What do you consider to be the best designed album covers?
Personally I think the stones ‘Let it Bleed’ and Big Youth’s ‘Screaming Target’
I think its a shame that digital music has taken away the art of the album cover. I’m trying to think of a way to bring it back and I am hoping that other designers are too. I think a good album cover gives music another edge, another dimension. I also consider music to be a stronger form of social commentary than design. I think it has more ‘influence’ (for want of a better word) over the masses. Any thoughts?
Great topic. My favorites - bookends for an era:
I had this Pearl Jam Album, no code that I always liked. And inside there were all these strange polaroid pictures for album artwork.
Also, this metallica death magnetic album is awesome, but Im still angry at Metallica for the whole Napster thing. haha.
I go for the Elvis variation.
And of course, you can never go wrong with Frank.
As a kid, I loved staring at these two.
Great songs, great art Peter Gabriel
I think I’ve posted this before on another topic but it’s great enough to do again. Drawn by Phil Hartman of SNL fame:
As far as the Stones go, I prefer the Sticky Fingers cover with the working zipper (Andy Warhol design):
I always really liked the Raymond Pettibone covers like Sonic Youth Goo and The Minute Men Paranoid Time:
Also a big fan of Sonic Youth Daydream Nation…so simple and beautiful:
Also, being a big fan of Socialist modernist art, I have to love Kraftwerk, the Man-Machine:
Lastly, gotta give a shout out to Who’s Next. Great composition, funny and weirdly futuristic/apocalyptic:
Wow I forgot about Kraftwerk. There was a whole mini-movement of retro constructivism back then. Another great one:
Just before that - the being of Goth Rock - Joy Division
Another Factory Records group:
Even though it was never released on vinyl, one of my of my favorite album covers is Mae - The Everglow. It was a concept album they did which included one of the best interactive online companions to the album.
I’m not sure if it’s ok to do this. But I want to plug my parent’s business. They love the old artwork that vinyl albums had. So they started making coaster sets out of old vinyl albums. It’s actually a pretty neat way to recycle unplayable vinyl.
My father had this when I was a kid and I loved it. There was an illustrated popup on the inside too. I think this might have been what first got me interested in drawing comics. And there were some naughty bits in it too (for a seven year old).
Fabric Records has a great series:
you really can’t go wrong with pretty much anything from Blue Note
here are some examples picked at random that should illustrate my point
Beastie Boys - License to ill
This illustration just wouldn’t give you the same impact from a CD sleeve…
oh, and Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds…
The artwork on this album was mesmerizing, with a little bit of terror, when I was a kid.
I can’t believe it took 13 posts to get to Blue Note. The best album covers!
I have so many favorite album covers for so many reasons, here is a quick cross section: Some I really love the design, others, the album has holds such an emotional impact that it is hard for me to decide if I really love the album cover, the music, the point in time it represents for me, or all three!
Hey Yo, I am really happy for your picks and Ima let you finnish but Beyonce had one of the best album covers of all time.
David Crowder*Band’s Sunset and Sushi
L.A. Symphony’s Baloney EP. It’s put together just like a sandwich with the liner notes being lettuce and tomatoes and the CD itself being a piece of Baloney. It also originally came in a sandwich bag.
Yeah, it did take long enough for Blue Note!
Guidance Recordings has always had nicely designed covers: