Check out the 5 best album covers ever. Sometimes it’s not just the music on an album that sends an artful message. These Albums covers spoke volumes and boosted the careers of the artists as much as their music.
- “Sticky Fingers” by The Rolling Stones (1971) The original vinyl album cover featured a working zipper that revealed a man in cotton briefs. Retailers complained that the zippers damaged the records so the covers were unzipped to the middle, where they would be less likely to harm the album. The concept was created by pop artist Andy Warhol and the cover was photographed by Billy Name. The name of the model has never been officially released.
- “Aoxomoxoa” by The Grateful Dead (1969) This album was released during a time in the bands history that is usually referred to by friends as experimental. The orginal title of this album was “Earthquake Country” but was later change to “Aoxomoxoa”, which is a palindrome created by cover artist Rick Griffin and lyricist Robert Hunter. The name of the band that is featured on the cover is designed to also look like “We ate the acid”. There is artwork around the edge of the cover that portrays phallic images.
- “Playing Possum” by Carly Simon (1975) Before there was Madonna, there was Simon’s cover to this album. The cover is a photograph of Simon wearing black negligee, stocking and knee-high boots, as she poses on her knees. The back cover and inner-sleeve feature more photos of Simon that were all taken by Norman Seeff. For the decade the cover was pretty shocking.
- “Licensed to Ill” by The Beastie Boy (1986) The title of this album was originally “Don’t be a Faggot” but Columbia Records refused to release the album under this title. The band’s manager and the head of Def Jam, Russell Simmons , pressured them to change the title. The members of the band made up for the forced name change with this cover. The album features a Boeing 727, with “Beastie Boys” on the tail, as it crashed in a mountain. The tail also had the Def Jam logo on it with the legend “3MTA3”, which reads “EATME” when viewed in a mirror.
- “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (1970) Zappa was inspired by the cover of a 1959 issue of a men’s adventure magazine called Man’s Life. He recruited artist Neon Park to create an image for the Album based on this cover that went with the title. Park did a parody of an advertisement for Schick razors.