Sophia Maeda – “ASHITA” bursts with sound and energy!

Sophia Maeda was born in Takamatsu, Japan. The alternative pop-punk starlet has been doing music seriously since 2016. She has released the album “You Know Me Well” in 2017 and has followed up with a series of successful singles. She has won singing as well as song contests, and has performed on the Red Square in Moscow, at the festival in Gorky Park, as well as concerts in Depo, Live Stars, San Diego, Glastonbury and many more. This year Sophia has dropped 3 singles so far, including “ASHITA”. If you like Sophia Maeda then you should already have “ASHITA” on

Jona Da King – “Roots Of Love” EP – balancing rhymes, and soulful crooning|

Jona Da King is a hip-hop artist from Toronto, Ontario, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jona is set to release his EP “Roots Of Love” which is scheduled to drop September 30th 2020. The artist has an eclectic musical palette which is colored by Hip-hop, R&B, Pop, as well as Jazz and Rock tones. We checked out his prime tracks in anticipation of the EP, and if the goal of this release is to make a breakout statement that Jona Da King is getting seriously started, he’s succeeded, delivering some of the smoothest, most mellifluous urban sounds we’ve heard in music

Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Announcing the 2015 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

Latest class of honorees in the 7 major categories – as voted on by a world-wide panel of music, art and marketing experts in the area of album cover art & packaging – represents the “who’s who” of creative and production talent, with many recognized names from the fine art and design world.

Portland, OR – based organization selects the designers, illustrators, photographers, art directors and patrons whose works were released between the years 1960 – Present.

Since officially launching the site in 2012, we’ve inducted three classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys (the initial classes focused on nominees who began their careers as album cover artists between the years 1960 – 1975, 1976 – 1990 and, last year, from 1991 – present). Nearly 200 additional biographies were added for consideration by the esteemed panel of writers, curators of galleries (retail and online) that focus on album cover imagery, art/design museum curators and music marketing experts.

This year’s Class is the first one that allowed for the consideration of any talent not previously inducted into the ACHOF. The people under consideration this year are people who BEGAN their careers in the field at any time during the period the ACHOF focuses its attention on  –1960 – present. As you can figure, this was a very long list, but after a research, nominating and voting process that began in September and ended in late-November with our final vote, the ACHOF Voting Panel has selected a list of individuals and companies that very clearly represent the best examples of a large number of talented men, women and teams who’ve cumulatively created and published a huge portfolio of memorable album cover images and record packages.

Album Cover Hall of Fame Curator/Editor Mike Goldstein had this to say about this year’s efforts – “Through the ongoing efforts of those who support of this Hall of Fame, our goal continues to be to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact in the ongoing development and advancement of rock and roll album cover-related art direction, illustration, photography and package design. Based on each inductee’s body of work in the field, we feel that their talents have exemplified the best possible efforts made to package and promote their clients’ recorded music, and so we’re privileged to have been able to include them in this year’s poll and, ultimately, our lists of honorees.”

We’ve divided the Inductees into their respective categories so that our readers can get to know each winner individually and within their group of peers. Below, you’ll find a summary of the winners in each category. A more-detailed document that includes samples of each Inductees album cover credits, along with links to their respective web sites, can be found on the ACHOF site at

https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-class-of-2015-inductee-intro-page/

Please note that some names will be seen in more than one category, as it is that certain individuals serve in more than one role in a project. Inductees are listed alphabetically:

Album Cover Photographer Inductees 

Ø Richard Avedon, Michael Cooper, Karl Ferris, Jim McCrary and Ethan Russell

Album Cover Illustrators (inc. those specializing in logos and typography)

Ø Abdul Mati Klarwein, James Marsh; Martin Sharp, Drew Struzan and Philip Travers

Album Cover Designer Inductees

Ø Sir Peter Blake, Bob Cato, William S. “Bill” Harvey, Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell) and John Kosh

Album Cover Art Director Inductees

Ø John Berg, Bob Cato, Ernie Cefalu, Mike Doud and Paula Scher

Individual Achievement Award Winner 

Included in this category are designers, illustrators, photographers and art directors who, while not working primarily in the music-packaging field, created a memorable album cover. In some cases, the nominee may have had his/her career cut short due to illness or death (a condition that seems to have plagued the burgeoning recorded music industry), while in other examples, an artist’s talents in one specialty were noted and they were then asked to apply those talents in some unique way to an album cover project. In more than one instance, the nominee was a friend/relative/business associate/guru of someone related to the featured musical act and, therefore, entrusted with this important responsibility. Regardless of the circumstances, each nominee has left an indelible mark on the art of the album cover.

Ø Lee Conklin, Illustrator (Santana by Santana) and Vic Singh, Photographer (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd)

Inducted Record Labels 

In as much as “pop” music in the early days of the Pop/Rock era included musical acts that easily crossed-over from jazz, R&B, country, folk and Rock & Roll to deliver music in many styles to a public hungry for their records, record companies were not eager to be classified and chose to make sure that their cover designs would appeal to a fairly broad audience.

However, many musical artists sought to team with like-minded art directors to create packaging for music that would best-represent their own feelings about how they’d like the buying public to perceive them and their music. Once shown to be effective marketing tools, trend-setting album cover design was embraced by certain record labels, who then – as a prelude to the big-budget video productions of the 1980s and 90s – put significant resources behind these promotional packages. It is the labels that showed this type of forethought that we look to honor in this category.

Ø Atlantic/Atco, Charisma and Parlophone

Inducted Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery

Of course, without the patronage of musical acts and their record labels, there would be no great album cover art, but there were some acts that “got it” better than others and used their cover imagery to both help set the mood for the music packaged inside and build a deeper bond with their fans and potential fans. At times, a great album cover image could be a powerful enticement to shoppers browsing the racks at their favorite record store, whereas some fans of a band viewed them as “rewards” given to those who’d waited patiently for an act’s next release.

With the strong connection evident between the visual and aural arts, it only seems natural that musicians would find kindred spirits in the men and women tasked to produce the images for their recorded music.

Ø King Crimson, The Moody Blues and Supertramp

Going forward, the Nominating Panel – currently consisting of over 75 experts in the fields of packaging design, illustration, photography and music product marketing – will continue the process each year (beginning again in Summer 2016 to nominate the fifth class of Inductees representing those whose works were published any time during the period of 1960 – present) by selecting nominees in each of the featured categories for consideration by both that voting body and, in several categories, by registered fans of the ACHOF, and those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted.

Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 5 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image.

To see a list of all of the current inductees to the Album Cover Hall of Fame, please visit – https://albumcoverhalloffame.wordpress.com/achof-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-inductee-list-main-page/

Please contact Mike Goldstein, Curator, AlbumCoverHallofFame.com with any questions or comments. He can be reached via email at mailto:curator@albumcoverhalloffame.com or via phone at 971-645-8958.

 News stories about album cover art and artists are added 5X per week on our site and on the site’s Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame

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