An album cover is the front of the packaging of a commercially released audio recording product, or album. The term can refer to either the printed cardboard covers typically used to package sets of 10 in (25 cm) and 12 in (30 cm) 78 rpm records, single and sets of 12″ LPs, sets of 45 rpm records (either in several connected sleeves or a box), or the front-facing panel of a CD package, and, increasingly, the primary image accompanying a digital download of the album, or of its individual tracks.
In addition, in the case of all types of records, it also serves as part of the protective sleeve.
The album cover is an increasingly underappreciated art form. The days of the double gatefold epic artwork you could hold in your hand, cherish or even deface if the fancy took you are more or less gone. Check out www.hillcountrymetalart.com for more details about album covers.
As album covers go, it’s certainly not trying to appeal to everybody – and it got us wondering: what other album covers have been shocking, wilfully controversial, offensive, unappealing, or just plain bad?