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Every Madonna Album Cover, Ranked

As evidenced by Madonna’s 2023-2024 Celebration Tour, the Queen of Pop’s reign has given her subjects an embarrassment of riches when it comes to iconic imagery.

From her thrift-store bride on the cover of 1984’s Like a Virgin to the image of a worldly multi-hyphenate on the cover of 2019’s Madame X, Madonna has endlessly reinvented herself – and in the process, raised the bar for what it means to be a pop star for four decades.

On her album covers, Madonna has been many things: a cowgirl, an earth mother, a disco dancer, a religious figure, a sex siren and more. One thing she’s never been, however, is boring.

As the Queen of Pop’s reign continues, we’re taking a look back through her discography and ranking her album covers. What follows is not a ranked list of the music — we’re just talking about artwork here. Does the cover art effectively convey the mood of the album? Does it grab your attention? Does it leave a lasting impression? Does it inspire you?

Many of these aren’t just album covers – they’re iconic pieces of pop culture history, influencing musicians, moviemakers and fashionistas who followed in her footsteps.

A few notes: Some of these albums have multiple covers. In those cases, we decided to focus on the standard edition of the album. And for this list, we’re focusing on her proper studio albums. Some might count 1990’s I’m Breathless as a studio effort and not a soundtrack, but as it was a Dick Tracy film tie-in, we’re considering it more of a soundtrack akin to Evita or Who’s That Girl and not ranking it here. Also out: compilations, which means the instantly recognizable illustration on the cover of The Immaculate Collection isn’t here, nor is GHV2 or You Can Dance.

That still gives us 14 album covers to rank. So let’s see which covers were impressive instants and which ones we’re less than hung up on.

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