Friday, February 17, 2012

Best Black & White Album Covers

Alanna Yaraskavitch is a former co-op student. She has also been a part of both the Wednesday and Thursday versions of Special Blend. The Special Blend is a public affairs/music show put on by a variety of hosts every morning from 7 - 9:30 AM. Here are her favourite black and white album covers, in no particular order.

Glasvegas - Glasvegas (2008)

Bad album, but it has a cool cover that's a modern take on Van Gogh's Starry Night. This would look great on a t-shirt.

REM - Accelerate (2008)

Phwor! A cartoony, collagey cornacopia of contrast. Say that ten times fast.

The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

This looks like something from mid-90's zine, but they did it in 1966! And, yes, it probably has (unfortunately) inspired countless Beatles fans to try to draw John, Paul, George and Ringo for themselves.

The Stranglers - Black And White (1978)

Photo cover! You can hardly see that one guy's head, which is pretty spooky at first glance. Clean, stark and punk as hell.

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures (1979)

I remember hearing somewhere that this drawing is from a book. It's very artsy, dark and cooler-than-thou. Perfect cover for the mood of the album.

Ramones - Ramones (1976)

Iconic! They all look SO tough and cool that you just can't look away. Plus you can see Tommy Ramone's belly button.

Cults - Cults (2011)

Aww, what a yucky crap band. But this album cover is killer! I looked at this record and I thought "Oh man! This is gonna be great rock'n'roll! They're banging their heads! Wow!". Sadly, it's not. The cover still rules though.

Crass - Christ: The Album (1982)

Simple, meaningful, clean. Almost 30 years later it still looks like a graphic designer's dream.

XTC - Go 2 (1978)

I don't care what anyone else says; this is the most hilarious, brilliant, wonderful album cover of all time. Essentially an essay about album covers as the album cover. Best line? "They're TRICKS and this is the worst TRICK of all since it's describing the TRICK whilst trying to TRICK you, and if you've read this far then you're TRICKED but you wouldn't have known this unless you'd read this far." Genius!


  1. The XTC cover was originally a novelty cover made by Hipgnosis to amuse themselves. As XTC themselves put it, "We bought the office joke."

  2. You missed some classics: Peter Gabriel 2 & 3 (although there is colour in his name), Bowie "Heroes", Santana [lion head], Cream "Wheels of Fire", Simon & Garfunkel "Bookends", Patti Smith "Horses", Led Zeppelin "1" (although in some versions there is colour in the band name).

  3. nice ones Craig. Good to hear from you

  4. Two other good ones have color just in the album or artist name...T.Rex "The Slider" and The Clash "London Calling".