Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Absolute Doubt: “When Nightmares Become Dreams” – extreme melancholic chill!

John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating

Darshae Kiér: “Translation” – poised to take its place on the global stage

Darshae Kiér is a pop artist based in Miami, FL. After the untimely death of his parents, he entered the foster care system where he was shuffled from foster home to foster home. Despite his rough start in life, Darshae has always been determined to rise above and lead with positivity. Inspired by artists like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cook, Prince, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Coldplay, Darshae latest single “Translation” rides on a steamy Reggaeton beat, and strives to spread the artist’s message of hope and inspiration. His melodic flow and lyrical style are potent. He creates hooks with ease,

Announcing the 2017 Inductees into the Album Cover Hall of Fame

Latest class of honorees in the 6 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.

Chicago, IL – 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 five classes of Inductees based on the results from the group’s yearly surveys (the initial three classes focused on nominees who began their careers as album cover artists between the years 1960 – 1975, 1976 – 1990 and from 1991 – present, while the last two years’ voting looked at all producers active any time since 1960). Hundreds of 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.

As mentioned previously, this year’s Class 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 mid-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, as well as the record labels and musical acts who’ve supported great work in the field. 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.”

Album Cover Hall of Fame – Class of 2017 Press Announcement, cont’d

Goldstein also noted that this year’s voting was rather unique in that two individuals – Art Director/Designer Craig Butler and Art Director/Illustrator Geoff Halpin – were inducted in two categories (how multi-talented of them!). Also, we had a tie in the “Musical Acts with a long-standing commitment to great Album Cover imagery” category, with Earth, Wind & Fire and R.E.M. both getting the same number of votes, so we’re pleased to add both to our list of inductees this year.

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-nominee-inductee-menu-page/achof-class-of-2017-inductee-intro-page/

Qualified individuals become eligible for induction 5 years after the publication of their first record album, CD, DVD or digital album cover image.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 E. Aaron, George DuBose, Ross Halfin, Don Hunstein, and Trevor Key

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

Ø  Geoff Halpin, David Juniper, Victor Moscoso, Shusei Nagoka and John Pasche 

Album Cover Designer Inductees

Ø Craig Butler, David Costa, Hugh Gilmour, Carl Glover and Geoff Halpin 

Album Cover Art Director Inductees

Ø Gary Burden, Craig Butler, Art Chantry, Gail Marowitz and Tony Wright

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 Merge, Polydor/Polygram and Stax/Volt

Album Cover Hall of Fame – Class of 2017 Press Announcement, cont’d

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 The Clash, Earth Wind & Fire (Tie), Genesis and R.E.M. (Tie)

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 2018 to nominate the sixth 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 those nominees that receive the most total votes in their respective categories will be inducted. Panel members discussed the possibility of opening some aspect of next year’s voting to the public – we’ll notify fans and the press once any decisions have been made regarding this effort.

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.

A comprehensive summary of news stories about album cover art and artists is added monthly (typically, on the first of the month) on our site (see the site index for our most-recent article postings) and also on the site’s Facebook page found at https://www.facebook.com/AlbumCoverHallOfFame

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