Last night I was reading my issue of Rolling Stone Magazine where my girl Adele was gracing the cover. I bought the magazine because of what I saw on the cover. Then I was thinking I wonder how many people usually do that. So this morning I found myself on the R.S. website thumbing through some old covers and then I noticed something in the notes. A lot of these bands back in the day used the Rolling Stone cover as their breakout. To introduce them to the world. Amazing how much power this magazine used to have.
Here are some of the best breakout covers:
By this time in 1968 they had spent most of their time backing acts like Bob Dylan, inspiring them to name themselves... The Band. Their debut album Music From Big Pink was just arriving on shelves when this story hit. From that point forward, they were no longer back ups.
M.J. was only 11 when he first appeared on the cover of R.S. During the previous year the Jackson 5 had exploded onto the charts, scoring huge hits. It was the group's peak, but a decade later Jackson would emerge as one of the most successful recording artists in the history of recorded music.
Elton John's first appearance capped off a very big year for the singer/songwriter. In that time he released his 1970s self-titled LP and Tumbleweed Connection, scoring the breakthrough single "Your Song" and playing a series of acclaimed concerts across America. It was the beginning of a spectacular four-decade career at the top!
Aerosmith have peaked and fallen more than nearly any band in history. The first peak came right around the time of this cover in 1976. The group had just released Rocks, featuring "Back in the Sattle" and "Last Child". Within a few years drugs and internal tension reduced the group to a club act, but by the late 80s they had crawled their way... back to the top.
The 80s were just about half over when R.S. dubbed U2 "our band of the '80s". It was a bold statement, but with the release of Unforgettable Fire it was clear that U2 would be a major force in music. This was the the band's first R.S. cover, and they have gone on record many many...many times over the years to say how much they despise the photo. I mean who can blame them... whats in the background? A staircase on fire?
Photographer Mark Seliger remembers this photo session for Nirvana well. "I said to Kurt, 'I think that's a great shirt; he recalls. "I think thats great. That's a great shirt! - but let's shoot a couple with and without it'. Kurt said, "No, I'm not going to take my shirt off". ha.