With the sales of vinyl rising over the past 5 years by almost twenty percent, the impetus to start producing amazing album artwork is even greater.
In the last twenty-years – the age of the compact disc – some bands have taken great pride in their album art, making it an extension of the album’s overall concept.
After much debate, we’ve pulled together a list of twenty standouts. This list is not comprehensive as there were dozens more we came across in our conversations – but we capped the list at twenty.
Let us know what you think we missed in the comments below.
Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
The crazy messy genius that is Of Montreal is in full effect here.
Madvillain – Madvillainy
The only hip-hop album on our list. MF Doom as Dr. Doom is just amazing.
MSTRKRFT – Fist of God
The bold and provocative cover is perfect for this music.
Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
Neko Case is our hero. And she is coming to save us (or slay us?).
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
The Epic Yoshimi does battle in this Japanese inspired artwork.
Menomena – Friend and Foe
An amoebous creature surround by a beautifully rendered nightmare.
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
The band’s hometown architecture is on-display. The detail on the plain background makes it somewhat difficult to see what you are looking at.
Santogold – Santogold
Gold. Pure Gold.
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
Where to begin. Illinois’ most infamous characters & iconography are displayed in this amazing, clever, and hilarious cover.
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
Trippy hologram that appears to move. Like a lot of the band’s music on this album – it’s beautiful while at the same time a bit unsettling.
Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
A crude visual commentary on consumerism rendered in vibrant colour.
Death From Above 1979 – You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
Half-elephant, half hard-core indie-rock duo. In hot pink. Be afraid.
Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven!
This is pretty straightforward. And pretty amazing.
Atlas Sound – Logos
The album cover depicts Atlas Sound’s Bradford Cox shirtless showing the effects Marfan’s syndrome, which he suffers from.
Justice – †
Stark. Dark. Iconic. Unforgettable.
Belle and Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
The cover depicts a moment frozen in time. A picture says a thousand words.
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
The ‘good book’ as Las Vegas glitz. Irreverent, yet entirely appropriate.
Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy
Straight out of the mind of Will Sheff into perennial Okkervil River cover artist Will Schaff’s hands – the Black Sheep Boy is born. He doesn’t look happy.
Wolf Parade – Mount Zoomer
Hard to say what this one is about but it’s amazing.
The Unicorns – Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?
Montreal’s The Unicorns present their version of adolescent bubble-art as they ask the all important question: “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?”