10 Best Hard Rock Album Covers Of All Time

The Art Behind Rock's Heaviest Offerings.

Alice In Chains Dirt

Albums are no small feat to create. From booking studio time to getting the right take for a song, musicians have to put their heart and soul into these tunes in order for them to end up on the record. It may not seem as important, but the actual covers of these records can almost be as important as the content inside.

When you think about it, these covers have a particularly daunting task. You have to have something that captures the right amount of grit of the record while not being too disturbing to be off putting to the average fan. It's never an easy choice to make this kind of artistic statement, but these records show just how much the artist understood where the musicians were coming from.

From snide humor to creepy graphics, each of these albums do a great job of putting the listener in the proper headspace before diving head first into the music. Whether the cover has incredibly stunning visuals or just a few barebones essentials, they not only compliment the music but add to the excitement of the record. Once you saw these covers, you knew you were in for one hell of a ride.

10. Rated R - Queens Of The Stone Age

Given all of the druggy references and seductive musical passages, Queens of the Stone Age is not a band for the innocent. The brainchild of Joshua Homme had formed out of the ashes of stoner rock outfit Kyuss and were on the cusp of reaching their creative peak by the early 2000's. When it came time to put a label on their record, they decided to have some fun with a cheeky warning label.

Rated R is a record that has a certain sinister quality laced throughout the track listing from the bad acid trip of "Better Living Through Chemistry" to the laundry list of narcotics that permeate "Feel Good Hit of the Summer." The band were extremely proud of the effort, but were a bit jaded that the censors would badger them to clean up the tracks.

Rather than making some elaborate drawing, the band chose to have a simple blue background with the MPAA R rating put in the corner. Not only did this work from an aesthetic point of view, but the actual placement ensured the band wouldn't need to slap a Parental Advisory sticker on the front. With just a simple letter, QOTSA promised something a bit more raunchy than your typical rock and roll.


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