Whether you have albums on vinyl or spy the album covers while using Spotify, some are immediately recognisable. A recent study asked 2000 Brits to decide which album covers are the most iconic/recognisable, choosing from a curated list of over 60 albums which regularly feature in round up lists for their covers.

The results showed that despite being 54 years old, the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album cover is the most recognisable, with 48% of all respondents choosing it as artwork they could immediately recognise. Surprisingly nearly half (45%) of those aged 16-24 claimed to be able to recognise this cover, demonstrating its timelessness.

The album is the reason many tourists and music fans visit the zebra crossing outside the Abbey Road Studios in north west London, to recreate the famous cover to this day. Although an exact number isn’t known, a 2005 Guardian article suggested that around 120,000 people come to the crossing each year.

Next on the list was the 1987 album “Bad” by Michael Jackson. Despite the cover being relatively simplistic (featuring Michael on a white background with the title spray painted in red), 43% of Brits asked said this was one of the most recognisable and iconic covers.

The Beatles make another appearance in the top three, with 37% choosing the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” LP cover as one of the most recognisable. The cover for the 1967 album features the likes of Mae West, Edgar Allan Poe, Fred Astaire, Bob Dylan, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, and Oscar Wilde, along with many other people and objects in a collage style.

The top five also featured “Nevermind” by Nirvana, which was voted as one of the most iconic album covers by 34% of people while “Never Mind the B*llocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols” was voted for by 29%.

The top 20 most recognisable album covers

Rank Album Year % who recognise the cover
1 Abbey Road – The Beatles 1969 47.9%
2 Bad – Michael Jackson 1987 43.3%
3 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles 1967 36.7%
4 Nevermind – Nirvana 1991 34.1%
5 Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – Sex Pistols 1977 29.3%
6 Aladdin Sane – David Bowie 1973 27.9%
7 The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd 1973 27.1%
8 The Wall – Pink Floyd 1979 22.7%
9 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – 50 Cent 2003 19.6%
10 American Idiot – Green Day 2004 19.5%
11 Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen 1984 16.5%
12 Rumours – Fleetwood Mac 1977 16.2%
13 25 – Adele 2015 15.7%
14 Definitely Maybe – Oasis 1994 13.9%
15 Back in Black – AC/DC 1980 13.5%
16 True Blue – Madonna 1986 13.2%
17 Enema of the State – Blink-182 1999 12.6%
18 The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill 1998 12.2%
19 Ramones – Ramones 1976 11.9%
20 Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay 2008 9.8%