The Art of the Classic Rock Poster
A new book, Classic Rock Posters, charts the history of the rock poster from the 1950s til now, with more than 500 images celebrating the developing art form.
Compiled by legendary rock writer (and Classic Rock contributor) Mick Farren and poster historian and artist Dennis Loren, Classic Rock Posters features interviews with artists and specialises in the kind of retina-melting, brain-frying artwork that, if anything, has thrived in the digital age – becoming more collectable, putting a new visual spin on classic artists, tying new bands into a long and proud tradition, and simply providing stunning visuals to often anonymous new bands.
Classic Rock Posters by Mick Farren and Dennis Loren is available from www.omnibuspress.com
Here’s a taster of some of the posters – for Led Zeppelin, Metallica, ELP, Yes, Soundgarden and more – with a specially-written intro from Mick Farren:
By Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, 1967
Even in the midst of a digital revolution, the printed poster remains the most lasting and popular of souvenirs. Posters for films and theatre, sporting events, circuses and carnivals are avidly collected and proudly displayed. Posters for rock shows are second only to the album cover as the primary visual compliment to the music. The book Classic Rock Posters traces – with hundreds of examples in lavish color – the development of the rock poster, from the crude promotion for the package tours of the 1950s through the revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s when art-school school dropouts like John Lennon, Pete Townshend, and Ray Davies, realized that a band needed more than just a sound. Control of their image and their visual art was vital. Radical originality was the order of the day until psychedelic posters were using halucinatory images and weird custom letter forms, all part of the magic mushroom cloud of the counterculture.
Tags: Big Brother & The Holding Company, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Soundgarden, The Flaming Lips, The Mars volta, The Move, The Rolling Stones, Yes