Album Covers from Heaven: Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Posted: September 20, 2015 in Art, Music, Opinion, Rock Music, Things I Love
Tags: ,

Since the blog “Album Covers from Hell: They’re Here to Haunt Your Dreams” was such an international sensation I was inspired to follow-up with this one.

Note: By “international sensation” I mean some guy from the Maldives messaged me and said he laughed ’til he wet himself. By the way, the Maldives are a bunch of islands in the Indian Ocean. I looked it up. Anyway, I’m glad I made Maldives Dude lose control of his bladder. I think.

Understand that these are my personal favorites, so you may not find them on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Album Covers or any of those lists. Then again, maybe you will. My list consists of album covers that appeal to me, and they might just be appealing to me for no apparent reason. That said, I’ll try and explain why I like them as I go. Let us proceed . . .

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles (1967)

The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band high res cover art 001

I have to start with the most iconic album cover of all-time. I bet I’ve looked at this cover for hundreds of hours if you added them all up. The lads had to get permission from everyone pictured, and of course there’s the famous “Paul is Dead” connection with the grave in front and the letters “PAUL?” spelled out in the guitar made of flowers. Allegedly. Anyway, great, legendary cover.

The Beatles – The Beatles (1968)

A2

I know. Hard to see. But that’s the famous album that came to be known as “The White Album.” After the frenzy of album cover creativity in rock music (which they started), the Beatles came out with this beautifully simplistic cover, plain white and named “The Beatles”. Each cover was numbered as well, at least for awhile, as you can see in the bottom right corner. Overall, a stroke of genius. Well done boys.

Playing Possum – Carly Simon (1975)

A3

H-m-m-m-m-m . . . what to say. It’s hard to put a finger (insert your own joke here) on why this cover had such an impact on me. Maybe it was the boots? Have mercy.

Strange Days – The Doors (1967)

A4

Wait a sec. Still looking at the Carly Simon cover. Good God. OK, I’m back. There’s so much goin’ on here I barely no where to start. We have the dancing midget, the Strong Man (in a skirt?), a juggling mime, dancers of some sort and a random trumpet player. Actually these are street performers, circa 1967. The trumpet player is actually a cab driver they pulled off the street. It was taken on a NYC sidestreet, and it’s right up my alley. Epic cover.

Weasels Ripped My Flesh – The Mothers of Invention (1970)

A5

I dunno, there’s just something about the old-style cartoon graphics paired with the flesh-ripping weasel that mesmerizes me. I’m pretty sure I’ll never write that last sentence again. Anywho, the cover is actually a parody of the old Schick razor ads, and it serves as more proof that Frank Zappa, the leader of this band, is batshit crazy.

Breakfast in America – Supertramp (1979)

A6

I always thought this was a clever cover, what with the kitchen utensils and tableware forming NYC in the background. The Twin Towers sort of give it a melancholy feel now, but it’s still a great cover in my opinion. And that waitress just screams America to me. And want to get freaked out a little? If you look at the album backwards in a mirror, you will see a 911 over the Twin Towers.

Atom Heart Mother – Pink Floyd (1970)

A7

I have one, and only one, reason for loving this cover. I like cows. And I love the way that cow is looking at me. Seriously, only a cow can look at you like that, amirite or amirite?

Eve – The Alan Parsons Project (1979)

A8

I find this cover (which actually opens up to reveal a third woman on the back) fascinating because, at first glance, you see beautiful women. Upon closer inspection though, you notice that the veils partially conceal disfiguring scars and sores. The cover reflects the album’s focus, which is the strengths and characteristics of women and the problems they face in the world of men.  See, I can be deep when I wanna be.

School’s Out – Alice Cooper (1972)

A9

This album cover was modeled after an old school desk, and is exactly like the one I sat in at Twin Elementary, circa 1967. You know, except mine had “Shoe was here” carved into the top, alongside, “1-2-3-4, we don’t want your f**king war!” Hey, I was a radical at a very young age.  This album actually opened from bottom to top, just like the old desks. But even better? Every record came adorned with an pair of women’s panties, which was awesome. When I took those babies out and hung them on the bedroom wall my Bourneville street cred shot through the roof. Su-weet.

Eldorado – Electric Light Orchestra (1974)

A9a

Everyone knows of my love for The Wizard of Oz, so this one’s a no-brainer. Yep, that’s Dorothy’s shoes zapping the evil hands of the Wicked Witch. Good vs. Evil, all that. Love it.

Eels – Beautiful Freak (1996)

A9d

I love Mark Olver Everett (the man behind the Eels) and this simple, haunting cover perfectly mirrors the surreal feel of the album. Sometimes the cover makes more sense after you hear the music, and that is certainly the case here.

In Your Honor – Foo Fighters (2005)

A9e

I’m not sure what draws me in here, but maybe it’s the grandiose, Civil War era vibe I get from it. Since I teach the Civil War, maybe that’s it. For whatever reason, I love this cover.

Raditude – Weezer (2009)

A9h

Well, I love dogs, and this looks like a happy, flyin’ across the room dog. I actually love the room the pup’s in as well. Sorta has a 70’s vibe. Fits Weezer’s style perfectly.

We Are Not Alone – Breaking Benjamin (2004)

ABB

What can I say? We’ve all had days where we felt like this, amirite? It just screams frustration and angst. Maybe anger, who knows? That’s why I like it.

You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish – REO Speedwagon (1978)

A9i

I like this album as much for the title as I do the cover. One of the all-time great puns, don’tcha think? The album also includes “Time for Me to Fly”, a great great song.

So there are my favorites. All told a pretty eclectic group, but my musical tastes are pretty eclectic so it works for me. What about you? Have any all-time favorite album covers? If so I’d love to hear ’em. Readers, it’s your turn.

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