The Gibson Les Paul is a guitar that has never gone out of style in the six-plus decades that it’s been on the market. Great for both rhythm and lead playing, the instrument has become synonymous with a crunchy, badass rock sound.
Some of the most iconic players include Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend of the Who, Aerosmith‘s guitar team of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, Guns N Roses‘ original guitar team of Slash and Izzy Stradlin’, Muddy Waters, Keith Urban, Nancy Wilson of Heart, The Edge from U2, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica and Mike Ness of Social Distortion, among many others. When Madonna started playing guitar, she went with the Les Paul as well.
Here, then, are five album covers where iconic rockers showed their love for the equally iconic guitar.
KISS – Alive! (1975)
If you were to give Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley a nickel for every kid who bought a guitar (or bass guitar) after being turned on to “The Hottest Band in the World” during the ’70s, they’d double their fortunes. And there’s no need to do that! But the truth of the matter is, few bands since the Beatles have inspired as many kids to learn to play guitar, and most of the credit for that is due to Ace Frehley, sporting his Les Paul on this classic live album cover. Of course, only Ace’s Les Paul shot rockets from the neck during a guitar solo. But surely many of his disciples created their own fretboard fireworks after listening to Alive!