Cover Back Page
Front Cover Back Cover
ISBN Number 0-688-04777-7
Printing Year 1984 First Edition
U.S. Cost $17:95

The Art Of The Beatles
     by Mike Evans

The Beatles impact on the visual arts - from photography, painting, and sculpture to film animation and graphic design.

The Beatles were much more than just a pop phenomenon. To their instantly timeless music was tuned an amazing visual appeal. Their image was recognizable and universal. Even after the band disbanded in 1970, the four Liverpudlians were seen to represent all that was young, optimistic, and creative in the heady times now remembered as the "swinging sixties".

This book based on the historic exhibition held in Liverpool in 1984, is the first collection of all that was best in the Beatles assault on the visual imagery of our times. It encompasses photography, painting, sculpture, book illustration, film animation, graphic design, record sleeve art, poster art, theatre, fashion, and even comic strip cartoons. It provides a convincing demonstration of the unique importance of the Beatles to the visual art of our times.

The book begins with the urban background of Liverpool and Hamburg, showing how the Beatles emerged from the black leather and teddy boy look of the late 50's with the distinctive mop-top image that they made their own. It shows the crucial influence of Stuart Sutcliffe (the legendary "fifth Beatle" who was hailed as a potential major name in painting but who died at the age of twenty-one), and of the art students they met in Hamburg.

Mike Evans then goes on to trace the development of the Beatles image, in photography, graphics and record sleeves, throughout the years of their supremacy. He demonstrates the extent to which the Beatles anticipated the whole range of visual styles of the 60's, from the nostalgic fun of "Sergeant Pepper" to the psychedelia of "Rubber Soul" and the bare minimalism of the "White Album". There were the years when such photographers as Dezo Hoffmann and Robert Freeman were creating the lasting, classic images of the group that are still ubiquitous today, and when the barriers between pop and art were disappearing in a flood of posters, book illustrations and graphic art.

Finally, Mike Evans looks at the visual legacy of the Beatles. Their image has become a symbol of the 60's - even more so since the assassination of John Lennon - and has been incorporated by an enormous variety of artists, whose work is amply represented in this book. The presence of such names as Sam Walsh and Adrian Henri from the early Liverpool days, and John Bratby, David Wynne, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, David Oxtoby, James Marsh and Alan Aldridge, from the later years, is both a tribute to, and a demonstration of, the Beatles central role in the popular culture of their times.

Chapter 1 : People and things that went before
The background to the image: Beatniks and Teddy boys, art school and Hamburg, coffee bars and cellar clubs.
Chapter 2 : Yes I'm gonna be a star
The classic Beatles; the photographs of Hoffman and Freeman, Beatlemania, first appearance in paintings and poetry, America, and the Dick Lester movies.
Chapter 3 : It could make a million for you overnight
The visual explosion: swinging London, psychedelia, poster art, pop as art, Apple, animation, happenings.
Chapter 4 : Yesterday
After the Beatles: literature, illustration, theatre, cartoons, plagiarism and parody.
Chapter 5 : I read the news today, Oh boy !
Homage: post-Beatles art - nostalgia or symbol of the '60s ? Homages to Lennon, the "Art of the Beatles" exhibition, the Beatles' heritage.

Review :

A super glossy book (10 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches). 144 pages, packed with Fab images.

Sadly, Out of Print