Jethro Tull are excited to announce the launch of jethrotullart.com Working exclusively in collaboration with London’s Flood Gallery, Jethro Tull are for the first time offering iconic studio album cover art in two fine art print formats to be released individually over the next 24 months.
First to be released is the ground-breaking and iconic Aqualung album cover from 1971. Printed in two large format sizes, 24” square (signed edition of 350 @ £120) and 28” square (signed edition of 150 @ £175). The prints are gallery quality giclées printed on 100% cotton rag archival paper stock and will all come numbered and signed by Ian Anderson and embossed with a Jethro Tull stamp.
The first 14 studio album cover art prints can also be purchased together in a Super Deluxe custom-made box with 2 bonus prints. All prints in the deluxe set are number-matched, signed by Ian Anderson and each print is embossed with a unique ‘Collectors Edition’ JT stamp. The Deluxe Boxes are handmade and only 75 of these amazing box sets are being made available to purchase worldwide (£1,800).
The Aqualung print and the Super Deluxe box set will be available for pre-order from 4pm on Friday 25th March and will be shipping from June, visit the site jethrotullart.com for details and updates.
This will be followed in the Autumn by another 4 releases – ‘Thick as a Brick’ which this year is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its UK release and also the first three albums, ‘This Was’ ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Benefit’. All are released as signed limited edition art prints.
The Jethro Tull album artwork came about in many ways. The first 4 album covers were commissioned and paid for by Chrysalis Records (now Warner Music Group) with subsequent cover concepts from Ian Anderson being commissioned from various artists, photographers, and designers.
All copyrights for these prints are owned by Warner Music Group.
American country-rock band Poco have a long history, dating back to 1968. The band ceased touring in 2014 when lone founding member Rusty Young retired (in 2013). This recording from 2004 also featured longtime member Paul Cotton, who’d left a few years previously. Sadly, both Young and Cotton passed away in 2021.
Now available on CD & blue vinyl, from Purple Pyramid Records, One Night In Nashville features the artwork of Angelika “Angel” Ciesniarska . Like a number of Poco covers, this release features a horse, as created by Angel.
About the artist
“I was born in Poland in 1977, I settled in UK in 2005. I am a self taught artist, doing art in my free time. My other big hobby years ago used to be aviation photography as well”.
About the Art Used On One Night In Nashville
“I created this particular watercolor in 2014. It was my attempt to create nice horse tattoo art. It was nice to see imy image being used as this album cover”.
This image would’ve been chosen for the by someone at the record company, and added with the classic Poco logo.
“This painting was always one of my most popular images online so I ended up uploading it on my Alamy account ant that’s how it ended up on Poco’s album”.
Angel’s artwork was used with the famous Poco logo, which first appeared on Poco Seven, from 1974. That cover & design were created by Phil Hartman (RIP, 1998). He had been credited on over 20 album covers throughout his career, including a number of Poco covers. The Canadian artist later became famous as a comedian on Saturday Night Live, and as a voice actor on The Simpsons .
*For more on Angel Ciesniarska’s art, as well as ordering prints check out the links below.
Canada’s A FOOT IN COLDWATER released 4 albums in the ’70s, had a couple of hit singles here, then split after the 4th, but reunited on a few occasions. The Toronto band included Alex Machin [lead vocals], Hughie Leggat [bass], Bob Horne [keyboards], Danny Taylor[drums], and Paul Naumann [guitars]. The band’s first 2 albums were released in Canada on Daffodill Records, though the debut was also issued in Australia and New Zealand. But it was the band’s 3rd album All Around Us in 1974 that finally saw the band signed to Elektra Records and get released in the US and the UK. The album included 5 tracks taken from the band’s first 2 albums (notably the hits “(Make Me Do) Anything You Want” and “(Isn’t Love Unkind) In My Life”) , as well as new songs. Legendary British producer John Anthony (Queen, Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis, Roxy Music…) was brought in to co-produce (along with Francis W.H. Davies;, also co-engineering was Mike Stone), with the album being recorded in Toronto and London [UK], and American artist John Van Hamersveld was tasked with the album’s cover art. The logo featured on the cover would be re-used elsewhere on CD compilations and concert shirts (I picked up 1 of each when I saw the band in 2011). *The album cover in Canada would be silver, while the US version would be white with the added ‘Or’ to the title.
Below is John’s words about the about cover for All Around Us, as well as info on his career before and after….
John Van Hamersveld’s background …
In 1967-68 I was a rock concert promotor for my company called Pinnacle Production, putting concerts on for a year. My partners and I booked and heard 43 bands twin a night on a Ltexlancing sound system. I was losing my hearing in the process. (Pinnacle Dance Concerts, which was founded in 1967 by Sepp Donahower, Marc Chase and John Van Hamersveld. Pinnacle promoted the early shows of the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Traffic, Cream, The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart and Pink Floyd. The Single Wing Turquoise Bird Light Show did many of the multimedia light shows at the Pinnacle Concerts.) … I was in the business for 17 years 1967 to 1984, and when the business went digital, I left the industry to work in Surf Subculture, and the re-entry of The Endless Summer Poster into the culture in the 80s.
On getting A Foot In Coldwater assignment…
Elektra Records had their office up the alley from Willoughby street where my studio was at the corner of Las Cienega Boulevard. There was the art director Glenn Christensen who was given 30 to 40 album cover projects to design every 90 days. He had to pick photographs and designs to get the order together. So he called me and gave me the Foot In Coldwater LP cover. (Glenn Christensen: US art director, graphic designer & photographer for Buddah Records, Elektra/Asylum Records, and 20th Century Fox Records. Glenn Christensen may have made the photograph, the photographer not credited)
Glen gave me the album cover because the group’s manager by contract didn’t with the art director doing the cover and campaign, the manager wanted control.
Familiar with or meet the band beforehand?
The politics of the company people at Elektra Records was the art director to guide the will. I don’t think Glenn introduced me.
Creating the band’s logo for the cover….
I presented the idea of a logo as the cover like a lot of bands used in the promotes. The title words were weak. So I thought a logo-like image would be more dominant in the Record Store, and they would hang the promotional logo around the store.
The wings: meaning… High Flying. Arranging the title words was being abstract in typography. The logo would be the visual trick for the promotion, visually simple, could be on the drum kit, ads, t’shirt, etc. The group didn’t photograph well, no style! They needed style, so the logo became the style.
All that JVH did on All Around Us…
Created the design of the front and back.
The most famous album cover worked on.
Exile On Main Street, by The Rolling Stones!
Other famous and favorite ones John worked on…
The Endless Summer soundtrack album from the movie 1965. The Beatles, MMT album 1967, The Jefferson Airplane, Crown of Creation 1968, Bob Dylan’s, soundtrack album Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid 1972, The Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead 1974, Steve Miller’s The Joker 1976, and Fly Like an Eagle 1978, Blondie’s Eat to the Beat 1979, Kiss, Hotter Than Hell 1974, The Doors, American Prayer, Jim Morrison’s Poetry album 1978. Claudia Lennear album cover Phew !, 1973 … to name a few.
Other art John has done over the years, and places people can view his work…
Prior to becoming well known over the past few decades for his work in comics, Artist Dean Motter worked on numerous album covers, particularly plenty of classic Canadian albums throughout the ’80s. In this exchange, he touches on his early career and some of the album covers he designed or had a major part in.
Can you give me a bit of background as to how you wound up being in Toronto and working on so many covers for Canadian acts in the late 70s?
I went to college at Fanshawe in London Ontario and studied Creative Electronics and Recording under Radio Caroline’s Tom Lodge, Marshall McLuhan’s son/collaborator Eric, John Mills-Cockell, neon sculptor Michael Hayden. My thesis for my commercial art course was my first published comic, ANDROMEDA I mounted two multimedia shows and married my lead actress. We moved to Toronto where I worked in children’s books and animation. I did work for the Silver Snail comic shop. I also worked as art director/production artist for CPI’s Cheap Thrills magazine. That led to being art director at CBS Records Canada for 3 years. When I left CBS and struck off on my own I retained them as a client, and picked up Capitol, Attic, RCA, WEA, Ready records and others.
Did you have much an album collection growing up? favorite bands? Favorite album covers [or artists]?
I listened to a lot of music growing up. In high school I had a sizable record collection that continued to grow over the years. Moody Blues, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd, CSNY. I later blossomed into jazz like Weather Report, Pat Metheny etc. These had my favorite covers especially Yes and Pink Floyd.
The first album you did was Robert Connelly ‘Plateau’. This one came with a comic book. How did you come about on this band and what was the concept behind the story and comic?
Connelly came to me via the Andromeda comic book (vol 2) published by the Silver Snail. It was a Chariots of the Gods themed illustration. One of my first airbrush pieces. I didn’t do the comic but was friends with its creator Nick Powlieko.
Marie Lynn Hammond – did you do her first album [?]
I didn’t do Marie’s first cover I did her second, Vignettes. It featured a hand colored Deborah Samuel photo taken on a vintage biplane. It was subtle but one of my favorites.
Dale Jacobs Cobra (my first as art director at CBS Canada) – quite the cover shot, with the snake and arm hanging over the couch. Did you come up with the photo concept, and was it inspired by anyone or anything? Was the snake real?
This was indeed my concept. The snake was real, but it was a python. A live cobra was out of the question, due to its fatal venom and scarcity of antidotes, not to mention insurance. One serviceman wrote me years later. He had spent time in India and was annoyed at the substitution.
Loverboy – this was a huge album. What do you recall of the idea behind the cover? the photo shoot? and what are the words typed over the front cover?
I became fiends with the photographer fine artist Barbara Astman. She had a show of her work -Polaroid photos of herself that she fed through a typewriter. When I saw them I thought a love letter or Dear John letter would be a good idea for the Loverboy assignment I just received.
Triumph – Thunder Seven – This cover was connected to the music, correct? Can you explain a bit where that image came from and how closely you worked with the band on this. The other 2 Triumph albums you did were very different – any quick recall on them?
Thunder Seven. I confess I never quite got the title, so the image had more to do with the hard rock trio, Yes I illustrated it. I was influenced by the work of Alien’s HR Giger. I didn’t work much with the band, more with the management this time. The others- Never Surrender was my concept illustrated by studio mate Ken Steacy, Surveillance was also my concept illustrated by another studio mate Paul Rivoche.
Anvil – Metal On Metal, Forged In Fire [also did Hard N Heavy, Pound For Pound, Past & Present Live] ?
What can I say about Anvil? They were a favorite act of mine, They were so sincere about the music and addressed me as Mr. Motter even though I was only 30 something. But they were always there, visiting my studio with ideas.
Santers – Racing Time [also did Shot Down In Flames, Mayday EP] ?
This was a photo taken on a runway on Toronto Island. It was then filtered and posterized.
The Nylons – One Size Fits All, Seamless [did others] On One Size Fits All, who’s idea and where did it come from – the shadow figures posing? very cool.
One Size Fits All was my idea and design, it was derived from the work I was doing on Mister X at the time. Seamless had two alternate covers. One was illustrated by Jeff Jackson, the other photographed by Deborah Samuel. It was pieced together mechanically.
Honeymoon Suite – HMS – Where was the cover photo taken?
Originally this cover was a variation on my rejected concept for Helix No Rest For The Wicked. We set it up in a furniture store. A new background was airbrushed in.
The Tenants – Visions of Our Future – Was this drawing based on or inspired by any place in particular?
This drawing was based on the lobby of the New York News and the art of Hugh Ferris. If you look closely you can see Mister X in the background..
The Extras – Bit Parts – Did this come from the old model kit boxes?
This was indeed based on old model kit boxes. I drew and airbrushed the image.
Manteca – No Heroes – this one reminds me of the Nylon covers.
These came from sitting in the Bamboo Club on Queen Street watching the band and drawing them in napkins.
During your time in Toronto, were you involved in the music scene as far as going to shows, meeting up with bands? Any favorite bands from back then or lasting friendships?
I loved being part of the music scene back then. My studio did posters, concert ads, concert programs etc. But as desktop publishing (design) became more common more companies could afford to put art directors on staff and the need for us diminished. I became friends with many of the clients and musicians from the time The Nylons were the closest. But also Matt Zimbel from Manteca. The whole of the Diodes . I even did an album of my music with Jeffrey Morgan soon to be released at last on Bongo records
You eventually moved on from album art / covers? Can you touch on what you went in to [comics] and where people might recognize your work most from?
I wrote and illustrated The Prisoner based on Patrick McGoohan’s TV series, and my own Mister X. went on to be an art director at DC Comics for three years, plus the graphic novel Batman: Nine Lives.
For more on Dean Motter’s art and career, album covers and comics, check out his official site.
I’m always interested in album art and the stories that go with them. I’d like to add more of these stories in the future, but for a start – Sue Candia gives some feedback and the details behind the album art for the new Cactus album Tightrope. In the past Sue has been credited on Vanilla Fudge’s 2001 album , as well as The Lizard’s 2015 album Reptilicus Maximus – Sue was responsible for the titling and interior of these 2 album designs (and Lizards is cool news to me, as I interviewed Randy Pratt on the band, and now of Cactus many years ago about The Lizards, and I was not aware of this this album).
How you wound up being chosen to do it [Tightrope art]
I began designing CDs, gig cards, and T-shirts for Randy Pratt (the harpist for Cactus) some years ago, and for bands produced on his label Hyperspace Records. I probably worked with the Vanilla Fudge on cd packaging and show promos first, and later on various projects for Carmine Appice, Jimmy Kunes, and eventually Cactus. Cactus is a phenomenal band, and collaborating with them on this particular album cover was amazing for me.
The story or concept behind the cover
I wanted to honor the band’s legacy, and so I felt there should be cactuses in the artwork. I was inspired to explore the challenges we face in the current environmental and political climate. My goal was to reflect the band creatively, in a way that is true to their voice and respectful of their talent and scope, to be both contemporary and historic. Hopefully, that comes across to fans.
Familiar with the band’s music [or just this album]
I always liked the classic heavy rock style of the late sixties and seventies, so knew about Cactus prior to getting involved with them creatively. But getting to work with such a talented, iconic band, on a double album, for that I’m very lucky and grateful.
The alternate art to the Cactus album at the Behance site
Yes, the band was split on which song to use as the title track and name of the album, Tightrope or Primitive Touch. So they asked me to come up with concepts for both. Ultimately they agreed on Tightrope and chose the concept that I brought to final for the cover. I had a fun time working on the initial illustrations so I decided to post them on my Behance page along with the finished piece.