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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 Ringrose

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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