Triple J recently counted down the Hottest 100 Australian Albums, as voted by the Aussie public. When I was compiling my shortlist in preparation to vote, I noticed that the albums I remembered best as a whole, were the ones that I could remember what the cover looked like. It made me wonder if the album cover art had anything to do with how people voted. Below are images of the top 10 albums. While they are pretty diverse, what they have in common is (1) an iconic image and (2) simple supplementary typography.
Counting down from 10…
10. Regurgitator – Unit (my personal favourite!)
A really iconic and minimalist cover that won the 1998 ARIA award for best cover art.
9. The Avalanches – Since I left you.
The concept album was described as a search for love from country to country, relating to the international nature of the records that influenced the album. The cover image tells a story, and is supported by the very simple album title.
8. Wolfmother (self titled)
This album takes a similar approach, with the main illustrative image used to tell the story, plus simple typography that forms the bands logo.
7. The Presets – Apocalypso
Surrealist image + typographical band logo.
6. Powderfinger – Internationalist
Included a series of beautiful illustrations by Michael Mucci and won the 1999 ARIA award for best cover art.
5. INXS – Kick
A surprisingly modern, dynamic and timeless design for an album released in 1987.
4. The Living End – (self titled)
The cover art is based on a photo of the inside of a World War I all-female bomb factory.
3. ACDC – Back in Black
It doesn’t get much more distinctive than this! A timeless rock n roll cover, for a timeless rock n roll album.
2. Silverchair – Frogstomp
A really memorable cover – simple and effective.
1. Powderfinger – Odyssey Number Five
The central image took a different angle and won the 2000 ARIA award for best cover art.
What’s your favourite album cover?
Yours in cover art,