Michael Russ' Swordfishtrombones Cover Art Shop

Michael A. Russ' "Swordfishtrombones" Cover Art Gallery

Artworks from the legendary photo-shoot for Tom Waits' groundbreaking album




On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Tom Waits' epochal album 'Swordfishtrombones' Michael A. Russ' provides a unique chance for fans and art lovers to get authentic works that combine music, performing art, visual art and history.  SWORDFISHTROMBONES COVER ART


Recorded at Hollywood's Sunset Sound in August 1982, and released by Island Records in 1983, 'Swordfishtrombones' was Tom Waits' first self-produced record. Since then, it is considered one of the most influential albums in modern music history.
In Los Angeles early 1980's Michael A. Russ is an international artist displaying avant-guardistic positions in photography. So it is not by chance that Tom Waits liked his 'Prussian Blue' exhibition at the original China Club and commissioned him to create the cover of his Island label record 'Swordfishtrombones', in order to give Tom Waits' new musical input a fresh look.

Swordfishtrombones Cover-Shoot TinTone by Michael A. Russ

Swordfishtrombones - Tom Waits Portrait / TinTone by Michael A. Russ
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'I found Michael to be both imaginative and innovative. His approach to photography is with the eyes of a painter working with light. He displays a unique talent in both style and content. Michael is an individual with both a vision and an ability to execute it.' - Tom Waits


Tom and Michael casted numerous actors for the cover shoot. Finally, he chose the Hollywood actors Lee Kolima a fellow of gigantic stature († 1995) and Angelo Rossitto (1908 – 1991). With only 2' 11" Little Mo (also nicknamed the mayor of Hollywood) was small in stature but of high presence onscreen. The diminutive Angelo Rossitto was one of the busiest actors in Hollywood and has appeared in over 80 films. With the two actors alongside Tom Waits, Michael A. Russ created the legendary photo shoot for the cover of the groundbreaking music album 'Swordfishtrombones' in 1983.

Michael was also the associate director and choreographer on the music video to the song 'In the Neighbourhood' from that album for MTV. The video grew out of the album cover, it was centered around Lee Kolima and Angelo Rossitto. The cinematographer of the video was the famous Haskell Wexler. He is a multiple Oscar awardee and has worked on films like, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'In the Heat of the Night', 'American Graffiti', 'Coming Home' and many more.

Now, 30 years later, Michael A. Russ opened his archives and has selected important works for the 'Swordfishtrombones-Cover Gallery' with the eye of an experienced artist. These fine art print editions give enthusiasts a wonderful chance to get authentic works that combine music, visual art and history.

See the editions of FineArtPrints here >


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Your access to the website is conditional upon your acceptance and compliance with the General Terms and Conditions. We are authorisized and act on behalf of Michael A. Russ the author and copyrights holder of his works related to his photo shoot for Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombones" cover shown on this website.

TinTone artworks by Michael A. Russ - results from his Swordfishtrombones Cover Shoot - fine art prints editions of very high quality.
Swordfishtrombones Cover Art Gallery | Art Photo Editions