The Best Album Covers of 2012

Below are the 50 album covers that were voted Best Album of the Week in our AlbumArtExchange Blog polls in 2012. They are posted in order from the weeks of January 10 through December 18. Thanks to the readers who took part in selecting the best album cover every week.

For a larger view, click the image to go to the gallery. Most of the covers are available in various sizes.

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Wacky Album Cover of the Evening


Various Artists – Yuletide Disco (1979)

Posted by: zeefritz

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Editor’s Choice: December 17, 2012

Below are 10 noteworthy album covers that were posted to the AAX gallery last week. They were selected simply because I found them to be interesting or a valuable addition to the gallery. They are listed in no particular order.

Posted by: eta

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Posted by: plholland

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Posted by: jean.o.matic

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Posted by: fourplay

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Posted by: stevemoss

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Posted by: Da Guy

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Posted by: Da Guy

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Posted by: claudiamartelly

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Posted by: claudiamartelly

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Wacky Album Cover of the Evening


Dave Brubeck Quartet – Near-Myth (1961)

Posted by: zeefritz

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Editor’s Choice: December 10, 2012

Below are 10 noteworthy album covers that were posted to the AAX gallery last week. They were selected simply because I found them to be interesting or a valuable addition to the gallery. They are listed in no particular order.

Posted by: BritchelM

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Posted by: r3zn0r

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Posted by: Scott

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Posted by: Da Guy

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Posted by: chambinator

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Posted by: plholland

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Posted by: plholland

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: plholland

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Posted by: Da Guy

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Search for the Worst: Beatlesongs!

Since this is the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon, I thought it would be a good time to write about one of the most tasteless album covers ever created. Less than two years after Lennon’s death, Rhino Records released Beatlesongs!, a collection of Beatles novelty songs by various artists. The cover featured an illustration by artist and illustrator William Stout. Done in the Mad magazine style, the cover was a cartoon parody of Beatlemanics.

Inexplicably, one of the cartoon “fans” on the cover was a caricature of Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman (holding banner on the far left). Keep in mind that this cover was created in 1982, when the death of John Lennon was still a fresh wound. As should have been expected, the cover was quite controversial and Rhino pulled it from distribution. The following is an excerpt from Rhino’s press release regarding the album cover:

Due to many phone calls and letters of protest from disgruntled fans and stores, Rhino has elected to recall this jacket and immediately change the cover to a photo of various Beatles memorabilia. All existing jackets will be pasted over with the new cover. The depiction of Chapman was not made obvious to the members of Rhino’s staff, and only later was brought to their attention.

William Stout is a respected commercial artist whose work was featured in a five page spread in last November’s Life Magazine. His recent credits iinclude that of Production Artist on the film “Conan” and having his own book, “The Dinosaurs,” published by Bantam. Stout refused to alter the artwork – upon Rhino’s suggestion – claiming that an important point would be lost.

The release continued with what Rhino called a “manifesto” by Stout defending his cover as depicting a “complete range of Beatles fans” – oh, brother! It was a collection of novelty songs, not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel!

Posted by: zeefritz

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Album Art Flashback: Olivia Newton-John’s Physical

When a young friend recently ask me why the cover for Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 album Physical (below) looks quite a bit like that for Madonna’s 1986 album True Blue (right), I knew that it was time for another Album Art Flashback. There’s an obvious reason for the similarity. Both photographs were taken by the late fashion photographer and pop culture icon Herb Ritts. Ritts later directed music videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and several other notable artists. He passed away in December 2002.

The art director for Physical was George Osaki. Ritts took the photos on the beach in in Honolulu, Hawaii. The image of Newton-John in profile that was used for the cover continued onto the back of the album, showing the singer splashing in the water. In addition to the photograph on the cover, Ritts shot the poster that was included with the LP (right).

The packaging for Madonna’s True Blue used a similar concept. A poster of an uncropped image that included Madonna’s bare shoulder and a leather jacket was included with the LP. What I find interesting is that even though the album covers are only separated by five years, the Madonna cover has a timeless quality that is missing for Physical. The 1980s workout headband and the wet shift dress give Newton-John a very dated look. Madonna would not look out of place at a trendy nightclub wearing her outfit today.

Posted by: zeefritz

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Wacky Album Cover of the Evening


Flamin’ Groovies – Supersnazz (1969)

Posted by: zeefritz

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Editor’s Choice: December 3, 2012

Below are 10 noteworthy album covers that were posted to the AAX gallery last week. They were selected simply because I found them to be interesting or a valuable addition to the gallery. They are listed in no particular order.

Posted by: questrider

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Posted by: zeefritz

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Posted by: joeff

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Posted by: fafarka

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Posted by: joeff

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Posted by: claudiamartelly

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Posted by: freebox

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Posted by: plholland

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Posted by: freebox

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Posted by: BritchelM

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