How The Beatles Changed Album Covers Forever

The purpose of an album cover might be to make you buy some music, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be works of art. Don’t believe it? You will once you hear Evan Puschak’s take on the subject.

In this video, Puschak, also known as the Nerdwriter, examines the artistry of album covers, using The Beatles’ catalog as a specific example. The very first records released featured no cover art, and were just packaged with cheap paper to prevent damage. However, as records and music became more commodified album covers became a major selling point, drawing buyers to eye-catching material.

Puschak’s analysis of The Beatles’ covers perfectly illustrates broad shifts in album art style, as well as the blurred line between recorded music as a commodity versus an art form. With their early releases, the band used “personality shot” covers that invite audiences to identify with them but don’t do much else. But later releases employed more artfully minded designs, hitting a peak with the cover to 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Puschak’s point-by-point analysis of the Sgt. Pepper’s cover unwraps the layers of the iconic work to show just how effective an album cover can be as its own form of art.

For more cultural analysis, be sure to visit Evan Puschak at the Nerdwriter on Youtube.