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35 Beautiful Music Album Covers

Album cover art is often considered to be one of the extinct fields in modern graphics design. In times when digital copies are cheaper and quicker to get, album covers have somehow lost their importance as less and fewer customers buy CDs and LPs in the stores. That’s a pity because album covers can be extremely expressive and convey the message of the album in some creative ways. This post attempts to prove exactly that. [Content Care Oct/19/2016]

Music and art go hand in hand. And the best way to get a potential buyers’ attention is with an eye-catching album cover. We all know you can’t just judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t hurt to give a CD a spin based on a sexy piece of art.

Below we present 35 excellent examples of beautiful, creative and impressive album covers that will certainly inspire you to head down to the local record shop and start browsing through records and labels. We have tried to address various cover designs and present both CD covers and LP covers from the 60s to 2000s. However, some excellent album covers are missing. Please let us know about them in the comments to the post!

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

Album Covers Link

The Mars Volta “Frances the Mute”4

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

Danger Doom – The Mouse and the Mask5

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

Michael Jackson: Dangerous6 by Mark Ryden7

Michael Jackson: Dangerous by Mark Ryden8

Devil’s Gun – Raising The Beast

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Devil's Gun - Raising The Beast

Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist9 by Shepard Fairey10

Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist by Shepard Fairey11

Keane: Under The Iron Sea12 by Sanna Annukka13

Keane: Under The Iron Sea by Sanna Annukka14

Kisschasy: United Paper People by Debaser

Kisschasy: United Paper People by Debaser

Editors: The End Has a Start by Idris Khan15

Editors: The End Has a Start by Idris Khan16

Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue17

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Coldplay - Soul Wax - Nite Versions

Ground Components: An Eye for a Brow, A Tooth for a Pick by Jonathan Zawada18

Ground Components: An Eye for a Brow, A Tooth for a Pick by Jonathan Zawada

Arcade Fire: Funeral19

Arcade Fire: Funeral20

Kool and the Gang – Still Cool21

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Kool and the Gang - Still Cool

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon 197322

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon 1973

Gallows: In The Belly of a Shark by Dan Mumford

Gallows: In The Belly of a Shark by Dan Mumford

Muse – Origin of Symmetry23

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Linkin Park – Reanimation24

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Coldplay - Soul Wax - Nite Versions25

Lemon Jelly: Lost Horizons by Airside26

Lemon Jelly: Lost Horizons by Airside

Tool: 10,000 Days27

Tool: 10,000 Days28

Circa Survive: On Letting Go29

Circa Survive - On Letting Go30

The Last Goodnight – Poison Kiss31

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- The Last Goodnight - Poison Kiss

Pink Floyd – The Division Bell32

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Thom Yorke: The Eraser by Stanley Donwood33

Thom Yorke: The Eraser by Stanley Donwood34

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven35

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Architecture in Helsinki: Places Like This by Will Sweeney36

Architecture in Helsinki: Places Like This by Will Sweeney 37

The Chemical Brothers: Push the Button by Tappin Gofton38

The Chemical Brothers: Push the Button by Tappin Gofton

Rolling Stones – Forty Licks39

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

Rafale: Rock It, Don’t Stop It by Akroe40

Rafale: Rock It, Don't Stop It by Akroe

Dream Theater – Scenes from the memory41

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction42

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction

Relayer: Yes43

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Relayer: Yes44

Coldplay – Viva La Vida45

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Coldplay - Viva La Vida46

New Order – Power, Corruption and Lies47
Designed by one of today’s most influential designers Peter Saville

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies

Soulwax – Nite Versions48

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Coldplay - Soul Wax - Nite Versions49

Pixies – Doolittle50

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Pixies - Doolittle51

Deerhunter – Cryptograms52

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Deerhunter - Cryptograms

Hot Chip – The Warning53

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Hot Chip - The Warning54

Muse – Absolution55

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution56

The Police – Ghost In The Machine57

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti58

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…59

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

Wow – Moby Grape60

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Wow - Moby Grape

Genji Siraisi: Censorsh!t by Razauno

Genji Siraisi: Censorsh!t by Razauno

Radiohead – Hail to the Thief61

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Radiohead - Hail to the Thief

VHS Orbeta – Bring On The Comets

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- VHS Orbeta - Bring On The Comets

Van Halen – 198462

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

Fort-Minor – The Rising Tied Front

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers - Fort-Minor - The Rising Tied Front

The Roots – Game Theory63

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- The Roots - Things Fall Apart

Led Zeppelin – Mothership64

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Bon Jovi - Have A Nice Day

Nick Drake – Pink Moon65

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

The Cribs – Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever66

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever67

Elton John – Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy68

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution69

XTC – Drums and Wires70

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- XTC - Drums and Wires

Queens Of The Stone Age: Era Vulgaris71 by Morning Breath Inc

Queens Of The Stone Age: Era Vulgaris by Morning Breath Inc72

Beck: The Information73 by Big Active74 and you75

“The album was issued with a blank sleeve and booklet and one of four different sheets of stickers for fans to make their own album art. Beck explained to Wired magazine he wanted no two copies of the CD cover to be the same: “The artwork is going to be customizable. The idea is to provide something that calls for interactivity.” However, because the unique album art concept was seen as a gimmick to bolster retail sales, The Information was deemed ineligible to enter the UK Albums Chart.”

Beck: The Information by Big Active and you76

Last Click Link

The World’s First Album Cover
Alex Steinwess, a then 23 years old designer, convinced Columbia’s suits to create the first true album cover. Until then, 78s were sold in generic sleeves. Please notice that there is the word “smash” on

Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- The World's First Album Cover
Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- The World's First Album Cover

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/100-obscure-and-remarkable-cd-covers/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/05/bizarre-websites-on-which-you-can-kill-time-with-style/
  4. 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_the_Mute
  5. 5 http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/dangerdoom/mouseandthemask
  6. 6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_(Michael_Jackson_album)
  7. 7 http://www.markryden.com/
  8. 8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_(Michael_Jackson_album)
  9. 9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist_(The_Smashing_Pumpkins_album)
  10. 10 http://obeygiant.com/
  11. 11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeitgeist_(The_Smashing_Pumpkins_album)
  12. 12 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Iron_Sea
  13. 13 http://www.sanna-annukka.com
  14. 14 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Iron_Sea
  15. 15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idris_Khan
  16. 16 http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/15055055/review/15085380/an_end_has_a_start
  17. 17 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_the_Blue_(Electric_Light_Orchestra_album)
  18. 18 http://www.zawada.com.au/
  19. 19 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral_(album)
  20. 20 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funeral_(album)
  21. 21 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kool_and_the_Gang
  22. 22 http://flickr.com/photos/oddsock/101131639/
  23. 23 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_Symmetry
  24. 24 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reanimation
  25. 25 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reanimation
  26. 26 http://www.airside.co.uk
  27. 27 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10,000_Days
  28. 28 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10,000_Days
  29. 29 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Letting_Go
  30. 30 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Letting_Go
  31. 31 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Goodnight
  32. 32 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Division_Bell
  33. 33 http://www.slowlydownward.com/
  34. 34 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eraser
  35. 35 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift_Your_Skinny_Fists_Like_Antennas_to_Heaven
  36. 36 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_Like_This
  37. 37 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_Like_This
  38. 38 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tappin_Gofton
  39. 39 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forty_Licks
  40. 40 http://www.akroe.net
  41. 41 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_Pt._2:_Scenes_from_a_Memory
  42. 42 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appetite_for_Destruction
  43. 43 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relayer
  44. 44 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relayer
  45. 45 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_la_Vida_or_Death_and_All_His_Friends
  46. 46 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viva_la_Vida_or_Death_and_All_His_Friends
  47. 47 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power,_Corruption_&_Lies
  48. 48 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nite_Versions
  49. 49 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nite_Versions
  50. 50 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_(album)
  51. 51 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doolittle_(album)
  52. 52 http://graveyardshiftshane.wordpress.com/2007/12/14/the-best-album-covers-of-2007/
  53. 53 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Warning_(Hot_Chip_album)
  54. 54 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Warning_(Hot_Chip_album)
  55. 55 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolution_(album)
  56. 56 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolution_(album)
  57. 57 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_machine
  58. 58 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Graffiti
  59. 59 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endtroducing
  60. 60 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby_Grape
  61. 61 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hail_to_the_Thief
  62. 62 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_(Van_Halen_album)
  63. 63 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_Theory_(album)
  64. 64 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mothership_(album)
  65. 65 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Moon
  66. 66 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_Needs,_Women%27s_Needs,_Whatever
  67. 67 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_Needs,_Women%27s_Needs,_Whatever
  68. 68 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Fantastic_and_the_Brown_Dirt_Cowboy
  69. 69 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Fantastic_and_the_Brown_Dirt_Cowboy
  70. 70 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drums_and_Wires
  71. 71 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Era_Vulgaris_(album)
  72. 72 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Era_Vulgaris_(album)
  73. 73 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Information
  74. 74 http://www.bigactive.com/
  75. 75 http://www.flickr.com/groups/theinformation/pool/
  76. 76 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Information
  77. 77 /2008/01/21/monday-inspiration-brilliant-music-videos/
  78. 78 /2008/06/16/beautiful-brochures-and-booklets/

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Ashley Ringrose is better known as Mr. Truffle and editor of Sleevage, a music design blog. He occasionally plays with Mr. Potatoheads and dresses up in costumes. He is also a founding member of Soap Creative an Australian-based digital agency.

  1. 1

    nice compilation. :)

    -1
  2. 2

    MikeWhoBikes

    August 3, 2008 6:05 pm

    Some very inspiring artwork here; thanks for sharing!

    1
  3. 3

    Nicely done, but you’re missing 10,000 Days by Tool.

    -5
  4. 4

    that’s very cool covers

    1
  5. 5

    I thought that was a very average compilation. How on earth did that Bon Jovi cover make it? Seems like you went through your (limited) iTunes collection and picked out some random artwork.

    Disappointing SM – your articles are usually of a much higher quality than this!

    -2
  6. 6

    Cd covers will become album artwork, right? This art won’t have to die will it? It’ll just start being at 72dpi

    1
  7. 7

    Yeah what the hell is so great about the Bon Jovi cover?

    1
  8. 8

    What’s up with the image you put up for OK Computer? That is someone’s flickr photoshop compliation.

    -1
  9. 9

    more more

    -1
  10. 10

    Glad to see the Kool-Aid man made the list. Oh yea!

    1
  11. 11

    Yay, Abby Road!

    -3
  12. 12

    chrislreynolds

    August 3, 2008 7:32 pm

    Thanks, I appreciate seeing music-inspired design. I noticed the album year on Dark Side of the Moon, it would be interesting to see the dates for all the other designs as well.

    0
  13. 13

    you must be joking… some are very good indeed, some others… hmm…

    1
  14. 14

    Agreed, Radiohead cover is whacked, and where are the tool album covers and um, that bon jovi album It’s so beautiful it makes me feel sick in the guts. : /

    1
  15. 15

    A quick compilation by SM. Average collection I would say! I have seen much better covers in ASIAN MUSIC

    1
  16. 16

    You forgot about ‘In the court of the Crimson King’ by King Crimson

    1
  17. 17

    Hey! you chose those are the most sick designs i have ever seen!! where do u see the beauty in those covers???

    -2
  18. 18

    The Roots is wrong.

    You typed Things Falll Apart, but the image shown is the album cover to Game Theory. Two completely different albums. However, both album covers are great.

    0
  19. 19

    Where are the classic jazz album covers? I would think Reid Miles is worth mention in any collection of artistic album covers.

    1
  20. 20

    What about radiohead’s Kid A?

    1

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