Music community chooses The Greatest Soul Music Album Covers of All-Time

Soul Music’s history is not only one of tremendous musical creativity, but also one of visual artistry. Especially during vinyl’s first big run, an album’s graphic presentation played an important role in what made Soul Music special. The 1970s and 80s had a particular focus on the album cover as a presentation of the musician’s vision, and those decades created some iconic covers that remain in our consciousness. Artists from Earth, Wind & Fire to Marvin Gaye to Funkadelic presented their work with covers that both complemented and enhanced the musical experience.

While the mid 80s arrival of compact discs made it tougher to make grand visual statements, over the past three decades artists such as The Roots and Janelle Monae have created instant classics, covers that encapsulated their ideas in simple, powerful ways.

Our love of album covers was such that we asked some of our music industry friends to help pick the greatest and most iconic Soul Music album covers. We think that their choices will help you remember some great musical and visual expeiences from Soul Music history, and will also help you discover some covers that you may not already know. Each album cover is also a link to Amazon.com, where you can hear clips from the honored album.

We hope you enjoy this collection of the 50 Greatest Soul Music Album Covers, and let us know of others you love in the comment section below.

 

1  

Earth Wind & Fire

All N All

2  

Marvin Gaye

I Want You

3  

Stevie Wonder

Songs In The Key of Life

4  

Diana Ross

The Boss

5  

Funkadelic

Maggot Brain

6  

Michael Jackson

Off The Wall

7  

Marvin Gaye

Whats Going on

8  

Ohio Players

Honey

9  

Sade

Love Deluxe

10  

Donna Summer

Bad Girls

 

11  

Chic

Risque

12  

 Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

13  

 Stevie Wonder

Innervisions

14

 Diana Ross

 diana

15

 Isaac Hayes

 Black Moses

16

 The Roots

 Things Fall Apart

17

 Sly and the Family Stone

 Stand!

18  

 Anita Baker

 Rapture

19  

 Aretha Franklin

Young, Gifted and Black

20  

Donna Summer

Four Seasons of Love 

21  

 Janelle Monae

The Archandroid

22  

 Michael Jackson

Dangerous

23  

 Esperanza Spalding

Radio Music Society

24  

The Pointer Sisters

That’s A Plenty 

25  

 Prince

1999

26  

 The Temptations

Wish It Would Rain

27  

Millie Jackson

Back to the S–t 

28  

Four Tops

LIVE! 

29  

 Al Green

Greatest Hits

30  

 Donnie

The Colored Section

31  

 Earth Wind & Fire

Faces

32  

 Isaac Hayes

Hot Buttered Soul

33  

 El Debarge

In The Storm

34  

Tina Turner

Private Dancer 

35  

 Funkadelic

One Nation Under A Groove

36  

 Grace Jones

Island Life

37  

 Rahsaan Patterson

Love In Stereo

38  

 Ohio Players

Skin Tight

39  

Terry Callier

What Color Is Love 

40  

Stevie Wonder

Hotter Than July 

41  

Sylvia

Sweet Stuff 

42  

Stevie Wonder

Talking Book 

43  

 Daryl Hall & John Oates

Daryl Hall & John Oates

44  

Diana Ross

Diana Ross 

45  

 Grace Jones

Slave to the Rhythm

46  

 Maxwell

Embrya

47  

The Spirit of Atlanta

The Burning of Atlanta 

48  

 TLC

Crazy Sexy Cool

49  

 Earth Wind & Fire

Raise

50  

 Janet Jackson

janet.

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