7 Surprising Album Cover Art Easter Eggs—Can You Spot Them All?

In the age of albums—you know, before streaming and singles became all the rage—artists used to put a lot of work into what their album covers looked like. To wit, some of the biggest-selling records have featured some hidden messages, from the possibly satanic to the simply smile-inducing.

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[RELATED: 10 Iconic Album Covers Designed by Andy Warhol]

Below, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite examples of hidden messages displayed in plain sight on album covers from artists like the Beastie Boys and Kate Bush to Paul McCartney. Can you spot them all?

1. Beastie Boys, License to Ill

The trio of rappers started their group in New York City. They quickly became influential thanks to albums like License to Ill, which featured tracks like “Fight for Your Right.” But the cover of that album offers a cheeky joke. If you look closely, you can see on the tail of the plane the numbers and letters, “3MTA3.” Reversed, it reads, “Eat Me!”

2. David Bowie, Black Star

Released just before he died in 2016, Bowie’s album, Black Star, was a hit among music fans and critics alike. But the album cover showcases some clever thinking, too. As you can see below, there is a big black star and star fragments beneath it. But those fragments spell out his name at the bottom. Going further, fans can hold the album under ultraviolet light and the star will glow blue. When held up to sunlight, more visuals are exposed.

3. Kate Bush, Aerial

At first glance, the cover of Kate Bush’s album, Aerial, looks like a pleasant sunset scene. But when examined closer, the cover isn’t displaying jagged rocks under the sun. Instead, it’s actually the sound wave of a birdsong, which is a nod to the blackbird singing through the album’s final song. A fan has even recreated the sound of the wave so fans can know what it, too, sounds like. That’s devotion.

4. Paul McCartney, Ram

Paul McCartney released his solo album, Ram, in 1971. And on the cover, he gave a shoutout to his then-wife, Linda, writing “L.I.L.Y.” on the album cover, which stands for “Linda I Love You.” How romantic. Can you spot it? For those who have a hard time seeing it, click HERE for an up-close glance.

5. Santana, Santana

One of the greatest guitar players of all time, Carlos Santa helped to create a vivid, interesting, and wondrous album cover for his self-titled album, Santana. At first glance, the album, which you can see below, looks like a giant lion, or perhaps a tiger. But when you look closer, the album is actually a series of nine faces made to look like a jungle cat. The jaw of the creature is a hula skirt and its wearer’s head is in the middle of the cat’s face.

6. The Rolling Stones, Their Satanic Majesties Request

On the Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, photographer Michael Cooper included a doll wearing a t-shirt that read, “Welcome The Rolling Stones.” On an album a bit later, Cooper shot a photo for The Rolling Stones’ album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which included images of the Beatles in the flowers. Tricky stuff! See the album cover below or click HERE for a closer look.

7. Def Leppard, Retro Active

Not only does the cover of this album by Def Leppard show a woman in front of a mirror, but it also, in total, depicts a skull with a window and candle for a nose, beauty products for teeth, and the woman’s head (and reflection) for eyes. Spooky stuff.

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