With a serious nod of the head to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden's debut was a cornerstone of the new wave of British heavy metal. By fusing punk rock's energy with prog's intricate changes the band unleashed a high octane fracas of metal bangers. Derek Riggs originally painted "Electric Matthew Says Hello" with a punk cover in mind until Iron Maiden's management asked him to add some hair and in this way the band's mascot, Eddie, was born. The demented creature was a perfect visual representation of the band's sound. Tough, spooky and high detailed.
"Baby, Come Back" - The Equals
Although the Equals had their fair share of hit in the UK, they are perhaps best known for launching the career of songwriter/guitarist Eddy Grant. Hs 1982 hit "Electric Avenue" is named after a thoroughfare popular with vendors in the South London neighborhood of Brixton, where riots erupted the previous year.
"Nevermind" - Nirvana
The famous cover imagine for Nirvana's second LP owes its origins to a TV feature about water births, though when Kurt Cobain mentioned this idea to Roger Fisher, art director for Geffen, the stock images found during research proved to be too graphic. In the end he hired, Kurt Weddle, who got the classic underwater shot of 3 month old Spencer Elden swimming toward the dollar bill on a fish hook in a baby swimming pool. Geffen was worried about the cover causing trouble because the boy's penis could clearly be seen, but according to the biographer Michael Azerrad, Cobain refused any changes to the design, suggesting only that a sticker might be adding saying, "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile."
All excerpts taken directly from Taschen's Rock Covers