Jun 062007

Art Rock

I must ask you – all of you, even those of you who have yet to partake in the daily dialog at Rock Town Hall – to check in and help me compile a list that will serve a very important purpose. Some of you may be aware of my aversion to lists for lists’ sake, but although this is what it will seem I’m requesting, I can assure you, your timely contributions will be for the greater good. So here goes maybe the least though-provoking question I’ll ever ask on Rock Town Hall:

In no particular order, please list the first 5 great album covers that come to mind when you think “great album covers.”

Please feel free to include a link to a favorite album cover, in case it’s one that may not immediately come to everyone’s mind the way, say, Sticky Fingers might.

Not too hard to do, is it? Don’t fret over your answer. Give it to my from the gut. If you’ve never registered and posted on Rock Town Hall before, here’s your chance. There are instructions down the right column of this page. Those of you who do not contribute to this list will likely regret not pitching in on the eventually historic effort that we will be conducting. I thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart.


  29 Responses to “List for the Greater Good: When You Think “Great Album Covers””

  1. sammymaudlin

    Unknown Pleasure
    Velvet Underground & Nico
    Houses of the Holy

    runners up

    Here Come The Warm Jets
    London Calling

  2. saturnismine

    the jam: this is the modern world
    the beatles: yesterday and today (butcher shot)
    hendrix: electric lady land (banned version)
    john and yoko: two virgins
    black flag: family man

  3. London Calling – The Clash
    Rubber Soul – The Fabs
    Nevermind The Bollocks – The Sex Pistols
    Wish You Were Here -Pink Floyd
    Whipped Cream and Other Delights – Herb Alpert

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    Roy Wood: Mustard
    Wings: Venus and Mars
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Tarkus
    James Brown: For Goodness Sake, Look At Them Cakes
    James Brown: There It Is

    … just kidding. Here are a few for real:

    Funkadelic: Standing On the Verge Of Getting It On (or any other Pedro Bell cover)
    Prince: Lovesexy
    Stones: Some Girls
    AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
    Clash: Give ‘Em Enough Rope

  5. BigSteve

    Capt. Beefheart — Trout Mask Replica
    Rolling Stones — Sticky Fingers
    Gang of Four — Entertainment
    XTC — Drums and Wires
    Sonic Youth — Daydream Nation

  6. Supretramp-Breakfast in America
    Led Zeppelin-Prescence
    David Bowie-Alladin Sane
    Ozzy Osbourne-Diary of a Madman
    The Beatles-Abbey Road

  7. Mr. Moderator

    Good stuff, peeps – keep it coming!

    Here are 5 that come straight from my gut:

    Roxy Music, Country Life
    Eno, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
    The Beatles, Rubber Soul
    The Residents, Third Reich and Roll
    Glenn Branca, The Ascencion

  8. saturnismine


    i almost said daydream nation, too! i love those richter paintings.

    i know i’m breaking with the plan of this thread, but i must say that i regret not putting any more recent covers on my list. i think today’s cover art is QUITE good, and that we’re in a heyday of sorts for cd art (i won’t go so far as to call it a golden age). and it makes a visit to a.k.a. very pleasing: lots of good graphic designers out there, making lots of nice imagery, makes rifling through the selection lots of fun.

    this is, of course, to say nothing of the bands whose new cds are so pretty.

    that’s another discussion for another day.

    in the spirit of mr. mod’s request, i URGE you not to take up my suggestions…


    continue to name albums, please.

    mod, i’m hoping you’ll forgive me in advance if i’ve ruined the pristine quality of this thread up ’til now.

    i couldn’t help myself.

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    Mr. Moderator, I feel compelled to add that I think “Let There Be Rock” is a truly Great album cover. I don’t know if now is the time for my eloquent case supporting its nomination, but I am prepared to go to the mat for this cover if need be.


    One more request: I’d like to switch out Santana’s “Abraxas” for Prince’s “Lovesexy.” Thanks.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Saturnismine, never apologize for ruining the pristine nature of any thread. In fact, I encourage you to pile on 5 more-recent covers that you feel need to be listed here today. Thank you.

    Hrrundi, likewise, your additional mentions are appreciated. The only thing I ask is that the few of you who know of the momentous event to follow not let leak what will surely go down as one of the most important weeks in the history of RTH!

  11. hrrundivbakshi

    Also in the hard rock category: “Live and Dangerous” by Thin Lizzy.


  12. Neil Young, On the Beach
    Can, Ege Bamyasi
    Joni Mitchell, Blue
    The Who, Who’s Next
    David Bowie, Low

  13. So, none of the contrarians are going to pick Sgt. Pepper?

    My no-thought list is:
    Beatles – Sgt. Pepper
    Dylan – Blonde On Blonde
    Led Zep – Presence (the only album I ever bought solely because of the cover although 30 years on I have to wonder why)
    Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica
    Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True

  14. meanstom

    Must have Sgt. Pepper’s! It’s the album cover that made dorks like us choose favorite album covers.

    Bringing It All Back Home, a great album cover that celebrates album covers.

    Pink Floyd’s Umma Gumma.

    Led Zep III – with the wheel!

    Velvet Underground’s first, with the actual banana peel.

  15. Mr. Moderator

    Don’t leave me hanging, Townspeople. Surely there are more GREAT album covers ready to spring from the guts of those of you who have yet to chime in! I mean, what about the back cover alone of Enjoy by The Descendents?

  16. There’s an album that came out early this year by a band called Menomena, the album is Friend and Foe, the packaging is incredible as far as cd album covers go. I can’t really describe it other than it’s cartoonish with cutouts sporadically placed. through the cut out holes, you can see the cd inside. as you turn the cd, in one hole you see a track number, in another hole you see the track name, it changes as you rotate the disc.

    it’s hard to describe, sorry if it doesn’t make sense.

  17. kpdexter mentions “Menomena” – I’ve seen that and it is cool. Take a look here:

  18. KingEd

    The Stooges, Funhouse
    Public Image Ltd., Second Edition (hell, the Metal Box can too, for that matter)
    Gang of Four, Entertainment
    The Beatles, Revolver

  19. James Brown : Think (Baby Cover)

    Elvis Presley : Elvis Presley (1st LP)

    Lou Reed : Take No Prisoners (inside cover is just as gloriously awful as the front cover)

    Muddy Waters : The Best of Muddy Waters (late 50s Chess comp. Cover consists of Muddy’s head drenched in sweat)

    Lover Boy : Get Lucky

    E. Pluribus

  20. Mr. Moderator

    Keep bringin’ those picks from the gut. You won’t regret it. Thanks.

  21. * The Beatles – Abbey Road
    * Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
    * The Clash – London Calling
    * Creedence – Cosmo’s Factory
    * Pink Slip Daddy – LSD

  22. general slocum

    Montrose – Jump On It
    LKJ – IN DUB
    The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run
    The Beatles – For Sale
    Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

  23. Mr. Moderator

    Before this thread shuffles off and your suggestions are prepared for their next destination, are there any key album covers we’re missing? Never Mind the Bollocks anyone? Have any Roger Dean album covers been suggested yet? I know we haven’t heard from all of our registrants yet. Trust me, this is leading up to one of the reasons we gather here. Help us set the path!

  24. hrrundivbakshi

    More iconic covers:

    In the Court Of the Crimson King — King Crimson

    Hard Day’s Night (UK) — Beatles

    Paranoid — Black Sabbath

    My Aim Is True — EC

    Leave Home — Ramones

    Real Folk Blues — Howlin’ Wolf

    Blind Faith

    Disraeli Gears — Cream

    British Steel — Judas Priest

    Ace Of Spades — Motorhead

    That Slits cover with the chicks in mud

  25. hrrundivbakshi

    “Philosophy Of the World” — the Shaggs

  26. BigSteve

    I’m remembering some from my heaviosity years:

    the first Vanilla Fudge album — so heavy it melted the cover pic
    the first led Zeppelin album — putting a photo of a legendary disaster on your album is a good omen
    Keef Hartley Band — The Time Is Near — the one with the Indian on the horse … everyone used to own this one, I guess because they played Woodstock
    Blue Cheer — Vincebus Eruptum — crappy music, illiterate title, but boss embossed purple cover with classic psychedelic lettering
    Jimi Hendrix — Are You Experienced? — the fisheye photo and acidic calligraphy blew my tiny 14 year old mind … it made me wider

  27. Mr. Moderator

    Excellent follow-up entries, lads! Thanks. Who’s holding?

  28. 2000 Man

    Exile on Main St. – The Stones

    The Royal Scam – Steely Dan

    Rubber Factory – The Black Keys (Maybe cuz I know where most of the places are)

    The Rolling Stones No. 2

    Roxy Music – Siren (from before Jerry Hall had the horse style facelift)

  29. In addition to some of the many fine choices (Sticky Fingers, London Calling, etc) already mentioned, I would like to submit:
    Disraeli Gears
    Grave Dancer’s Union by Soul Asylum (When good album covers happen to bad bands)

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