With all of the discussions taking place regarding the advent and rapid rise of AI-generated words, music and art, it reminded me that, over the past 20-25 years, there have been similar discussions about the tools that have been created during that time to enable artists of varying degrees of capability to both express themselves in ways that they might not have been able to (or, perhaps, thought of) and explore their ideas in a more highly-productive fashion. For example, several artists I know who were originally trained to draw with pen and ink (and who, at first, were hesitant to use these new tools for fear of having their artistry questioned) have told me that computer-based hardware (pens, tablets, 3-D printers, etc.) and software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Blender and many others) have added many degrees of capability and efficiency to their day-to-day work. Draw an outline, stretch it, color it in, review, erase, substitute another color, etc., all without putting a pen to paper! Even those who consider themselves “purists” have, over time and given access to some of these newfangled tools, admitted that even when they’re committed to producing finished products using traditional methods, they find themselves doing some/all of their “ideation” prior to actually doing the work.
Posted December 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greeting to you all – nice to see you all again!
Once again, I have to apologize for leaving you without an update for the month of November, but my wife and I decided to brave the travel scene to complete a vacation trip we’d started in late 2019 that had to be truncated a) by a death in the family and b) that crazy COVID-19 thing that shut things down a bit for a year or two. This journey, which took us to NYC and then over to the U.K. and Ireland, was quite restorative and, I must admit, was timed so that we’d be out of the country on November 8th so we’d be able to have some distance between us and the pre-and-post-election media madness for a while. Of course, there was no escaping the news, but at least it was offset by all of the excitement that took place in the UK’s government while we were there, and we enjoyed the scenery/people/food there so much that it kept us in the right frame of mind, allowing us to return after a month with some degree of sanity and appreciation of life’s better things in tact.
Of course, during our travels we came across a number of album/music art-related things that added to the overall enjoyment of the experience, including a visit to the site of the new (set to open in its entirety in 2024) Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx Marketplace (NYC), with a tour provided by the museum’s director, Rocky Bucano; a visit to Liverpool, England (our first) that included an escorted overview provided by designer/author/all around great guy Andrew Dinely (of the Soft Octopus design studio there) that also included a stop at the British Music Experience – an “immersive exhibition” that takes attendees through an illustrated (via memorabilia, videos, etc.) review of the immense and diverse pop music scene in the U.K., from its beginnings in the 1950s through the most-recent BRIT Award-winning artists, and several other finds along the way (such as a memorial sculpture dedicated to the late Irish rock guitarist Rory Gallagher). I’ll be including brief articles about that as I unpack the info gathers and photos taken over the course of the next month or so.
Of course, while I was away, the first ACHOF Reader’s Poll took place, and the results of the voting will be shared a bit later in this newsletter. At the same time, another major album art-related poll – Art Vinyl’s Best Art Vinyl Awards – began gathering votes on its site (see more on this a little later as well) and the Recording Academy here in the U.S. released the names of the nominees for their upcoming Grammy Awards voting, with results to be announced early next year. Lots of great art and artistry on display, so it’ll be interesting to see how the voters/voting public responds to the announcements of the top vote-getters in all of these competitions.
Posted onOctober 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for October, 2022
Posted October 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. I have to first warn you that this month’s edition of the ACHOF newsletter will be a truncated one as I’ve had to spend a lot of time and energy managing several things that have popped up and couldn’t be ignored. It will also force me to put off the publishing of the next summary until December 1st.
Sorry about that.
In any case, there should be enough basic info now to get you the basics, but it’ll be up to you to click through to get “the rest of the story” (apologies to Mr. Harvey).
I’m also working feverishly to set up the voting for this year’s fan-driven voting for “the best of the best of” in all of the main ACHOF categories, so be on the lookout in a week or so for the official announcement and a link to the polling site. Voting will be open from October 10th thru November 13th, with the final tallies announced right before Thanksgiving here in the U.S.. It’ll be exciting to see who the fan favorites are in each category – tough choices must be made, but let’s do our best to honor all of those whose names will be on the lists.
Thanks in advance for your help and your patience while I get my world back in order. Now, on with the newsletter.
Posted onSeptember 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2022
Posted September 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
A late-Summer greeting to you all.
For the past 10 years, the ACHOF has worked to recognize and promote the talents of the people who’ve brought music fans and art collectors (and hybrids of both activities) the best in retail and online music packaging, graphics and photography. Helped each year by asking a panel of curators, gallerists, music marketing execs and writers/researchers who cover the topic, I’ve been able to deliver these details to my readers and, once a year in November, present the top vote-getters in our annual poll as inductees into the hallowed (virtual) halls of the ACHOF. What I haven’t been able to do is ask this site’s visitors and fans about their favorite album art-makers, and so to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the ACHOF, I’m going to do just that.
Later next month, I will be posting a poll that will allow you to review the past winners in each of the active categories and then ask you to select your most-admired art directors, illustrators, designers and photographers, who’ll then be placed in special categories that will be called…well, what will we call them? We don’t want to call them “the best”, nor do we want to repurpose some of the popular names that the awards industry has used over time – “People’s Choice”, “Fan Favorites”, “Vox Populi”, “Diamond/Platinum/Gold Medal Winning”, etc. A quick trip to the thesaurus presents words and phrases like “title holder”, “prize winner” and “top dog”, among others, along with some that I think are a bit over the top, such as “conquering hero”, “vanquisher” and “numero uno”, so while I know that it must be something memorable and appropriate, I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to anything. Now that I think about it, perhaps we should also rely on our readers to present their ideas for this project, keeping this year’s efforts all about YOUR notions for what’s good and right, so I’ll be adding a poll question for this task as well. Eager to see what you come up with – we have a LOT of creative types reading this newsletter, so I’m sure something great will show up.
Thanks in advance for your help. Now, back to the matters at hand.
Posted onJuly 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for July, 2022
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s News Update and Link Summary for July, 2022, posted July 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Happy pre-Independence Day greetings to you all. We here in Chicagoland have gone through several days of nearly 100-degree heat as we passed from Spring into Summer, so we can only hope that things moderate a bit soon so we can leave our air-conditioned cocoons and enjoy the outdoors a bit. Wish us luck, and we’ll return the favor.
The month of June did include the conclusion of another auction featuring a rare item of original album art – the cover painting for one of the late rapper Tupac Shakur’s albums – which hit a fairly-impressive sales number when all of the bidding was done, the release of some fine art books featuring the works of some of the music business’ best-known designers and photographers and the passing of one of rock music’s (and the comic book/fantasy publishing world’s) better-known illustrators, Ken Kelly, along with a lot of interesting editorial work about album cover images and the people that make them so, with all that to consider, I’m suggesting that you take a moment away from the summertime activities you might typically enjoy and take a few moments to review and absorb all of the items and links I’ve shared with you this month.
Posted onJune 1, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for June, 2022
Posted June 1, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings to you all. Now that June is upon us and thoughts of summertime fun and frolic begin to fill the empty (or is it “not yet filled”?) spaces of our minds, I know that it is up to me to work even harder to bring you things on the ACHOF site that have enough intrigue to grab your eyeballs and whatever attention span you have left to take a look at and, if I’ve done my job right, enjoy and pass on to your friends and others you think might enjoy them as well. This month’s summary, I believe, has enough examples of “who is doing what” in the world of album cover art and packaging that it may be worth your while to put down the barbeque tongs for a minute, grab your favorite beverage and scroll down the page a bit to see what’s on offer.
In this month’s summary, you’ll find updated reports about new and ongoing exhibitions, news about the ongoing efforts and output of some of the top talents working in music packaging, new items available for sale (including several new books and some interesting new prints) or at auction and scores of other items on our favorite topics. One item I’m hoping you’ll look at is the link in the Exhibitions section to a virtual display of the recent show of photographer Richard Beland’s works at the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto as its really well-done and shows off how today’s technology can be used to transport us to places we might not see otherwise.
Posted onMay 11, 2022|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame Timely News Release for May 11, 2022
Posted May 11, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
While my monthly newsletter allows me to provide you with a reasonably-up-to-date recap of album cover artist/art-related news, often times there are items of interest that come and go rather quickly and don’t comport with the limitations of a once-a-month schedule, so I find myself having to do the occasional special release, of which this is an example. This month, there are several exhibitions and sales that start and end in May, so please continue scrolling down the page to see all of the pertinent details laid out right before your very eyes –
A) Friend of ACHOF Dr. Richard Forrest’s Banksy album art collection is a featured part of a new show on the mysterious artist opening later this month in NYC. “Banksy – Building Castles in the Sky (An unauthorized exhibition)” will open May 28th at the former International Center of Photography Museum. 250 Bowery, New York (running thru December 31,2022).
posted March 27th, 2022 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Part 4 – The biggest, best-selling, most-expensive, most-valuable box/limited-edition sets.
Now that you’ve been given a proper introduction to the history and ongoing development of these collectible record packages in the previous posting, I was thinking that it might be fun and interesting to see the extremes that musical acts and record labels might be willing to go to deliver anthologies to record buyers and fans. To do this, I set out to discover what are the biggest sets ever produced, simply measured by the number of discs included in each package, and then produce a by-no-means-definitive reference that will most certainly be added to in impressive fashion over time. Keeping my focus on albums (vinyl and CDs) and avoiding going off on a tangent that would include sets of 45RPM and CD singles(!), I’ve assembled a list that touches on a number of genres, led by classical music producers, with rock, jazz and pop represented was well. Note that, in many cases, the total number of discs included in a set might consist of a combination of different media, such as audio CDs, Blu-Ray audio CDs and DVDs. For example, King Crimson’s 1969 (Court of the Crimson King) is a 26-disc set consisting of 20 CDs, 4 Blu-Ray audio discs and 2 DVDs:
Posted onOctober 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for October, 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for October, 2021
Posted October 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Now that Summer has ended and we’ve “officially” entered the Fall (or is it Autumn?) season, we can all celebrate the harvest, the changing colors of Fall foliage and the fact that the nominations and voting for this year’s class of inductees will begin in earnest during the month. More bios have been added to the site in preparation for this effort, so this prep works serves two good purposes (voting prep and more content on the site) at the same time.
While my work continues unabated, so do the efforts of the people responsible for packaging your favorite music products and so, to that end, this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary is packed with more of the high-quality bits of album cover artist/art news and updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. Read on to see this month’s summary of these articles, posts and announcements I’ve gathered recently regarding all things regarding album cover artists and the art they produce. Their work – and our interest in and excitement about their work – endures and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary.
Posted onSeptember 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Posted September 1, 2021 (and updated September 6th) by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
As we approach the Labor Day weekend and the “official” end of the Summer season (our hottest on record, and I have the A/C bills to prove it!), I’m working hard on improving my overall attitude towards life these days by throwing myself into prepping for this year’s ACHOF voting efforts – adding/updating artist bios and looking around the planet for new examples of great work. After watching all six episodes of the ICON music photography series on PBS, it also brought to my attention that there are several gaping holes in this site’s bio section that must be filled immediately if I want this year’s nominating process to reflect who is left of the “best of the best” that might be nominated for inclusion in this year’s class of inductees, so I’ve put a few research projects on “hold” until this bone-headed oversight on my part can be corrected.
With that said, this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary is still rather chock-full includes the album cover artist/art news and updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. What follows below is a summary of these articles, posts and announcements I’ve gathered recently regarding all things regarding album cover artists and the art they produce. Their work continues and so should our interest and excitement about that work and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary.