I agree with what @mmirG and I would go even further to say that this is exactly what we don’t want. The cover art on the 1997 US CD release of this album should be the actual cover of the 1997 US CD release, not some piece of art that we think is the most representative of what the graphic designer presented to the marketing department. These variations between releases are what make this artwork correct or not. The fact that one release has the RCA logo on the front instead of the back, or this release has the catalog number in the lower left instead of the lower right, or this release has a pale yellow background instead of cream/off white (see Edit #34234849).
For example look at this cover here:
I’m sure nobody in the band really wanted that ugly “Best Buy” logo in the corner, but replacing the cover on this release with a cover lacking the logo would simply be wrong. This is what the 1982 RCA US Vinyl re-release looks like, and to put another cover in it’s place would be allowing inaccurate data into the database.
That is, I think, the root of the contention here. I’m not on the MB staff, and I don’t speak for MusicBrainz, but since I started here in 2009, the main thing I’ve learned is that the MusicBrainz community values accuracy above all. When a user comes to MB, whether it’s some guy pulling up the website to look up who played harmonica on a song he likes or the BBC downloading reams of data directly from the database, they know that what they’re seeing is the best, most accurate data we can give them. We may make mistakes, and there’s a lot of data in here that’s incomplete (and kudos to you for curating the U2 data), but what we don’t do is purposely allow wrong data into the database.
So when someone pulls up the 1997 US CD release of U2’s Pop, if they’re seeing the iTunes version of the vinyl release’s cover art, that’s just as bad as if we replaced the CD release’s catalog number with the vinyl release’s catalog number.