Bring back some good or bad memories


August 3, 2016

Before MTV Killed the Unsung Artform: 22 Great Rock 'n' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip From the Late 1960s

In January 1967, a billboard promoting the debut album of LA rock band The Doors appeared on the Sunset Strip. It was a landmark moment in the history of music promotion, and ushered in an era lasting 15 years where hand-painted billboards promoting popular rock 'n' roll bands dominated the Strip. Photographer Robert Landau began taking pictures of the billboards in the late-Sixties.

The Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, California circa 1979.

Billboards back then were relatively cheap (around $1,500 to paint, maintain and remove) and the record companies did them mostly to placate their temperamental artists. Today, Landau says billboard space can cost over $30,000. Back then billboards weren’t really expected to sell records. But the record companies realized it was a way to communicate with young music fans. To that end, they often teased and recreated album covers that the kids were putting up on their bedroom walls.

Landau calls these billboards "ephemeral." He explains: “They went up fast, stayed up about a month and then they were white washed over and a new one would go up.”

1. The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)

2. Free - Fire and Water (1970)

3. Cat Stevens - Foreigner (1973)

4. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On (1973)

5. Pink Floyd - Animals (1977)

6. Kiss - Alive II (1977)

7. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

8. Donna Summer - Live and More (1978)

9. Cher - Take Me Home (1979)

10. The Knack - Round Trip (1981)

11. Rolling Stones - Love You Live (1977)

12. 10cc - Deceptive Bends (1977)

13. David Bowie - Diamond Dogs (1974)

14. Rod Stewart - Blondes Have More Fun (1978)

15. Electric Light Orchestra - Out of the Blue (1977)

16. Queen - News Of The World (1977)

17. Stevie Wonder - Talking Book (1972)

18. Pink Floyd, The Wall (1979)

19. Randy Newman - Born Again (1979)

20. UFO - Obsession (1978)

21. Crosby, Stills and Nash (1970)

22. Linda Ronstadt - Living in the USA (1978)

(All images from Rock 'n' Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip by Robert Landau, published by Angel City Press.)


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10