THE ‘ALEX AWARDS’: CELEBRATING THE BEST VINYL RECORD ART

Alex Awards Announces Winners & Runners-up in 8 Vinyl Categories

Detroit — The 2017 Alex Awards is proud to announce the following finalists, runners-up and winners and of the best vinyl packaging at a ceremony here at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.

BEST ILLUSTRATED LP COVER
• Aimee Mann, Mental Illness
• Father John Mistry, Pure Comedy
• Gillian Welch, The Harrows and the Harvest
• Queens of the Stone Age, Villains
• Record Store Day Celebrates Leonard Cohen
—Winner: Aimee Mann
—Runner-up: Father John Mistry

BEST PHOTO LP COVER
• Alejandro Escovdeo, Burn Something Beautiful
• Common, The Light
• The Protomen, A Night of Queen
• Waxahatachee, Out in the Storm
• Willie Nile, Positively Bob
—Winner: Waxahatachee
—Runner-up: Common

BEST 45 SINGLE PACKAGE
• Alice Cooper, Live From the Astroturf
• Chris Un Tina, Incognito
• Jack White, Love Is The Truth
• Margo Price, Weakness
• Sun Ra, El Is A Sound of Joy
—Winner: Alice Cooper
—Runner-up: Margo Price

BEST GATEFOLD
• Dead Weather, Live at the Mayan
• Polyvinyl Plays Polyvinyl
• The National, Sleep Well Beast
• UNKLE, The Road, Part 1
• Yaz Ahmed, La Sabouteus
—Winner: UNKLE
—Runner-up: The National

BEST RECORD ART
• Blowfly, Forever Fly
• The Monks, Hamburg Recordings 1967
• My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade
• Weather Warlock
• Yautja, Dead Soil
—Winner: The Monks
—Runner-up: My Chemical Romance

BEST REISSUE PACKAGE
• Andromeda Strain Soundtrack
• John Cale, The Academy in Peril
• Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request
• T.Rex, Electric Warrior
• The White Stripes
— Winner Tie: John Cale and Andromeda Strain
— Runner-up: The White Stripes

BEST BOXED SET
• Blondie, Pollinator
• Kate Bush, Before the Dawn
• Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request
• Voyager, 40th Anniversary Edition
• White Stripes, Vault 33, X, Icky Thump
—Winner: Voyager
—Runner-ups Tie: Blondie & White Stripes

BEST OVERALL PACKAGE
• AKATRE, BLCK RCK
• Alejando Escovedo, Burn Something Beautiful
• Margo Price, Live at the Hamilton
• Pet Symmetry, Vision
• White Stripes, Vault 33, X, Icky Thump
—Runner-up: Margo Price
—Winners: AKATRE & Pet Symmetry

A panel of award-winning art directors judged 124 submissions in the 8 categories.
The Alex Awards was last presented in 2006 when it had been primarily a competition honoring the best in DVD, CD and videogame packaging, although there was one vinyl category.
The Alex Awards are named after Alex Steinweiss, who created the first illustrated album package for Columbia Records in 1939. He died I 2011 at 94. Mr. Steinweiss’s son and grandson participated in the ceremony.
The Alex Awards were produced by Larry Jaffee for Colonial Purchasing Co-op LLC, the presenter of Making Vinyl, the first B2B conference dedicated to the global rebirth of the record manufacturing business.

First Steinweiss album cover, 1939
First Steinweiss album cover, 1939
Alex Steinweiss in the early days at Columbia Records
Alex Steinweiss in the early days at Columbia Records
Alex Steinweiss, 2002
Alex Steinweiss, 2002
Steinweiss album cover, 1948
Steinweiss album cover, 1948

The art adorning the 12” x 12” canvas of an LP symbolizes everything that’s right in the format’s stature as an art form in its own right that was almost became lost in the digital age, and is now cherished with the record industry’s rebirth.

In 1939, 23-year-old Alex Steinweiss convinced his bosses at Columbia Records to ditch the burlap-covered “tombstone” portfolios that contained the fragile shellac 78s, and replace them with an original design. Sales jumped a whopping 892%. Mr. Steinweiss designed more than 1,000 covers. Columbia’s first art director, he invented for the label in 1947 a paperboard jacket still in use today.

In 2003, the ‘Alex Awards’ was launched to pay tribute to his accomplishments and the best contemporary entertainment packaging. Then 86, Mr. Steinweiss accepted a lifetime achievement award at the inaugural gala in Los Angeles; he died in 2011. The awards, on hiatus since 2006, return at the ‘Making Vinyl’ conference in Detroit on Nov. 6, 2017. Entries must be received by Sept. 30, 2017.

Returning to host the Alex Awards ceremony is Grammy Award packaging winner Craig Braun, who responsible for executing such iconic vinyl packages as the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. Mr. Braun has been a professional actor with numerous credits in film, television and theater over the past 20 years.

FAQs about the Alex Awards

Q: When and where will the Alex Awards be presented?

A: Nov. 6, 7:00 pm at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. A cocktail party will precede the ceremony.

Q: How much does it cost to attend the Alex Awards ceremony?

A: $25 per person (but free to Making Vinyl conference attendees)

Q: How are the awards judged?

A: A panel of professional, award-winning art directors will review submissions for their overall aesthetic value.

Q: How much does it cost to enter the awards?

A: $35 for the first entry, $25 for each of the next 2-5 additional entries from the submitter (e.g., label, packager, manufacturer, distributor, artist, etc.), $15 for each of the 6 or more entries in other categories.

Q: How can I pay for an entry?

A: By credit card, PayPal or check made out to Colonial Purchasing Co-Op LLC, 9789 Charlotte Hwy, Ste 400, Fort Mill, SC 29707 (Colonial HQ Tel: +1 747 777 2081)

Q: When must have an entry been released to be eligible for consideration?

A: Oct. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017.

Q: When, where and how many copies of an entry should be mailed?

A: Two copies of each entry must be physically mailed to Making Vinyl, Att: Larry Jaffee, P.O. Box 271, Kings Park, NY 11754 and received before Sept. 30, 2017. No exceptions.

Q: When will the winners be notified?

A: At least a month before the Alex Awards ceremony on Nov. 6.

Q: Who will get recognized among the winners?

A: We realize that many individuals are involved in creating a record package. Therefore, on the entry form we leave it to the submitter to acknowledge all parties who participated in the conception and execution, and those winners will receive Alex Awards certificates.

Q: Who is Alex Steinweiss and why is there an award named after him?

A: Alex was the creator of the first commercially intended album cover for Columbia Records in 1939. He’s widely regarded as the father of the modern entertainment packaging industry. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the first Alex Awards ceremony in 2003; he died in 2011.

Q: What should I do if I have additional questions about the Alex Awards?

A: Email Larry Jaffee at larry@makingvinyl.com or call 917-291-2488

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