Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

I thought it would be appropriate to feature the Sgt. Pepper album cover on the 40th anniversary of its release by The Beatles. The cover was art directed by Robert Fraser in collaboration with Paul McCartney. Peter Blake was the designer and the photographer was Michael Cooper.

The Beatles, Fraser and Blake chose the personalities -- dead and alive -- from philosophy, music, literature, sport, science, movies. Blake had prints blown up into life-sized cut-outs. Mae West initially refused, stating: "What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?" Marlene Dietrich wanted to see the cover first.

From Wikipedia's entry about Robert Fraser,
Art director Robert Fraser was a prominent London art dealer who ran the Indica Gallery. He had become a close friend of McCartney's and it was only at his strong urging that the group abandoned their original cover design, a psychedelic painting by The Fool. Their design for the inner sleeve was, however, used for the first few pressings. Fraser was one of the leading champions of modern art in Britain in the 1960s and after. He argued strongly that the Fool artwork was not well-executed and that the design would soon be dated. He convinced McCartney to abandon it, and offered to art-direct the cover; it was Fraser's suggestion to use an established fine artist and he introduced the band to a client, noted British 'pop' artist Peter Blake, who, in collaboration with his wife, created the famous cover collage, known as "People We Like".

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