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When jamming out to your favorite album, there are probably many aspects of it that you appreciate: the vocals, the lyrics, the story that it tells, how the music makes you feel. But another important piece that’s often overlooked is the album cover art, so one Instagram account is determined to put these pictures at the forefront of your mind.

Images That Could Be Album Covers” shares a wide array of strange, quirky and confusing photos that wouldn’t surprise you at all if they popped up on Spotify. So enjoy this collection we’ve curated that might make you feel like you’re skipping through a playlist, and keep reading to find a conversation with professional photographer Sergio Garcia. Then be sure to upvote the pics that you’d like to use as album art for your own band!

What makes a perfect album is highly subjective, and sometimes, we might not even be able to articulate what it is about a piece of music that speaks to us. Oftentimes, an amazing song or album just does. We don’t have to over analyze it. But it’s a little bit easier to dissect album cover art. Personally, I tend to dissociate the cover photo from the music itself. I can love an album and think nothing of the photo or love a photo and be disappointed in the music. But when they come together to perfectly compliment one another, it makes the record a true masterpiece.

The Images That Could Be Album Covers Instagram account shares photos that could fit any genre of music, yet they all would work perfectly as album artwork. I can imagine stumbling upon any one of them while flipping through records at a vinyl shop, and clearly, they’ve mastered the art of album photos, as the page has amassed an impressive 102k followers through sharing only 452 posts. Whether you love rock, metal, indie, country, rap, classical or pop music, you’re sure to find something that you could see your favorite band releasing!   

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Regardless of what your personal favorite style of music is, there are certain album covers out there that almost anyone will recognize: The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’; Andy Warhol’s famous, vibrant banana on ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’, that naked baby featured on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’. But of course, there are plenty more iconic album covers out there.

According to Billboard’s list of the greatest album covers of all time, nothing tops ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’. But not far behind are Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled album, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Elvis Presley’s self-titled album, The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, and Joy Division’s ‘Unknown Pleasures’. Not only are these all excellent albums, their cover images perfectly encapsulate the music they represent, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re also great for posters, t-shirts and other merchandise.

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To learn more about what it takes to create an excellent album cover, we reached out to professional photographer Sergio Garcia, who was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda. Sergio is well versed in a variety of photography styles, including album photoshoots, so we wanted to hear his expertise on the topic. “From my perspective as a photographer and artist, a great album cover should capture attention and provoke curiosity, leaving the viewer wondering about its meaning and connection to the artist or their music,” he shared. “The cover doesn't necessarily need to directly relate to the specific single, but it should reflect the current stage of the artist's career and artistic journey.”

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Ali H M Salehuddin
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kuala Lumpur is one of the cities with most lightning strikes. But this got to be multiple frames merged together.

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We also asked Sergio if he could share any examples of album covers that he loves. “While there are a lot of album covers out there that I enjoy, two that really stand out to me are Justin Timberlake's ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ and Moby's ‘Play’,” he told Bored Panda. “There's something about the energy and vibe of those images that really speaks to me. And when it comes to my own work, I'm particularly proud of the cover I shot for Andie Case's ‘Bubblegum and Cigarettes’. It was a last-minute idea from her, but the collaboration we came up with was so fun and creative.”

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On the other hand, we wanted to know if there’s anything that should be avoided when creating an album cover. “It's difficult to identify anything that can completely ruin an album cover,” Sergio shared. “That being said, as photographers, it's important to ensure that we capture the essence of what the artist is trying to convey through their music. We should strive to create an image that aligns with the concept and overall message of the album, while still bringing our own unique perspective and creative vision to the table. At the same time, it's important to avoid straying too far from the concept, as this can potentially confuse listeners and create a disjointed experience.”

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F3kpp
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This image has been around for decades and it is obviously photoshopped. Look how the sign is the exact silhouette of the bird on top. Also: Who would put up a sign like this and to whom would it be addressed?

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And when it comes to why it’s so important to put thought into an album cover, Sergio says, “A great album cover can be a powerful tool in capturing the essence of an artist's personal and creative state of mind at a particular moment in time. It can serve as a valuable piece of the record and help to convey the message and vibe of the music.”

“That being said, I also believe that a poor album cover alone cannot break a record,” Sergio added. “While a strong album cover can certainly enhance the listening experience and attract new listeners, the quality of the music itself is ultimately what will make or break the record. That's not to say that album covers aren't important - they absolutely are! But they should be viewed as part of a larger package that includes the music, the lyrics, and the overall message that the artist is trying to convey. By putting all of these elements together, an artist can create a truly memorable and impactful album that resonates with listeners on a deeper level.”

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And if you’re planning on creating an album cover for your own music, Sergio says that having a plan in place before the photoshoot is crucial, but it’s also wise to keep an open mind. “It’s important to be open to unexpected moments during the session. I believe that these unplanned moments can sometimes result in the most beautiful and unique images,” he explained. “By letting the natural chemistry and vibes guide the photoshoot, you can create a relaxed and enjoyable environment for the artist, which can lead to even better results. It's a true collaboration between the photographer and the subject, and it's important to be open to each other's ideas and perspectives. In short, don't be afraid to try new things and see where the session takes you - you never know what amazing images may come from it!”

If you’d like to gain some inspiration for your next photoshoot or see some of Sergio’s wonderful work, be sure to visit his website right here or his Instagram right here!

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There’s a common joke that nowadays literally anything can be used to name a band, and I’m starting to think that anything could be used as album cover art as well. But these photos just have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that screams album art. We hope you’re enjoying this list of inspiration for your own band’s next album cover, and remember to keep upvoting your favorites. Then, when you’re finished here, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring photos that deserve to be on album covers, look no further than right here!

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David
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I assume this is distortion from a wide angle lens. But now my brain is picturing those big round bales rolling downhill towards the house.

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David
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those old man muppet hecklers in the box seat finally get their due.

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David
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Is this real? I didn't think flying saucers of that size could lift a mid size car. From what I've read a cow is about the best it can manage. /S

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pipchen1975
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9 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like that Gus stays in his character wearing a mask properly, and Victor follows his boss. And Salamancas just don't give a sh*t.

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Note: this post originally had 145 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.