Semiotic Analysis of Album Covers Oasis – Definitely Maybe – 1994 Genre – Britpop Britpop - is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. Britpop emerged from the British independent music scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s. In the wake of the musical invasion into the United Kingdom of American grunge bands, new British groups such as Suede and Blur launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns. These bands were soon joined by others including Oasis, Pulp, Supergrass, Sleeper and Elastica. 2.1. Band Albumname – title‘0asis’ ‘Definite ly Maybe’ 1. Band name – Oasis. Bold lettering along with a distinctive logo, this can create synergy, as this may become a staple of the band. 2. Album name – ‘Definitely Maybe’. Ambiguous title name. The album cover depicts the five members of the band sitting or lying down in what looks to be a lounge. This looks to reflect that the band are just you and I or are simply normal people. This is further represented by
the lack of anything of grandeur or that could be seen as reserved for someone with money. The band also seem to give off the classic Britpop themes of a ‘lad’ type culture which is represented by the band all being together in one room and also by the picture of Manchester City footballer. The picture gives away that they are from Manchester and are supporters of football, both of these points together enhance the view that are ‘lads’, are possibly from a working class background and as they are all together give off the impression that they are all just mates in a band and that anyone could achieve what they have and that they are clearly British which is a staple of Britpop. Pulp – Different Class AlbumBand NameName –‘Pulp’ 1. Band name – Pulp. Distinctive logo. 2. Album Name – Different Class. The album name itself is a double entendre as ‘different class’ as it could mean either, something or someone was in a class of their own or it could mean the difference between social classes. (It does in fact mean the difference between social classes as many of the songs on the album have this theme.)
The album cover depicts a wedding photo of what seems to be quite an upper class group of wedding guests, which is represented through their clothes, and the nice backdrop of this photo. The six band members of Pulp are also shown in the photo interspersed throughout the photo but are shown as ghostly figures with extremely white faces, which makes them look out of place within the context of the wedding photo. The idea of the band not fitting in could represent the fact that the band themselves do not fit in the ‘mainstream’ music scene but is more likely a comment on the differing social standing of the British population and how certain people would not fit in with others, which links in with the title of the album. Blur –ParklifeAlbum Name –‘Parklife’ Band Name – ‘Blur’ 1. Band Name – Blur 2. Album Name – Parklife The album cover depicts two dogs racing on a track. This picture is to link with the title of Parklife as a comment on English life. The title Parklife relates to how the album is about English society and how people lived their lives at the time. This is a staple of the Britpop genre as the bands part of the scene, such as Pulp and Oasis would use their music to comment on society, whether they were writing about the differing social classes or about what is was like in Britain at the time, which is what this particular album is focusing on.