By Scott T. Sterling
British artist Chris Barker has shared a new rendering of the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover honoring stars who’ve passed away this year.
Among the artists featured include Tom Petty, Fats Domino, Chester Bennington, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Gord Downie of Tragically Hip, Al Jarreau and Glen Campbell. The artwork also features non-musicians such as Roger Moore and Hugh Hefner.
This is Chris Barker’s second such version of the album cover. He produced one last year featuring Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Glenn Frey, George Martin and more.
“Last year I was surprised at the amount of attention my Sgt. Pepper montage of all the big names we had lost received in the media,” Barker told Billboard. “Millions of retweets, articles online, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, at home and around the world. It genuinely got to the point where I wouldn’t have been surprised to see someone getting it as a tattoo.”
“But looking back it was a truly strange year,” he continued. “It wasn’t just the number of celebrities dying, it was the level of genius of so many of them. A Bowie or a Prince only comes around once a generation and we’d lost both of them, let alone George Michael or Carrie Fisher. Fate was dealing us a very odd hand. It felt like the last exodus of genius from the planet. So it’s not surprising that became the big story of the year.”