Don't Judge An Album By Its Cover
  • TUESDAY, JULY 02, 2013

  • Posted by: Owen Reuther

There is no shortage of goofy, over-the-top, or questionable album covers. Sex, mysticism, and fantasy have always been ingrained in rock 'n' roll culture, and thousands of album covers can attest to that. Perhaps the satirical This Is Spinal Tap epitomized this trend with their attempted cover design for Smell the Glove. Subsequently, this film also pointed out the minimalist approach that some artists have adopted in regards to cover art. With the unveiling of Jay-Z's simple artwork for Magna Carta Holy Grail, we decided to look into some of the less obnoxious, more tasteful artwork out there.

Cover art can serve various purposes, and a lot of times can add to the feel of an album, as well as contextualize what is about to be heard. But there is something about doing as little as possible with the artwork that generates a sort of mysterious hype that can seriously amp anyone up to 11 as they anxiously anticipate what sounds are to come. It screams confidence when these artists feel no need to adorn their work, and allow the quality of their art to become the soul basis at which it should be judged. Some great albums out there have intricate and beautiful cover work. However, here are five of the best albums that decided to stick with the bare essentials when it came to album artwork- probably because what was inside was just too damn good.


Pink Floyd - The Wall - 1979







Metallica - The Black Album - 1991







Kanye West - Yeezus - 2013







The Black Keys - Brothers - 2010







The Beatles - The White Album - 1968






UPDATE: The official Magna Carta Holy Grail artwork was released.



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