The Beatles’ classic album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is now 46 years old. But did you know that Peter Blake, who did the artwork tor the sleeve, once lived in Somerset’?
According to founder member Peter Blake, the 1970s “Brotherhood of Ruralists” had a simple creed, to paint about “love, beauty, joy, sentiment and magic”.
And it was to further those ends that the Dartford-born artist, then 37, decided to move from bustling London to sleepy Somerset. His destination? The old disused railway station at Wellow which he had got permission to convert into a house. With him came his then wife, American sculptress Jann Haworth plus their young daughters Liberty and Daisy.
For the Sgt Pepper cover, Paul McCartney’s original idea was to have the band in an Edwardian sitting room covered with framed portraits of their heroes. But Blake, then at the forefront of British Pop Art, brilliantly took the idea further and created the life-size figures that crowd the cover; heroes and anti-heroes ranging from Fred Astaire to Gandhi, Hitler to Mae West.
Blake studied at the Royal College, where he was a friend and contemporary of David Hockney. It was there that he began to look at themes such as circus performers, ﬁlm stars
and motifs from badges and comics.
“I used things in my life that I was interested in,” he says. “I was mainly interested in typography, pop music and popular culture.
“I started to be a pop artist from my interest in folk art, especially the art of fairgrounds and barge paintings. For me, Pop Art is often nostalgia, old, popular things.
“I went to art school at 14 and painting is what I do. I have to believe that I am doing something that I think is valid. It is the way I make my living.”
“I’m just a journeyman portrait painter, you know, I’m not very good.”
A major retrospective exhibition of Blake’s opened at Tate Liverpool. His ﬁrst retrospective was at Bristol City Art Gallery in 1969.
THE Beatles album sleeve for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been ranked third best cover of all time.
Sir Peter Blake’s work on the cover includes a collage of famous faces gathered around the band.
The Fab Four’s plain white cover, for their self-titled 1968 release, which is commonly known as The While Album, took the seventh spot.
A poll of musicians and rock buffs for the music website MusicRadar.com and the full top 50 will be displayed on the site.
Pink Floyd’s sleeve for Dark Side Of The Moon has been named the greatest album cover of all time followed by Nirvana’s Nevermind in second place.
Vintage artwork proved more popular than contemporary designs with most albums dating back to the 1960s and 1970s.
London Calling by The Clash, which featured Pennie Smith’s photo of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar, with lettering inspired by Elvis Presley’s debut album, was fourth.
The newest listed was Rage Against The Machine’s self- titled debut from 1992.
Will Groves, editor of MusicRadar.com, said: “The Dark Side Of The Moon is conclusive proof that one simple, enduring image is the winning formula; it is a welcome reminder of a time when sleeve art meant much more than a jpeg a couple of hundred pixels wide in your iTunes library.”
The full top 10 is: 1. Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon; 2. Nirvana – Nevermind; 3. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; 4. The Clash – London Calling; 5. Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against The Machine; 6. Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast; 7. The Beatles – The White Album; 8. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures; 9. King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King and 10. Pink Floyd – Animals.
Posted by brizzle born and bred on 2013-08-18 09:17:41
Tagged: , pop art icon Peter Blake , Wellow-Somerset , Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band , The-Beatles , artwork