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11 Iconic Album Covers Featuring A Face

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11 Iconic Album Covers Featuring A Face

Trying to come up with something original for an album cover has been challenging designers for well over 60 years, since the dawn of the LP era. Just about everything has been tried – from plain brown wrappers, single colour sleeves, group shots, typography only, things that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the artists or the album title, to high art, abstract art, old masters reimagined… the spectrum is endless.

One of the oldest forms of cover art is to put the artist on the sleeve, and far from just being the first thought or the last resort, it has inspired some of the most iconic album art of all time. There have been thousands of album covers with just a face on them and we have picked 11 of the most iconic.

All, except one, feature the artist and the one that doesn’t is arguably the most striking of all 11 iconic album covers featuring a face. U.2’s War features a boy named Peter Rowen, who is the brother of Bono’s friend, Guggi. According to Bono: “Instead of putting tanks and guns on the cover, we’ve put a child’s face. War can also be a mental thing, an emotional thing between loves. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing.”

roger-daltrey-daltrey-lp copy
Aladdin Sane
Nico
Elton John
miles-davis-Tutu
Billy Joel Piano Man
Ted Nugent
u2-war
apostropheIsaac Hayes
Alice Cooper Goes to Hell

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Wasted

    March 15, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Imagine?

  2. GCH

    March 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Face Value?

  3. Joanne Rice

    March 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Todd Rundgren – Todd
    Joni Mitchell – Clouds

  4. Neis

    March 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you so very Very much for leaving pretty much every Phil Collins album out of this.

  5. Michael

    March 21, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Marianne Faithfull’s Broken English and Johnny Winter’s Saints and Sinners. Both are similar in their use of color and in the composition of the photos.

  6. Bob

    March 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    How about the four Kiss solo albums?

  7. Eric

    March 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Peter Gabriel’s “Melt” album cover should be on here as well. The previous eponymous album “Scratch” could be as well.

  8. Kevin Hutton

    March 28, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    What about:
    Prince
    Suzanne Vega
    Stevie Wonder
    Sinaed O’Connor

    I could go on all day.

  9. Ken Goodey

    March 28, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    As soon as saw this in the email I thought Apostrophe(‘), Joe’s Garage or Sheik Yerbouti, so good to see you picked my favourite! A superb album and I think he looks deep and intense as we should remember him.

  10. david

    March 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Low by David Bowie,
    Head On by Bachman Turner Overdrive
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6a/Bachman-Turner_Overdrive_-_Head_On.jpg
    Show Some Emotion by Joan Armatrading
    Blue by Joni Mitchell

  11. Phil Harris

    March 28, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Astral weeks van the man

  12. David Stratton

    March 29, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Red Rose Speedway – McCartney

  13. Mark

    March 29, 2017 at 6:21 am

    David Lee Roth – Eat Em’ and Smile

  14. Martin Whittle

    March 29, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    King Crimson’s Court Of The Crimson King And Gentle Giant by Gentle Giant.

  15. Mike

    March 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    “I Get Wet” by Andrew W.K.

  16. terry

    April 13, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Two of Jackson Browne’s later albums:
    “I’m Alive” by Jackson Browne 1993
    and Jackson Browne in silhouette “Looking East” from 1996.

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