One of the few drawbacks to the boom in online music is that it means that we get fewer chances to look at outstanding album covers. Will there ever again be classic album artwork like this for us to spend hours looking at in our bedrooms?
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Clearly the work of a deranged genius, the cover of the St Pepper album has been the subject of tributes, investigations and speculation ever since it was released way back in 1967. Did it include hidden messages? Probably. Is it one of the best album covers ever? Definitely. It’s just a shame that John Lennon’s request for Hitler and Jesus to feature in the picture were ignored.
Nirvana – Nevermind
This 1991 album was an instant classic, as the band managed to cleverly get the image of male gentalia onto their album cover. The back of the album was even weirder if I remember correctly.
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
Don’t know what to put on your album cover? Stick a bit of fruit on it. It worked for the Velvet Underground with this iconic artwork.
The Clash – London Calling
The punk era isn’t exactly noted for its wealth of great album covers but this one is pretty cool. Before I bought this album I had sort of seen the cover out of the corner of my eye a few times and thought that it was the Hunchback of Notre Dame bashing an axe into the ground. That would have been even better if we are being honest.
Michael Jackson – Thriller
No matter what happened in the decades since this 1982 album this is the image of Michael Jackson which I always kept in my head. He just looked so groovy in that picture.
Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin Bob Dylan
When I was a kid my Dad owned this album. He might still do. I used to look at it and think how stupid old people are for liking such lame music. Fast forward a couple of decades and who’s laughing now, eh? The informal nature of the photo was ground breaking at the time and the image remains one of the best album covers in the history of music.
Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
I have never been a huge fan of Prince and his music but this album cover is fantastic on a number of levels. It is so over the top and ridiculous that I can’t help loving it.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
I never expected to turn this into a list of “The Best Album Covers by Groups I Hated as a Kid”. However, I have to be honest and admit that a little bit of me died every time my sister put on this cassette. Having said that, the album artwork is brilliantly enigmatic and for me it instantly evokes a certain era of my childhood.
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
Can anyone look at this classic album cover and not immediately think back to those hard rocking glory days of the mid 80s?
The The – Soul Mining
This is probably the least well known album on the list but I love the artwork. My friend gave me a copy of Soul Mining – I mean, he gave me an original and fully legal version of it – and the artwork used to give me nightmares for some reason.