it's got a good beat and i can stick a thumbtack in it
Taking on VH1's list of the 50 best album covers all in one sitting would be daunting. I have too many complaints with their list, plus too many favorites of my own to list.
My criteria of what makes a good album cover is probably different than yours. As one who has been around since vinyl was the only choice in a record store, album covers mean a lot to me. I would often thumbtack the covers to my bedroom wall, leaving the album itself in its paper sleeve.
This is what I don't like about CDs; there's so little room for really good cover art. Even if a CD cover is striking or beautiful, it's still small. You can't stick a thumbtack in it and call it a wall decoration. You can't put a piece of tracing paper over it and try to copy all the intricate details. You don't get a really good idea of all the work that goes into the art that represents an album.
So, VH1's list. I suppose they have their reasons for picking the albums they did. I suppose some of them make statements and some of them are just eye candy and some of them are just porn lite. Are they pleasing to look at? For the most part. Are they works of art? Hardly any of them are, at least to my eye.
It would take too long to list all my favorite cover art here. Instead, I will share some of them with you every few posts. Please share your own favorites. In fact, if you send me a link to an image and write a little something on why it's one of your favorites, I'll post it.
The one above is from Stabbing Westward's Darkest Days, art by Dave McKean.
No, I'm not playing favorites just because McKean is my favorite album. It just happens to meet my criteria for choosing favorites: a) It qualifies as a piece of art; b)It is relevant to the music (though that's in they eye of the relevance-holder) and c), it's thumbtack worthy.
[you can see more of McKean's album art here]