Choosing the 10 best pop album covers in no easy task. Rising to the height of its popularity in the 1980’s, pop music has gone through up and downs. The music is known as much for it’s fun as it is for it’s sound. In an age when albums were still cool, the covers were one of the most fun things about “pop.”
- Dr. Dre – "The Chronic." Since hip-hop went pop, it’s only fair to include this album cover on the list. How could you go wrong with a picture of Dr. Dre inside a little mirror image; a clear homage to Zig-Zag rolling papers—just what you would need to smoke the “Chronic” with.
- The Go-Go’s – "Beauty and the Beat." This album has five girls on the cover wearing cosmetic masques and towels on their heads. One of them is even doing her nails. The whole image flies in the face of male dominated pop and rock bands and makes it one of the ten best pop album covers ever.
- Oingo Boingo – "Dead Man’s Party." Crazy cover art with a group of skeletons partying it up. One of the ten best pop album covers from a band that always had great album covers, it almost puts the skeletons in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies to shame. Sombreros, maracas, and the hint of tequila shots on the table make for a festive scene.
- Culture Club – "Colour by Numbers." A very colorful and fun cover art selection. Boy George is in one large picture and little color rings of the rest of the band members are to the left. The graphics are as playful as the songs on the album, making this one of the ten best pop covers ever.
- Michael Jackson – "Dangerous." Amazing cover art representing the carnival atmosphere that surrounded Michael’s Jackson’s life makes this one of the ten best pop album covers. This was where Jackson really began to establish as the "King of Pop." He caricatured his life with little images of his clothing collection, mummies, his chimpanzee and his childhood.
- Madonna – "Like a Virgin." The queen of pop appares on the cover dressed in a wedding dress, but looking sort of naughty. It’s exactly what makes the cover iconic and one of the best from the glory days of pop music. Everyone knew Madonna wasn’t a virgin, so to play it up in a wedding dress was pure genius.
- Justin Timberlake – "Futuresex/Lovesounds." J.T. is against a white background dressed in a classic black suit with white shirt and black tie. He’s stepping on a disco ball, symbolizing an end to all the cheesiness of pop radio and bringing in a new sound.
- Prince – "Purple Rain." Prince is on the motorcycle, dressed in paisley and purple. He’s giving that sultry, pouty look. His girl, Apollonia, is perched in a doorway not far away, draped in silk, her figure silhouetted. And the flowers for the border of the picture—classic.
- Kylie Minogue – "Hearts." The cover art is a throwback to the glam era of the 80’s. The graphic text is pure punk. The portrait of Ms. Minogue calls to mind 80’s pop queen, Madonna. This one’s got to be one of the ten best pop album covers if Lady Gaga ripped it off for her second CD cover.
- Michael Jackson – "History (past, present, and future)." MJ poses on the cover of the album in an iconic and idolatrous pose. The image was so controversial and reminiscent of Stalin in Moscow square that people protested in Russia.
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