Great (or good) album, lousy cover.

By nickster66 nickster66
updated 3 months ago

You know what I'm talking about.

NOTE: In case you think this is one of those lists that goes out of its way to find the worst, most bizarre covers in existence, let me make clear that the covers listed here are (mostly) well-established acts, backed by major-labels, whose art departments should have known better.

  1. Talking Heads - Naked

    I hate this cover. It isn't clever, or provocative. It just looks like what it's destined to be - forgettable. Full disclosure: It's pretty much a guarantee that I'm gonna hate anything with a monkey on the cover.

  2. The Beatles - Let It Be

    This, along with Magical Mystery Tour, have a distinct, on-the-cheap look to them. This one in particular feels like a release from some shady, eastern European bargain music company.

  3. The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang

    Do yourself a favor and don't look too closely at this one. Kind of a side note, but has anyone else noticed the peculiar habit the Stones have of titling many of their albums with double Bs - A Bigger Bang, Bridges To Babylon, Between The Buttons, Black and Blue, Beggar's Banquet.

  4. Rolling Stones* - Dirty Work

    Whose idea was this? Something tells me Mick was spearheading this effort. The music is a little better than the cover.

  5. The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request

    Yikes! Another one from the Stones. Sorry guys, I know what you were going for, but this just comes off looking, well, cheap.

  6. The Beat (2) - Wha'ppen?

    Their first album is a classic, and you get a classic cover to go with it. This, their sophomore effort, is different but also great. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people skipped it due to its ghastly, Gawd-awful cover. It was so bad that their record company came up with a different take for the re-issue. "WHA'PPENed?" indeed.

  7. The Clash - From Here To Eternity - Live

    I believe Paul came up with the concept and art work for this cover. Many depressing, miserable things come to mind when I look at it. What doesn't come to mind is a great collection of live Clash songs.

  8. Men At Work - Business As Usual

    154 For Sale from $2.00

    I have this album. It's got some great pop/rock songs on it. The cover is a cheap-looking mess though. It makes me think that the record company had no idea they had a hit on their hands.

  9. Beck - Midnite Vultures

    I know, I know, the art department or whoever, did this on purpose.

  10. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

    86 For Sale from $12.50

    Oh my God, can we stop with all the 'loving hands from home,' album covers. Full disclosure, I don't have this in my collection yet, but considering his past releases, I intend to soon.

  11. Beth Orton - Trailer Park

    What's the message here, "aesthetically pleasing covers are your hang up, not mine. Deal with it.

  12. General Public - ...All The Rage

    First off, General Public is a lousy name for a band. You kinda get the feeling that Mr. Wakeling was trying for something akin to:
    Joy Division
    Human League
    Public Image Limited
    He should have kept trying.
    Sometimes there are covers that make you think, "there's some good ideas here, if only they had a editor." Not the case here. It's a mess.

  13. Everything But The Girl - Eden

    I bought the U.S. version of this debut (it resides on a different list), so when I saw this, I just didn't get it. Seriously, what is the purpose of putting this on your album cover? It's ugly and it screams, "If you don't get what this is all about, that's your problem." I don't get it. It's just infantile and ugly. Period.

  14. Gerry Mulligan - Something Borrowed - Something Blue

    8 For Sale from $3.00

    And this one doesn't even have a good set of songs. What in God's name is going on with this?

  15. David Byrne - American Utopia

    135 For Sale from $9.98

    Bad all day long. Bad on purpose. Bad by design. Willfully bad.

  16. Wes Montgomery - A Day In The Life

    73 For Sale from $1.80

    Trying way too hard to be gritty and REAL. Thankfully, the tunes are good.

  17. Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief

    19 For Sale from $13.24

    This is a damn fine set of tunes. Pity the cover looks washed out and tired.

  18. Ben Webster - Ballads

    20 For Sale from $5.25

    What is going on with this illustration? The color, proportions, and shading, all contribute to an overall bad result. Look at his tiny ear!!

  19. Herbie Mann - Hi-Flutin'

    7 For Sale from $3.99

    Please take a closer look at the trio behind Herbie and Bobby. It's supposed to be Mel Lewis, Buddy Clarke, and Jimmy Rowles. I don't know about you, but that looks an awful lot like the artist ran out of money, or interest. It's the same person on all three instruments. "So, who am I painting" "Frank, we've got head shots of Herbie and Bobby, but not the rhythm section." Umm, OK, anything else?" "Frank, you can use any color you want, just so long as it's beige."

  20. Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now

    22 For Sale from $12.15

    I'm usually a fan of Costello's art covers - Imperial Bedroom, Blood & Chocolate, Armed Forces, but this one refuses to grow on me. Stellar set of tunes, though.