This CAC must be the fodder for dozens of CAC blogs; and the singular most common reaction is something like: WTF? They just don’t get it. In Riot’s 1981 album, their third, is the head of a cuddly harp seal on the shoulders of some guy.
Those bloggers are totally off the mark. This is totally understandable. I believe it is a statement on the tendency of urban-dwellers to feel more the rights of animals than for the rights of humans.
If you are down-and-out, alienated, rejected by society, you will find this world a cold, harsh place. But if you walk around wearing the head of a seal, at least people will think twice before smashing your brains in with a club. Who knows, you might even score sympathy points with the chicks this way. At least more points than previously. Yes, I get it. “Fire Down Under” must be a tome about man’s need to overcome alienation by dressing up in cuddly animal costumes of those perceived to be endangered species. Yes, I am making excuses for this cover.
Riot’s expoitation of seals as a hobbyhorse even extends to 13th CD, “Army of One”, released in 2006. I noticed the motif in at least three of their albums.