The Beatles Album Covers Explained

From the psychedelic nostalgia of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to the simplicity of crossing Abbey Road, these are the stories behind the cover of every Beatles album.

(via udiscovermusic) by Paul McGuinness

From the very beginning, a big part of The Beatles appeal was visual. In his book The Art of The Beatles, Mike Evans explained, “their image was always unique. Unlike their contemporaries on the music scene, whose style reflected the times, The Beatles invariably helped to establish fashion.” From their pre-fame days, they always had a look – uniform, in every sense. When they first emerged, the press was obsessed with their mop-top haircuts, their matching Cuban-heeled boots, their collarless jackets. How they presented themselves was vital to what made them so… different. And nowhere was this reflected more consistently than on their record covers. Photography, illustration, graphic design – Beatles album covers changed them all.

Before The Beatles, album art was designed to sell the contents – song titles and sales messages on top of the artist’s bright image. But within a few short years, The Beatles album covers were works of art in their own right. Images such as the half-lit heads on With The Beatles, the psychedelic nostalgia of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the simplicity of crossing Abbey Road rank as some of the most influential and enduring art of the 20th century, clearing the way for others like The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and countless others to go even further.

Here are the stories behind some of The Beatles’ iconic album covers…

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