OK, OK, so we know that the majority of music is bought digitally these days, and that most music fans don't even have their 'front cover' option switched on on their iPods, much less pay any attention to the images that flash by as they chose their tune. However, we think that's all the more reason to draw attention to the most beautiful, striking, eccentric or downright shocking artwork that some bands are still putting out.
It might be a slowly dying artform, but the album cover or single sleeve has a proud heritage, stretching back from Atlas Sound's bizarre creation last year (see below) to the dusty 78s of the forties via prog's ludicrous gatefolds and beyond.
We recently took a look at some of the most beautiful sleeves of 2009 as voted by users of the Art Vinyl site, some of which are below. But what were yours?
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
The Horrors - Primary Colours
The Mars Volta - Octahedron
Mastodon - Crack The Skye