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Album Cover Hall of Fame News Update and Summary for May, 2020

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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.

IMA Winners announced 4/28/20 in the Design Categories

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The 18th annual Independent Music Awards ceremony that was originally scheduled for June in New York City went ahead as an online showcase for this year’s top-ranked artists and music projects. On Tuesday, April 28th, the names of the winners in the Album Art/Photography and Album Packaging categories were announced, and they are:

In the Album Art/Photography category, the winner was Spanish artist Antonio Segura Donat (also known as “DULK”) for the cover he created for the record A Boat on the Sea for Moron Police

In the Album Packaging   category, the winners were the Taiwanese team of Jheng-Han Li, Hsin-Hung Chen and Hsiao-Yin Tai for the package they produced for Time by the Emerge House Band

This year marked the 18th time the IMAs – produced by the Music Resource Group – have been awarded to honor “the exceptional work of indie creatives from around the globe.” This year’s nominees included submissions from 73 countries on six continents, with the winners picked by a judging panel that included Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan, Robert Smith, Ziggy Marley, KT Tunstall, Dee Snider, Drowning Pool, Roberta Flack, Jaci Velasquez, Coolio, Joshua Bell, Beth Gibbons, Joe Satriani and many more indie creatives, top recording artists and industry influencers.

Our congratulations go out to all of the nominees and, of course, the winners of this year’s competition. If you’d like to see the complete list of packaging nominees, please visit https://independentmusicawards.com/the-18th-independent-music-awards-nominees/#design

To see the entire list of winners in all of the categories, click on over to https://independentmusicawards.com/the-18th-independent-music-awards-winners/

Exhibitions and Gallery Show Info –

UPCOMING OPENING?) Last month, I reported about a show taking place at the Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles featuring the works of album art design master (and 2019 ACHOF Inductee) Rod Dyer, and while most galleries are currently closed to the public, I did read some encouraging news that Mr. Musichead’s owner, Sam Milgrom, is partnering with LA restaurateur Phillip Camino to open a second location in a space adjacent to the Fellow Restaurant at 1073 Glendon Ave. in Westlake Village. Of course, the opening was postponed due to the CoronaVirus situation, but I’m told that we’ll hear more about this new art space soon. https://www.facebook.com/MrMusicheadGallery/

POSTPONED OPENING) The V&A curated show Revolutions: Records and Rebels 1966-1970…was supposed to premiere in the Grand Hall of the Museum La Villette in Paris in late April but has been postponed. https://en.lavillette.com/programmation/revolutions_e356

Originally staged at the V&A Museum in London from September, 2016 through February, 2017 and titled You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970, this revised showing “explores those extraordinarily innovative 5 years that shook the world.” According to the venue’s pre-show press, visitors will be invited to “immerse yourself  in the sounds of the most iconic artists of the era: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin… Take a trip from the streets of Swinging Sixties London, to the heart of the May ’68 demonstrations in Paris, passing by the Summer of Love in San Francisco, soaking up the Woodstock festival vibe. You will also discover the French artistic avant-garde, the designers who have forever transformed fashion, the iconic pieces of design, as well as the great advances of technology.”

To keep our whistles whetted while we wait (5 W’s in a row – an ACHOF record!), take a look in the Artist News and Interviews section below to read an interview about one of the great icons of rock and roll design that made its debut during this period – the Rolling Stones’ Lips and Tongue logo…

Artist News and Interviews

NEW FOR MAY) Another positive by-product of all this stay-at-homeness was illustrated recently when famed artist Roger Dean treated us to several live and recorded video sessions, including a selection of video interviews and live album cover painting sessions –

Preparing a new YES cover live in a studio session on Facebook – https://boingboing.net/2020/04/25/roger-dean-designs-and-paints.html

Discussing the Album Cover Album book series – https://www.facebook.com/rogerdeanofficial/videos/2563785600504659/

Dean and the folks from the UK’s Trading Boundaries Galleries were planning on hitting the road with YES and their travelling show (with Asia and others), setting up displays of Dean’s artwork for fans to view (and take home) at each stop along the tour – including a cruise and a stop near Chicago just for me (just kidding) but now, according to gallery Director Michael Clifford, “we are all in lock-down at the moment but busy behind the scenes improving online sales and events” like the aforementioned video sessions. One more thing to keep hoping for once the world begins its return to “normalcy” at some point…

NEW FOR MAY) Here’s an interview with artist John Pasche on the ArtDaily site regarding his work on the early versions of the Lips & Tongue logo for the Rolling Stones, examples of which are presented as part of the aforementioned Revolutions: Records and Rebels exhibition that was slated to open in Paris in late April – https://artdaily.cc/news/122669/How-the–greatest-rock-and-roll-band-in-the-world–got-its-logo

BONUS – Here’s John Pasche’s account of his first big gig as he gave it to me during a June, 2007 interview for this site –  https://rockpopgallery.typepad.com/rockpop_gallery_news/2007/06/index.html

NEW FOR MAY) The content pros working for the Morrison Hotel Galleries recently released three new interviews in their “Behind The Lens” series – Jay Blakesberg, Lynn Goldsmith and, on April 30th, David McClister – that can be viewed via the Morrison Hotel Gallery Instagram site. Each begins as an Instagram Live session (I saw the full Blakesberg session – really nicely done) and then is archived for viewing at your leisure. You can find an overview of the series, with links to the 13 episodes they’ve done so far, via this link – https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/blog/

NEW FOR MAY) I forgot to mention…as part of the ongoing interview series hosted by the folks at the Morrison Hotel Gallery on their Instagram site, I’d invite fans of Patti Smith to listen to photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s approx. five minute talk about the making of the noted cover for Patti Smith’s Easter LP (I still think of Gilda Radner every time I see this image – am I the only one?) – https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-5p110lQO_/?

NEW FOR MAY) No one is more entwined in the rise of the popularity of AfroBeat music than the late, great Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and, correspondingly, no one is more noted for his work in creating the visual aspects of Kuti’s career (including scores of album covers) than Lemi Ghariokwu, so it was so cool to see this recent video interview with Lemi on the CNN.com site – https://www.cnn.com/style/article/afrobeat-ghariokwu-fela-kuti/index.html

WELL, THAT WAS EMBARRASSING) Here’s a retelling of the story behind the cover for Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album, straight from the mouth of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. They changed the name, but not the cover image (I mean, who would do that?) – https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/tony_iommi_explains_why_black_sabbaths_paranoid_album_cover_art_doesnt_really_make_sense.html

I SWEAR THAT I NEVER SAW THIS BEFORE) – Here’s a quick dive into some of the most-intriguing aspects of the late Michael Cooper’s psychedelic 1967 collage for the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, led by his Cooper’s son Adam. – https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-beatles-themed-message-hidden-on-a-rolling-stones-album-cover.html/  The band’s seemed competition with The Beatles drove them to do something quite captivating in order to make a statement regarding this better-than-it-seems relationship.

Items for Sale and/or at Auction

As you might imagine, shopping from home is being encouraged these days, so several galleries are working hard to earn your business (even though you can’t patronize these establishments in person) and other noted producers of rock art/imagery are tantalizing us with new books and merch as well…

NEW MARLEY) London-based shooter Dennis Morris is offering collectors a new set of prints based on some of his better-known images of reggae superstar Bob Marley – https://www.1xrun.com/run/dennis-morris-3-print-set-burnin-i-ii-iii/  According to Morris, “these three photographs were taken in 1974 on the infamous ‘Catch A Fire’ tour, which was the United Kingdom tour to promote the first album on Island Records. One evening on the tour, Bob and I were sitting and talking and Bob suddenly said to me: ‘Let me show you how to smoke a spliff, Dennis!’ There are only 3 shots, for obvious reasons!  The atmosphere was created naturally by the amount of smoke coming from the spliff which the camera picked up on. It was taken on my trusted Leica M3 with 35 mm lens – no flash, just available light!”

I did a little digging and found a couple of related interviews that’ll give you a bit more to chew on while considering whether or not to take a set home but understand, if you do, you’ll be adding three of rock music’s most-iconic images to your collection (move over Che poster – here comes Mr. Marley).

Interviews – https://onmilwaukee.com/music/articles/dennis-morris-marley-images.html and http://news.1xrun.com/catching-a-fire-with-dennis-morris-iconic-bob-marley-burnin-trio/

NEW FOR MAY) Ed Caraeff is a photographer, designer, illustrator and art director whose music industry credits in the 1960s and 1970s included hundreds of album covers for acts including Strawberry Alarm Clock, Mark Lindsay, Three Dog Night, Ten Years After, Linda Ronstadt, Van Morrison, Ambrosia, The Bee Gees, The Doors and many others. His photography has also appeared on the cover of  Rolling Stone Magazine and has been on display in exhibitions at  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the “Who Shot Rock and Roll” touring rock photo exhibition.

In 1980, Ed switched gears and has since spent his life as a chef, although requests to license his work continued, including one from Rolling Stone in 1987 to use a shot of Jimi Hendrix at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival for a cover of a special edition of the magazine. The photo would go on to become one of rock music’s most-iconic – the one of Hendrix kneeling “in prayer” in front of his burning guitar on the festival’s stage.

In 2017, Ed released a new book built on over 100 photos taken from his archive of Hendrix images shot while Jimi and his band was on tour from 1967 (when Ed was only 17 years old!) through 1969 that’s titled Burning Desire: The Jimi Hendrix Experience through the lens of Ed Caraeff, published by ACC Editions and, just recently, the team at the Modern Rocks Gallery in Austin, TX sent out notice that they were offering a new selection of Ed Caraeff prints to collectors, which you can now review at – https://www.modernrocksgallery.com/ed-caraeff

NEW METAL ART BOOK) I first became aware of the writing skills of author/heavy-metal music aficionado Ramon Oscuro back in 2015 after learning about his book And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers and the regular series of “making of” articles on the topic of metal music album art that appears on the Metal Underground site. As I wrote at the time, the book included the stories behind over 50 memorable metal covers and explored the enormous range of styles and subject material featured in those images.  In early 2019, Ramon released a limited-edition Volume 2 of his book – 252 illustrated pages of “exclusive interviews and comments by members of Judas Priest, Slayer, Soulfly, Amorphis, Testament, Carcass, Orphaned Land, Cannibal Corpse, Emperor, Candlemass, etc., and legendary visual artists like Costin Chioreanu, Eliran Kantor, Travis Smith, Dan Seagrave, Valnoir, and more.”

I’m now excited to report that, after the success of the first two volumes, Ramon is putting the finishing touches on AND JUSTICE FOR ART (Volume 3), the final book in the trilogy and one that, according to his email, will include about 500 graphics/images, 260 color pages, more than 100 exclusive band/artist interviews and the stories behind album covers for Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P, Metallica, Arcturus, Slayer, Oceano, Morbid Angel, Dimmu Borgir, Judas Priest, Vastirg, Katatonia, Moonspell, Kiss, Arch Enemy, Bell Witch, Fates Warning, Machine Head, Death, Black Sabbath, Dio, Theatre of Tragedy, Cradle Of Filth, Sabaton, Cattle Decapitation, Dream Theater, Throne Of Heresy, Amorphis, Unsane, Rush, Novembers Doom, Enslaved and many, many more…

Approaching the raising of funds for this book a bit differently than his last two projects – and to make it easy to say “yes” to his offer – Ramon is simply looking for people to commit (via email) to contributions of $10 dollars. In gratitude for your contribution, your name will be included in the book’s THANK YOU credits, you will receive a special exclusive gift after the book is released later this year and will get a 20% discount when you purchase the book. Simply send an email to him at andjusticeforart@gmail.com

With the phrase “YES, I WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE CAMPAIGN” in the subject line so he can continue building a list of potential contributors. I tried it – it was easy.  Whatever you might think of the subject material, there’s no denying the artistry often on display. There have been some beautifully-disturbing covers created in this genre, so it is nice to be able to better-understand – in the words of the people who produced these works – their underpinnings and back stories.

NEW FOR MAY) Keeping us for a minute on a topic that’d be of interest to those with a love for all things disturbing, metalheads will enjoy this preview of a new book by photographer Jeremy Saffer    – http://bravewords.com/news/renowned-photographer-jeremy-saffer-to-release-daughters-of-darkness-coffee-table-book-foreword-by-dani-filth-introduction-by-randy-blythe

Daughters Of Darkness (“a fine art corpse paint photo project I have been working on for one third of my lifetime”) features guest star apprearances including Cradle of Filth’s Dani Filth (who is penning the book’s forward), while Saffer’s friend – photographer and Lamb of God lead singer Randy Blythe – is writing the introduction. Pre-orders for an October, 2020 delivery being taken at https://rarebirdlit.com/rare-bird-presents?

NEW TRIP) Back in 1938, Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann became the first person to synthesize the psychedelic drug LSD and, as part of his testing, later took the drug himself so he’d be ever-so-aware of its effects on the human brain/ecosystem. On April 19, 1943, Hofmann famously took a dose and went out on a bike ride, documenting the results for posterity and, since then, the day’s been celebrated by fans of the drug wordl-wide as “Bicycle Day”. Hofmann would go on to develop other drugs (most famously, the psylocibin compound known by my peers as “magic mushroom”) and died in 2008 at the age of 102 (obviously, no long-term detrimental effects!). This year, in celebration of Bicycle Day 2020, a number of contemporary artists, including album art greats such as John Van Hamersveld, Shepard Fairey and Stanley Mouse, commemorate Dr. Hofmann’s life and the artwork his discoveries inspired in a suite of “Blotter Edition” art prints now available for sale on the 1XRUN site –  https://www.1xrun.com/collections/bicycle-day-2020/?  Artsy blotter papers have been available for years, but this year’s 70+ works of art from the 25 participating artists will take collectors to a higher plane. Priced from approx. $50 to $500 per print or set of prints, these works are selling out quickly, so I’d implore you to keep your wits about you and take a look before they’re gone.

More on the great Doctor and his work can be found in this interesting article – https://allthatsinteresting.com/bicycle-day-albert-hofmann

FUND-RAISER TO BENEFIT FIRST-RESPONDERS) One way a number of artists are showing support for the people putting their necks on the line for us during this pandemic is by selling prints of their works to raise money. In this example, photographer Mick Rock is digging into his portfolio to release prints of images that’ll be sold for the benefit of the U.K.’s National Health Service – https://happymag.tv/legendary-music-photographer-mick-rock-is-selling-rare-images-to-raise-funds-for-the-nhs/  New works from Mr. Rock, along with other participating artists such as Banksy, KAWS and others, are posted each week at https://www.west-contemporary.com/buy-art/

UP TO HALF OFF AT SFAE) With most retail galleries closed to visitors, some have been motivated to expand their online galleries and, in many cases, provide some additional financial incentives to buy online. For example, there’s a grand sale going on at the San Francisco Art Exchange, with the gallery offering  50% off on a selection of prints from artists/photographers including Ronnie Wood, Hatami, Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson, Klauss Voorman, Michael Cooper and many others (with most other art priced at 20% off regular retail) –


As a bonus, the folks at Goldmine Magazine also posted a podcast featuring an interview with SFAE partner Jim Hartley and famed artist/illustrator Gerald Scarfe, who not long ago turned to SFAE to help him do some spring cleaning in his studio (by selling a lot of his production artwork/elements used for Pink Floyd’s The Wall album cover and film).


Lynn Goldsmith – David Bowie: Hero photo print – courtesy of Brian Liss Gallery, Toronto










RE-IMAGINING BOWIE) There’s a fascinating new David Bowie print from photographer Lynn Goldsmith that’s now available thru the Brian Liss Gallery in Toronto. Titled David Bowie – Hero – Lynn has created a new image crafted from a number of shots from her portfolio that, according to Ms. Goldsmith, “reflects a truth, not a reality.” Lynn goes on, stating that she “felt David Bowie’s artistry causes us to consider how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity. These photographs reflect my response to who I think he is, who I want him to be, as well as how I believe others view this artist who constantly changed and sought to show the reality around us is made up of a reality that may not, in fact, be real…Everything about Bowie said something as to how each of us is intricately connected to the larger universe. He reminded us that thinking the physical world is all that matters is like living in one small room and believing there is nothing outside of it. He opened us to the powers of imagination.”

Fans can add this powerful image to their collections by selecting the limited-edition print in one of two sizes (framed) – the 16” x 20” version is priced at $2500.00 USD, while the larger (20” x 24”) version is priced at $3500.00 USD – and you can find this and many other of Ms. Goldsmith’s photo prints on the gallery’s  site at https://liss-gallery.squarespace.com/lynn-goldsmith  Lynn’s scheduled to be at the gallery for a special appearance in late May – please check with the gallery (which is currently closed to the public) on the status of that event.

Miscellaneous Items

OBITS) The careers (and lives) of two people with close ties to the album cover art world recently came to their ends with the passings of photographer Peter Beard, who shot the cover for Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and toured with the Rolling Stones – https://www.vogue.co.uk/news/article/remembering-peter-beard and Mort Drucker, the MAD Magazine caricaturist who also had a number of album cover credits to his name, died at the age of 91 – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/arts/mort-drucker-dead.html  Mort’s album art portfolio included images for 1988’s State of Euphoria cover for Anthrax, Dwight York’s 2009 album Quickies, and Motley Crue’s 1989 Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away), among others. My childhood would not have been the same without him, and his talents will be sorely missed.

GO GAGA GO) Details of some of the artists who worked on the cover image for Lady Gaga’s upcoming album – Chromatica, her upcoming sixth studio album – can be found in this recent article on the Vogue Magazine site. The record was supposed to have been released in early April but was pushed back while Gaga shifted her focus to raising money for institutions such as the World Health Organization and Global Citizen (such as the very-successful TV event “One World: Together From Home”, which raised millions). Now slated for release sometime in 2020, the album’s cover art shows Gaga sporting a Mad-Max-ish costume, the result of a lot of new work by several of the fashion industry’s leading lights. In the article, you’ll meet: Cecilio Castrillo Martinezis, a Spanish artist who works with leather and metal and Gasoline Glamour’s Shannon Coffield, who together created what may be the most-dangerous pair of shoes ever cobbled, and Australian artist Gary Fay, who contributed the ultra-menacing claws and mechanical fingers.


MORE ME TOO) About 20 years ago, the then-19-year-old Alicia Keys (just months away from the release of her debut album) was hired to model for an album cover and, in another example of  the insufferable attitude shown by some working in the entertainment business, suffered abuse at the hands of the photographer – https://pagesix.com/2020/03/31/alicia-keys-details-in-new-memoir-being-manipulated-by-photographer-at-19/  She details the experience in her recently-released biography More Myself and, as we’ve all seen, has worked hard (and with great success) to never again not be in charge of whatever situation she finds herself in.

WORK AT HOME) In early April, the Getty Museum kicked off a program that enticed stuck-at-homers to get creative with objects found in their homes, using them (and themselves) to re-create famous works of art. The Grammy Museum responded to the challenge by asking visitors to their Facebook page to re-create famous album covers (https://www.facebook.com/grammymuseum/posts/10158158812824603?__tn__=-R) and then, as you’ll see in this article found on the Junkee.com site, TikTok users responded (at #AlbumLookAlike) by shooting themselves setting up and then posing for their own reinterpretations of album covers by Beyonce, Sasha Sloan, Jonas Brothers and others – https://junkee.com/album-cover-art-meme-tiktok/252021  Creativity abounds when you’re stuck indoors, it seems.

SURVEY OF WARHOL ALBUM COVERS) I just hate these, but here’s another “Top 20”, this one built around the album cover works of Andy Warhol. I’m hoping that fans of the artist and his work in the genre take this with a grain of salt (or a pinch of snuff) – https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/andy-warhol-best-20-album-covers-lennon-rolling-stones/

IN THE “TAKING THE GENRE WAY TOO LITERALLY” COLUMN) While I’ve included a couple of items based around the talents of those artists working for clients in the darker corners of the music business, this one really is quite sad in a real way. A French-born illustrator/artist by the name of Jean-Pascal Fournier, who has a portfolio of work that includes band logos and over 200 album covers for artists such as Immortal (At the Heart of Winter, Damned in Black), Edguy (The Savage Poetry, Mandrake, Hellfire Club), DragonForce (Valley of the Damned), Avantasia (The Metal Opera, The Metal Opera Pt. II) and others, is quoted on his site stating that his aim in life is to “follow the path of his biggest all time influence in the history of painting, the venetian maestro Giambatista Tiepolo, for both the virtuosity and celerity that he represents”. Instead, in late March (reported in early April), the 47-year-old Grenoble-based artist was arrested following a suicide attempt in which he drove his car off of a cliff, that coming after he’d allegedly murdered and then disemboweled his 80-year-old father.  https://loudwire.com/metal-album-cover-artist-jean-pascal-fournier-accused-disemboweling-father/ There’s been little additional info published since the incident, but it was reported that he was disturbed that he couldn’t earn a good living solely from his artwork. To see more of his artwork…well, I’ll let you look for it.

ONE FINAL PLAGUE-RELATED ITEM) My chums Jacques & Co. at the Backstage Auctions house are using their down-time to produce/distribute a product that you might find useful during this period in our lives that we need to keep our hands extra-clean.

Working with their friends at Redwood & Co., they’ve just released a limited-edition hand sanitizing product ($14.95 for each 6oz. spray bottle, available only while supplies last, to US customers only) – “Rock Star Hand Sanitizer”.

According to their web site, “For use when soap and water are not readily available…Each bottle is lightly scented and contains 70% Isopropyl alcohol with blended moisturizing oils. Use to combat and help reduce germs that can potentially cause illness and/or disease.”

If you’d like to learn more about this product and pick up a bottle or two, here’s the link –


While some people (like me) have stayed carefully hidden at home, others have decided to use their time to bring solutions to some of our most-pressing problems at the present time and, for that, I bow deeply to Jacques and his team.

That’s all for now – stay tuned and be on the lookout for timely news alerts on our news feed –https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame – we’ll be back when we can with another monthly summary for you.

Unless otherwise noted, all text and images included in this article are Copyright 2020 Mike Goldstein and AlbumCoverHallofFame.com – All Rights Reserved. All of trade names mentioned in these summaries are the properties of their respective owners and are used for reference only.

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

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

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

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

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





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…

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Album Cover Art and Artist News Summary for the Month of December 2016

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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.

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Interview with Emilie Sandy – Deja Vu Album Artist Portrait Series

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 and Elvis Costello portraits

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