Jan 10

Top Ten Album Art Contains Worst Of 2009

FT8 comments • 1,901 views

So the “who they” Art Vinyl people have awarded the best album cover of 2009 then. I believe a public vote may have been involved, indeed one assumes it must because the winner was Muse who have a lot of public. The Resistance is not a bad album cover, indeed it follows many of the rules of the best album cover of all time* in as much as it has a high concept, contains the colours of the rainbow and is a bit trippy. Let’s be fair, if it had been on the cover of Orbital’s In Sides, I probably would play the album more often.

But hold on the BBC seem to be displaying the shortlist. And OK, I like the variation in styles between the covers, from optical illusions to pig faced portraiture (The Fever Ray cover is particularly striking). But hold on, what is this nestling between the second hand Banksy of Green Day and the aforementioned La Roux cover.

It can’t be.

Really? This top-down view of a half arsed game of Kerplunk, with ropey lettering is one of the best album covers of 2009? REALLY? Surely we all agreed six months ago that we had alreeady found the worst of the year no matter what soft soaped sepia nonsense they put on the Susan Boyle album. Would anyone want this monstrosity on the wall?

Because of course that is what this is all about. Becuase Art Vinyl, the subtly named sponsors, do exactly that. Make picture frames for your records with easy access. Go on, spunk £40 on a frame now!

*This being the cover to Emerson Lake And Palmer’s Tarkus of course. Wins the best cover artwork of all time for its depiction of an Armadillo Tank on some sort of rainbow battlefield. It does not win the best interior gatefold artwork though, I’ll let you ponder that one.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 5 Jan 2010 #

    “the best album cover of all time…has a high concept, contains the colours of the rainbow and is a bit trippy” – I thought for a minute you meant Dark Side of the Moon

    My vote would go to ‘Space Ritual’ by Hawkwind – which as vinyl gatefolds go opened up into a large psychedelic poster which can be found about half way down this page:


  2. 2
    Pete on 5 Jan 2010 #

    You see what I did there!

    Though I do love the Tarkus cover.

    The best gatefold inner sleeve in my opinion is from a nineties albums, and is nowehere near as well thought out as that Barney Bubbles piece.

  3. 3
    wichita lineman on 5 Jan 2010 #

    Ummm… Music For A Jilted Generation?

  4. 4
    Tom on 5 Jan 2010 #

    It can only be. The inner sleeve that everyone should download next year instead of a Christmas card to show THE MAN where to GET OFF.

  5. 5
    Pete on 5 Jan 2010 #

    Good guess. Here it is in all its majesty (click on it for an EVEN BIGGER version where you can almost see who are playing on the “rave stage”).

  6. 6
    Tim on 5 Jan 2010 #

    Never not amazing.

  7. 7
    Steve Mannion on 5 Jan 2010 #

    I think the Ohio Players ‘Honey’ gatefold beats it personally, but then I am a massive perv.

  8. 8
    Manilaboy on 7 Jan 2010 #

    Did somebody say Vinyl ARtwork?: then this should win tops.

    Visited the site, I’m not wild at their choices.
    Where’s Antony and the Johnson’s Crying Light? At least they used that Japanese photo first, unlike U2 *cough*
    Other thoughts:
    #4 Massive Attack = Uncle’s War Stories + # 34. Oh, del Naja, have you no other ideas then electro shock skeletons?
    5 Green Day = Blur’s Think Tank + sneaker ad
    9 La Roux = 80’s hair salon catalogue.
    11 Animal Collective = # 43. Hey look, I see a boat. Love optical illusions, btw.
    18, 21, 44 = love for dizzying spiral art. but 18 wins
    33 Jay Z = http://www.yorapper.com/jay-z-jacks-u2-and-secret-machine/
    45 Basement Jaxx reminds me of Michael Jackson’s Dangerous
    46 Maccabees = His and Her’s (Pulp) album with shades.
    48 U2 = thinks that Dupree and Chartier are not googable.

    Winner for me Pet Shop Boys(6), Flaming Lips(25), Neko Case(not on list), Fever Ray(3), and Jarvis Cocker (19). Love Jarvis for allowing himself to be the artwork, thus personal. Indie rockers, take note. Unless he was inspired by this:

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