Some of the best Album Covers to ever come along

In popular music, particularly the recent years, I would have to admit that Kanye West’s album covers have been among the most interesting. However, the Album Cover Art has a long storied history that would make most album covers of today look half baked.

Take a look at this:

Look Sharp!

Look Sharp
Look Sharp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look Sharp! is the debut album by Joe Jackson, released in 1979. Look Sharp! was re-released in 2001 with two bonus tracks, “Don’t Ask Me” and “You Got the Fever” the respective b-sides of the singles “One More Time” and “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” originally released in May and July 1979. In addition to the standard 12-inch vinyl release, the record was also released in a special package on two 10-inch discs that also included a Look Sharp! badge. The cover is number 22 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest album covers of all time.

 

Physical Graffiti

Physical Graffiti
Physical Graffiti

Physical Graffiti is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 24 February 1975 as a double album two years after the album Houses of the Holy. The band wrote and recorded eight songs at Headley Grange which, when combined, stretched the album beyond the typical length of an LP. This prompted the band to make Physical Graffiti a double album by including previously unreleased tracks from earlier recording sessions. “Physical Graffiti” was Led Zeppelin’s second most commercially successful release, selling eight million copies in the United States alone.

Physical Graffiti was commercially and critically successful; the album went 16x platinum in the US in 2006, signifying shipments of eight million copies.

Brain Salad Surgery

Brain Salad Surgery
Brain Salad Surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Salad Surgery is the fourth studio album by progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in 1973 and the first under their Manticore Records imprint. It fuses rock and classical themes. Greg Lake wrote the lyrics for the album with the assistance (on two tracks, “Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression” and “Benny the Bouncer”) of former King Crimson bandmate (and, beginning with this album, frequent ELP collaborator) Peter Sinfield. This was the first Emerson, Lake & Palmer album to have no songwriting contributions from Carl Palmer. The cover art is by H. R. Giger.

Aladdin Sane

Aladdin Sane
Aladdin Sane

Aladdin Sane is the sixth album by David Bowie, released by RCA Records in 1973. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, it was the first album he wrote and released as a bona fide rock star. While many critics agree that it contains some of his best material, opinion as to its overall quality has often been divided.

NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray called the album “oddly unsatisfying, considerably less than the sum of the parts”, while Bowie encyclopedist Nicholas Pegg describes it as “one of the most urgent, compelling and essential” of his releases. The Rolling Stone review by Ben Gerson pronounced it “less manic than The Man Who Sold The World, and less intimate than Hunky Dory, with none of its attacks of self-doubt.” It was one of six Bowie entries in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time (at #277) and ranked No. 77 on Pitchfork Media’s list of the top 100 albums of the 1970s.

Who’s Next

Who's Next
Who’s Next

Who’s Next is the fifth studio album by English rock band The Who, released in August 1971. The album had origins in a rock opera conceived by Pete Townshend called Lifehouse as an attempt to follow Tommy. The ambitious, complex project did not come to fruition at the time and instead, many of the songs written for the project were compiled onto Who’s Next as a collection of unrelated songs. After difficulty with initial recording sessions at the New York Record Plant, events stabilized with the arrival of producer Glyn Johns, who worked on the finished album. The album featured the group’s first use of the synthesizer, particularly on the tracks “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

The album was a critical and commercial success when it was released, and has been certified 3× platinum by the RIAA. It continues to be critically acclaimed and has been reissued on Compact Disc several times, adding additional material intended for the Lifehouse project.

Relayer

Relayer
Relayer

Relayer is the seventh studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, recorded and released in 1974 on Atlantic Records. Relayer reached No. 4 in the UK, remaining 8 weeks in the Top 40, and No. 5 in the US, remaining 16 weeks in the Top 200. It is the only Yes studio album to feature keyboardist Patrick Moraz, who replaced Rick Wakeman after the tour of Tales from Topographic Oceans, earlier that year. Wakeman returned to his position in 1976.

The album, loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, has the same structure as Close to the Edge released in 1972, with a long number on one side and two shorter songs on the other. It is a jazz-oriented album in relation to the other albums by the band, due in part to Moraz’s jazz background. “Soon”, the last section of “The Gates of Delirium”, was released in a single limited edition in January 1975 along with “Sound Chaser”, a mostly instrumental piece and a pure exercise in instrumental jazz improvisation that is reminiscent of King Crimson. “To Be Over”, the last song of the album, is a complex melodic composition featuring soft keyboard arrangements accompanied by a Pedal steel guitar, also used in the first song, and an electric sitar, both played by guitarist Steve Howe.

Yes have on this album used several instruments that are unique, in that Patrick Moraz adopted several prototypes of synthesizers that were either modified before being offered for sale, or that never came into production. The album name comes from the lyrics of the song “The Remembering (High The Memory)”, from their previous album. The cover was designed by Roger Dean, the artist responsible for most of the band’s album covers.

808s & Heartbreak

808s & Heartbreak
808s & Heartbreak

808s & Heartbreak is the fourth studio album by American recording artist and producer Kanye West, released on November 24, 2008, by Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at Glenwood Studios in Burbank, California and Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during September to October 2008. It was produced primarily by West, No I.D., and Jeff Bhasker. Conceived in the wake of multiple events that distressed him in the previous year, the album marked a major musical departure for West from his previous work lyrically, vocally, and production-wise.

An electropop album, 808s & Heartbreak was primarily sung rather than rapped by West and has themes of love, loneliness, and heartache. The album also contains extensive use of the Auto-Tune voice processor and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was utilized and manipulated by West to produce a distorted, electronic sound. Approaching the album’s production in a minimalist fashion, West intended to contravene the typical sound of hip hop beat and instead evoke a presence of tribal drums.

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 450,145 copies in its first week. It produced four singles, including the hit singles “Love Lockdown” and “Heartless”. Despite varying responses from music audiences towards West’s stylistic change, 808s & Heartbreak received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. It was named one of the best albums of 2008 in several critics’ polls and year-end lists. It also impacted hip hop music stylistically, as a new wave of rappers adopted the album’s aesthetic. 808s & Heartbreak has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold 1,700,000 copies in the United States.

Licensed to Ill

Licensed to ill
Licensed to ill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licensed to Ill is the debut album by the Beastie Boys. The album was released on November 15, 1986. It was the first rap LP to top the Billboard album chart. It was also one of Columbia Records’ fastest-selling debut records to date and eventually sold over 9 million copies in the United States.

 

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