The Top 20 Album Artworks of the Year

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As everybody starts to pump out their end of year lists (FYI: My Top 50 Albums of 2015 will go live in early January, with my Top 215 Songs of 2015 traditionally going live on January 25th), I’d been planning on posting my picks for the best album artworks of the year in the New Year, but after seeing many similar lists across the web that failed to mention some of the finest pieces of art the year had to offer, I felt I had to rush-release my efforts so that the likes of Bjork, Miley Cyrus, Sharon Needles and Annie were given the marks their art so richly deserved.

01. SHARON NEEDLES “Taxidermy”


Sharon’s incredible cover for “Taxidermy” shines bright as the obvious Album Artwork of the Year. A vast difference to the (adorable) $10 budget of her debut album’s artwork, “Taxidermy” proved to be a step in the right direction for Sharon, further painting her as the Elvira-gone-Lepore of Rock ‘N Roll.

 

02. ANNIE “Endless Vacation”


Annie returned to the pop world with the most exciting throwback all year… IT’S A BLOODY CASSETTE COVER! The fact that I’ve yet to record the EP onto an actual cassette just so that I can print out the cover and fit it into a proper case honestly astounds me. (I AM OFF TO GO DO THIS NOW)

 

03. MILEY CYRUS “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz”


Molly Cyprus took LSD-Branding to a whole new level with the Dead Petz artwork. It’s a damn shame I don’t get to look at a physical representation of it – how incredible would this album look (and sound!!!!) on vinyl?!

 

04. BJORK “Vulnicura”


Everybody seems to have forgotten about this album and, bizarrely, also forgotten the epic artwork that came with it. Even when the albums haven’t been all that great, Bjork always delivers with her visual aesthetic, so it was honestly quite surprising to see “Vulnicura” missing from so many Artwork of the Year posts.

 

05. ALASKA THUNDERFVCK “Anus”


Alaska’s face with giant ANUS lettering across the mouth? What’s there not to love about this!?

 

06. SKRILLEX & DIPLO PRES. “Jack U”


You can’t go past a pop collage, can you? Especially when it’s as babin’ as this.

 

07. YEARS & YEARS “Communion”


Simple and bloody effective.

 

08. RAE SREMMURD “SremmLife”


Speaking of simple design, Rae Sremmurd’s iconic debut proved once again that quite often the simplest of designs can make the biggest impression.

 

09. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS “FROOT”


Leaving the dramatic Electra Heart well and truly behind her, Marina Diamandis’ third album “FROOT” delivered fresh bursts of colour into its aesthetic, one that immediately hinted the artist was – perhaps – in a better, more comfortable place than she was during her last release.

 

10. MADONNA “Rebel Heart”


Everybody seems to love the black and white cover of this album but the Clean, Standard Edition artwork of “Rebel Heart” forever sticks in my mind as the most iconic of the lot. Paying homage to many of her previous eras, the cover was cheeky, sexy, and full of enough self-references to ensure as many of her hardcore fans forked out for the standard edition as possible. And I can tell you right now that it was worth every penny.

 

11. BONNIE McKEE “Bombastic”


I honestly thought “Bombastic” was going to usher through some sales for poor Bonnie and give her the year she’s been craving. Unfortunately it seems that myself, our co-editor Richard and my best mate Michelle were the only people in the world who bought the EP, and both the comic and songwriting genius of Bonnie McKee criminally remained the biggest secret in pop for the year. What a great cover though.

 

12. DANIEL JOHNS “Talk”


Looking more like a psychedelic painting of John Jarratt’s character from Wolf Creek rather than artwork from a pop star, this askew type of visual is exactly the kind of tripped-out-aesthetic we’ve come to expect from the brilliant Johns.

 

13. LANA DEL REY “Honeymoon”


I just don’t get all of the hate this cover received – not at all! For starters, “Honeymoon” finally sees Lana get into the fucking car, but it also boasts an actual telephone hotline number that, once called, revealed a recording of Lana on the other side, proving that Lana’s Hollywood Hotline was the actual Hotline of the Year – sorry Drake!

 

14. GRIMES “Art Angels”


The Stereotypical and played out choice for Album of the Year may not have been the actual Album of the Year but by god, wasn’t the artwork something special? Don’t get me wrong – I really do love the album but there were much, much better released in 2015.

 

15. DURAN DURAN “Paper Gods”


Pop legends Duran Duran took the Miley Cyrus “Bangerz” sticker set to a whole new level for “Paper Gods”.

 

16. FKA TWIGS “M3LL155X”


Bonkers.

 

17. TINA ARENA “Eleven”


Simplicity at its finest; Tina, a sexy pose, and some hoop earrings thrown in to satisfy her army of gays.

 

18. PETER WILSON “Utopia”


Peter’s greatest artwork – and album – to date. 

 

19. TROYE SIVIAN “Blue Neighbourhood”


Stunning work for one of the most talked about artists of the year.

 

20. SHAMIR “Ratchet”


Artwork that correlates well with the level of danceable crazy within this absolute BONZA of a record.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after sharing this; there is finally some Artwork Justice on the Interweb for Bjork, Annie and Sharon!

SEE YOU IN THE NEW YEAR FOR MORE LISTS.

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