Of the "active career" releases, he fine with "Ticket to Ride," the outside of "Carpenters," "Horizon," and "Christmas Portrait." There's a lot of cover discussion in the book.Is he on record as hating that one? I only ever saw him irritated by pictures of them unnaturally smiling, embracing, or overly "cutesy" like the A Song For You cover, which me even mentions in the article.
I always thought the Singles 69-73 cover was meant to look like an old-fashioned photo album, especially being a gatefold cover. It looks and feels classy to me. They could have used the inner-gatefold picture on the cover, but then it wouldn't have evoked the photo-album style that the designer was shooting for... it would have been just another album cover with a B&W picture on the front.
Remember, too, that the self-titled "tan" album only had their logo on it... so, maybe they were going for the familiarity angle, the way Chicago was doing on their album covers. They didn't even use titles, every cover just said Chicago and had a different version of the logo on the cover.
At any rate... by the time Singles came out, Richard had probably long since thrown up his hands and said "whatever" about the album covers. He had much bigger fish to fry by that time, just trying to keep up with the demands of their career, and we all know what came next.