There are basically two types of prehistoric cavepeople record covers. Those that try to depict prehistoric man more or less the way archeologists and anthropologists have portrayed them over the years. These ideas evolved considerably as fossil remains came to light and more accurate facial and bodily facsimiles could be drawn.
The second way of depicting prehistoric peoples is entirely fanciful and often derogatory, having no basis on scientific evidence. Frequently caveman is shown as a club-toting, ugly character who conquers women by hitting them over the head and dragging them off by their hair. No matter how you look at it, this type of behavior with women is not humorous and should be clearly deplored and condemned.
Numerous picture covers have modern people dressed up as prehistoric cavemen or cavewomen, that is to say, their conception of what prehistoric people looked like: leopard skins or other animal skins draped any old way, large wooden clubs for the men and bone necklaces for the women. Often the name of the group or the title of the album or lead song will have direct reference to prehistoric cave people.
However, all the various Flintstones picture covers will be excluded here because The Flintstones cartoons were basically not prehistoric; all of it was simply middle-class America with a prehistoric veneer. Batman dresses up like a bat, but that doesn’t make him a bat. The Flintstones franchise used lot of pseudo-prehistoric gimmicks, like cars with stone wheels, dwellings in stone, stone or wood tools, etc., but never the realistic prehistoric thing.
The earliest known picture covers of prehistoric people date to 1960: two different EP covers for The Piltdown Men’s MacDonald’s Cave (see under Costumed Prehistoric Cavepeople – United States and Illustrated Prehistoric Cavepeople – Untied Kingdom). Around 1960, primarily due to several caveman rock ‘n’ roll novelty songs and some teen movies, the image of the club-carrying caveman became quite fashionable. For more information about the evolution of caveman songs see under Rock Music – Introduction to Caveman Songs.
As with the bats picture covers the prehistoric people covers are divided into two sections: costumed real people posing as prehistoric cave persons and illustrations of imaginary cave people. Frequently band members will dress up in imitation leopard skin outfits or actors are caught in a scene from a movie set in prehistoric times.
Under these two sections the cave people covers are broken down by continents depending on the country of release, assuming that the prehistoric people figuring on these disc covers are from those continents. For the covers released in several different countries the cover of the original release rules.
Many of the records, LPs, 45s, or CDs, listed here do not contain any cave or bat inspired music.
Each section, whether real or imaginary, have been listed according to country of release. And each entry for that section was given a code number – starting with “PC” meaning picture cover followed by the code. For the real costumed cave people covers the code is "CCP" followed by an abbreviated code for each continent, eg. "ER" for Europe, "AM" for the Americas, etc. For the illustrated imaginary cave people covers the code is "ICP" followed by an abbreviated code for each continent where that particular cover was released.
The list of abbreviations used for each entry will be found in the “Abbreviations” tab on the bottom left.