Glen Wexler Creates Cover Art For Heaven and Earth’s Latest Album,”Dig”
Heaven and Earth, the creation of lead guitarist, Stuart Smith, fuses elements of hard rock, metal and blues, to create its unique, celestial brand of classic rock for audiences all over the world. With obvious influences from iconic rock bands such as Deep Purple, Rainbow and Bad Company, Heaven and Earth blends old-school rock with a new-school attitude. The band includes guitarist Stuart Smith, singer Joe Retta, bassist Chuck Wright, drummer Richie Onori and keyboardist Arlan Schierbaum.
In 2013, Heaven and Earth released its latest album, Dig, which also featured rock veterans Howard Leese (from Heart) and David Paich (from Toto) and Richie Sambora (from Bon Jovi). In addition, Dig also features the album cover art of Glen Wexler, an artist who has designed over 300 album covers for rock bands such as Kiss, ZZ Top, Van Halen, and Black Sabbath. Wexler also creates a classic old-school rock album cover with a new -school attitude to perfectly compliment the music on the Dig album. All vinyl collectors and classic rock fans will certainly want to add this record album to their collections.
Recorded at Ocean Studio, Dig was in the making for 14 months before being released by Quarto Valley Records on both vinyl and CD. Heaven and Earth brought in legendary album cover artist, Glen Wexler to create the artwork for Dig. After listening to their music, Wexler came up with the concept and the title for the album. “Essentially, when I first heard the music, I got the sense that I was listening to something that maybe was lost in the vaults for 40 years, maybe a Deep Purple collaboration that was never released,” said Wexler.
The Wexler cover art features a giant guitar being dug out of a Star Wars-like landscape that represents the rock & roll artifact of some futuristic archeological dig. This art has the mystery and surrealistic feel of a Wexler album cover and really adds to the experience for any Heaven and Earth fan.
“To me, an album without the visual is not the entire experience,” Wexler stated. “As a kid, my album covers were my art collection. That was really influential stuff. I’ve learned more from album covers than I did in art school, that’s the stuff that really influenced my work. I lived for getting my hands on vinyl and having that experience of unwrapping it, you know, the full visual aspect of pulling out the disc and putting it on the turntable. It’s a whole different experience than you get in the digital world.” The significance of the “vinyl experience” is also expressed by Stuart Smith: “It is the way music is meant to be played. With vinyl, you intentionally listen to the music and read along with the lyrics and gaze upon the cover art.”
Wexler also directed the videos for the Dig album.
Invasion of Your Privacy was released in 1985, peaked at Number 7 and went double platinum. Ratt, a heavy metal band from the 1980s and best known for songs such as “Round and Round,” “Wanted Man,” and “Lay It Down”, was very influential in the formation of Los Angeles hard rock and glam metal scene during the early 1980s. Invasion of Your Privacy was Ratt’s second studio album.
The Invasion of Your Privacy album cover shows a voyeuristic view of a beautiful girl undressing in her bedroom which perfectly supports the album’s title. The record album’s sexual lyrics and the album cover photograph drew the attention of the Parents Music Resource Center,”PMRC”, who wanted to put a parental advisory label on the record album. The girl on the album cover is Playboy model Marianne Gravatte, who also appeared in the “Lay It Down” music video.
Marianne Gravatte graduated from Arcadia High School and was Playmate of the Month for the October 1982 issue of Playboy magazine. She was also chosen the 1983 Playmate of the Year. She was featured again in “Playmate Revisited” in April 1994. She also appeared in the video for Ric Ocasek’s “Something To Grab” from his solo debut album Beatitude.
The photograph used on the Invasion of Your Privacy album cover was done by photographer Nels Israelson. While an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University, Nels Israelson began photographing local rock bands in the Los Angeles area, which later led to him shooting album covers for artists such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jackson Browne, RATT, and Def Leppard.
Other albums by Ratt:
Out of the Cellar (1984)
Dancing Undercover (1986)
Reach for the Sky (1988)
The Story of the Jackson Browne/Saturate Before Using Album Cover
– As told by Jackson Browne
Other albums by Jackson Browne:
Jackson Browne (1972)
For Everyman (1973)
Late For The Sky (1974)
The Pretender (1976)
The Fuse – Live In Chicago (1976)
Running On Empty (1977)
Rock Around The World (1977)
Hold Out (1980)
Lawyers In Love (1983)
Lives In The Balance (1986)
I’m Alive (1993)
Everywhere I Go (1994)
Looking East (1996)
The Naked Ride Home (2002)
Solo Acoustic Vol.1 (2005)
Time The Conqueror (2008)
Solo Acoustic Vol. 2 (2008)
Love Is Strange: En Vivo con Tino (Jackson Browne / David Lindley) (2010)
Where the Shadows Fall: The Classic 1972 Broadcast (2013)
Also Jackson Browne appeared on No Nukes: The Muse Concerts For a Non-Nuclear Future (1979)
These videos are part of a series by album cover designer Gary Burden and photographer Henry Diltz. They provide some interesting insights into the creation of album covers back in the late 1960s and early 1970’s. They also provide some interesting bits of rock history related to certain rock stars, including the Eagles, the Doors, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne; etc.
Gary Burden is considered a pioneer in the concept of album cover art. He designed covers for many rock stars, such as Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, The Mamas and the Papas, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Joni Mitchell, Poco, The Doors, The Eagles, Neil Young, Laura Nyro, and Jackson Browne. His work has been nominated four times for the Grammy Awards. In 2010, Burden won a Grammy Award for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Packaging for his work on Neil Young’s Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1: 1963-1972 . Gary Burden contributed to the cover art of such classic rock albums as “Blue”, “Morrison Hotel”, “Hotel California”, “The Pretender”, “Déjà Vu” and “Desperado”; although his all time personal favorite is the cover he did for Neil Young’s “On The Beach”.
Henry Diltz is a legendary photographer in the Rock & Roll world. Diltz was the official photographer at Woodstock and his photographs have been used on the covers of more than 100 record albums. His photo of Paul and Linda McCartney was used on the cover of Life magazine.
Note: This list was complied by Rolling Stone Magazine. I do not necessarily agree with entire list, but this video offers a nice look at some great albums, along with some of the music on these albums. So with that in mind please enjoy!!!
Above is the final album cover on Warrant’s 1992, “Dog Eat Dog” album. Below is the orginal illustration done by noted artist David McMacken.
Procol Harum, best known for their classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, started out as a quintessential 1960s British Invasion rock band and later morphed into a much more complex and sophisticated progressive rock group. However, of Procol Harum’s eleven studio albums it is their seventh album, “Exotic Birds and Fruit” that has best know album cover.
Released in 1974, “Exotic Birds and Fruit”, while meeting with some critical success, was not a huge commercial success for the Procol Harum. The artwork on the cover of this album is based upon a painting by Jakob Bogdani, an artist well-known for his beautiful exotic bird and still life paintings. Bogdani was born in Hungry in the seventeenth century later moving to Holland and then England. Several of Bogdani’s paintings can now be found in the art collection of the British Royal Family, as well as, in various museums. The album’s name comes from the cover artwork rather than the music itself. The “Exotic Birds and Fruit” album cover is truly beautiful making this a great album cover.
Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album, “Houses of the Holy”, was released in 1973 and quickly went Platinum. Considered one of the greatest albums of all time by Led Zeppelin fans, “Houses of the Holy” initially meet with mix reviews from the music critics. “Over the Hills and Far Away” was the stand out hit from the album, although the whole album is much richer than just this one song. As great as the music is on “Houses of the Holy”, this album’s cover is prehaps more notable.
The album cover of “Houses of the Holy” initially generated a lot of controversy for using images of nude children; however, the album cover received a Grammy nomination in 1974 for best album packaging. The album cover was another Hipgnosis masterpiece inspired by a 1953 science fiction novel, Childhood’s End. British science fiction author, Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, wrote Childhood’s End and later wrote the better known science fiction novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Often ranked as one of the top ten greatest album covers of all-time, the “Houses of the Holy” album cover concept was Hipgnosis’ second attempt to please the band members who ,according to Jimmy Page, were not happy with Hipgnosis’first proposal featuring a green tennis court. Hipgnosis’ Aubrey Powell was the creator of the ultimate Houses of the Holy album cover, which feature a collage of photographs of nude children climbing the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. Although there were actual only two children photographed, models Stefan and Samantha Gates, the cover shows multiple images of these children. The original photography was done in black amd white and the images later tinted to give them a surreal effect. The combination of the coloration, the mysterious setting, and the multiple images of nearly identical nude children produce a haunting feeling that is part of the magic of this iconic album cover.
Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass’ fourth album, and arguably their best, Whipped Cream & Other Delights sold over 6 million copies in the United States and went to the number 1 position on the Billboard Chart in November 1965 being replaced by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul in January 1966.
This record album cover is a perennial favorite among album cover collectors, considered a pop culture icon and one of the sexiest album covers of all-time. Dolores Erickson, 28 years old at the time, was the attractive female model shown in the album cover photograph wearing only chiffon and shaving cream. Ironically, Miss Erickson was three months pregnant when then photographed by photographer, Jerry Whorf. Miss Erickson also appeared on seventeen other album covers including Nate King Cole’s The Touch of Your Lips, The Sandpipers’ Guantanamera, and Cy Coleman’s Piano Witchcraft.
It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. If that is true then the number of imitators says a lot about the significance of this album cover’s design, which has be copied by a number of other artists. See some examples of this below: