What goes together better than cool cars and good music? That's what I thought. Nothing. So it's only natural that a band or artist would, at some point, put a cool car on the front of their record.
Here are some of the best album covers to be graced with an automobile.
You know I can't cover this topic without including the cover of ZZ Top's staple rock album "Eliminator," which celebrates its 31st birthday in just a few weeks. I'm sure if I didn't mention it, most of you out there would gang up on me in the comments with pitchforks and fuzzy white Dean guitars. The cover of "Eliminator" features a pretty bad ass painting of the famous speeding-ticket-red hot rod that gave the album its name — a Small Block Chevy-powered 1933 Ford Model B coupe that was overhauled by West Coast-based outfit Buffalo Motor Cars for ZZ Top frontman and beard afficionado Billy Gibbons in the early 1980s.
Lately, I've found I have a soft spot for old full-sized American vans, like the Dodge Tradesman and GMC Vandura, especially ones with four-wheel drive. The cover of Canadian hard rock duo Indian Handcrafts's debut album (which is really good) makes me want to buy one and drive it through space to the damn moon. That's some real trippy shit, yo.
Yep, you guessed right. That's the white 1971 Dodge Challenger Kolowski drove through the desert in Vanishing Point (see the bent front bumper?) on the front of this (for reasons I don't understand) obscure and raw rock 'n roll record, triumphantly speeding away in vein from what I assume to be the Earth being destroyed by an imploding Sun. I don't know why these New Jersey rockers chose it, but I don't care. It looks cool as hell.
Here's another album cover with another cool circa-1971 Mopar. The cover of The Cars's 1984 album "Heartbeat City" that spawned four hit singles features a Plymouth Duster 340 painted in a stereotypical early '70s metallic green. The cover is actually a piece of artwork by British artist Peter Phillips.
What's that? Another bad ass Mopar on the list? You know it. The cover of Seattle drone-doom metal band Earth's third album "Pentastar: In The Style Of Demons" features the hind-quarters of a last-generation Hi-Impact Plymouth Barracuda, which actually suits the tone of the album. I can certainly see a '70 Barracuda cruising out in middle of nowhere with "High Command" blasting from the speakers. Also, the name of the album itself is a direct reference to the Auburn Hills automaker. Cool, right?
The cover of Louisville-based post-rock legend Slint's first album doesn't feature a muscle car or an old van, but the car of choice — a mid-to-late '80s Saab 900S with band-oriented badging — certainly isn't ill-fitting. While "Tweez" isn't the critically acclaimed and influential masterpiece that 1991's "Spiderland" has grown to become through the years, it's still a quirky, left-of-field record that's proud to be different than the rest of the kids in the crowd. Just like a Saab.
I'm sure there's more sweet album covers out there that are automotive-related. So go ahead, fire up Google image search, and post them all up (all genres are welcome, too!).
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