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  Abstract 0521
  Etlinger, Sarah (2011), "Beyond the Music. Rethinking Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In: La Revue des Musiques Populaires, 8, 1 (May 2011), 253-276.
  The critical discussion of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has consistently been framed in terms of its importance as a record album. That is, remarks about its musical innovations and the ways it changed the culture of rock music dominate the conversation. When the album cover is mentioned, it is analyzed in terms of the symbiotic relation ship it has with the musical innovation of the album itself. However, the discussion is changing; theorists Kenneth Womack and Todd F. Davis have examined the Beatles' relationship to critical theory, and music critic Ian Inglis explores the cultural work of the Beatles' album covers. Yet much of this criticism still focuses primarily on the relationship between music and image. In this paper I expand the discussion beyond its value to popular music and consider the album cover in three visual contexts: Pop Art, photo montage, and the history of album cover design. I argue that Sgt. Pepper marks a shift in how the image of the band performs a self-reflexive critique, both through the visual content of the image as well as the processes by which it was created. This destabilizes the album cover as a mere commodity or extraneous packaging. The confluence of Pop Art and photo montage enhances the critique, for these movements fundamentally engage with problematizing representation and the status quo through the appropriation of mass-mediated images.
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