Top 5 Sheet Music Covers of 1921

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Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a list of the Top 5 Sheet Music Covers of 1920, and since that one turned out to be perhaps the most well received of all my blog posts, I thought this would be a perfect time to follow it up with another list of the Top 5 Sheet Music Covers of 1921.

Here we go!

5.) Two Little Girls in Blue: The first thing that comes to mind when I look at this cover is the sheer boldness of it. From the bold lettering in the title to the boldly outlined figures of the girls, nearly everything about this cover conveys a sense of strength and solidity. One thing I question is why such a feminine subject (and such an obviously feminine title) was depicted with such strong and masculine line work, but I think that this dichotomy is what makes it interesting. It also seems to suggest that these two little girls in blue have a double dose of moxie! (Something I deeply respect in a woman.)

We don't offer this in our store (yet,) but here's an art print that is aesthetically similar.

4.) Home Again Blues: Only the best designers are able to make a forced connection that visually hints at what they are trying to represent, and in this case, the designer has clearly outdone him/herself. At first, the abstract rows of cubes seem to do little more than to hint at cubism, but when you think about how most houses are (in the most basic sense) box shaped, then you begin to see the connection. The number of boxes also seems to hint at how many different places the protagonist has stayed, as, in the lyrics, she describes herself as "a rolling stone". The boxes could also be trunks, as in the lyric "Pack up my trunk, 'cause I've got those home again blues."

3.) Ziegfeld Follies of 1921: Naturally I had to include this one since it's one of our most popular prints, and I think a significant reason for its popularity is its color and sass. This woman is evidently a flapper, and the way she poses with her pet parrot reveal her independent and spirited nature. Not only this, but the parrot also kind of looks like her. (People say we sometimes look like our pets, and it's how we choose them. I would tend to agree with that.) The use of color is also breathtaking, mainly in the way the colors are combined despite that this cover uses only two.

2.) Shuffle Along: I respect designs that look at conventional subjects in unconventional ways, and just as with Home Again Blues above, this cover also makes a fresh and nuanced depiction of an old subject. When you shuffle along, you presumably shuffle along with your feet (unless you're a tentacled creature from another planet.) So, naturally, the emphasis is on the shuffling feet, but in this case it is only the feet. The upper body, since it doesn't do much shuffling, does not even need to be included in the design. Way to drive the point home!

Before I unveil my number one pick, here are some honorable mentions:

1.) Stealing: Ever since I first discovered this one in 2019, I've been in love with it. The main reason is its minimalist use of shape and its limited color palette. Besides this, I also love the specific colors that were chosen to design this cover. In this copy, the red looks like magenta, (which, to be perfectly honest, could very well be due to fading,) but whether it's supposed to be straight red or not, it's still a highly effective color choice as it is bold and stands out.

Do you love red too? Then here's a print you're really going to like!

That's it for this list. Which of these covers did you like the best? Are there any others you wish I had included? Perhaps some you wish I had left out? As always, please hit me up in the comments so we can chat.

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