I've been buying records since the mid-1970s, when my sister and I got our fist record player: a GE portable turntable that came in its own plastic, suitcase-like box. But in the late '80s, when I started going to thrift stores, I found LPs in the bins for 25 or 50 cents and couldn't resist buying them solely based on the design of their sleeves. The interactive and diecut sleeve designs are my favorites, and I keep them framed these days as works of art!
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in, with diecut shapes revealing photos of the cast members. (1968)
Led Zeppelin III, features a cardboard wheel, or "volvelles", on the right side that can be turned to change surreal images that appear in various diecut circles on the front. (Designed by Zacron, 1977)
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti, features photos of two New York City buildings with diecut windows and images of the interesting "tenants" looking out. Interesting trivia: The buildings on the album cover are the same ones that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were filmed in front of in The Rolling Stones music video "Waiting on a Friend". (Designed by Mike Doud and Peter Corriston, 1975)
Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers, includes an actual zipper in the crotch and a mock belt buckle, which, when opened, revealed cotton briefs. In 2003, it was named by VH-1 as the "No. 1 Greatest Album Cover of All Time". (Designed by Andy Warhol, Billy Name, and Craig Braun, 1971)
The Velvet Underground & Nico, features a yellow banana sticker with "Peel slowly and see" printed near the tip. If you removed the banana skin, you found a pink, peeled banana underneath. (Designed by Andy Warhol, 1967)
Rolling Stones Some Girls, features die cuts that reveal the faces of the Rolling Stones in drag and select female celebrities in a mock ad for wigs. Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Liza Minnelli (representing her mother Judy Garland), Raquel Welch, and the estate of Marilyn Monroe threatened to sue, so the album was reissued with a new cover that replaced the celebrities with solid colors and the phrase PARDON OUR APPEARANCE - COVER UNDER RE-CONSTRUCTION (found on most reissues since). (Designed by Peter Corriston, 1978)