World Art Day 2023: The best album covers of all time

Here are our picks for some of the most iconic album artwork of all time.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 14th Apr 2023

Tomorrow will mark Saturday 15th of April when it will officially be World Art Day. This got us thinking about some of the best times where album covers were pieces of art in their own right and would never look out of place in an exhibit. Here are ten of the most iconic album covers that you'll ever see.

 

The Velvet Underground & Nico

Arguably the most iconic cover of all time, it is easy to envision this Andy Warhol painting in your mind. Who knew that a banana would make for an iconic cover? Well, it certainly helps when that album is by The Velvet Underground and Nico, who helped to shape future musical movements for years to come.

 


 

Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

This is one of those ones where plenty of people know who Pink Floyd are, yet for some reason this piece of imagery seems to be even more popular than the band. People recognise this instantly, as it is a work of art that would grab your attention from anywhere in a room. 

 


 

Ariana Grande- Sweetener

It's all about simplicity when it comes to this album cover from Ariana Grande, simply flipping the image on its head, 'Sweetener' is instantly recognisable. Regarded as one of Grande's best albums, it was also the first one she released after the tragedy of the Manchester Arena bombing.

 


 

Joy Division- Unknown Pleasures

Try and spend an afternoon in Manchester without seeing this around on a t-shirt, tote bag or on a wall somewhere. It is a difficult task. Synonymous with Manchester artistry, Joy Division's 'Unknown Pleasures' has a cover that you cannot escape, the soundwave into mountains design is iconic.

 


  

The Clash- London Calling

Smashing up a guitar is a rock and roll cliche that we automatically associate with the rockstar. By the time 'London Calling' came around, The Clash were becoming bonafide arena fillers and for this iconic cover they ripped the typography straight from an Elvis Presley album in typical punk style.

 


 

Blink 182- Enema Of The State

Blink-182 have some of the most childish instincts in music, refusing to ever grow up which they state themselves on 'What's My Age Again?', the hit from their memorably-covered album 'Enema Of The State'. Of course, a nurse putting on a latex glove would be the first think that came to mind for their album artwork.

 


 

Nirvana- Nevermind

Nirvana's 'Nevermind' is unmistakably a classic piece of musical artwork. It has been parodied plenty of times too and you may remember recently that there was a lawsuit from the subject of the cover. It was a memorable piece of artwork for the defining grunge record.

 


 

Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar is nothing short of a modern rap sensation. To see this album cover which shows a black revolution posing in front of the White House felt like a message that was being carried on from the early days of hip-hop. Entirely monochrome, it's not a cover you forget in a hurry.

 


 

Public Enemy- Fear Of A Black Planet

Public Enemy went cosmic for their 'Fear Of A Black Planet' album cover, showing a twin planet to Earth with the band's logo on it. An album that spoke of racial justice and the fight for equality that wasn't only necessary in America but the whole world, there couldn't be a more striking piece of imagery to match their message.

 


 

The Beatles- Abbey Road

The famous cover that made a road incredibly annoying for anyone driving by in a car for the rest of time. Abbey Road will forever be a spot for a photo opportunity and an increased chance of a motoring accident. It may not rank as The Beatle's greatest album, but that debate has a wide net and you can't deny that this is a pop culture image ingrained in our brains.

 



 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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