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Album/CD Covers That I Love!

  • Dec 30, 2011
Kids these days just don't know what they're missing.  Downloading music from the Internet and storing it on iPods, MP3 players, laptops, etc. takes away from the overall listening experience.  How?  By eliminating the one thing that's missing from a download:  album covers.  Sure, whatever listening device you own might show you a picture of an album cover and a few might include liner notes as well, but in my day, one of my favorite things to do was to listen to an LP, cassette, or CD and look at the cover and read the liner notes.

The packaging of music enhanced it for me just as much as listening to the tracks in many cases.  You can also pick up a lot of knowledge from the liner notes depending on how in-depth they were.

This list contains some of my favorite album covers.  I'm sure most people that read this list will be familiar with many of the artists here, but one or two might surprise you.

Thanks ahead of time for reading my list.  Feel free to comment if you'd like. 


Dr. Feelgood
When I was a kid in the late 80's/early 90's, I was drawn to the loud sounds and glammed up looks of bands like Poison, Def Leppard, and Cinderella.  One of my favorite bands of that time (and still one of my favorites today) was Motley Crue.

Their Dr. Feelgood album proved to be one of the heaviest albums they ever put out.  The liner notes included the band members tied up in straightjackets and the cover simply blew me away.  It was a play on the Caduceus, the symbol of Hermes, which is often used as a symbol for medicine (mistakenly, just Google it).   It featured bat-like wings and a serpent wrapped around a sword topped off by a white-haired skull.

I cannot tell you how many times I sat in class bored out of my skull and drawing this album cover.  I simply love it.  In short, it rocks!

See the full review, "The Best Crue Album Ever(Really!)".
Destroyer (Eco) (Rpkg)
Another album cover of epic awesomeness is Destroyer, which featured the band KISS jumping out at any onlookers from what appears to be a destroyed city and/or world.  Many people consider the album not only to be the best one ever put out by KISS, but also one of the best rock albums of all time.

Interestingly enough, this particular album cover is the "tame" version of the artwork originally submitted to the record label by artist Ken Kelly.  The album is planned to be released in 2012 with Kelly's original artwork on it, featuring even more destruction.

See the full review, "An Experiment In Destruction".
Master of Puppets

Another album considered to be one of the best of all time is Metallica's Master of Puppets.  Not only is it the last album featuring bassist Cliff Burton (and his awesome bass solos in the track Orion), it's also the album that provided a springboard for the much loved ...And Justice For All album that followed it.  

I love the cover for its symbolism.  It features an overgrown cemetery full of crosses and the "master" holding onto the strings of the deceased, as well as Metallica's iconic logo.  A lot of people took this cover to be a cheap shot at both God and the military, but it serves as a visualization of the entire album's themes of being controlled by outside forces (be it drugs, illness, other people, or the government). 

This Time
Country music blazes onto this list via Dwight Yoakam's This Time.  This 1993 release by my favorite country artist features Dwight in a fringed jacket, his signature too-tight jeans, and the same hat he has worn on every single album cover he has released with his photo on it (you can actually see the hat age over the years by looking at the album covers). 

It also features a massive clock with Yoakam either cover the hands of the clock behind him or (as I like to see it) with him as the hands of the clock.  The album became one of Yoakam's biggest commercial successes and produced a number of hits including Ain't That Lonely Yet and the massive Fast As You.

Country Girlfriend
Combining punk, rockabilly, country, and alcohol, Dash Rip Rock is a band that is extremely popular throughout the South.  If you've never heard of them, I highly recommend you give them a listen.  I could have listed a number of their album covers as my favorites, but Country Girlfriend makes it on here for the simple fact that it manages to smash almost every single redneck stereotype into one photo.

It features pink flamingos, a mobile home, a three-wheeler (outlawed years ago), a tractor, one of those silhouetted cowboys you find in people's yards all over the southern states, a dog (most likely a huntin' dog), and a beautiful lady scantily clad and quite possibly waiting for you to get home to cook you a good meal and bring you an ice cold Old Milwaukee's Best.

On top of the awesome cover, the music inside is great as well.  As I've already mentioned, this band is a great fusion of punk, country, and straight ahead rock n' roll. 

Southern Hospitality
And what better way to follow up an album cover with a bikini-clad lady on it than with a Christian rock album cover from the band Disciple.  Southern Hospitality is, to me, somewhat of a departure from the band's scratchy nu metal sound, but with a major lineup change, it didn't come as much of a surprise.

When I saw this album cover, I immediately thought "tattoo," but having never gotten on and in no real rush to ink myself due to the fact that I haven't found the right tattoo, I passed on getting this crest/badge-like design on my body.

I love this cover due to the fact that it looks like something you'd find on one of the older southern rock albums that came out of the 70's/80's or emblazoned on the back of a leather jacket.  There aren't many Christian rock bands out there that have an air of "attitude" about them, but this album cover will make you think twice before approaching Disciple.

See the full review, "Anything But Genteel".
For Rent
Dash Rip Rock founder Bill Davis has done many side projects over the years.  One of those projects included a brief run with a band fronted by his wife, Kim Roberts-Davis (I don't think they are still together), that went by the name The Swingin' Haymakers.  While Dash Rip Rock leaned harder to punk and rock music, the Haymakers were all about twang, drawing on influences that ranged from George Jones to Tish Hinojosa, this group produced their one and only album in 1995, For Rent.

The album cover screams retro.  It's littered with bright colors, a pink cowgirl, a broken heart, and a cow-print background.  If you haven't noticed yet, I'm really fond of retro-looking artwork and photos, and this album nails it.

Appetite for Destruction

A cross and skull-faced members of Guns N' Roses grace the cover of GnR's pinnacle work, Appetite For Destruction.  Designed by Billy White, Jr., this was not the original cover for this legendary album.  To be honest with you, I believe it was the better choice.

The original artwork was rejected because it featured nudity, a rape attempt by a robot, and a demonic avenger, but to me, it's A) too busy for an album cover, B) obviously was not well-liked by the censors and C) just isn't as iconic as the final album image.

The cross and skulls look great, and the black backdrop makes the cover look even better.  Both covers are posted below for you to decide.

See the full review, "Arguably The Best Metal/Hard Rock Album Ever".
Together Alone

Although it isn't my favorite album by Crowded House, 1993's Together Alone does have a few solid tracks on it such as Locked Out and Private Universe.  What really stands out for me is the Jesus-At-The-Wheel of a red car album cover.

The group's bassist, Nick Seymour, created all of the album covers for the band and this one is my favorite.  It's just a happy, trippy cool cover that personified Crowded House's unique pop rock stylings.

The band is still active, having reunited (surviving members of the band's most successful lineup, drummer Paul Hester committed suicide in the mid-90's) and have remained together since 2006. 

Tragic Kingdom
With a retro hairdo and rotten oranges, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt grabbed my attention both with their ska-tinged tracks and their cool Tragic Kingdom album cover.

The cover jumped out at me at a time when grunge was god, and most album covers were either simple band photos or bleak images of the blah grunge world.  No Doubt said, "Wake Up!" with this cover, and fed me some great sounding tunes like "Don't Speak" and "I'm Just A Girl."

Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years
Okay, so I might be cheating a bit since this is technically a greatest hits album by the Scorpions, but Deadly Sting:  The Mercury Years has one of the coolest looking covers I've ever seen.  It features a nude woman sitting among and being crawled on by a horde of scorpions.  Deadly?  Yes.  Sexy?  Absolutely.  100% Rock n' Roll?  Oh yeah!

This was actually just one of a long line of Scorpions albums that were either banned by many stores or released in the U.S.A. with alternative covers. 

I was tempted to add their album Lovedrive to this list as well, but Deadly Sting is my favorite.

See the full review, "They Still Sting After All These Years".
Molly Hatchet
"Death Dealer," a 1973 painting by Frank Frazetta, is perhaps the last thing you would imagine would end up as the cover art for an album by a bunch of good ol' boys playing metal-tinged southern rock, but 1978's Molly Hatchet features just that, and it fits the band perfectly.

Considered to be the most metal sounding southern rock band of their time, Molly Hatchet had a solid run throughout the late 70's and early 80's.  This was one of many covers done by Frazetta, and famed fantasy artist Boris Vallejo would contribute album art later on in the band's career.

I love this cover for the simple fact that it is badass.  You'd think it should grace an album by a group like Iron Maiden or Megadeth but, nope, it heralds the coming of tunes like "Gator Country" and Gregg Allman's "Dreams I'll Never See."

Surfing With the Alien
1987's Surfing With The Alien combined two of my favorite things:  comic books and guitars.  Joe Satriani's popular instrumental rocker featured a cover with the one and only Silver Surfer on the front as he's putting some distance between himself and the hand of Galactus, which can be found on the back of the album. 

The album itself is pretty cool, but without the Silver Surfer on it, I highly doubt that it would have gotten as much attention as it did.  One of my fondest memories of this album is actually going to an old K-mart store in Eunice, LA.  I'd run to the records section and look for this album immediately.  It was so bright and vivid that I would just stare at it until my mother would make me leave.  Ahh, memories.

What did you think of this list?

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January 04, 2012
I like this list.
January 05, 2012
January 01, 2012
Great pictures !
December 31, 2011
pretty awesome list. I own the statue of # 13.....got it as a gift.
January 05, 2012
Molly Hatchet had some really cool covers over the years. That one is their best in my opinion.
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created a list. April 27, 2010
posted in Music Matters
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About the list creator
Kendall Fontenot ()
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Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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