The Marvelettes: Please Mr. Postman 1961 (c) Tamla
Patti Smith: Horses 1975 (c) Arista
The cover photo was taken by Robert Mapplethorpe using natural light in a penthouse in Greenwich Village. The triangle of light on the wall was the product of the afternoon sun. The record company wanted to make various changes to the photo, but Smith overruled such attempts.
Writer Camille Paglia described the album’s cover as “one of the greatest pictures ever taken of a woman.”
N.B.: The jacket Smith has trapped around her shoulder actually has a horse pin.
Pearl Jam: VS 1993 (c) Epic
The album’s cover art, photographed by Ament, features a black-and-white picture of a sheep from a farm in Hamilton, Montana. According to Ament, the cover was a representation of how the band felt at the time, with Ament stating “we were slaves.”
Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness’ First Finale 1974 (c) Tamla
Grace Jones: Slave To The Rhythm 1985 (c) Island
Designed by Jean-Paul Goude, Jones’ partner at that time, the cover picture is a montage of several copies of a single photograph of Grace, that makes her hair look “extended” and her mouth “stretched”. The process of its creation is illustrated in the title song’s music video. The artwork has its roots in an earlier design of Goude’s, the cover of Cristina’s 1984 album Sleep It Off.
Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything 2014 (c) Fiction
Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? 1978 (c) Warner Bros
The cover of their debut album is based on an image of the famous professional golfer Juan “Chi-Chi” Rodriguez that they had found on a golf strap. David Burnam, the manager of business affairs at their recording company Warner Bros., decided the image could not be used. The manager of the company’s art department, Rick Serini, recommended an artist who could airbrush and alter the face of the picture, while Mark Mothersbaugh offered a picture he’d procured from a local newspaper that morphed the faces of United States presidents JFK, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. These ideas were morphed with the original “Chi Chi” Rodriguez image to create the cover art of the album.
James Brown and his Famous Flames: Please Please Please 1959 (c) King
T.Rex: The Slider 1972 (c) EMI
The album credits Ringo Starr with the front and back cover photographs. The photographs were taken the same day that Ringo Starr was filming the T Rex documentary Born to Boogie at John Lennon’s estate, Tittenhurst Park. Tony Visconti, however, disputes that Starr took the photograph. Instead, Visconti (a photography enthusiast in his own right) said, “…In fact Marc handed me his motorized Nikon and asked me to fire off two rolls of black and white film while we were on the set of “Born To Boogie.” Ringo, the director of the film, was busy all day lining up shots. But Marc apparently saw a photo “credit” opportunity and gave Ringo the credit for the photos.”
Radiohead: The Bends 1995 (c) Parlophone
The Bends was the first of the band’s full-length records with artwork by Stanley Donwood, in collaboration with Yorke, who went under the name “The White Chocolate Farm” (later shortened to Tchock). In an interview with NME, Donwood recalled: “I got a CPR mannequin and filmed it on an old-fashioned video camera with a video cassette in it.”
AC DC: High Voltage 1975 (c) Albert Productions
High Voltage was originally released on Albert Productions only in Australia, and has never been reissued by another label in this format. The international version of High Voltage, that was issued on Atlantic Records in 1976, has a different cover art and track listing.
Oasis: (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? 1995 (c) Creation
The cover is a picture of two men passing each other on Berwick Street in London’s Soho. The two men are London DJ Sean Rowley and album sleeve designer Brian Cannon (back to the camera). The album’s producer Owen Morris can be seen in the background, on the left footpath, holding the album’s master tape in front of his face. The location was chosen because the street was a popular location for record shops at the time.
Parliament: Up For The Down Stroke 1974 (c) Casablanca
The original title of the album was Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good, and the cover features group leader George Clinton hovering over a woman in distress, sporting a black wig and monster-type gloves.
The Police: Message In a Bottle 1979 (c) A&M
Coldplay: Parachutes 2000 (c) Parlophone
The album’s cover features a photograph of a globe taken with a disposable Kodak camera. The globe had been purchased from WH Smith for £10; it was featured in the music videos for “Shiver" and "Don’t Panic”, and also accompanied the band on their tours.