Top Rolling Stones album covers: official bootlegs

Rolling Stones album covers rank among the strongest images in rock art.

You even find high quality album cover artwork among the lesser-known Rolling Stones “official bootlegs”.

The Rolling Stones Archive of officially authorised live sets has a couple of inspired covers. My favourite is the album cover for Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981).

Rolling Stones official bootleg 1981

Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981), Rolling Stones Archive

Hampton Coliseum (Live 1981) competes with better-known mass market releases such as The Rolling Stones or Out Of Our Heads (UK) for the accolade of top Rolling Stones album cover.

The Brussels Affair ’73 has long been a favourite bootleg recording among Rolling Stones aficionados.  The official release, the cleaned-up 2011 version, mixing both the fabled shows at la Forêt Nationale, also has a striking cover, though some might balk at its adolescent smuttiness.

Rolling Stones official bootleg, 1973

The Brussels Affair ’73, Rolling Stones Archive

The album covers of the other releases in the series – LA Friday (Live 1975), Live At The Tokyo Dome (1990), and Light The Fire (Toronto Phoenix Club, 2005) – are noteworthy, but lack the impact of the Hampton and Brussels albums.

You can download all these albums – and their fine album cover artwork – at low cost, from the Rolling Stones Archive

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