10 Great Album Covers, Chosen by Jeremy Castaldo of Midnight South

Third Eye Blind, The Allman Brothers, Keith Urban

Life without music. What a thought. There is no such thing. Can't even imagine not having the childhood I was blessed with. Being exposed to music at a young age was something that shaped me and put me on the path I now walk. Coming up with my favorite/most influential cover art was no simple task, as there's an endless amount of album covers that made an impact on me along the way. These are the ones that really stood out, though. These are the ones that were forming my palette for music/art, and I didn't even know it at the time. 

Third Eye Blind
Blue (1999)

This album cover seems to capture the overall feel of every song on the record. While each song has a "bright" sound, masterfully produced and recorded, the lyrics and overall feel of the album are a bit darker. The art captures this perfectly.

Blackberry Smoke
Like An Arrow (2016)

The contrast of the thunderbird with the night sky took me back to my teenage years, growing up in Oklahoma, while the art itself reminds me of clear, summer nights growing up.

The Allman Brothers
The Allman Brothers (1969)

The gatefold from this album caught my attention because they are all naked in a creek, and I want to be naked in a creek with Midnight South. Ha ha. Kidding. But really, the tone set speaks freedom to me, which is an exact reflection of the album.

Johnny Cash
American Recordings (1994)

This cover reminds me of growing up as a kid and it being one of the vinyl records my grandparents always listened to. I also think it references a different time in life of growing up in Arkansas, working hard, and not being afraid to get your hands in the dirt.

Maroon 5
Songs About Jane (2002)

This was the first record I listened to top to bottom, over and over and over again. The cover art could not be more on point for the tone of this record. Adam Levine's influence for this album was his ex-girlfriend, Jane. I remember for the longest time I thought she was holding a music box. Their time together inspired song after song, happiness, pain and tears. That's what was pouring out of the box on the cover. The older I got, I realized the intended meaning for this art was the female holding Pandora's box. Mind Blown.

Keith Urban
Fuse (2013)

If you could hear colors, the tones on this art are a direct reflection of the sounds that come from this record. Keith Urban is known for his fastidious attention to guitar tones. As cliched as it may be, the color scheme could not have been any more perfect for the vibes that come from this album, and it is one of the main reasons when sitting down with our creative team to discuss single covers, art, etc., we make sure to have the song we are about to release playing in the background.

The Starting Line
Say It Like You Mean It (2002)

Nostalgia. Nostalgia. Nostalgia. Endless nights arguing about who's going to hang up first. This record played in the background my junior and senior year of high school. The album cover reflects this perfectly. The couch inspired some of our marketing for our latest release, "Kid With The Radio."

Ben Folds
What Matters Most (2023)

Seeing this album cover makes me realize how important it is to live life with no regrets. The simplicity of it makes you want to stop and breathe in the special moments. They can tend to fly by too quickly. It's hard not to smile when coming across this on the record shelf.

The Beatles
Abbey Road (1969)

Can't talk about album covers without mentioning, hands-down, one of the most famous covers in history. Words like iconic and legends are the first things that come to mind anytime I see this record.

Middle of Nowhere (1997)

Don't hate… The colors on this cover scream summer. This record was the soundtrack of mine when I was 12. Seeing this cover now immediately brings up sounds and smells of the '90s, friends, and it was my first exposure to three-part harmony (which is a huge part of Midnight South's sound).

Art of the Album is a regular feature looking at the craft of album-cover design. If you'd like to write for the series, or learn more about our Clio Music program, please get in touch.

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Jeremy Castaldo
Jeremy Castaldo is a member of the country band, Midnight South.

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