20 Classic Motown LP Covers

The Schomburg Center in New York City is presenting the exhibit Motown: The Truth Is a Hit, opening February 1 and running through July 26. The Center says that the show “seeks to explore [Barry] Gordy’s notion of the truth by tracing black music from its African roots through slavery, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, urban America, the Civil Rights and anti-war movements, up to the present day.” There are going to be lots of photographs and graphics, of course, as well as videos, paintings, clothes, music, and more, plus some compelling public events (we’ve already got our tickets!). Read more about the exhibit here.

To celebrate the opening of the show, we’ve collected 20 favorite Motown LP covers, from the mid-60s to 1980, including some albums on subsidiary labels like Black Forum. (Note: I’m not the world’s biggest LP cover art expert, so if you know any credits here that are missing, please send them along). It goes without saying that these LPs not only look great, but they also sound very cool as well! Thanks to the sites who provided images, especially Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner, an essential destination for soul and funk LP information and images.

For more information on Motown, check out the new book Motown Artist By Artist: A Compilation of the Top 100 Motown Artists.

BUY HERE: Motown Artist by Artist: A Compilation of the Top 100 Motown Artists (Big Books)

Above: Stevie Wonder, Where I’m Coming From (1971). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Marvin 1976

Marvin Gaye, I Want You (1976). Cover art: Ernie Barnes

Stevie 1972

Stevie Wonder, Music of My Mind (1972)


The Dynamic Superiors (1975). Source: Funk My Soul

Eddie 1972

Eddie Kendricks, People…Hold On (1972). Source: Soul Excursions

Diana 1980

Diana Ross, Diana (1980). Source: Groove Collector

Originals 1969

The Originals, Baby I’m for Real (1969). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Chris 1967

Chris Clark, Soul Sounds (1967). Source: Fonts in Use

Rick 1979

Rick James, Fire It Up (1979). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Hutch 1973

Willie Hutch, The Mack (1973). Source: CD and LP

Tempts 1969

Temptations, Puzzle People (1969). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Cover Corner

Jacskon5 1971

Jackson 5, Goin’ Back to Indiana (1971)

Teena 1980

Teena Marie, Lady T (1980). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Rare Earth 1971

Rare Earth, In Concert (1971)

Marvin 1970

Marvin Gaye, Super Hits (1970)

Truth 1975

The Undisputed Truth, Cosmic Truth (1975). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Four Tops 1967

Four Tops, Reach Out (1967). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Stokely 1970

Stokely Carmichael, Free Huey (1970). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Syreeta 1977

Syreeta, One to One (1977). Source: Mr. Moo’s LP Covers Corner

Tammi 1968

Tammi Terrell, Irresistable (1968). Source: Cover to Cover

Of related interest:

A Very Black Santa Xmas from Jet Magazine! 10 vintage Jet covers featuring celebrities dressed as Santa, including Richard Pryor, Marvin Gaye, Redd Foxx, and Bill Cosby

The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races A collection of recent covers from The Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP

Emory Douglas: The Revolutionary Artist of the Black Panther Party An interview and design samples from the former art director and artist for the Black Panther newspaper