Beatles to Bowie
David Bowie

David Bowie by David Bebbington, 1969
David H. Bebbington
© David Bebbington/Retna Pictures


Longer hair, sex and nudity, and marriage were key elements that helped define aspects of pop in 1969. In March David Bailey shot a naked portrait of Jane Birkin. She topped the charts with her lover Serge Gainsbourg in October with the duet 'Je T'Aime... Moi Non Plus'. But the sixties turned sour with the drug-related death of Brian Jones, a murder at The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont, California and the continuing death toll of the Vietnam War.

The Beatles bowed out with their last recorded album Abbey Road. The sleeve image by Iain Macmillan showed them walking away from the studios where so much of their career had been forged. Meanwhile Pink Floyd continued to build on their growing success with an album of progressive, electronic music entitled Ummagumma, its cover designed by photographer Storm Thorgerson.

The successful Apollo 11 moon landing in July inspired David Bowie's first Top 10 hit in September, 'Space Oddity'. He was pictured in music press advertisements, extolling the Stylophone beat box, and in his spacesuit in the London flat of kinetic sculptor Dante Leonelli by David Bebbington.