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8 Album Covers With A Photo Of Someone Other Than The Artist: Miles Davis, Morrissey, And More

by Joey DeGroot   Aug 16, 2014 14:22 PM EDT

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When looking at an album in a record store, it's reasonable to assume that the person on the cover is the person who actually made the album. However, that isn't the case with these eight albums, which feature a photo of someone else entirely.

1, 2, 3. Miles Davis - Someday My Prince Will Come/Sorcerer/Filles de Kilimanjaro (1961/1967/1968)

On three occasions during the '60s, jazz legend Miles Davis used a photo of a woman as an album cover, rather than appearing on the cover himself. The first of these was Someday My Prince Will Come in 1961, featuring his then-wife Frances Davis. Next was 1967's Sorcerer, with a photo of Davis' then-girlfriend Cicely Tyson. The last of these was Filles de Kilimanjaro in 1968, featuring Davis' then-wife Betty O. Mabry Davis.



 4. Otis Redding - Otis Blue (1965)

Due to the heated racial politics of the '60s, soul legend Otis Redding couldn't appear on the cover of his 1965 LP Otis Blue out of fear that the album wouldn't be properly promoted by radio stations. A photo of a white woman was used instead and, unfortunately, this tactic worked, as the album was a big success.

5. Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971)

French singer Serge Gainsbourg was known for treading some taboo topics in his songwriting (he once released a song called "Lemon Incest" with his own daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg), and his most famous album Histoire de Melody Nelson is no different, telling the story of a middle-aged man who has an affair with a teenage girl named Melody Nelson. The album's cover features a photo of a topless model clutching a doll, portraying Melody Nelson.

6. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (1985)

Though Tom Waits has appeared on the cover of nearly all of his albums, he's notably absent from the cover to his most famous album Rain Dogs. Instead, a black-and-white photograph of a German man and woman is used, taken by photographer Anders Petersen in Hamburg.

7. Elliott Smith - Roman Candle (1994)

The cover of Elliott Smith's debut album Roman Candle features a photograph of a few people walking out in the street, none of which are Smith himself. Rather, the photo features Smith's friend Amy Dalsimer and his Heatmiser bandmate Neil Gust.

8. Morrissey - Southpaw Grammar (1995)

Though the Morrissey-designed sleeves for all of the Smiths' releases usually featured photos of celebrities or movie stills, he abandoned this practice for his solo career, opting instead to appear on his own album covers. However, the one Morrissey solo album that doesn't feature a photo of the singer on the cover is 1995's Southpaw Grammar, which instead features a photo of boxer Kenny Lane taken from a magazine. A more customary photo of Morrissey would replace the original cover for the album's 2009 reissue, however.

What are some other album covers that feature a photo of someone other than the artist? Let us know in the comments section!

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