Since it’s been so long since the last entry, I’ll give you a two-fer. This marks (I believe) the first entry in the ACotW series featuring a compilation, as well as the first entry from the Fab Four. These two albums were released in April 1973, less than three full years after the Beatles officially disbanded in 1970. In contrast to the iconic covers of albums like Rubber Soul or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the images for this career-spanning set are simpler yet more powerful in my opinion.
Up first is 1962-1966, also known as the Red Album. This shot of the Beatles looking down from a stairwell at the EMI building in London was taken by Angus McBeam, and is actually from the same photo session that gave us the cover of the group’s debut, Please Please Me.
Nothing too flashy I admit. But the really cool part comes in with the next set in the compilation, 1967-70 (aka the Blue Album). For it the band and McBean returned in July 1969 to the EMI building and recreated the earlier photo almost exactly.
Again, while the image itself is pretty good, what really sells it is the contrast to the first photo. When it was taken almost a decade had passed since the dawn of Beatlemania, and the band was pretty much done by the time this photo was taken (although the official breakup was still more than a year away). Not only had the band and their music changed a great deal, but so had the world in general.
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