Rock's Greatest Album Covers
Sgt Pepper-It featured a colorful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people on the front of the album cover and lyrics printed on the back cover, the first time this had been done on a British pop LP. It introduced us to the full “liner note” album experience
Sticky Fingers-The artwork for Sticky Fingers — which, on the original vinyl release, featured a working zipper that opened to reveal cotton briefs (rubber stamped "THIS PHOTOGRAPH MAY NOT BE-ETC.") — was conceived by American pop artist Andy Warhol. The cover, a photo of a crotch clad in tight blue jeans, was assumed by many fans to be an image of Mick Jagger, however the people actually involved at the time of the photo shoot claim that Warhol had several different men photographed (Jagger was not among them) and never revealed which shots he used.
Escape-Hello Starship Scarab Beetle! The scarab beetle is a symbol of the Egyptian god, Khepri, who in turn is a symbol of rebirth, the sun, and creation. Steve Perry had now been with the band a handful of years and the transition from Jazz Fusion/Progressive Rock was now complete. With Jonathan Cain replacing Greg Rolie in the band on keyboards, Journey was reborn as Pop/Rock Superstars!
Houses of the Holy-The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhoods End… (The ending involves several hundred million naked children, only slightly and physically resembling the human race in basic forms.) It is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland. Jimmy Page has stated that the album cover was actually the second version submitted , the first by artist Storm Thorgerson, featured an electric green tennis court with a tennis racquet on it. Furious that Thorgerson was implying their music sounded like a "racket", the band fired him and hired Powell in his place in 1974, the album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of best album package.
Who’s Next-What does the Monolith the Who are taking a leak on represent? Is it a message to 2001: A Space Odyssey Director Stanley Kubrick (Remember the Black Monolith in the film) who declined the band’s offer to direct an earlier version of Tommy? Ken Russell helmed the film when it was released in 1975. Or, is it a statement to the “Monolith” that is the establishment and conventional machinations of society. It tops my list of Rocks Greatest Album Covers.