Whilst being creative we love to listen to music that has inspired us in varied ways. Last week listening to an album that we have grown up with, the chat turned to the creative artwork. Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart’s Club Band by The Beatles. With all the news of the eventual inclusion of The Beatles on iTunes, who thought of the good old days of buying albums, even back to buying vinyl.
Remember the feeling of picking up that album cover, taking in the graphics, reading song words, credits and everything about your album of choice. Well with iTunes we lose sight of this, but we have decided to celebrate some of our favourite album covers and let you all know a little bit of history behind their concept. We all agreed on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band being one of the most iconic album designs created. OK discussions start. What was the thinking behind the artwork? Who created this masterpiece and of course the age-old challenge…how many people can you name from the cover?
Firstly the thinking behind the creative. Well this comes from the principals of Sgt. Peppers Musical concept. A make believe band created by The Beatles. Well if we have a make believe band, who would be the make believe audience for our first live concert was the band’s thinking.
With this concept the band turned to renowned 1960’s pop artist Peter Blake. Blake’s early work seen him work within advertising but his passion was always within the creative arts. His vision for the artwork was to create a montage piece, something he was already famous for, and turn this into an iconic piece to be remembered for all time. The band worked closely with Blake to compile a wish hit list of their audience and with it rumoured at the time that George Harrison and John Lennon were dabbling with LSD, it was always going to be a surreal moment in time that would carry some controversial choices.
The finished artwork carries some 67 faces to recognise. A figure they reckon decided on due to the albums release date. Some of the faces wanted for the cover never quite made it for one reason or another: Hitler and Jesus (Both wanted by Lennon) were not included for fear of the controversy, Ghandi, again as EMI Bosses felt this may upset the record buying public in India. Actor Leo Gorcey was taken out because he requested a fee. Remember him?
So much surrounds the artwork. Rumours of cover ups, Paul McCartney is dead, which still were evident in the Abbey Road cover, another day, song lyrics printed inside the sleeve a first and the spoofs that have been spawned from it, from Frank Zappa to The Rutles, the real imaginary Beatles band!
For all of us at Advanceworx we like to just think about the cover as we listen to a classic album and of course try to name each and every person featured. Why not have a go yourself, let us know how you get on and please don’t go searching the internet for the answers…it’s no fun!