Like much of Britain in the 1950s, musical artwork – concert posters, flyers, sleeve design and the like – was staid and generic. And then, to cut a long story short, Elvis shook his hips and nothing was the same again.
The Art of British Rock, by Mike Evans with Paul Palmer-Edwards, is a fabulous new book dedicated to the explosion in this field from the Fifties onwards. Subtitled 50 Years of Rock Posters, Flyers and Handbills, it demonstrates how these artforms were subject to the thrilling changes taking place throughout society.
So from early boxing bill-style posters advertising ‘the sensational Beatles’ – the ‘originators of the atom beat’ according to those at Liverpool’s Cassanova Club, through the psychedelic Sixties, the DIY ethos of punk and up to the present day, one can see how this revolution in visual excellence has continued to evolve and diversify.