beast label roster, Anthony followed in 2014 to join the team as Creative Director. They both realized that, as a team, they could offer external clients a whole slew of services, so they decided to strike out on their own and launch a new agency they’re calling Nova Nimbus, with Anthony currently working out of Court’s garage.

Help Anthony get out of the garage into a proper office with your pledge of support and, with a commitment as little as $75, you’ll get a print of a work Benedetto created to show off both the natural beauty of their Pacific NW location and his respect for great mid-Century graphic design called Modern Romanticism.  Urbano adds music to the package with a download of a 19-cut collection of tracks he’s produced over the years, with both testifying to the fact that they love to listen to his soundscapes while they work, so you ought to, too.

The program runs for about another month, with details available at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nova-nimbus-a-multi-disciplinary-creative-studio/x/18934317?#/

c) Using album cover art to find out the identity of one of the art world’s most-mysterious creators – is Robin Gunningham the real “Banksy”? Those bidding on a work of art printed on the sleeve insert for an early 1990s Bristol-based ska band sure hope he is! Artnet.com’s Henri Nuendorf provides us with the details, and happy value-hunting – https://news.artnet.com/art-world/early-banksy-auction-1329194

d) Orlando Sentinel reporter David Whitley provides “a public service” for us in his article “All Great Album Covers lead back to Abbey Road” by providing us with a “10 Greatest Album Covers of All Time list” (what, again?) based on his contention that “everybody can be an expert” (this is why I stay away from these lists) – http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/audience/david-whitley/os-ae-album-covers-david-whitley-0808-story.html His email is provided at the end of the article, so feel free to respond.

e) Don’t they know that it’s just not safe out there? Several times each year, someone takes it upon his/herself to present a list of the “worst” record covers of all time and, each time, I share a link to this list with the hope that enough of you are outraged to the point of expressing yourself somehow on the author’s site. And while I will be the last one to promote any form of censorship, I would ask that folks look deep inside themselves before releasing “best/worst of all time” lists like this one. Yes, there’s been some horrible/disturbing/nonsensical album art used to package recorded music over the past 70+ years (just as there’s been a lot of “bad” music packaged and offered for sale), but the subject has really been beaten to death and is usually built around the same content, which just makes it boring. Please don’t click on this link. I’m asking you nicely…

http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/because-everyone-loves-awful-album-cover-art-heres-another-gallery-of-some-of-the-worst/

f) Now, after the last entry, here’s one for the “Looking Forward” folder – Is this the “future” of album covers? Rapper/style icon (and very funny talk show guest – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s9joL_AGfo ) Nicki Minaj uses artificial intelligence/virtual reality to bring fans up close-and-personal with her and her album art for her new record Queenhttps://mobile-ar.reality.news/news/snapchat-strikes-familiar-chord-with-shoppable-ar-lens-for-nicki-minajs-new-album-0186464/

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For July/August, 2018

 

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JULY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR AUGUST.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all. Work continues on updating the biography section of the ACHOF web site and so, as I noted last month, this month’s news summary is an abridged one, with less commentary from me and a somewhat-reduced number of stories featured in each section. Even so, much work continues in this area, and there’s a lot to review – interviews, profiles, news about new books and prints, etc. – that I think you’ll appreciate and enjoy. As you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of your favorite – or soon to be favorite – album art creators.

I am pleased to announce that the first part of a two-part article I’ve written about album cover art, artists and album art production has been added to the Illustration History web site – https://www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/producing-album-cover-art-for-clients-in-the-music-business

A project of the esteemed Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), the Illustration History site serves as an educational resource for fans, students and teachers of the fine arts of illustration and design, so it’s an honor to be able to share some of my research and writing on a subject – album cover art – that features so many great examples of work by the talented people who’ve contributed to the visual side of the music business since the 1940s. Part 2 is due soon but, in the meantime, hope you’ll take a look and share this with your friends. I’d like to thank curator Jesse Kowalski for this opportunity and hope that you’ll spend some time digging through the site’s impressive archives, too.

Also earlier this month, I posted a special alert letting you know that, for the second year in a row, album packaging creators from all over the world are being invited to submit examples of their best, most-recent works for consideration by the esteemed judging panel for the 2018 “Making Vinyl Packaging Awards”. According to the show’s advance press, they’re “now accepting submissions in 14 categories that highlight why packaged media is still important in the digital age. Entries may come from record labels, pressing plants, brokers, packagers, printers, mastering facilities, artists, and distributors from anywhere in the world. Submissions will be judged online by award-winning art directors in the U.S. and Europe. In late August, the winners will be selected from the finalists at the offices of AIGA, the prestigious design organization, and receive their prizes at a ceremony at the MAKING VINYL conference in Detroit on Oct. 1st.”

Last year’s judging panel included a number of album art industry notables, including Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Sylvia Reed, Gail Marowitz, Sean Mosher-Smith, Stefan Bucher, Craig Braun and Making Vinyl founder, PR guru/journalist/educator Larry Jaffee. The 2017 Awards, given then in 8 categories, showcased the talents of both well-established designers, such as Lawrence Azerrad, who lead the efforts to create the fantastic Voyager, 40th Anniversary Edition box set and Shepard Fairey, who was nominated for an award in the same category for Blondie’s Pollinator, alongside emerging talent such as the team of young designers/art directors at Third Man Records (Rex Runyeon and Ryon Nishimori), who took home an award in the “Best Record Art” category for their captivating photo-based cover for their label’s release titled The Monks, Hamburg Recordings 1967. You may recall that last year’s “Best Overall Package” category featured a tie between creators of the packaging for AKATRE’s BLCK RCK and Pet Symmetry’s Vision, and now that this year’s top prize has been re-named “The Alex Steinweiss Award” in honor of the noted record packaging innovator, the nominees in this category should be extra proud to be in the running.

For 2018, there are two new categories being added for CD packaging, an award for best use of sustainable materials, one that recognizes the special limited-edition products that are created for the annual Record Store Days and two awards being proffered (one vinyl, one digital) called “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done” which, according to the award show’s producers, “Recognizes innovation in structural design that takes into account the use of new machinery or materials or folds or printing processes that stretches the boundaries of album packaging that previously existed.“ I can’t wait to see whether packages are submitted that were made on 3D printers. One more addition to the 2018 awards process is the addition of a highly-esteemed writer, researcher and self-described expert on album cover packaging to the panel of judges reviewing submissions prior to the final voting, with that person being ME! I’m quite honored to have been asked and look forward to being able to review all of the work being submitted.

The deadline to enter your online submission(s) with digital photos is Wednesday, Aug. 15, 11:59 pm (EST). Eligible works include packages offered for sale between the dates Sept. 1, 2017 to Oct. 1, 2018. There’s a page on the Making Vinyl site that provides anyone interested with all of the info they’ll need (submission formats, costs, etc.) to send in their work – https://makingvinyl.com/awards-2018/

I’ll be updating this story as more info comes in and, of course, will be announcing the winners immediately after they’ve been given their honors. As always, it’s my plan to be able to interview one or more of the honorees about “the making of” their winning works, so stay tuned for more.

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

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) There’s a truly-impressive Michael Jackson-inspired art show now on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London from now through October 21, 2018 that features works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Kehinde Wilde and a whole host of word-class artists who’ve been inspired by the late King of Pop.“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” includes works by 48 artists and includes a number of works from private collections that have never been put on public display before.

After the show wraps up in London, it will travel to Paris, Bonn, and Espoo in Finland, with more details provided in Henri Nuendorf’s exhibition overview as seen on the ArtNet News site –https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/michael-jackson-npg-london-1310123?

One of the items included in this show is Mark Ryden’s memorable cover for MJ’s 1991 hit album Dangerous, with the story behind this gorgeous cover provided in one of Eben Benson’s recent Juxtapoz Sound and Vision  articles – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-michael-jackson-s-dangerous-cover-artwork-by-mark-ryden/

b) In mid-July, the San Francisco Art Exchange launched a show based on photographer Jim Marshall’s portfolio of images of country music legend Johnny Cash, with gallery visitors being treated to a number of rare and never-before-seen photos, including a series taken during the performer’s storied concert recorded 50 years ago at California’s Folsom State Prison.

According to the gallery’s press release, “These photographs include images of Cash onstage and touring the prison grounds, along with several from the legendary sound check at San Quentin when Cash so famously ‘flipped the bird’ for Marshall. These new photographs and a selection of the estate editions released in 2011 will be featured in our upcoming exhibition along with several extremely rare and highly sought-after signed photographs from Jim Marshall’s personal archive of prints.”

The gallery also announced that collectors who purchase one of the prints made available during the show will also receive a free copy of the soon-to-be-released book of Marshall’s photos titled Johnny Cash at Folsom & San Quentin Photographs by Jim Marshall , due to be published by Reel Art Press  later this summer.)  PLEASE NOTE: Collectors who purchase any Jim Marshall photograph during the exhibition will receive a complimentary copy of the new book coming out later this summer.

Fans can view a PDF version of the exhibition’s catalog of the artwork via this link – http://www.sfae.com/index.php?pg=400162

c) Juxtapoz also provides us with the details of another gallery show that ended July 21st that would have been of great interest to anyone drawn to great examples of the intersection of music and art. While not specifically album cover-centric, the sheer number of musical and visual creatives who teamed up to create both this show and the coffee table book it’s derived from has forced my hand… https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/painting/nick-cave-tom-waits-swoon-and-many-more-collaborate-for-children-s-literacy/

The Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles hosted the show built around the music and art created for the book Waxploitation: Stories For Ways & Means, a nearly 10-years-in-the-making effort that resulted in a 350-page book featuring stories written by famous musicians (Frank Black, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and others), all illustrated with artwork by a number of artists that Juxtapoz readers will be familiar with (Joe Coleman, Anthony Lister, Swoon and many others). A portion of the proceeds from both the show and the book are being donated to several worthwhile charities, with more details available on the gallery’s web site at http://www.coreyhelfordgallery.com/shows/waxploitation-stories-for-ways/the-devouring/

d) I promised to bring you news of album cover artists working all over the world, and today’s no exception. Here’s an article about a Malaysian artist named Mustaffa Ahmad Hidzir, who works under the pseudonym “Tapa”, who has spent the last 40 years designing/producing over 300 album covers and who last year released an award-winning coffee table book that was published by the Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Malaysia Bhd. 12×12 Album Cover Design offers up almost 200 of his covers, along with the stories behind them, and beginning on August 4th, fans and lovers of album art will be able to take in a week-long exhibition of his works in a show at the Penang House of Music during the George Town Festival. If you happen to be at the venue a 3PM on August 5th, Tapa will be on-hand to lead a lecture about his career as an album cover designer.

For more info on the artist and his career, click on over to this recent article in the local Sun Daily newspaper – http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/07/06/drawing-attention

And to see more about the festival and Tapa’s show there, please visit – https://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/12-x-12-album-cover-design

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) To read my recent mini-interview with Ashley Simerman of KnuckleBonz about their new series of 3D album covers, please scroll down to Section 4 of this news summary

b) Here’s a link to a video posted by YouTube star/fashion and lifestyle blogger Karen Yeung (IAMKARENO) of an interview and photo session during which famed photographer Marcus Klinko works with the not-very-camera-shy blogger poses to try and re-create the look of his famous Beyonce Dangerously In Love album cover – https://petapixel.com/2018/07/13/hanging-out-with-the-photographer-of-beyonces-diamonds-album-cover/

Klinko tries to make it all sound so scientific for the Petapixel reader (“I use top end modifiers from Broncolor and Elinchrom, with custom adapters I built… all the lights in the video are by Flashpoint/Godox….I use a combination of 600Pro, and H1200 for all of my studio and location setups, and occasional use the Evolv200 as well”), but Karen’s just having fun pretending to be Mrs. Jay-Z for a while….

c) Almost slipping past my Google Alert web was this recent interview by Eric Skelton on the Pigeons & Planes site with photographer Nick Walker about his recent work with Playboi Carti for the cover of the rapper’s Die Lit album. The cover image works to bring a very punk-inspired aesthetic to the singer’s “against the grain” approach to his music-making – https://pigeonsandplanes.com/in-depth/2018/05/die-lit-playboi-carti-cover-photo-nick-walker-interview

Walker’s worked with many of the top names in the R&B and Rap world – from Beyonce to Nikki Minaj and FKA Twigs, along with a number of other artists on the Interscope label, so the pairing of the two talents seemed both inevitable and a really good idea, I think you’ll agree…

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) This just in – the nice folks over at the Psychedelic Art Exchange just sent me a note about their current poster auction (on now through August 9th) that peaked my interest and, therefore, I’m duty-bound to share the news with you as well. As you know, many of the people who’ve made some of your favorite album cover images – Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin and many others – began their careers creating posters for some of the now-famous concert promoters and venues on the West and East Coasts – The Fillmores, The Avalon Ballroom, Winterland, etc. – and as the years go by, the original posters these artists created are becoming increasingly-rare and valuable, so when a collection of posters are presented that include some of the rarest and finest-quality examples available, doesn’t it make sense to go and take a look?

The highlight of the offering is, what I’m told, the finest example of what’s known to collectors as “FD-26-OP-1”, better-known to us mortals as the “Skeleton & Roses” or “Skull & Roses” poster Mouse & Kelley did for the Grateful Dead’s September, 1966 appearances at the Avalon Ballroom. The same basic design was also featured on the band’s 1971 2-record live album titled Grateful Dead (which became their first gold-selling record). This poster will sell for a load of money (it’s current bid, as we go to press, is $19,000). The auction company people go on to tell me that there are many other posters available that would, on any other occasion, themselves be headliners, and a quick look at the offering certainly backs up their claim, so why not take a few minutes sometime soon and visit the online catalog at https://auctions.concertpostergallery.com/Catalog.aspx  Happy bidding – buy yourself something nice!

b) Earlier in July (on July 6th, to be precise), I did a special posting about Gotta Have Rock & Roll’s latest Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction that was scheduled to take place beginning July 11th and ending July 20th, so now that the bidding’s over, I wanted to get back to you with some of the results on the key items I’d highlighted in that preliminary posting.

From the Larry Vigon collection – most everything sold for prices that were the opening bids for the items up for auction (good deals, overall, with several exceptions), such as the paintings he did for the front and back covers of Eric Clapton’s 1985 record Behind The Sun (listed with opening bids of $3,000 and $2,000, respectively and sold at those prices) and the comps, including George Hurrell’s hand-tinted photographs, of the cover art he created for Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 hit record Mirage (opening bid, $3,000; sold for the tidy sum of $9,422!). In addition, bidding on his hand-drawn lettering  created for the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours ($2,000 to start) sold for $2,000, whereas several other production elements (photos, drawings, etc.) for other Fleetwood Mac records – as well as some of the band members’ solo album efforts – sold for prices ranging from $1,289 for photos of Lindsay Buckingham from Law and Order to $2,000 for Helmut Newton shots from Christine McVie’s Songbird.

Also available were the original cover painting Vigon created for Chicago’s 1984 record titled Chicago 17, a rather unique take on the well-known John Berg/Nick Fasciano band logo-based covers, this time with the logo seemingly popping through a brown-paper wrapper (art director credits to the talented Simon Levy), with starting bids accepted over $3,000 (sold for $3,000). Pat Benetar fans were be able to bid on a nice archive of 20 photos (B&W and color) and layouts for records including her 1987 hit Seven The Hard Way ($1,000 opening bid; sold for $1,000), while fans of the Counting Crows placed bids to own the artwork Vigon created for the debut record August And Everything After ($1,000 opening bid; sold for $1,000).

Other album art-related items available in this auction included drawings by artist/illustrator Greg Hildebrandt done for Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules and composer/TSO founder Paul O’Neill’s rock opera Beethoven’s Last Night (surprisingly, all unsold), while further items of interest, including original drawings by Michael Jackson (sold for $2,200 – $3,500), a John Lennon/Yoko Ono-signed photo from their 1969 “Bed-In” protest in Montreal  album ($15,000 asked opening bid – unsold) and CD/LPs signed by Nirvana (unsold) and Led Zeppelin (also unsold).

There were over 900 items in the auction, so if you’d like to go and see what was available and sold, you can now head on over to the company’s auction site – http://gottahaverockandroll.com/#

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Some of you who might remember my old gallery days will recall that I sold items from a line of intricately-crafted sculptures of iconic rockers/rock imagery made by a company called KnuckleBonz and, I’m glad to report, they’ve recently announced that they’re going to be manufacturing a line of limited-edition album cover art recreations they’re calling “3D Vinyl”. The first two items they’ve announced are stunning renditions of two great albums – Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, both of which are perfectly suited for a 3-dimensional sculpture.

https://knucklebonz.com/product/pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-3d-vinyl/

They’ve produced a nice intro video on this new Pink Floyd-based item that you can view at https://vimeo.com/276302319

https://knucklebonz.com/product/guns-n-roses-appetite-for-destruction-3d-vinyl/ will take you to the page on their site with all of the details on the AFD 3D Vinyl product, with the promo video available at https://vimeo.com/276296813

I’ve reached out to the talented team of designers and marketers who’ve created these new products and hope to bring you an update on their efforts soon.

UPDATE/INTERVIEW – Earlier in July, I shared the initial information about the intriguing new series of 3D album cover art pieces that the talented folks over at KnuckleBonz have begun producing and now, as a follow-up, I’m happy to be able to   parcel out a bit more on the subject based on a brief interview I did recently with one of the founders of the company, Ashley Simerman, whose excitement for these new products is pretty evident from the answers she’s provided…

Mike Goldstein, ACHOF – Hello again, Ashley. Nice to be in touch with you again. I was thrilled to read the preliminary info on your 3D album cover sculptures and, as you might imagine, I was eager to learn more about them and your work on making them so I can share this info with my readers. Let’s start with a bit more about your decision-making process. I know that all of your products are licensed collectibles, but I’d be curious as to how you chose the first two covers to produce. Were these your first choices, or did they come as the result of existing or new relationships with the musical act/management/record label/licensing companies?

Ashely Simerman, KnuckleBonz – Hi, Mike. Thanks for checking in and for featuring us! Our first two projects we announced for our new KnuckleBonz 3D Vinyl® are:

1) Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction – This is an obvious choice for KnuckleBonz to lead with this album as we announce this new category that pays homage to the great album art over the last several decades. Appetite for Destruction is undoubtedly one of the greatest debut albums in rock music history. Not only was the album successfully from the standpoint of album sales, but Guns N’ Roses went from nothing to touring with the Rolling Stones as a result of the success of this album. Artistically, it is a great fit , as well. The skulls and subtle detailing make this 3D Vinyl® stand out.

2) Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd undoubtedly mastered combining amazing visuals for all their album covers. Launching with this particular album is a more personal choice for us here at KnuckleBonz. This is an album that we love to just put on here at the studio and listen to in its entirety. This is a favorite, for sure, just because the music is so amazing. But add the robot handshake on the cover and that was a project we all were very excited to recreate in 3D. Wish You Were Here is a perfect fit for 3D Vinyl®, after all, we intend for these collectibles to pay tribute to the most iconic and artistic album covers over the last several decades.

Mike G – How did you guys approach the creative aspects of the projects – meaning, how did you determine what would be 3D, what would be on the back cover, etc.? Did you work with anyone from the original design team in order to make these choices, or were they your decisions to make?

Ashley S – Everything we do creatively for these 3D Vinyl® designs are done internally here at KnuckleBonz. We are long-time fans, just like our customers. We are simply interpreting what would be cool for each project. Ultimately, what we come up with is a design we would like to have on our own wall on display shelf. Once we get that point, we share with the artist or band and we do have to get approval. Then we hope fans around the globe agree that it is a proper tribute to the original album. We only make a finite number of each; typically we limit the production to less than 2000 of each 3D Vinyl® project, making these highly collectible and exclusive.

Mike G – So, of course I must ask you –  Any hint of what’s coming next or later?

Ashley S – We have quite a few coming later this year – including the two KISS albums we’ve announced*- so stay tuned to knucklebonz.com or follow us on FaceBook for new product news. Everything we do is officially licensed so we can’t reveal any projects just yet, but I think rock music fans will be excited about the line-up. We certainly are thrilled to be working on these amazing projects.

* their debut album titled KISS, along with Destroyer.

Learn more and place your pre-orders on the KnuckleBonz site at https://knucklebonz.com/product-category/3d-vinyl/

b) There’s been a lot of recent press about Madonna’s efforts to raise money for, and awareness of, her charity called Raising Malawi that works to improve the lives of children in that country (since 2012, she’s built 12 schools that have served nearly 10,000 students in the area). In this article on the Bored Panda site, you’ll learn about French fashion photographer Vincent Flouret’s imaginative efforts to add to the fund-raising efforts by selling prints of photos he’s taken of his beloved dog Max. What makes these images unique (and of interest to us album cover fans) is that he’s made up and costumed Max so that he appears as Madonna did on the covers of several of her best-known albums – Ray of Light, Music, Like A Virgin, True Blue and more – along with scenes lifted from some of the Material Girl’s most-famous music video. “Maxdonna” is a very attractive Golden Retriever, so these recreations, while a bit campy, are still quite nice-looking.

https://www.boredpanda.com/iconic-madonna-scenes-recreation-maxdonna-vincent-flouret/?

You can also find Vincent’s Maxdonna photos on display from now until the 16th of August in Arles, France at  L’AGENCE ARLESIENNE, 26, place Paul Doumer, 13200 Arles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkC6JY4FNXs/?taken-by=max_et_vincent

In French, but you’ll figure it out….

c) Fans of the band Rush will find a lot to like here…While perhaps best-known for his drumming skills, Rush’s Neal Peart was also the band’s lyricist and, therefore, quite handy with words, as was evidenced in his co-authoring (with sci-fi writer Kevin J. Anderson) of the novel Clockwork Angels. Skip ahead six years since the book’s 2012 (no, not 2112) debut and what do you find but a new version of the book, done this time as a graphic novel (published by Insight Comics) and featuring a cover by life-long Rush cover artist Hugh Syme. Writer and long-time Rush fan Skip Owens gives us a preview in this article on the GeekDad site  – https://geekdad.com/2018/06/clockwork-lives-is-now-a-graphic-novel/

5) Other articles of interest –

a) A couple of months ago, I introduced you to Juxtapoz Magazine’s weekly series called Sound and Vision that, with each article, shares the details behind the making of some of your favorite album covers. Since that time, Managing Editor Eben Bensen has stayed true to his promise to give us a new story every week, with the most-recent articles summarized below:

– My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 Loveless cover, featuring a stylized photo of a guitar done by photographer Angus Cameron –

https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-my-bloody-valentine-s-loveless-cover-photography-by-angus-cameron/

– Stanley Donwood’s cover for Radiohead’s The Bendshttps://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-stanley-donwood-on-the-making-of-radiohead-s-the-bends-cover-art/

– Robert Mapplethorpe’s striking photo of Patti Smith for the cover of her 1975 debut album Horseshttps://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-patti-smith-s-horses-cover-photo-robert-mapplethorpe/  (Am I the only one who always thinks of Gilda Radner when I see this image?)

I’ve since contacted Eben B. and asked him more about the origins of this series in Juxtapoz – whose founder Robert Williams himself has several album cover credits on his impressive resume, including the original (banned) robotic rapist-based cover for Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction – and I’ll soon be posting the text from a mini-interview I did with him about his interest in the subject. I was very pleased to see someone representing “Millennials” with such knowledge and wisdom and so I look forward to sharing this with you soon.

b) I’m hoping that many of you have had, at one time or another, the opportunity to attend one of the world’s premiere art-related events, that being the celebrated “Pageant of the Masters” in Laguna Beach, CA, where the folks that put this extravaganza on every summer amaze audiences with their recreations of famous works of art built around live models placed in meticulously-recreated sets. I was lucky enough to live in Laguna for a number of years many years ago and, although the throngs of tourists made driving difficult for locals, we always made sure to see at least one performance of the POM each year.

This year, I’m proud to say, one of the masterpieces that will be given the POM treatment will be the famous 1964 theatrical poster for the film Endless Summer, created by one of the design world’s most-respected artists, that being John Van Hamersveld, who also holds a special place in the hearts of album cover art fans for the covers he created for The Beatles, KISS, Rolling Stones, Blondie and many others. I can’t think of a better way to honor JVH’s contributions to the art/design world than by having one of his best-known works presented in a bill (with this year’s theme being “Under The Sun”) that also includes paintings by Masters such as Claude Monet, John Singer Sargeant, Paul Gauguin and other modern masters – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155665181841444&set=a.10151014367531444.424291.612486443&type=3&theater

They finish off each year’s performance with a recreation of DaVinci’s Last Supper, which I think would only be cooler-looking if they included JVH himself in the scene (or, at least, someone wearing his trademarked round glasses). In any case, congratulations to one of our own Modern Masters!

c) Southern California is one of the world’s most-visited tourist destinations, with one nice stretch of road – Laurel Canyon Drive, in Laurel Canyon – on most maps due to the number of celebrities from the music, film and TV industries who’ve made their homes there over the years. For the last six years, residents of the area have celebrated just how lucky they are to live (or have lived) there via an annual festival called the Love Street Fest, and this year’s festivities drew a good crowd due to the fact that they were honoring two men – Henry Diltz and Gary Burden – who’ve contributed greatly to the music business by producing photos and designs for a number of famous album covers. You can take a look at some of the photos taken a couple of week’s back during this year’s celebrations on the group’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/lovestreetfest – where you’ll find pix of the throngs of attendees, including surviving members of The Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore, whose fellow band-member Jim Morrison wrote a song about the Drive called “Love Street”.

d) Last month, I wrote a bit about a surprise visit Paul McCartney made to his old home town of Liverpool and the sense of joy and happiness that followed him wherever he went and, in another article I saw recently, Maca worked his magic again as he hit the zebra crossing in front of Abbey Road studios again, 49 years later – https://www.nme.com/news/music/paul-mccartney-crosses-abbey-road-49-years-iconic-album-cover-shoot-ahead-intimate-gig-2358292  I believe that he kept his shoes on this time…and he’s still not dead.

e) In all the years I’ve been a music fan – a fan of most all genres of music, but with a particular love of hard rock, Prog rock, jazz-rock fusion, punk rock and pretty much anything put out by a Beatle (including Billy Preston and Jeff Lynne) – I’ve only on occasion found myself out of my element, with that taking place when I talk to fans of two genres – jazz and metal – where I often find fans with an intense passion for music/musicians in those genres and an intense dislike for those on the outside. Once again, I felt a bit of this attitude in Jon Wiederhorn’s recent Loudwire Magazine article about album covers that “look metal, but they’re not” – http://loudwire.com/14-album-covers-look-metal-but-arent/

In the mix, you’ll find examples of those who truly don’t belong – Lady Gaga, Grateful Dead, ELP and DMX – while others were from bands that seemed to be on the cusp (Demon, Uriah Heep, Necro, Nazareth and others) but who at least, according to the author, didn’t achieve the level of metal-ness required to be included as a “true” metal act (at least, on the featured record). Whether you agree or disagree with whether they belonged on such a list or not, you have to give each of them a bit of credit for wanting to express themselves so heavily.

f) Hoping to “shed a little light” (you’ll see how clever I am when you see the cover image) on the story behind the Nick Cave album cover for his 2013 release Push The Sky Away which featuring his wife, model and fashion designer Susie Bick, in the buff in a photograph taken at the couple’s home by Dominique Issermann- https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/the-perfect-story-behind-nick-caves-naked-album-cover-starring-wife-susie-bick/

The French fashion photographer was on hand to capture this image as part of an assignment for a French fashion magazine, which only goes to show you…how to save money on an album cover shoot?

g) Finally, if you find yourself with a few minutes to kill this weekend and want to challenge your knowledge of album-related artwork – particularly, band logos – I’d invite you to take this quiz you’ll find on the Topix.com site – Not meaning to brag (too much), but I got 40 out of 40, although I did have to guess on one of them, but got it right, lucky me! – https://offbeat.topix.com/quiz/17911/  In this brand-driven society, it’s nice to see that I’ve been thoroughly penetrated by the power of these iconic images.

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For June/July, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JULY.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Music and art have been proven to be able to bridge the divides between people of different cultures, upbringings, lifestyles and mindsets while, at the same time, improving our creative competencies and our abilities to understand and appreciate different perspectives. I’ve recently experienced two examples of this that fortified – at least for me – the veracity of the elements included in my opening statement. The first was my recent purchase of an oil painting of a scene (a small compound of houses and outbuildings seen on the horizon of a field of green – “Early Spring” by artist Gary Stretar) that makes me smile and yearn for a more idyllic life (something our current political situation makes me dream for even more). The second example – much less personal than the first – was the posting of late night host James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment filmed in Liverpool with “the cute one”, Paul McCartney, during which they toured Paul’s boyhood/teenage haunts around the city, including Penny Lane (and the barbershop there), his childhood home and a local pub he and his chums played at early on in their careers. The faces of EVERYONE the pair encountered – young and old, conservatively-dressed and tattooed, etc. – showed the pure bliss people experienced both seeing the former Beatle out in the open and, at the end, hearing him play some of his best-known songs with his current band in an intimate setting. Anyone watching that segment was, at least for the moment, caught up in the joy of the whole thing and could remove themselves, however briefly, from all of their/our daily woes and contemplations of the future.

I begin this month’s summary with the news that, at least for the next several months, my news summaries will be more frequent but shorter in length and the number of stories featured. The reason for this is simple – there is a lot of research and writing that needs to be done for the ACHOF site in order to bring it up-to-date. I have, for the past 2 years, amassed the raw data for a huge number of artist bios I’d like to add to the site, and now is the time to turn my attention full-time into editing that information and posting it on the ACHOF site. I’ll also need to make some changes to the site’s navigation and search engine in order to make it easier for visitors to find and read those bios, so I do hope that you’ll be patient as I add these things to the site because, at the end, it’ll most-certainly be worth it, making the site’s content (and finding it!) all the more useful, easy and enjoyable.

For now, I invite you to dig through the treasure trove of news releases and articles were made available on the exhibitions, interviews, artist profiles, book/print publications and other album cover art/artist-related topics. As you’ve seen in my previous news summaries, if you simply read the summaries I’ve written and click the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world on items featuring many of your favorite – or soon to be favorite – album art creators. I would like to have you pay special attention to a new article just-published in the renowned arts and culture publication Ragazine written by – guess who – why ME of course! It’s an updated version of my interview with Elton John’s favorite art director and designer, the talented David Langham, about his work on the wonderful packaging for the now 40-year-old classic EJ record, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road –  http://ragazine.cc/2018/07/covering-elton-johns-gybr-mike-goldstein/

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

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) The downside of writing and editing a monthly news service is that, sometimes, things that I report on are here and gone before I can share the info with you. When something takes place that is extremely time-sensitive, such as the reporting of a death in the industry or a “surprise” sale, I’ll do my best to release a flash news update via social media. There are cases, though, that I have learned about an event too late to share it in any meaningful way, and so I’ll just resign myself to having to report about it after the fact. Such is the case with the recent Markus Klinko photo exhibition held at the Mouche Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA for the two weeks from 6/15 thru 6/30/18.

One of the most sought-after shooters in the world of celebrity photography, Klinko is perhaps best-known for the output stemming from his long-term creative collaboration with the late rocker David Bowie, including the cover for his 2002 album Heathen and a number of other well-known portraits. He’s also produced the memorable album cover/packaging images for mega-stars including Beyonce (Dangerously In Love), Mariah Carey (The Emancipation of Mimi), Mary J. Blige and dozens more, and for this recent exhibition – titled simply 2000’s – the curators gathered a fine collection of photos that, according to the gallery, depicted “a variety of pop culture milestones that have truly defined the decade of the early 2000’s.”

The show was sponsored by FUJIFILM North America and also put on display a collection of cameras and lenses Klinko used over the years as he moved from using traditional photographic equipment and tools into the world of digital post-production, being an early adopter and experimenter and helping set trends in the then-new world of digital photography.

You can take a look at what was on display via this link to the Mouche Gallery web site – http://mouchegallery.com/event/markus-klinko-2000s/

b) Photographer Brian Griffin continues to bring his impressive portfolio, along with the tales on how they were created and his take on how and why his images continue to impress music/art fans all these years later, to exhibitions around the world, most-recently at the Crescent Arts Centre as part of the Belfast Photo Festival, which was on display from June 17th through the 27th.

Complete coverage of this show, along with an interview with this world-renowned talent, can be found on the Irish Times web site at https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/beats-shoots-and-sleeves-the-art-of-the-album-cover-1.3527959

c) While I’ve reported on a couple of Guido Harari-curated rock photo shows since the beginning of the year, a show of Harari’s own photos, organized in an exhibition called “Wall Of Sound”, opened this past June 28th at the Galleria nazionale dell’Umbria, from June 28 to August 23. Curated by Marco Pierini, director of Galleria nazionale dell’Umbria, and organized in collaboration with Solares Fondazione delle Arti from Parma, Umbria Jazz and Trasimeno Music Festival, the show presents a wide and eclectic overview on 40 years of Guido’s music photography output, with over 110 photographs included from Harari’s extensive archive, featuring important music acts including Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel and many, many more. The show runs through the 23rd of August, and there’s information on the show on the Gallery’s web site (in Italian) – https://gallerianazionaledellumbria.it/exhibition/guido-harari-wall-of-sound/

d) With a portfolio that contains a number of album cover photo credits in the Jazz, Reggae and Funk genres, including shots for records by jazz greats Stanley Clarke, Alice Coltrane, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock; funkmaster George Duke, singer Marvin Gaye and hit makers Earth Wind & Fire, it’s exciting to see that the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles recently launched an exhibition titled Bruce W. Talamon: Soul, R&B and Funk Photographs 1972 – 1982 that will give fans “a revealing look into the untold and unknown moments that happened off the stage and outside the recording studio, showcasing a period in musical history as seen through the eyes of a young African-American photographer at the start of his career.”

On display now through the first of August and curated by Nwaka Onwusa, music art/photo fans are now given the chance to appreciate the fascinating imagery that Mr. Talaman captured at a number of the venues and events that helped introduce fans of all stripes to the best talent working in those genres in that time span, including Isaac Hayes at the Wattstax Music Festival, backstage at the legendary Soul Train television studio and performances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, the Jackson Five, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Barry White and many others. The show is sponsored by Taschen Publishing, who has also just released a book by the same title that contains nearly 300 photographs selected from Talamon’s archives.

Bruce went on to work as a contract photographer for Time magazine in the 1980s, with his works also gracing the pages of publications including Ebony, People, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines.

More info about what’s on display during the Bruce W. Talaman show at the Grammy Museum can be found on their web site at – https://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/bruce-w-talamon, while more info on the corresponding book/catalog is available at https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/photography/all/05340/facts.bruce_w_talamon_soul_rb_funk_photographs_19721982.htm

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

There have been quite a few interview and/or profile articles published in the past couple of months, featuring talent from every area and genre within the music business, so I think it’d be most-beneficial to you simply to point you in the direction of these missives and let you go at it at your own pace…

a) Photographer Mark Seliger describes the work behind a number of his best-known portraits, including those of  LL Cool J and Kurt Cobain plus comedian Jerry Seinfeld, artist Cindy Sherman, former president Barack Obama and others in this nice article on the Artsy site by Molly Gottschalk – https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-celebrity-photographer-mark-seliger-stories-8-iconic-portraits?

You can follow that article up with another on the always-popular Mr. Seliger, with this one being an interview with NPR’s Ari Shapiro posted on the All Things Considered page –  https://www.npr.org/2018/05/22/613032671/get-something-that-no-one-else-has-gotten-says-photographer-mark-seliger during which he tells some insights on how he works to differentiate his work from the mainstream (“get something no one else has gotten”) and elaborates a bit about his new book called Mark Seliger Photographs which, according to the article, “collects some of the best images from his last 30 years, including presidents, actors and rock stars.”

b) Here’s a new profile/interview article on the PosterHouse web site with artist David Byrd, one of the premiere poster artists employed by the Bill Graham organization (primarily at the Fillmore East in NYC) but who also gained national recognition with his original designs for the Woodstock festival and for The Who’s first staging of their rock opera Tommy in New York and who would go on to use his talents on projects for clients on Broadway and elsewhere in the music business – https://posterhouse.org/from-woodstock-to-broadway-the-poster-art-of-david-byrd

His artwork was also featured on a number of album covers, including Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out for the Rolling Stones in 1970, Lou Reed’s Sally Can’t Dance in 1974 and others for Country Joe & The Fish, The Frost, Essra Mohawk and several others.

c) OMG – it’s been 40 years since the release of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town record and our first catching sight of photographer Frank Stefanko’s  shot of The Boss leaning on a doorframe and looking out at all prospective purchasers of this LP, so it’s with great interest and more than a bit of nostalgia that you’ll enjoy EW writer Sarah Sahim’s recent interview with Mr. Stefanko on making of this memorable cover portrait – http://ew.com/music/2018/06/08/bruce-springsteen-darkness-on-the-edge-of-town-cover-frank-stefanko/

d) I’d somehow missed this interview with illustrator and painter Sam Spratt, posted in March on the DJBooth.net site – which gives the details of his work on covers for Logic and a detailed look into his development process – https://djbooth.net/features/2018-03-09-sam-spratt-interview-covered

e) Profile of Cleveland, OH-based artist James Quarles and his work for hip-hop artists Muamin Collective’s latest release titled The Hues Brothers…the clever lads who began calling themselves that homonym early on relied on James to bake in some imagery derived from the works of famed film directing/producing pair Albert and Allen Hughes (AKA The Hughes Brothers, makers of Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, etc.) – http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/05/creating_the_cover_behind_the.html

f) Writer Jack Boyle’s recent HighSnobiety.com profile of and interview with Cary Fagan, the Texas-based photographer/art director who’s the one responsible for A$AP Rocky’s newest album cover called TESTINGhttps://www.highsnobiety.com/p/cary-fagan-asap-rocky-testing-album-cover/

g) A lover of art, music and skateboarding who grew up in Philadelphia and studied graphic design at the prestigious Tyler School of Art, Dewey Bryan Saunders chose to best express himself creatively via works of collage art built from images he hand-cut from popular magazines. Now busily working in Los Angeles, Saunders has become an in-demand designer for cutting-edge (sorry) musical acts such as Anderson .Paak and Lil Uzi Vert, introduced in greater detail to us here in William Emmons’ recent article in the UC Santa Barbara news service The Daily Nexus –  http://dailynexus.com/2018-04-26/dewey-bryan-saunders-the-artist-behind-your-favorite-album-cover-art/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) The Gotta Have Rock & Roll “Rock & Roll Pop Culture Auction” scheduled to commence this coming July 11th (ending on July 20th) features several items that should be of interest to album art collectors, including several originals from the collection of noted designer Larry Vigon (who’s notable album cover credits include – The Rembrandts – The Rembrandts; Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time; Sparks – Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat; Rick Springfield – Rock of Life; Fleetwood Mac – Mirage, Greatest Hits and Tusk; Stevie Wonder – Secret Life of Plants; Oingo Boingo – Deadman’s Party; Thomas Dolby – Close But No Cigar and Astronauts & Heretics,  plus many others), such as the paintings he did for the front and back covers of Eric Clapton’s 1985 record Behind The Sun and the comps, including George Hurrell’s hand-tinted photographs, of the cover art he created for Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 hit record Mirage. The preliminary info online also states that other items from Larry’s collection that will be on offer include “his hand drawn artwork for the cover of Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours as well as several drawings for their famous Penguin logo and Mick Fleetwood’s solo albums.” Also pictured in the preliminary auction documents is the original cover painting Vigon created for Chicago’s 1984 record titled Chicago 17, a rather unique take on the well-known John Berg/Nick Fasciano band logo-based covers, this time with the logo seemingly popping through a brown-paper wrapper (art director credits to the talented Simon Levy). No minimum opening bids have been posted, but I’d assume they’d be richly priced…

Although the official online preview isn’t up until July 4th, preliminary info I’ve been able to glom shows that other items of interest include original drawings by Michael Jackson, a John Lennon/Yoko Ono-signed photo from their 1969 “Bed-In” protest in Montreal, album and CD art signed by Nirvana and Led Zeppelin and quite a bit more (over 900 total items). If you’d like to see and learn more, I’d suggest that you pop on over to the company’s auction site – http://gottahaverockandroll.com/# – after the 4th of July Holiday to take a gander and then get your credit cards ready for action!

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Some of you who might remember my old gallery days will recall that I sold items from a line of intricately-crafted sculptures of iconic rockers/rock imagery made by a company called KnuckleBonz and, I’m glad to report, they’ve recently announced that they’re going to be manufacturing a line of limited-edition album cover art recreations they’re calling “3D Vinyl”. The first two items they’ve announced are stunning renditions of two great albums – Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, both of which are perfectly suited for a 3-dimensional sculpture.

https://knucklebonz.com/product/pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-3d-vinyl/

They’ve produced a nice intro video on this new Pink Floyd-based item that you can view at https://vimeo.com/276302319

https://knucklebonz.com/product/guns-n-roses-appetite-for-destruction-3d-vinyl/ will take you to the page on their site with all of the details on the AFD 3D Vinyl product, with the promo video available at https://vimeo.com/276296813

I’ve reached out to the talented team of designers and marketers who’ve created these new products and hope to bring you an update on their efforts soon.

b) Modern Rocks Gallery has announced the availability of several new images that should be of great interest to album cover art collectors, including a print of unique B&W treatment of Vic Singh’s fisheye lens-made masterpiece featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s debut record  Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/featured-prints/pink-floyd-vic-singh)  and an expanded collection of renowned British photographer Robert Whitaker, best known internationally for his many photographs of The Beatles, taken between 1964 and 1966 – including the covers for hit records by the band – including the images used on the covers for their notorious Yesterday & Today LP, AKA “the Butcher Cover” , as well as his photographs of the rock group Cream, which were used in the Martin Sharp-designed collage on the cover of their 1967 LP Disraeli Gearshttps://www.modernrocksgallery.com/robert-whitaker-photographer .

c) I’ve written several times over the years about companies that have licensed album cover art and imagery to be used to make a variety of merchandise, including notebooks, clothing, clocks, mugs and the like, but I was really taken by the line of “official music wallpaper” and murals offered by the UK company Rock Roll that, for the rock art nerd looking for something memorable and stylish for use in their next home decorating project, is just about the coolest thing out there.

According to their promo materials, “’Rock Rolls’ official music wallpaper and wall murals have been designed in collaboration with some of the world’s biggest bands. We’ve partnered with musicians from Black Sabbath, The Who, and Guns n’ Roses to Rolling Stones and Green Day to create high-quality music wallpapers featuring some of rock’s most memorable artwork.” These officially-licensed products come in rolls measuring 500mm (approx. 19.7 inches) in width and 10 meters (32.8 feet) in length and are printed on thick, poster-quality (180gm) paper, with each roll priced at £70 (approx. $92). Murals based on the same basic designs come in sizes starting at 3.29 x 2.5 meters (10.8 feet  x 8.2 feet) up to 4.23 x 2.5 meters (13.9 feet x 8.2 feet) and are priced from £250 ($328) – £350 ($460), plus postage and handling.

Patterns available include cover imagery and logos from the previously-mentioned acts, including the iconic Lips & Tongue logo from the Stones, the “bullseye” logo for The Who, My Chemical Romance’s great spider logo and album art from Appetite For Destruction, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Black Parade, Never Mind The Bollocks… and Quadrophenia, among others.

Now’s your chance to add some class to your man/woman caves. It’s OK to cover up your old beer logo art with these modern masterpieces, I swear  – https://rockroll.co.uk/

More coverage in this article – https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/home-garden/interiors/design-news/the-worlds-first-licensed-album-art-wallpaper-by-rock-greats-including-the-rolling-stones-the-sex-a121316.html

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Juxtapoz Magazine has started a weekly series called Sound and Vision that, with each article, shares the details behind the making of some of your favorite album covers. According to the editors, “Album artwork is one of the primary ways that musicians and visual artists are able to collaborate, and many iconic album covers are simultaneously iconic pieces of pop art,” and that’s the motivation for these new features, with a new one released every Sunday. The first was   a feature on the making of the cover for the 1998 hip hop classic Aquemini which, according to the author, “cemented OutKast, and Southern hip-hop in-general, as a force to be reckoned with. The album features a number of skits and classic tracks, centering around Big Boi and André 3000s’ giant personalities and showcases their incredibly symbiotic relationship. The cover was designed to showcase that same thing.”

https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/design/sound-and-vision-outkast-s-aquemini-and-an-interview-with-creative-director-dl-warfield/

The article is built around an interview with the album’s art director, DLWarfield, who shared the basic idea behind the cover’s look – that is, to remind fans of 1970’s “blaxsploitation” films and those groovy old posters painted on black velvet…The second posted article was about  Andy Warhol’s famous “banana cover” for his favorite band at the time, The Velvet Underground & Nico – https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/design/sound-and-vision-the-velvet-undergound-nico-s-the-velvet-undergound-nico-cover-artwork-and-production-by-andy-warhol/

While the most-recent posting brings us the details about Raymond Pettibon’s work for the first record released (in 1979) by punkers Black Flag, an EP titled Nervous Breakdown. Pettibon, who’s last name was originally Ginn (he decided early on to change his name to “Pettibon,” a re-working of a nickname -“petit bon” – given to him by his father), was the brother of the band’s founder and guitarist Greg Ginn, and it was Raymond’s in-your-face (“get any closer and I’ll clobber you with this”) imagery that helped define the band for fans, along with, ultimately, those of other stable mates on his brother’s SST Record Label. Enjoying that creative work greatly, he went on to use his prodigious self-taught skills as an illustrator for punk and other anti-establishment groups in the LA area, creating many designs for gig posters, merch and album covers.

https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/music/sound-and-vision-black-flag-s-nervous-breakdown-cover-artwork-by-raymond-pettibon/

Eager to see where this series goes as it continues…

c) Did you ever buy a record solely on the basis of loving its album cover image? That’s the question posed by writer Jeff Terich in his recent article titled “Shadow of the Horns: The Art of the Metal Album Cover” found on the Treble (“Music for the Bleeding Edge”) web site – https://www.treblezine.com/art-of-metal-album-cover-shadow-of-horns/

He does bring up an interesting generational difference, noting that the music consumer today rarely if ever buys music without having first heard it – easy to do online, vs. “the olden days” when fans would trek to their retail location of choice and then begin the process by scanning what was on display on the wall and the aisle end caps before finally digging through the bins to see what looked interesting. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles on the subject, the first record I bought without knowing both the band and their music was “The Best of the Sir Douglass Quintet”, a record that featured a cover photograph shot in such a way that the musicians were in shadow and looked, to the untrained eye, like the quintessential British band. Putting the needle down on the first cut – “She’s About A Mover” – showed me otherwise, but I loved the record anyway….

d) Bruce at Vinyl Connection (Australia) posted a 2-part article on album covers from down his way –

https://vinylconnection.com.au/2018/05/01/8-aussie-album-covers-part-1/

https://vinylconnection.com.au/2018/05/08/8-aussie-album-covers-part-2/

I love Bruce’s articles as he always includes great examples of cover work for a wide variety of acts, from the one’s that became international stars (Midnight Oil, INXS, etc.) along with the many Aussie bands that I’ve never heard of and now must research (a good thing). Thanks again, Bruce!

e) Oasis What’s The Story long-lost shoot image – The long-time photographer of Oasis has said he was thrilled to have unearthed a never-before-seen unprocessed picture from the shoot for the band’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? cover. Just when you thought you’d seen everything, here’s something more…https://www.tv3.ie/xpose/article/entertainment-news/269787/Oasis-photographer-unearths-unprocessed-Morning-Glory-picture-from-1995

f) Here’s a recent news video posted by the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles about design great John Van Hamersveld’s recent efforts that resulted in the production of a HUGE mural on a water tank in El Segundo – http://abc7.com/society/iconic-album-cover-artist-creates-mural-in-el-segundo/3582634/   JVH was an El Segundo HS alumnus…The amount of thinking, preparation and coordinated production effort that resulted in this masterwork is truly inspiring (design students, pay attention here!).

More related coverage can be found online at – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/legendary-artist-john-van-hamersveld-honors-the-city-of-el-segundo-and-local-surf-legends-with-massive-mural-300637193.html

g) Prog art/music fans will find this one of particular interest…artist Burton Silverman’s son Robert shares the story behind the sad fact that his father’s art was sold for a pittance to be used on what would end up being one of the music industry’s most-recognized album cover images – that being the watercolor image of a decrepit old man (an idea based, as it’s been reported, on band-leader Ian Anderson’s photo of a homeless man walking near London’s Thames River) on Jethro Tull’s 1971 concept LP Aqualung.

“In 1971, Terry Ellis, the co-founder of Chrysalis Records, paid him a flat $1,500 fee for the three paintings which would comprise the album’s artwork, consummating the deal with nothing more than a handshake. No written contractual agreement was drawn up, and, much to his eventual dismay, nor was any determination made about future use.” Continuing with “The money and the physical paintings are long gone, but what remains for dad still has immense value: the ability to reclaim the narrative and say what really happened.”

As we’ve seen time and time again – as you’ve seen in my earlier articles on Robert Crumb, Gerard Huerta, Karl Ferris and the multiple artists who claim credit for the Lips & Tongue logo for the Rolling Stones! – for other examples of working arrangements/agreements that paid little to the artist while reaping in millions for the folks that commissioned the works , it always pays for visual artists to spend the time to work out iron-clad agreements when working with clients in the music business…

https://theoutline.com/post/4490/jethro-tull-aqualung-cover-artist-burton-silverman?zd=1&zi=nxc7ka4n

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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 by 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For May/June, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR JUNE.

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

The past month of May was an emotional one for me in that two things happened – one, a bit depressing and another that gave me some hope for the future – that showed me that the life of a researcher and writer will often be one that can be both rewarding for the work itself (e.g., the pleasure felt for completing a task as best as it could have been done) and one that will serve as a reminder that not all the rewards will be easily or rightfully measurable. Of course, I’m speaking about the campaign I ran to raise start-up funds to produce a collector-oriented, special-edition version of the book I’ve written (tentatively titled Unsung Heroes of the Music Business) that ended in early may after raising less than 10% of the money required to produce the book. The project ran on the popular Kickstarter site for 33 days and, if it had been successful, would have provided me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards that were available to sponsors at higher dollar levels). And while I do greatly appreciate the support I did receive, both in terms of the words of encouragement from fans/readers all over the world and the pledges I did receive, I do wish that I’d somehow been able to better-convince you to back me in this effort.

Well, all is not lost, as I do have encouraging news as a follow-up – I have been talking with a boutique publisher in the UK to produce a retail version of the book sometime soon and, with any luck, I’ll be able to get those who are interested in the book and all its wonders a copy (or two) sometime soon. More news to come as it’s made available and, of course, will be posted on the ACHOF site.

May was another month in which a goodly number of news releases and articles were made available on the exhibitions, interviews, artist profiles, book/print publications and other album cover art/artist-related topics and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including a) information on album art shows in the U.S. (Los Angeles, Brooklyn and NYC) and the U.K. (Liverpool and London); b) profiles (including two obituaries) on album art-makers including photographers working in the hip-hop and punk music areas; c) a new U.S. postage stamp featuring John Lennon and a limited-edition poster series showcasing Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour; and, as always, d) a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics including news about several different artists fighting for just and fair compensation for the use of their works, an opportunity to meet one of the world’s most-respected commercial photographers (and have your own portfolio reviewed by him), Kanye West’s most-recent attempt to shock and confuse most everyone and much, much more. So much, in fact, that I might be forced to post some today and the balance ASAP…

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For April/May, 2018

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR MAY.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

I don’t know how the rest of the world is handling the changing of the seasons – or the lack thereof – but I’m really hoping that we see a regular Spring weather pattern here in the Chicago area soon (I really want to plant my herbs). Spending more time indoors has had one benefit, though – I’ve been able to research and gather a very nice selection of articles to fill each of the five regular sections included in my monthly news summary. Indeed, the information about the exhibitions, artist profiles, new books and prints, auctions and sales and other items of interest serves as an ongoing testament to the fact that music industry-related visual artistry continues to make fans and draw audiences world-wide.

On a personal note – while, at the moment, it seems as though the Kickstarter project I launched in support of my new book project will fall (far) short of its goal, I’m trying not to get too down about it and, in fact, am now quite energized to find a publisher or two who might be able to help me bring this book to album art/artist fans both here in the U.S. and to readers/fans overseas as well. There are still a few days before the KS project draws to a close, so if you are interested in reserving a copy of the limited-edition version of the book for your very own, I’d invite you to visit the project page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/232122114/unsung-heroes-stories-from-your-favorite-album-cov before May 8th.

As I mentioned previously, the last 30 days has given us a lot to look at in the area of album art and artistry and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world, including:  album art and rock photo shows in the U.S., the U.K. and Italy featuring works by and/or about David Bowie, photographers Charles Moriarity and Art Kane and John Lennon/Yoko Ono, among many others; profiles on album art-makers including creative director Craig Braun, photographers Frank Ockenfels and Gunnar Stahl and the designer/illustrator known as Sixmau; another intriguing podcast from GOLDMINE Magazine about an impressive line of portable record players; info on the upcoming NY-area art show booth hosted by printmaker Gary Lichtenstein featuring new works by former Def Jam Records creative guru Cey Adams; new books coming out by two noted photographers – long-time Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger and Astrid Kirchherr, who chronicled the early growth of a band called The Beatles – as well as a book of Amy Winehouse photos by the aforementioned Mr. Moriarity, plus my mini-review of John Foster’s recent book on album art/artists (titled ALBUM ART: NEW MUSIC GRAPHICS and, as always, a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics such as the premiere of a new documentary film about famed Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita (perhaps best known for his enormously-influential folio of portraits of David Bowie), a new 35th anniversary DVD about the making of the album cover for Michael Jackson’s huge hit Thriller, a “best album cover art” listing that is actually fairly thought-provoking, a restaurant in Wisconsin that offers rock music-themed craft cocktails (with an LP-style menu to match), details on vinyl LP-inspired bathroom fixtures (!!) and much, much more.

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

1) UPCOMING, RECENTLY-LAUNCHED/CURRENTLY RUNNING AND JUST-CLOSED SHOW/EXHIBITIONS –

a) To follow-up on last month’s details about the David Bowie Is show currently running at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, there’s a new article by Claire Voon on the HyperAllergic site that shows you just how far NYC-area promo teams are willing to go to deliver “All Bowie, All The Time” to his legions of fans – https://hyperallergic.com/438500/david-bowie-metrocards-spotify-mta/

You’ll read more about how NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) newly-released line of pre-paid fare cards (AKA “MetroCards”) that feature one of five (5) well-known DB images, with each one representing one of his best-known personas (Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, etc.). Customers at the Broadway/Lafayette and Bleeker Street stations can step up to the special kiosks and try their luck on collecting one, two or all five of the specially-designed cards ($6.50 minimum for 2-rides) and also look around the station for several other Bowie-themed art displays, including silhouettes on the famed white tile walls, lyrics printed on stair risers and a very cool photo image that has been sliced into strips and laid in sequence along a number of cross-beams, allowing viewers standing at just the right angle to see the entire image at once.

250,000 total cards were printed, but with 5 million+ subway riders using the service every day, they’ll probably be snapped up rather quickly. I’ve already found sets of all five cards being offered on eBay for approx. $150.00!

The Bowie archive-sanctioned, Victoria & Albert Museum-organized David Bowie Is show has now moved on to what looks to be its final exhibition space – the Brooklyn Museum in New York – where the impressive display of costumes (over 60 of them), music, videos, photo and graphic imagery, Bowie’s own paintings and ephemera from his own collection – over 400 items in total – will be available for viewing by fans thru July 15th – https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/davidbowieis

b) Irish photographer Charles Moriarity was first introduced to singer Amy Winehouse in London in 2003 while she was looking for – and not finding – “just the right shot” for the cover for her debut album Frank. They stopped for a bottle of white wine and spent some time wandering the streets of the city, getting to know each other a bit better. The two hit it off nicely and, ultimately, found a pub on Princeton Street and a chum with a couple of cute dogs, both which served as the backdrops to what would end up being that cover shot (they also rendezvoused again in New York City while she continued recording in order to get some additional shots for the rest of the album package. Over the course of the next several years, while Winehouse worked hard on recording and touring, Charles would stay in close touch until he made the decision to move from London back to his native Ireland several years later, after which they lost touch.

While we all know that the story doesn’t end well for Ms. Winehouse (Charles admits that he was shocked when he saw her obvious decline in the press coverage she received throughout the remainder of her short-but-glorious career), Moriarity had rebuffed some of the more-exploitative offers he received to use these early photos commercially in the immediate aftermath of her death in 2011 but more recently, after the National Portrait Gallery asked that one of his photos be added to their permanent collection and a meeting with Asif Kapdia, the director of the acclaimed 2015 documentary about Winehouse (Amy), he decided that the world would benefit from the opportunity to see a collection of these images, with the results being a photo exhibition in Dublin featuring a collection of 25 early shots by Charles Moriarity – http://chq.ie/amy-winehouse-photo-exhibition-comes-to-chq/

along with a book (Before Frank) that shows, in 50+ photographs, the transformation from a young girl (recording Frank at the age of 19) to a world-renowned recording artist. The hardbound book’s 144 pages contain an introduction by Dazed Arts and Culture editor Ashleigh Kane, a foreword by Academy Award-winner Asif Kapadia (director of Amy) along with an interview with Charles Moriarty by acclaimed author Martin Belk.

Irish Mirror contributor Demelza De-Burka has penned an article/profile that intros this show, the corresponding book  and shares some of the details about the relationship between the two young artists  – https://www.irishmirror.ie/showbiz/irish-showbiz/irish-photographer-who-close-friends-12386226

­­c) When Arthur Kanofsky was young, he was fascinated with fairy tales, fantasy illustrations and, as a Boy Scout in his Bronx troupe, reptiles (earning himself a Reptile Study merit badge!). Hoping to become a world-famous artist when he grew up, he took the first step in preparation for this career when he enrolled in NY’s Cooper Union College but, a year into his studies, he was drafted into the Army, bringing his talents to a special unit – the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops AKA “The Ghost Army”. These artistically-trained troops were sent in to areas where they created the illusion of the presence of actual Army units, fooling the enemy into thinking that they were out-manned/gunned via inflatable tanks, artillery, sound effects and dummy battalions. After his deployment, he returned to the U.S. and worked briefly in the theater before returning to his studies in art, design and photography at Cooper Union and graduating with honors in 1950.

With his experience and impressive talents clear to prospective employers, Arthur (now Kane) accepted a position as the art director for Seventeen Magazine becoming, at age 26, one of the youngest holding this position at a major publication. With his highly-unique talents and experiences combining to give Kane exceptional conceptual/compositional skill set, over the years Kane became a must-have photographer for all of the best-known photo journals and magazines of his time, with his works appearing in the U.S. in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Look, McCall’s and others and overseas in the Italian versions of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Amica, Stern, German Vogue and Zeit. His subjects included celebrities in the fields of music (Bob Dylan, Cream, Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Airplane, Jim Morrison, Sonny & Cher, The Who and Frank Zappa), art (Christo, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers and Cy Twombly) and photo illustrations for a wide range of subjects, from the struggle for civil rights down South to the plight of wounded war vets and many articles on the politics and cultural changes taking place in the 1960s and 1970s.

Having developed his skills as a playwright, songwriter and videographer, Kane was able to offer his advertising and commercial clients a broad range of services including, as we now know, photos for album covers by many of the music industry’s best-known acts. Examples of his album cover credits include – Johnny Winter – White, Hot & Blue; Jim Morrison – An American Prayer; The Who – The Kids Are Alright, The BBC Sessions and Greatest Hits; Judas Priest – Point of Entry; Gloria Gaynor – I Am Gloria Gaynor and I Am What I Am and Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: The Royal Albert Hall Concert. Beginning in 1989, Kane led a series of week-long summer photography workshops featuring a number of his notable peers at his studios in Cape May, New Jersey, which he continued hosting until his death in 1995.

His works were honored many times during his career, with major awards including the “Photographer of the Year” Award in 1964 from the American Society of Magazine Photographers, the “Page One Award” in 1966 from the Newspaper Guild of America, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Medal for Distinguished Achievement awarded by Cooper-Union in 1967 as well as medals and awards from the Art Directors Clubs in Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. His works were also included in a number of museum and gallery shows around the world, with the last one on display back in 2015 at the Palazzo Santa Margherita in Modena, Italy – a retrospective show titled Art Kane, Visionary. This year, beginning May 3rd, a somewhat-abridged version of that show, curated by the Wall of Sound Gallery’s Guido Harari, brings examples of Kane’s great works back to Italy (in Turin, at the Spazio Don Chisciotte tthrough July 14th as part of the FO.TO.” Festival (see more at https://www.fotografi-a-torino.it/art-kane-visionary – it’s in Italian, of course).

According to Mr. Harari, he’ll have 40 iconic images, “including all of Kane’s rock portraits – those of The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, Cream, Johnny Winter, Aretha Franklin, Sonny & Chér and the historic ‘Harlem 1958’, considered quite likely the most significant image in jazz history. All the photographs on show and more are featured in the catalogue published by Wall Of Sound Gallery.”

d) Down in Austin, TX, the team at the Modern Rocks Gallery kicked off a new show called “The Art of the Contact Sheet” with an opening reception on Friday, April 27th that featured examples of this unique photo art print format from rock photographers such as legendary Columbia Records photographer, Don Hunstein and the photographer responsible for the iconic Aladdin Sane album cover for David Bowie, Brian Duffy. Other leading music photographers included in the show are Barrie Wentzell, Alec Byrne, Tracy Anne Hart, Alan Messer, Allan Ballard, Matt Anker, David Corio and more.

Featuring large-format (several sizes, from A2 to A0) contact sheets from photo shoots of musical acts such as AC/DC, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Nirvana, Ramones, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Zappa and several others, the prints show several of the artists at different times during their careers and often include alternative shots where their true personalities shine through. I’m particularly fond of Don Hunstein’s shots of a young Bob Dylan, shot in 1963, mugging for the camera, with his best work and world-wide recognition just ahead of him. I’m sure you’ll all find something that resonates with you so, if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the gallery sometime between now and the show’s close on August 31st  and say “hello” to Steven (the owner) or, if you can’t attend in person, be sure to look at what’s available on the gallery’s site at https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/contact-sheet-prints

e) Here’s a reminder for folks of the designer persuasion – in last month’s summary, I’d reported on an exhibition/competition currently being managed by noted album cover designers/authors Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz and Sylvia Reed that’s looking for submissions. According to the info I rec’d from Mr. Drate, the curators are asking designers everywhere to send in their best examples of well-designed record packaging for consideration, with entries due no later than June 1, 2018 to be eligible for consideration for this show.

After the initial competition is over and the best entries selected, the curators will be teaming up with the folks at NYC’s One Space Art Gallery to put up a show (actual dates TBD) that will be called For The Record: The Vinyl Cover Show 2018, the latest in a series of such shows the curators have staged over the years, including a well-received show that took place at The One Club back in 1995 called the “Special CD Packaging Show” (which featured over 100 examples of album art on display) and another show that was held in May, 2004 at the sadly-closed CBGB Gallery built in support of the release of their Rock Posters of the 90s books and which included 250+ posters sourced from 50 different designers.  It’s quite clear that this team has been working hard for years to promote the talents of the artists working in the music business with their fans and collectors of these works.

More details about this show and the folks behind it can be found on their Facebook page –  https://www.facebook.com/spencer.drate/posts/10156195245043288

Of course, I’m hoping to be able to share more info on the winners of this competition and the gallery show as it becomes available.

f) While its opening is still a few weeks away, I am still excited to report the news of a new John/Yoko exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool in Liverpool, UK that will include a lot for those of us who’ve always appreciated that pair’s contributions to the world of music-related art. Double Fantasy – John & Yoko is one large part of the city’s celebration of its 10th anniversary as “European Capital of Culture” and will, according to the Museum’s PR, have visitors “taking a chronological journey… the exhibition starts with two unique individuals – a leading figure in the avant-garde art world and a global rock ‘n’ roll star. From a tender first meeting at Indica Gallery in London, it was 18 months later that the album ‘Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins’ was issued. What followed was breathtaking in its rapidity and productivity until John’s tragic and untimely death on 8 December 1980.”

On display during the shows run, which begins on May 18th and will stay up for nearly a year (through April 22nd, 2019), are many items of original art created by the pair (individually and together) such as Yoko’s Ceiling Painting/Yes Painting, Painting to Hammer A Nail and Apple: Acorn Peace, War Is Over and others, along with a selection of hand-written lyrics by John Lennon, including those to songs including “In My Life”, ”Give Peace a Chance”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and “Woman”. There will also be a music room where visitors can listen to the couple’s music and review all of the album art that we remember and love. You can learn more about this tantalizing show on the museum’s web site at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/doublefantasy while those with a bit of patience for poorly spaced and punctuated overview articles can read more on one found recently on the Music-News.com site – http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/111842/John-and-Yoko-s-story-in-their-own-words-at-Museum-of-Liverpool

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/exhibitions/double-fantasy/

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Craig Braun, a man with some pretty-impressive album cover credits including packages for Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper and, working with Andy Warhol and a talented design team, brought us both the famous “banana cover” for the Velvet Underground & Nico’s debut record and Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones in 1971, is featured in a multi-page spread in the March issue (Issue #12) of Long Live Vinyl (U.K) magazine. In this interview with writer Teri Saccone, Craig takes us through some of the details of his storied career, including his start in the record business in Chicago (go Cubs!) in the early 1960s to the formation of one of the best-known vinyl record packaging companies (Album Graphics, Inc., or AGI) and on to his partnership with designer Tom Wilkes in 1973 to form the design firm Wilkes & Braun, Inc. where, in addition to being awarded a number of illustrious album cover art commissions, the pair were awarded a Grammy Award in 1974 for “Best Recording Package” for their designs for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 1973 recording of the orchestral stage version of The Who’s Tommy.

After earning a reputation as a somewhat “over-the-top” creative director (i.e., one not afraid to spend his client’s money on one-of-a-kind packaging ideas), Braun’s success found him enjoying both the good and the bad of a “rock-star lifestyle” before moving on to “corporate jobs” at several large record labels in the 1980s. After the recorded music business began to take a hatchet to packaging budgets, Craig chose – at the age of 55 – to pursue another passion of his – acting. He spent years studying his craft with legendary acting coach, Milton Katselas, in his master class and, in 2010, Craig was named a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. He has since appeared in many films (inc. Great Expectations in 1998, Flawless in 1999 and Swordfish in 2001) and TV shows including Law & Order, Cold Case, E.R. and Gone. Returning to his design roots for a special occasion in 2017, Craig was enlisted to emcee the rejuvenated Alex Awards ceremony at the “Making Vinyl” trade show.

While you can’t yet read the article online, I did find that the publication has also had several album art-related articles in the past, including 2 posts in their Essential Covers section (http://www.longlivevinyl.net/category/classic-album/essential-covers/) where you’ll see career-spanning summaries on Roger Dean and Tom Gundelfinger O’Neal and in their “The Story Behind The Sleeves” archives, you’ll find postings on covers for Alice Cooper, Bjork, Miles Davis and the Mothers of Invention – http://www.longlivevinyl.net/category/story-behind-sleeve/

For more information on this artist, please visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0105733/

b) Keeping his passion for photography mostly to himself while growing up in a suburb of Niagrara Falls, NY, young Frank Ockenfels’ talents weren’t truly discovered until his senior year in high school, when he was asked to shoot the scores of photos needed for his high school yearbook. In 1978, he moved down to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts there, whereupon he met a fellow student named Jodi Peckman. Jodi got a job working at Rolling Stone Magazine and asked her friend to help her with projects here and there, once being sent to photograph Buster Poindexter at a New Year’s Eve performance. After graduation, he worked as an assistant to photographer Joshua Greene (famed celebrity photographer Milton Greene’s son) and at other related jobs until his “big break” came in 1988, when Rolling Stone selected a photo he’d taken of singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman to run full-page in the magazine. Her new album was a hit and, as a result, others wanted to hire the guy who’d taken the best-known picture of the new star, which began a string of commissions to capture the images of many of the world’s best-known celebrities that continues to this day. Ockenfels is perhaps best-known to rock music fans for his portfolio of images taken of the late David Bowie from 1989 to 2006, including album cover/package shots for records including Earthling, Reality and Hours…

The School of Visual Arts is particularly proud of the achievements of many of its alumni, illustrated here by this recent article and intro video found on the school’s site and corresponding to the inclusion of a number of Ockenfels shots in the David Bowie Is exhibition currently on display in Brooklyn, NY. Just goes to prove that both a good education and strong social networks  can work together to bring talented people great opportunities (I sound like a school recruiter, don’t I?) – http://www.sva.edu/features/sva-features-alumnus-and-photographer-frank-ockenfels-3-strikes-with-light-video

c) While fans and journalists alike are working hard to figure out which drug reference – “Kidz on Drugs,” “King Overdose” or “Kill Our Demonz” – is the true meaning behind rapper J. Cole’s new album titled KOD, album art fans have a new artist to focus their attention on – 22-year-old Detroit artist Kamau Haroon, a.k.a. Sixmau. He’d just completed work for rapper Childish Manor when he was commissioned to come up with a memorable cover image for this recently-released new record and, as J’na Jefferson describes it in this recent posting on the VIBE web site – https://www.vibe.com/2018/04/sixmau-j-cole-album-artwork/, delivering a painting that depicts “a glassy-eyed Cole is featured wearing a crown. Children smoking, drinking lean, snorting coke and dropping acid are seen beneath his elegant robe, and two eerie skulls are pictured above them.”

The artist was happy to explain a bit about himself, his career and some of the inspirations and direction he received in this collaboration between two musically and visually-inclined talents, and you can see more of his work on his own site at https://www.sixmau.com/ (note – the home page features an image which reminded me of one you’d see after your computer had been hijacked, but fear not…).

d) With newer hip-hop acts showing more and more creativity when it comes to their related visuals, I was intrigued by this recent profile of 25-year-old hip-hop/fashion photographer Gunnar Stahl on the Coveteur.com site – http://coveteur.com/2018/03/15/gunner-stahl-hip-hop-photographer-profile/ as his portfolio now has been enhanced by the addition of  two newer album covers for Playboi Carti and Rae Sremmrud (both on Interscope). Writer Jodi Taylor spent some time recently in Atlanta with the young photographer, who’d she’d met late in 2017 when he’d just returned from a working trip to Tokyo and was getting ready to jet down to Miami for his next assignment and, after a whirlwind three months of work, had just returned from Los Angeles and had a lot of info to share about his rocket-propelled career these days.

According to the article, drastic circumstances had the self-taught photographer discovering and then settling on the use of film cameras, with Stahl describing it this way – “’I was doing digital, but then my camera broke,’ he explains. ‘I just had no other choice but to use film.’ Film is now what he is known for, with a quick scroll through his IG presenting you with film portraits of pretty much every rapper. You’ll see the likes of A$AP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Travis Scott, Skepta, and even Jaden Smith all within one quick glance.”

Researching for this posting led me to find another interview and video profile of this in-demand shooter, which you can read and watch via the link at – http://www.thefader.com/2016/09/20/gunner-stahl-documentary-video-interview  More about his latest projects can be found on his blog at http://www.blog.gunnerstahl.us/

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Last I heard from the folks at the famed Gary Lichtenstein Editions print house/gallery in New Jersey, they were hosting a gallery show late last year built around the ground-breaking hip-hop photography of Janette Beckman (“Legends of Hip-Hop”). Now, in a promo email I just received, I’ve learned that they’re going to be manning a booth at the upcoming Art New York fair (May 3 – 6 at the Pier 94 exhibition hall in NYC) and will have some new works by artist Cey Adams, who us album art fans know and love for his previous work as the creative director for Def Jam Records during their mid-late 1980s heydays, bringing us memorable covers for musical acts including Mary J Bilge, Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans, Ice Cube, R Kelly and, most-notably, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.

Since that time, Adams has gone on to work independently on a string of projects for clients on both coasts of the U.S. Included in this work were campaigns for Coca-Cola, HBO, Ervin “Magic” Johnson and Nike, NY-area radio stations Hot 97 and WBLS and, working with curators and designers at the Experience Music Project/Museum in Seattle, Adams brought meaningful designs to the hip-hop-centric  displays there. Additionally, he’s produced logos for Dave Chapelle’s popular The Chapelle Show, more album covers, stage designs, tour merchandise and more for a wide range of clients including Adidas, Burton Snowboards, Comedy Central, Eminem, Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Moet & Chandon,  Stevie Nicks and Roca Wear. Later this year, you’ll find Mr. Adams’ talents on display again in a special box set to be released by Smithsonian Records – the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap – which will feature both his packaging design and a special poster he created just for this set.

In 2008, Harper Collins Design published a book co-authored by Adams and Bill Adler, Def Jam’s former Director of Publicity, titled DEFINITION: The Art & Design of Hip-Hop that presented a comprehensive look at “hip-hop as a visual phenomenon. In 2011, Adams and Adler paired again, this time for Rizzoli, to produce Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label, a retrospective of Def Jam’s design output over the label’s first 25 years.

The photos of Cey’s new works look quite nice, but I’d invite anyone in the NYC area to head on over to the show and see them in person – https://www.artnyfair.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=10&tabindex=9&dealerID=36906

Last minute update – I’ve just learned that Cey Adams will be in the Gary Lichtenstein Editions booth at the upcoming Art New York Fair this Saturday, May 5th, 3pm-4pm to talk about his new work and sign copies of his new catalog of work. Gary Lichtenstein Editions – Booth ANY-107 at Art New York, Pier 94 Exhibition space, NYC.

b) An auction to raise funds for the Benefit Shop Foundation in Mt. Kisco, NY took place this past April 18th that featured large-format (6ft. square!) album cover artwork from noted artist Joe Taylor – http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/6071-choice-artworks-abound-at-benefit-shop-april-18 and, as a follow-up, I’m pleased to report that the item raised $2,000 – nearly 2X the pre-auction estimate!

The Texas-born Taylor is perhaps best-known for the mega-scale promo billboards he created to promote new releases inside Tower Records stores in the 1970s and 1980s. What made this particular auction item even more rare and unique was that Taylor took the large masonite boards he used on each project and painted them over after they were used with new artwork, so this huge re-creation of Buckwheat Zydeco’s Hey Joe LP is a rare remnant of his work, indeed (Taylor has also written a book, Art & Music, that shares the stories behind his billboard artwork).

Since leaving the art/advertising world a number of years ago, Taylor has spent his time as Owner/Operator of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum – a museum that presents the Earth’s history from a Creationist perspective – in Crosbyton, TX (near Lubbock). He has also put up a display at the museum of the remaining album art paintings he retained ownership of – http://mtblanco.com/2016/03/joe-taylors-album-art/

I’m sure that the winning bidder will soon be the envy of all his/her/their friends…

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) During his 15-year career as a photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine, Mark Seliger contributed countless images to the publication, including over 125 cover shots. He’d then expand his portfolio to include work as a popular director of music videos, directing shorts for Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Willie Nelson and others. In the area of album cover art, he’d contribute memorable cover images for records by Tony Bennett, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Ice-T, Lenny Kravitz, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears and many others.

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. To note his artistic output, throughout his career Seliger has been bestowed with 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.

With such an illustrious background, it’s with great joy that I’d like to report that there is a new book coming out May 1st by Abrams Books that’s simply titled Mark Seliger Photographs. The 256-page publication features 173 illustrations, with portraits of celebrities including David Byrne, Kurt Cobain, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z , Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen and Emma Stone, along with some great, never-before-seen examples of works taken during his travels throughout the world. There’s an interview of Seliger done by writer/director Judd Apatow during which Marc shares the stories behind some of his best-known shots, so it seems sure that there’s as much interesting to read as there is to see.

http://www.abramsbooks.com/product/mark-seliger-photographs_9781419726613/

b) While you’ve already read my intro article about photography Charles Moriarity’s new photo exhibition in Dublin, Ireland built around a selection of the photos found in his new book about the late Amy Winehouse (Before Frank), I took a look at his site and, in addition to more info on the book, there’s a nice 4-minute+ video intro on the site that gives you a somewhat-more-intimate look into the interactions between these two rising young artists – https://beforefrank.com/ The book’s set to be released this May.

c) Last month, I purchased my own copy of John Foster’s latest book on album cover design and designers – Album Art: New Music Graphics – the details of which I’d shared with you in last month’s news summary. As I said, what makes this book all the more interesting is that it’s been compiled and authored by an award-winning, working designer, with Foster serving as the principal of the MD-based design firm Bad People Good Things and in possession of a portfolio of notable album art credits. He’s also written a number of other design-oriented books included titles such as New Masters of Poster Design (Volumes 1 and 2), Paper and Ink Workshop and 1,000 Indie Posters, among others, and is an in-demand speaker at design industry conferences, so you know he knows his material through and through.

Now that I’ve had a chance to go through the book myself, I did want to let you know that, in addition to all of the nice images used to illustrate the book and interviews with several well-regarded designers I’ve covered over time here at the ACHOF (including Art Chantry, Stefan Sagmeister and Spencer Drate/Judith Salavetz, among others), there are portfolios of work and details of a world-spanning list of designers I’ve never seen before that serve to make this book very different from the many books we’ve seen on the subject in the past. For example, from Denmark, you’ll see cover images created by Jacob Jensen and Hvass & Hannibal for acts (new acts, to me) such as Prins Thomas and Efterklang; from Germany, designers Feld and SchultzSchultz and their work for Ben Lukas Boysen and Daniel Stefanik and, from Australia, Daniel Oorloff, whose crafted photo-collage-based covers for Lucid and Sam Setton, among others.

The 320 page book was being released in the UK on March 8th by the noted Thames and Hudson Ltd publishing house (I got mine via Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/Album-Art-New-Music-Graphics/dp/0500294151/ref=sr_1_1? ) , and if you’d like to see more of Foster’s work, I’d invite you to visit his company’s site at http://www.badpeoplegoodthings.com/?page_id=2

d) When the young designer/artist/photographer Astrid Kirchherr was attending college in Hamburg, Germany (the Meisterschule) in the late 1950s, she befriended two other students – Klaus Voorman and Jurgen Vollmer – who shared her interests in Pop culture and music. Voorman became her love interest and, in 1960, the two stumbled in to a club on the Reeperbahn called the Kaiserkeller where they listened to a band from England called The Beatles (who, at the time, consisted of five members, including drummer Pete Best and guitarist Stu Sutcliffe), bringing their friend Vollmer back with them to the club immediately thereafter. Kirchherr became entranced with the young lads from Britain, and one of the bandmembers – Sutcliffe, himself a former art school student – found himself smitten with the beautiful blonde, with the pair starting to date soon after. She’d soon apply her skills as a designer and fashionista to her friends hair and wardrobe, with Astrid being credited for the band’s early “mop-top” haircuts and tailored suits.

With access to the band both onstage and behind the scenes now easily granted, Kirchherr asked the band if they’d mind her bringing a camera along, with the goal being to get them to pose artistically for her as she had sensed something special about the band and its members. Now, over 50 years after these photos were taken, Astrid has teamed with publisher Damani to release a new book of these important photos of the beginnings of a band that would become the most-influential in rock music history. Titled ASTRID KIRCHHERR WITH THE BEATLES (co-authored by Maurizio Guidoni), the book’s imagery focuses on a period of time – from 1960 through 1968 – during which she chronicled the band from its hard-working club band beginnings, during their brief times away from their rapidly-rising careers, on the set of the making of the movie A Hard Day’s Night and up to the time she produced a headshot of George Harrison for his 1968 solo record Wonderwall Music. While her photos have been included in several limited-edition and commercial books of Beatles photos, this is the first time that many of the photos in this 96-page photo-book have been made available to the general public.

You can find this book on the publisher’s web site at https://www.damianieditore.com/en-US/product/634

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Still feel that, for its sonic purity and well-designed packaging, vinyl LPs are still the best expressions of the various ways you can purchase your music? If so, there’s a company in Italy that would like you to consider extending that love for all things vinyl to how you outfit your bathroom. WTF, you say? Well, if you click on over to the MyModernMet site, writer Emma Taggart is happy to show you the various designs now available from the Olympia Ceramica company in their “Vinyl Collection” of LP-and-turntable-inspired bathroom vanities and fixtures. “Resembling a retro sound system, vinyl artwork is featured in the center of the basin; the sink’s faucet mimics a stylus; and taps, styled as “volume” knobs, can be used to adjust the water flow and temperature.

The stylish sink also includes a shelf for storage, a towel bar, a leather toiletry bag, and even an LED mirror featuring lights that resemble an audio equalizer. The best part? Each piece also comes equipped with built-in bluetooth speakers so you can listen to your favorite tunes while you brush your teeth.”

Can’t wait to find out when these are available for delivery and what the prices will be but, I’m assuming, you’ll soon be seeing these in the public and private bathrooms of many (well-heeled) music businesses  – https://mymodernmet.com/bathroom-sinks-vinyl-collection-olympia-ceramica/

https://www.olympiaceramica.it/en/

b) Another design-inspired article that should be of interest to LP fans – Goldmine’s recent podcast includes a discussion with Marshall Blonstein, a former record industry exec who is now co-owner of a company that makes a line of really impressive portable “record players” (much improved over the Kenner “Close&Play” models I remember growing up) – http://www.goldminemag.com/features/ufo-portable-turntable-subject-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-24

I’m particularly intrigued with the “UFO” model – a boombox for us Geezers!

http://www.myrocknrolla.com/products/rock-n-rolla-ufo/

c) Last month, I’d reported on a couple of group photo exhibitions – one in Italy and another in Los Angeles – in which the works of famed photographer Masayoshi Sukita were featured prominently. Sukita is probably best-known for his portfolio of photos that captured 40 years of David Bowie’s life and career, with several of his shots used on the covers of some of Bowie’s best-known recordings (from Heroes to The Next Day). In addition to Bowie, Sukita has collaborated with other trend-setting musical acts such as Marc Bolan (T. Rex), Iggy Pop, David Sylvian and influential Japanese electronic music band YMO to create memorable portraits to help chronicle and promote their respective careers.

Now, there’s a new film that premiered at the recent Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy that chronicles the work of this important lensman, with a focus on his unique and intimate portraiture of Mr. Bowie taken during the dozens of photo sessions they worked on together. Sukita – The Shoot Must Go On follows the upward-arcing career path of the now 82-year-old photographer, taking viewers behind the scenes – often with Sukita providing the commentary – during his studio and on-location work with his favorite clients. Included in the film is a special look at “the making of” the album cover for YMO’s second album (Solid State Survivor) and words of praise from many of Sukita-san’s fellow creatives, including famed Japanese composer Sakamoto Ryuichi, musician Hotei Tomoyasu (best-known here for his song “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” featured in the film Kill Bill), guitarist MIYAVI and film director Jim Jarmusch, who teamed with Sukita to create the arresting visuals for his 1989 film Mystery Train.

The documentary is directed and produced by Aihara Hiromi and will be in general release beginning May 19th, so check your local theaters/film festivals/streaming services for showtimes/availability. Reporter Patrick Brzeski gives us a preview on the Hollywood Reporter site at https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/far-east-film-fest-premiere-documentary-david-bowies-photographer-1098267

And if you’d like to watch the trailer for the film (in Japanese, mostly) – http://sukita-movie.com/

d) Whenever I see an article in which the author(s) list their favorite album cover designs/images, I typically feel deflated, as I’m forced to wonder why these articles were written. Is there an album art or music-related exhibition taking place nearby, or is there a local artist currently working in the music space that they felt needed profiling, or did they need to fill some space on a page? These articles tend to simply give us a collection of album cover images and little or no useful information about them.

Once in a while, though, even though I don’t quite understand what inspired the article, I am impressed with the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of an article that has pressed its authors to select their favorite designs and then also delivers us the “whos” and the “whys” relating to each featured item. Such is an article recently posted by the Michigan Daily News Music Writers Roundtable on important album cover works – https://www.michigandaily.com/section/arts/album-cover-art-round-table

Compiled by Shima Sadaghiyani, Daily Music Editor for the Ann Arbor, MI-based college daily newspaper, the panel selects several of “the classics” (Revolver by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book and Doolittle by the Pixies) along with a number of newer “hidden gems”, such as the covers for the Memory Tapes’ 2009 record Seek Magic, M.I.A.’s colorful 2007 release Kala and Lorde’s 2017 megahit Melodrama. While of course I’m impressed with the fact that college writers can find great pleasure and inspiration from “the oldies” as well as the covers for today’s generation’s packaged music. When looking at the cover for the Stevie Wonder record, writer Laura Szubay notes that “only two years previously, on Signed, Sealed And Delivered, Wonder was popping cheerfully out of a cardboard box labeled ‘Handle With Care.’ Now he was sitting on the ground, his face turned thoughtfully to the earth, solemn and contemplative,” while writer Sam Lu shares his take on the connection between the intimate oil painting featured on the cover of Lorde’s Melodrama with the music found inside – “Lorde condenses the essence of teenage relationships in all of their turbulent glory, from the before to the during to the after,  and does it all without abandon. She leaves us with a final parting gift: an image of her at her most striking, when she’s unflinchingly staring right at the viewer.”

There’s hope yet for these young people…

e) I’m having a hard time thinking of a recorded music product with as much (well-deserved) notoriety as Wu-Tang Clan’s 2015 one-off double album – the “ultimate box set” – titled Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. When news of its upcoming availability via auction – coming after a six-year production schedule – was announced several years ago, it caused a sensation in the press as many in the media were perplexed as to who would ever buy such a thing, which also came with an entire agreement that limited the owner to how it could be shared with others (no commercial exploitation, period). Unless you’ve lived off the planet since the sale, you know that it was purchased at auction for $2 million by now-convicted pharma wunderkind Martin Shkreli only to be forfeited in a 2018 sale of assets to cover a $7.3 million dollar judgment against him after his conviction for securities fraud.

Now, further trouble seems to be following this record in the case of photographer Warren Patterson, whose work graces the cover of the infamous album and who is now suing the rappers for $1 million, claiming that he was never paid for the 80 hours of work he put in to the project. Hypebeast’s Isaac Rouse shares the sordid details in his article – https://hypebeast.com/2018/4/wu-tan-clan-sued-once-upon-a-time-in-shaolin-cover

As it turns out, the Department of Justice is still trying to locate the record, which has not yet been turned over even though its owner is in jail and is appealing his conviction.

f) It’s been 35 years since Michael Jackson’s best-selling-album-of-all-time (66 million copies sold so far!) Thriller was released, with that album featuring portrait photographer Dick Zimmerman’s iconic shot of the not-yet-surgically-destroyed young singer stretched out wearing a white suit (with the gatefold inside cover showing Jackson acting all buddy-buddy with a tiger cub). The new 35th anniversary DVD package now available on Zimmerman’s FanArtClubGallery.com site ($24.95) on the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller features an updated interview with Zimmerman and includes loads of behind-the-scenes footage taken during the photo session for the record cover.

More details about the project and the new DVD can be found via this press release posted at https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/18/03/p11422213/michael-jackson-thriller-photographer-interviewed-for-just-released-vi along with this feature you’ll find on a popular MJ fan site, the UK’s Michael Jackson World Net (also celebrating their 20th anniversary) – http://www.mjworld.net/news/2018/03/30/dick-zimmerman-talks-about-michael/

You can order one for your very own at http://fanclubartgallery.com/product/thriller-35th-anniversary-interview-with-dick-zimmerman-dvd/  , and you’ll also see that Zimmerman runs a gallery that sells limited-edition art prints based on some of the celeb photos he’s taken over the years, etc. – http://fanclubartgallery.com/store/

g) Missed this when it first ran several months ago, but now that I’ve found it, I wanted to share this info as it helps us laypeople understand the thought processes of those talented people who are tasked to make the packaging for our favorite retail music products – https://99designs.com/blog/design-other/how-to-design-album-cover/

While I’m quite certain that most designers working in the field don’t follow these guidelines all that closely, it is interesting to see that, in a day where it seems that most people are focused on success via rote memorization and/or applications development, even an outlined process like the one presented here reserves time and energy for existential searches, inspiration and the importance of finding the right people to collaborate with.

h) When those of us who’ve worked in the recorded music business hear the word “mixer”, it immediately brings to mind either the piece of studio equipment used to select and blend inputs from various sources or the people that operate these machines. In today’s foodie scenes, folks us laypeople used to call “bartenders” are now known as “mixologists” and, in many cases, seem to have advanced degrees in chemistry as best evidenced by the strange and wonderful concoctions they create. Recently, a Madison, WI-based restaurant called Merchant has developed and launched a craft cocktail program with inspirations drawn from the titles of classic rock tunes and uses album cover-style imagery to help market them. Want a “Black Magic Woman”? Order one and you’ll get a cocktail made from a blend of tequila, mezcal, fruit juices and other ingredients, while ordering a “Killer Queen” brings you a gin drink with sherry, poppy liquor (?), various juices and bitters. The menu looks like an LP cover, with co-production and “song-writing” (i.e., cocktail-invention) credits listed as they would be on a recorded music product. Contributor Lindsay Christians for The Cap Times shares the important details – http://host.madison.com/ct/entertainment/dining/with-s-rock-inspired-cocktail-list-merchant-is-stayin-alive/article_489df93e-4375-5779-b1e0-3ae6a36af903.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 early next month with another monthly summary for you. If you’ve found that these stories have added some joy and appreciation for the arts to your lives, I’d like to ask you to let your friends and loved ones know more about the album art and artistry-related information you’ve found here on the ACHOF site.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For March/April, 2018

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR APRIL.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

The month of March – in as far as album cover art-and-artist-related news goes – proceeded in just the opposite of the traditional “in like a lion, out like a lamb” theme in that it started out slowly but loaded up at the end with new info and articles on exhibitions, profiles, award shows, new books and prints and more on everyone’s favorite topic.

March was also a busy one for yours truly in that I was involved in judging a local/national album art competition, putting on a lecture about album art and artists featuring a display of prints from my own collection and, finally, working to produce all of the materials needed to launch the Kickstarter campaign for my new book project. I’m happy to report that everything went well, with an impressive range of talent on display in the Oak Park Art League’s Artifact 33.3 album art show, a nice turnout of album cover lovers at my March 22nd lecture and my overall happiness with the items that were produced to help me launch my fund-raiser, which looks to launch sometime the first week in April. If all goes according to plan, the project will run for 33 days and, if successful, it should provide me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards you’ve opted for) before the end of the Summer. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for anyone who is a fan of art and music – and that includes YOU – I do hope that you’ll take a look at the project site via the link I’ll include in a special announcement next week.

As I mentioned previously, the last 30 days has given us much to review  in the area of album art and artistry – particularly, in the category of exhibitions (see below) – and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll get the details from sources from around the world. Of particular note were the number of international exhibitions on display and/or announced for openings later this Spring, including shows in Scotland, Italy, England, Canada and several in the U.S…these displays approach the world of album covers/music packaging and memorabilia from a number of different angles, so it’s intriguing and exciting to see the passion for this sort of work on display in venues throughout the world.

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

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

a) We all know and love the highly-artistic album cover work of photographer Brian Griffin, so it’s with great pleasure that I can report that there’s a new show of more-recent works – titled Between Here & Now – that’s on display at La Banque Art Centre in Bethune, France – one that features a number of new works taken from his book SPUD (published by Gost Books) that was recently published after Brian’s 2017 artistic residence in that area of the country.

In that some of the bloodiest battles on the Western Front during the first World War were fought only a few miles away from Bethune, Brian was so moved by the area’s history that it inspired him to create images that, in his own inimitable way, illustrated the connection between the land and the “the blood and the bones and the limbs of all (that) became part of the soil.” Writer Eva Clifford provides us with an overview of the display – which is available for viewing now through the 15th of July – in her recent article on the British Journal of Photography’s site – http://www.bjp-online.com/2018/03/brian-griffins-spud-on-the-anomaly-of-potato-growing-in-ww1-battlefields/

Brian provides us with updates on his show via LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6382168208442560512

b) If you happened to be one of the nice people who were able to join me the evening of March 22nd at the Oak Park Art League’s gallery when I presented 25+ prints from my personal collection – and the stories behind how they were made and who made them – I’d like to say “thanks” and hope that you enjoyed your time that night. In addition to the initial selection of prints that were put up on display as part of the opening night ceremonies for the Artifact 33.3. exhibition on March 9th – cover images for records by Supertramp, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and many others – I brought along another group that included works by photographers Brian Griffin, George DuBose and Storm Thorgerson and designs/illustrations by Cal Schenkel, Jamie Reid, Mati Klarwein, R. Crumb, John Van Hamersveld and several others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Goldstein lecture at OPAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2+ hours later, we’d all had our fill and had shared stories about our own collections and experiences (Val Camilletti of Val’s Halla Records even shared the story of the weekend she spent as a Capital Records employee stripping banned cover photos from a certain Beatles record back in the 60s and helping launch the “Butcher Cover” collectibles market!).

As mentioned previously, after receiving dozens of submissions for their Artifact 33.3: National Exhibition of Record Cover Art original album art competition, the Oak Park Art League’s panel of judges – which included local treasure Val Camilletti (owner of Val’s Halla Records), long-time WXRT Program Director Norm Winer, Paul Natkin (one of Chicago’s most-notable rock photographers), me and musician/artist Jon Langford (one of the founders of The Mekons and the alt-country kings The Waco Brothers) – selected what it felt were the best 50 entries from local/outside artists proficient in many areas of design, painting and illustration and displayed the winning entries  in the OPAL gallery in Oak Park, IL beginning  Friday, March 9th.  . These remain on display, along with a number of other rock-themed works of art, until late April, so if you’d like to see them and learn more about the show and the winning entries, please visit their site at – https://www.oakparkartleague.org/artifact-33-3

c) In this month’s list of “there and gone” shows was one that I’d like to have seen – from Friday-Sunday March 23-25 at the Queen’s Park Railway Club in Glasgow, Scotland was a display of works of art and music, curated by artist Ross Sinclair, that featured the work of dozens of artists who also happen to be musicians/musicians who also excel in the visual arts. According to this article on The List (UK) web site by David Pollock, this display does a great job of illustrating a fact long-professed here at the ACHOF, that being that there seems to be something genetic in the make-up of many who participate in the worlds of art and music – something that drives them to experiment, and regularly produce great works, in areas of specialization outside the ones they regularly earn their livings in – https://www.list.co.uk/article/99693-artists-who-make-music-musicians-who-make-art/

I’ve seen these traits on display so often that I was, several years back, driven to produce an article on the topic, which you can find via the link here – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/musicians-that-also-design-album-covers-a-list-for-fans-of-music-and-art/  Suffice it to say that the trend continues…

d) We can always rely on the talented artist/photographer/gallery owner Guido Harari to present us with a comprehensive and entertaining group show each Spring, and his latest effort, which opened March 20th at his Wall of Sound gallery in Italy is no exception. Called Rock ‘N’ Roll Hearts, it features fine art photos from an impressive collective of shooters, many with dozens of examples of album cover photos in their portfolios, including Merry Cyr, Henry Diltz, Art Kane, Gered Mankowitz, Jim Marshall, Mick Rock, Norman Seeff, Masayoshi Sukita and many others, including Mr. Harari himself. You can find out more about who/what is on display (thru June 11th) on the gallery’s site at – http://www.wallofsoundgallery.com/en/rock–n–roll-hearts-e24

e) The Bowie archive-sanctioned, Victoria & Albert Museum organized David Bowie Is show has now moved on to what looks to be its final exhibition space – the Brooklyn Museum in New York – where the impressive display of costumes (over 60 of them), music, videos, photo and graphic imagery, Bowie’s own paintings and ephemera from his own collection – over 400 items in total – will be available for viewing by fans thru July 15thhttps://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/davidbowieis

The nice folks at CNET sent a crew to the museum and came back with a slew of images that allow those of us who don’t live in the area an opportunity to tour the items on display at the Museum in the comfort of our own homes – https://www.cnet.com/pictures/david-bowie-fans-you-cant-miss-this-space-oddity-of-a-show/  The show has set attendance records everywhere it’s been assembled, beginning with the V&A Museum in London in March, 2013 but, like all good things, it comes to an end this Summer, so if you’re in the area and are a fan of all things Bowie, be sure to tour before its gone.

f) With Mr. Bowie fresh in everyone’s minds, the fine people at the Morrison Hotel gallery in Los Angeles recently displayed (2/23 thru 3/23) a pretty impressive Bowie photo exhibition featuring work that highlighted a number of aspects of the artists 50-year career- whether in the studio, on stage and as an artist, actor and fashion icon – as seen by noteworthy photographers such as Brian Duffy, Terry O’Neill, Neal Preston, Mick Rock, Masayoshi Sukita and a number of others.

https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/blog/354U1j/BOWIE-Photography-Exhibition–Sale-Now-At-Our-Galleries-February-23—March-23

The gallery’s opening party was attended by a star-studded lineup of photographers and musicians, including shooters Henry Diltz, Ross Halfin and Jimmy Steinfeld and musicians from bands including Circle Jerks, The Cult and Billy Idol’s band, among others. The folks at Music Connection provided us with some photo coverage of the event – http://www.musicconnection.com/david-bowie-photography-exhibit/

g) A recent article found on the Art Daily site helps introduce us to a photo exhibition in Toronto that give us a close-up look at the city’s burgeoning R&B, rap and hip-hop music/cultural scenes. Readers are given a nice overview of a show called Everything Remains Raw: Photographing Toronto’s Hip Hop Culture from Analogue to Digital that’s on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, which is serving (for the fifth time) as a venue for the YU-U-UGE Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (the world’s largest such event, it is said).

According to the article, “The exhibition consists of three sections—Write Now: Intro to the Esoteric, Not Now but Right Now, and Emanate—highlighting the many aspects of hip hop culture including rhyming, breakdancing, graffiti, and DJing” and features the works of a collection of Toronto-based shooters working to capture the scene in the 1990s and early 2000s. You’ll find photos – including a number which have never been seen in public before – from the archives of photographers (many with album cover credits) including Craig Boyko (Kardinal Offishall), Michael Chambers (Divine Brown and Love & Sas), Stella Fakiyesi (Philosopher Kings), Demuth Flake, Patrick Nichols (Rupert Gayle and Dream Warriors), Sheinina Raj (Ghetto Concept and Laurance Tan) and Nabil Shash, and the exhibition will be up on display from now until October 21st. Read more by following these links: http://artdaily.com/news/102901/The-McMichael-presents-photographic-works-of-Toronto-s-hip-hop-culture and

http://mcmichael.com/event/everything-remains-raw-photographing-torontos-hip-hop-culture-from-analogue-to-digital/

While my exposure to the Canadian music scene harkens back to the late 1990s when I was involved with the MuchMusic  cable TV network there (partnering with them to bring MuchMusicUSA to American audiences), I have to admit that I knew little about the rap/hip-hop scenes there, so even looking through the McMichael’s web pages on this show was really informative.

h) It started off as an interesting hobby – taking rubbings from the gravestones of notable musicians – but it wasn’t until he’d run out of paper one day 10 years ago and decided to try using the paper sleeve from an old LP that St. Louis, MO-area resident John Wegrzyn hit on an interesting way to memorialize some of the world’s most-notable blues musicians. Now, in a display of his unique album cover-sized rubbings at the National Blues Museum in St. Louis called See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, you’ll find a fascinating selection of John’s works of art based on the carved memorials for a range of blues masters from back in the day to much more recently, including Willie Dixon, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Professor Longhair, Stevie Ray Vaughan and dozens more.

Writing for The Riverfront Times blog, Allison Babka takes us on a mini-tour of the show –https://www.riverfronttimes.com/musicblog/2018/03/16/belleville-mans-gravestone-art-exhibit-ensures-that-the-blues-will-never-die – and introduces us to a man with a passion for gravesites and graphite pencils. The show runs through May 19th, with more details available on the Museum’s site at https://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org/exhibits/traveling-exhbits/

i) Sneaking into this month’s summary on the last day of March was the announcement of the opening of an exhibition on display in the gallery of the Winchester Discovery Centre (in Winchester, Hampshire, UK) featuring a collection of the works for the stage, dance and film by famed illustrator Gerald Scarfe, well-known to album art fans as the talented man behind the visuals for Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

According to this recent article on the Art Daily site (http://artdaily.com/news/103607/Drawing-a-crowd–Gerald-Scarfe-Stage—Screen-exhibition-comes-to-Hampshire ) “Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen will feature more than 100 preliminary sketches, storyboards, photographs, ephemera, costumes, set pieces and animation cels” that catalog Scarfe’s contributions to productions from The Wall (1979) to the English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker (2002). Organized by London’s House of Illustration, one of the most-unique aspects of what’s on display are the collections of costumes and props that were used in various live/recorded productions and, of course, an impressive array of Scarfe’s work on The Wall along with the 1972 short film titled A Long Drawn Out Trip (“a stream-of-consciousness piece that reflected Scarfe’s perception of American culture”) that was seen by members of Pink Floyd and then lead to their ultimate collaboration on The Wall.

Specifics about the show – which runs now through June 27th – can be found on the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s site at http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/event/gerald-scarfe-stage-and-screen-exhibition

j) While its opening is still a couple of months away, I am excited to report the news of a new John/Yoko exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool in Liverpool, UK that will include a lot for those of us who’ve always appreciated that pair’s contributions to the world of music-related art. Double Fantasy – John & Yoko is one large part of the city’s celebration of its 10th anniversary as “European Capital of Culture” and will, according to the Museum’s PR, have visitors “taking a chronological journey… the exhibition starts with two unique individuals – a leading figure in the avant-garde art world and a global rock ‘n’ roll star. From a tender first meeting at Indica Gallery in London, it was 18 months later that the album ‘Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins’ was issued. What followed was breathtaking in its rapidity and productivity until John’s tragic and untimely death on 8 December 1980.”

On display during the shows run, which begins on May 18th and will stay up for nearly a year (through April 22nd, 2019), are many items of original art created by the pair (individually and together) such as Yoko’s Ceiling Painting/Yes Painting, Painting to Hammer A Nail and Apple: Acorn Peace, War Is Over and others, along with a selection of hand-written lyrics by John Lennon, including those to songs including “In My Life”, ”Give Peace a Chance”, “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” and “Woman”. There will also be a music room where visitors can listen to the couple’s music and review all of the album art that we remember and love. You can learn more about this tantalizing show on the museum’s web site at www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/doublefantasy while those with a bit of patience for poorly spaced and punctuated overview articles can read more on one found recently on the Music-News.com site – http://www.music-news.com/news/UK/111842/John-and-Yoko-s-story-in-their-own-words-at-Museum-of-Liverpool

k) Noted album cover designers/authors Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz are teaming up with another accomplished (and Grammy-nominated) designer, Sylvia Reed to gather and curate record art show that will be put up at the One Space Art Gallery in NYC at a date TBD. According to the info I rec’d recently from Mr. Drate, the curators are asking designers everywhere to send in their best examples of well-designed record packaging for consideration, with entries due no later than June 1, 2018 to be eligible for consideration for this show.

The show will be called For The Record: The Vinyl Cover Show 2018 and will be the latest in a series of such shows the curators have staged over the years, including a well-received show that took place at The One Club back in 1995 called the “Special CD Packaging Show” (which featured over 100 examples of album art on display) and another show that was held in May, 2004 at the sadly-closed CBGB Gallery built in support of the release of their Rock Posters of the 90s books and which included 250+ posters sourced from 50 different designers, so it’s clear that this team has been working hard for years to share the talents of the artists working in the music business with their fans and collectors of these works.

More details about this show and the folks behind it can be found on their Facebook page –  https://www.facebook.com/spencer.drate/posts/10156195245043288

If you’d like to see all of the books that the dynamic duo of Drate and Salavetz have authored (21 and counting), here’s a handy link to their author’s page on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/author/spencerdrate

Of course, I’ll give you more info on this show as it becomes available. Designers, send in your best!

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) One of the music industry’s best-known and often-lauded album cover artists – Neville Brody – has spent the past seven years as Dean of the School of Communication at the U.K.’s Royal College of Art, but as you’ll read in this Design Week article by Aimee McLaughlin, he’ll be transitioning this coming September to a new role as a professor of visual communication – https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/26-february-4-march-2018/neville-brody-to-step-down-from-role-at-rca/

In addition to the many album cover designs he’s credited with over the years, Mr. Brody is the author of one of the design industry’s best-selling books, The Graphic Language of Neville Brody (the second volume published in 1994), which sold over 100,000 copies to become one of the world’s best-selling books about graphic design. In 1989, Brody launched “Neville Brody Studios” and, with cohort Cornel Windlin (a talented graphic artist and typeface designer), the studio took on a number of commissions and successful collaborations with other respected design firms. First renaming the firm Research Studios in 1994 and, most-recently, Brody Associates (http://brody-associates.com/) , Neville and his team have worked on an impressive portfolio of projects for clients in many industries world-wide, including media companies such as the BBC, D&AD, The Guardian, MTV Europe, Paramount Studios, The Times (London) and Wallpaper*Magazine,  venues such as Parco (Japan), The Barbican (London) and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) and retail product firms including Apple, Asics, Bentley, Bonfire Snowboarding, Chloe, Deutsche Bank, Dom Perignon, Homechoice, Microsoft, Nike, Salomon, Sony Playstation, YSL and many others. We wish him well as he soon moves on to the next phase of his career in academia.

b) When Public Enemy’s Chuck D teamed with rocket scientist/painter B.E. Johnson back in 1990 to come up with the soon-to-be-quite-memorable cover art for the group’s Fear of a Black Planet record, he’d hoped to drive home the point that that his Black Planet would be both large and cast a big shadow on planet Earth, but someone with Johnson’s special skills realized that it was important to show him how that should only be done in such a way that it’d survive as both a metaphor and a scientifically-correct image.

With a new group of products recently hitting the streets – clothing and accessories – from two hot design labels (Undercover and Supreme) that proudly display elements from the FOABP album artwork in their designs, the folks at the Hypebeast.com site turned to contributor Keith Estiler to turn to the artist to get an updated version of the “making of” story, which is now available on the site via this link – https://hypebeast.com/2018/3/fear-of-a-black-planet-artwork-undercover-supreme-be-johnson

There’s also a nice 90-second video available in which the acclaimed rapper shares a bit about the times and circumstances that compelled him and his music-making chums to produce that record and its visual counterparts – https://www.instagram.com/p/BgMJFN0Hh_X/?utm_source=ig_embed&action=save

c) Back in college, Chuck Sperry double-majored in Art and Journalism and fully anticipated working as a writer/journalist, but a gig as the school newspaper’s cartoonist and the advice/mentorship of a friend of his family (Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Mike Peters) started him down another path (from Missouri to New York and then San Francisco, one that has lead him to be one of the most-prolific and admired artists working for clients in the music business. Over the years, his screen-printed posters for almost every major act (yes, all of them!) and for The Fillmore concert venue have made clients, fans and collectors very happy with their inspired artwork and quality printing, which also lead Chuck to expanding his design offerings to products including skateboards, concert merch and, as you might figure, several album covers, including ones for Jello Biafra, Social Unrest, Madness and several others.

While he’s presently working on an exhibition opening soon (Heaven of Many a Tangled Hue, at Spoke Art in San Francisco), the folks at Juxtapoz Magazine caught up with him to have him spill some of the details of his career up to this point, beginning with his early forays into the field, many of the influences he’s had (including Gilbert Shelton, William Morris and writer Mary Shelley, among others) and what art this highly-collected artist has in his own art collection.

Profile on rock poster/album cover artist Chuck Sperry in Juxtapoz Magazinehttps://www.juxtapoz.com/news/collectibles/the-interweaving-worlds-of-chuck-sperry/

Details of new show at Spoke Gallery – https://spoke-art.com/blogs/news/coming-soon-to-sf-chuck-sperry-heaven-of-many-a-tangled-hue

d) Cover Our Tracks’s Loring Kemp was recently privileged to enjoy a conversation with goth/post-punk pioneer David J. Haskins (AKA “David J”), best-known as the bassist and lyricist for two seminal British bands – Bauhaus and, later, Love & Rockets. While we’ve all been impressed with his musical output, it was these bands’ (often dark) visuals that really helped them stand out from the many bands we enjoyed in the late 70s and 80s, so it is a great pleasure to read more as Loring and David take us all on an historical tour through the art that includes aspects of “Dada, noir and fantasy fiction” – a bit atypical for the timeframe, I think – enjoy this “Kick In The Eye” via the link – https://www.coverourtracks.com/single-post/2018/03/05/Kick-in-the-Eye-David-J-on-the-visual-art-of-Bauhaus-and-Love-and-Rockets

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) An auction to raise funds for the Benefit Shop Foundation in Mt. Kisco, NY will be taking place this coming April 18th that features large-format (6ft. square!) album cover artwork from noted artist Joe Taylor – http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/6071-choice-artworks-abound-at-benefit-shop-april-18

The Texas-born Taylor is perhaps best-known for the mega-scale promo billboards he created to promote new releases inside Tower Records stores in the 1970s and 1980s. What makes this particular auction item even more special is that, as the normal course of business, Taylor took the large masonite boards after they were used and painted them over with new artwork, so this huge re-creation of Buckwheat Zydeco’s Hey Joe LP is a rare remnant of his work, indeed. According to the article, “When the music store closed, it reportedly offered artworks to a select group, including the woman who owned this painting for many years, hanging it in her L.A.-home before moving to a smaller home in New York City.” Taylor has also written a book, Art & Music, that shares the stories behind his billboard artwork.

Since leaving the art/advertising world a number of years ago, Taylor has spent his time as Owner/Operator of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum – a museum that presents the Earth’s history from a Creationist perspective – in Crosbyton, TX (near Lubbock). He has also put up a display at the museum of the remaining album art paintings he retained ownership of – http://mtblanco.com/2016/03/joe-taylors-album-art/

I’m sure that the winning bidder will be the envy of all his/her/their friends…

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) April means Record Store Day month, and this year’s offerings are truly impressive. Now that the vinyl LP business has busted through the $1 billion sales mark again, musical acts and record labels are much more willing to put the extra effort and resources into these collectible offerings (yes, even the young ones are wanting to have and hold special physical goods). Rather than try to highlight what’s going to be made available, I’ll leave that up to the folks at Goldmine Magazine, who’ve put together a nice summary (with highlights) on their web site – http://www.goldminemag.com/news/record-store-day-releases-list-2018 and in a multi-page spread (pages 19-22) in the May 2018 edition of their print magazine.

This year’s Record Store Day Ambassadors at the Grammy Award winners Run The Jewels, and their special offering is a limited-edition metal box set titled The Stay Gold Collectors Jewel Box, a package that includes an etched 12” EP with custom art, a special turntable slipmat and that box – a handy place to store your most-precious vinyl LPs. Album cover fans will recall that RTJ and artist Timothy Saccenti were the winners of this year’s Best Art Vinyl competition….

If you’d like more info on the releases and Record Store Day (April 21), bop on over to the RSD site at http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of a fully-restored – including 3D Lenticular cover – version of Their Satanic Majesties Request on splatter vinyl, available exclusively at an independent record dealer near you.

b) Genesis Publications has begun taking pre-orders on a new book about the recent (June, 2017) concert at Wembley Stadium in London by R&RHOF inductees ELO, done in cooperation with ELO lead/producer/keeper of the flame Jeff Lynne – http://www.genesis-publications.com/book/9781905662524/wembley-or-bust?

The book documents the production, staging and performance by the greatly-expanded (12 pc.) band, which presented the 60,000+ fans with an amazing video/musical/pyrotechnic display, with the star of the show (visually) being their world-famous flying saucer. In addition to the amazing photography and a full behind-the-scenes tour lead by Mr. Lynne, the limited-edition (1,500 total) packages will be signed by Jeff and, depending on the version purchased, will include other collectible items such as vinyl picture discs, custom slipcases/bindings and, in the Deluxe version (only 350 of these will be made), a specially-made ELO space ship cutout/assembly. Last I heard, sales were brisk, so be sure to visit the publisher’s site soon if you’d like to reserve a copy for yourself/your loved ones.

5) Other articles of interest –

a) This year’s Juno Awards were announced on March 25th at 8PM in the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. If you’ll recall my earlier article on this award show, the nominees in the Album Artwork category were:

EVERYTHING NOW – Arcade Fire – Catherine Lepage & Simon Rivest (Art Directors); COCONUT CHRISTMAS – The Lost Fingers – Geneviève Lapointe (Art Director), Martin Tremblay (Photographer); MECHANICS OF DOMINION – Esmerine – Jean-Sébastien Denis (Art Director & Illustrator), Ian Ilavsky (Designer);FREUDIAN – Daniel Caesar – Keavan Yazdani (Art Director & Photographer), Sean Brown (Designer), Eric Lachance (Illustrator) and STUBBORN PERSISTENT ILLUSIONS — Do Make Think Say – Marianne Collins (Art Director & Illustrator), Ian Ilavsky (Designer), Steve Farmer (Photographer)

And the winners of this year’s Juno Award for Album Artwork were…the talented team of people – Marianne Collins (AD/Illustrator), Ian Ilavsky (designer) and Steve Farmer (photographer) – who produced this year’s Juno Award-winning album cover art for Do Make Say Think’s album Stubborn Persistent Illusions. They were up against some pretty stiff “big name” competition this year, but it’s nice to see that great talent wins out even when it’s delivered from rural Nova Scotia! Our heartiest congratulations go out to the production team, the record label and the musical act, and you can read more about this winning team via the link – https://junoawards.ca/nomination/2018-album-artwork-marianne-collins-ian-ilavsky-steve-farmer/

More to come soon….like I said, there was a LOT of info to sort through this month!

Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For February/March, 2018

ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR MARCH.

AlbumCoverHallofFame.com News Logo

 

 

 

 

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

As a follow up all of the award-based excitement that took place in January, February proved to be no slouch as a source of album cover/cover artist-based news , with more awards-focused activities in the form of the announcement of the nominations in the packaging categories for the annual Independent Music Awards (IMA) and the calls for submissions to two more album cover art competitions. In addition to the competition and exhibition that is taking place this month in Oak Park, IL (which I’m honored to be part of), a similarly-built project is taking place in Brooklyn, NY in the upcoming months, as it the judging and announcement of the winners of this year’s international A Design Awards. All in all, a lot of talent will be on display and album art fans will find a lot to like in any/all of these shows.

An update about the launch of my book project – If all goes according to plans, I should be announcing the launch of my Kickstarter project before the end of March (OMG!). It will run for 33 days (I tried to get it to run for 33-1/3 days, but couldn’t quite make that happen) and, if successful, it should provide me with everything needed to get the new book designed, printed and shipped (along with any special rewards you’ve opted for) before the end of the Summer. The site’s ready, as are the pages on the ACHOF site where you’ll be able to see the rewards that’ll be offered at the various levels of support, so I just have to finish the obligatory intro video and we’ll be ready for prime time. Of course, I’ll make a formal announcement as soon as I can, so wish me luck and we’ll get this going just as soon as possible.

February’s news cycle rewarded us with a nice selection of interesting things to read and see in all the categories I summarize, providing you with new articles on the folks who are actively producing impressive album cover art and packaging. In the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest exhibitions, new books, prints and products and several interesting interviews and artist profiles, along with other related reporting from sources providing these details around the world.

With so much to read and see, such as information on album art shows in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand; profiles on album art-makers including photographers Roe Etheridge and Ellen Von Unwerth and Pop Art master Andy Warhol; a pair of nice podcasts including one from GOLDMINE Magazine  with rock art auction king Jacques Van Gool from Backstage Auctions and another with several of the judges from last year’s ALEX Awards (and the folks behind Record Store Day); an intro to a huge new book coming out soon by designer John Foster (titled ALBUM ART: NEW MUSIC GRAPHICS) that delivers an impressive collection of images, info and articles on the topic and, as always, a nice selection of articles on a wide range of topics such as the launch of a new album art database, what it’s like to work with your uncle – who also happens to be a noted comic book artist – on an album art project, a discussion about psychedelic album art and much, much more.

Of particular note was an article I found particularly uplifting involving a special fund-raising effort to help defray the immense medical costs incurred by noted Canadian album cover designer Michael Wrycraft as he battled an infectious disease that cost him his legs (but not his positive outlook on life).

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

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

a) The judging is done – let the show begin! After receiving dozens of submissions for their Artifact 33.3 original album art competition, the Oak Park Art League’s panel of judges (including yours truly) has selected what it feels are the best entries from artists proficient in many areas of design, painting and illustration and will announce the winners – which will all be put up on display in the OPAL gallery in Oak Park, IL on Friday, March 9th during the opening reception of this show – titled Artifact 33.3: National Exhibition of Record Cover Art.

Artists were asked to submit original artwork for a fictional album by a fictional musical act and, after initial judging by the esteemed panel, a selection of these works are being professionally printed and displayed in 12”x12” frames for the exhibition at OPAL’s historic Carriage House Gallery beginning March 9th. An additional selection of works will be included in an online exhibit on OPAL’s website.

If you happen to be or live in the Oak Park, IL area, I’d like to invite you back to the gallery on Thursday, March 22nd from 7-8:30pm as I’ll be giving a presentation about some of the best-known album cover images and the people and stories behind them. I’ll be joined in this effort by some special guests who’ll be able to add their unique knowledge and opinions to the discussion…

I’m going to have a number of well-know album cover art prints – cover images for records by Supertramp, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa and many others – up on display during the show’s run and will be bringing others just for this lecture, so please take a look at the special FB event page that’s been created and let us know if you can join us for the festivities that night.

https://www.facebook.com/events/327269481093572/

Hope to see you there – please share this with your friends in the area as well…
If you’d like to learn more about the competition and/or attending the show or panel talks, click on over to – https://www.oakparkartleague.org/artifact-33-3

b) Scheduled to close in just a few days (March 3rd) is the comprehensive album cover art show that’s been on display at San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery since early January called Art & Vinyl: Artists & the Record Album from Picasso to the Present. As I’ve written previously about this show, curated by Antoine deBeaupre of Total Records fame, the 258 record covers in the Art & Vinyl collection look at covers that represent modern/contemporary art in all its forms. Antoine chose the records in this collection for a few reasons: they had to be created by the artist specifically for that album (no re-purposing of images that is); the artists are all well known figures; and all of the albums are first editions. Antoine searched exhaustively for certain albums that were quite rare (the Warhol banana cover for The Velvet Underground, for example).

If you haven’t had the chance to see the show in person, you can choose to either hop on over to the gallery between now and Wednesday or take a look at Taylor Dafoe’s nicely-written overview of the exhibition on the Artnet.com site –  https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/art-vinyl-album-covers-1224242 In either case, enjoy the visit.

c) A vinyl collector’s passion for the recorded music products released by musical acts from his own country of New Zealand served as the basis of an exhibition of 90 album cover art prints currently on display at that collector’s music shop in Sydenham. The store – Penny Lane – is owned by ex-Londoner Dave Howard who, according to writer Warren Feeney’s article on the show on the Stuff.co.nz site, has built “an enviable collection from the mid-1950s to the present day” and organized the show, titled NZ Cover Versions, to display a collection of covers that “traces the evolution of local music through a history of design, illustration and fine arts”.

In a show that includes interesting examples of Kiwi album art, from Johnny Devlin’s first solo album, Johnny, released in 1959 to Motte’s  2017 album Strange Dreams, there’s certainly a lot of great imagery and now, via the miracle of the Interwebs, there’s a chance for those of us living thousands of miles away to see and learn more about them – https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/101721423/nz-cover-albums-a-celebration-of-where-art-meets-kiwi-music

2) Artist interviews/profile articles –

a) Loring from the very informative Cover Our Tracks web site sent me a link to a new post on the site that fans of album cover photography should really enjoy. Lara Kristin Herndon just contributed an interview she’s done with photographer Roe Ethridge, a commercial shooter who doesn’t have a large portfolio of album cover shots but, as you’ll see, has been responsible for several stand-outs, including one of the best-known shots from the early ‘aughts – that being the if-you-hit-me-I’ll-bleed cover photo found on Andrew W.K.’s 2001 release I Get Wet.

https://www.coverourtracks.com/single-post/2018/02/22/Body-in-Peril-The-Photographs-of-Roe-Ethridge

In addition to the I Get Wet cover, Ethridge has been responsible for an impressive portfolio of photos that have been included in shows and museum collections around the world, including institutions such as NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, LA’s MOCA, the ICA in Boston and London’s Tate Modern, as well as in publications ranging from VICE Magazine to the New York Times. Lara’s article takes advantage of her decades-long relationship with Ethridge and provides a degree of depth and intimacy we don’t see very often in articles like this.

b) CNN’s Style reporters have published a profile of prize-winning photographer/video director Ellen von Unwerth, perhaps best-known for her late 1980’s advertising and editorial works featuring the model Claudia Schiffer who then went on to create album covers and music videos for musical acts including Bananarama (Pop Life), Belinda Carlisle (A Woman & A Man), Janet Jackson (The Velvet Rope), Dido (Life For Rent), Britney Spears (Blackout), Christina Aguilera (Back To Basics) and Rihanna (Rated R), among others. A former fashion model herself, her talents behind the lens has kept her in-demand for commercial work for many years now, keeping clients including publications such as I-D, Interview, Vanity Fair and Vogue and companies including Clinique and Revlon enthralled with the works she’s produced.

Her works have been included in books and exhibitions all over the world, so I’d invite you all to spend a few minutes and enjoy watching this nice intro to a very talented shooter’s fashion work…

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/ellen-von-unwerth-fashion-photography/index.html

c) Inspired by a recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race show in which “the queens will be serving up looks inspired by the prince of pop art” Andy Warhol, Billboard’s Stephen Dow published an article online featuring a Billboard Pride compilation of ten instances during which Warhol “left his stamp on music” – https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/pride/8214697/andy-warhol-music-influence-rupauls-drag-race

The first several examples included in the article are ones that fans of album cover art should be quite familiar with – those being highlights of the album covers he created for musical acts such as the Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers, as well as a Jagger solo record), Aretha Franklin and John Lennon – reminding us that Warhol’s initial success as a graphic designer came from his time spent creating dozens of jazz (and then rock) album covers. You’ll also learn a bit more about his time managing the Velvet Underground, his work as a music video director (“Hello Again” for The Cars) and the somewhat-ironic fact that, although Warhol hated the fact that David Bowie used Andy’s name as a song title, Bowie would go on to provide movie-goers with a great take on Warhol in his role as the artist in 1996’s Basquiat.

3) Sales/Auctions –

a) Goldmine Magazine’s podcast featuring Backstage Auction’s chief Jacques Van Gool about his latest memorabilia auction (titled Headliners & Legends, which was live February 16-25). In addition to talking about the autographed, artist-used guitars, RIAA-certified record awards and original Peter Max paintings that were available, Goldmine’s Pat Prince probes Jacques for more info on what might be included in some upcoming auctions (reminding us all about the fact that those running auction businesses must sometime be flexible with their schedules in order to take advantage of unique opportunities) featuring gig posters, the personal collections of music industry big-wigs, a heavy-metal (“Rock Gods & Metal Monsters”) themed auction and much more. As a collector myself (who has dropped more than a few dollars at Backstage-hosted auctions over the years), it’s always interesting to hear some tantalizing tidbits from the guy that manages to keep us all eager for the next opportunity to cover our walls with more great art and memorabilia – http://www.goldminemag.com/podcast/backstage-auctions-jacques-van-gool-guest-goldmine-magazine-podcast-episode-17

4) New Print/Book/Product RELEASES –

a) Due out in early March of this year is author John Foster’s book on album cover design/designers – ALBUM ART: NEW MUSIC GRAPHICS. What makes this book all the more interesting is that it’s been compiled and authored by an award-winning, working designer, with Foster serving as the principal of the MD-based design firm Bad People Good Things and in possession of a portfolio of notable album art credits including: Giant Sand – Provisions and Blurry Blue Mountain; Mission of Burma – Unsound; Bailter Space – Strobosphere and Trinine; Surf City – We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This and Jekyll Island; Mark Mulcahy – Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You; The Chills – The BBC Sessions and Silver Bullets; Wreckless Eric – Le Beat Groupe Electrique and America, among others. His commercial work has been lauded with kudos and awards from the Art Director’s Club and is featured in museums and galleries around the world. He’s also written a number of other design-oriented books included titles such as New Masters of Poster Design (Volumes 1 and 2), Paper and Ink Workshop and 1,000 Indie Posters, among others, and is an in-demand speaker at design industry conferences, so you know he knows his material through and through.

According to the book’s advance PR, this book “is the definitive guide to album cover design in the 21st Century”. In addition to the scores of examples of “innovative artworks by one-of-a-kind designers”, you’ll find interviews with designers Stefan Sagmeister, Art Chantry, Paula Scher and the dynamic duo of Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz (among others) and collections of work by a “who’s who” of past and current album cover design such as Jonathan Barnbrook, Susan Archie, Michael Cina, Brian Roettinger and dozens of others.

The 320 page book is being released in the UK on March 8th by the noted Thames and Hudson Ltd publishing house (currently, the only link I can give you to pre-order the book is one to the item on the Amazon.com UK site – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Album-Art-New-Music-Graphics/dp/0500294151), and if you’d like to see more of Foster’s work, I’d invite you to visit his company’s site at http://www.badpeoplegoodthings.com/?page_id=2

5) Other articles of interest –

a) Speaking of Spencer Drate and Judith Salavetz – on Feb. 23rd, the two of them brought together a panel of vinyl LP lovers, including several judges from the recent ALEX Awards and the leader of the Record Store Day movement, to discuss a variety of topics – judging the major award shows, vinyl printing techniques and the momentum behind the growing vinyl record business, etc. – on the Drate/Holly Stephey-hosted web radio show called “The Vinyl Show”.

Those of you vinyl geeks who’d like to listen to the aforementioned industry experts, who were also joined by Bryan Ekus and Larry Jaffee – the producers of the “Making Vinyl” industry trade show and who announced that the next show will be held in Detroit later this year (October 1-2) and that there will also be a similar show in Europe (dates TBD) – can listen to a recording of the festivities via the following link – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/redvelvetmedia/2018/02/23/michael-kurtz-record-store-day–the-return-of-vinyl

Spencer was kind enough to send along a photo of the ALEX Award judging panel – quite the display of talent, I think you’ll agree….

 

 

 

 

 

ALEX Award Judges – Front Row, Left to Right: Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Sylvia Reed, Gail Marowitz.

Back Row, Left to Right: Larry Jaffee (“Making Vinyl” show founder),Sean Mosher-Smith,Stefan Bucher, Craig Braun.

b) The nominees for the 16th IMAs in the design/packaging-related categories were announced on February 14th and, in keeping with this organization’s successful efforts to feature great examples of indie talent in the music, video and design industries, this year’s nominees include works from all over the world, in a variety of genres and styles. The winning projects will be selected by both judging panels of top recording artists (including Tom Waits, Slayer, Bakithi Kumalo, Michael W. Smith, Sepultura, Evanescence’s Amy Lee and many others) and influential press and talent buyers from the Americas, Europe and Pacific Rim and online fan voting in several categories (voting on the IMA site for the fan- selected Music, Video & Design winners begins on Tuesday, February 20th and runs through March 20th at https://fans.IndependentMusicAwards.com). Winners will be announced at a special event in NYC’s Lincoln Center on March 31st.

Nominees in the “Album Art/Photography” category include –

  • Norwegian alt-rockers Soup’s latest release titled Remedies, with cover photos by Lasse Hoile and design/layout by Håvard Gjelseth;
  • Canadian singer/songwriter Matt Stern’s Magic, featuring artwork by Laura Horrocks-Denis;
  • Norwegian musician/painter Maren Ingeborg Gråblomst’s watercolor titled Madame Clamour is featured on her alt-rock duet Gråblomst’s 2017 release also titled Madame Clamour;
  • Artist, model and singer Maxine Syjuco produced the cover for  her Chicago-based experimental rock band Jack of None’s latest EP release titled The Tattle Tale Heart;
  • The team at the Brighton, UK-based Simply Marvellous creative        agency produced the artwork for the cover for Findlay Napier’s crowd-funded record titled Glasgow and
  • Chicago-based artist, actor and playwright Tony Fitzpatrick created the cover art for the new record called Bye Bye Blackbird by the trio of tenor saxophonist Frank Catalano, Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and alto sax great David Sanborn.

Nominees in the “Album Packaging” category include –

  • Cali, Columbia-based graphic design studio Cactus Taller                crafted the packaging for the late Columbian Afro-Carribean star Magín Díaz’s final record – El Orisha de la Rosa (also winner of the recent 2018 Grammy Award and the 2017 Latin Grammy Award for “Best Recording Package”);
  • Designer/illustrator Greg Carr & Chris Daniels collaborated to create the cover art for soul/blues group Chris Daniels & The Kings (with singer Freddi Gowdy) 2017 release Blues With Horns, Vol. 1;
  • Lucidity Cultural Creative Design crafted the cover for the double CD set of Bhuddist music and chants from the Bliss and Wisdom Sangha & Dream Lotus Choir and Orchestra (on Wind Music) titled The Legend of the Sun King;
  • Taipei, Taiwan-based graphic artist Ming Liu designed the cover and packaging for Pop singer and composer FANN’s We Are Who We Are and
  • Vienese painter Katja Svejkovsky and her spouse, American producer puppy38 produced the cover art for p38 project hiroshimabend’s 2017 limited release ODP 048 – Rednow Gnir

In addition to the two packaging-related categories, awards are also handed out in other design-related areas such as Gig/Promo Posters, Publicity Photos, Live Performance Photos, Website Design and SWAG (AKA “merchandise), so if you’d like to see the rundown of all of the nominations in these categories, click on over to
http://independentmusicawards.com/16th-independent-music-awards-nominees/#design

c) Artists, designers, art directors, photographers and packaging experts in all related fields – here are two chances for you to show just how talented you are…The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC), is looking for submissions to a new album cover art-based show – titled In The Groove – that will feature cover art works for both real and imaginary music acts, with the selected works put on display in the organization’s Red Hook gallery from May 12th through October 28th of this year. According to the group’s promo info for this show, “the exhibition seeks to celebrate the mutually inspiring, creative relationship between music and art, and to recognize the profound cultural impact and influence of the art form itself, its trailblazing history and ever evolving visual and conceptual strategies.”

Submissions will be reviewed and judged by the “BWAC Selection Panel”, which includes Sal Cataldi (NYC-based musician and publicist, leader of the critically acclaimed Spaghetti Eastern Music and Founder and Creative Director of Cataldi Public Relations) and Wendi Gueorguiev, BWAC Performance Series Coordinator and Exhibiting Artist. All works will be submitted online, and a prospectus with the details and instructions available for download to interested artists via this link –  http://bwac.org/2018/01/in-the-groove-national-print-exhibition-of-original-album-cover-artwork/

Questions can be directed to BWAC staffers via this email address – bwacmusic@gmail.com

Wendi tells me that they’re hoping to show at least 50 different covers during the show, and with the non-for-profit’s gallery getting thousands of visitors each season, it’ll be a great opportunity to be seen on display in what’s Brooklyn’s largest artist-run organization. Best of luck to all entrants – eager to report on who’s included when the winners are notified on/around March 17th….

d) Just added an item to the ACHOF site’s “Resources” section about an album cover art database that should be of interest to anyone wanting to find out more about the imagery used on the covers of their favorite record albums. I recently read an article on the Openculture.com site about a project that combines the talents of the crews at MusicBrainz.com and the Internet Archive who, together, have created something called the Cover Art Archive and, by the looks of things, it’s a significant storehouse of imagery and data of the album cover variety. Currently packing over 800,000 covers (with more being added daily), the Archive is also looking for contributions, so if you don’t see something in their database that you feel should be included, they’ve provided a way for you to add your content and share it with all of the site’s visitors.

There are a number of ways to search and filter the data, so if you find yourself with a LOT of freetime and want to go on a hunting expedition for, for example, “all variations of Elton John covers from 1973” (there are currently 8 in the database), you’ve got the tools to do just that… Read the article at http://www.openculture.com/2018/02/enter-the-cover-art-archive.html  and then click on over to the database at https://archive.org/details/coverartarchive&tab=collection

I’m hoping to learn more about the people behind this project and their plans for the future and, if I’m successful in that effort, I’ll share what I find with you ASAP.

e) It might seem to be an unfair advantage to some when you have an uncle who is one of the most-respected comic book artists of his time and said uncle is more than happy to contribute his talents to produce the cover art for one of your record releases but, as you’ll see in this article about the Carmine Infantino-created cover for the 2003 release by nephew Jim Infantino’s band – indie rockers Jim’s Big Ego – titled They’re Everywhere – it was the perfect image for a package that contained the song “The Ballad of Barry Allen”, as Barry Allen is the name of one of Uncle Carmine’s most-famous creations, that being “The Flash”…

https://decaturian.com/arts/2018/02/21/album-review-5/

f) Following a series of events – including a drug bust and the band’s rather-casual approach to record-making – that left them without a manager, the Rolling Stones took on the production of their 1967 album titled Their Satanic Majesties Request and, in doing so, they felt compelled to do all they could to stay in the forefront of their fans’ (and the Press’) minds after the huge impact of their rivals’ Sgt. Pepper’s release. One step in that effort was to hire the same photographer – Michael Cooper – who’d helped The Beatles create the cover image of their psychedelic masterpiece and now, 50 years later, we find ourselves revisiting both cover images, each showcasing something unique and compelling – one being Peter Blake’s design and the other the use of 3-D “Lenticular” photography and printing…

Jay Jay French writing for GOLDMINE Magazine, author Jay Jay French takes us through the details of both entries in this trippy, mind-altering “face-off” between the two records’ music and imagery – http://www.goldminemag.com/articles/great-psychedelic-face-off-sgt-pepper-vs-satanic-majesties

g) While some of us with backgrounds in production understand – and often roll with – the music industry’s tendency to relegate production credits, including those for art and packaging, to near the bottom of the list of “important things to do” when releasing the details of a new record, it is nice to see that some in the new music world are willing to go the extra mile to make sure that fans get a chance to see the names of all of the people who’ve worked so hard to deliver their favorite music products to them. Here’s an article by Lily Puckett on The Fader web site about how the Spotify Music service has now begun to include more production credit info, including packaging credits – https://www.thefader.com/2018/02/02/spotify-producer-songwriter-credits

Now, if we could only get some of the award shows to include details beyond the name of Art Director when lauding a particular cover…who am I fooling?

h) Sports/news reporters can be just as obsessive as those focused on the music business in their love for all of the trappings surrounding their favorite subject, so it’s nice – but not surprising – to see this recent article by Alberta, Canada-based writer Cole Parkinson, writing for the Taber Times/Vauxhall Advance papers and web site, regarding his opinions on what constitutes the coolest overall packaging designs he found in a recent tour through his own record collection – http://www.vauxhalladvance.com/blog/2018/02/08/dusting-off-the-vinyl-record-collection/ And while the five records he includes are mostly from the late 1990s/early 2000s, it is impressive to see how he analyses these record packages with the same passion and attention to detail that I’m sure is central to his writing about local news and issues.

i) Staying in the Great White North for our final story this month, I’d like to turn your attention to the recent publicity surrounding the group of people who got together and delivered great buckets of love and compassion when a friend of theirs suffered what would be, for most of us, a truly life-altering experience. After an operation last Summer during which noted, Juno Award-winning Canadian album cover designer Michael Wrycraft – whose hundreds of album art credits include covers such as Bruce Cockburn’s Bone On Bone, Breakfast In New Orleans/Dinner In Timbuktu and Slice O Life; David Clayton-Thomas’s Canadiana; Watermelon Slim’s Ringers; Ron Hynes’ Stealing Genius; Burton Cummings’ Up Close And Alone and others for John Cage, Ron Sexsmith, Cara Dillon and The Hillbenders (TOMMY: A Bluegrass Opera) – lost his legs to a bone infection known as osteomyelitis, his friends and admirers in the local music community came together to organize and produce a special fund-raising event that raised both money and the spirits of everyone involved.

Held at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room night club recently, “The Art of Music – A Celebration and Fundraiser for Michael Wrycraft” was put together by a team that included music producer/musician George Koller, Canadian Folk Music Awards co-founder Judith Laskin and artist/guitar-maker Grit Laskin and fetured a night of musicianship and story-telling from a number of Michael’s well-wishers and supporters.

The people running the CityNews section on the MSN site covered the event, which you can watch via this link –  https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/video/toronto-art-community-holds-fundraiser-for-legendary-album-cover-artist/vp-BBJAPm9

Although he’s been dealing with the changes in his life such a dramatic operation has brought upon him (as evidenced by the effort it took him to just get around the Hugh’s Room venue!), Michael’s spirit remains quite high and he continues to work on new projects for clients in Canada and elsewhere, including working with the archivists at McMaster University’s Mills Library in Hamilton, Ontario who are creating a “Man Called Wrycraft” archive of Wrycraft’s prodigious output of fine art and design.

“I’m not shaking my fists at the world,” he tells The Globe and Mail. “None of this affects the best part of me – my humour, my optimism.”

You can learn more about Michael and his career as an album cover designer via his web site at http://www.wrycraft.com/wrycraftrecentwork.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 early next month with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2018 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 Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For January/February, 2018

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ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2018, WITH PREVIEWS FOR FEBRUARY.

BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

The first month of 2018 really delivered for fans of album cover artistry, with kudos for Best Record Packaging and Box Sets/Limited Edition packages handed out at the Grammy Awards on January 28th along with the top picks for the annual Best Art Vinyl awards – chosen by voters around the world – announced earlier in the month on January 9th. As you’ll see in my recaps way down in Section 5, there were plenty of surprises – including a TIE (!!) – and praise handed out to the very talented producers of this year’s top vote-getters, so to all those who complain that “album art is dead”, I think that you should take a look at all of the nominated works before backing that horse from this point forward…

Some good news also about my book – I’ve just had the proposed details for my project approved by the folks at Kickstarter so, with any luck, I should be able to share a link to my project page for your review (and, if you like what you see, your support) sometime in the next month or so. With any luck, I should be able to get the books designed, printed and shipped to you sometime this Summer – and let us all say, “it’s about damn time”.

As we begin the second month of 2018, I’d like my early Valentine’s Day presents to you all to be a) my just-published interview article in the March issue of GOLDMINE Magazine (page 50) about designer/photographer/pilot Bob Minkin’s work on the packaging for some of the fan favorite Dick’s Picks records released in the early 2000s by The Grateful Dead (my second article in this magazine this year, I’m proud to say), along with the following album cover artist news summary and preview. It will hopefully be just as nourishing and satisfying as a box of chocolates and one I think you’ll want to spend a few minutes reviewing and sharing with your friends. Besides the aforementioned award details, the past month was another one chock-full of news on this topic, delivering a trove of articles I know you’ll want to read, unearthing many new details about those folks who are actively producing impressive album cover art and packaging. In the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest exhibitions, new books, prints and products and several interesting interviews and artist profiles, along with other related reporting from sources providing these details around the world. With so much to read and see, you should be pleased that I’m not one of those Americans who promotes the notion that nobody else in the world is as talented and praise-worthy as we are – just take a look at the portfolios of record packages produced by some of the people featured in this month’s summary and I think you’ll agree that their works speak for themselves…

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Best & Worst Album Cover Artwork of 2017 – Updated Summary

Best & Worst Album Cover Artwork of 2017 – Updated Summary

By Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

January 3, 2018 update – As I noted in my recent monthly news summary, for the past five years I’ve worked to present you with a recap of the many articles published by art/music/design writers on the Best and Worst examples of album cover design used to package music products here and abroad. Taking the many “Top 10” lists that were proffered and then breaking them down to look for patterns and consistencies, I’d been able to present a fairly-scientific summary of those covers which had earned the most kudos or raspberries from this group of industry experts and observers.

Unfortunately, this year I’m unable to do this for you as the number of people writing on the topic has dropped precipitously, leaving me without the basis of a statistically-significant study. I suppose that I only have myself to blame as each year I have gone on record saying that it was a fool’s errand to create “best” and “worst” lists – “best” or “worst” in what way, following what criteria? It’s something I never would have the courage/expertise to do on my own, but I always felt that it was OK to summarize others’ attempts to do so (I mean, why not let them look like fools, as long as I could benefit from it – just joking, of course).

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Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For November/December, 2017

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

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BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM

Greetings to you all – did you survive your Thanksgiving holiday break and the extra tablets of antacid required to manage turkey-and-stuffing-induced stomach pains? Like many of you, I’m working on knocking off some of the extra poundage I took on due to overindulgence, but with the month of news we just had, it couldn’t distract me from my duty to keep you all informed as to what took place, making it, if you’ll pardon the pun, a bit more digestible…

And so, today, on this sunny-but-chilly early December day, 2017, I present to you this month’s summary, one I think you’ll all find something of interest in. The month of November showered us with articles I know you’ll want to read that reveal new information about those actively producing impressive album cover art and packaging and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts – as found in exhibitions, via new books and products and featured in interviews in profiles and other related reporting – of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in my reviews of stories from around the world.

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