Posted December 1, 2021 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Season’s Greetings and Happy Post-Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday cool-off period to you all. The last month has surely been both a joy (being able to see certain family members and friends in person) and a challenge as we enter the Holiday season having to deal with new derivations of COVID, the availability (or lack thereof) of some of the things we wanted to give (or get) as gifts and the general sense of “who knows what’s next” we’re all faced with, so it is with great pleasure that I’m dedicating this month’s ACHOF news summary to the delivery of interesting stories about your favorite album package image-makers both here in the U.S. and around the world.
The people responsible for packaging your favorite music products continue to astound (although, in some cases, confound) us with the results of their efforts, so this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary includes a number of great examples of album cover artist/art news – the kind of updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. Leading off in the news department are stories about the nominees (and, in one case, inductees) in several significant album cover art-related annual polls, including those for The Grammy Awards, the Making Vinyl Packaging Awards, the Best Art Vinyl Awards and, my favorite, the Album Cover Hall of Fame. You’ll find this info in its own separate section, below.
Posted onSeptember 1, 2021|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Link Summary for September, 2021
Posted September 1, 2021 (and updated September 6th) by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
As we approach the Labor Day weekend and the “official” end of the Summer season (our hottest on record, and I have the A/C bills to prove it!), I’m working hard on improving my overall attitude towards life these days by throwing myself into prepping for this year’s ACHOF voting efforts – adding/updating artist bios and looking around the planet for new examples of great work. After watching all six episodes of the ICON music photography series on PBS, it also brought to my attention that there are several gaping holes in this site’s bio section that must be filled immediately if I want this year’s nominating process to reflect who is left of the “best of the best” that might be nominated for inclusion in this year’s class of inductees, so I’ve put a few research projects on “hold” until this bone-headed oversight on my part can be corrected.
With that said, this month’s edition of the ACHOF News Update and Summary is still rather chock-full includes the album cover artist/art news and updates you’ve come to expect in these monthly summaries. What follows below is a summary of these articles, posts and announcements I’ve gathered recently regarding all things regarding album cover artists and the art they produce. Their work continues and so should our interest and excitement about that work and so, without further delay, let’s dive into this month’s summary.
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – September, 2020
Posted September 1st, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
We’re entering the final stages of Summer 2020 – a summer unlike any I can remember – and now that we’ve heard the arguments from both sides regarding either the re-election of the current administration or its replacement with a new one, I know that the next couple of months will be full of messaging, news and theater but, while you might think that there’d be little news coming from the world of album cover artists and their art, in fact, there’s been a lot to look at, read and learn about. Visual artists have always played an important part in politics and have made some quite-memorable statements about society with their works (think of album covers released over the past 5-6 decades from musical acts such as Pink Floyd, Rage Against The Machine, The Roots and many, many others), so you won’t be surprised to find examples of such work included amongst the articles included this month’s news summary.
Posted onApril 30, 2020|Comments Off on Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for May, 2020
Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary – May, 2020
Posted May 1, 2020 by Mike Goldstein, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com
Greetings from my home office, a place where I’ve spent a good chunk of the last month sitting at my desk, reading emails and news stories and watching videos (both live and recorded) on a million different subjects. I’m trying so hard not to watch too much TV (I did, however, find a 9-show series produced in 2015 by Irish TV called Treyvaud’s Travels that left me longing to spend the rest of my life in SW Ireland – highly recommended) and I’ve read several books while stretched out in my comfy chair but, quite honestly, the one thing that’s perhaps made me the happiest – and something I did a lot less of when I was free to do whatever I wanted without catching the plague – has been staying in contact with some of the people I know around the world, getting their unique perspectives of how they’re living their lives and maintaining a positive lookout on life in spite of the hardships we’re all having.
Keeping this in mind, I still work hard to reserve time to continue typing like a madman to prep interviews, articles and news summaries for all my chums out there, most of who are, like me, stuck indoors. Accepting that my readers’ priorities are not so focused on what’s happening in the world of album cover art and packaging, I’m continuing to proffer a truncated-yet-informative summary document both to keep fans of album art informed and to prove that creative people are continuing to create and entertain while we ride this storm out together.
The first month of 2018 really delivered for fans of album cover artistry, with kudos for Best Record Packaging and Box Sets/Limited Edition packages handed out at the Grammy Awards on January 28th along with the top picks for the annual Best Art Vinyl awards – chosen by voters around the world – announced earlier in the month on January 9th. As you’ll see in my recaps way down in Section 5, there were plenty of surprises – including a TIE (!!) – and praise handed out to the very talented producers of this year’s top vote-getters, so to all those who complain that “album art is dead”, I think that you should take a look at all of the nominated works before backing that horse from this point forward…
Some good news also about my book – I’ve just had the proposed details for my project approved by the folks at Kickstarter so, with any luck, I should be able to share a link to my project page for your review (and, if you like what you see, your support) sometime in the next month or so. With any luck, I should be able to get the books designed, printed and shipped to you sometime this Summer – and let us all say, “it’s about damn time”.
As we begin the second month of 2018, I’d like my early Valentine’s Day presents to you all to be a) my just-published interview article in the March issue of GOLDMINE Magazine (page 50) about designer/photographer/pilot Bob Minkin’s work on the packaging for some of the fan favorite Dick’s Picks records released in the early 2000s by The Grateful Dead (my second article in this magazine this year, I’m proud to say), along with the following album cover artist news summary and preview. It will hopefully be just as nourishing and satisfying as a box of chocolates and one I think you’ll want to spend a few minutes reviewing and sharing with your friends. Besides the aforementioned award details, the past month was another one chock-full of news on this topic, delivering a trove of articles I know you’ll want to read, unearthing many new details about those folks who are actively producing impressive album cover art and packaging. In the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest exhibitions, new books, prints and products and several interesting interviews and artist profiles, along with other related reporting from sources providing these details around the world. With so much to read and see, you should be pleased that I’m not one of those Americans who promotes the notion that nobody else in the world is as talented and praise-worthy as we are – just take a look at the portfolios of record packages produced by some of the people featured in this month’s summary and I think you’ll agree that their works speak for themselves…
Posted onNovember 1, 2017|Comments Off on Album Cover Artist And Art News Summary And Preview For October/November, 2017
ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER,WITH PREVIEWS FOR NOVEMBER, 2017.
BY MIKE GOLDSTEIN, ALBUMCOVERHALLOFFAME.COM
Greetings once again to you all on this post-Halloween sunny-but-crisp early November day, 2017. The month of October proved to be a VERY busy one with regards to articles you’ll want to read that reveal new information about those active in the world of album cover art and packaging and, in the summaries I’ve written and via the links provided, you’ll learn more about the latest efforts – as found in exhibitions, via new books and products and featured in interviews in profiles and other related reporting – of some of the most-talented album cover art creators and promoters that I’ve found in my reviews of stories from around the world.
Of course, nothing could be more important than the work going on right now to select the nominees and, after close consideration, voting on a new class of inductees, for the Album Cover Hall of Fame. Over 200 people are being considered for this year’s Class (2017), with the winning names revealed to an eagerly-awaiting public just prior to Thanksgiving (which takes place here in the U.S. this year on November 23rd), so watch this space closely as I’m sure you’ll want to know who “made the cut” this year…
Posted onJanuary 2, 2017|Comments Off on Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of December 2016
ALBUM COVER HALL OF FAME’S ALBUM COVER NEWS RECAP FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER, 2016
So, we’re done with 2016 – let us all heave a sigh of relief. What a year.
While I typically have a lot to say in these intros, I find myself somewhat shell-shocked and, therefore, at a loss for words, so I suppose that, rather than ramble on meaninglessly, I should simply relate what’s new and exciting in the world of album cover artistry. Whenever I’m in a funk, I trek on over to my favorite art museum and find something to inspire. Several days ago, my wife and I set out on a trip to the fabled Chicago Art Institute and, on the way, stopped at the impressive Chicago Cultural Center (a must-see for classic Chicago architecture fans) and, much to my surprise, found an excellent show of the works of Harlem-based abstract expressionist painter Norman Lewis on display (PROCESSION: The Art of Norman Lewis is on display until January 8th – https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/norman_lewis.html). Music – particularly, jazz – influenced a number of Lewis’ works (his brother Sol was a musician), and although he never did an album cover (at least, not to my knowing), it was uplifting to see such creativity and imagination on display that drew inspiration from the local music scene. And while Lewis didn’t garner the art world fame that many of his other WPA-era contemporaries did (Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, etc.), I am glad to have been able to discover his talents at this point in my life – it made me smile again.
Today’s Interview Topic – the making of the photographs included in the series titled “Deja Vu”, featuring the portraits of many of the best-known photographers from the world of album cover imagery.
Chris Gabrin as Elvis Costello, by Emilie Sandy
Whenever I view a photograph these days that was used on a well-known record cover – particularly, an album I remember buying from one of my favorite record shops (oh, so long ago), I tend to first recall my initial reaction to the image overall (i.e., what was it about the photo that pushed my “pause” button while sifting through the record bins) before moving on to the details found upon further exploration and assessment of the final shot used. I often wondered where the photos were taken, who the people were that you might find in the backgrounds and what sort of photo-trickery was used to create a number of the impossible scenes that were created for our enjoyment well before the availability of the photo-manipulation tools used most-frequently by photographers and art directors today. Getting these answers was one of the main reasons I began contacting the people responsible for a number of these images to ask for these details directly, resulting in the nearly 100 interviews I’ve done and shared with you over the past 7-8 years.
While I know that many of you have shared the same thoughts and fascinations about “the making of” many of your favorite covers, I have never before seen a case where someone who displayed the same interest in album cover-making as I have embarking on a project where, using her talents as a designer and photographer, she worked to “get inside” both the production processes and the minds of the people who’d taken many of her own favorite covers. Using her professional relationships with photographers including Anton Corbijn, Chris Gabrin, Gered Mankowitz, Terry O’Neill and others, U.K.-based photographer Emilie Sandy collaborated with these talented people several years back to have them re-create (to the best of their ability) and/or re-interpret some of their best-known album covers. The resulting series of images was called “Deja Vu” and, I think you’ll agree, they certainly work to shed a light on the subjects, their approaches towards making memorable album cover images and how they have ultimately influenced a young photographer’s career and her own approach to shooting photos that will endure. Continue reading →
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