How the Beatles changed album covers

9 minutes

‘Sgt Pepper’s’ challenging union of high and low culture, art and commodity

The Beatles are perhaps just as beloved for their experimentation as they for their accessibility. Nowhere was their joining of challenging, self-reflexive commentary and easy-to-love commodity more pronounced than in their 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – both in the music and on its timeless cover. This video essay chronicles the history of album covers, and deconstructs how, with Sgt Pepper’s, the Beatles transformed the album cover from a product package to a potential work of art in its own right.

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