When an album’s cover art makes an impression on you, be it striking, beautiful, innovative, or iconic, it’s difficult to ignore. Here are three album covers that we have not yet forgotten. Take a look!
The art for Kanye West’s album Graduation, while perhaps not as ethereally beautiful as, for example, Bjork’s Biophilia, marks a significant collaboration between West and one of my personal favourite artists, Takashi Murakami. Kanye’s choice of Murakami to visually represent his album containing such anthems as ‘Stronger,’ ‘Homecoming,’ and ‘Flashing Lights’ (single art also by Murakami) not only demonstrates Kanye’s status as a true bellwether of cultural phenomena and taste, but represents an interesting and exciting step for hip-hop into the fine art world. As an Urchin, artistic collaborations thrill me to the core, and I love the thought of the Kanye, from the South Side of Chicago, and Murakami, from Tokyo, coming together to create. The final product is everything the two artists are: iconic, symbolic, and really, really cool.
I’ve never been able to pick a favourite song or album (naturally I would be choosing from the Beatles), but I have always been able to say that, without a doubt, Revolver is my favourite album cover. Musically, Revolver was the turning point in the Beatles’ career. No longer were the Fab Four teenage, pinup idols – and the album art is so indicative of that. A collage of illustrations by Klaus Voormann, a friend of the Beatles from their days in Hamburg, and photographs by Robert Whitaker, Revolver shows the many sides (and faces) of John, Paul, George, and Ringo – until 1966, the Beatles had always been pictured on their album covers as heartthrobs. Revolver, both the album and the artwork cover, represented a change in rock music history.
The Fugees had a short career, made up of just two albums, yet they remain one of the most important names in 90s hip-hop, thanks to their album The Score. The cover of that album has become as iconic as their hits, perfectly encapsulating everything the Fugees were and wanted to be: hard-line, raw, and to the point, with just enough militant attitude showing through each of their cool expressions.