Digital Gringo: “Project Mayhem” cannot be described as anything less than brilliant!

Right of the cuff, two things caught my attention about Modesto, California creative, Digital Gringo. Firstly, his biography reads: “Digital Gringo is a rapper that raps”. And secondly, how many rappers do you know that rhyme perfectly to the funky beat foundation of Earth Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove”? But my enchantment with this atypical rapper didn’t stop there, while listening to his aptly named 12 track album – “Project Mayhem”. In fact, as a description, ‘mayhem’ may actually be an understatement once you’ve run through the entirety of this recording. The tones and moods on this album run from

Omar Bowing: “Women” – the expansive arrangement gives it a progressive bent

Omar Bowing is an independent musician and songwriter located in Austin, Tx. Omar who plays the guitar and guitarviol works with a revolving group of musicians to bring his songs to life. In particular he often collaborates with Tyson Yen, who has lent his voice to almost all of Bowing’s tracks. Omar Bowing’s latest musical creation is simply entitled “Women”. Though mirroring the endeavors of history-making females, the track intends to be a respectful tribute to women in general – from mothers to wives, and sisters to nieces, daughters, friends and co-workers, etc. And in fact the track releases on

Glocck Vee: “IDGF ABOUT YO HITTAS” delivers sharp, telescopic views

Glocck Vee, is an American rap artist from Albuquerque, NM. He has overcome adversity in his childhood and now makes music about his experiences.  His latest single “IDGF ABOUT YO HITTAS” features Mike Beezy Bad Azz, a recording artist, and engineer. Glocck Vee currently works with Juelz Santana, Big Trill, And Maino, and has also collaborated with Mr.Pookie from Dallas TX, Stoney Crook Records. This is a track driven by reactionary outbursts of authenticity and real hip-hop. It’s a robust and dynamic project. Glocck Vee is pure, and, arguably, blunt. His latest single loads several compelling rounds of rage. And

The Jon Johns: “Road Trip Mixtape” – an adventurous attitude!

The Jon Johns are a duo of musicians/producers who have been making music together since 2018. Their music binds the past and the present together into a harmonious sound with musical influences from the 60’s to now. One-hundred-percent independent, the Jon Johns do everything from writing, playing, recording, producing, mixing and releasing their own music. They currently have their 9 track “Road Trip Mixtape” out now. Within minutes of the mixtape kicking into life, this supremely confident recording suggests a band at the peak of their powers, occupying their own orbit. It starts with “Make My Day”, a vast, expansive

Marcela Iglesias: “Human Doll” (feat. Eric ‘Well Written’ McCoy) – fun, bouncy and all around enjoyable

Love it or hate it, you cannot deny that Plastics of Hollywood are gaining traction and making serious waves in the entertainment industry. Spearheaded by Los Angeles, California, Talent manager and producer Marcela Iglesias, the community of plastic surgery enthusiasts are spreading their reach into the film, TV and music spheres. From Ken dolls to Jessica Rabbit and Britney Spears lookalikes Plastics of Hollywood have spent millions of dollars on surgery and aesthetic procedures altering and adapting their looks. Their aim is to simply feel happy and fulfilled in bodies they adore. By the very nature of its scope Plastics

Interview with Californian band City Kings

City Kings is an alternative rock band from Chino, California. Though mainly known for playing heavier hard rock sounding tunes, the band has a very versatile array of musical knowledge. They perform acoustic and softer renditions of their songs on streets of the Inland Empire, or original versions of songs on stages in local venues. The three-piece collective is made up of Chris, Adrian and Ruben. How and when did the City Kings project start and who are the collaborators involved? Christian Blankenship (City Kings): City Kings was basically started on Craigslist! I met our singer and guitarist Adrian after

Midas Well: “3am”- moments of pure body-high pleasure

Midas Well is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Austin, Texas. His album “Golden Rule” is coming soon to all streaming platforms via Jurnt Entertainment, along with his single “3am”. Midas raises the stakes in this stunning narrative. In lesser hands, all this creative weight could feel leaden. But Midas proves himself to be a craftsman, and gets the job done. Midas Well is a great musical artist and his new single shows that in a beautiful showcase of music.  “Golden Rule” is an album with a generous helping of highlights, not least because of Midas’ enviable vocal

DJ Raw B & Luke Sick: “Head Chucka” – a panoply of mic and beat making skills

DJ Raw B & Luke Sick are a hip-hop duo from the Bay Area. Their friendship grew into a partnership that led to collaborations on past tracks and projects. An album had been a goal for the duo, and that dream has finally been realized with “Born Illness”, an eight track LP that’s currently available on all music platforms. The album was produced via a digital collaboration between DJ Raw B and Luke that spanned the course of a year. This release shows a rapper and a beat maker who prove that they are not going anywhere soon. Both unwrap

Sevy Campos: “Thirsty” ft. Samuel Wallace – a Pop-EDM crossover flavor

Born in Arles, Southern France, Sevy Campos began to sing and play guitar at a very early age with the desire to follow in the footsteps of the famous Gipsy Kings, who are from his hometown. During his teen years Sevy across all of Europe, and lived in the UK for 5 years He then returned to France before going to Germany. His song “Thirsty” ft. Samuel Wallace, has been aired on MTV, and is currently play-listed on more than 160 radio and TV channels around the globe. Currently preparing his upcoming album, Sevy Campos is also planning to announce

OfficialVybe: “Anubis” – authentic, unaffected and uninfluenced

Two years after being a coma for 47 days due to open heart surgery, North Liberty, Iowa rapper Vybe aka OfficialVybe, is back with a brand new 18 track album, entitled “Anubis”. The rapper who initiated his craft under the guidance of Russell Barbary has since been produced by Grammy Award winner Matty Trump, on his single “Activist”, and has his songs available on over 600 stores in more than 120 countries. This album is chock full of more cast iron monster tunes than any mainstream rap album this year. In the world of casual rap fans, there are three

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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