Legendary blogger TFD had some great music ideas he sent to us, recently, so here is the first in a continuing series.
TFD chose Billy Joel's The Stranger as the best album cover of all-time.
TFD: "This cover really represented a point where I first realized that there was something behind these covers a purpose. The simplicity, darkness, slant of the face, and boxing glove still linger."
Scott's Top 10
Achtung Baby and War- U2
"Achtung Baby" is my favorite cover of all-time, with its mix of black and white and color photos creating a great collage which hinted at the new sound inside. The face of the boy in "War" powerfully shows the mixture of innocence and anger that being young on the streets of Belfast was like circa 1983. U2 has had great covers on almost all of their releases.
Sticky Fingers and Some Girls- The Rolling Stones
In 1971, rock and roll was seen as just another part of the artscene, with Andy Warhol designing the zipper cover to "Sticky Fingers". Another great inventive cover was the Stones in drag, using a cut-out cover on "Some Girls". By the way, "Exile on Main Street" falls just off this list.
Meet the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper's- The Beatles
Bands today are still trying to look as Mod as the "Meet the Beatles" cover demonstrates. "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a part modern art piece, part psychedelic trip, but still hasn't been topped in today's world of photoshop.
Honey- Ohio Players
Country Life- Roxy Music
These two are the sexiest covers in rock music history. I can remember being an 10 year-old boy in a small-town in Iowa, perusing the albums of my local department store, looking at Ohio Players records. I had no idea of what was inside the covers, as there was no funk in Newton, Iowa, but the beautiful bodies of the Ohio Players' models made me want to learn. Take me on a "Love Rollercoaster".
London Calling- The Clash
Echoing the great self-titled Elvis Presley cover of 1956, the "London Calling" cover says rock and roll more than any other.
Cheap Thrills- Big Brother and the Holding Company
I've never cared for Janis Joplin or her hippie jam band, but the great R. Crumb's comic strip art puts it on my list.
Get Lucky- Loverboy
All the Eddie covers- Iron Maiden
Holy Diver- Dio
Blackout and Animal Magnetism- Scorpions
I'm not sure these are good or bad album covers, but they are all memorable to me. Crossed fingers in front of red leather pants, which singer Mike Reno's bloated carcass couldn't even fit an ankle in anymore. Freakish zombie-like monster named Eddie who becomes a band's mascot. An animal-headed devil, unleashing a long chain wrapping around a drowning priest. Holy Diver indeed. Finally, the "Blackout" cover with forks in the eyes of the straight-jacketed whackjob says Heavy Metal more than anything I've seen, while "Animal Magnetism" sports a misogynistic cover that is more ridiculous than anything Spinal Tap ever thought of.