The 10 Coolest and Most Iconic Album Covers

The 10 Coolest and Most Iconic Album Covers

Some people say it’s what’s inside that counts, but when we’re talking about an album, the exterior is pretty much as important as the inside.

Album covers are the best opportunity to give a first impression, also, this type of imagery can visually conceptualize the music.

In the end, it represents a musician, especially in this day and age, where an album cover has to stand out among all the images that are presented to us daily.

10. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles


Year: 1967 / Designed by art director Robert Fraser.

First of all, let’s star with probably one of the most iconic album covers of all time. You can see the 4 Beatles wearing their colorful military costumes, standing in front of celebrities like Bob Dylan, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and so much more. This important work of British psychedelia sold more than 32 million copies worldwide.

9. Dangerous – Michael Jackson


Year: 1991/ Designed by painter Mark Ryden

This album cover is full of symbolism, artist Mark Ryden featured Michael Jackson staring from behind circus-inspired elements. This is followed by animals wearing crowns, elephants being ridden by clowns, a kid holding a giant skull and more characters from another world.

A lot of speculations have been made about this album cover but the most logic one is that Michael felt trapped by all the speculations and false statements by the media while being the King of Pop.

8. The Velvet Underground & Nico


Year: 1967 / Designed by artist Andy Warhol

Known as the “Banana Album” because of Andy Warhol’s painting on the album cover. The first copies of this album had a yellow sticker banana which you could peel off, showing a flesh-colored banana underneath it.

Even though the album was not very successful following its release, it finally gained wide popularity about a decade after.

7. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division


Year: 1979 / Designed by artist and graphic designer Peter Saville

We’ve all seen the cover of Joy Division’s debut album somewhere, but probably don’t know the meaning behind it. Well, it’s pretty easy, the artist behind the cover (Peter Saville) describes it as “the demonstration of a comparative frequency path from a signal to a pulsar”. Each of the horizontal lines close in the middle of the graph, when they reach a series of peaks, they are data observed from this pulsar, and there are several of them piled up.

It seems like a piece of cake but it’s not.

6. Nevermind – Nirvana


Year: 1991 / Album cover by photographer Kirk Weddle

Floating babies? That’s not something we see every day. For Nirvana’s second album, the band contacted an aquatic photographer to shot their original concept: an underwater birth. After a few tries, one of the most iconic images in the world of music was created. And as a result of that album, Nirvana received recognition from all over the world.

5. Aladdin Sane – David Bowie


Year: 1973 / Photographer: Brian Duffy , Make-up artist: Pierre Laroche

Bowie’s pictures from photographer Brian Duffy are so iconic and have had an amazing cultural impact. The art for this album has been used on t-shirts, calendars, posters, fridge magnets and so much more. Bowie’s legacy, in addition to his music, is also his iconic images throughout his career.

Did you know the red and blue lightning bolt was inspired by the logo of a rice cooker that Bowie’s team had in their kitchen?

4. It’s Blitz! – Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Year: 2009 /Album cover by artist Urs Fischer

The band contacted the Swiss artist Ursh Fischer to make the art for their thirst album “It’s Blitz!”. This image shows lead singer, Karen O, cracking an egg in her hand. An album cover that really reflects the art-rock and post-punk musical style of the band even more. This is as iconic as The Velvet Underground’s banana.

3. LP1 – FKA Twigs


Year: 2014 / Artwork by artist Jesse Kanda

FKA Twigs is known for bringing visually stunning music videos and live shows, and because of that, the art for her debut album was not going to be an exception. The album cover was shot by artist Jesse Kanda, who created an image you can’t stop looking at.

2. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd


Year: 1973 / Artwork by artist George Hardie

Why an image depicting white light traveling through a prism and forming a spectrum of bright colors become one of the most iconic images in the world of contemporary music? We’ll never know. As a result, the band never made an official explanation about the artwork, therefore fans all over the world have made their own interpretation.

1. Abbey Road – The Beatles


Year: 1969 / Artwork by Photographer Iain Macmillan

Finally, we couldn’t end this list without adding Abbey Road by The Beatles. The artwork was shot by Iain Macmillan in North London in 1969 and due to The Beatles’ fame, it caused controversy because of the false death of Paul McCartney. The media claimed the man that appeared on the cover was a look alike. Due to this, many conspiracy theories and clues about the album cover started to surface.

This was the last album recorded by the band.  

Feel free to experience wax®! We offer guests the opportunity to tune in to the vinyl resurgence because we all should experience music as it was intended to be listened to.

Partnering with Crosley, Hard Rock has amplified the in-room listening experience with a carefully curated collection of 10 iconic records chosen by Hard Rock’s team of music experts.
A Crosley turntable will keep the records spinning as guests find their groove at leisure! Keep listening and don’t forget to dance like a rockstar.

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