I recently wrote an article/essay on the Beatles and Album Design.
I thought I would post it, so I could get some feedback.
How albums could be attributed to art deeply interested me, realising it was during sixties that such a transformation occurred, changing an album into a separate entity, one that could hold significant meaning.
But before I focus on the Albums as a topic, I first need to get a grasp of what my topic stands for, or at least a simple definition of art.
This task is not as simple as it may seem. Art cannot be defined in one simple sentence. So many words can be attributed to explain and describe art, making it a vast and endless subject. Whatever art form it may be, it can always be described as a manifestation of expression, channelled through the artists style and creativity.
As well as complex definitions, the intentions or goal for art could be anything, ranging from personal to a strong political belief.
The art that I am focusing on is from revolutionary albums in popular music. Although this form of art has a main goal of making a person buy the album, it can still be used to project a purposeful intention.
As well as the albums, I need to consider the era that they were created, and the culture and standard of living that accompanied that specific decade. The decade that I am looking at is the sixties, which was a time of British life, where modernism was being pushed through all means of life: fashion, film, music and technology. The younger generation were rocking the old crumbling establishment, and the sharp contrast of living was channelled through the bright colours and trendy living that was accustomed with late sixties life. New idealisms on living were brought out through songs, which was the main form of entertainment. Musicians were seen as being at the forefront of innovating the youth, the music had changed dramatically, love and peace were rules to live by, global drug use increased, as psychedelic fashions moulded personalities, and the music reinforced it.
Music was taking on another role, in the field of entertainment. It was now a separate entity, a flourishing Business, in which large sums of money could be made.
The Beatles had achieved global success in the early Sixties, and proceeded to revolutionise the music scene, introducing tape loops, backward music and orchestras clashed with electric guitar. Such experimentation had never been witnessed before; surrealism was being explored through a multitude of avenues, The Beatles, like so many other happenings, were at the forefront of a vibrant transformation.
The most recognised popular music album cover of the 21st century is, undoubtedly, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The glamour of Sgt Pepper is equally matched by the sheer indulgence of colour, in which, when combined, creates a powerful and surreal explosion that captivates the eye, and evokes a response. Peppers was a production on a grand scale, it displayed a real theatrical style, like a whole pantomime concealed in one image. The sheer busyness of the sleeve would keep the eyes wandering for an eternity, new faces emerging constantly, adding a hint of freshness to the fascinating album cover.
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hears Club Band mirrored the spirit of the age; it was the spokesman for flower power, projecting positive vibes around the world, conceptualism in the form of an album had been born.
Yet before Peppers materialised, the original idea from Paul McCartney was very much a rough outline of colour, only real results started to immerge when the Beatles approached modern contemporary artist Peter Blake to design and create the psychedelic concept.