Despite the recent decline in album sales, they are a product that will never cease to exist. Albums are a great way for artists and songwriters to tell a story, and the album artwork is a vital part of the story. Album covers are one of the first things we digest with regards to new music. A lot of the time, you will see an album way before hearing the track, so it’s important it is eye-catching and memorable. In honour of pride month, let’s take a look at some of the best gay album covers!
In this article, we will count down our top 10 best gay album covers. Be sure to stick around until the very end for some of the coolest album covers ever!
The Best Gay Album Covers That Represent Pride
Without further ado, let’s dive into our list!
10. Soil – serpentwithfeet
Born Josiah Wise, experimental pop artist serpentwithfeet is based in Brooklyn. He is known for his powerful and unique voice. In his first full album “soil,” the openly gay artist touches on topics like labour and love with his signature R&B-like sound.
The album artwork depicts the artist on a rooftop with his eyes closed. It features a surreal background with what appears to be two moons. This certainly belongs on the list for our pride top 10 best album covers of all time.
9. Star – Ah Mer Ah Su
Star is an expression of self-love and healing. The story is told from the perspective of a transgender artist, Amerasu Star, who performs as Ah Mer Ah Su. In an interview with PAPER, she states that the album reflects her learning self-compassion and acceptance. Additionally, this refers to her surviving an abusive relationship with a man and dealing with bipolar type two.
The album cover art is taken from the video for “Perfect”. The cover art is excellent at expressing the themes she explores on the album. In addition, the bold colors on the artwork suggest the star that shines within us.
Ah Mer Ah Su holds herself with her eyes closed, indicating that she is perhaps lost in a moment of self-love. Also, grainy and blurred image captures the notion that nothing is perfect in reality. It’s a visual lesson in celebrating ourselves the way we are.
8. Dirty Computer – Janelle Monáe
On Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe celebrates LGBTQ+ sexuality while confronting judgments that are inevitably cast upon the LGBTQ+ community.
Whilst the album indulges in very overt sexuality, the album cover contrasts this. Instead, it presents the artist in another light. Her eyes are nearly closed with her face covered with a beaded veil. Many have speculated that she’s expressing an homage to her mentor Prince.
7. Blond – Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, rapper, photographer, and visual artist. Additionally, he is one of the most iconic, queer artists of his generation.
Blond is one of the most coveted albums of the 2010s. The album cover is highly minimalistic. For instance, it features a white background with a cutout of the artist sporting green hair with his head in his hands. While simple, it is very emotive and fits the sentiments of the album perfectly.
6. Oil Of Every Peal’s Un-Insides – SOPHIE
The debut album from Scottish musician and music producer Sophie instantly received critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
As a producer, Sophie has collaborated with artists like Vince Staples, Madonna and Charli XCX. Sophie tragically died in an accident in January 2021, but her music will live on forever.
The album cover is totally mesmerizing with a plethora of vibrant colours tickling your senses. For instance, amongst the backing of illuminated by orange, blue and purple hues, we see the artist sitting in the centre.
The artwork has a neo-baroque feel to it and would not look out of place in a high art museum. It is a truly spectacular piece and one of the best gay album covers out there.
5. Language – MNEK
British singer-songwriter, MNEK gave us the sexually charged beats of ‘Tongue’ and the Pride anthem, ‘Colour’. In addition, he released on 7 September 2018 through Virgin EMI Records. While the album underperformed, it was still well-received by critics.
The album artwork is openly gay as it features our artist in the embrace of another man. Additionally, dark skin tones excellently contrast the royal blue clothing and gold jewellry.
4. Tommy Genesis – Tommy Genesis
Tommy Genesis is the eponymous debut studio album by Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis. It was released on November 9, 2018, by Downtown Records.
The album artwork is a homage to the clone episode of Aeon Flux, which she confirmed via Twitter. It features two of the same person. Additionally, the artist has stated that the album ‘has elements from both the demon & angel side of me’. This is depicted in the album artwork as it shows the duality of the self in a beautiful, low-lit image.
3. Negro Swan – Blood Orange
Negro Swan is the fourth album from Blood Orange. Throughout the album, Devonté Hynes expresses the complicated journey of the black LGBTQ+ experience.
Blood Orange has gone on record to say that Negro Swan is “an exploration into my own and many types of black depression, an honest look at the corners of black existence, and the ongoing anxieties of queer/people of color. A reach back into childhood and modern traumas, and the things we do to get through it all.”
With the clever use of wordplay, the album’s title highlights race-based otherness. Subverting the term ‘black swan’, meant to signify a rare thing of beauty, has a profound effect.
The album cover personifies Negro Swan through the image of Kai the Black Angel. This character sits on a car’s front passenger window frame. He sports a white do-rag and angel’s wings sprouting from his back. It depicts a captivating yet sullen image for Blood.
2. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
Scissor Sisters is the debut studio album by American glam rock band Scissor Sisters, first released on February 2, 2004. The album won Best International Album at the 2005 BRIT Awards. In July 2006 it was named by Attitude as the top “gay album” of all time.
Boy, band CD covers have never been more iconic. The cover art features a character, who appears to be walking through a portal to a cityscape. The fantastical piece has fairytale sentiments that display a fabulous contrast between natural greenery and the hustle and bustle of a city.
1. The Big Picture – Elton John
The Big Picture is the twenty-fifth studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John which was released in 1997. It includes four worldwide singles: “Live Like Horses”, “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”, “Recover Your Soul” and “If the River Can Bend”.
The artwork is a painting of Elton by artist Julian Schnabel. Art critics have classified his wild and expressive works as neo-expressionism. The picture depicts multiple bubbles that make up the entire image. This shows the revolution of how art has modernized and attests to Schnabel’s own unique style.
Those Were Our Favourite Gay Album Covers
So there we have it! We’ve been through our top 10 best gay album covers. From older album cover arts to the new, there’s a multitude of unique and beautiful pieces here. We think these particular album cover images perfectly capture the essence of their albums and embrace the LGBT+ experience perfectly.
Do you agree with our list? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comment section below. Why not share the love and repost this article on social media to celebrate pride month. Be sure to tag us @musicgateway!
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out another on our blog? Here are articles on Top 10 LGBTQ+ Artists, Best Album Cover Makers and Top 10 Best Selling Albums to get you started!
Also, be sure to check out our Music Gay-Way playlist on Spotify for some of the top LGBTQ+ tunes!
If you haven’t yet got your Pride playlist sorted yet, then you’re in luck – you can take this one! Let our playlist be your soundtrack for June. Enjoy!
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