Rolling Stones album covers: the top three

Rolling Stones album covers tell you that they understand the power of images and have consistently wrapped their recordings in high quality sleeves.

Over a dozen Rolling Stones LPs were released with outstanding cover art. Not really surprising, given that they often commissioned top celeb/show biz photographers, such as David Bailey and Gered Mankowitz.

My top three Rolling Stones album covers are:
* The Rolling Stones,
* Goats Head Soup, and
* Out Of Our Heads (original, UK version).

Top three Rolling Stones album covers #1 The Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones album covers: the first LP

The Rolling Stones LP, Decca, 1964

The telling cover photograph of The Rolling Stones, the band’s first album, was shot by Nicholas Wright.

The defiant young Stones, their faces subtly lit and coloured, and highlighted by the shot’s dark background, suggest they could be an important, maybe challenging, new musical force.

The absence of graphics – no LP title, no indication of artists – suggest that the Rolling Stones knew that their music would do the talking.

(Scroll down to my 28 April post for more on the cover art of The Rolling Stones LP.)

Top three Rolling Stones album covers #2 Goats Head Soup

Rolling Stones album covers: Goats Head Soup, by David Bailey

Goats Head Soup, 1973

Goats Head Soup has a striking yellow portrait of Mick Jagger wearing the hat of a Victorian “lady”, complete with protective veil. Inside, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Mick Taylor get a similar treatment, while on the back cover Keith Richards appears to be in the process of removing his feminine headgear.

Inside, there’s a head of an unhappy looking goat, bubbling away in a cooking pot.

What does it all mean? Androgyny? Voodoo? Black magic? David Bailey probably knows – he did the photo shoot and the album cover design.

Top three Rolling Stones album covers #3 Out Of Our Heads (UK)

Rolling Stones album covers: Out Of Our Heads (UK version)

Out Of Our Heads, 1965/2002

The cover of Out Of Our Heads (UK), shot by Gered Mankowitz, is probably the best photograph of the early Rolling Stones. I’ve long wondered what prop Mankowitz used to frame the band so well. (The Out Of Our Heads photograph above is the 2002 ABKCO CD release, complete with unnecessary added graphics – “uk”.)

The Rolling Stones, Goats Head Soup, and Out Of Our Heads (original, UK version) are my top three Rolling Stones album covers.

What are yours? Please Leave a reply – link at top of post.

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