About an hour ago, I noticed a tweet from Gibson Guitar that asked, “Is this the most famous album cover in history? (If not, what is??)” The tweet included a link to an article on the Gibson website about the making of the cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (below right).
While I agree that the cover for Sgt. Pepper’s is famous and iconic, I do not believe that it is the most iconic album cover in history. It is not even the most iconic album cover in The Beatles’ discography.
I believe that the cover for Abbey Road (below) is the most famous and most iconic by The Beatles. It is undoubtedly the first that comes to mind when you ask people to name a “famous album cover by The Beatles” — try it.
Both album covers have been copied and parodied countless times. However, Abbey Road still compels tourists to the location where the photograph was taken. Many people today cannot even name most of the celebrities on the Sgt. Pepper’s cover.
I also believe that there are many album covers that can be regarded as the “most iconic” simply because young people continue to display it on their bedroom walls. You can walk into any college dorm today and see a poster of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (below). The Beatles? Not so much.