The classic, most basic function of an album cover is to let you know what the album's title is, and who recorded it. Though there are plenty of classic album covers that don't use any text at all, these six album covers feature text that don't actually include the album title anywhere.
1. Prince — Sign 'O' the Times (1987)
The cover of Prince's 1987 opus Sign 'O' the Times is one of his most cluttered and perplexing, featuring a psychedelic jumble of musical instruments, plants, a car, and a backdrop of marquees reading "Bar Grill," "Arcade," and "Girls Girls Girls," among other things. What's missing from this jumble, however, is the title of the album itself (though some editions include the helpful phrase "Two Disc Set" written across the bottom).
2. Sonic Youth — Goo (1990)
Sonic Youth has a long history of cool album artwork, but perhaps their coolest is the Raymond Pettibon-designed cover to their 1990 major label debut Goo, which is based on a photograph of Maureen Hindley and David Smith, who were witnesses to the infamous Moors murders in the UK. Though "Sonic Youth" is written across the top, along with "LP" and a few sentences about a girl who kills her parents and runs off with her sister's boyfriend, the word "Goo" is nowhere to be found.
3. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra La La Band — Horses in the Sky (2005)
Post-rock bands have a tendency to give their albums lengthy, poetic, and frequently pretentious album titles, but Silver Mt. Zion resisted this urge with their fourth album Horses in the Sky. Instead of giving the album a lengthy title, they graced its cover with a brief poem about feeding winged flowers to a horse, though the phrase "horses in the sky" is never used.
4. Sufjan Stevens — Illinois (2005)
Though the cover to Sufjan Stevens' fifth album reads, "Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come On Feel The Illinoise," the actual title of the album is simply Illinois. Unless you count the made-up word "Illinoise," the album's true title doesn't actually appear on the cover.
5. Jens Lekman — An Argument with Myself (2011)
For his 2011 EP An Argument With Myself, Jens Lekman chose not to include his name or even the title of EP on the front cover. Instead, a lyric from the EP's title track is written, punctuated with a small image of a palm tree.
6. Spiritualized — Sweet Heart Sweet Light (2012)
Though the original title of Spiritualized's 2012 album Sweet Heart Sweet Light was Huh?, it's likely that many people still call it by it's original title, as the album cover features the word Huh? written inside of an octagon with no other words, or even the band name.
What other album covers have words that aren't the title? Let us know down in the comments section!