Unhappy with the censoring the album cover of Yesterday and Today in June 1966, the Beatles asked their German friend and artist Klaus Voormann to create an artwork for their forthcoming album Revolver.
Klauss had a very specific idea since from the start how his artwork was going to be like, even if he went through a few changes during the process: at first he created a painting on caves with some pictures recalling the good ol' times in Hamburg, but he scrapped that idea with a black and white collage of drawings and photos (inspired from the work of the nineteenth-century illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, "The Yellow Book"), a bit unusual for the psychedelic period the fab four were going through, but certainly very effective.
His working desk was covered of photographs from magazines, most of them photos going from 1963 to 1965 taken by Robert Whitetaker and Robert Freeman. Let's take a look a look at all of them individually.
Starting from the top left of the album cover we have a couple of photos already appearing on other Beatles records: John's and George's were previously featured on the back cover of Rubber Soul.
While Ringo's was taken from the Long Tall Sally EP (the original photo was taken in Stockholm in October 1963) by Robert Freeman.
Moving clockwise, there is a photo of Paul, but I can't tell when or where it was taken.
Next to this there's one of George which was already featured in the inner sleeve of Beatles for Sale.
Below there's one of John at Abbey Road studios (I guess it is at Abbey Road due to a lack of background, if it was a TV studio I would expect to see lights or other things).
And a mirror reflection of Ringo paying more attention to his tie than what seems to be The Dave Clark Five on TV.
A bit further on the right there is a warped photo of Ringo cut out from the 1963 beach photoshoot by Dezo Hoffmann in Weston-super-Mare.
Yet another photo of Ringo of unknown origin, possibly from the Help! period.
and next to it another of John as well from the Help! period (possibly taken at the Bahamas).
A row below we have a 1963 photo of Paul talking to Dick James.
A bit further on the right there is another photo taken in Stockholm (Sweden) in October 1963, possibly by Bo Trenter (PS: please note, I'm note a Beatles historian, on the best of my research that's a name I found along Robert Freeman).
Below another picture of George.
A fish-eye lens picture of the band …
… with Ringo resting his arms on John's head. John is wearing an Abraham Lincoln-like fake beard.
The photo was taken during the filming of A Hard Day's Night.
Next to the left there is a photo of Paul laying on the floor at abbey Road studio, maybe doing some in-between-song gymnastic.
and on the right there is another photo taken in Stockholm in October 1963, this time of Paul wearing a traditional Irish hat.
A bit further up, on John's ear there a very small picture of John standing behind an armour with some of his own drawing in the background.
Some of the photos can also be seen in the poster seen behind George Martin in this photo.
Straight down below there is an unknown picture of John smoking a cigarette.
and one of Ringo posing sideways sitting on his drums-kit stage.
and finally a photo of the artist of this iconic album cover, Klaus Voormann.
This same image also appears on the Anthology Vol.2 and he also included another one of himself in the Anthology Vol.3.
While the main faces are drawing, George's eyes and lips were taken from this photograph
his photo was drawn out of this picture;
Paul's from this one;
John possibly from this photo-film-strip of Robert Freeman (TBC);
and Ringo's definitely from this one
There are some alternative artworks of Revolver. Let's have a quick look at them.
Klaus also draw a short comic to commemorate the event.
There is an alternate cover for a Russian edition, but I doubt this is an artwork made by Klaus, so the one next to it.
Let's not forget that Klaus made a similar collage in 1995 for the 3 Anthology collections.
while George re-used his own drawing of the album cover for his single When We Was Fab in 1988.
You may be surprised to know that the original design artwork is wonder by Joe Walsh (NOTE: just the design, not the collage, this is the official photo presented to the Beatles for their authorisation/confirmation to be used, the photo was shrieked to match the size of an LP cover).
Since we're here, I might just throw in a last picture: here what the Alternate Revolver bootleg vinyl looks like.
Let's not forget Klaus is the artist behind the 3 volumes of the Anthology.Here'a deconstruction of the collage he made for the book cover.