4) The Beach Boys “Surf’s Up” (1971): Technically this isn’t a painting by a famous artist at all, but it is at least based on a famous sculpture called ‘The End Of The Trail’ by early 20th century artist James Earle Fraser. Ironically this famous American painting of a tired and weary traveller slowly making his way home on a horse is now probably better known in Europe for being a Beach Boys album cover! The cover was well recived by the music press of the time who saw it as one of the reasons the album was a ‘return to form’ – but, like the album, it’s actually a great deal less distinguished than predecessor ‘Sunflower’, being dark and murky and hard to see in detail. Still, the idea of a tired and bedraggled band trying to get back to where they once belonged does suit the suite of songs in some way.
5) Neil Young “The Painter”, a track on the ‘Prairie Wind’ album (2005): Erm, Err, Um, Oh alright then. Neil Young, he’s famous. And he did write a song about painting. At least it’s sort of about painting – there’s a list of colours and a painter standing back to look at her work in full rather than gazing at the small detail – a neat adjective for looking back at her life and realizing that ‘if you follow every dream you might get lost’. What a shame Neil didn’t use some of those ideas to spruce up what must be one of the most boring album covers of any AAA release: a sheet blowing in the wind against a prairie backdrop.
So, that’s that for another issue. See you next time for thrills, spills, chills and mandrills – oh no, sorry, that’s a line for our Dr Who issue someday. Err see you next time for new, views, reviews, blue suede shoes and music. See you then!