Check them out now...
jason gregory

15:04 7th October 2011

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It's already a well established fact that the album cover has grown to become a treasured piece of art.


Often depicting the content of the record or something wildly unrelated, to many, the album artwork is what completes a record.

So it's refreshing when an artist acknowledges this and takes it one step further by placing hidden images inside the picture.

From The Rolling Stones to Black Sabbath, our new feature take a look at some of the best examples, as well as others where spotting the hidden image is quite a challenge.

Check them out below.

  • The Rolling Stones: 'Their Satanic Majesties Request' 'Billed as The Rolling Stones' answer to Sgt Pepper, Mick Jagger has since admitted the band were on acid when this photograph was taken by Michael Cooper. It shows.

  • On close inspection you can make out all four faces of The Beatles. Perhaps this was in homage to John Lennon and Paul McCartney who sung backing vocals on album opener 'Sing This All Together'.

  • Black Sabbath: 'Mob Rules' - There is a hidden image in the centre of album cover and also some (alleged) bloodied text in the foreground. See if you can make them out

  • At the centre of the canvas is explicitly a devil's face. While in the foreground it's claimed that the blood reads 'Kill Ozzy' in a swipe at Ozzy Osbourne who had left the band two years previous. This has never been confirmed, however.

  • Kate Bush: 'Aerial' - It's well known that the rocks and their reflections in the centre of the album cover are soundwaves of a bird tweet. However, studying the image yet further, if you flip it 90degrees clockwise you can see something in the water.

  • The image of a woman's face, rumoured to be Kate Bush herself.

  • Mom's Apple Pie: 'Mom's Apple Pie' - An infamous sleeve that featured on Gigwise's controversial album covers countdown, see where you think the issue lies.

  • When you look ultra close at the apple pie, however, you realise it's actually a depiction of something a little less straight-forward.

  • ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: 'Source Tags & Codes' - It's not very explicit when you first look at the sleeve of the band's 2002 masterpiece, but look again and you can see a close-up of a face.

  • Soulwax: 'Any Minute Now' - Close up, this Trevor Jackson design simply looks like white dots on a black mesh. Draw away from it, however, and it cleverly reveals the album title and band name.

  • Soulwax: 'Nite Versions' - The Belgian's remix album a year later incorporated the same idea, but with a different pattern.

  • Black Lips: '200 Million Thousand' - The Atlanta based flower-punk band jumped on the optical illusion bandwagon this year with this, their fifth studio album. Unlike Soulwax who just included hidden text, Black Lips have gone for a face. Impressive.

  • Opeth: 'My Arms, Your Hearse' - It looks like an eerie forest scene, yet there is a ghostly image to be found here.

  • If you haven't spotted it already, the white dot in the centre is actually a woman's face. Look at the outline carefully and you can make out her cloak. Clever stuff.

  • The Beatles: 'Revolver' - His face is tiny, but there is a non-Beatles member worked into cover of the 1966 classic.

  • German born artist Klaus Voorman, who created the defining artwork, collaged his face and name into George Harrison's hair on the right hand side of the cover.

  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer: 'Brain Salad Surgery' - The band commissioned surreal artist H.R. Griger to create the striking artwork to their 1973 classic. However, a vital part of the image was airbrushed on the cover itself.

  • The original version of the painting reveals a phallus below the robot/woman's mouth.

  • Opeth: 'Deliverance' - Continuing their ghost theme, on 2002's 'Deliverance' you can faintly see a face staring back through the mirror on the centre left of the cover. Spooky.

  • Warrant: 'Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich' - First impressions and it's simply an image of a fat cat millionaire.

  • Flip it 180degrees and you can see a woman whispering into his ear and two birds etched into the wrinkles of the fat cat's face.

  • Fleetwood Mac: 'Mirage' – The 1982 album cover simply looks like a man caught in a somewhat fortunate embrace between two women.

  • Some claim that the two hands in the centre of the image strongly - and perhaps intentionally - resemble an old woman's face looking down at the man's shoulder.

  • Blue Oyster Cult: 'Mirrors' - On first impressions the 1979 album sleeve is just an unremarkable seascape view out of a car window.

  • Those with the vinyl version of the record however have pointed out that you can see a floating sperm in the clouds. Or is it a tadpole?!

  • Whitesnake: 'Come An Get It' - Perhaps the most obvious subliminal image on the list, the snake's tongue at the centre of the album cover is claimed to intentionally resemble a woman's genitalia.

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