9 Queen Album Covers That'll Rock You

These champion Queen album covers are anything but radio blah blah.

Published April 11, 2024
Queen album in CD shop

From Freddie’s harlequin suits to Brian May’s red special guitar, the band Queen is rife with iconic imagery. They knew how to capture people’s attention not only with their ears but also their eyes. It’s no wonder these common (and not-so-common) Queen album covers have gone down in music history.

9 Queen Album Covers We’re Radio Ga Ga Over

If there’s one band that really understood the importance of imagery when creating an album, it’s Queen. From zodiac-inspired crests to science fiction illustrations of the 1950s, these are some of the band’s album covers that we’re still radio ga ga over.

Queen II (1974)

Queen II is the second studio album by the British band Queen, released in 1974

There aren’t many photographers whose names have the kind of pop culture resonance that Annie Leibovitz has, but Mick Rock is one of them. Thanks to the man behind so much iconic 70s imagery, we have the transcendent Queen II album cover.

Released in 1974, this follow-up album was the band’s concerted effort to make a splash in the music scene. Inspired by the frothy, chiaroscuro images of Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express, Mick Rock shot the four in a down-the-nose triangular formation that would go down in rock history. Is it another rock album cover featuring the band in some geometric formation or other? Yes. But does it capture their burgeoning glamorous and bombastic rock ‘n roll vision perfectly? Totally.

A Night at the Opera (1975)


A Night at the Opera is best known today for being the album that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is on. But the stark white background and cotton candy-esque colored crest have gone down in visual history. Much like The Beatles White Album, this cover is remembered not for its pizazz but for its simplicity.

The Queen crest — designed by frontman Freddie Mercury in the late 1960s and representing each of the member’s zodiac sign — stares at the viewer amidst a stark blank canvas, much like how the band dominated audiences with their unique glamified operatic rock.

Fast Fact

One of the most expensive Queen albums ever sold came from A Night at the Opera. A limited-edition pressing of the "Bohemian Rhapsody/I'm in Love With My Car" single sold for nearly $5,000 in 2015. 

“Somebody to Love/White Men” Single (1976)

If you’re a fan of MAD Magazine and other caricature styles, then you’ll love the band’s 1976 single album cover for “Somebody to Love/White Men.” Featuring an illustration of the four band members with small bodies and disproportionately large heads, this 7” album is one of the rare EMI singles that collectors love to hunt down.

Related: 70s Album Covers That Are Pop Culture Phenoms

News of the World (1977)

Queen music album on vinyl record LP disc. Titled: News of The world album cover

The pinnacle of the band’s album covers has to be News of the World. Taken with Frank Kelly Freas’s book cover art for 1954’s Astounding Science Fiction, Queen asked the artist to recreate the image of the robot cradling a dead pilot with the band members instead. What resulted was a strangely nostalgic and uniquely melancholic album cover that resonates to this day.

“Spread Your Wings/Sheer Heart Attack” Single (1977)

Another rare and whacky single album cover from Queen’s catalog is “Spread Your Wings/Sheer Heart Attack.” Released in 1977, this album features another illustrated scene, one that feels more Night of the Living Dead than science fiction fantasy. A throng of people come stampeding towards the viewer, and it’s this intense, fear-inducing perspective that catapults this album onto our list.

“Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls” Single (1978)

Simultaneously the sexiest and most tongue-in-cheek album cover for any of Queen’s albums is the art that appeared on the 1978 single “Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls.” The band’s boldness grew alongside their success, so a cover like this one was bound to happen.

Though there’s only a hint of nudity — with the topless cyclist’s tiny bikini bottoms riding low enough to give the viewer a glimpse of her butt crack — the cover provides a delicious tease that makes it one of the most popular with collectors today.

Related: 11 Awesome 80s Album Covers That Still Make an Impact

Hot Space (1982)

Casual Queen fans might not recognize Hot Space if it landed in their laps, but they would turn their heads to the hypnotic bass notes that introduce the album’s most enduring single, “Under Pressure.” The album cover takes a sharp departure from the band’s gritty photographic cover art and later 70s illustrations.

Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Shot Marilyns and other quad portraits, Freddie designed the band’s own version for Hot Space. The band member’s colorful silhouettes are slashed against red, blue, green, and yellow backgrounds for a perfectly early 80s album cover.

“Body Language/Life Is Real” Single (1982)

If you thought the “Bicycle Race/Fat Bottomed Girls” has a suggestive cover, just wait until you get a gander of the band’s 1982 EMI single “Body Language/Life Is Real.” If the naked skin didn’t sum it up enough, then maybe the painted arrows pointing suggestively below the frame probably do. Out of all the rare Queen album covers this is the one you probably don’t want to accidentally give your coworkers a sneak peek of on Zoom.  

The Malta Radio Station Promotional Single Albums

We couldn’t cover Queen’s album cover catalog without tipping our hats to the iconic string of artsy and sexy Malta promotion singles. From Ancient Egyptian harem scenes to women with food and fungus bursting out of their skin, these radio promo albums are unlike any other.

A few notable Malta Queen single albums with unique cover art include:

  • “Killer Queen/Flick of the Wrist” (1974)
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody/I’m In Love With My Car” (1975)
  • “Tie Your Mother Down/You And I” (1976)
  • “Somebody to Love/White Man” (1976)

These Album Covers Are the Champions

No matter if they’re worth a few hundred bucks or you can grab them for a steal at your local thrift store, these Queen album covers deserve to be displayed. They’re unique and experimental and capture the band through its many phases. We’re having a hard time picking our favorite, and we’re sure you are too.

9 Queen Album Covers That'll Rock You