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Monday, May 6, 2013


A friend and I were recently talking about our favorite album covers, but long after the conversation ended I was still thinking about the covers I love the most. Here are some more of my all time faves, listed in no particular order. Some of my favorite covers are meticulously designed, while others make my list just for a stunning photo or the perfect use of a font. I have a round fifty covers on my list so far, so there will be more album cover posts in the near future.

ABOVEthe Beatles - Beatles For Sale (1964) My favorite Beatles album cover - so much so I have a framed print hanging in my living room. The Robert Freeman photo shot in Hyde Park is one of my favorite rock artist pictures.


ABOVE LEFTBilly Joel - Glass Houses (1980) I get a lot of shit for it, but I'm a big Billy Joel fan and have been about as long as I've been buying records. In fact, one of the first albums I ever bought was a "Sounds Like" record because I didn't know any better. My older brother took great joy in making fun of me when I put it on and realized that it wasn't the guy singing that I knew from the radio. Anyway, I absolutely loved this cover when it came out. Cover photo by Jim Houghton.
ABOVE RIGHT:  XTC - Go 2 (1978) A classic cover and much parodied cover from Hipgnosis.

ABOVE LEFTLou Donaldson - Sunny Side Up (1960) Reid Miles is a seemingly endless source of great album cover design. The brand identity he created for Bluenote Records is incredible.
ABOVE RIGHT:  Sesame Street - Born to Add (1983) I love a good parody cover, but this is one of my faves. It was probably one of the first cover parodies I remember acknowledging as a parody.

ABOVE: Bo Diddley - Have Guitar Will Travel (1959) A Great pic of Bo and guitar on a scooter. And the Paladin style calling card is a nice touch. I SAW this record and fell in love with it before I ever actually heard it. My friend Mike had a copy he appropriated from his Dad's collection and when he first showed it to me I knew that this was the record for me. For some great shots of the location then and now as well as more backstory on the shoot check out this excellent PopShots entry.

ABOVE LEFT:  Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) - That weirdly morphed "Chi-Chi" Rodríguez image is so iconic now, but that record had to look incredibly weird sitting on the new release endcaps along side Toto, the Grease soundtrack, and Olivia Newton-John.
ABOVE RIGHT:  Pussy Galore - Dial 'M' For Motherfucker (1989) I don't know the source of the cover image, but it absolutely kicks ass.

ABOVE: the Rolling Stones - Flowers (1967) Simple design, but totally of the era. Designed by the vague collective known as the Corporate Head, which as far as I can tell was actually just photographer Guy Webster and designer Tom Wilkes. Webester was already an aclaimed photographer and has since taken many iconic music and movie images. Wilkes would go on to design hundreds of album covers, including such iconic covers as All Things Must Pass, the Beatles Red and Blue compilations, Neil Young's Harvest, Beefheart's Safe As Milk, and Cheech and Chong's Big Bambu.

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