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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 11:14 GMT
Sex Pistols cover tops chart
The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
God Save The Queen reached number one in 1977
The sleeve of the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen - which shows a defaced picture of Elizabeth II - has been named the best record cover of all time.

Second on the list was Closer by Joy Division with Nirvana's Nevermind third - but the widely acclaimed Sergeant Pepper by the Beatles only came tenth in the top 100 list.

The top ten album covers of all time
1. Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
2. Joy Division - Closer
3. Nirvana - Nevermind
4. The Who - The Who Sell Out
5. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
6. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
7. New Order - Blue Monday
8. The Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill
9. The Clash - London Calling
10. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The chart was compiled by writers for rock magazine Q, which is publishing a book giving the stories behind the best album covers.

God Save The Queen reached number one in the UK in 1977 despite being banned by the BBC and marked a defining moment in the punk revolution.

The cover, designed by Jamie Reid, shows a picture of the monarch with the words "God Save The Queen" and "Sex Pistols" obscuring her eyes and mouth.

The single was first released on the A&M label after the band signed a record deal outside Buckingham Palace. But that contract only lasted a few days before A&M dropped them.

That version was then withdrawn and most copies destroyed - original copies now sell for 2,000 ($2,900).

But it was re-released by Virgin Records to coincide with the Queen's jubilee several months later.

The cover of Joy Division's Closer album, showing a black-and-white photograph taken in an Italian cemetery, was put at number two in the list, with Nevermind by Nirvana - which shows a naked child swimming under water - at number three.

Many regard the cover of Sergeant Pepper by The Beatles, a collage of many twentieth century icons, as the best album cover of all time.

But Q writers only put it at number ten in their list.

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