Check out an archive of all the best (and worst) album art from the 1950s to now

Every album cover has a story and they become bookmarks for history, whether that be through fashion, design, paintings, politics and celebrity.

We recognise the album covers of our favourite records almost instantly and their beauty, humour or novelty is half of what makes the music inside so great. There is so much to be said for the unsung artists behind these great pieces and their relevance to the time in which they were released.

cover art archive

“Maybe the truly awful album cover is as rare a treasure as the truly great one.”

In honour of this sentiment, an archive has been created which houses the album covers from the 1950s to the present day. With over 800,000 records in its digital halls, this is a resource likely to take up at least a few hours of your time.

As Josh Jones of Open Culture has said “Maybe the truly awful album cover is as rare a treasure as the truly great one. Maybe the album cover is as it always was, despite so rarely appearing in a physical form: sometimes an inspired work of art, sometimes a half-assed, tossed-off marketing job, sometimes a half-baked, so-bad-its-good (or not) concept, completely unrelated to the music.”

Narrow your scope by selecting the year, the genre and the artist. It’s treasure trove for the bored music nerd in all of us, so set aside a lunchtime or two for this one as we can guarantee you will not emerge for a while.

Check out the Cover Art Archive here.

Via OpenCulture.