Beatles 'Rock 'n' Roll Music' (1976)

beatles rnr poster.jpg

Illustration by Ignacio Gomez

There’s no doubting the fine rockin’ sounds on this 1976 compilation, though mono is to be preferred to these stereo cuts, but that sleeve is something which would disgrace the cheapest of mid-1970s rock ‘n’ roll compendiums. Apparently the Fab Four hated it, and Lennon even offered to redesign it himself, but Capital in the US and Parlophone in the UK stood firm on a sleeve that said nothing about The Beatles and a great deal about how cliched the 50s into the 70s had become when lit by the tail lights of American Graffiti.

The poster for the album, I quite like, in so much as it looks British, and there is at least some attempt at art direction . . . The expresso machine dominates like an engine block from a hot rod placed on a gallery pedestal. The Rockola jukebox provides warm illumination, and the girl looks like Jordan, if she worked at Let It Rock before Sex. The boy in his leather jacket and pants, knit tie and cigarette, looking directly into the camera, is both surly and camp. Not as cool as The Beatles in leather in Hamburg, but then who is . . .

Addendum: that is Jordan and the story of the shoot can be found here on Paul Gorman’s essential blog