Music has been very important to me throughout my life and photos and album covers are ingrained into my memories. I chose 4 photos from 4 great albums but I also chose them for their portrayal of the artists they depict and one of them is also linked to one of the greatest rock rumors EVER, the Paul is dead rumor. These photos show the power of a photograph as it helps portray an artist for eternity.
This is the famous Clash photo taken by Penny Smith for the Clash’s London Calling album. The photo which is of Paul Simonon destroying his guitar on stage shows the out of control fervor of the UK’s most famous punk band. The depth of field here is what really brings it alive. Also the fact that it is a tad grainy and in black and white really shows what the clash are all about; they were anti-establishment and far from mainstream.
It must be a punk thing but this photo of The Ramones, taken by Roberta Bailey, was for their first album. As with the clash the American punk gods chose to go simply black and white, yet they were at the time trying to emulate a Meet the Beatles type of photo. This photo captures the Ramones no frills leather jackets, jeans and t shirts, straight to the point image perfectly.
Kirk Weddle’s photo for Nirvana’s Nevermind is probably one of the most well know by younger music fans and it is right in Weddle’s wheel house as he’s known for underwater artistic photos. The baby being off to the left just a bit is good use of the rule of thirds, plus the darker blue of the bottom of the photo and the lighter blues of the top of the photo is a great contrast.
This probably the most famous of all album covers ever. It’s The Beatles Abbey Road cover photo. This photo, taken by Iain MacMillan, is famous for more that just being a great photo. There is actually a lot going on in the picture . At the time there was a rumor that Paul was dead. The photo supposedly has clues to that. The fact that Paul (a supposed imposter Paul) is bare foot while the others all have on shoes was a way of saying he was dead. Also the VW Bug’s license plate, 28IF, was saying Paul would be 28 IF he was still alive. I could go on but you can read more about it on the link at the bottom of the page.
Finally, this is not a album cover but I had this photo in my room for years and always liked how it was kind of a “FU” to the FBI and Nixon. This photo was of John Lennon taken by Bob Gruen. At the time the FBI and President Nixon (who resigned 20 days prior this photo being taken) were trying to deport Lennon for numerous trumped up reasons. This picture shows John’s resolve. He truly loved New York and fought to stay there. The New York T shirt (to me at least) was just saying this is were I am staying, it’s my home. Once again Black and white was used, giving it a classic intimate feel. Six years and 101 days later John Lennon would be dead. Killed in the city he loved.
Photo #1 http://flavorwire.com/195349/10-rock-photographers-you-should-know/6/
Photo #2 http://www.rockpaperphoto.com/bayley-roberta-001-the-ramones
Photo #3 http://www.kirkweddle.com/
Photo #4 http://turnmeondeadman.com/paul-is-dead-clues-on-abbey-road/
Photo #5 http://nymag.com/arts/popmusic/features/69775/
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