To mark the 21st anniversary of Oasis album Be Here Now we are delighted to present a collection of rare prints and photography by Brian Cannon, the artist responsible for designing the band’s first three classic album covers.
The legendary Be Here Now cover session took place at Stocks House, Hertfordshire, formerly home to Playboy executive Victor Lownes and is an homage to rock ‘n’ roll excess.
Cannon: “You can’t just turn up at a hotel and put a Rolls Royce in a swimming pool for nothing. The mad thing about that sleeve is it looks photoshopped, because the Rolls Royce looks too small. In actual fact, that Rolls Royce really is in that pool – it took us two days to put it in. We could have photoshopped it, but it was the creative thing, that’s what turned me on. If you see some of the outtakes, it looks amazing, it looks serene, like it’s drowning.”
On its first day of release, Be Here Now sold over 424,000 copies, at that time becoming the fastest-selling album in British chart history. It was the biggest selling album of the year in the UK with 1.47 million units sold, and by 2008 had sold eight million copies worldwide.
Cannon, who founded design company Microdot in 1990 had previously worked on Oasis’ first two albums as well as various projects with The Verve and Super Furry Animals, following the lineage of Sir Peter Blake and Peter Saville, elevating the record sleeve to an art form.
These rare works feature alongside a series of new prints by Gareth Halliday; the artist commissioned to create the artwork for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds album Who Built The Moon. Gallagher collaborated with electronic musician and composer David Holmes, with Halliday responding to each track and the expansive, psychedelic themes explored on the record.
Halliday: “It was the otherworldly quality of the instrumental arrangements as much as the lyrics, I felt I was creating imagery for a film soundtrack. I wanted the images to be positive, hedonistic, escapist perhaps, like the music, but with a dark undercurrent.”
Classic prints by Astrid Kirchherr, Peter Blake, Storm Thorgeson, Gered Mankowitz, Pete McKee, Horace Panter, Ian Skelly, Morgan Howell and Thomas James Butler will also be on display, with all works available to view and purchase at the gallery or online.