Michael Jackson's New Album Cover: Inside The References

Though there are high-profile albums coming up from the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Rock, Justin Bieber, Ke$ha and My Chemical Romance, but it's quite possible that a just-announced album has elevated itself to "most anticipated" status. On December 14, Michael Jacckson's posthumous album Michael will hit store shelves. It represents the first look into the late legend's vaults (which are apparently packed to the gills with unreleased material recorded over the entirety of his long career) and will undoubtedly re-ignite the conversations about Jackson's career and legacy.

Though we won't be able to hear any music until the first single "Breaking News" begins streaming at Jackson's official Web site this Monday (November 8th), but there is already a piece of the puzzle that has been dropped onto the Internet that fans can debate and dissect. The cover of Michael is an explosion of images of the singer from various incarnations.

(Click here for the complete photo guide to the references on the cover of Michael Jackson's Michael)

The artwork's many shots of Jackson in a number of different contexts. There are images from music videos (including a handful of shots from "Thriller" and a great deal borrowed from "Leave Me Alone"), live performances, other album covers (Dangerous, Off the Wall, Bad) and stuff from Jackson's various films (including "Captain EO" and "Moonwalker"). Take a look at the cover below, and then click through the photo gallery that explains a number of the album cover's references.

(Click here for the complete photo guide to the references on the cover of Michael Jackson's Michael)