Top 40 magazine covers of the past 40 years?

According to the American Society of Magazine Editors, these are the best of the best.

It’s sort of an uninspired collection, really. There are a few iconic covers in there, mixed in with a few more that seem to have been selected on the strength of the story rather than the cover, and then a whole bunch of covers that are just utterly mundane.

Mad props to the Economist for putting hot camel sex on their cover, though.

404 error. Is my PC Gamer Quake II cover in there?

Yeah it was broken this morning as well.

Is the CGW “vampire chick” cover in there? It was culturally significant – a first-time bringing together of mammary-phobic conservatives and mammary-phobic shut-in hardcore gamers…

New link:

I just knew John & Yoko would be on there.

Admittedly, that was the only magazine cover I could even think of off the top of my head…

My favorite PCG cover is July 2003 (City of Heroes). There are only a handful of others that give it a run for it’s money.

I just don’t get how some of these covers – especially the two New Yorker covers, which didn’t seem evenly remotely iconic to anyone outside of NY, even the 9/11 one – got into the top ten ahead of the National Geographic with the grey-eyed Afghan refugee. Hasn’t everyone on the planet seen that picture? Also surprised that the Time “Is God Dead?” cover wasn’t top five.

Too much reliance here on image over impact, I think. I mean, that National Geographic cover summed up an historical event, yet it gets booted well down the list because of celeb images of people like Demi Moore, Muhammad Ali, and fucking Andy Warhol? By this criteria, why wasn’t the Jennifer Aniston ass shot from Rolling Stone on here as well? After seeing the top two, I was expecting that one to be in the top five.

Good to see National Lampoon’s “If you don’t buy this magazine…” cover on there at #7, though. And sort of glad to see the Lennon-Ono Rolling Stone at #1. I think that shot perfectly sums up the creepy attachment between those two. Lennon seems pathetic and needy, Yoko seems cold and detached.

Glad to see Playboy make the list.

I really didn’t get the Demi cover at #2. Is there some sort of cultural significance or hoopla over that cover that I missed? Because otherwise, WTF? I mean, yeah, she’s naked. It’s not like Vanity Fair invented the tasteful nude magazine cover in 1991, though.

No, but I think that peerless Southpark cover is in the top 15.

Yes actually there is it was a very big deal when it came out.

The new link is down now too.

Just out of curiosity, why? I remember seeing the cover, I just don’t remember hearing any sort of uproar about it.

No idea I was like 10 I just remember hearing about it and seeing it. It was kinda the same deal with the Janet Jackson RS cover. I do remember it being a pretty big deal though.

I think some of the controversy was that it was a tasteful nude pregnant chick. The U.S. tends to equate pregnancy with unsexy, and this tweaked that stereotype.

Wasn’t Demi body-painted, but nude, on a magazine cover prior to this one? That would have also given some context to this photo; she’s sexy even with a baby growing in her.

The #4 ranking of the New Yorker is just silly, not to mention deeply ironic given that a few of the judges are likely from New York. I think Demi & the New Yorker should have been swapped out for Brett’s suggestions – the National Geographic cover with the Afghan teen girl & Time’s “Is God Dead?”

I really don’t get some of the rankings on that list either. Celebrities just don’t seem “significant” to me in any enduring way. I will say there is one image that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I guess it either was never on the cover of a magazine or the people who pulled this list didn’t see it as significant.

During the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 that picture of that little guy stopping that line of tanks. Holy shit. Amazing image, like I said if that was a magazine cover at any time and didn’t make that list, then shame on the people who picked those covers.

Naked Dixie Chicks for teh wIn!

AS pointed out by Don Imus this morning, this is the best magazine cover ever:

No, but I think that peerless Southpark cover is in the top 15.[/quote]

The only thing I don’t like about that Nat Lamp is that they knew how great it was, and must’ve parodied it a hundred times, both with later covers and inside the mag.

That Demi Moore pic was huge for the time, because she was nude on a major mainstream mag (was that ever done before?) and pregnant, breaking a couple of taboos. Caused a huge uproar, lots of ripoffs (seems like every year some celeb is in a magazine, pregnant) and parodies. I’m surprised you missed that, Ben. She was nekkid again on Vanity Fair a year or so later, this time not preggers, but in a painted-on suit. So we got the before and after.

Apparently rumors are that Demi’s going to do another nude Vanity Fair cover in the next few months. Ah, what that woman won’t do to make magazine history.