Nobody buys albums based on the cover alone. At least nobody we've ever met. But like all forms of mostly pointless commercial art, album covers are subject to ridiculous fads. Selling music and creating musical trends require talent, something that the people who get paid to make decisions have very little of. What they do have is the ability to convince themselves that their choice of cover photo is what made Thriller a hit. And so, with an industry full of people getting paid loads of money to make decisions that don't matter, people are going to play it safe. Which is where you get trends like ...
10The Jack Daniel's Label
For some reason, Jack Daniel's whiskey has broken ground that few other brands have: Its logo has become a popular base for album cover designs. You don't see many covers based on the Taco Bell logo, and yet Jack Daniel's is used constantly as a signifier for warmed-over country and Southern rock bands who have run out of road signs to take pictures of:
You see a lot of bands using it because the actual logo contains a bunch of information about the whiskey itself, like what type it is and where it's made. Using the modified logo for a cover means that you can tell consumers a lot about the album that would come off as weird and boring if you put it in a sensible bullet list. You'll notice that a lot of bands keep the phrase "old time," which is impossible to take negatively, and then replace the whiskey description with the genre and country of origin. This is particularly important when bands have to point out that they are not country or Southern rock:
This logo style also means that JD labeling works well for greatest hits albums, because you can put a bunch of necessary information on it and play off that it's "vintage" and "aged," just like whiskey:
At least one band has tried to jazz up the JD cover by putting a lingerie-clad woman over half of it. But then they apparently decided that covering up that much of the label might cause confusion, so to make up for it, they had the lady holding a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey herself:
And they didn't even put an infinite telescoping world of recurrent little ladies on the bottle's label. For shame, Court Jester.