One of my most beloved things in this world — second only to my pets — is music.
Music has the innate ability to strike a chord in us when we find a song that seems like it was written to describe how we were feeling at any given moment in time. Animals are no exception, and pets have been written and sung about since the beginning of time. There are many album covers depicting dogs. Here are the ones I find most interesting and memorable.
20 Albums With Dogs on the Cover
1. Thank You Camellia
Kris Allen, 2012. This cover will be circulating when Allen, winner of American Idol‘s 8th season, releases his album later this month. The dog is Allen’s own French Bulldog Zorro, a gift from his wife this past December. His wife’s name isn’t Camellia, by the way.
The Beautiful South, 1994. The original cover depicted dogs seated in a music hall with a gramophone on the stage. The record label, HMV, thought it was making fun of its trademark dog and made the band remove it. The cover you see here is the replacement cover, painted by Michael Sowa.
Weezer, 2009. The lead singer found the above photo while flipping through National Geographic magazine. The band’s label contacted the owner and got permission to use this photo. The owner describes Sidney as a dog that loves to jump; you can read the full interview here.
4. The Fall
Norah Jones, 2009. Jones received some bad reviews on this cover, but one fan describes it as representative of the last song on the album. “Man of the Hour” is about how people have more fulfilling relationships with dogs than with other people, and the cover depicting the dog in place of where a groom should be fits the bill. The Saint Bernard is Ben from Brooklyn.
5. American Recordings
Johnny Cash, 1994. The Man in Black was on tour in 1992 in Australia when this photo was taken. The photographer was originally going to photograph Cash walking down railroad tracks so the scenery would look more American, but changed to a wheat field instead. The two dogs randomly walked into the shot and positioned themselves on the sides of Cash — and a cover was born.
6. Get Some
Snot, 1997. The band and album name were too funny to pass up, and the pawesome dog on Snot’s debut cover was lead singer Lynn Strait’s dog Dobbs. Unfortunately, both Dobbs and Strait died in a car accident the year after this album was released.
7. What I Got
Sublime, 1997. Lead singer Brad Nowell took his Dalmatian, Lou Dog, everywhere. The dog was Sublime’s unofficial mascot and was captured in many images used in the band’s promotion. Lou Dog was also at the end of the bed when Nowell overdosed in 1996, and was taken in by Nowell’s friend until the dog died after a long life in 2001.
8. Alice In Chains (Tripod)
Alice in Chains, 1995. The three-legged dog named Sunshine was owned by guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The band featured a three-legged man, Frank Lentini, on the back cover. I haven’t been able to find an update on Sunshine, so if you know what happened to him, tell me in the comments section below.
Beck, 1996. I couldn’t give you dog album covers without including the signature Beck cover featuring a Komondor. The cover image was reportedly chosen as a last resort out of frustration when band members weren’t able to make a decision on what they wanted to use. Beck’s girlfriend found and suggested the photo.
10. Veedon Fleece
Van Morrison, 1974. Fresh off a divorce and newly engaged, Morrison returned to Ireland, where this picture was taken. The dogs were local Irish wolfhounds, and the picture was taken outside the Sutton House Hotel, a converted mansion.
11. One Man Dog
James Taylor, 1972. Taylor has earned more than 40 music awards during his career, and many remember this album cover — not only because of the dog in the photo but because of the mystery of why Taylor was wearing a tie to go fishing. The dog is thought to have been Taylor’s own Hercules.
12. Live Life Loud
Hawk Nelson, 2009. This band decided to use 3-D printing for the CD’s booklet and included 3-D glasses in the package. The dog on the cover, who looks to be sporting his own pair, is lead singer Jason Dunn’s dog Murphy.
13. Everything and Nothing
David Sylvian, 2000. Sylvian’s cover was a photograph taken by Shinya Fujiwara of a dog who reportedly had his eyebrows painted on and was taken to have them retouched daily by a hotelier on an island in the Far East.
14. All Shook Down
The Replacements, 1990. Michael Wilson took this photo on his way to the Warner Brother’s studio to try to secure cover work. When his existing portfolio was exhausted, the band asked what else he had. He pulled this out, and it was chosen to be the cover for an album for The Replacements. This image propelled Wilson’s career.
15. Working Class Dog
Rick Springfield, 1981. The bull terrier oddly dressed on the cover is Springfield’s dog Ronnie. Ronnie died in 1994, but the album is still being sold in original and remastered versions.
Amy Winehouse, 2003. Winehouse’s Frank album was released in 2003 but made a second debut in 2007 after her later albums rose up the charts. The album is named after her dog pictured on the cover, although some people propose that it was named after Frank Sinatra or the idea of being frank when communicating. The dog looks to be a Scottish terrier.
17. If on a Winter’s Night…
Sting, 2009. While reviews on the album’s tracks are pretty evenly split, the cover received plenty of positive feedback. Sting is seen here walking with his dog Compass, who he also credits for keeping him in shape when he’s not exercising.
18. Road Dogs
The Charlie Daniels Band, 2000. The cover featuring dog heads on human bodies is actually a painting the band commissioned from Randal Martin. He still creates art and has an online store focused on his globally sought carvings.
19. Anne Briggs
Anne Briggs, 1971. This was the first and strongest album by Briggs. She was a noted animal lover, and her depiction of a dog on the cover seemed fitting. Based on the image, it appears to be a Greyhound, but information surrounding the cover seems to be lacking. Post a note in the comments below if you know the story behind this unique cover.
20. Recipe For Hate
Bad Religion, 1993. I couldn’t end this list without addressing Bad Religion’s famous dog cover. The artwork was designed by Fred Hidalgo and is rumored to be two of the band members dressed in black (with dog heads pasted in).
Believe it or not, there are so many more album covers featuring dogs! If you have a favorite that I didn’t include, or know the story behind one of the covers here, tell me all about it in the comments section below.