Elvis Presley’s Debut Album Cover

Posted by // October 25th, 2012 // Graphic Design No Comments »

Elvis Presley’s eponymous debut album was released on the 23rd of March 1956 and went to number one in both the US and UK. His record label, RCA, had wanted to release an album to build upon the success of his first big hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ which reached the top of the US pop singles chart. It quickly gained legendary status by spending ten weeks at number one on the Billboard chart and eventually sold over one million copies in the US alone.

Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

The album cover is a photograph of Elvis headlining a show at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida. It shows a youthful Presley performing during the middle of a song and perfectly captures a twenty year-old rock ‘n’ roll singer beginning his rise to stardom. The pink and green text contrasts with the black and white image to create an album cover which has spawned many high profile tributes due to the album’s iconic status. Artists from Tom Waits to The Clash have embraced its style, with London Calling being the highest profile example of this.

The Clash - London Calling

London Calling was the third studio album to be released by popular English band The Clash. Both previous albums had gained gold status in the UK and their success continued as London Calling was given highly positive reviews and became their first album to sell one million copies in the US. The album cover features bassist Paul Simonen smashing his Fender bass guitar during a concert at The Palladium in New York City. The photograph, taken by Pennie Smith, summed up the band’s punk spirit and showed how rock ‘n’ roll had evolved from Presley’s time in the 1950s.

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