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Jojo’s Top 10 Album Covers

Saturday is National Record Store Day.

One my favorite things about record albums when I was growing up was the fantastic art that adorned each cover.

Here are my 10 favorites from my personal collection. I’d love to hear what your favorites are.

Moving from bottom to top we start with number 10:

Elton John “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy”

(Courtesy of MCA Records)

An excellent example of using the entire cover to create a continuous piece of art, this featured Elton and his song writing buddy Bernie Taupin surrounded by a group of creatures that look like they’re out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

9. U2 “Joshua Tree”

(Courtesy of Island Records)

This stark portrait of the band in a black and white desert landscape worked as a metaphor for the more pulled back sound they went with following the more lush production on their previous album, The Unforgettable Fire.

8. The Beastie Boys “Licensed To Ill”

(Courtesy of DefJam Records)

What seemed to be a jet airliner flying through the air on the front became something quite different when you looked on the back cover to see the results of a tragic accident, which is how many viewed the music on this album.

7. Supertramp “Breakfast In America”

(Courtesy of A&M Records)

A wonderful recreation of Manhattan using diner place settings and utensils later became a conspiracy theory when oddly tied into the 9/11 attack.

6. Little Feat “Waiting For Columbus”

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records)

Really, ANY Little Feat cover can work here, as the paintings of Neon Park was featured and on them all and they were always weird and wonderful.  I’m partial to the blushing tomato native on “Columbus”

5. Toto  ”Turn Back”

(Courtesy of Columbia Records)

The deceptively simple face depicted using the band name belied the overproduced sounds held within.

4. Led Zeppelin “House of the Holy”

(Courtesy of Swan Song Records)

The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. The cover is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis.

3. Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon”

(Courtesy of Capitol/EMI)

Who didn’t have this painted on their dorm room door in college?

2. Faces “Ooh La La”

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records)

Rod Stewart’s band represents all of the album overs I grew up with that had working parts. This one functioned like a Terry Gilliam animation from a Monty Python opening.

1. King Crimson  ”In The Court of the Crimson King”

(Courtesy of Island Records)
The crazed outside screaming figure contrasted nicely with the mellow face on the inside. To a ’70s graphic art major like myself, the whole illustration was impressive.

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