Have you ever been listening to the radio—or nowadays, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, or iTunes—and heard a song that immediately takes you back to a specific place or event in time?
It’s something that happens to a lot of people, because music plays such an important part in our lives. We celebrate our faith with worship music. We attend music festivals and concerts as part of our social activities. We go dancing. We select specific songs to be played at major life events such as weddings, anniversaries, and memorial services.
For most of us, our love affair for music began in our youth. Many people reading this blog can recall the joy of not only listening to our favorite music on vinyl albums, but the equally enjoyable practice of perusing the accompanying album art and liner notes.
Back when they still made “albums,” the covers and insides were art forms in and of themselves. A great deal of effort by some very talented people went into making the visual look and feel of the album part of the overall musical experience.
For example, the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band has been called the best album cover of all time. Along with images of the Fab Four, it featured more than 70 artists, writers, thinkers and figures that were influential to The Beatles, and even contained cut out moustaches and badges. Later, the band released the stark “White Album” which was, well, it was white!
The Rolling Stone’s 1971 album Sticky Fingers had an actual zipper embedded into the cover.
The Velvet Underground & Nico collaborated with Andy Warhol and featured a banana print on the cover with a “peelable” banana skin.
The Clash’s 1979 London Calling paid homage to Elvis Presley’s 1956 debut album, only with a “punk” edge.
Groups like Yes, the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd had albums that were as psychedelic and avant-garde as the music itself.
But the cover art was only half of the experience. Inside, albums contained interesting liner notes, lyrics and photography for fans to enjoy. Perhaps one of the most notable was the Chicago IV Live at Carnegie Hall which contained two giant posters of the band, a poster of Carnegie Hall’s exterior, voting information, and a 20-page book containing photos of the band and a tour schedule.
In celebration of this unique art form, the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale has captured some of those memorable moments in album art and imagery and has them on display in the “Revolutions 2 – The Art of Music” exhibit now showing through August 2nd.
We invite you to visit this fascinating exhibit of stunning art and photography. It may take you back in time to recall some wonderful moments and memories.
Which leads us to ask…what songs and albums are most meaningful to you?