While the Rolling Stones continue to battle Rod Stewart and the Faces in the 1970s and once more find the merits of their later work in question in the Rock Town Hate thread, this seems as good a time as any to take a closer look at the oft-maligned cover of their 1986 Dirty Work album.
As photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the Dirty Work cover could be viewed as testament of what had gone wrong for the Stones. Lounging about in garishly bright outfits, the band seemed to embody the ideas of 1980s excess and lack of taste. Indeed, this was something of a sign of the times, as the band photo was reportedly a record label mandate, and Dirty Work may have been the first Stones album to be released on both vinyl and compact disc.
Though perhaps not the most popular album cover in the Stones’ catalog, Dirty Work does stand as not just a symbol of the times, but also a commentary on the band itself. As someone once sang, every picture tells a story.