Sgt. Pepper remains the only album within popular music whose cover has attracted as much attention and debate as the music it contains. Despite the musical innovations, commercial transformations, and proliferation of styles and related cultural practices that had redirected the production and consumption of popular music since the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in the mid-1950s, the art of the album cover had remained largely untouched. The principal pre-war album design strategies – painterly covers, poster-like covers, graphic covers (Jones and Sorger 2000, pp. 72 – 3) – had gradually converged to produce a post-war adoption of ‘the personality cover’ (Thorgerson 1989, p. 10) on which a positive, attractive image of the performer(s) was presented alongside their names and the album title. With very few exceptions and little variation, this approach had persisted unchallenged. Indeed, the Beatles’ first six albums (Please Please Me to Rubber Soul) had broadly confirmed the practice, and it was not until the whimsical photograph-and-illustration design of Revolver that the group attempted to consider any other possibilities.
|Title of host publication
|Sgt Pepper & The Beatles: It Was Forty Years Ago Today
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2009