As I noted in a recent post, I frequently judge my records by their covers. Perhaps not as much after I have played them through but I have certainly purchased many albums based solely on their artwork alone. In fact, one of my favorite things to do while listening a record is to browse through other albums, enjoying the sleeve desgins.
There are many books and lists of acknowledged classics. I won't downplay works of art like Led Zeppelin I, Sticky Fingers, Who's Next, Sgt. Pepper's or anything by Pink Floyd. These are as good as their reputation and deserve their iconic status. I do have quite a few second-tier favorites, though, that catch my eye as much as my ear:
BulletBoys - BulletBoys - 1988
Rabbit Fur Coat - Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - 2006
Lumpy Gravy - Frank Zappa - 1968
Coverdale•Page - Coverdale•Page - 1993
Flush the Fashion - Alice Cooper - 1980 and Zipper Catches Skin - Alice Cooper - 1982
Difficult to Cure - Rainbow - 1981
Animal Magnetism - Scorpions - 1980
Designer Storm Thorgerson said "I don't think we figured it out... We just knew there was something rude somewhere." He was exactly right.