Cover story: magic, myth and music

Inglis, Ian (2009) Cover story: magic, myth and music. In: Sgt Pepper & The Beatles: It Was Forty Years Ago Today. Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 91-102. ISBN 978-0754667087

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: musicology, psychedelic rock music, popular music
Subjects: W300 Music
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Media & Communication Design
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 19 May 2010 11:29
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2017 12:09
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/404

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