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5 album covers designed by famous artists

Antje Binder eg
March 31, 2017

Album covers not only give a first impression, they become an icon of the music they accompany. Some famous covers were designed by established artists. Do you know who created this Beatles artwork?

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles
Image: Capitol Records

It is among the most famous album covers ever made: "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band" from 1967. It shows the four Beatles in colorful made-up uniforms, surrounded by 70 prominent personalities, from Karl Marx to Marilyn Monroe, from Edgar Ellen Poe to Albert Einstein. All these famous people are said to have influenced the band and their music.

Blake's ensemble

The creator of this artwork is the British artist Peter Blake, along with his wife Jann Haworth, the gallery owner Robert Fraser and the photographer Michael Cooper. Blake prepared life-size cardboard cut-outs and grouped the figures around the real Beatles in the uniforms. The setup was then photographed by Michael Cooper.

The Beatles selected the celebrities themselves. They asked those who were still living if they agreed to be included on the cover, and not all of them did. The record label rejected John Lennon's wish to include Adolf Hitler and Jesus on the cover, considering it too controversial. The band did not include Elvis Presley either, claiming he was "too important and far above the rest to even mention," McCartney once said.

 Fake moustaches and stand-up cut-outs

The album's inner sleeve was also designed by Peter Blake. As a bonus gift, it included a postcard portrait of Sgt. Pepper, a fake moustache, two sets of sergeant stripes and a stand-up cut-out of the Beatles in their uniforms to allow everyone to become a member of the Lonely Hearts' Club Band.

The cult cover's numerous details and cultural references still provide material for speculation and interpretation. Click through the picture galleries above and below to discover more album covers designed by famous artists.