COMMON THEMES - By Anna Broomhead Rock Music Posters
<ul><li>This poster from ACDC features the lead guitarist Angus Young. He is the most easily recognised member of ACDC as ...
<ul><li>This music poster from The Black Crows also consists of mainly black white and red, but also contains orange. The ...
<ul><li>This music poster is from the Kings of Leon album ‘Only by the Night’. The girl featured is shown in a red light, ...
<ul><li>This Smashing Pumpkins poster also consists of very few colours, only this time, blue is used. Blue is a typically...
<ul><li>The orange used in this image works to immediately attract attention to the man in the chair. The orange jumpsuit ...
<ul><li>The main image of this Nine Inch Nails poster is a disturbing one, and again, shock tactics are used to grab atten...
<ul><li>Reds and oranges-used to appeal to the youth and represent danger or horror </li></ul><ul><li>One lone figure-sugg...
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Music Poster Analysis Rock

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Music Poster Analysis Rock

  1. 1. COMMON THEMES - By Anna Broomhead Rock Music Posters
  2. 2. <ul><li>This poster from ACDC features the lead guitarist Angus Young. He is the most easily recognised member of ACDC as he is renowned for dancing around on stage wearing a school uniform. Featuring him on the music poster ensures that people know which band it is, even if they do not know what the band is called. </li></ul><ul><li>The only colours used on this poster are red, white and black, and a touch of pink, with white used only to break up the black. This makes sure that no attention is taken from Angus by bright colours. It also links to Angus’s uniform, as black, white and red are commonly used as colours for shirts, trousers and ties. </li></ul><ul><li>Red brings text and images to the foreground, and is commonly used to stimulate people to make quick decisions (as with ‘Buy Now’ signs etc), and so the use of the colour red acts as a force to convince people to buy the poster and support the band. </li></ul><ul><li>ACDC is a term associated with electricity, and the use of lightning bolts links to this. It could represent that ACDC are a ‘shocking’ band, and are wild and untamed like lightning is. </li></ul><ul><li>This wild and crazy image links to the slogan above Angus’s head ‘lock up your daughters’. This could mean one of two things; that the band see themselves as ‘lady killers’ and will try to seduce young girls, or that the rebellious messages and images used by ACDC will cause young people to rebel, and so need ‘restraining’. </li></ul><ul><li>The shadowing used on Angus’s face, coupled with the lightning bolts, is reminiscent of famous images of ‘Frankenstein’s monster’. As Frankenstein is a monster, Angus and ACDC are identified as being monstrous, and the bared teeth show the band as being somewhat aggressive. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>This music poster from The Black Crows also consists of mainly black white and red, but also contains orange. The main image is a cartoon image of a girl dressed as a Native American. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance, which were important to Native Americans, and featured heavily in their rituals and practises. The black background makes the girl stand out and emphasises the smoke from her pipe. </li></ul><ul><li>The Native Americans commonly used ‘Peace Pipes’ in order to identify as a group and to encourage peace and harmony. The use of the pipe in this instance is probably used to symbolise peace, and the girl is making a peace sign, which links to the use of the pipe. However, it could be that she feels peaceful because the pipe is used for drugs. Rock music is stereotypically associated with smoking drugs, and use of drugs is said to improve musical experience, and so in this case, the pipe and peace sign, along with the girl’s heavy eyes, could be meant to show the use of drugs in rock music. </li></ul><ul><li>The name of the band ‘Black Crows’ can just be made out, written in the smoke. As the name of the band is emerging from the pipe, it could be that the band see themselves as having achieved great success due to either drug influence or peace and cooperation, depending on the nature of the pipe’s presence. </li></ul><ul><li>The girl’s hair and clothes are edged with the colour red, which can be linked to love and sex. As the girl pictured is an attractive one, it could be that the Black Crows are appealing to their audience in a sexual nature. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>This music poster is from the Kings of Leon album ‘Only by the Night’. The girl featured is shown in a red light, which could be representative of the red light district. The phrase ‘only by the night’ could be referring to prostitution, which happens at night in the red light district. It could be, therefore, that the girl on this music poster is a prostitute, and that the songs featured on ‘Only by the Night’ could be referring to her. </li></ul><ul><li>The cracked and peeling edges of the poster look similar to posters found on street corners, which again links back to prostitution. </li></ul><ul><li>The name of the band is larger than the slogan on this poster, suggesting that the band do not feel the need to rely on gimmicks or slogans to sell themselves. When we take into account their success (‘Sex on Fire’ reached number one in the UK, USA and Australia), we can see that this may well be the case. </li></ul><ul><li>The reds, yellows and oranges in this poster create a feeling of warmth, and coupled with the girl’s semi-seductive expression, could be representative of love or sex. This links to the Kings Of Leon’s most successful song on the album, ‘Sex on Fire’. </li></ul><ul><li>Only four colours are used in this poster; red, yellow, black and white. The red is used to convey the details of the poster, whereas the black and yellow work as shadowing. The white is used to break up the poster and make it appear less cluttered. The fact that the girl takes up the majority of the poster suggests that she is significant to the album or the band. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>This Smashing Pumpkins poster also consists of very few colours, only this time, blue is used. Blue is a typically masculine colour and is used to represent men and male childhood. At first glance, the figure in the poster appears to be a boy, but she is actually female. The masculine features of the girl suggest gender confusion, which is enhanced by the typically masculine clothes she is wearing. The shirt and striped tie are typical of all-male schools, and it could be that she actually feels she is a he. This in turn could represent the struggle to obtain identity in late childhood and puberty, allowing a teenage audience to identify with the band and their meaning, and to buy the poster and music merchandise. </li></ul><ul><li>Puppets are a typical childhood toy and usually represent comedy and fun. In this case, the ‘puppet’ is the band name, ‘Smashing Pumpkins’. In this sense, the band are being controlled by their struggle for identity. In conjunction, the octopus tentacles are symbols of horror and disgust, and are wrapped around the girl as though trying to claim her and control her. As the tentacles are emerging from the television behind the girl, it is likely that this represents the control that the media has over the young. </li></ul><ul><li>Television influences people’s opinions, and in turn, their lives. It may be that the hair is a wig, in which case it shows a desire for a boy to be female, and the tie and shirt show that the boy is trying to fit into the image that the media portray a male as having to be. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The orange used in this image works to immediately attract attention to the man in the chair. The orange jumpsuit tells you he is an American convict, and the straps, wires and metal conductor on his head show the audience that he has been given the death penalty. The fact that his eyes are closed could show either depression and a loss of hope, or else peace, and a willingness to die. The confusion of which of these emotions is expressed links again to the confusion of the young. Orange is used widely in the sale and promotion of toys, games and snacks, as it is highly attractive to the young, because it subconsciously invigorates the brain and mind. </li></ul><ul><li>The band ‘Rage Against The Machine’ (RATM) is well-known for its political views and songs, such as ‘Killing in the name of’, and the use of an image as controversial as a man in the electric chair can only be a political message from the band. </li></ul><ul><li>It is likely that ‘the machine’ represents (and means) the American Government, and ‘raging against’ them means protesting and rebelling. This promotes a feeling of anarchy, particularly amongst the young, who often seek a position of responsibility in the gap between puberty and adulthood. This ensures a wider and larger audience, and appeals to those who are political. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of the electric chair in this image, a practice controlled and enforced by the Government, is used to create outrage, and shock tactics are used to grab attention. </li></ul><ul><li>The deep oranges and reds are used to show deceit and distrust (probably towards ‘the machine’), as well as domination, aggression, and thirst for action. Dark red is associated with vigour, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath, all of which relate to rebelling against the system. The browns used on the chair and machinery suggest stability and denote masculine qualities common in revolutionaries, which RATM may identify with. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The main image of this Nine Inch Nails poster is a disturbing one, and again, shock tactics are used to grab attention. The figure in the poster looks almost childlike beneath the wires and machinery he or she is covered with, and could again be representative of youth. The wires and machinery could therefore be symbolic of the loss of childhood, and the control of higher forces. </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly to the Smashing Pumpkins poster, the use of supernatural elements appeals to the young and creates a link between them and the band. </li></ul><ul><li>The 0 on the screen of the goggles is reminiscent of a countdown, suggesting that, for somebody, time is up. This then creates the idea of despair, and provokes human emotions, thus grabbing further attention. </li></ul><ul><li>The colour red is used in this poster to create the idea of danger, again provoking human emotion. As red is also a sign of danger, it could be acting as a ‘warning’. When linked to the countdown, it could mean that the youth, or mankind in general are in danger, perhaps from a higher force. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Reds and oranges-used to appeal to the youth and represent danger or horror </li></ul><ul><li>One lone figure-suggests a feeling of being solitary and without help </li></ul><ul><li>Theme of control-life is determined by some other force than people </li></ul><ul><li>Androids-androgynous figures appeal to males and females </li></ul><ul><li>Machinery-represents ‘the machine’ (the authorities etc) </li></ul><ul><li>White font-naturally stands out and could represent innocence </li></ul>Common Themes

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