Funk music emerged in the 1960s, with its roots in soul, jazz, and R&B. This genre boasted a distinct sound and style, which extended far beyond the music itself. The album covers of funk music, for instance, were just as telling of the music they held inside. Funk album covers were often over-the-top, bold, and daring, reflecting the culture and personality of the music itself.
Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain (1971)
One of the most iconic funk album covers of all time is certainly Funkadelic’s 1971 Maggot Brain. This album featured a spacey and psychedelic sound that was perfectly encapsulated in the wild and colorful album cover. The cover art feature a distorted image of a woman’s scream, with twisted typography against a kaleidoscope of color. This art was a perfect representation of the music inside: raw, outrageous, and boundary-pushing.
Ohio Players’ Honey (1975)
The album cover for Ohio Players’ 1975 release of Honey was equally memorable. The cover features a nude woman bathed in honey, with the band’s name and the album title written in dripping, golden letters. This cover was so scandalous at the time that it was even confiscated by police in several cities. But the real scandal was how well it captured the vibe of the funky and sensual music found in the album.
Parliament’s Motor Booty Affair (1978)
Another funk classic, Parliament’s Motor Booty Affair, was accompanied by a colorful and cartoonish album cover. The cover features a cartoon of a UFO hovering over a city street, with the band members dancing beneath. This cover art was typical of the playful and comic-book inspired aesthetic of Parliament, and perfectly represented the energetic and humorous music found on the album.