H.R. Giger's Greatest Album Cover Art - Rolling Stone
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H.R. Giger’s Greatest Album Cover Art

Revisiting the Swiss master’s brilliantly disturbing music-related artwork

hr giger

AP Foto/Keystone,Arno Balzarini,File

Surrealist Swiss painter H.R. Giger, who died on May 12th at age 74, is perhaps best known for inspiring the design of the creature in the Alien movie franchise, also had a long and deep connection with music. Whether via commissioned pieces or licensing deals, his disturbing, erotic "bio-mechanical" images were frequently used for album cover art, among other musically-related projects. We've highlighted some of the best of those eerie uses. 

H.R. Giger, Surrealist Artist and Alien Designer, Dead at 74

Carcass, 'Heartwork'

Courtesy of Columbia Records

Carcass, ‘Heartwork’

British metallers Carcass used an image of a Giger sculpture, rather than a painting, for the cover of their 1993 album Heartwork. The sculpture, "Life Support 1993," was slightly updated for the album art. The music video for the title track also featured an interpretation of the same piece. 

Triptykon, 'Eparistera Daimones'

Courtesy of Century Media Records

Triptykon, ‘Eparistera Daimones’

Swiss underground metal legend Tom G. Warrior, who'd led Celtic Frost, again utilized a Giger work for the cover of his Triptykon project's 2010 album, Eparistera Daimones.

Floh de Cologne, 'Mumien'

Courtesy of Pläne Records

Floh de Cologne, ‘Mumien – Kantate für Rockband’

One of Giger's least-known album covers is this one, for a 1974 album by German rock group Floh de Cologne. 

Sacrosanct, 'Recesse2 for the Depraved'

Courtesy of 1MF Records

Sacrosanct, ‘Recesses for the Depraved’

Sacrosanct was an offshoot of death metal band Pestilence, and though the title of the band's 1991 album Recesses for the Depraved may have sounded like a schooltime activity for daemons, the disturbing Giger cover art accurately conveyed the savage nature of the music. 

Pankow, 'Freiheit fuer die Sklaven'

Courtesy of Contempo Records

Pankow, ‘Freiheit fuer die Sklaven’

Pankow were a politically fiery Italian-German electronic outfit formed in the late Seventies — and are not to be confused with the political fiery East German rock band of the same name that was formed in the early Eighties. The title of the former Pankow's 1987 Giger art-adorned album, Freiheit fuer die Sklaven,translates to  "freedom for the slaves." 

Debbie Harry, 'The Jam Was Moving'

Courtesy of Chrysalis Records

Debbie Harry, ‘The Jam Was Moving’

"The Jam Was Moving" was a single from Harry's 1981 album KooKoo, and like that album featured artwork by Giger. 

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