Tag Archives: Rolling Stone

Album Cover News Recap for January, 2016

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

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

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

Album Cover News Recap – August, 2015

Album Cover Hall of Fame’s Album Cover News Recap – August, 2015

By Mike Goldstein – Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

It’s September and the world has finally cooled off a bit – well, the stock market is on a wild ride and there are still fires burning in Eastern Oregon and Washington, which has done a number on our air quality here in Portland – but the album art world continues to burn up the news wires, with August delivering a continuous stream of interviews, features, book releases and gallery/museum show items finding their way into our news feeds. In the following paragraphs, I’ll highlight several of them, and you won’t find one speck of anything Trump or Hillary-related (we need to focus on something new and exciting, right?)…

There were interviews galore with the noted men and women who’ve added their talents to the world of creating/preserving album cover art, including Brazilian artist Marcello Vaseo (new cover for Slayer), John Simpson (Sgt. Pepper’s mural in MA), John Berg and Eric Meola (on the 40th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run), Paul Cornell and Tony Parker (rock comics), Paul Natkin (on a career retrospective) and, for fans of the Charlie Rose interview, one with musician/artists Skrillex and Diplo.

In the fine art book category, artists and their publishers were promoting their new releases, with monographs featuring the works of Barbara Pyle (70s-era Springsteen), Janet Macoska (DEVO and many others), Robert Del Naja (AKA “3D” – famed graffiti artist and member of Massive Attack) and a newly-revised book on the 50+ record covers produced by Andy Warhol, written by Paul Marechal.

In August, several noted exhibitions and shows built around rock-related imagery were launched, with museum curators and gallery owners around the world displaying collections that show a broad range of album art and related imagery. You’ll find info on exhibits such as one in Woodstock, NY,  featuring the works of several rock photographers (including Elliott Landy and Graham Nash); a multi-media show called Sound & Vision in St. Louis, MO; the latest mounting of the David Bowie Is travelling show (now in Australia) and Bay area gallery owned Scott Nichols’ show featuring 75+ notable rock photos from top shooters in the field.

Other stories included Rachael Stevens’ monthly record sleeve review, a look at illustrator Dave McMacken’s studio/gallery in Astoria, OR, several illustrators alt-takes on the well-known cover photo found on NWA’s Straight Outta Compton record,  info on the latest record-themed postage stamp issued by the USPS (featuring Elvis Presley), and you won’t want to miss Canadian singer Kalle Mattson’s  new video for his single “Avalanche” that has him re-creating 35 classic album cover images. Of course, I don’t have room to include everything in this summary, so please take a moment to dig through the list – I’m sure you’ll find something that piques your interest!

As always, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the several new biographies posted on the ACHOF site during the month. I’m prepping to provide as much new info as I can to the expert panel that make up the voters of the ACHOF, with our next class set to be inducted in late November, 2015. And while I know that with all of the distractions caused by the back-to-school season that might keep you from checking in with us every day, I’m going to do what I can to help you in your efforts to catch up on news you may have missed while you were forced to do what’s needed to live/work/enjoy yourselves. As I continue to say (every month!), regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without getting yourselves up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics, so you can be sure that we’ll continue to work every day (except weekends) to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).

August 31st –

1) Following in the footsteps of Sir Peter Blake is Springfield, MA artist John Simpson who, in addition to recreating the famous Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s cover in a mural on a wall in the town’s Court House Square, has also painted a number of portraits as part of the “City Mosaics” project that, according to Noah R. Bombard’s article on the topic on the Masslive.com site, “features portraits of mostly music and film stars ranging from Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash to local celebrities like Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno.” Simpson’s been working on this project for over a year (at the same time, working hard to keep graffiti off of his existing works!), and you can learn more about the project and the artist in a video interview also featured on the story page – http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2015/08/springfield_symphony_orchestras_kevin_rhodes_added_to_court_square_artwork.html 

2) Over on the “And Justice For Art” site, fans of album cover art found on metal music recordings can find a recent interview article with Brazilian designer Marcello Vasco about his most-recent commission, that for the cover image for Slayer’s new album Relentless. Vasco has done a number of covers for bands in the genre, but getting to do a cover for such a well-known band – and one with a long history of impressive cover art – forced the designer to dig deep to create something new and yet “classic” at the same time (don’t want to disappoint metal fans – it can get dangerous if you do!). After producing a lot of comps, I think you’ll agree with the band that this is a worthy addition to their cover collection – http://www.andjusticeforart.com/2015/06/slayers-brazilian-connection-interview.html

3) Not to be confused with the British punk band from the late 1970s, the fictional rock group featured in the first 4 issues of the new comic series This Damned Band (out on DarkHorse comics, with art by Tony Parker and words by Paul Cornell) – named MotherFather – seems to have a lot more to think about than most bands trying to crack the music business in the early 1970s – i.e., how to separate their stage act (which involved devil-worshiping) from the fact that the Horned One took their antics quite seriously! Writing for the Comics Alliance site, writer Patrick A. Reed inteviews Parker and Cornell – both well-known for their previous work on well-established graphic novels including Mass Effect and Wolverine – about creating a new approach to a series based on a topic – life in the music industry – that’s had a very mixed history of success with fans throughout comic history. http://comicsalliance.com/paul-cornell-tony-parker-this-damned-band-interview/

August 29th – Just heard from photo great Elliott Landy about a new exhibition that opened up today at the Fletcher Gallery in Woodstock, NY and, if you can make it to the opening party, you’ll get a chance to meet Elliott along with two of the three other artists whose works will be on display – Graham Nash, Joel Bernstein and Amy Granatham. According to Elliott – “Graham, Amy and I will be at the opening night, Saturday, August 29th from 5-8 pm at the Fletcher Gallery, 40 Mill Hill Rd. Woodstock, NY.” The show’s titled “Legends At Large” and, in addition to some of the best-known works he’s produced – covers for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison and others – Mr. Landy tells me that “I’ve selected some one of a kind prints that I don’t normally exhibit, including a Sepia toned Band print used on the 1968 cover of Rolling Stone, a one of a kind Cibachrome print of Jim Morrison, several personally made silver gelatin prints along with a selection of my favorites.”
The exhibiton runs through Oct. 14th, and I am hoping to add some photos from the event soon. More info via the link – http://www.fletchergallery.com/572463/about-us/

August 28th – 1) On the Noisey Music By Vice site, staffers there are happy to share the results of the images they commissioned from six of their favorite illustrators who were asked to re-do the cover of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton record (a record that’s been getting a lot of attention lately due to the success of the top-grossing movie out by the same name). I think that you’ll find their respective efforts interesting and amusing, particularly the remake by UK-based illustrator Tom Slater, who wanted to show us the group’s family-friendly side – http://noisey.vice.com/blog/we-asked-six-illustrators-to-re-imagine-the-straight-outta-compton-album-cover

2) Recently, TV interviewer Charlie Rose presented an interview with two top-selling EDM artists – Wesley “Diplo” Pentz and Sonny “Skrillex” Moore – in which they discussed their unique approach to the successful blending of art and music. In some of the clips showing the duo in performance, you’ll see how integral the visual aspects are to the overall enjoyment of their music, and Charlie works to get them to explain just how important that is in any modern act’s quest for fame and fortune in a media-saturated world – http://www.charlierose.com/watch/60609054  (about 26 minutes in to the episode)

3) In another example of the growing availability of “one-stop shopping” in the music production business, Daily Breeze reporter  Nereida Moreno takes us to All Welcome Records in Inglewood, CA, a studio where musical acts looking to take the next step in their careers (i.e., making a record) will find a staff of mentors, engineers and Art Director Anthony Woods, whose team (including photographer Allie Paz) is available to produce designs and photographs for the custom packaging they’ll produce for their clients. Bring your talent and your checkbook – best of luck! http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20150825/all-welcome-records-in-inglewood-serves-as-one-stop-shop-for-musicians

August 27th –  1) Famed album cover illustrator Dave McMacken (Frank Zappa, AC/DC, The Beatles, Kansas, etc.) has opened a new art studio/gallery (called “Ratz & Co.) in the hip-and-happening port town of Astoria, OR that showcases both his work and that of several other artists, including Cal Schenkel, another noted Zappa record cover alumnus. A native of Newport, OR, McMacken lived and worked all over the U.S. before returning to his Pacific NW roots a few years ago, so if you’re ever looking for something unique to add to your collection, do as Daily Astorian reporter Edward Stratton did and stop in to visit Dave – you’ll be glad you did – http://www.dailyastorian.com/20140515/ratz-and-co-keeps-it-weird

2) Creative Review‘s Rachael Stevens has just posted her monthly overview of what’s new and exciting in record sleeve design, with new works on records by Chemical Brothers, FKA twigs (who gave us last year’s most-lauded cover), The Orb and several others. I was particularly impressed with the techniques employed by artist/photographer Chen Man in creating the captivating cover for Venetian Snares’ record titled Your Face (not like any face I’ve ever seen, and yet, I can’t stop looking at it!). See the rest via the link – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2015/august/record-sleeves-of-the-month

3) Last but not least – fans of “old fashioned” record stores will be pleased to finally see the official trailer for Colin Hanks‘ ode to all things Tower Records, with the Harrison-like title All Things Must Pass. What began long ago as a Kickstarter program will be in theaters October 16th, but you can get a sneak peak via the link at http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/allthingsmustpass/

August 26th – 1) August 25th was the 40th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s seminal record, Born To Run, which featured a great album cover photo by Eric Meola. Being that Meola’s originally from Syracuse, NY, Syracuse.com writer Sean Kirst tracked down the talented photographer to get him to reminisce a bit about that original photo session and to find out what he’s been up to lately (storm-chasing on the Great Plains!).
http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2015/08/fifty_years_after_release_of_his_legendary_cover_photo_syracuse-born_eric_meola.html
In a related story, NJ.com‘s Bobby Oliver posted an illustrated interview with “unofficial” Springsteen photographer Barbara Pyle, a friend of the band who was also on hand during the sessions leading up to the release of the BTR record and shot a number of interesting candid photos of the band while they worked through the many takes required to make The Boss and his band-mates happy with the finished release. She’s put these photos in a new book just out titled Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band 1975, and you can see samples of her work via the link at http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2015/08/exclusive_born_to_run_era_springsteen_photos_detai.html
Finally, “E Street Radio” (on Sirius/XM radio) contributor Kevin Farrell premiered a specially-produced radio show yesterday (to be re-run several times over the next few days) during which he interviews both photographer Eric Meola (see above) and famed Columbia Records art director John Berg – along with others – about their memories of their respective roles in the creation of this Springsteen classic. Writing for the Asbury Park PressChris Jordan gives us the rest of the important details of this superfan’s celebration of an important day in the band’s history – http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/2015/08/25/boss-way-celebrate-bruce-springsteen-born-run-day/32334703/

2) For an article featured in Rolling Stone Magazine back in 1968 (issue 8!), noted writer Thomas Albright (the man credited with creating the term “underground music”) gave readers his views on the then state-of-the-art in album cover design. Now available for reading on the Rolling Stone archive site, I found his take on the subject quite compelling, particularly as he notes that “album covers are now becoming as creative as the music within“, taking some of their inspiration from the emerging art scene of the day. While he finds some of the works produced fairly mundane, he does find a lot of talent on display in the works found on Beatles records (particularly, the cover collage on the just-released Sgt. Pepper’s LP), as well as the humor displayed on Zappa & The Mothers’ parody of said record cover collage, found on that band’s We’re Only In It For the Money. It’s also keen to see which of Albright’s favorites would go on to be considered “classic” examples of album art design – http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/the-new-album-art-19680406

August 25th – 1) In another example of a “Top 100 album covers of all time” list – sure to spark some discussion and many questions as to what the criteria were in selecting “the best” – the editorial team on the Insomniac site have, at least, presented a list that focuses on a niche that boasts huge audiences and not an awful lot of respect from the music press in general. It shows Electronic Music as a genre that has a long history (nope, it didn’t start at the Pitchfork Festival – sorry!), with some of the most-popular of the acts – Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Tomita, etc. – also packaging their music in covers featuring leading-edge artistry by some of the best-known talent from the fine art world. I remember attending a computer music conference in the early 90s when I was selling an MPC “PC upgrade kit” (remember those?) featuring a Roland SCC-1 card and recall hearing from fans of this genre about musical acts from other parts of the world for the first time – it was truly a movement by artists from all different backgrounds and disciplines, and the album art that accompanied it represented that quite appropriately –
https://www.insomniac.com/media/100-best-electronic-music-album-covers/1

2) Inspiration for album art comes from many sources, but I have to admit that I haven’t seen many better examples of an artist in the field sharing the details of where he finds art that inspires him that Lief Podhajsky’s recent posting on the Junkee site titled “Nine Of Europe’s Best Art Galleries That You Won’t Find On The Tourist Trail”. Being located in London gives Lief the opportunity to traipse across Europe with relative ease, allowing him to visit museums and galleries that display many different styles of art in a variety of motivational settings, such as the new Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, contemporary arts in the collection at The Me Collectors Room in Berlin and closer to (his) home, exhibits at the Pace, Saatchi and Whitechapel galleries. Follow Podhajsky – whose created many a record cover for modern acts including Kelis, Tame Impala and Bonobo, just to name a few – as he takes you on a tour of his favorite places to find new influences for his latest projects –
http://junkee.com/nine-of-europes-best-art-galleries-thatll-take-you-off-the-tourist-trail-4/63495

August 24th – 1) Not quite sure what to make of this recent article on the NME site in which they present a comprehensive overview of the artwork featured on 27 album and singles covers by The Smiths. While I was happy to learn who some of the characters were that were featured on Morrissey & Co’s covers, I’d have preferred to learn a bit more about why these images were chosen besides “Morrissey always liked to include pictures of his favorite pop stars on his records” (unless, of course, it was that simple). In any case, the band always gave fans something provocative and interesting to look at, particularly if you were a fan of James Dean – http://www.nme.com/photos/the-smiths-the-stories-behind-the-sleeves/384620#/photo/1

2) I did want to promote an article written by Bruce Jenkins on his Vinyl Connection site regarding album covers featuring images taken inside automobiles. Looking to follow up a couple of earlier postings he did built around covers that used photos or drawings of cars on the cover – a very popular motif used throughout the modern rock era – Bruce sharpened his focus and brought us inside, letting us look out the windshields and side windows of records by Pennywise, Bela Fleck, Mars Volta and several others. Not sure if he’s done an article on covers featuring motorcycles and scooters (Meatloaf, Hendrix, The Who and others come to mind) but, if not, here’s your next assignment – http://vinylconnection.com.au/2015/08/18/7-car-covers-from-the-inside/

3) Here’s another article on do-it-yourself record-making, with this one highlighting a new service called Vinylify that, for around $55, will press and package a custom 33-1/3 vinyl LP for you. Based in Amsterdam, the company gives customers the opportunity to create both the record and the album cover easily online, so those of us who felt restricted by the artistic opportunities afforded us creating customized cassette mix-tapes can now – for a price – expand our musical and visual canvases back to a full 12″ square. Read more about this service in Paul Ridden‘s article on the Gizmag.com site – http://www.gizmag.com/vinylify-custom-cut-records/38954/ or, if you’re ready to go, take a look at some of the examples of records already created by amateur label owners via the link – http://vinylify.com/#examples

August 21st – 1) Perfectly timed for that week’s premiere of the new movie about famed gangsta rappers N.W.A. was Wayne Drash‘s article about the photograph found on the cover of the group’s debut record Straight Outta Compton. Eric Poppleton’s well-known photo was taken during a day in which the photographer followed Dr. Dre and Co. around Los Angeles, at one point deciding to lay down on the ground in an alley and take a shot up (perhaps a bad term, considering the number of guns featured as the group peers down at him) and the rest, they say, is history. Read all the details, and click through a grouping of 26 other famous record cover that accompany this article, via the link – http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/14/entertainment/straight-outta-compton-photograph/index.html

2) Straight Outta Akron – back in 1978, photographer Janet Macoska assembled the members of local new wavers DEVO in front of a well-known area eatery – the Chili Dog Mac diner – and produced a photo that became a popular poster of the band, found in the collections of art museums (and, in my case, personal collections of rock art collectors such as yours truly). The location now is part of the Akron Civic Theater and, as part of a special commission for the local business/tourism bureau, a huge reproduction of the photo now graces the building in the same spot the original was taken 37 years ago. Devo member Gerald Casale was on hand for the unveiling this past week, with the event covered by Kathleen Folkerth on the Akron.com site. Janet has a new book of her rock photography due out soon – look for “All Access Cleveland: The Rock and Roll Photography of Janet Macoska,” by Cleveland Landmarks Publishing at your local book-sellers. http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-entertainment-news.asp?aID=27438

3) The Proud Galleries in London and Chelsea have two shows now running that will be of interest to rock photography fans in that area. “Led Zeppelin From the Beginning 1963-1975“, which runs thru October 4th, features Yardbird/New Yardbird/Led Zep photos of Beck, Clapton, Page and others taken by former Yardbird Chris Dreja, jargen Angel, Lynn Goldsmith, Dan Fong, Michael Putland and others, while in “Masters & Luminaries“, which runs through the 13th of September, Proud features works by a number of the photographers they’ve featured during their 20 year existence, including Brian Duffy (Bowie), Brian Aris (Debbie Harry), David McCabe (Dylan and Warhol at The Factory) and many others. Based on what I’ve seen of their exhibits over the years, they have every right to be Proud (I’m certainly the first to use that pun). More details at https://www.proudonline.co.uk/exhibitions

August 20th –  1) Gotta love how news is distributed on the Web – today, I’m reporting on someone else’s reporting about someone else’s video blog concerning the trend-setting album covers featured throughout the career of The Beatles, with a particular focus on everyone’s #1-rated record cover – the one for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In this article by Joe Blevins on the A.V. Club site, you’ll learn about a recent video posting by Nerdwriter1 titled “How The Beatles Changed Album Covers” in which he discusses – quite knowledgeably, I might add – how each Beatles cover served nicely as a snapshot of how the Fab Four felt about their place at that moment in Pop Culture along with their development as a musical unit. He provides a brief-but-informative backgrounder on album covers in general before digging in to the band’s efforts – based on some of the other videos he’s produced in the three years he’s been creating these shorts about art and pop culture, this might be a good YouTube channel to subscribe to going forward – http://www.avclub.com/article/video-argues-beatles-lp-covers-tell-bands-story-223792
To take an even more-detailed dig into the history of Beatles record covers, here’s a link to a 15-page article by Ian Inglis in the Jan. 2001 edition of Popular Music (you can read it free online, after registration) – http://www.jstor.org/stable/853696?&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

2) James Stafford‘s latest “Cover Stories” posting takes us back to the early days of the punk music scene in Los Angeles by giving us the story behind the flaming cover image found on the debut record for John Doe/Billy Zoom’s band X. Like so many examples of the do-it-yourself punk ethic, this cover was the result of the owner of the band’s label – Slash Records’ Bob Biggs – taking matters into his own hands – http://diffuser.fm/cover-stories-x-los-angeles/

3) C’mon, admit it – rock and roll has always had a strong basis in “if you like it, buy it”, so it’s no surprise to find an article like the one Elly Ayers posted recently on AOL’s Cambio site – one targeted at young girls who, at least in this case, actually WANT to look like their parents did back in the 1960s. “How To Rock The Best 1960s Album Cover Looks” gives us six instances where the magazine’s fashionistas have reviewed the clothes worn on classic rock/pop album covers – including records by Bob Dylan, Sonny & Cher and several Motown hit-makers – and then suggest similar ensembles readers can buy at some of their favorite clothing outlets. Lookout Topshop, Vans, Zara and A&F – prepare to be trampled by youngsters looking to put on their best Highway 61 Revisited look! What, no Nehru? http://www.cambio.com/2015/08/13/rock-best-1960s-album-cover-looks/

August 19th – 1) Patti Smith’s best-selling memoir titled Just Kids – which focuses on her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the man that provided us with an album cover photo (the one found on her record Horses) that is included in nearly every “best album cover” list ever published, will serve as the basis of a new Showtime TV series produced in cooperation with Penny Dreadful creator John Logan. Smith’s 2010 book won several major awards after its release, including the National Book Award for non-fiction and gave readers an intimate look at the influence these two artists had on the emerging music and art scenes in NYC during the late 1960s – early 1970s. Read more in Caitlin White‘s recent article on the Bustle web site –
http://www.bustle.com/articles/103713-patti-smith-memoir-just-kids-will-be-adapted-into-showtime-limited-tv-series-by-penny-dreadful

2) San Francisco-based photo gallery owner Scott Nichols has taken a photo of The Who in concert – in which Nichols is seen as part of the crowd in attendance – and used it as the basis of a new show running in his space that features 75 iconic rock-and-roll photo images produced by a “who’s who” of rock photographers (Baron Wolman, Elliott Landy, Linda McCartney, Ebet Roberts and several others including Michael Zagaris, the man who shot the photo Nichols is seen in). Running now through September 16th, “It’s Only Rock & Roll” features several well-known album cover images in its collection, including shots featured on records for Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Blind Faith and others. Back in the mid-1970s, when the photo of The Who at Winterland was taken, Nichols was the stage manager for a U.C. Berkeley student-run organization called “Superb”, who worked with local concert venues to produce shows, and that served as his entree into show business. You can get all of the details on the gallery’s site at http://www.scottnicholsgallery.com/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

3) Here’s another nice example of the frequent cross-over between the worlds of fashion and album cover photography…former model-turned-shooter Ellen Von Unwerth has taken memorable fashion photos and celebrity portraits that have graced the covers and pages of many of the top magazines, so when top pop music act Rihanna needed an impactful image for the cover of her 2011 record Talk Talk, she turned to someone that she felt would be able to capture both her beauty and the attitude she brings to her music – that someone being Von Unwerth. In this recent article by Caroline Leaper on the Marie Claire site, you’ll find this photo and several more including shots of Natalie Portman, Gisele Bundchen and the impressive product of rock icon Mick Jagger and fashion model Jerry Hall’s relationship, Georgia May Jagger (who is herself a popular fashion model). http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion/550069/ellen-von-unwerth-pictures-the-fashion-and-celebrity-photographer-s-greatest-shoots.html#index=1

August 18th – 1) There’s a new book out about the wonderfully-talented artist and musician Robert Del Naja, a man that’s lead a double life in the arts, splitting his time between his graphic artist personna (the graffiti artist known as “3D“) and his work as the singer/songwriter and album art designer for the UK hip-hop group known as Massive Attack. The 400-page career retrospective is titled 3D and the Art of Massive Attack and provides readers with a well-illustrated look back at Robert’s rise from early 80s Bristol (UK)-area street art denizen to an artist whose style and outspoken anti-war/government work has influenced many others in the field, including another well-known purveyor of art in this genre, Banksy. You can read Robert Whitfield’s overview of the book and the talent featured in it in this recent article on The 405 site – http://www.thefourohfive.com/culture/review/3d-and-the-art-of-massive-attack-143

2) Recently discovered a new purveyor of pop culture-related and rock and roll fine art/photography called House of Roulx, a spin-off of JG Autographs, a company located in Peabody, MA run by two brothers, Jared and Trevor Gendron. They just released a new series of art prints taken by the late photographer Peter Warrack, who happened to be on-hand to shoot what turned out to be the last live show done by Janis Joplin, performing in front of a crowd of 40,000 fans at the Harvard Stadium. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of the show (Aug.12th), the company now offers a selection of photos from this event, sold individually or in specially-packaged sets of 24 of these images, including a $2500 one-of-a-kind set that also includes an original Jace McTier painting of Ms. Joplin. I’d also like to note that the publisher is also offering a number of photos – including several famous album cover images (Ramones, Run-DMC, The B-52s and others) – by photographer George DuBose. Read and see more about the exclusive Joplin photo collection via the link at http://www.houseofroulx.com/collections/janis-joplin-the-last-concert

3) What’s the line – “everything that’s old is new again”? Here’s an interesting example of a revival of a seemingly-on-its-way-out technology – the fax – being used creatively by pop duo Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (AKA YACHT, which stands for “Young Americans Challenging High Technology”) to help deliver a unique experience to folks who are considering buying their latest music offering titled I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler. While I won’t spoil you with all of the details here (better to read the story by Lizzie Plaugic on The Verge‘s web site), I was impressed with the creativity of their approach to giving fans something new and yet retro in its approach to delivering their album art and liner notes/manifesto.
http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/11/9130155/yacht-band-album-i-thought-the-future-would-be-cooler-fax-machine

August 17th – 1) Writing for Music TimesRyan Book notes the recent 50th anniversary of the day that the Beatles’ song Help! (from the film of the same name) hit #1 on the charts. While he was a fan of the song and the movie, he offers less enthusiasm when talking about the outfits that the band members were forced to wear for the cover photo (remember those weird blue raincoats?) and this motivated him to look back a bit to find a selection of other covers in which the folks included in the cover shots also chose to dress rather strangely. As you might figure, each decade showed us musicians clothed in period garb which, in the cases show, should not have us yearning for a return to the fashion of the day…http://www.musictimes.com/articles/44994/20150807/7-bad-dress-codes-album-art-beatles-rolling-stones-kiss.htm

2) While the ACHOF’s main focus is on the artists that have created memorable album cover images, we can’t forget that another reason that fans always liked record cover packages was that the information provided on most of the packages – AKA “the liner notes” – often served to give us some insight into the minds of the people making the music we purchased. And, just as the bands often chose to hire the top artists of the day, they also often decided to take advantage of the talents of their favorite authors and poets to take care of the verbiage for their releases (the Grammy organization still awards a Grammy each year for “best liner notes”, so it’s still an integral part of the album-making process), so I think that you’ll enjoy the run-down of some of the literary greats that provided their services to many of your favorite acts over the years, served to us in Chris Mugan‘s recent article on The Independent (UK) site – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/album-sleeve-notes-dont-have-to-be-boring-just-look-at-those-written-by-thomas-pynchon-hunter-s-thompson-and-other-literary-greats-10445086.html
Personally, I’m just impressed with the article’s URL – well written!

3) While I was in Chicago in early August, I had the chance to stop by the River North Arts District area and stopped in to see the Zack Whitford photo show that I’d written about recently at the Hilton|Asmus Contemorary Art Gallery (mounted for music fans hitting the Windy City this summer to attend the Grateful Dead’s final shows and the yearly Lollapalooza event). I have to say that I was impressed with both the gallery and young Mr. Whitford’s photos of friends and bandmates of his Dad (Brad Whitford of Aerosmith). His portraiture is really nicely-done and he should enjoy a long career in the business. The gallery just sent notice that they’re having the show’s closing reception on Wednesday, Aug. 19th, with a new show scheduled to open in mid-September that will feature the photos of Paiit Boyd, Henry Diltz and Carinthia West – more details available on the gallery’s site at http://www.hiltonasmusfoto.com/schedule.html?utm_source=ZACK+WHITFORD+CLOSING+II&utm_campaign=RESCHEDULED+Zack+Whitford+Closing+reception
Thanks again to Africa Hilton for her hospitality during our visit – keep up the nice work!

August 14th – 1) For those of you who have owned the soundtrack to the Woodstock film for all these years and have wondered “just who are those people on the cover”, here are two items that will serve to both identify these individuals and, if you’re in the upstate NY area over the weekend, a chance to meet them as well!
In an article posted recently on The Guardian‘s web site titled “That’s Me In The Picture”, Bobbi Ercoline (the girl wrapped in the blanket, wearing sunglasses) gives us the story about how she, her then-boyfriend-now-longtime-husband Nick and their friend Corky ended up in Burk Uzzle’s cover photo. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/aug/07/thats-me-in-the-picture-woodstock-bobbi-ercoline
Bobbi and Nick were also on hand to chat, sign autographs and sip the local wine at an event at The Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake, NY called “Woodstock At The Winery”. In addition to these album cover celebs, you’ll find music, food and, of course, hand-made goods for sale. Read more about it in Frank Mojica‘s article on the topic on the Yorktown (NY) Daily Voice site – http://yorktown.dailyvoice.com/events/famed-woodstock-album-cover-couple-be-yorktown

2) St. Louis-area music/art fans are also in for a treat during the month of August while a new group of multi-media exhibitions – collectively called Sound + Vision – are on display at several local venues. At venues including the Kranzberg Arts Center, the Craft Alliance Center Of Art And Design and The Dark Room Wine Bar, you’ll find displays of photography by Abby Gillardi, Kenny Williamson and John Paul Torno; artist Mark Dethrow‘s grouping of 51 portraits he’s painted of his re-interpretations of classic David Bowie album covers and several live music performances. You’ll find the details in Willis Ryder Arnold‘s recent article on the KWMU/St. Louis Public Radio site – http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/multi-gallery-show-explores-connections-between-fine-art-and-rock-and-roll-fandom

3) They say that Elvis will live forever in the minds and hearts of fans, and so its only appropriate that the USPS has just released a new “Forever” 49-cent postage stamp and a specially-produced CD of classic Elvis tunes. Both the stamp and the CD feature an Alfred Wertheimer image of “The King” taken in 1955 (when he was 20 years old – he’d have turned 80 this year) and, in addition to the stamp and CD, fans can also buy a folio featuring a mint 1993 Elvis stamp, 16 of the new stamps and a specially-produced booklet of info/images ($24.95) or a framed, ready-to-hang 14″ x 17″ framed art collectible that includes another Wertheimer photo, four of the new stamps and a reproduction signature plaque ($39.95). The designer for the project was Leslie Badani, with art director credits given to Antonio Alcala. Learn more about these items on the USPS web site – https://www.usps.com/stamps/elvis-presley.htm

August 13th – 1) Well-known punk album artist Raymond Pettibon has created the cover for this year’s edition of Best American Comics, the publication that brings readers the most up-to-date examples of the “best of” in the fields of cartooning, illustration and graphic novels. You’ll remember Pettibon’s work for Black Flag, The Minutemen and Sonic Youth, among others, but his status as an innovator in editorial cartooning and a chronicler of all aspects of American Pop Culture made him an obvious choice for this year’s efforts. J.E. Reich gives us the details in this article on the Tech Times web site (warning – the site has an annoying habit of playing video ads while you’re there – the price you have to pay sometimes, I suppose). http://www.techtimes.com/articles/74508/20150805/best-american-comics-series-gets-new-look.htm

2) Staying the punk rock genre, here’s a story that involves not one but two well-known NYC-based shooters who’ve made their mark by giving us years of great images of the early punk scene there. You’ll recall Roberta Bayley‘s iconic photos of The Ramones – particularly her shot of them in a nearby alley that graced the cover of their 1976 debut record – and David Godlis‘ memorable shots of Patti Smith, Richard Hell and other denizens of the CBGB’s era. Well, they’re still neighbors, and Godlis tried to do the neighborly thing recently when Bayley and her dog were attacked while walking to nearby Washington Park, with the details provided here in Lincoln Anderson‘s article on The Villager web site. Very sorry for your loss, Roberta… http://thevillager.com/2015/08/06/famed-punk-photogs-dog-dies-after-attack-by-big-crusty-pit-bull/

3) Just want to give a shout-out to long-time ACHOF friend and talented artist Jeff Davis at Vinylux for being selected as an “Eco Choice Awards” finalist at the NY Now event this week. His beautifully-designed 78RPM album clock was included in the “Sustainability – Designs for a Better World” exhibition at the Jacob Javitz Center – I think you’ll agree that the honors were well-deserved. Keep up the great work, Jeff! http://www.nynow.com/press-release/thirty-finalists-to-compete-for-three-eco-choice-awards/

August 12th – 1) I really enjoyed reading Yo Mannion‘s post on the DJ Booth site about his efforts to learn more about some of the great cover photographers whose work has somewhat been overlooked in the age of “selfies” and phone-camera-based photography. While many musical acts have fed the photo frenzy via their own multiple posts of amateur photos on their own Twitter/Instagram/etc sites, the author was really interested in who created the most-memorable images of his favorite acts and found the answers in the works of shooters including Jonathan Mannion, Danny Clinch, Janette Beckman and many others. Glad to see that there’s still a longing for quality from “the younger generation” – http://www.djbooth.net/index/news/entry/2015-08-03-classic-hip-hop-photography

2) Love these stories of how a fan ends up shooting a photo that ends up on the cover of his favorite act’s latest record! In Joanna Bartlett‘s story on The Register-Guard‘s (Eugene, OR) site, you’ll read about how Bradley Cook – who hadn’t known anything about Buddy Guy and his influence on modern rock guitar-playing until a chance meeting at a festival – took his new-found passion for Guy’s music and, after years of attending shows and snapping fan photos (which he shared with the guitar legend), getting a request to use one of the photos on Guy’s most-recent record, Born To Play Guitar. Read all of the heart-warming details via the link – http://registerguard.com/rg/entertainment/33307937-67/buddy-guy-fan-gets-own-shot-at-glory.html.csp

3) Well, for an old guy, I at least was able to recognize half the cover images in this latest quiz, designed to test your knowledge of popular covers that would be most-familiar to Millennials…Let me know how you do on this VH-1-sponsored quiz (please forgive me for not knowing Katy Perry vs. Britney vs. Pink, OK?) – http://www.vh1.com/news/43977/youre-not-a-millennial-unless-you-can-name-these-album-covers/

August 11th – Back from my road trip and happy to share these three items with you:

1) Canadian singer Kalle Mattson created a very cool new video for his single “Avalanche” that has him re-creating 35 classic album cover images (7 just in the intro!). It’s a great example of how classic album art continues to inspire today’s young musical artists.
http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427427711/first-watch-kalle-mattson-avalanche
I’m very impressed – I mean, he included Trout Mask Replica, for goodness sake!

2) In this recent article for the Gigwise site, writer Will Butler works to track down 15 people who were featured on album covers from acts including Arctic Monkey, Smashing Pumpkins and many others, While some (the Nirvana baby and the Blink-182 nurse) have been covered frequently, there were a number of “new bits” of information shared, particularly on some of the children featured on record covers who have since grown into adulthood…http://www.gigwise.com/photos/101879/15-people-behind-the-album-covers-arctic-monkeys-bob-dylan

3) Late last month, a group of music industry heavyweights including U2’s Bono and The Edge, along with Jimmy Iovine, combined their resources to commission NYC-based artist Peter Sis to create a special commemorative work of art to honor Yoko Ono for her ongoing contributions to Amnesty International, with the resulting work – a tapestry featuring the island of Manhattan re-done “Yellow Submarine-style” – unveiled where it is currently installed at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Yoko has raised millions of dollars for the group via the donation of a share of all of the royalties from John Lennon’s post-Beatles music, so it is fit that, on the tapestry, Lennon is the captain steering the ship. AP’s Luqman Adeniyi provides us with the details and photos in an article recently posted on the Billboard.com site – http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6649120/john-lennon-yellow-submarine-tapestry-ellis-island

August 2nd –  1) As a follow-up to two books he released last year on the artist, author Paul Marechal has updated and re-released a book on the record cover artwork done by Andy Warhol titled Andy Warhol: The Complete Commissioned Record Covers (published by Prestel). As a working artist in the album cover arena since 1949, Warhol received over 50 commissions for record cover work, beginning in the jazz genre before taking on projects for popular acts including the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and his own favorite band, the Velvet Underground. Reporter Michael Machosky has put together a nice backgrounder that provides additional details on the late artist’s career in the music business, and you’ll find it on the Trib Live site via the link – http://triblive.com/aande/books/8737524-74/warhol-marechal-says#axzz3hhYanwsE

2) Having been seen by over 1 million people thus far in its various showings in museums around the world (setting a record for a V&A Museum-curated show), the David Bowie Is exhibit has moved again, this time to the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Melbourne, where it will be viewable until November 1st. You’ll find costumes, stage sets, hand-written lyrics, photographs and, of course, lots of album cover-related materials, so if you’re in the area, take an afternoon and immerse yourself in all things Bowie, with details via the link – http://www.acmi.net.au/exhibitions/bowie/

3) Are you Jewish and looking for a unique arts and crafts project to work on this weekend? Writing for the Jewish JournalJonathan Fong provides readers with step by step instructions on how to make a new tzedakah (i.e., charitable donation) box out of a record album cover. Rightly so, he suggests staying away from using your rare copy of the White Album by The Beatles and, instead, he uses a Mel Torme cover (I’m thinking Dylan or Barbra Steisand, but hey, that’s just me). Even if you’re not Jewish, the box is a great method to collect money for your favorite charity, so if you’re a fan of music and charitable to boot, here’s your chance to make something special – http://www.jewishjournal.com/lifestyle/article/a_new_tzedakah_box_from_an_old_album_cover

August 1st – This one almost slipped by – fellow Chicagoan (I haven’t lived there in 30+ years, but still love my Cubbies) and famed rock shooter Paul Natkin was the subject of a brief-but-inspiring exhibition that ended August 2nd at the Ed Paschke Art Center in Jefferson Park. Simply titled “Superstars”, the show’s name makes perfect sense when you see the list of music celebs he’s photographed during his 40+ year career (with his first concert gig capturing local club icon Bonnie Raitt performing in Evanston in 1976). In this interview for the Gapers Block site, writer Nancy Bishop talks to Paul about his encounters with Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, a host of Chicago Blues greats and what he’s working on these days (including his blog on which he talks about life these days as a professional photographer) – http://gapersblock.com/ac/2015/07/27/paul-natkin-relives-his-life-in-rock-photography-from-abba-to-zz-top/

Ending – That’s all for now – look for updates every week day on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back next month with another summary for you.

Copyright 2015, Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com & RockPoP Productions – All rights reserved.

Album Cover News Recap – March, 2015

Album Cover Hall of Fame.com’s Album Cover News Recap – March, 2015

By Mike Goldstein – Curator/Editor, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com

Ah, Spring’s in the air (and, at least out our way, the air’s quite warm and flower-scented) and, around the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere on the globe, album art and artists were making headlines throughout the month of March. Our news feed was chock-full of interviews, features and gallery/museum show items, some of which I’ll highlight now (with the rest, in greater detail, following the intro paragraphs).

In the area of interviews, fans had the chance to get into the heads and hearts of talented cover image producers including  Stanley Donwood, Gary Panter and Tony Hung, along with my own interview with photographer Emilie Sandy on her Deja Vu portraits featuring famous photographers striking poses made famous in their own album cover images.

Purveyors of fine art books were busy promoting their new releases, with packages on the Rolling Stones, John & Yoko, Linda McCartney’s portfolio of portraits and on Paul Weller/Jam/Style Council, as well as photographer Tim Mantoani’s book featuring photos of other famous photographers posing with their favorite photos (telling us the stories behind them), among others.

Exhibitions and shows built around rock-related imagery included the works of Don Adkins, George DuBose, Chris Bilheimer, Kevin Cummins and Cey Adams. The Bjork show at NYC’s MOMA garnered a lot of press attention, while the travelling David Bowie show moved on to Paris and a collection of Herb Ritts’ photos were put on display at the R&RHOF in Cleveland, Ohio. We were happy to provide cover art fans an in-depth look at the cover art show hosted at Inasmuch Gallery in Oklahoma City, OK.

Other stories included a look at the artwork of Ben Wilkerson Tousley and the Pen & Pixel team, and there were two stories on 3-D cover art – one on works by Rick Valentin and a second on Nick Relph’s Hot Chip custom covers (over 400 flavors!).  News continued with  the announcement of the nominees for this year’s IMA Awards for album cover art/packaging and number of “best ofs”, “best so far”, and Top 10s (already?), plus news of the sale of a house featured on a Pink Floyd cover and the destruction, by a local terrorist, of an iconic U2 album cover cactus. Finally, there was info on how the sale of album art can saves lives – in this case, that of Robert Freeman, whose family held an auction to raise funds for his health care.

Of course, I’m hoping that you were able to take a look at the new interviews/Featured Fan Collection articles, along with the many new biographies posted on the ACHOF site during the month. I’m still working hard to update those already there with new information and to add another 50-75 new ones before taking a break to work on a book-related project (more to come on this later). I’ve got several interviews and/or features slated to be published in April, including one with Susan Archie (one of this year’s Grammy winners). In the meantime, here’s your chance to catch up on news you may have missed while you were having to pay attention to Life’s distractions or, hopefully, you were out doing whatever it is that makes your days happy. As I’ve said many times (even last month!), regardless of how hectic your lives may be, there’s no reason that you should go without up-to-date info on one of your favorite topics (don’t you agree?), so you can be sure that we’ll continue to work (nearly) every day (including April’s Record Store Day) to continue our efforts to prove to you that there’s always something new to see and learn in the world of album cover art, and you know that you’ll find it all here on the ACHOF site (keep your eye on our News Feed for the latest updates).

March 31st – 1) The nominees for the record packaging-related categories for the 14th annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) have been posted, and it looks to be quite the international cast of designers, artists and photographers. Here are the details in both categories:

In the Album Art/Photography category, the nominees are
– Dan Seagrave, for Incite’s Up In Hell;
– Eleanor Crane, for Patrick Joseph’s Moon King;
– Ivo Cordeiro (photograph) & Rodrigo Lameiras / WhiteLab (post-production), for Melech Mechaya’s Strange People (Back Panel Card);
– Monica Bruyn/Rabidt Graphix, for Kathryn McKee’s Sang Chaud;
– Stevhen Koji Baianu, for The Dolomites’ Japan Years: Vol 1

In the Album Packaging category, the nominees are
– Chia-Wei Lai/David Lai Workshop, for  I don’t mind drifting alone with the wave by Frandé;
– Pei-Shih Wu & TotalBrand+TotalDesign Co., for Dream Lotus Symphony Orchestra & Dream Lotus Insightful Praises Choir’s Prajna: The Great Wisdom;
– Qing-Yang Xiao, for Chau Wakin & Zhang De Chun’s Jiang Hu | The Rhapsody;
– Qing-Yang Xiao, for Song Zu Ying’s The Epic of Love;
– Sergej Bulić/ART’S visual & process communications for Sudar Percussion & Matej Mestrovic’s Eat Suite (Album Can Packaging)

According to the group’s press release, “The eclectic mix of established and rising talent nominated in The 14th IMAs were culled from thousands of submissions that were released during the program’s eligibility period, between June, 2013 thru December, 2014. Winners will be determined by a panel of influential artist and industry judges as well as numerous talent buyers from high profile showcase platforms and performance venues throughout the world…In addition to the Winners selected by the Artist & Industry judges, music fans from around the world have until Friday, July 31, 2015 to vote for their favorite Nominees at The Vox Pop Jukebox, the fan-determined portion of The IMAs.

To see the full list of IMA Nominees in all categories, visit their site at http://www.independentmusicawards.com/…/14th-annual-indepe…/

2) Not sure if everyone has seen the postage stamp designs available in the Music Icons series from the US Postal Service, but my order arrived in the mail yesterday and I thought that I’d share some of the info on the people who designed these products, as a couple of them have a number of album cover art credits as well.

Released on a regular basis since 2013, the series now includes stamps featuring the likenesses of Jimi Hendrix (Greg Breeding/Journey Group was the Art Director and the trippy illustration was done by Rudy Gutierrez, the guy responsible for the cover for Santana’s Shaman LP); Ray Charles (Ethel Kessler was the AD, Yves Carriere supplied the photo and design was by 3X Grammy nominee Neal Ashby, well-known for his covers for Thievery Corporation and many others); Janis Joplin (photo by David Gahr and AD by Antonio Alcala); Johnny Cash (another Greg Breeding creation based on Frank Bez’s 1963 photo of the Man in Black) and Tejano music legend Lydia Mendoza, with art by a team including Antonio Alcala, Neal Ashby and his business partner Patrick Donohue.

While not quite the perfect product for album cover lovers (the UK still has us beat on that effort with their earlier series of stamps based on great British album cover designs), it is still nice to see music-related artwork priced for everyone to own (only 49 cents!).
http://uspsstamps.com/stamps/series/music-icons

March 30th – 1) While not exactly album COVER art, here’s a fine example of creative album art. I’d seen Daniel Edlen‘s work a few years back when i had my gallery, but it looks as though he’s really upped his game as evidenced by this new article by Benjamin Starr on his Visual News site…Album covers are integrated into each presentation of Elden’s artwork, which is painted directly on to each vinyl record. In this illustrated article, you’ll see examples of his portraits of Lou Reed, Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa and many others.  http://www.visualnews.com/…/portraits-of-musicians-on-old-…/

2) Artist Stanley Donwood, best-known for his intriguing album cover work for Radiohead, is the subject of a new interview with The Independent‘s Matilda Battersby in which he relays “the true story” of how he first re-kindled his relationship with his former Exeter classmate Thom Yorke, which ultimately led to their creative collaboration to produce the band’s cover imagery over the past 20+ years. The story includes references to busking and fire-breathing, so be sure to wear protective clothing while you read this interesting historical retelling – http://www.independent.co.uk/…/from-radiohead-to-jg-ballard…

3) Creative cover imagery continues to be on display in the world of rap/hip-hop music, with the use of illustration drawing a lot of attention to the artists that are creating fine covers for acts including Chance The Rapper, Action Bronson, Killer Mike, Big Pooh and many others. Writing for XXL, Sidney Madden has put together a collection of some of the most-recent examples, for your review. Note to Sidney – thanks for the slideshow, but it would have been nice to know who did the work..just saying… http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/…/animated-rap-album-covers/

March 27th – 1) A show opened March 27th at the House of Vans gallery in London is the “Heated Words: Initial Research” exhibition that, according to its PR, “is an immersive mixed media primer that serves as introduction to an ongoing investigation in to the life and times of a forgotten typeface.” What that means in plain-speak is that the show will focus on how and why a particular font named Fraktur became the default typeface for hundreds of hip-hop album covers. Photographer George DuBose – whose photos and notes are included in the show – traces its first uses back to a project he did for rapper Biz Markie but, as you’ll see on the show’s site, the use exploded from there…more details via the show’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/812614378804007

2) Following up yesterday’s post about Phil Hartman and his work – you’ll recall that Phil was a regular on Pee Wee’s Playhouse, which featured wild and crazy set designs by Gary Panter. Last night, to highlight his works featured in the Myopia exhibition currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Denver, Panter participated in a discussion (part of the museum’s “Who Made The 80s” lecture series) about his work with Paul Ruebens (AKA Pee Wee) and other iconoclasts, such as The Germs, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Frank Zappa. Writing for Westword, Bree Davies has posted an interview with the guy responsible for keeping us young and childish even as adults – http://www.westword.com/…/gary-panter-has-designed-everythi…

3) The work of Don Adkins, the photographer possibly best-known for his cover shot for the Bitch record titled Be My Slave that was just too-S&M-ish for Tipper Gore in the early 80s (leading her to rally for album labeling, to save our super-sensitive eyeballs from her definition of “questionable content”), is the subject of an otherwise easy-to-view exhibition up that began Sunday, March 29th at the Frame & Art Department in Hermosa Beach, CA. Adkins, who has worked primarily as a tour photographer, will be showing portraits he’s taken of musical acts including Motley Crue, Poison, Billy Joel, Heart, Peter Gabriel and Glen Campbell, taken during his 2011 farewell tour. The show runs through Sunday, April 12, with an artist’s reception Saturday, April 4th from 6-9pm at the gallery. More on this show via Michael Hixon’s article on The Beach Reporter site –
http://tbrnews.com/…/article_bb4cce10-d279-11e4-ae85-974576…

March 26th – 1) Quite the coincidence…just as I was beginning to research and write some more bios for the ACHOF site (I’m in the G’s at this point in time), along comes some additional information on someone that most of us know via his career as a comedian (and who did a dead-on Bill Clinton impersonation) but who actually had established himself beforehand as a graphic artist, illustrator and album cover art director – the late, great Phil Hartman. Writing for Fast Company magazine, John Brownlee has posted a very nice retrospective of some of Hartman’s better-known covers for clients such as America, Firesign Theater, Poco and Steely Dan. Hartman has over 40 cover credits, but we’re all happy that he had the opportunity to stretch his wings and show us his acting chops before we lost him – follow the link for more – http://www.fastcodesign.com/…/8-album-covers-designed-by-le…

2) Musician Paul Weller has teamed up with photographer Lawrence Watson and Genesis Publishing to release a new, 300+ page limited-edition book featuring over 800 photos of Weller’s solo career, along with an exclusive vinyl record. Since his rise to fame as a member of The Jam and The Style Council, Weller has released 11 studio albums, five live albums, 39 singles and three EPs, nearly all of which feature Watson’s photography – the two having met back in 1988 after Watson had shot the cover photo for The Style Council’s Confessions of a Pop Group record. For more info on the book – titled Into Tomorrow – and its availability, please visit (but hurry – Weller’s last photo book sold out very quickly!) –
http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/…/paul-wellers-later-career…

3) The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover has inspired yet another fascinating new product! Designer Wilmer Murillo has teamed up with a Taiwanese maker of on-demand, 3-D toys to create a set of “designer figures” that let collectors re-create the Fab Four’s famous walk across the street in front of EMI’s Abbey Road studios. Murillo’s interpretations of J, P, G & R remind me of the Sgt. Pepper‘s-inspired Japanese action figures that came out in the 90’s (I think via Kidrobot – does anyone remember?). Anyway, if you can read Chinese, you can hop on the ZecZec.com site (a Taiwanese crowd-funding site ala Kickstarter) and reserve a set of these for yourself or any Beatle fan –
http://blog.wilmermurillo.com/…/the-bitoy-design-collaborat…

March 25th – 1) Fans of advanced technologies will enjoy Hugh Hart’s Fast Company article on musician/tech-head Rick Valentin‘s approach to creating album cover imagery for the new record release by Thoughts Detecting Machine. Using a modified 3-D printer and software that let’s him grab wave forms from his music, he’s come up with a way to let him add customized graphics to the record’s packaging so that each record purchased is encased in a unique work of art. Rick attributes his inspiration for the basic theme of his cover to Peter Saville’s classic cover for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures but, you’ll have to admit, this is one application of modern technology that raises the bar and gives producers of physical music products a way to attract new fans and buyers. More on this, with video and photo illustrations, is available via the link – http://www.fastcocreate.com/…/diy-musician-translates-audio…

2) With SXSW wrapped up, visitors to Austin, TX can still see an exhibition of album cover designer Chris Bilheimer‘s Polaroid photo collection on display at the Bearded Lady Screen Printing location there. What you’ll find are nicely-laid-out groupings of Bilheimer’s shots of friends and associates you’ll know, including members of R.E.M., Green Day and celebrities from film and TV, along with photos he took from 1995 through 2008 of everyday things and places that interested him. The show’s up until April 11, and you can read/see more about it in Kevin Curtin’s article on the Austin Chronicle site – http://www.austinchronicle.com/…/playback-sxsw-news-and-si…/

3) Artist Ben Wilkerson Tousley has been quite in demand lately, completing commissions for book covers, film/TV graphics and the like, but it is his work in the field of album cover art that is the focus of Jason Lamphier’s article on the Out.com site. His work is done in a variety of styles and materials – from collages to ultra-clean embossed vinyl covers – and, based on the positive reaction to his efforts – his list of indie music clients should grow nicely over time (he’s only 28 years old – I see quite the future ahead of him if he maintains this level of creativity). Take a look at a collection of his work, and read the stories behind each of the pictured creations, via the link at http://www.out.com/…/album-designs-benjamin-wilkerson-tousl…

March 24th – 1) Writing for the Creative Review site, Mark Sinclair gives us an interview with art director Tony Hung about his work on the album cover for the first new recording by Blur in 12 years. Titled The Magic Whip, the cover features imagery based on Hung’s interpretation of Damon Albarn’s collection of photos and souvenirs he brought home from a trip to Hong Kong, where the band recorded music for the new album (set to be released in late April). The custom neon created for the cover is very nicely photographed by Nick Wilson, and regular buyers of LPs from Asian countries will get a kick out of the “obi-strip” included on the package. Read the entire illustrated interview via the link – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/…/blur-the-magic-whip-neon-…

2) Fans of Pink Floyd’s album covers converged recently to bid on a garden cottage in Dungeness, U.K. that was featured on the Hipgnosis-designed cover of the band’s 1981 compilation album titled A Collection of Great Dance Songs and, when the smoke cleared after the auctioneer’s gavel came down, a lucky bidder purchased the somewhat ramshackle building for £215,000 (approx. $319,000) – £55,000 above the pre-auction estimate. Quite the souvenir, I have to say. I’m curious as to whether the new owners will be putting on rope harnesses to dance in front of their new home…Read the gory details – complete with photos of the property in its current condition – in Sam Lennon’s article on the Kent Online site – http://www.kentonline.co.uk/…/news/wish-you-were-here-33929/

3) In one more example of album artists “gettin’ no respect”, MXDWN.com writer Carlett Spike relays the story about the outcome of a long, drawn-out lawsuit between rock band Tool and the graphic artist that created the album cover for their 10,000 Days album. Turns out that a friend of guitarist Adam Jones had been hired to create the cover and, for some reason, was not credited for the work. He sued to correct this and the band then hired an insurance company to defend them against such inconveniences. The insurance company soon sued the band as well for “technicalities”, the band counter-sued and, 8 years later, an exciting conclusion was reached…No spoiler here, read the details for yourself –
http://music.mxdwn.com/…/tool-wins-lawsuit-over-album-cove…/

March 23rd – 1) To raise money for the ongoing care of the ailing photo great Robert Freeman, his family archive has released a new, limited-edition print of one of Freeman’s best-known photos – his 1965 photo titled “John Lennon with Panda”. According to The Daily Mail‘s Bianca London, Freeman’s son Dean has said that his 78-year-old father – a proud and eccentric individual – has refused all offers of aid and support from his family, forcing them to take this step in order to make sure that resources are in place to maintain the quality and dignity of life that this man – the one credited for shooting album cover shots for the first 5 Beatles albums – so richly deserves. The monies raised from this effort will also be used to maintain the elder Freeman’s archives, which contain memorable images of many important and influential people of the era – Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Ringo Starr, and others – some of whom were featured in the first Pirelli annual calendar, another of Freeman’s noteworthy accomplishments. For more info and links to the archives, click on over to the article at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Iconic-John-Lennon-snap-shot-f…

2) Writing for PASTE Magazine, Chris Kissel has posted an article in which he summarizes his take on “The Five Best Album Covers of 2015 (So Far)” and provides in-depth looks at, and the stories behind, these impressive examples of album cover artistry. Included in the list are covers from musical acts such as Purity Ring, Father John Misty, THEEsatisfaction, Moon Duo and Radical Dads – all very different and all the result of a young artist’s/illustrator’s take how best to represent the latest musical output from their music industry clients. Something for every lover of album cover art – http://www.pastemagazine.com/…/the-stories-behind-the-five-…
Looks like a good start to the year in album artwork, wouldn’t you agree?

March 20th – 1) Writing for the Creative Review, Rachael Steven just posted her list of “Record Sleeves of the Month“, and the examples she’s included really do show off the wide range of creativity still being shown by those working in the music packaging field. With Record Store Day rapidly approaching (mid-April), some acts are going all out to do something different and, therefore, memorable and sale-able. I’m particularly impressed with designer/photographer Alexander Brown’s simple-yet-elegant white vinyl box for Amon Tobin’s new release titled Dark Jovian, as well as Ghostpoet’s new cover for their record Shedding Skin that is based on hi-res photos of skin cell biopsies (!!). See/read more via the link – http://www.creativereview.co.uk/…/record-sleeves-of-the-mon…

2) Famed album cover artist Nick Egan was kind enough to share some of the details of a multi-media show & sale taking place in Los Angeles tonight, including some pix of some of his new (non-cover) prints (see the collage accompanying this posting). The exhibition is called “Steal Music/Buy Art” and, in addition to live performances and video/film screenings, there’s an art show with prints and posters from top area designers and photographers, including Egan, Edward Colver, Greg Jacobs and many more. The show kicked off last night, so head on over to the Angel City Brewery on Alameda in Downtown LA tonight to take part in the party there – Lina Lecaro provides more of the details in this LA Weekly article – http://www.laweekly.com/…/party-pick-of-the-week-steal-musi…

3) Finally, Diffuser.FM‘s Chris Kissel poses an interesting question – “How is an album like a bottle of wine?” and, referencing a recent AdWeek interview with rocker Maynard James Keenan (who also owns a winery) where Keenan regretted losing control of his music in the digital world – happy that you can’t download his wine (!!) – Kissel suggests that one of the most-important advantages of a physical product is the large-scale presentation of the album cover art. Just as great wines are the result of a successful collaboration between grape growers and wine-makers, memorable album packages are the result of talented musicians pairing with graphic artists/art directors to produce a sleeve or package that makes fans happy with their purchase and provides some additional emotional connection between musical acts and their fans – something that is hard to do with a thumbnail image on your phone, he suggests. Read his entire essay, and then post your own thoughts when you get the chance – http://diffuser.fm/how-is-an-album-like-a-bottle-of-wine/

March 19th – 1) The talents of the Houston, TX-based design/marketing firm Pen & Pixel are on display in a new article on the Hot New Hip Hop (HNHH) site titled “The 10 Greatest Pen & Pixel Album Covers”, written by Angus Walker. Any fan of the genre will immediately recognize the firm’s classic design elements – diamond-encrusted 3-D fonts, bold use of color and graphic elements that look like they’re ripped from the most explosive scenes from any of today’s bad guys vs. good guys high-intensity action films (cars, guns, money, jewelry and buff-and-beautiful protagonists). Since the 1990s, they’ve done work for labels including No Limit, Cash Money, Suave House and other well-known deep South music producers and have since expanded their services to include music and video production, web design and marketing and logo/branding work. Each cover shown nearly leaps off the page, so test your reflexes and take a look at some top-rated efforts from this successful album cover design firm – http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/the-10-greatest-pen-and-pixel-a…

2) Classic album art, like classic rock music, continues to inspire today’s new recording acts, so it is wonderful to see a musical act’s efforts to honor one of David Bowie’s best-known cover scenes – Bowie as “Ziggy Stardust”, standing beneath a light in an alley, as he’s found on 1972’s Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust… – in a stunning recreation of the scene that’s used on the cover of their own album. In Barry Leighton’s article on the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald site, you’ll meet musician Ben Goddard, who is a member of a Malmesbury band called The Long Players and, working with photographer Jon Sneddon, found an ideal place on St. Dennis Lane to substitute for the original Heddon St., London, location and prepared it for use in this effort. I think that you’ll agree that the participants have done a truly amazing job – even more amazing in that it was done to promote the band’s March 15th local concert during which they played the entire Bowie record from start to finish! See the results via the link – http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/…/11856706.Malmesbury_mu…/

3) Finally (for today), more Bjork-related coverage, this time provided by Juxtapoz Magazine in their nicely-illustrated coverage of the show currently running in NYC’s Museum of Modern Art that provides a career-spanning retrospective of her work as a creative artist in the fields of music and visuals. Included in the article is an interview with the show’s curator and many of her daring (in so many ways) album cover images. Whatever you may think of this artist’s music (I’m still not sure I like it), the attention she pays to the graphics and videos that accompany her work is simply mind-boggling. Enjoy the show, via the link – http://beyondthecover.juxtapoz.com/april-2015-bjork

March 18th – As a follow-up to my recent posting about an album art show -titled “Tailored Jackets”, taking place now through the end of the month at Oklahoma City Community College’s Inasmuch Foundation Gallery, I got in touch with the show’s organizer, Scott Tigert, to see if I could get my hands on some additional info/imagery to share with you. Not only did Scott come through with additional photos, he was also kind enough to provide me with the details about how the show was conceived and sourced, as well as with samples of the information he and the exhibition show team researched and presented to the show’s visitors. I have organized the items he’s submitted into a new variation on our “Featured Fan Collection” themed articles, presented to you today as an “ACHOF Exhibition Tour”…Hope you’ll take a moment to take a virtual tour through the show and then share this with your friends as well. I’d like to thank Scott and all the nice folks at the school and the gallery who worked so hard to put this very informative and entertaining show together – looking forward to the third installment (please let us know if there’s going to be one, of course).

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/…/achof-exhibit…/

March 17th – 1) A host of new works featuring images that have inspired the world view of Def Jam Records album cover artist Cey Adams are included in a new exhibition running now at the Rush Arts Gallery in NYC’s Chelsea area. Titled “Trusted Brands”, you’ll find his interpretations of brands and logos which, like album covers, have informed popular culture. Like some of the covers he’s credited for creating – including those for acts including LL Cool J, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys – Adams feels that there are many logos that may have simply been marketing tools when they were created but have now become part and parcel of our collective consciousnesses. You can read and see more about this show, which ran through March 28th, in writer Roger Clark’s article and video report, both found on the NY1 web site at http://www.ny1.com/…/artist-of-iconic-def-jam-album-covers-…

2) The creative collaborations of talented designers often produce works that are more-impressive than the sum of their parts, so its not at all surprising to see that the efforts of the team of architect Bjarke Ingels and designer Stefan Sagmeister – well known in album cover art circles for his work on designs for Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne and the Talkiing Heads, among others – have been so impressive that they’re now the subject of a new (and now sold out!) book by art publisher Taschen. Titled Hot To Cold, the book shows and tells the story of how the two met (several years ago at a TED Talk), discovered that they were “kindred spirits” and determined then to team up to build great spaces. The book accompanies an exhibition running now through August at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, and for a look at the duo’s book-signing at Taschen’s store in Soho, NYC, you can simply click on the link to reporter Laura Feinstein’s article on the GOOD Magazine site – http://magazine.good.is/art…/bjarke-ingels-stefan-sagmeister

March 16th – 1) When rapper Kendrick Lamar decided that he wanted to feature an album cover image of an oppressed people banding together to take their government back, he tapped a photographer who, besides shooting album cover images for scores of international jazz/classical artists, has published a series of portraits of Senegalese wrestlers who’ve banded together to publicize and improve their bleak existences. Denis Rouvre‘s Lamb served as a follow-up to another series of portraits he took of people pushed to the brinks of their ability to endure hardship – survivors of the tsunami in Japan – and this new project seems to be tailor-made for his abilities – more on the cover and the photographer is included in writer Matthew Trammell’s recent article on The Fader site – http://www.thefader.com/…/meet-the-french-photographer-behi…

2) To follow-up the previous week’s article regarding the non-scientific-but-interesting selection of the “Top 10” album covers in Portland, OR’s music history, the folks at Plywerks (makers of the new Vinny series of album cover frames) have posted a series of photos capturing the kick-off event for their products and presenting the winners of the voting that night –http://www.plywerk.com/blog/2015/03/top-pdx-records/
Here are the Top 4 records – #1 is Menomena’s 2007 record Friend & Foe; #2 is Paul Revere & The Raiders’ 1963 release Sande’; #3 is Over The Edge, the 1983 release by Oregon punk rockers Wipers and at #4 – fans of Portlandia rejoice – Sleater-Kinney’s 1999 album The Hot Rock. Congratulations to the winners for covers well done.

March 13th – 1) Album art/rock photo fans that attended the Art Basel show in Hong Kong in March were fortunate to have been able to stop by the Taschen Publishing booth to take a look at (and, perhaps, buy) one of the two recent releases that feature, respectively, photos of John Lennon & Yoko Ono (in Kishin Shinoyama‘s John & Yoko, Double Fantasy) and the Rolling Stones in the 500-page, “Sumo-sized” book titled The Rolling Stones. Both books are available in limited-edition/signed offerings that include signed photo prints (“Collector’s” editions). While several of these editions have already sold out, others remain (priced anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the photo print included), so this is a great opportunity to “kick the tires” before purchasing one of these great books – more info on this on the Artsy site – https://www.artsy.net/…/editorial-taschen-brings-john-yoko-…

2) Allison Meier’s article on the Hyperallergic site about artist Victor Moscoso‘s new gallery show running now (thru April 25th) at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in Manhattan brings you inside the gallery to see the artist’s full-range of psychedelic works, including his drawings/paintings for Zap! Comix, a wide range of gig posters for nearly every major band playing in the Bay area and, of interest to ACHOF fans, his album cover work for Steve Miller, Jerry Garcia, Sopwith Camel and Herbie Hancock. Victor Moscoso: Psychedelic Drawings 1967 – 1982 helps illustrate Victor’s role as one of the most-significant creative artists of his era, along with Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Clay Wilson and others that contributed to the burgeoning San Francisco art scene, so if you can’t see the show in-person, take a moment to enjoy Allison’s preview via the link –http://hyperallergic.com/…/strange-days-in-victor-moscosos…/

March 12th – 1) Here’s another example of a photographer shooting portraits of other photographers…As the professional photo industry was moving from film to digital, one photographer – Tim Mantoani – felt that it was important to take advantage – perhaps one last time – of the availability of large-format film and thought that it’d be interesting to ask his fellow shooters to participate in a project where he’d photograph them with their “favorite” or best-known images. Since 2006, he’s taken over 150 portraits and collected anecdotes for each and, just recently, has released a book called Behind Photographs, where you’ll find album cover artists including Jim Marshall, Bob Gruen and MarK Seliger talking about their favorite shots of (respectively) the Rolling Stones, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain, as well as that of many others who’ve shot some very well-known images in the areas of sports, politics, celebrity and US/World history. 14 of these stories are featured in an article by Christian Storm on the Business Insider site, reachable via the link – http://www.businessinsider.com/portraits-stories-14-iconic-…

2) Artist/Art Director Mario Hugo has worked long and hard to achieve success in the competitive graphic arts arena and, along the way, knew that there were a number of good (or great) works produced that, for one reason or another, were not approved for use by his clients. He also knew that that was certainly the case for most other creatives in his field so, recently, he contacted some of them and asked them to contribute examples of good-but-rejected designs to a new blog he launched called Recently Rejected. Some of the works submitted were those done for music industry clients and, in Carey Dunne’s recent article for the Fast Company site, you’ll get some insight into the projects that, although they produced some memorable imagery, just didn’t ring the client’s bell – http://www.fastcodesign.com/…/12-rejected-designs-that-show…

March 11th – Another photography-oriented “three-fur”… 1) When the ACHOF was launched, the voting panel chose a group of “early influencers” to honor – those selected being folks who had contributed to the acknowledgement of album cover imagery as an art form. While he was not included in the original selection as it is that our focus is on rock and pop music-oriented album covers, most-certainly some were left out and, with today’s posting, I hope to correct that to some extent. Although Chuck Stewart has always been labeled as a “jazz photographer”, with hundreds of credits for cover shots for jazz greats including Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and scores of others, his reputation brought him many other early rock and pop cover commissions, shooting covers for James Brown, Bo Diddley, Mary Wells, George Benson, Tito Puente and “the chairman” (and label owner) Frank Sinatra. Writing for Newsweek (and recording a video interview you’ll find there as well), reporter Jared T. Miller interviewed this photo great in his Teaneck, NJ home, which you can enjoy as well via the link – http://www.newsweek.com/through-chuck-stewarts-lens-history…

2) Album cover work provided the jumping off point for another talented shooter who has successfully branched out in to both fashion photography and video direction – in this case, for UK-based creative Jason Arber. In a recent interview with Chris Gampat for The Phoblographer web site, you’ll trace the path from record cover designer – with credits on packages for artists including Mike Hughes, Janet Jackson, Oasis and The Pandemonium, among others – to his career as a web designer, art/culture magazine publisher and now creative lead for his own photo/video studio called Phantom Limb. You’ll find the liberally illustrated article via the link at http://www.thephoblographer.com/…/jason-arber-creative-fas…/

3) Well, it is time again for a new Tumblr photoblog where iconic album cover images are re-imagined by a designer, in this case being a designer who is also in love with cats. Begun in 2012 by Alfra Martini with a cover featuring “David Meowie & Bing Catsby”, The Kitten Covers blog has added a large number of images that all feature a kittenish twist on a well-known image. You’ll find covers for The Clash, Queen, N.W.A., Heart and, my personal favorite (what’s yours? please share) Unknown Whiskers by the Purr Division (!!) – The Cat Channel‘s Cari Jorgenson provides an introduction via the link – http://www.catchannel.com/…/cats-recreate-classic-album-cov…
Wonder if they’ll have a selection of Litter Box Sets soon 😉

March 10th – 1) The David Bowie travelling exhibition (“David Bowie Is”) has been setting records at every stop during its run (currently, in Paris, France), with many of the items on display from Bowie’s official archives, which are quite extensive and, based on the info provided in this Jemma Buckley article in The Daily Mail, will soon include a set of lifelike masks depicting Mr. Bowie at various stages during his career. Originally, the life masks were made of Bowie’s face as part of his participation in the making of the movie “The Man Who Fell To Earth” and these props were discovered in storage and given to UK-based artist Mark Wardel, who proceeded to replicate and then decorate them to depict Bowie as he looked, for example, on the cover of his Aladdin Sane LP. Bowie was so impressed that he bought an entire set, which will now be part of his collection. Read more, and see some examples of these impressive masks, via the link – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Aladdin-Vain-Bowie-snaps-entir…

2) The late Linda McCartney’s photos and designs were found on many popular album covers (and illustrating scores of magazine articles) while she was active as a photographer from the late 1960s up to her untimely death in 1998. You’ll find her work on records such as her hubby’s McCartney, Ram, Venus and Mars (and others), as well as discs for Jimi Hendrix, Pretenders and Neil Young and, in a new book published by Taschen called Linda McCartney: Life In Photographs. The book includes a treasure trove of images of the photographers friends and acquaintances, including The Beatles (surprise!), the Rolling Stones, actors Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw and many of her family doing what comes naturally when you’re some of the most-visible celebrities in the world. Writing for the Daily Mail site MailOnline, Caroline Howe gives us an illustrated preview, via the link – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Candid-camera-photographs-Love…

March 9th – 1) On Thursday night, March 5th, I was happy to have been able to attend the launch of the new “Vinny” line of album cover art frames and accessories at the Madehere PDX store. These items are made by Plywerk, a Portland (OR)-based company that produces a full line of handmade products – picture frames, record crates and works of art fused to their “restoration juniper” wood backings – and is currently hosting a CrowdSupply.com project to allow fans to purchase these new products prior to their retail release. The record stand is available for $44, the 12″ square frame is $59 and you can visit their site for more info. As part of their launch, the company turned to Portland Mercury art/music writer Ned Lannamann to help select the “Top 10 Portland Album Cover of All Time”, and the list features covers for PDX-based bands old and new, including The Dandy Warhols, The Thermals, Dead Moon, Lifesavas, Sleater-Kinney, Paul Revere & The Raiders and several others. Review the selections – http://www.portlandmercury.com/…/the-top-10-portland-album-… and see the results of final voting on the Plywerks.com site.

2) One of the best-known photographers who worked in the fields of fashion, celebrity and album cover imagery – the late Herb Ritts – is the subject of a new exhibition that launched Friday the 13th of March at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, OH. In “Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits”, you’ll find over 30 shots of some of the best-known musical acts of their era – David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Cher, Bob Dylan, Chris Isaak, k.d. lang, Madonna, Prince,Tina Turner and many others – along with video interviews, alt shots and other portraits from his years providing editorial and advertising imagery for magazines including Interview, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. Visitors are also able to take their own photos in front of backdrops taken by Ritts – more on this in Jeff Niesel’s article on the topic on the Cleveland Scene site at http://www.clevescene.com/…/rock-hall-to-open-new-photo-exh…

March 6th – 1) Album art fans in the nation’s center are being treated to a new exhibition titled “Tailored Jackets – 2nd Fitting” featuring a collection of 59 signed album covers representing 80 years of album artistry. The grouping is owned by Scott Tigert, a Cultural Programs assistant at Oklahoma City Community College at 7777 S. May Ave. and was on display at the Inasmuch Gallery of the Visual and Performing Arts Center from March 6th through March 27th. Attendees were able to enter a drawing for a 1923 poster featuring pop star (at the time) Bessie Smith – more details about the show are available via the link – http://www.occc.edu/cp/currentgallery.html

2) How are your Catalan language skills? While it might help fully-understand this news report about the opening of the Johnson Gallery in Barcelona (mentioned in the previous day’s news posting), viewers will most-certainly get a good sense of the joy folks in attendance felt with the show and the appearance of one of the featured photographers, George DuBose, who (in English, thankfully) gives us a little info on some of his photos that are included in the show, including album cover shots he took of The Ramones and B-52s. Enjoy reporter Victor Jonama’s report as found on the BTV web site – http://www.btv.cat/…/johnson-gallery-una-galeria-dedicada-…/

3) The art world has suffered much in terms of vandals destroying history but, rather than revisiting the atrocities that have taken place in Iraq, we’re treated to one closer to home. The iconic Joshua Tree that was featured on the cover of U2‘s 1987 album of the same name was toppled a number of years ago, but fans still take regular pilgrimages to the spot and, this year, one of them arrived shortly after someone had taken a saw to the tree in order to take home a large souvenir from it…what’s next – IEDs near Abbey Road Studios? The pathetic details are found on The Daily Mail (UK) web site, via the link – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/U2-fan-pilgrimaged-band-s-Josh…

4) Just posted a new interview with photographer Emilie Sandy about her “Deja Vu” photo series, which features new portraits of well-known music industry photographers posed as if they were the subjects in some of their best-known shots. You’ll learn a bit more about how she organized these sessions and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business – Anton Corbijn, Chris Gabrin, Gered Mankowitz, Robert Whitaker and many others – as they recreated their famous portraits of artists such as Miles Davis, Elvis Costello, John Lennon and others. Liberally illustrated, you’ll find this article posted at the following link – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/…/interview-wit…/

March 5th – Limited only by your imaginations…. 1) Winnipeg Jets goal-tender Ondrej Pavelec is such a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen that he goes all-out to integrate all things Boss into his daily routine. For most of us, that would mean playing Springsteen tunes while wearing a concert t-shirt, but for the 27-year-old Czech native, the best way to maintain a high level of Bruce-on-the-brain was to have his protective helmet/mask decorated with images taken from the covers of his favorite records. On the custom-painted gear, you’ll find snippets lifted from Born In The USA, The River, Magic and Born To Run. The work was done by Swedish artist Dave Gunnarson, whose “DaveArt” business has provided airbrush art for many NHL players. More on this in Bobby Olivier’s recent article on the NJ.com site – http://www.nj.com/…/springsteens_albums_commemorated_on_nhl…

2) Artist Eisen Bernardo attracted a lot of attention recently with his “Mag+Art” project, where he combined cover images from magazines with famous works of art to create new works of Pop Art. His next logical step was to go all Christian Marclay on us and combine album covers with masterworks, which he has done quite nicely in a series that focuses on the covers of Taylor Swift albums. Titled “Album+Art Tribute To Taylor Swift”, you’ll find the singer’s covers blended in to works by Dutch, German, French and Italian masters. While the jury’s out as to whether her music lasts as long as the influence of these painters, it’s obvious that she has a great fan in this artist based in the Philippines – https://www.behance.net/…/…/AlbumArt-Tribute-to-Taylor-Swift

March 4th – 1) The works of photographer George DuBose – well-known to album art fans for his many cover shots for artists in Punk (Ramones, Misfits), New Wave (B-52s, Go-Go’s, others) and early Rap/Hip-Hop (Biz Markie, Notorious B.I.G., more) – were included in the kick-off show for a new rock-n-roll photo gallery that opened on March 5th in Barcelona, Spain. The Johnson Gallery (named after blues legend Robert Johnson) is the brainchild of fan/collector/entrepreneur Philippe Delecluse, who’ll be offering a slate of images from George and other respected rock photographers including Mick Rock, Adrian Boot and Curtis Knapp. When the gallery opens its doors, visitors were able to view over 50 images and listen to a concert given by Johnny & The Blues Workers. Since the gallery’s site is still under construction, here are the important details in case you’re in the area and want to join Philippe and his team in the post-grand-opening festivities – Gallery Johnson, Pg. Rector Oliveras, 4, 08009 Barcelona. (C. Arago between Roger de Llúria and Bruc). Open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 16 to 8:00 p.m. Email: galeriajohnson@gmail.com

More info: galeriajohnson.com (coming soon). To preview some of George’s works that will be available thru the gallery, please visit his website at http://www.george-dubose.com/

2) Well, the first reviews of Bjork’s new show at MOMA in NYC are in and, well, at least this particular reviewer wasn’t all that impressed…Long an artist that has stretched the limits of normalcy in the visuals that accompany her music (her album covers and music videos all being great examples of her willingness to experiment), the museum’s show is segmented into displays built around each of her eight studio albums, with costumes, props, photographs and other items included that should assist fans in getting a better look behind the scenes of the pop mistresses artistic endeavors. In his review for the ArtNet News site (http://news.artnet.com/…/ladies-and-gentlemen-the-bjork-sho…), Ben Davis shares his frustration with everything from the displays to the audio guide that accompanies the show (it “doesn’t actually guide you”). If any of you have seen the show and can provide your own details and opinions, please share them here.

March 3rd – 1) Possibly the best-known photographer who covered the rock music scene in Manchester, UK beginning in the late 1970s, Kevin Cummins is now the subject of a new exhibition now on display at the Lucy Bell Fine Art gallery on Norman Road in East Sussex, UK, from now until April 10th. The show’s titled “Disclosure” and includes over 50 images Cummins took of the players that made up the “Madchester” music scene, including Joy Division, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Morrissey, The Smiths, Stone Roses and Manic Street Preachers, along with other members of rock royalty – including the Rolling Stones and David Bowie – who he’d shoot portraits of and album covers for later in his career. Read more about the artist and this show in this article on the Art Daily site at http://artdaily.com/…/Exhibition-at-Lucy-Bell-Fine-Art-feat…

2) Anyone who cruised Sunset Boulevard and the surrounding areas will recall the many billboards you’d have seen promoting the latest releases by major music acts, and it was welcoming to see Robert Landau‘s book on the subject when it was published a couple years back. One of the best-known designers to have contributed to these mega-sized works of art was John Van Hamersveld (whose Exile On Main Street billboards for the Rolling Stones became quite famous for their mind-blowing imagery), and now that he’s got a gallery of his own in San Pedro, he’s brought together a number of photos of those works – along with Mr. Landau – and hosted an event on March 5th during which visitors were treated to a special presentation about these billboards, followed by a book-signing and the release of several limited-edition prints. For details about the event, please visit the Post-Future Art site at http://www.post-future.com/williams/williams.html

3) Just a reminder to all Bowie art fans – the “David Bowie Is” exhibition is now on display at the Philharmonie de Paris from now until the end of May. The show was a HUGE success in London so, with its emphasis on design, fashion and art, I’m predicting a respectable turn-out during the exhibition’s run in France. There will be a number of design and music-related events that will take place at various times while the show is on display, so if you’d like to learn more, please visit the show’s site at
http://davidbowieis.philharmoniedeparis.fr/en
This palace to the arts is easy to reach via the Paris Metro (Line 5, Porte de Pantin station), and the building by Jean Nouvel is a wonder in itself…

March 2nd – 1) With all the excitement and controversy regarding that white/gold/blue/black dress, it only makes sense that a music industry writer with a keen eye for color would put together an article wondering what the similar process of over-saturating colors might have done to some of our favorite record covers. Let’s thank Music Times writer Ryan Brook for this in-depth look at what our ability/inability to see certain colors – in this case, blue – differently under different lighting conditions might have done to our appreciation of records from Nirvana, Weezer, The Eagles, John Coltrane and several others. http://www.musictimes.com/…/blue-dress-viral-light-sensatio…

I just hope that this is all over soon.

2) I continue to be impressed with the imagination shown by music marketers with regards to coming up with new ways to differentiate their clients’ packaging…Here’s an example of a band that hooked up with an “on demand’ printing company to create a unique album cover for each and every physical copy produced! As you’ll see in this article by the staff at HUH., designer Nick Relph prepared a basic style guide for Hot Chip’s upcoming release (to be titled Why Make Sense?) and, when orders start to come in, a cover printed in one of over 500 colors will be used, along with similar-but-slightly-different graphics, when the record is finally put into its sleeve. I hope to find out more about this process but, in the meantime, you can view an animation that shows some of the many options available when you place your order – http://www.huhmagazine.co.uk/…/every-physical-copy-of-hot-c…

3) At least once a year, an article is written about the occasional use of nastier-than-normal album art to help package and promote new music. This year’s article is presented to us by Gavin Edwards, writing for Rolling Stone Magazine, and includes 20 records that, in their own special way, were considered “naughty” by both the press and record retailers, many of whom would not sell the records until they’d been veiled somehow. Not sure exactly what prompted this year’s offering – maybe the $500M box office so far for 50 Shades of Greyhttp://www.rollingstone.com/…/as-nasty-as-they-wanna-be-the…

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