From Rocky Raccoon and psychedelic walruses to Hounds of Love and Iron Lions of Zion, rock music is full of wild animals. To visualize the creatures of your favorite lyrics, Manchester-based* design firm Dorothy commissioned illustrator Tracy Worrall to create “Rock ‘N Roll Zoo.” It’s a collection of prints featuring 77 fantastical animals inspired by song titles. Included are playfully literal depictions of The Doors’ Peace Frog, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, and other strange beasts rock stars have used as lyrical metaphors.
In the full zoo print, animals are grouped by species, so the Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven” gets to hang out with the Beastie Boys’ “Brass Monkey,” the Kink’s “Apeman,” and the Goodies’ Funky Gibbon; while the various pigs of rock–the Beatles’ “Piggies,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and Pink Floyd’s “Pigs on the Wing”–are lumped into the same sty. Some of the illustrated animals will be easy for classic rock fans to match up with their corresponding songs–the Peace Frog, Foxy Lady–but a key at the bottom of the poster clues you in to the less obvious ones. (Why is that elephant surrounded by bubbles? Oh, of course, it’s Syd Barrett’s “Effervescing Elephant.”)
In addition to the full print, boxed set collections are available, including the Indie Kid collection (featuring “Elephant Stone” by The Stone Roses, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by Pixies and “Beetlebum” by Blur) and the ’80s collection (featuring “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, and “Hungry Like a Wolf” by Duran Duran).
The prints raise a curious question: If there are lyrics about fleas, lobsters, chameleons, and penguins, why has no one written hit song about a giraffe? It’s pretty much the only zoo animal missing from the Rock ‘N Roll Zoo.
Rock ‘N Roll Zoo prints are available from Dorothy for $48 here.
*An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Dorothy is based in London. They are based in Manchester.