March-23rd-2007, 08:12 AM
I'm the face.
Joel Brodsky - album cover photog -- R.I.P.
Joel Brodsky; photographer noted for album-cover work
By Matt Schudel, Washington Post | March 23, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Joel Brodsky, a photographer whose memorable album cover pictures of Jim Morrison, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, and dozens of other performers helped define the visual image of popular music in the 1960s and '70s, died of a heart attack March 1 at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 67.
Mr. Brodsky was an artist of a now-obsolete format, using the 12-inch square of the album cover as his canvas for pictures that varied from moody portraits to surreal atmospheric scenes to stylized illustrations of ideas. He photographed about 400 album covers for a diverse cast of musicians that included B.B. King, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, Kiss, Iggy Pop, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
His best-known picture, made at his New York studio in late 1966, shows a bare-chested Morrison of the Doors, with his arms outstretched. Featured on the cover of the 1985 "The Best of the Doors" album, the black-and-white image depicts the messianic, sensitive, and dangerous qualities that made Morrison such an important musical figure.
Mr. Brodsky described the session in a 1981 interview. The 23-year-old Morrison, he said, was "totally plastered . . . so drunk he was stumbling into the lights."
Still, Morrison projected an edgy charisma that Mr. Brodsky was able to capture on film.
"You know, Morrison never really looked that way again, and those pictures have become a big part of the Doors' legend," Mr. Brodsky said. "I think I got him at his peak."
Five of Mr. Brodsky's photographs of the Doors appeared as album covers, and he received a Grammy nomination for the group's 1967 debut, "The Doors."
Later in the 1970s, Mr. Brodsky designed and photographed a series of seven groundbreaking covers for albums by the Ohio Players. Without showing the band itself, he illustrated such titles as "Ecstasy," "Pleasure," and "Pain" with frankly erotic images, sometimes with sadomasochistic elements.
Mr. Brodsky was a meticulous craftsman, spending hours setting up lights, scenery, and cameras. Even when his photographs looked like casual snapshots, such as the squalid backstage dressing room depicted on Tom Waits's "Small Change" (1976), they were always carefully composed.
"What Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle ended up doing, Joel was doing 30 years ago," said gallery owner Chris Murray, who gave Mr. Brodsky his first exhibition at Washington's Govinda Gallery in 2001. "Joel's work was a precursor to the illustrated concept album, and he's definitely a precursor to hip-hop."
Mr. Brodsky was house photographer for Stax Records, a Memphis label specializing in soul music and rhythm and blues. Many of his Stax covers were simple black-and-white portraits; others were atmospheric images.
"His photos of soul musicians and rock 'n' roll musicians will be around as long as people listen to rock 'n' roll," Murray said.
Mr. Brodsky leaves his wife, Valerie; three daughters, Jill Holt of North Salem, N.Y., Brooke of New York, and Alexandra Alland of Boston; a sister; and three grandchildren.
© Copyright 2007
March-23rd-2007, 08:15 AM
I'm the face.
March-23rd-2007, 09:11 AM
with a twist
Fine day for RIP threads.
March-23rd-2007, 09:36 AM
I'm the face.
As long as there isn't one for me, I'm happy.
Originally Posted by stonemonkts
March-23rd-2007, 10:27 AM
March-23rd-2007, 10:42 AM