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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 … More about Ashley ↬

35 Beautiful Music Album Covers

          Album cover art is often considered to be one of the “extincted” 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 less customers actually 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 a number of creative ways. This post attempts to prove exactly that.

          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.

          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!

          Further Reading on SmashingMag:

          Album Covers

          The Mars Volta “Frances the Mute”

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

          Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

          Michael Jackson: Dangerous by Mark Ryden

          Michael Jackson: Dangerous by Mark Ryden

          Devil’s Gun - Raising The Beast

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

          Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist by Shepard Fairey

          Smashing Pumpkins: Zeitgeist by Shepard Fairey

          Keane: Under The Iron Sea by Sanna Annukka

          Keane: Under The Iron Sea by Sanna Annukka

          Kisschasy: United Paper People by Debaser

          Kisschasy: United Paper People by Debaser

          Editors: The End Has a Start by Idris Khan

          Editors: The End Has a Start by Idris Khan

          Electric Light Orchestra - Out of the Blue

          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 Zawada

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

          Arcade Fire: Funeral

          Arcade Fire: Funeral

          Kool and the Gang - Still Cool

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

          Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon 1973

          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 Symmetry

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

          Linkin Park - Reanimation

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

          Lemon Jelly: Lost Horizons by Airside

          Lemon Jelly: Lost Horizons by Airside

          Tool: 10,000 Days

          Tool: 10,000 Days

          Circa Survive: On Letting Go

          Circa Survive - On Letting Go

          The Last Goodnight - Poison Kiss

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

          Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

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

          Thom Yorke: The Eraser by Stanley Donwood

          Thom Yorke: The Eraser by Stanley Donwood

          Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven

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

          Architecture in Helsinki: Places Like This by Will Sweeney

          Architecture in Helsinki: Places Like This by Will Sweeney

          The Chemical Brothers: Push the Button by Tappin Gofton

          The Chemical Brothers: Push the Button by Tappin Gofton

          Rolling Stones - Forty Licks

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

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

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

          Dream Theater - Scenes from the memory

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

          Guns N’ Roses - Appetite for Destruction

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

          Relayer: Yes

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Relayer: Yes

          Coldplay - Viva La Vida

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

          New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies 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 Versions

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

          Pixies - Doolittle

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Pixies - Doolittle

          Deerhunter - Cryptograms

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Deerhunter - Cryptograms

          Hot Chip - The Warning

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

          Muse - Absolution

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          The Police - Ghost In The Machine

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

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

          DJ Shadow - Endtroducing…

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

          Wow - Moby Grape

          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 Thief

          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 - 1984

          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 Theory

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

          Led Zeppelin - Mothership

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

          Nick Drake - Pink Moon

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          The Cribs - Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Pixies - Doolittle

          Deerhunter - Cryptograms

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Deerhunter - Cryptograms

          Hot Chip - The Warning

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

          Muse - Absolution

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          The Police - Ghost In The Machine

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

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

          DJ Shadow - Endtroducing…

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers

          Wow - Moby Grape

          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 Thief

          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 - 1984

          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 Theory

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

          Led Zeppelin - Mothership

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

          Nick Drake - Pink Moon

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          The Cribs - Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever

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

          Elton John - Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy

          Showcase of Beautiful Album and CD covers- Muse - Absolution

          XTC - Drums and Wires

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

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

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

          Beck: The Information by Big Active and you

          “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 you

          Last Click

          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

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