A half-century onward, Morrison Hotel Gallery looks back on the momentous time in music with 1971: The Golden Age of Rock & Roll, on view in Los Angeles and New York City starting Thursday, October 28, 2021.
From the year’s most iconic album covers lensed by the likes of David Montgomery, Guy Webster, and Ethan Russell to those photographers granted backstage access to the world tours and studio sessions that pushed the genre to its indulgent tipping point, 1971 celebrates the half-centennial of rock’s golden year hits through the lens of time-honored iconography.
The year 1971 was a 12-month period where everything seemed to come together musically. The world was ready to shake off the 60s and move forward into an uncertain future. This sense of possibility, both good and bad, hangs over the best albums of that year.
The biggest acts of the 60s were trying new things, and plenty of new voices were emerging to challenge what had come before. Motown stars were taking big chances. Brazilian musicians were seeing what came after Tropicália. Beatles were going solo. It was a year in which a list of the 50 most influential 1971 albums still doesn’t feel like it begins to scratch the surface. So, take this list as a beginning, an invitation to explore a year that changed music forever.
The list goes on, making the case for what experts, academics and casual fans alike have dubbed the most important year in rock and roll history and what celebrated music journalist David Hepworth pinpoints as “a huge explosion of creativity in a very short period of time.”
The exhibition will begin with an opening reception on October 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. in NYC at Morrison Hotel Gallery’s SoHo flagship location, 116 Prince St, 2nd Floor. The event is limited to those fully vaccinated following CDC guidelines.
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