Best Album Covers of the 60s

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Discover the best album covers of the 60s, an era dominated by the seismic shifts of The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. Our collection highlights the decade's best in graphic design, encapsulating the revolutionary spirit of 60s music and culture.

Welcome to a special journey through creativity and imagination in music art! This week marks the beginning of a series where we dive into the best album covers from the past five decades. Our inaugural feature transports us back to the psychedelic 60s, a time when music was as revolutionary as the cultural tides it rode upon. We celebrate icons that defined not just a generation but the very essence of music itself.

Our selection of 1960s Best Album Art

From the timeless influence of The Beatles to the rock royalty of The Who and The Rolling Stones, each cover in this collection isn’t just a visual treat; it’s a piece of history. Among them stands The Velvet Underground & Nico, a visual masterpiece from the eclectic mind of Andy Warhol, transcending time as a landmark in album cover art. So, immerse yourself in this gallery of classics, and let the echoes of the past spark your most creative retro-design ideas!

The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967

The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1967

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is an iconic piece of graphic design that revolutionized album artwork. It presents a colorful and whimsical collage of the band in psychedelic military-inspired costumes surrounded by a gathering of historical figures, celebrities, and fictional characters. The foreground is adorned with floral arrangements spelling out the band’s name, adding to the visual feast. This cover blurs the lines between art and commercial design, with its intricate details and symbolic references creating a lasting cultural impact.

King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King - 1969

best album covers of the 60s

The album cover of “In the Court of the Crimson King” features a striking and haunting image that conveys intense emotion through its exaggerated facial features and bold use of color.  The artwork, with its distorted face caught in an expression of terror or awe, perfectly complements the complex and experimental music on the album, creating a unified artistic statement. This is without doubts one of the best album covers of the 60s.

The Who, Magic Bus: The Who on Tour - 1968

The Who, Magic Bus: The Who on Tour - 1968

The album cover conveys the free-spirited essence of the 60s with its psychedelic bus and groovy typography. The vivid colors and patterns symbolize the era’s cultural vibrancy, while The Who’s dynamic poses reflect their energetic sound, perfectly encapsulating the rebellious spirit of the time.

Frank Zappa, Hot Rats - 1969

1960s best album covers

The “Hot Rats” album cover by Frank Zappa uses a stark, high-contrast image with the artist emerging from a magenta pool, evoking a sense of mystery. The minimalistic design with bold, sans-serif typography reflects Zappa’s experimental and avant-garde musical style.

The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico - 1967

The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico - 1967

The album cover, designed by Andy Warhol, features a bold, graphic banana that became an iconic symbol of pop art. Its simplicity and the intriguing instruction to “Peel slowly and see” invite interaction and curiosity, mirroring the band’s avant-garde music.

Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed - 1969

Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed - 1969

One of the best album covers of the 60s, Let It Bleed by the Stones cover art juxtaposes a surreal cake record player with a vinyl disc, embodying the late 60s’ spirit of subversion and the Stones’ raw, unpolished sound. The design subtly critiques commercialism in music, with a whimsical yet edgy twist characteristic of the era.

Jefferson Airplane, Takes Off - 1966

Jefferson Airplane, Takes Off - 1966

The “Takes Off” album cover portrays Jefferson Airplane against an aviation backdrop, framed like a postage stamp, symbolizing the start of their musical journey. The ornate, playful typography reflects the band’s psychedelic roots and the era’s graphic experimentation.

The Beatles, Revolver - 1966

The Beatles, Revolver - 1966

The Revolver designed by Klaus Voormann, merges monochromatic, hand-drawn illustrations with photographic collage, reflecting the Beatles’ innovative and exploratory phase. The intricate artwork symbolizes the band’s interconnectedness and the complexity of their musical evolution at this pivotal point in their career.

The Who, Tommy - 1969

best album covers of the 60s

The 1960s album cover Tommy by The Who features a blue and black op-art design, with repeated images of the band falling into an abyss. It conveys the album’s themes of confusion and illusion, reflective of the rock opera’s narrative.

Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills - 1968

Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills - 1968

Cheap Thrills album cover, famously drawn by cartoonist Robert Crumb, captures the raw energy and spirit of the late ’60s. Each panel teems with life, echoing the explosive sound of the band and Janis Joplin’s powerful vocals. The art is as bold and unapologetic as the music itself.

Good & Plenty, The World of Good & Plenty - 1967

Good & Plenty, The World of Good & Plenty - 1967

The album cover features a psychedelic explosion of color and whimsical illustrations, reflecting the optimism and experimental vibes of the Summer of Love. Its playful, swirly lettering and dreamy imagery encapsulate the essence of 1960s’ psych-pop aesthetics.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED (1967) - JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE

best album art 1960s

The album cover features bold, fluid typography that captures the psychedelic rock essence. The focal circular image of the band, framed by vivid, contrasting colors, radiates the revolutionary spirit of Jimi Hendrix’s music.

The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet - 1968

The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet - 1968

The cover of Beggars Banquet portrays a graffitied bathroom wall, symbolizing the raw and unrefined quality of the Stones’ music at the time. The stark, realistic imagery contrasts with the psychedelic aesthetic of the era, emphasizing a return to the band’s bluesy rock roots.

Howlin' Wolf, Rockin' Chair - 1962

Howlin' Wolf, Rockin' Chair - 1962

The Rockin’ Chair album cover is a study in simplicity, featuring an empty chair and a guitar, which together tell a story of blues music. The image evokes a sense of anticipation, as if the musician has just stepped away, leaving the music to resonate in the space.

James Brown, Live at the Apollo - 1963

James Brown, Live at the Apollo - 1963

The cover for Live at the Apollo captures the energy of James Brown’s performances through abstract, vibrant brushstrokes, suggesting the movement and dynamism of his shows. The bright marquee lights and bold lettering convey the excitement of the live experience.

LED ZEPPELIN I (1969) - LED ZEPPELIN

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin I - 1969

The cover for “Led Zeppelin I” features the iconic image of the Hindenburg disaster, symbolizing the explosive impact of the band’s debut. The stark, monochromatic design conveys a sense of drama and power, mirroring the groundbreaking sound that the album introduced.

The Zombies, Odessey and Oracle - 1968

best album covers sixties

The Odessey and Oracle album cover is a kaleidoscope of Art Nouveau-inspired swirls and psychedelic colors, capturing the essence of the late ’60s. The fantastical elements and whimsical lettering mirror the album’s innovative and dreamy pop sound.

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Bare Wires - 1968

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Bare Wires - 1968

One of the best album covers of the 60s, this artwork features a psychedelic aesthetic typical of the late 1960s, with a collage of images overlaid with warm, saturated colors. The band and album name are integrated into the design in a curving, organic font, contributing to the overall trippy effect.

Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain - 1960

Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain - 1960

The cover presents a stark, minimalist design with a bold, tri-color palette of yellow, red, and black. A silhouette of Davis playing the trumpet anchors the composition, while the typography is straightforward and clean, echoing the clarity and innovation of the music.

Joni Mitchell, Song to a Seagull - 1968

1960s best album covers

The cover art is a whimsical, detailed illustration that mirrors Joni Mitchell’s intricate songwriting. Featuring vibrant, flowing lines and a warm, earthy color palette, it reflects the folk and bohemian spirit of the era and Mitchell’s personal style.

Harry Nilsson, Pandemonium Shadow Show - 1967

Harry Nilsson, Pandemonium Shadow Show - 1967

The cover depicts a surreal, Alice in Wonderland-esque scene, befitting the album’s title. The warped perspective and the collage of eclectic objects create a sense of whimsy and chaos. The groovy, psychedelic lettering adds to the 1960s counterculture vibe.

Cream, Disraeli Gears - 1967

Cream, Disraeli Gears - 1967

The cover is a quintessential example of psychedelic art with its vivid colors and fluid forms. Portraits of the band members emerge from a fantastical landscape of flora and fauna, evoking the era’s experimental music and art fusion. The typeface is bold and groovy, enhancing the trippy visual experience.

Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland - 1968

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The quintessential 1960s album cover captures the essence of Hendrix’s explosive and expressive style with a close-up, blurred image of his face in mid-performance, bathed in a fiery palette of red and orange. This visual intensity reflects the groundbreaking, energetic spirit of the album’s music.

Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland - 1968

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The album cover is a vibrant tapestry of intricate, interwoven patterns and figures, reflecting the band’s complex, layered folk music. The use of bold, psychedelic colors encapsulates the spirit of the ’60s counterculture.

The Youngbloods, Elephant Mountain - 1969

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The album cover features a pastoral scene with a serene landscape, evoking a sense of peacefulness and harmony with nature. The artwork’s realistic style contrasts with the more common psychedelic imagery of the time, reflecting the band’s earthy and introspective music.

Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul - 1969

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The cover art is a bold, close-up portrait that captures Isaac Hayes’ confident persona. Its simplicity and the direct gaze suggest intimacy and a strong personal connection, embodying the soulful and passionate essence of the music within.

Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request - 1967

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This cover reflects the psychedelic era with its vivid, surreal imagery. The band is costumed in flamboyant, whimsical attire against a fantastical landscape, encapsulating the experimental mood of the time. The chaotic yet captivating design complements the album’s avant-garde sound.

Wayne Shorter, Schizophrenia - 1967

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The cover art features a mirrored image of Wayne Shorter playing the saxophone, with a psychedelic color inversion that creates an otherworldly effect. This visual distortion reflects the album’s title and suggests the complex, multifaceted nature of the music.

Moby Grape, Wow/Grape Jam - 1968

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The album cover portrays a surreal landscape where a giant cluster of grapes dominates a serene coastal scene. This playful juxtaposition, along with the ornate, whimsical font of the band’s name, captures the experimental and eclectic nature of the music and the era’s psychedelic influence.

Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers - 1969

Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers - 1969

The cover art features the band members superimposed on an American flag, their poses and expressions a mix of defiance and contemplation. The monochromatic photos against the vibrant flag capture the countercultural spirit and political activism of the late 1960s.

Joni Mitchell, Clouds - 1970

Joni Mitchell, Clouds - 1970

This iconic 1960s album cover features a self-portrait of Joni Mitchell set against a vibrant sunset. Her direct gaze, paired with the detailed rendering of her features, creates an intimate connection with the viewer. The use of warm, vivid colors in the background contrasts with the cooler tones of her complexion, making the image stand out. The tiger lily she holds introduces a natural element that complements the outdoor scene, adding to the overall contemplative mood of the design.

Tom Zé, Estudando o Samba - 1976

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The album cover for Estudando o Samba by Tom Zé is a vibrant pastiche of urban life and commercial iconography. It employs a collage-like composition, with bold, contrasting colors and a mix of typography styles that evoke the bustling energy of Brazilian city streets. 

Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth - 1961

Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth - 1961

The cover of “The Blues and the Abstract Truth” is a study in simplicity and elegance. It features a close-up of a feather, with its intricate details and vibrant colors conveying a sense of delicate beauty. The choice of imagery, combined with the bold, sans-serif typography, creates a modern and sophisticated visual that complements the album’s innovative jazz compositions.

The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night - 1964

iconic covert art 1960s

Among the best album covers of the 60s, A Hard Day’s Night is a striking visual grid of black-and-white portraits of The Beatles, each member expressing different facets of their personality. This repetitive yet dynamic arrangement captures the essence of the band’s charisma and unity, reflecting the album’s energetic spirit. The bold, capitalized title set against the blue background adds a pop of color that demands attention, ensuring the design’s timeless appeal.

Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth - 1961

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White Noise, An Electric Storm - 1969

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An Electric Storm album cover by White Noise is stark and impactful, featuring a vivid photograph of lightning. Its stark monochromatic palette serves to capture the raw power and unpredictability of both natural phenomena and the experimental sounds within. The bold, sans-serif font grounds the cover, offering a modernist counterpoint to the organic chaos of the lightning strike.

Ray Barretto, Acid - 1968

Ray Barretto, Acid - 1968

The album cover of “Acid” by Ray Barretto features a fiery orange backdrop with a double exposure effect that conveys a sense of intensity and musical fusion. The rough, brushstroke-style typography of the album title adds to the raw, energetic vibe, mirroring the explosive blend of Latin and soul genres within.

Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wave - 1967

Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wave - 1967

The album cover of “Wave” by Antonio Carlos Jobim uses minimalism to create a striking image. A solitary giraffe stands against a bold, color-blocked background, invoking a sense of isolation and serenity. The clean lines and stark contrast between the earthy foreground and the vibrant green suggest a blend of nature and modernity, reflecting the smooth, sophisticated rhythms of Jobim’s bossa nova.

Ten Years After, Ssssh - 1969

Ten Years After, Ssssh - 1969

The “Ssssh” album by Ten Years After showcases a psychedelic portrait awash with saturated colors, embodying the experimental vibe of the late 1960s. The textured overlay and vivid hues create an almost dreamlike effect, suggestive of the era’s mind-expanding music and art.

Grateful Dead, Live/Dead - 1969

Grateful Dead, Live/Dead - 1969

The “Live/Dead” cover art captures the Grateful Dead’s essence with its Art Nouveau-inspired lettering and surreal imagery. The contrasting red and blue tones set against a swirling backdrop create a hypnotic effect. This vivid, almost otherworldly scene makes for one of the best album covers of the 60s and reflects the band’s pioneering exploration into the psychedelic rock genre.

Fats Domino, Fats Is Back - 1968

Fats Domino, Fats Is Back - 1968​

The cover of “Fats Is Back” by Fats Domino exudes the lively spirit of his music with a starburst design that radiates from the center, symbolizing his explosive impact on rock ‘n’ roll. Domino’s joyful expression is front and center, surrounded by vibrant colors and Art Deco elements, reflecting the album’s upbeat and timeless sound.

The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord - 1968

The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord - 1968

The 1960s album cover of In Search of the Lost Chord by The Moody Blues presents a surreal landscape, blending elements of life, death, and mysticism. The juxtaposition of a human skull with a fetal figure and ethereal beings against an otherworldly backdrop reflects the album’s exploration of existential themes and the band’s psychedelic sound.

Four Tops, Reach Out - 1967

Four Tops, Reach Out - 1967

The “Reach Out” album cover by Four Tops features stylized portraits of the band members with a warm, red-toned backdrop, conveying the soulful energy of their music. The expressive faces are set against bold, abstract brushstrokes, reflecting the album’s dynamic and passionate Motown sound.

Eddie Gale, Ghetto Music - 1968

Eddie Gale, Ghetto Music - 1968

The cover of “Ghetto Music” presents a stark black and white photograph of Eddie Gale and his ensemble, clad in robes, with instruments in hand, evoking a sense of unity and purpose. The composition, set in an open field with a dog at the forefront, symbolizes the raw, organic roots of the music and its connection to community and earthiness.

Thelonious Monk, Underground - 1968

Thelonious Monk, Underground - 1968

The cover for Thelonious Monk’s Underground is a tableau filled with wartime resistance imagery. Monk, posed at a piano in a barn, surrounded by eclectic props and characters, alludes to a covert operation. This scene captures the album’s rebellious spirit and Monk’s nonconformist approach to jazz.

Moondog, Moondog - 1969

Moondog, Moondog - 1969

The album cover of “Moondog” captures the enigmatic presence of its creator, featuring a close-up profile against a simple background. The focus on Moondog’s distinctive attire and beard reflects his unique approach to music, which combined classical, jazz, and ambient sounds with an avant-garde sensibility.

David Axelrod, Song of Innocence - 1968

best album covers of the 60s

Song of Innocence by David Axelrod features a kaleidoscopic design with mirrored images that create a sense of symmetry and balance. The psychedelic colors and patterns evoke the experimental and progressive nature of Axelrod’s compositions, merging classical influences with jazz and rock elements.

Alice Coltrane, A Monastic Trio - 1968

Alice Coltrane, A Monastic Trio - 1968

The album cover of “A Monastic Trio” by Alice Coltrane features a reflective harp juxtaposed with her poised image. The interplay of the musical instrument with her serene portrait symbolizes the spiritual depth and harmonic complexity of the music, reflecting her exploration of jazz through a spiritual lens.

The Beach Boys, Smiley Smile - 1967

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The “Smiley Smile” album cover by The Beach Boys depicts a whimsical, animated garden scene, complete with hidden animal faces and a small, cozy cottage. The playful, storybook illustration style mirrors the experimental and offbeat nature of the music on this iconic album.

Stan Getz/João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto - 1964

Stan Getz/João Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto - 1964

One of the best album covers of the 60s, Getz/Gilberto features abstract art with warm hues of orange and touches of black, embodying the album’s smooth, sultry bossa nova rhythms. The minimalist design reflects the music’s elegance and the groundbreaking collaboration between American jazz and Brazilian samba.

The Steve Miller Band, Sailor - 1968

The Steve Miller Band, Sailor - 1968

The “Sailor” album cover art by The Steve Miller Band features the band superimposed over a stormy sea, evoking a sense of adventure and the tumultuous nature of the era. The juxtaposition of the old ship and the modern band members symbolizes a journey through time and music.

The Rolling Stones, Aftermath - 1966

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The cover for Aftermath by The Rolling Stones is characterized by its stark, high-contrast images of the band members, set against a deep purple background. The bold white typography of the album title stands out, reflecting the direct and raw energy of the band’s music during this period.

More Album Cover Inspiration

We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best album covers of the 60s, we surely enjoyed exploring the decade’s graphic design and work with the mood and the graphic design of those years. 

As mentioned above, this article is part of a series of posts where we analyse album covers from different decades, so if you are looking for more we recommend you check out the other episodes in the series! Have a look at

Indieground Design

Indieground Design

We are a team of designers, developers & photographers from Italy and we love to create striking graphic resources! Have a look around our website to discover more about what we do and the services we offer!

Indieground Design

Indieground Design

We are a team of designers, developers & photographers from Italy and we love to create striking graphic resources! Have a look around our website to discover more about what we do and the services we offer!

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