Despite the fact Kanye West recently proclaimed the CD dead and revealed Yeezus’ faux see-through cover was an homage to the now-extinct format, the vinyl resurgence is still in full swing. And record execs argue the art of the album cover is just as important as ever.

Adweek reached out to five music industry professionals to pick their favorite album covers as examples of the still-fruitful art form. Wilco’s classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot made the list twice as chosen by Interscope’s head of revenue Gary Kelly and Vinyl, Me Please co-founder Matt Fielder.

“Being from Chicago, the YHF album cover reminds me of a city I know and love,” Fielder said. “Those towers are sort of an unofficial Chicago landmark now… You’ll see a lot of tourists try to recreate the image.”


Kendrick Lamar also shows up twice in Adweek’s rundown but for two different, but both impactful, albums. Kelly picked 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city: “I remember seeing the album art and just being blown away by the stories that could be told from just seeing the photos of Kendrick’s relatives,” he said.

Fielder, however, pointed to last year’s Grammy-winning To Pimp a Butterfly. “This is a modern classic because of what it says,” he said. “It’s such an important album socially, and the album artwork speaks to that.”

Crosley Director of Marketing Jason Menard opted for the cover of Brand New’s Deja Entendu, which he says will forever be associated with his youth, and Cat Power’s The Greatest for its innovative special-edition foil cover.


Fielder also selected Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind cover, which he calls “so easily identifiable even after so many years.” And we couldn’t agree more.

50 Frame-Worthy Album Covers From the 21st Century

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