By now, you’re well aware of the whole not-judging-a-book-by-its-cover thing. But what about albums? Can you judge by their covers? The rules are kinda hazy on the matter, but we can tell you this: Sometimes it’s just as easy to become as enamored with an album’s artwork as you are with the music. After all, album artwork is still art–it’s right there in the name. We got a few of our favorite musicians to reveal their personal favorites.

Iron & Wine‘s The Sea And The Rhythm EP (2003, Sub Pop)
There are so many things I love about this cover. I love the photo, which you focus on, but I really love all the other details: The color, the stained paper, the fact that you can kind of see type on the other side of the paper, the very simple type treatment. It’s very beautiful, and stirs up a lot of different emotions when I look at it. –Jeremiah Edmond, Manchester Orchestra">


Band Of Horses‘ Everything All Of The Time (2006, Sub Pop)
Aside from being one of my favorite records of all time, I’ve always been mesmerized by the artwork for some strange reason. It has a very eerie feeling to it, but at the same time it’s beautiful and serene– which is basically how the album makes me feel. The painting is of a swamp or a clearing with trees surrounding the text. I always wanted to find a place like that of my own to kind of tune out the world and just chill out. I’d like to be somewhere no one has really ever been. I love the whole art direction that Band Of Horses took with the album, too. They gave you little 3-inch by 3-inch photo cards instead of a folding pamphlet, and I thought that was very cool. –Eric Halvorsen, A Rocket To The Moon">

Nirvana‘s Nevermind (1991, DGC)
I’ve gotta know if they actually threw that baby in a pool. It blew my mind then, and it still does now.Jeremy McKinnon, A Day To Remember">

Bruce Springsteen‘s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973, Columbia)
The cover reminds me of when I was young. On an artistic level, I love the way it [has] held up over time. I think it’s simple, but captures the vibe of the record perfectly. –Tegan Quin, Tegan And Sara">

Elvis Costello And The Attractions‘ Armed Forces (1979, Columbia)
This album cover is straight-up, pure business. It’s got a cover that can stand on its own as a piece of art, and is so passionate and simple. The illustration, color and texture have this rad old-school vibe about them. It’s a classic-looking cover. –Michael Barrett, Closure In Moscow">

Iron Maiden‘s Live After Death (1985, EMI)
I am a huge fan of Derek Riggs, who is the artist responsible for all Iron Maiden’s artwork. I remember being handed a cassette copy of this album when i was really young. No doubt that my huge love for Iron Maiden and me getting so into music was spawned by the artwork on that album. The skateboarding scene turned me on to a lot of punk-rock bands because I saw artwork for the Misfits, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag on people’s boards and shirts. All of those bands have really powerful artwork. I was trying to shoot for the same kind of iconic effect when I designed the cover of our self-titled record. –Jakob Printzlau, the Fashion">