By Adam Roche
Album covers are meant to be inviting, a visual clue to the musical treats that lay within. Some people excel at drawing you in via artwork. The Beatles for example, with such masterpieces of pop-art as the covers for ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘Revolver’ and ‘Let It Be’, provided music purchasers with not only some of the greatest music of all time, but art in which to house it.
Some people, however, have no clue. Join us now on an odyssey through the nether bowels of cover design. This list is in no way comprehensive, but it represents a few shining examples.
Freddie Gage – All My Friends Are Dead
All Freddie’s friends must be dead. If they’d been alive perhaps they could have persuaded him towards more comely pursuits in life, such as the crewcut, Nike trainers or the evils of Brylcreem. And while we’re at it, who dresses like this for a funeral?
Jim Post – I Love My Life
Who wouldn’t love life if they were called Jim Post? Truly the sexiest of all hillbilly rapists, Jim here perfects his cold dead stare with ease, proving the value of candid photography, being caught unawares during essential gutter maintenance at his home. Or as Jim likes to call it, “The Woman Pit”
The Amason Twins – Hallelujah! (The Lord’s Coming Again)
The Amason Twins, or “Otis from Superman: The Clone Years”. And seriously, after seeing this picture, who isn’t coming?
Merrill Womach – Happy Again
Not to be pedantic, but which picture is “Before” and which is “After”? The title refers to the fact that Merrill is ‘happy again’, obviously after having not been happy for a long time. Before the fire he looked like Mick Hucknall.
Mike Adkins – Thank You For The Dove
Hey no problem, Mike. And thank you for the vibrator.
Cody Matherson – Can I Borrow A Feelin’?
Maybe first you should borrow some sleeves? A comb? How about some sunglasses? All joking aside, you can’t help but be moved by Cody’s humble request. So yes, Cody. You can borrow a feelin’. I guarantee you though, that the feelin’ you’ll be feelin’ won’t be arousal.
Erick and Beverly Massegee – Amen!
Turns out Erick isn’t a puppet, just a rather angular teen who lost the power of sentient speech when Beverly began putting her hand into him. Here they are, immortalized in a golden post-coital moment “pre-truth”.
The Braillettes – Our Hearts Keep Singing
You have to give it to The Braillettes, it isn’t many people who’d have the courage to name themselves after their favourite font. The Times New Roman Centurions anyone?
Country Church – Country Church
I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t know that Kurt Russell was part of a religious band. Who do you think paid for the outfits? Who do you think arranged for Steven Spielberg to perform some bluescreen wizardry with the almost Gilliam-esque background? Perhaps you shouldn’t have judged him so hard all these years? If the net result of seeing Kurt and his band makes you think twice before formulating a pre-conceived idea about someone, then perhaps the work of Country Church is done.
Ken – By Request Only
Far be it from me to introduce you to Ken, or even explain his motivations. I’ll leave that to Ken’s friend and disciple, Mr Muddy Waters: “Ken ain’t spontaneous! He ain’t no hansom cab! You think Ken’s gonna think for himself, damn? You think there’s some kind o’ brain behind that face o’ his? You got Ken figured all wrong! Ken’s the mu’f’ker who only sing on request! Wish I had that luxury”
The Handless Organist – Truly A Miracle Of God
Indeed, if ever there were proof that God exists, surely it is here. Bet all you “handed” people out there feel pretty bloody stupid now. I bet you wish you could make an album cover with nothing more than a photocopier and friend’s help.
Ira North – If I Were A Woman
Yes, the fun you’d have, Ira, as you gaily shopped at Boots on a Thursday, pestered your children to cut their nails and abused yourself nightly with a variety of root vegetables. Be honest, the only reason you’d like to be a woman is that you’d have a greater chance than you do now of growing facial hair.
The Ministers Quartet – Let Me Touch Him
No, no, no. The album name didn’t arrive from the MQ themselves, but was the overwhelming scream of the frenzied female crowd whenever the MQ took to the stage. Their screams were in vain. The Ministers Quartet were all into Alsatians.
Joyce – Joyce
Pop ’em back in boys. Joyce is probably a man.
John Belt – Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday
Ah, the prickly innocence of a sixteenth birthday. The world has opened up to you. You’re beginning to understand those complicated feeling inside of you. Life is fresh and good. Not for Julie though. She was snatched from the streets of her hometown, and has been riding in the back of this guy’s truck full of chickens. He needed a beer though, it was “gittin’ hot”. If she screams he’ll “stick” her. This picture captures the moment he asked her if he could watch her pee, whilst Julie stares dead-eyed into the tablecloth and wonders if she’ll be home this Christmas.
Of course, there are many, many more album covers that belong on this list. Please feel free to add links to any you find in the comments below.
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