Whoever said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” never had to design the front of a rock and roll album. Before the internet put all the music in the world at everyone’s fingertips, that front cover first served as a siren call to anyone browsing in a record store.
Then, when you sat down and listened to the songs while checking out the artwork and liner notes, that image had to complement and enhance what you were hearing.
The best album covers worked hand-in-hand with the music to bring each fan a full, exuberant, multi-sensory experience. The worst, well, the songs better be great.
Billy Joel was no exception to this rule. And, like the songs underneath them, each album cover was distinctly different from the ones before and after it.
For this episode, we’re diving only skin-deep into 15 of Billy’s albums. This time around, the subject is only their covers: Which ones were great, which ones were so-so, and which were flops.
Join us as we rank the artwork of Billy Joel’s most significant records.
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