Albert Ayler – Holy Ghost

Author: Colin | Published: 2/11/08

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Albert Ayler CD box cover design

Artist: Albert Ayler
Title: Holy Ghost
Label: Revenant
Year: 2004
Designer: Art direction: Noel Waggener, production design, layout, direction: Susan Archie, World of anArchie, Chapter Header Silkscreen Design, Execution: Noel Waggener, Satch Grimley, original carved wooden “spirit box”: Reagan Johns
Type of music: Ecstatic
Notes: Ghost Box is really something else. I’ve been aware of this since its original release, but couldn’t quite justify the expense, but recently Revenant have been selling it at a much reduced price (see the news item of the other day). So I finally gave in. There is some music that’s brought tears to my eyes over the years, but this is the first time a piece of packaging has done so. Feel free to dismiss me as a sentimental idiot, but give me a chance to explain. The presence of so much intimate paraphernalia – fliers, notes, the photograph of Ayler as a child, his handwriting and the dogflower all serve to powerfully communicate – even in reproduction – a sense of the man and his absence. This is truly an example of loving design in the service of doing justice to an artistic legacy. It’s a shame that Revenant seem to have gone to sleep now, but this and the other examples featured on Hard Format are things to be grateful for.

See also: John Fahey, Red Cross, Dock Boggs, Country Blues.


  1. My god, opening that box the first time was something else, wasn’t it? Woof. The flower was such a bizarre shock — an unreal surprise. And the great lengths they went to with *just* the paper stock of the programs.

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Forest. I loved the flower too (visible in the fifth image).

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