Return to Forever - Romantic Warrior : This image plays on the contradiction between content and style. No medieval knight has ever been depicted in such a clean and inoffensive manner. A masterpiece in its execution.
Pink Floyd - The Division Bell : In its monumentality and atmosphere this image is a perfect match for the music.
Cirith Ungol - Frost and Fire : This painting called 'Stormbringer' by Michael Whelan, is one of the classic images of the Fantasy genre. Unfortunately this low level image doesn't do justice to the original. Sorry.
Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap - In Two Minds : Colourful, childlike and playful.
Jon Lord - Before I Forget : What I especially like about this sleeve art is the fact that the image concept and the album title are completely in sync.
Dio - Holy Diver : Ronnie James Dio must have been looking for controversy when he ordered this painting of a priest being drowned by the Devil himself. I know one could easily say this is just tacky Heavy Metal artwork, but it's a strong image nevertheless.
Dio - Master of the Moon : Here's another Dio sleeve I like, but for other reasons. Is it tasteless and juvenile? Sure. But it's also one of the most powerful depictions of the Devil I ever saw. It just looks way cool and from a purely technical point of view it's also beautifully executed.
Below: close-up of the head.
Bonham - Mad Hatter : What a fun way to write a band name.
Innerstate - A Tell-tale Trail
Starcastle - Citadel : Fantasy Art and Progressive Rock are often linked. Here you see a painting of the brothers Hildebrandt.
Atomsmasher: Up & Atom : A quirky combination of elements in different styles. It works wonderfully well.
Diamond Head - Living on Borrowed Time : The right half of the painting that was commissioned for the second album of this Heavy Metal band. Again you see a painting of Elric of Melniboné (see also the Cirith Ungol album earlier), a character of Michael Moorcock's Fantasy novels. This time it's done by the hand of Rodney Matthews, a student of Roger Dean. Matthews did a lot of work for a number of well known Hard Rock acts.