Iconic Music Photography
- Oct 22, 2009
I guess one of the greatest dreams of any band is to have an iconic picture someday. A picture taken at the right moment, at that one visceral point in a band's existence, might be the one that immortalizes it. Through out music history, we've seen some great examples of iconic pictures, like the ones here.
And I really wonder which are the pictures these days that one day might become iconic. I just think that we haven't seen new iconic pictures for a long time now, and probably won't see any... unless these emo kids pull off some great plan, but I think they don't have what it takes. So, what do you think will be the iconic music photography of tomorrow? Any thoughts? Tell us! Cheers. ;)
Hendrix was immortalized after burning and smashing of his guitar at the finale of his performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.
Sid Vicious and Nancy
In November 1977, Sid met American groupie Nancy Spungen, and they immediately began a relationship. She was a heroin addict, and Sid, who already believed in his own "live fast, die young" image, soon shared the dependence. Although they were deeply in love, their often violent and rocky relationship had a disastrous effect on the Sex Pistols.
Picture taken by Daniel Kramer
Bob Dylan has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was, at first, an informal chronicler and then an apparently reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'," became anthems for both the civil rights and the anti-war movements.
In 1982 Jackson issued his second Epic album, Thriller. The album remained in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks and 37 of those weeks at the peak position. It was the first album to have seven Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It," and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'. Thriller was certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond status in the United States. It was, and currently remains, the best-selling album of all time, with 110 million copies worldwide.
Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Wailers' first album, Catch a Fire, was released worldwide in 1973, and sold well. It was followed a year later by Burnin', which included the songs "Get Up, Stand Up" and "I Shot the Sheriff". Eric Clapton made a hit cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974, raising Marley's international profile. The Wailers broke up in 1974 with each of the three main members going on to pursue solo careers. The reason for the breakup is shrouded in conjecture; some believe that there were disagreements amongst Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, and Bob concerning performances, while others claim that Bunny and Peter simply preferred solo work.
The iconic cover of Elvis Presley's debut RCA Victor album. Photo taken on January 31, 1955
On January 10, 1956, Presley made his first recordings for RCA in Nashville, Tennessee. RCA enlisted the talents of already established stars Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins also to "...fatten the sound." The session produced "Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One" which was released on January 27. The public reaction to "Heartbreak Hotel" prompted RCA to release it as a single in its own right. By April it had hit number one in the U.S. charts, selling in excess of one million copies.
Alladin Sane Cover
Aladdin Sane is an album by David Bowie, released by RCA Records in 1973. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, it was the first album Bowie wrote and released as a bona fide pop star. The name of the album is a pun on "A Lad Insane". An early variation was "Love Aladdin Vein", which Bowie dropped partly because of its drug connotations.
Abbey Road Cover
The Abbey Road cover photograph was taken by Iain Macmillan. Macmillan was given only ten minutes around 11:30 that morning to take the photo on a zebra crossing on Abbey Road. That cover photograph has since become one of the most famous and most imitated album covers in recording history. McCartney is bare-footed and out of step with the other three. The photograph also played a prominent part in the "Paul is dead" urban legend in late 1969. The man standing on the pavement in the background is Paul Cole, an American tourist unaware he had been photographed until he saw the album cover months later.
The cover of their original album, Ramones.
The Ramones were an American rock band often regarded as the first punk rock group. Formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1974, all of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname 'Ramone', though none of them were actually related. They performed 2263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell show and disbanded.
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors and is widely considered to be one of the most charismatic frontmen in rock music history. Although Morrison was known for his baritone vocals, many fans, scholars and journalists alike have referenced his theatrical stage persona, self-destructive lifestyle and his work as a poet. He was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time".
London Calling Cover
The London Calling cover features a photograph of Simonon smashing his Fender Precision Bass against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the "Clash Take the Fifth" US tour. Pennie Smith, who photographed the band for the album, originally did not want the photograph to be used. She thought that it was too out of focus, but Strummer and graphic designer Ray Lowry thought it would make a good album cover. In 2002, Smith's photograph was named the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q magazine, commenting that "it captures the ultimate rock'n'roll moment - total loss of control". The cover artwork was designed by Lowry and was a homage to the design of Elvis Presley's debut album. The cover was named the ninth best album cover of all time by Q magazine in 2001.