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Best H.R. Giger Album Cover Art

From his work for Danzig to his albums made for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the best H.R. Giger album cover art still strikes an eerie chord today.

By Skunk UzekiPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

H.R. Giger is one of the most famous sci-fi artists of all time, and his iconic artwork has become some of the most easily recognizable in the world. Throughout his career, he has scored quite a few amazing contracts that bolstered his fame.

Some of these contracts included coming up with album art for different bands. These albums often became best sellers, with many listeners also snapping up extras due to the album cover art.

Today, we're honoring H.R Giger by showing off the best H.R. Giger album cover art. Which of these albums would you want to buy?

Walpurgis - The Shiver

One of the first bands to commission Giger for artwork was a psychedelic band, The Shiver. The end result was a very sexual, very organic-mechanical album cover that actually helped propel the band to Krautrock fame in the late 60s and early 70s.

Though some may argue it's not the best H.R. Giger album cover art out there, we can't deny the impact it had. It's also a rare glimpse into the beginning roots of his surrealist art — something that definitely deserves applause from a sci-fi artwork standpoint.

Brain Salad Surgery - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

If you know H.R. Giger artwork, then it shouldn't be the least bit surprising that the artwork for Brain Salad Surgery is regularly considered to be the best H.R. Giger album cover art ever made. It's fitting since Giger himself was a major fan of ELP.

The album art was a two-part piece that made it very clear that the skull on the surroundings belonged to the "woman" on the inside of the window — and that alone made you wonder what's really going on in the machine. It's sexual, mysterious, and at the same time, undeniably H.R. Giger in style.

Seriously, though, you can totally tell that Giger did this as a project of passion rather than for a paycheck.

KooKoo - Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry, as in the lead singer of Blondie, is also a major H.R. Giger fan, too. For people who didn't like the overtly sexual elements of Giger's artwork, KooKoo's album cover might be one of the best H.R. Giger album cover art pieces out there.

The thing that really stands out about KooKoo is that it shows that Giger can tone down the surreal if he needs to. It's still dark and it still involves a lot of mysterious elements to it, but at the same time, it's still different from most other album covers he did.

Attahk - Magma

By the late 70s, H.R. Giger cover art was becoming a major talking point among bands. Magma's album cover art for Attahk was a huge hit. The concept behind the artwork is what made Attahk's cover one of the best H.R. Giger cover album art pieces he made.

Unlike many of the other covers, which tended to work on a greyscale motive, Attahk was colorful — but still grim. Magma, the progressive rock band that sang in its own language, was perfectly matched with a view of a world that definitely had its own flair.

To Mega Therion - Celtic Frost

When people discuss which album cover they consider to be the best, To Mega Therion often ends up being discussed alongside Giger's work for ELP.

If you love classic, gothy, black-and-white H.R. Giger artwork, then To Mega Therion would likely be your pick for the best H.R. Giger album cover art out there. It has all the elements of classic Giger work: low-key sexuality, bio-mechanical aesthetics, and of course, a seriously dark edge.

Fun fact about this album: one of the band members was so inspired, he later became Giger's part time assistant.

Atomic Playboys - Steve Stevens

In terms of keeping things musical (but Giger-y), it's hard to deny that Atomic Playboys ranks highly among the best H.R. Giger album cover art to be released. In fact, it's got that perfectly spooky, dystopian vibe that makes Giger's work so powerful — and thus really works well as an album cover.

Greyscale backgrounds mixed with creepy bio-mech women, all alongside a guitar make this a very symbolic piece of album art. Yes, it has music involved, but no, there's no sexuality that's too overt in this work.

But no, it's not Giger selling out. It's still his surrealist style through and through, and that's why this is such a powerful album cover. Sexuality just wasn't needed here.

How The Gods Kill - Danzig

To a point, it almost seems like fate that Danzig would ask Giger to make an album cover for him. This extremely sexual yet melancholic piece regularly gets cited as the best H.R. Giger album cover art ever made by critics.

Why? Well, it's pretty clear that Giger was basically given free reign here. For example, there's a very phallic "snake" about to enter the creature's mouth and low-key references to a threesome — and that's not something other bands would allow on their album. Giger even was allowed to usehis favorite muse as he made the artwork happen.

The end result was something that clearly was made of raw emotion, and that resonated well with Danzig fans. Moreover, Giger's art just works with the ominous vibe of Danzig's music. So, it's a match made in Heaven...or Hell. We're not sure which one is more appropriate to say, here.


About the Creator

Skunk Uzeki

Skunk Uzeki is an androgynous pothead and a hard partier. When they aren't drinking and causing trouble, they're writing articles about the fun times they have.

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