When was the last time you saw a really cool billboard? It doesn’t really happen anymore, right? They’re all like “shop here” or “watch this” or (at this time of year) “something something Christmas.” Get ready to have your aesthetic envy stoked then by photographer Robert Landau who spent the 1970s and 80s documenting the album adverts on LA’s famous Sunset Strip. With the music industry at the apogee of its powers, his new book provides a great snapshot of a certain time and place when legendary bands’ billboards jostled for attention in all sorts of eye-catchingly creative ways.
But Robert also recognises the enormous amount of skill that went into these visual experiences – the significance of which can’t be underestimated, albeit in a time when music marketing was a darn more straightforward than it is today. And above and beyond all this, these are achingly cool photographs of the Los Angeles so fixed in the popular imagination.