Posted by: Billy Marsh | August 18, 2008

Best Christian Music Album Covers

On my post updating everyone as to the status of Andrew Peterson’s upcoming CD release, Bryan Walker commented as to the loss of good album covers in the transition from LPs to CDs to MP3s. I’d say I would have to agree; I really enjoy good album cover artwork, and have noticed a steady decline in the creativity that seems to be tracking in unison with the quality of music that’s put out now too. Awhile back I bought a re-issue of a classic rock LP, and it came with stickers, three full-size posters, and some sleek vinyl sleeves. You can’t expect that kind of experience anymore. The whole music listening experience has become so watered down that bands and artists rarely even make “albums” anymore; most CDs are just a collection of disconnected songs with a few singles added to get some radio play. It used to be the case that a lot of bands were virtually associated with their album covers, which in a lot of ways, was just as much a part of getting to know the artist as was listening to the music.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of what I think are some of the best “Christian” music album covers available. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a list like this devoted to Christian music, so I thought I’d get us a good starting point. These are in no particular order except for the The Far Country , which is in my opinon number one without a doubt, hands down. I’m hoping to hear from you all too whether or not you agree or disagree, as well as some of your favorites that you think should be added, or at least, considered. I’ll probably do more than one post for these, and hopefully, depending upon your input, include some of your suggestions too. So here’s the first five that come to mind:

This one goes without saying. I still remember seeing this cover for the first time. It stopped me dead in my tracks. In my opinion, there is no rival in Christian music for top album cover of all time. And I'd say that The Far Country could give some of the greatest secular covers a run for their money.

This one goes without saying. I still remember seeing this cover for the first time. It stopped me dead in my tracks. In my opinion, there is no rival in Christian music for top album cover of all time. And I'd say that it could easily give some of the greatest secular album covers a run for their money too.

In some circles, Third Day's debut album is referred to as the "Peach" album because of its southern rock overtones, they're from Georgia, and the CD itself has a huge orange peach on it. This cover made Third Day's link with southern rock all the more believable.

In some circles, Third Day's debut album is referred to as the "Peach" album because of its southern rock overtones, they're from Georgia, and the CD itself has a huge orange peach on it. This cover made Third Day's link with southern rock all the more believable.

Voted by CCM as the number one Christian album of all time, Larry Norman's first record deserves a place on this list. In a decade (the '70s) that was characterized by awesome album covers, this one does not disappoint. Norman rubbing his head in the middle of a city is a perfect entry point for the music that follows.

Voted by CCM as the number one Christian album of all time, Larry Norman's first record deserves a place on this list. In a decade (the '70s) that was characterized by awesome album covers, this one does not disappoint. Norman rubbing his head in the middle of a city is the perfect entry point into the music that follows.

I remember seeing this one for the first time. It caught my eye so much so that I bought it right then and there . . . on cassette.

I remember seeing this one for the first time. It caught my eye so much so that I bought it right then and there . . . on cassette. Actually, I talked my mom into buying it for me that day. Nevertheless, those green fields are striking.

If you haven't been exposed to Sufjan Stevens yet, then you're definitely missing out. The actual picture I have here is from a rarer version of the record. The ones with the Superman on the front are hard to find. Much like his music, the cover is both unique and unforgettable.

If you haven't been exposed to Sufjan Stevens yet, then you're definitely missing out. The actual picture I have here is from a rarer version of the record. The ones with the Superman on the front are hard to find. Much like his music, the cover is both unique and unforgettable.

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Responses

  1. I’ll give you The Far Country, but I will take No Compromise by Keith Green, Petra Praise:The Rock Cries Out, Steve Camp’s Fire and Ice, IONA Open Sky.

    Question:Why do so many CCM covers have the picture of the artist or band? I mean cover after cover of the same artist or band…you can watch your favorite artist age before your very eyes just by looking at the covers. We need a bit more intelligent art work or photography in the Church.

  2. I second Steven’s Illinoise, although later editions had Superman taken out due to copyright infringement (so I hear).

    I would add: Stryper’s Soldiers Under Command, OC Supertone’s Unite, and maybe Model Engine’s Lean Years Tradition.

  3. I really like your site, do you often change the covers. It made me think about the Christian albums I have and what is on the covers. I never really looked at covers before however, I will probably start. Very interesting. I also have a Christian blog it is http://christianmusicviews.typepad.com


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