Last month, when Morrissey released his new album, Years of Refusal–featuring a picture of him toting a toddler under his arm–a few blog postings popped up on the internet recalling other musical artists that have used infant children as cover babies for their album. I also came across this list recently, which features just about everyone you can think of.
Many times artists like to use their own baby photos for the front of their album to contrast where they are in life to where they’ve been. And then sometimes I’m sure artists just go for the infant album cover to elicit some oohs and ahs from their fan base (cause, c’mon, who can’t resist a cute baby?).
There have been many babies on album artwork over the years, but I decided to whittle it down to the 10 best today. So get your binkies and your formula ready–here are the Top 10 Baby Album Covers of All-Time:
10. Shakira, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2
This album cover always cracked me up just for the fact that it looks like the infant has no intention of grabbing for the apple in Shakira’s right hand.
9. Morrissey, Years of Refusal
I know the album just came out in February, but how awesome is this picture of Moz? He’s holding that baby with about as much enthusiasm as carrying a sack of groceries. The album title, Years of Refusal, also makes you wonder if the (legendary for his bouts of celibacy) Morrissey is ready to have kids, or the exact opposite.
8. Lil’ Wayne, Tha Carter III
Continuing in the tradition of rappers putting youngsters on their album covers (Notorious B.I.G., Nas, The Game), a young Lil’ Wayne graces his most critically acclaimed work to date. Every time I see the album cover–and though I’m 99.9% sure I know the answer–I always wonder if his tattoos are real? How gangsta would it be for an infant to have facial tattoos?
7. Everclear, Sparkle and Fade
Technically, there’s only one baby on the cover of this album. Childhood pictures of Everclear’s Craig Montoya (left) and Art Alexakis (middle) clearly show the boys have grown past their infant stage. The same can’t be said about the baby picture of drummer, Greg Eklund (right), who seems to be completely thrilled that he’s either covered in pooh or chocolate pudding.
6. The Cure, Galore (The Singles 1987-1998)
How can you go wrong with two of the greatest blessings the world has to offer? Babies and ice cream! On top of that, this album is packed with The Cure’s catchiest hits.
5. The Beatles, Yesterday and Today
In 1966 the lovable, huggable Beatles suffered their first round of public criticism when they decided to release an album whose cover featured a picture of the band dressed in butcher smocks, smeared with pieces of meat and baby doll parts. After negative reaction from the “butcher cover,” Capitol recalled Yesterday and Today–making it the only Beatles album that Capitol ever lost money on. This little episode of butchers gone bad gave The Beatles some on-the-job training in out-of-the-box thinking.
4. Sebadoh, Bakesale
Bakesale bares the picture of a naked baby boy playing in the toilet (i.e., Sebadoh founder, Lou Barlow). Many consider this to be Sebadoh’s tightest and most concise album, and for anyone who was a college DJ back in the 90’s, the mere sight of Bakesale’s cover will take you back in time and flood your brain with a whole bunch of good memories.
3. Van Halen, 1984
That’s one bad baby, huh? Not only is this an unforgettable album cover from the 80’s, 1984 also boasts some of Van Halen’s biggest hits to date: “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot For Teacher.” This was also David Lee Roth’s swan song with the group–maybe that has something to do with the album cover being so memorable?
2. The Notorious B.I.G., Ready To Die
An etched-in-the-memory album cover from the Notorious B.I.G.’s debut album. Mention Ready To Die’s artwork, and any hip-hop fan will respond, “Baby with the afro sittin’ in his diaper” The prophetic picture says it all–Biggie was ready to die ever since he was born.
1. Nirvana, Nevermind
Not only the top baby album cover of all-time, but maybe one of the most iconic covers in music history as well. A baby swimming towards a one-dollar bill–did it represent Nirvana selling out? Did it symbolize the moment Kurt Cobain lost the innocence of his childhood? Are we baited into greed as soon as we leave the womb? Or was Nirvana just being cute (on a couple different levels)? The debate began in 1991 and continues today.