Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:36 AM
Cardigan's Avatar
Cardigan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,146

Which bands had the best art on their album covers?


Which bands do you think featured the best album cover art? We're not talking about a one-off great album cover, but rather, demonstrated a pattern of having good art with some consistency. This means the band in question would need to have released multiple albums to qualify here.
  #2  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:42 AM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,836
Pink Floyd, because they used Hipgnosis, one of the best cover designers of the era.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #3  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:43 AM
madsircool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,652
Yes
  #4  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:45 AM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,072
Tony Fitzpatrick has been doing some interesting Steve Earle cover art for the last, oh 15-20 or so years.
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...4dUDCAU&uact=5
  #5  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:48 AM
DrFidelius's Avatar
DrFidelius is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 12,531
Yes.
__________________
The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
  #6  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:52 AM
Cardigan's Avatar
Cardigan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,146
I'm partial to the Yes album covers featuring fantastical landscapes.
  #7  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:58 AM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 12,589
I don't know about "best" but all of Iron Maiden's first 8 studio albums (and a couple of live albums) through the 80s and 90s were illustrated by Derek Riggs, giving them all a remarkably consistent look and style.
  #8  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:00 AM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 27,516
Hmmmm. Gonna have to think on this a bit.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 10-04-2019 at 09:03 AM.
  #9  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:01 AM
What Exit?'s Avatar
What Exit? is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Central NJ (near Bree)
Posts: 29,350
Yes had the best, Floyd was right behind them.
The Dead had some very notable ones.
Sgt. Pepper's alone puts the Beatles in the discussion and Abbey Road sure helps.
Led Zeppelin had some impressive ones.
ELP of course had great cover art.
ELO for that matter had some notable ones.
Asia went with the same style as Yes also often using Roger Dean.
  #10  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:02 AM
E-DUB's Avatar
E-DUB is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
I'm partial to the Yes album covers featuring fantastical landscapes.
I think Uriah Heep used the same artist for "Demons and Wizards" and "The Magician's Birthday".
  #11  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:07 AM
Crafter_Man's Avatar
Crafter_Man is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Ohio
Posts: 11,418
Mothers of Invention / Frank Zappa.
  #12  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:17 AM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is online now
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 15,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
I think Uriah Heep used the same artist for "Demons and Wizards" and "The Magician's Birthday".
Yes, they did -- and said artist is Roger Dean.
  #13  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:35 AM
digs's Avatar
digs is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: West of Wauwatosa
Posts: 9,979
I make stuff out of old album covers, so I've researched this. And long ago decided that the Venn diagram of "Good Album Art" and "Good Album" has a very small intersection*.

Bands that were good with good art: Beatles, Floyd, Hendrix, Santana, Bowie, Eagles, Zeppelin, Talking Heads... these bands put some real thought into their covers, and back in the day of 12.25x12.25" albums, they really had an impact.



*But think about it. SO many LPs had a huge photo of a guy's face or a scruffy band just staring blandly at the camera. Even the greats, like Elvis, early Stones and Dylan, it just seems like it was "Ok, somebody point a camera at the artist, click, okay, album cover."
  #14  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:36 AM
2Bits is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 426
The Moody Blues, of course!
  #15  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:42 AM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 14,829
I once stayed in a hostel in the Peruvian Andes that was run by a coked up surfer. All the rooms had a wall painting that looked like Yes album covers. It was a really interesting couple of days.
  #16  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:44 AM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,750
Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
I make stuff out of old album covers, so I've researched this. And long ago decided that the Venn diagram of "Good Album Art" and "Good Album" has a very small intersection*.

Bands that were good with good art: Beatles, Floyd, Hendrix, Santana, Bowie, Eagles, Zeppelin, Talking Heads... these bands put some real thought into their covers, and back in the day of 12.25x12.25" albums, they really had an impact.




*But think about it. SO many LPs had a huge photo of a guy's face or a scruffy band just staring blandly at the camera. Even the greats, like Elvis, early Stones and Dylan, it just seems like it was "Ok, somebody point a camera at the artist, click, okay, album cover."
Okay. I wanna know what you do with Album covers.
I make things from cassette tapes. I've seen Art made from old CDs. I'm not quite ready to get rid of my CDs yet.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 10-04-2019 at 09:45 AM.
  #17  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:47 AM
Meurglys is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 2,361
Chicago's covers certainly showed consistency!
And instantly recognisable, which might make them 'great art' in marketing terms.
  #18  
Old 10-04-2019, 09:54 AM
Doyle's Avatar
Doyle is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Pink Floyd, because they used Hipgnosis, one of the best cover designers of the era.
Genesis used Hipgnosis too and there's were wonderful also.
  #19  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:00 AM
SykoSkotty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: South 'Burbs
Posts: 1,234
Just adding the make-up era KISS album covers because they were always like looking at a comic book.
__________________
When I was a boy, I laid in my twin sized bed and wondered where my brother was.
  #20  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:02 AM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 27,556
Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit? View Post
Sgt. Pepper's alone puts the Beatles in the discussion and Abbey Road sure helps.
Album covers can be divided into two categories: those that picture the artist/band, and those that don't.

The Beatles are the absolute masters of the first type.
  #21  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:08 AM
Tim R. Mortiss's Avatar
Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 7,154
The Who had some pretty great ones (especially "Who's Next"). So did Jethro Tull.
  #22  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:12 AM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,530
"Kansas" is definitely in the running in my humble opinion.
  #23  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:23 AM
Exapno Mapcase is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,619
Joe Jackson was excellent in using his image on covers to sell his personality.
  #24  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:26 AM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,196
Boston. Their music grew more mediocre over the decades, but their album covers were very recognizable and consistent.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Bost...iw=640&bih=288
  #25  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:27 AM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,750
I like Grateful Dead album covers.
  #26  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:34 AM
Horatio Hellpop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Jeju-si, S. Korea
Posts: 9,749
Al Stewart was another Hipgnosis client, and I think they did very well by him.
  #27  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:40 AM
xizor's Avatar
xizor is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 5,511
As a teenage boy, Molly Hatchet album covers always got me to take a second look. But I was into barbarians and vikings and such back then.
  #28  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:58 AM
ZonexandScout's Avatar
ZonexandScout is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 1,645
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Bits View Post
The Moody Blues, of course!
Second.

I think a close runner-up is Gail Collins' work on the Mountain albums. Using her artwork and calligraphy provided quite a bit of consistency and they were all instantly recognizable.

And for anyone who might be unaware of it, she later murdered her husband, Felix Pappalardi, producer, songwriter, and bassist for the group.
  #29  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:44 AM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
Al Stewart was another Hipgnosis client, and I think they did very well by him.
Hipgnosis did covers for Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Pretty Things, Renaissance, Yes (after they stopped using Roger Dean), Peter Gabriel, 10cc, Paul McCartney, ELO, and many other UK bands. All of them were striking in design.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #30  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:50 AM
Exapno Mapcase is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Hipgnosis did covers for Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Pretty Things, Renaissance, Yes (after they stopped using Roger Dean), Peter Gabriel, 10cc, Paul McCartney, ELO, and many other UK bands. All of them were striking in design.
Yeah, I have a book of their album covers, which show the versatility and wit very well.
  #31  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:02 PM
Blank Slate's Avatar
Blank Slate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Those are terrific.

I always found the inside art on a double album the most important of all, though. IYKWIM.
  #32  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:20 PM
Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 22,397
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Yes
Yes.
  #33  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:16 PM
kayaker's Avatar
kayaker is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rural Western PA
Posts: 32,793
No love for Meatloaf?
  #34  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:28 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan's Avatar
Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
zymolosely polydactile
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 27,392
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
Yes.
Yes
  #35  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:28 PM
Kamino Neko's Avatar
Kamino Neko is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Alternate 230
Posts: 15,413
I always enjoy Ghost's, particularly era 3 (Meliora through Ceremony and Devotion)...the era one covers aren't anything to write home about, but the references are fun.
  #36  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:52 PM
Cardigan's Avatar
Cardigan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
Those are terrific.

I always found the inside art on a double album the most important of all, though. IYKWIM.
Yes, it was important to have something nice to look at while removing all the seeds and stems.
  #37  
Old 10-04-2019, 01:59 PM
installLSC is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,637
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Roxy Music, which made an art out of stylish and sexy-but-not-sleazy album covers as in this NSFW link.
  #38  
Old 10-04-2019, 02:13 PM
GargoyleWB's Avatar
GargoyleWB is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Somewhere cold 'n squishy
Posts: 5,477
Jethro Tull had many great covers, many with cool novelty features such as 'Stand Up' pop-up figures in the foldout, and 'Thick as a Brick' newspaper insert.
__________________
"He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy."
  #39  
Old 10-04-2019, 02:30 PM
Lucas Jackson's Avatar
Lucas Jackson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
Tony Fitzpatrick has been doing some interesting Steve Earle cover art for the last, oh 15-20 or so years.
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...4dUDCAU&uact=5
Those are fantastic! Thanks.
  #40  
Old 10-04-2019, 02:49 PM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,196
It's probably worth mentioning that the late Phil Hartman worked as a graphic artist and designed at least eight album covers.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3044107/...n-phil-hartman
  #41  
Old 10-04-2019, 03:07 PM
Mahaloth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: 地球
Posts: 29,817
KMFDM deserves a mention for their unique covers.
  #42  
Old 10-04-2019, 03:09 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,072
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas Jackson View Post
Those are fantastic! Thanks.
Cool. Glad to share them. The music inside is pretty fantastic, too!
  #43  
Old 10-04-2019, 03:09 PM
thelurkinghorror is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Venial Sin City
Posts: 13,898
Dead Kennedys, with collage by Winston Smith. Well except for one NSFW liner image by H.R. Giger of Alien fame.
  #44  
Old 10-04-2019, 04:16 PM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 26,236
Joy Division/New Order featuring the work of Peter Saville (who also did lots of other great album art)


Cocteau Twins featuring the work of 23 Envelope/v23/Vaugn Oliver - that or the 4AD label as a collective, since he was their house designer.
  #45  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:31 PM
Shoeless's Avatar
Shoeless is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Sunflower State
Posts: 6,843
There was a German band in the late 70s/early 80s called Lake that had some interesting album covers.

Link to Wikipedia page which has links to a few album covers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_(German_band)
__________________
I'm not black, but there's a whole lotsa times I wish I could say I'm not white. -- FZ
  #46  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:42 PM
AncientHumanoid's Avatar
AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Quantum foam
Posts: 24,514
Molly Hatchet

Moody Blues

Kansas

Parliament/Funkadelic

Ohio Players

Herb Albert

Tom Tom Club

Elton John

Scorpions



all for different reasons
__________________
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
  #47  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:43 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss is online now
Entangled
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 8,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
Mothers of Invention / Frank Zappa.
Indeed, The Mothers: Uncle Meat, We're Only in it for the Money, and Weasels Ripped My Flesh.

I was also always partial to Jefferson Airplane's Bless Its Pointed Little Head and Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails & the self-titled Quicksilver Messenger Service.

All dated now (perhaps) but trippy, dippy, hippy stuff back in the day.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 10-04-2019 at 05:45 PM.
  #48  
Old 10-04-2019, 05:50 PM
AncientHumanoid's Avatar
AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Quantum foam
Posts: 24,514
Some were artsy, some were shocking, some just were weirdly fun
__________________
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
  #49  
Old 10-04-2019, 06:02 PM
The Tooth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 4,762
Rush
  #50  
Old 10-04-2019, 06:36 PM
Grestarian is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,568
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Boston. Their music grew more mediocre over the decades, but their album covers were very recognizable and consistent.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Bost...iw=640&bih=288
I was going to suggest them, as well, with a similar commentary.
Their covers seem to suggest some kind of migratory progression.

In a similar vein, Journey's album titles suggested a progression and their album covers consistently included some kind of scarab.

I was also going to mention RUSH, but The Tooth beat me to it. Their albums always seemed to have the title and cool art, plus an interior art that was some kind of double-entendre for the title.

--G!
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017