Posted August 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Entering the second full month of Summer, I find myself a bit perplexed as to how I’m supposed to approach living Life each day. While my wife and I have enjoyed getting out a bit more, we’re still very wary about spending time around our fellow human beings – particularly, the ones who are insisting that “everything’s back to normal” and, as such, looking at those of us still wearing masks as people who are holding back progress in some way. Having recently graduated into “senior citizenry”, I’m now free to become the COF (crotchety old fart) that I prefer to be so, you do your thing and I’ll do mine and, as part of what I’m choosing to do, I’m going to continue to search out items of interest to album cover art fans and share them with you all in my monthly news summaries, regardless of your vaccination status.
This month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary includes a nice crop of album cover artist/art updates and not one but two examples of ACHOF original content, those being the two interviews I’ve posted with two pairs of creative execs working for Sony Music Entertainment – Frank and Dave and Meghan and Annie – who were kind enough to share their takes on how they have gone about producing several award-winning box sets and special-edition packages. You’ll find links to both of those articles in the “Artist News and Interviews” section of this month’s summary.
Frank Harkins, Mike Goldstein and Dave Bett, clockwise from upper left.
Published July 23, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
The packaging of retail (i.e., physical) recorded music products is an expression of the relationship – often, a delicate balance – between a musical act, his/her/their record label, the creative/production teams commissioned for the projects and, of course, the music-buying public. Each brings a certain set of expectations to every project and expects those desires to be appreciated and respected if the resulting products are to ultimately please each constituency:
the musicians want to make sure that their new musical efforts aren’t reduced to secondary importance or that their fans aren’t left wondering “what the #%!* were they thinking?”
label execs will want to know that their investments in packaging and related marketing will eventually pay off via increased product sales.
the design and pre-production personnel working on the project (whether in-house and/or freelance talent), along with the printing/manufacturing companies tasked to bring designs to life as finished products, all want to deliver work they can be proud of and that makes their various client(s) happy and
consumers of recorded music products want to feel that their purchases are moneys well-spent and, as a benefit, are left feeling that their favorite musical acts have delivered “something special” to them as their loyal fans.
Posted onMarch 31, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for April 2021
Posted right around April 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Spring Greetings to you all from Chicagoland. The weather has become rather consistently pleasant, allowing us to venture outside the house a bit, even sitting on outside patios at some of the local eating establishments (what a treat!). We’re still waiting for our turn at the local COVID vaccine center but, with any luck, we’ll get our shots in the next month or so and, if the rest of our fellow countrymen continue to do the right thing and help build our herd immunity, we might all be able to get out a bit more later this Spring/Summer. I’m not counting on everyone doing the right thing on behalf of the rest of the local citizenry – the loonies continue to proudly flout their warped notions of what “freedom” really means – so it’ll be quite some time before I think we’re “back to normal”, but let’s hope for the best.
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for January 2021
Posted January 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
We’ve reached the end of what has to have been one of the saddest and most-frustrating years most of us have ever lived through and yet, for those of us who have survived, I have to think that we’re all feeling somewhat grateful for having done so and are looking forward to seeing the end of this pandemic and, with any luck, a move towards a sense of “normalcy” in many aspects of our lives.
It’s the beginning of Winter here in the Chicago area and, just last night, we saw our first significant snowstorm. The weather, plus the threat of COVID, will keep me and my wife inside most of the time (except for our weekly trips to the grocery stores) and trying to support our local restaurants, who now can’t offer anything but take-out. I hope that we’re all doing what we can to keep these local vendors alive, and I’d like to add that we should all do more to support the local service organizations that are working miracles to keep those less fortunate than us sheltered, fed and in good health and spirits.
In the spirit of keeping things in perspective and understanding that you all have a lot on your plates these days, this month’s summary will be as brief and to the point as I can make it. Much work is still being done in the world of music industry-related visual design and production and so it’s my honor and pleasure to continue to report on – and promote – this work and the people who do it. So, let’s go…
Posted onDecember 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for December, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for December, 2020
Posted December 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Well, we made it to December first and, I have to tell you, part of me is much happier than the last time I was writing this intro for you, while the other part is still in a mild state of bewilderment, with a sizable number of my fellow countrymen (and countrywomen) refusing to believe in both the results of an election and the fact that there’s a pandemic still raging. How, then, am I finding the strength to sit at my desk and tap out a missive to a readership that might partly be suffering from either/both the effects of a nasty disease (that’s killed 260,000+ people her so far, and many thousands more world-wide) and/or the notion that their elected representatives might not have been fairly elected (a baseless theory supported by no actual evidence)? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that, in spite of whatever has brought us all to this point, art and music creators continue to transcend boundaries and inspire our lives and emotions with the pure power of their work. Or, it might be my ever-expanding gin and tonic recipe book – in any case, there continues to be a lot of interesting developments in the world of record album imagery…
Posted onOctober 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for October, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – October, 2020
Posted October 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Well, while I can’t say that I know how you’re all feeling these days, I’m quite certain that some of you are in the same shape I’m in – mentally exhausted, greatly disappointed by the greed, hate and hypocrisy put on display by many of our leaders (and the people that support them) and, frankly, wondering what our short-and-long-term futures might be. Try as I might to distract myself from the daily news cycle (and, how about that first Presidential debate?), it’s nearly impossible to avoid learning about the biggest stories (R.I.P. RBG) and then trying to keep myself focused on providing my readers the information they’ve (i.e., you’ve) come to rely on me for, so I must apologize for the somewhat-truncated list of things to read and enjoy that I’m presenting you today. I will reward you a bit later (either late this week or early next) with my long-promised interview with talented artist Faheem Majeed and, with any luck, I’m also going to launch the nominating/voting process for this year’s class of nominees and inductees (our 9th!) into the Album Cover Hall of Fame. My attention span seems just sufficient enough to have been able to gather basic info on nearly 100 more possible nominees, so the voting panel will have a heaping helping of new names to consider in this year’s effort.
Posted onJuly 31, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for August, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – August, 2020
Posted August 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
As Summer 2020 marches on, the political season’s kicking into high gear and many things work to occupy our minds (perhaps to distraction) while the year progresses, my wife and I have continued to stay vigilant, quarantined and busy reading, watching 1990s BBC crime mystery series and, as you may have seen, doing more research and writing, as is evidenced by the publication of my most-recent ACHOF interview, this one with accomplished designer, illustrator and musician John Kehe, with a focus on his work in the early-mid 1970s for the Electric Light Orchestra.
I’ve continued to work to add new bios to the ACHOF site (tracking down some info from several great talents who I’ve finally been able to add to our database) and soon hope to add some new themed searches to the site that will let you dig more deeply and easily into the ACHOF archives for more stories, interviews and news about your favorite album cover makers. I’ve also found more examples of artists who’ve decided to lend their “brands” – logos, album art, etc. – to efforts to provide personal protective equipment to their fans (now, if they could only convince some of them to actually wear these masks!) and also raise money for COVID-related support efforts, so I hope you’ll take a look at those articles and respond accordingly.
In the meantime, I’ve put together a sampling of album art/artist-related articles and remain grateful to those of you who’ve decided to spend some of your free time on the ACHOF site, sifting through the archives of content available for your there so, in keeping with my ongoing commitment to the monthly delivery of short-but-sweet summaries of album cover artist and art-related news, interviews, sales and more, here’s my latest summary:
Posted onJuly 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for July, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Monthly News Update and Summary – July, 2020
Posted July 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com (updated on July 3, 2020)
Early July greetings to you all from my now-extremely-familiar home office – with the Independence Day holiday coming up this weekend and the state I live in (Illinois) slowly (at least on paper) re-emerging from a self-imposed quarantine, I wanted to make sure that I’d put together and delivered my monthly update prior to my move to the den to view the carefully-curated shows that make up my Holiday Watchlist (inc. a recording of the Chicago Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qarHJOSYg). While many of my local countrymen seem to feel that it’s time to “get back to normal” (based on what exactly?), my wife and I are happy to continue on keeping to ourselves, venturing out only as-needed and enjoying the great take-out food and downloaded books, music and movies that have kept us safe and sane over the past few months while this pandemic remains active and dangerous.
I’ve continued to add new bios to the ACHOF site and will soon be adding some new themed searches to the site that will let you dig deep into the ACHOF archives for more stories, interviews and news about your favorite album cover makers. I’ve also spent some quality time trying the impressive number of quality gins and tonics that are now available on the market, so certain aspects of my quarantine time have proven to be quite fruitful (and delicious).
Posted onJune 1, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – June, 2020
Posted June 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings once again from my office – a place I’ve been spending WAY too much time in lately on account of the local/state “keep away from others” rules currently protecting me from that crummy COVID bug. Like many of you, I’ve been staring at screens half the day, and while I’ve been committed to getting out of the house at least a minute or two every day (long walks around the neighborhood and visits to local parks have been great sanity-savers), I’m both completely understanding that keeping my distance from others is my best option for continued good health and really anxious to return to whatever “normal” life will be soon.
Posted onApril 30, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for May, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – May, 2020
Posted May 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings from my home office, a place where I’ve spent a good chunk of the last month sitting at my desk, reading emails and news stories and watching videos (both live and recorded) on a million different subjects. I’m trying so hard not to watch too much TV (I did, however, find a 9-show series produced in 2015 by Irish TV called Treyvaud’s Travels that left me longing to spend the rest of my life in SW Ireland – highly recommended) and I’ve read several books while stretched out in my comfy chair but, quite honestly, the one thing that’s perhaps made me the happiest – and something I did a lot less of when I was free to do whatever I wanted without catching the plague – has been staying in contact with some of the people I know around the world, getting their unique perspectives of how they’re living their lives and maintaining a positive lookout on life in spite of the hardships we’re all having.
Keeping this in mind, I still work hard to reserve time to continue typing like a madman to prep interviews, articles and news summaries for all my chums out there, most of who are, like me, stuck indoors. Accepting that my readers’ priorities are not so focused on what’s happening in the world of album cover art and packaging, I’m continuing to proffer a truncated-yet-informative summary document both to keep fans of album art informed and to prove that creative people are continuing to create and entertain while we ride this storm out together.