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09/27/2003 Entry: "Top Album Covers"

On VH-1 the other night, they had a show on what they considered the 50 best album covers of all time. I didn't see it from the beginning--I got in at #39. So I missed 11, but saw the vast majority. Of the 39 I saw, the Beatles were not in there at all!!! To me, Sgt Peppers is the best all time album cover, and Revolver and Abbey Road should be in the top 25, if not the top 10. What covers were in the top 10 that I would dispute? Doggy Style by Snoop Dog. Pu-leaze. Beck's Odelay. Cool album, sure. Cool cover, sure. But top 10 ever? No. Nirvana's Nevermind? I'll buy that. In fact, I picked that one. (It was the only one of the top 10 I picked.) I could also agree with Born in the USA, and maybe, to some extent, Rumours. But Nothing's Shocking by Jane's Addiciton? Um, no. Not top 10. Not even top 50 for me. Madonna's Like a Virgin? Top 50 sure, top 10 probably not. Sticky Fingers by the Stones, with the working zipper? Top 10 sure. #1? No.

Perhaps I should do my own top 10.

#10. Time Out, Dave Brubeck
#9. Crosby, Stills, and Nash
#8. Born in the USA, Bruce Springstien
#7. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
#6. Love Songs, Miles Davis. (You could make an argument that this isn't a classic album. And, as a collection of Miles' songs, and not an album he released, I might buy that argument. Still, the rose petals against the white work well with the collection of Miles' ballads. If you're into Love, and don't have this album, you should get it.)
#5. Abraxas, Santana
#4. Nevermind, Nirvana
#3. Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones
#2.Aja, Steely Dan
#1. Sgt Peppers, The Beatles

Let's discuss your choices, or the obvious mistakes in mine. (It's hard to think of all the good covers in a short posting time. Perhaps I should have mulled this over a little...)

Replies: 2 people have rocked the mic!

Well, I don't have time right now to attempt a full top ten, but I would say that any of the covers designed by Hipgnosis are right up there, several Floyd covers especially. Great book by the design team is available. For sure, there would be a Yes cover, especially if we are including the interior of the lp jackets. All time #1? Led Zep III, the original with the spinning wheel. Zowie. Snoop Doogy Poop? Doesn't even deserve mention on a list such as this, IMNSHO.

Posted by Paddy @ 09/28/2003 10:01 AM EST

At first,I thought maybe this entry was about artist's doing "covers" of other songs. But when I reread it, I realized it was about album art. Anyway, it may not be hip, but I think you have to at least consider Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John. The artwork on that album is just plain crazy. I remember spending hours just studying that cover trying to make sure I didn't miss anything. Yes, the music really wasn't his best. And the artwork may have had questionable taste. But it was, IMHO, truly "fantastic".

Posted by Aza @ 09/30/2003 09:16 AM EST

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