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The 1950's

The 1950's were a time of changes and the music of the decade both reflected the cultural changes that were happening while still holding on to the societal norms of the past. Following the detrimental effects of World War II, the United States was about to embark on a musical journey that would change the face of music for decades to come.

Popular music dominated the charts for the first half of the decade. Vocal driven classic pop replaced big band/swing at the end of World War II, although it often used orchestras to back the vocalists. 1940s style Crooners vied with a new generation of big voiced singers, many drawing on Italian Canto Bella traditions.

Rock and roll dominated popular music in the later half of the 1950s. The musical style originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, and quickly spread to much of the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various black musical genres of the time, including rhythm and blues and gospel music; with country and western and Pop.

The 1950s saw the growth in popularity of the electric guitar (developed and popularized by Les Paul). Paul's hit records like "How High the Moon", and "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise", helped lead to the development of a specifically rock and roll style of playing of such exponents as Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and Scotty Moore. Chuck Berry, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of Rock and roll music, refined and developed the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, focusing on teen life and introducing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century & the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.

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John Coltrane

John Coltrane

John Coltrane is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians.

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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice and a trademark look, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black"

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Miles Davis

Miles Davis

American jazz trumpeter Miles Davis is regarded as one of the most innovative, influential and respected figures in the history of music.

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Featured Prints

Queen (QN001JA)

Queen

Freddie Mercury onstage with Queen at the Brøndby Hallen, Copenhagen in 1977 on their A Day At The Races Tour

Prices from £291.67
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Oasis (OA001STDO)

Oasis

Oasis pictured at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire in June 1994

Prices from £166.67
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Cure, The (CURE001MPUT)

The Cure

Robert Smith of The Cure in Brazil in March 1987

Prices from £540.00
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David Bowie (DB003TEPA)

David Bowie

Terry Pastor's photograph of David Bowie from the 'Hunky Dory' album cover photo session.

Prices from £250.00
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Fall, The (FALL001KC)

The Fall

Early shot of The Fall at Central Station Car Park, Manchester in the summer of 1978

Prices from £291.67
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AC/DC (ACDC001MPUT)

AC/DC

Angus Young from rock band AC/DC onstage during their 'Back in Black' UK Tour in 1980.

Prices from £540.00
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Featured Artists

Chic

Chic

Chic is an American band that was organized during 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers & bassist Bernard Edwards.

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Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde has one of the most distinctive voices in rock music and is best known as the founder of The Pretenders

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Prince

Prince

Prince was a musical innovator known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant dress sense and unique vocal range.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd are currently getting set for the 'Their Mortal Remains' exhibition at the V&A - Check out our range of images for sale.

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Smiths, The

The Smiths

Critics have called The Smiths the most important alternative rock band to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s.

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Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison is a Northern Irish singer, songwriter and musician who is usually known by the name "Van the Man" to his fans.

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Featured Collections

Jazz & Blues Collection

Jazz & Blues Collection

Welcome to our Jazz & Blues Print Collection - over 50 years of iconic images of the world's greatest Jazz & Blues musicians

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***New Arrivals***

***New Arrivals***

Here are the very latest prints we have added to our collection. We hope you love them as much as we do.

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Rockarchive Edition 100

Rockarchive Edition 100

Edition 100 was created to give fans & collectors a chance to own classic, historical pictures of their favorite bands.

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The Rolling Stones Collection

The Rolling Stones Collection

The Rolling Stones have been entertaining audiences for more than 50 years. Our collections share the best images spanning their career

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Born In The USA

Born In The USA

The USA has given us many of the world's greatest music artists - we celebrate the best of the best

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Contact Sheets Collection

Contact Sheets Collection

Our contact sheet collection is a rare opportunity to look back at the hidden moments surrounding some of rocks most iconic images.

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