So here are a couple of my runners up:
I wanted to inculde "Dreamboat Annie" by heart, but I cut up my copies to make a box for my girlfriend's birthday. Interesting side note, she actually uses the box to hold all the awards she is constantly getting. I guess all that training she has to go to is worth it.
This is the record that really started me record collecting. I was at an estate sale or antique shop with my dad and I couldn't get over how cool this dude on the cover looked. Seriously, look back at that dudes accesories alone! This is an amazing cover. Later I'd find out that Kudu was a branch of CTI and was well-known for their distinctinve design. Each kudu release had a unique number, this one is number 06. I'm trying to catch 'em all!
I've always loved this album. It is a film score/soundtrack. It has some kind of common song on it. I think one of the songs was used in a shampoo commercial once. Sometimes I'll but this record at the top of my pile just so I can have something nice to look at. I guess it makes up for never buying that greenlady kissing print that I wanted when I was younger.
One of the best album covers of all time. One of my favorite albums of all time. One of the best bands of all time.
This is a really interesting album. On the front it looks totally simple and austere, just Prince looking like he's naked, trying to turn on all our moms. Then you flip over the album and Prince is riding a real pegasus! A real Pegasus? That, my friends is the most baller shit ever!
And you thought the osmonds had too much integrity to directly rip off the jackson five. There are actually a couple good songs on this album. Also note, the dude in the pink suit is not actually smoking, that is just some wear on the record, it fits nicely with the original image though!
This is a really cool Montreal classic that my mom picked up when she was in high school (I got a second copy on a trip to Montreal a year ago). Since I just stole it from my mom, this was one of the first records inmy collection. I was really intrigued by the music but the cover is waht made me even bother grabbing it and giving it a listen. Look at those mean bunnies!
Even as a cartoon, Ike looks pretty mean. My friends dad had this album and refused to give/sell it to me so I eventually bought it at an antique mall.
I already posted about this album. I love that this looks hand-drawn.
My little sister and I had a plan to take her senior picture with her looking like Minner Riperton on this album (my little sis rocks a natural like Minnie and Angela) but I didn't have a digital camera yet and I am a bum.
Yes. This is completely kitsch/retro/tacky, but I honestly can't think of an album that is more "in the moment" than this one. I mean, c'mon, I could show up at a halloween party in khakis, a green sweater and a popped pink collar and people would be like "Oh Shit, that's Lionel!" This album is an icon and there are probably three copies at your nearest goodwill.
Man it is taking a long time to do this. I'll just say that I felt like this one was sort of required reading for a list like this. If you don't get the reference, check the malcolm x wikipedia entry and scroll down the page. You'll see the image that inspired this one.
While we're feeling socially concious, here is an album that came out right around the time I graduated from high school. Police brutality became a really really common word during the era that I was in middle and high school. You don't hear about it as much these days in the news. We had a giant posted of this at Beatnics when I interened there.
Back to aesthetics. I love this single sleeve. I got a couple good disco tracks out of these and then I started trusting it. I would buy anything that was accurately placed in one of these sleves. Yeah, that habit did not last long.
This is another one that is very common. I think it could just be me, but I feel like this has slightly iconic status. I know there was a sequel to this album and then one that mocked the Reagan family I think.
I had ego trip's big book of rap lists, so when I found this, I knew I'd get to show it off to friends at school. It is a pretty wild cover. I like it better after having read the rap lists.
About a year ago, I started picking up country records, classic country, pretty much on the strength of the enchantment of Emmylou Harris' album covers. This one is my favorite.
My dad used to listen to a cassette of this in our old car. There is a really great song/play/musical starring the jackson five and Bill Cosby on this album. The inside art is really great too.
Pretty classic. I had this framed in my dorm room.
You are a complete hater if you act like this album wasn't ever interesting to you.
Yeah, I'm not going to wirte anything about this one because the album is called "Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine" and that alone, should be enough to satiate you.
Some guys had pictures of Pamela Anderson on their wall. I listened to jazz and ocasionally bought an album just because there was a pretty girl on the cover. This album however, is not one of them. While the music on this does in fact suck, the back cover art and the fact that it was a gift from united airlines or something led me to this purchase.
With a cover like this, the music can't be all bad can it? Yes.
Another one pilfered from my parent's collection. I don't even remember what kind of music this is but the album art is so narrative. I used to hate it. I was actually kind of grossed out by this cover, but I think I love it now.
I have a feeling this was made at a time when a graphic designer could really make a name for themselves doing jazz album covers. This reminds me of Saul Bass and how he tried to set the tone of a film with the opening credits so that the audience was primed for the opening scene.
I bought this one from Matt. I saw it and decided I'd probably buy it just for the cover. A bunch of the songs are actually quite good. Let's talk about "relational aesthetics" (which I know nothing about) and this album. When I first saw it, it reminded me of computer pixel games like "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?" and for some reason I love to think of the band touring with a big pixelated horse running across a screen behind them
I don't know aenough about music to understand all the stuff that Keith Jarret did musically. But I don know dudde looks incredibly intense on this album. Another example of a cover that really preps you for what's inside.
I remember when Turntable Lab was pretty new and they would only get a few new reissue albums a month. I saw this one and would go back just to look at it all the time.
They could have either used this image for the album cover or typed out the following note and pasted it on each copy; "Hi. I'm Max Roach. There won't really be a better drummer than me for about a thousand years, so stop starring and listen to this record. -M.R."
I kind of wanted to dj techno/electro stuff for a while but I could never afford those expensive singles. I decided to cop this one because it is kind of an art project in a way. Karl Lagerfield did the art direction on this one. He's actually in there, his head is framed by the "O."
This, Ladies and Gentleman, is one of my favorites. I was at Valu-Land. Completly lamenting the fact that 60% of the music in thrift stores is terrible terrible church music and I started coming across abunch of stuff made here in GR. Most of it wasn't intersting, but then I saw this one. I looked at it and noticed that one of the women looked familiar. It turn out that George Davis and Company was the Husband+Wife+someotherfolks band that a couple of my friend's parents were in! I was totally bugged out because my friends mom looks just like my friend.This is really the best kind of find. One that means almost nothing to most people, but is imeasurably (note the accurate usage of that word) amazing and important to you.
I recently discovered the most disturbing record cover I own. I am not even sure where it came from. I was going through my chilhood records because I was going to give Gabe, g-rad's 2-year old nephew a record playeer and some records. I came across this seemingly normal Sharon, Lois & Bram album, but wait! What the....?!??!?
What the heck is going on with Bram?
Woah! First of all, what kind of name is "Bram?" I think SL&B was one of my first concerts as a child so I remember loving their music and TV show, but I don't remember this uber-creepy, finger licking gross old man! What is he doing? I really don't know what he is doing? Is that some sort of birthday thing I don't know about? Oh man, I am sorry for posting this. What a gross image.