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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The 30 Worst Album Covers

Album covers can be iconic pieces of art. Visual snapshots that capture the zeitgeist of a moment or a movement: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bauhaus -- The Sky's Gone Out, The Beatles -- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Jimi Hendrix -- Electric Ladyland: All amazing.

They can also be weird sketches of a man snogging a dog (whose tongue is that?), a la the latest release from Ariel Pink.

But that's enough inter-species erotica for one day... What I'm more interested in is other bad album covers. More precisely, the worst ever album covers. So I've found them -- which didn't take too long. Whittling them down from hundreds to the best 30, that took time.

So keep reading for gems including Bajo, The Faith Tones and Boys Town Gang.

The Rolling Stones -- Dirty Work

Not many people mention The Stones awkward 80s period.

ManOwar -- Anthology

"Dad was in a band, when he was younger... No they never released an album, ever."

Ira North -- If I Were A Woman

You'd be lonely.

Bajo -- Ja Sam Ranjen Kao Ptica

Ja Sam Ranjen Kao Ptica, which roughly translates as "I like coarsely ground wheat," was the biggest selling album in Albania in 2006 (yes I said 2006). Bajo is also technically Albania's second biggest export after methylated spirit.

Deathkorpz -- Metal Tit

On wheels!

Neil Young -- Everybody's Rockin'

Old man take a look at my life... I've made mistakes.

Richie Family -- Bad Reputation

And frankly, I can see why.

Rod Stewart -- An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down

For what exactly Rod? Snatching children? Because that's what it looks like.

The Faith Tones -- Jesus Use Me

Are you using Jesus as an expletive? No? So like really? Like... that? Oh right, as a warning.

Swamp Dogg -- Rat On

Ah the album is called Rat On and on the covers he's on a rat. Clever.

Whitesnake -- Love Hunter
I'm not sure if this is the worst album cover ever, or the best.

David Hasselhoff -- Night Rocker

His guitar isn't plugged in? To be fair, that's the least of his problems.

Foster Edwards' Orchestra -- What's Next?

A horrific accident?

Crosby, Stills and Nash -- Live It Up

Hot dogs, on the moon, on sticks, with workmen -- seems obvious when you think about it.

Boys Town Gang -- Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Won't be taking our eyes off you either lads, especially around our gran.

Wolf -- Wolf

This is just awful. Wolful.

Leif Garrett -- Feel The Need

I won't be feeling anything Leif, not while there's an ounce of strength left in my body.

Ken -- By Request Only

You'll be waiting a while then, Ken.

Eulenspygel -- 2

You think this is sick, you should have seen the cover of Eulenspygel 1.

Orion -- Reborn

Is it just me or does Orion look like a divorced superhero?

Battle Axe -- Burn It Down

Pretty sure our mate Billy Davies drew this in his Resistant Materials exercise book.

Christian Crusaders -- With Al Davies


Europe -- The Final Countdown.

Did the eighties not have eyes? Could they not see what they were doing?

Twisted Sister -- Stay Hungry.

The worst part of the cover is the dude's hair.

Kate Bush -- Kate Bush.

Kate! What are you doing? I thought you were cool!

Big Bear -- Doin Thangs

Hopefully learning how to spell. Zing.

Millie Jackson -- Back to the s_ _t

Millie has kindly illustrated the metaphor of her album's title by having herself photographed on a toilet, which is nice of her. (Why has she got her shoe in her hand?)

Wham! -- Bad Boys

Ahem. You do it, this one's too easy.

John and Yoko -- Unfinished Music

Proof that she ruined everything.

The Beatles -- Yesterday and Today

The good old days, when album covers were sedate and sensible.

Sir D ( Evidence there was a Then Now ) of O


  1. Unfortunately, about half the covers are cut off the right side when I open up the post.

    However, the ones I do see are too funny (or sad).

    They say that you can't judge a book by its cover; however, I'm guessing in these cases, you can.
    How many boxes and boxes of his own album do you think Ken had in his garage and basement?
    And it that's Orion reborn, I wonder what the hell he was like before!?

    A friend of mine has an original Butcher cover that was pasted over (before new cover could be shot and produced). It's really, really, really, hard for me to imagine that someone got paid to create some of these. But then again, I'd hate to have some of my photographs from the 70s and 80s out there on the web.

    Sir Bowie "Rat On!" of Greenbrair

  2. Sir Bowie, try to open it again. I had to reformat Sir D's file to make it work right. Showing up fine here. Comments to follow!

    Sir Hook the Layout Artist of Warrick

  3. Looking good this end Boys....thanks for that...

    sir D ( the whitesnake ) of O lol

  4. Yep, looks great -- and even funnier now.

    I saw Neil Young's Schocking Pinks concert here in Evansville. 1st and 2nd sets were the classics; he came out for the 3rd with the Shocking Pinks and everyone was, well, shocked. Place emptied out quickly.

    The Richie Family on the other hand -- THAT was a concert!

    Sir Bowie "who is wondering is Millie Jackson's grandkids include that cover in their 'family history' school report" of Greenbriar

  5. OK, here's my take on this excellent post:

    Ariel Pink and frenching a dog don't mix.

    Rolling Stones and Dirty Work...come on got to love the 80's!

    ManOwar...ok I was in a band called Barbary Hawk about the same time. Had the hair, but not the abs. Sorry ladies! lol!

    Ira North..If I Were A Woman...I'd Shag Myself! (Because nobody else will!) Unfortunately, being the grandson of a Baptist minister I had to have dinner with too many of these scary Ira's!

    Bajo...Can you say new Borat film?!

    Metal Tit...ok another band I was in was called Iron Helmet. We hadn't graduated to Tits yet, but we would sit in the back of church and make drawings like this during the sermon.

    Neil Young Shocking Pink...actually one of my favorite Neil Young records. You're not a true Neil fan if you don't like "Kinda Fonda Wonda"

    Ritchie Family....Go home and figure out your sexuality and who's in charge of the handcuffs!

    Rod Stewart...sings like an old Raincoat. Don't know why, just can't stand him. Even during Faces.

    The Faith Tones. Again, I've been around plenty of these. My grandmother had stacks of albums like this. Good birth control and sexual de-motivator for hormone infested teen boys! If you look closer, you can see a great Monty Python sketch!

    Swamp Dog on a Rat. Perhaps he believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible? lol!

    Whitesnake. Have to admit, love their music and loved the artwork. You gotta love phallic snakes straddled by naked willing women. Rock N Roll doesn't get any better than that! Besides, notice the ironic (or divine...sometimes the same) placement next to our side bar "Don't worry, it's nothing a drink can't handle." Adam and Eve invented Rock N Roll!

    David Hasselhoof...get your hassel off my freakin car asshole!

    Now, I have to admit a fondness for Foster Edward's cover. Then again, I'm a fan and a survivor of horrific accidents! that's horrific!

    Boys Town your backside in the bathroom!


    Leif Garrett. I felt the need, when I grabbed this album and David Cassidy's from my sisters collection and burnt them! She still hasn't forgiven me! And you know what? I don't care!

    Ken. Makes me think I better rethink my cover coming out in May.

    I love Eulenspygel 2! Brilliant!

    Orion...needs to check out the Boys Town Gang for some action.

    Battleaxe. Mad Max on LSD with Crayons!

    Christian Crusaders....CLASSIC! Makes me want to be an atheist. Unfortunately, at the tender age of 17 I was fronting a Christian rock band called the Young Disciples. I wasn't wearing the white tie, but I did have on checkered double knit pants and white leather shoes and belts. Rodney Dangerfield would have been proud! lol! That picture is locked in the safety deposit box and will go with me to my grave.

    Europe...glad I can't count that high.

    Twisted Sister...OK, here's another confession. LOVE IT!

    Kate Bush is cool...where the hell have you been?

    I could Hang with Big Bear!

    Millie. Push...push...push...aaaaa...much better. Classic Hooky bathroom art however! lol!

    WHAM. No thank you MAM!

    John and Yoko...I agree. Sad really!

    The Beatles Yesterday and Today. This was my first LP. Only you Brits got to see this original cover. Mine had them setting in and around a steamer trunk. You can't find that one anymore either. Classic Album!

    Sir Hook the Musical Art Critic and Producer of Warrick

  6. I love the Man O War song title
    " All Men play on Ten " lol...unless you are in Spinal tap in which case it goes up to 11.

    Come on Hooky...the Double Knit check pants have got to be the Cover of your album... LOL..
    and the album could then be called
    "Pants " ( just trying to be helpful to the reviewer LOL )

    Talking of handcuffs... sitting in the waiting room at the hospital today with my Pop's... two burly female prison guards bring a guy in his fifties, in, all handcuffed up like hannibal lecter...and he was chirpy and talkative to them as he sat there near us...not a care in the world.. getting his free eye-care etc.. .. Looks like i need to be planning a decent victimless crime to do in a few years i can live my dotage out in a nice warm cell, 3 meals a day... TV, and all the health care i need ...LOL...

    Sir D ( who is for a certain amount of reform. ) of O.