Music isn’t just about the music. Sure, the sounds are certainly the most essential element, but you can’t ignore the role of cover art in making a brilliant album From the fold-out gatefolds of the vinyl era to pull-out liner notes in CD jewel cases to the small icon on a digital player, cover art has changed over the years, but it still defines how we look at a particular album. Photographic portraits, paintings, collages — all these and more are on Billboard‘s list of the 50 greatest album covers of all time, reaching back to Elvis Presley’s self-titled debut to and going up to present day. 

Music isn’t just about the music. Sure, the sounds are certainly the most essential element, but you can’t ignore the role of cover art in making a brilliant album From the fold-out gatefolds of the vinyl era to pull-out liner notes in CD jewel cases to the small icon on a digital player, cover art has changed over the years, but it still defines how we look at a particular album. Photographic portraits, paintings, collages — all these and more are on Billboard‘s list of the 50 greatest album covers of all time, reaching back to Elvis Presley’s self-titled debut to and going up to present day.

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