Top 10 David Bowie Album Covers

David Bowie Album Covers

Photo: AVRO / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL (

Our Top 10 David Bowie Albums Covers list looks back at an artist that showcased many different looks and characters throughout his entire career. David Bowie’s Album Cover art often represented the characters that he had molded that defined the music and concepts of those very albums. David Bowie’s first album was released in 1967 entitled David Bowie. His final album was released in 2016 entitled Blackstar. In between those two records, David Bowie released one of the most massive, deep, brilliant, and original bodies of works in classic rock history.

This article focuses only on ten of the best album covers that graced those great David Bowie Records. There were many to choose from. David Bowie has released close to a hundred albums when combing all his studio, live, and compilation recordings. We narrowed it down to just choosing from his studio albums which counted less than thirty. We focused on the ones we thought were the most iconic and had become ingrained in pop culture.

# 10 – Young Americans

David Bowie Album Cover Young Americans

We open up our Top 10 David Bowie Album Covers list with the very cool album cover that represented his Young Americans album. The great David Bowie album Young Americans was released in 1975. It was not a soul album as many writers have argued. Young Americans was simply a David Bowie album inspired by American soul music and R&B. There is a difference. The album cover photo was shot by Eric Stephen Jacobs. The design of the cover was completed by Craig DeCamps. The concept was clearly designed to distance himself from his glam days. It worked beautifully.

# 9 – Earthling

David Bowie Album Cover Earthling

David Bowie’s Earthling album was released in 1997. The Earthling album’s cover design was a true example of contrasts in imagery. A beautiful blue sky, clear blue waters and green fields represent the wonders and joys of nature that can be experienced by all Earthlings. The contrasts are in the colors of nature as opposed to David Bowie’s futuristic outfit as he stares across the Earth’s grand beauty. Exactly what’s on his mind is open to interpretation. That is art!

# 8 – Hours

David Bowie Album Cover Hours

Amazing graphic design, brilliant imagery and Bowie’s penchant for acting multiple parts within one all grace the cover of David Bowie’s Hours album. On the cover we see an older Bowie being comforted by a much younger Bowie. The design of the album cover was created by American graphic designer Rex Ray. The photos were shot by Tim Bret Day and Frank Ockenfels. The CD was released in 1999. Some of the initial CD covers contained a spectacular lenticular cover.

# 6 – Scary Monsters

David Bowie Album Cover Scary Monsters

Scary Monsters was a real gem of a David Bowie album that stands as one of his most underrated works. David Bowie’s album cover for Scary Monsters depicted David Bowie dressed in a  Pierrot costume that represented old Italian figures who performed the art of pantomime. The artwork was designed by Edward Bell with photography completed by Brian Duffy. The album’s full title was Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). The album was released in the Fall of 1980.

# 5 – Heroes

David Bowie Album Cover Heroes

David Bowie’s Heroes album cover presents one of the singer’s most iconic photographs he has ever appeared in. The photo on the cover of the album was shot by Masayoshi Sukita. The pose and lighting were inspired by German artist Erich Heckel who was known for his painting entitled Roquairol. The same painting also inspired the album photo for Iggy Pop’s The Idiot album cover.

# 5 – Pin Ups

David Bowie Album Covers Pin Ups

David Bowie Album Cover for the Pin Ups Album: Amazon Link.

The second half of our top 10 David Bowie album covers list presents the five most iconic covers of David Bowie’s career. These album covers were turned into posters, displays and large print ads that dominated pop culture in the 1970s. Even if you were not a David Bowie fan, you could not help but run into the artwork of one of these albums in your travels.

The great album Pin Ups was released in 1973. The album cover has an interesting history. David Bowie is featured on the cover with 1960s pop culture icon and model Twiggy. The two were doing a shoot for Vogue Magazine. However, David Bowie was able to snag the photo to be used for his Pin Ups album of cover songs. Bowie had the power!

# 4 – Low

David Bowie Album Covers Low

David Bowie’s Low album cover has always depicted a sort of haunting futuristic feeling to those who have stared at it for close to fifty years. Further fueling the album cover’s design was Bowie’s grand use of color in his album covers. David Bowie’s album covers have always blended so many aspects of photography, design, and the integration of colors between the text, the backdrops, and David Bowie himself. Low is a perfect example of all of that in a very simple way that has a great impact.

# 3 – The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust

David Bowie Album Cover The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust

Two summers ago I took a trip to London and went on this fascinating rock and roll tour. One of the stops on the tour was a look at the exact location in which David Bowie was photographed for the cover of his legendary The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album cover. On the outside wall hangs a plaque commemorating the legendary location for the album cover. What is even more interesting and actually simply mind-blowing is that the phone booth that David Bowie posed in for the band cover is still there in the alley behind the pub.

Below are pictures of that experience that I took during the summer of 2019. In our opinion, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is his greatest artistic musical work. It’s a brilliant album that cemented his legacy as a genius. To stand in front of the steps that he stood on when shooting the album cover was an incredible experience that all rock fans at one time in their life should experience. More on that tour in another article.

Phone Booth used n the back cover of Ziggy Stardust Album Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2019

Phone Booth used n the back cover of Ziggy Stardust Album Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2019

"K. West" at 23 Heddon Street

“K. West” at 23 Heddon Street Location. Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2019

"K. West" at 23 Heddon Street

“K. West” at 23 Heddon Street Location. Photo: Brian Kachejian ©2019

# 2 – Aladdin Sane

David Bowie Album Cover Aladdin Sane

The last two albums on our Top 10 David Bowie Albums covers list depict so brilliantly the characters Bowie would mold himself into on these great records. David Bowie’s character on the Aladdin Sane album cover was basically an extension of the Ziggy Stardust character from the previous album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. David Bowie described the character on the cover of the Aladdin Sane album as “Ziggy Goes to America.”

# 1 – Diamond Dogs

David Bowie Album Covers Diamond Dogs

There was no doubt that David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album cover would be our choice for the best David Bowie album cover. Just look at that cover, it’s a work of absolute brilliance and defines an artist willing to push the limits as far as he could. The Diamond Dogs album was released in 1974. The album cover was a painting of a painting done by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. David Bowie’s half-man, half-dog likeness caused much controversy because when the gatefold opened from front to back, it showed male genitalia. The album cover was quickly censored. Certain CD issues restored the original artwork.

Updated May 22, 2023

Top 10 David Bowie Album Covers article published on Classic© 2023 claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites. Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Classic Rock Christmas Songs
Our 10 Favorite Classic Rock Christmas Songs
A Thousand Horses Albums
Complete List Of A Thousand Horses Albums And Songs
Blackmore's Night Albums
Complete List Of Blackmore’s Night Albums And Discography
Jeff Buckley Songs
10 Essential Jeff Buckley Songs
Can Albums
Top 10 Can Albums
Kiss Bootlegs
KISSteria on Vinyl: Ten’ 70s-era Bootlegs for Records Collectors
10 Essential Metal Albums Released Between 1970 and 1995
10 Essential Metal Albums Released Between 1970 and 1995
The River Album Bruce Springsteen Should Have Released
The River Album Bruce Springsteen Should Have Released
Comic Con 2023
Comic Con 2023 Rocks New York City
The Misunderstanding Of The Way AI Was Used In Now And Then
The Misunderstanding Of The Way AI Was Used In Now And Then
Beatles Song Now And Then
Just Saying “New Beatles Song Released Today” Is Breathtaking
Pete Mancini and Rich Lanahan
Pete Mancini And Rich Lanahan Release Gene Clark’s Gypsy Rider
Liberty DeVitto: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Liberty DeVitto: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Rob De Luca of Spread Eagle, Sebastian Bach & UFO: 10 Albums That Changed My Life From humble East Coast origins to grandest stages worldwide, veteran bassist Rob De Luca has seen and done it all. De Luca first hit the local Boston rock and metal scene in the late 80s after meeting guitarist Paul DiBartolo, bonding over Van Halen before forming Bang. Regional success came quickly, but eventually, the members of Bang went their separate ways, with De Luca and drummer Tommi Gallo heading to NYC and hooking up with Ray West and, later, DiBartolo to form Spread Eagle. By 1990, Spread Eagle was on the fast track, with a contract through MCA Records and a self-titled debut album poised to crush skulls. But poor timing and MCA's sad indifference left Spead Eagle out in the cold despite being a hard-boiled answer to Guns N' Roses's West Coast sleaze. Spread Eagle's first chapter came to an end in '95. As for Rob De Luca, his nimble fingers and gift for melody and songwriting kept him moving forward. Soon, he found a gig with former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach and the legendary outfit UFO. And in 2010, after coupling up with Ray West and his cousin Rik De Luca, Spread Eagle retook flight. During a break from Spread Eagle's increasingly busy touring schedule, Rob De Luca dialed in with to run through the ten albums that changed his life. But only after adding, "I made a playlist of these songs, including some I've written or co-written. Do you hear any of these albums' influence on me?" Listen here: 10) Gentlemen by Afghan Whigs (1993) Here's an entry that was so important to me. This may be the darkest break-up album of all time. Greg Dulli has been in many projects, but I feel Gentlemen is his zenith. Somewhat undefinable at times but always profound and honest. Listen to "Gentlemen," "Fountain and Fairfax," and "What Jail Is Like." 9) In on the Kill Taker by Fugazi (1993) By this time, I had been sucked in and spit out by the major-label record industry. Glam came and went; grunge was history, too. I was searching for new sounds. When I heard Fugazi's twin guitar approach, I knew this was what was missing. Fugazi may be considered a less polished sound than the albums above; however, once you "get it," it hits you like a ton of bricks, and there's no going back. From the moment I heard Fugazi, I went to every NYC show after. It's easily some of the best concerts of my life, and possibly my favorite bassist in Joe Lally. And their DIY ethics refused to charge us more than $5 a show! In on the Kill Taker is a powerful album demonstrated in songs such as "Smallpox Champion," "Great Cop," and "Public Witness Program." 8) Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses (1987) I discovered many of these albums (sometimes long) after they were released. However, I was at the right place at the right time for this one. Steve Ostromogilsky had a Berklee College of Music lunch card and used to sneak out sandwiches for me. One day, he invited me to hang out at his place and listen to music. As we got off the train, he put Sony Walkman headphones on my ears and said, "Hey, check out this brand-new group." A song like "It's So Easy" was so different from the popular Sunset Strip sound at that time. Me and about 499 other informed rockers were lucky enough to see them on their first East Coast tour at the sold-out Paradise on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (the same street Aerosmith started on). I saw Gn'R every tour after until I took a break when Buckethead joined. Gn'R is the band I've been lucky enough to see the most times live, almost 100! Everyone on this album is just stellar. Axl [Rose] had the tones, power, melodic sensibilities, and foresight to do what no other singer did then. Slash's playing was beyond memorable. Duff [McKagan] is one of the most underrated bassists in rock history, and learning his Appetite basslines is a masterclass. Steven [Adler] had the natural swing, and Izzy [Stradlin] was the secret weapon songwriter. Everything that's been heralded about this gem is deserved and true. Check out "It's So Easy," "Out Ta Get Me," and "Mr. Brownstone.' 7) Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (1975) Another contender for my favorite album and band of all time. Using The Beatles machine (same recording studio, engineer, record label), Pink Floyd made what I feel is their strongest, most cohesive album (my second favorite of theirs would be Animals). This list mainly consists of bands with an instantly recognizable sound. Floyd is certainly no exception to that! This album included a solid handful of undeniable rock radio classics, bookended by two halves of the mind-blowing song "Shine on You Crazy Diamond.' That song was written about former band member and founder Syd Barrett. It would be hard to live in a world without this album. Check out "Welcome to The Machine," "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9),' or even better yet, listen to the whole thing in one sitting! 6) Decade by Neil Young (1977) About this time, I started playing guitar. As a beginner, it was comfortable jamming to this album because the chord changes were simple—a great "first ten years" retrospective of Neil's stunning, unique songwriting. Neil is a treasure who always writes from the heart and stands up for what's right. Check out "Southern Man," "A Man Needs a Maid," "Down by The River," and "After the Goldrush." 5) Highway to Hell by AC/DC (1979) When I heard this album, I was firmly "me." My life would be 100% focused on hard rock music forever. AC/DC are like air; they're ubiquitous. Everyone knows them and their incredible songs. However, as a young teen in Wilmington, Delaware, I only had WMMR 93.3 FM Philadelphia and a few friends to inform me about the world of Rock outside my bedroom. AC/DC had not gone mainstream, and their albums were available primarily in the USA as imports. To put things more in perspective, I only knew two people in the world who had heard of AC/DC. A friend had an import that we played in Steve Buckley's basement, which sounded ripping. When Highway to Hell was released, WMMR started spinning the title track, and I immediately bought the album, listening to it every single day after school. Then WMMR announced AC/DC was coming to the Spectrum in Philly, supporting Ted Nugent! I liked Ted but loved AC/DC, so my good friend Mick Cummins and I bought tickets, and he drove us up to the Spectrum (where we saw most of our concerts). Bon Scott was in fine form, and the band went over great. Although the crowd knew Ted better, Angus [Young] wouldn't let anyone upstage him. I'll never forget it! Unfortunately, Bon would be gone in 6 months. Check out "Walk All Over You," "Touch Too Much," "Shot Down in Flames," and "If You Want Blood (You Got It)." 4) Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith (1975) By the time I heard this, I was now in my teens. I had a childhood friend up the street, Jim Linberg (we're still good buddies). His older sister had a great album collection, including Toys in The Attic. Once I heard that groove, my taste changed. I lost interest in rock music that didn't have some sort of "swing" feel to it. I think Rocks is a slightly better Aerosmith album (and possibly my favorite album of all time), but both are perfect or very close. Check out "Uncle Salty," "Adam's Apple," "No More No More," "Round and Round," and "You See Me Crying." 3) Alive! by Kiss (1975) When I was still a little kid, I asked for Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke album for Christmas. The entire family came over for an enormous feast, and I dropped the needle. When my mother heard the content, she turned off the album and said I had to exchange it. My mom was cool, but I was young and knew much more about life than she suspected. Anyway, the next day, she drove me back to the store. In the music section, promoted on an "endcap" was a Kiss Alive! display. I had never heard of Kiss, but that cover picture told me I had to have it! My first foray into hard rock. Check out “Strutter.” I went through my Kiss phase very quickly, I believe in a matter of months because I discovered the previous entry, Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic. 2) Honky Chateau by Elton John (1972) When I was a wee lad, my parents bought a used Volkswagen camper van from my uncle Ozzie. My favorite Elton John album is Yellow Brick Road, but Honky Chateau is great and easily one of his best. It sent me down a lifelong rabbit hole of loving everything about the 1970s partnership between Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin. The simple beauty of voice, the master songwriting, the perfect backing band, the clear, unobtrusive recordings, and always Bernie's incredible lyrics. The day this album was released, Elton became an unstoppable force that conquered the music industry. Check out "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and "Rocket Man." 1) Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles (1967) Another tape that was included in the VW Camper. The van had a bunch of music tapes, and one was Sgt Pepper. I was too young to understand the sophistication of the music, but that was one of the many skills of The Beatles. They attracted listeners at every level, even little kids. I still feel that immediate connection to Sgt Pepper; now, I hear so much more. It's an album that changed the world and the world of music. Check out "Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds," "A Day In The Life," and "Fixing a Hole."
Rob De Luca of Spread Eagle, Sebastian Bach & UFO: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Jim Suhler Interview
Jim Suhler: The Interview
Bryan Bassett of Foghat: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
Bryan Bassett of Foghat: 10 Albums That Changed My Life
The Raspberries Albums
Complete List Of The Raspberries Albums And Discography
Pixie Lott Albums
Complete List Of Pixie Lott Albums And Discography
Mick Ronson Albums
Complete List Of Mick Ronson Albums And Discography
Graham Nash Albums
Complete List Of Graham Nash Albums And Discography
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
25 Most Famous Female American Singers Now!
25 Most Famous Female American Singers Now!
The Grateful Dead's Keyboard Players
A Look Back At The Grateful Dead’s Keyboard Players
The Chick Corea Elektric Band The Future Is Now' Album Review
The Chick Corea Elektric Band ‘The Future Is Now’ Album Review
In Harmony albums
A Look Back At Both ‘In Harmony’ Rock Star Children’s Albums
John Miles Rebel Albums Review
John Miles ‘Rebel’ Album Review
Aimee Mann’s Solo Debut Album "Whatever."
30 Year Look Back At Aimee Mann’s Solo Debut Album ‘Whatever’