Crappy Album Covers #172 — Scary warlike thingies

Album_Cover_Crap_315_inspiredology_com Let’s get something stright here. Just because there are scary warlike thingies on your album like the Transformer dude on this Linkin Park record, doesn’t mean it’s a cool record, OK? It might impress a 10 year-old, but not many older people.
Album_Cover_Crap_298_guardian_co_uk Bodies of men with heads of birds as a warlike thingie has been overdone to the point where it has lost its power to scare people, if it ever had it at all. 

There are many scary birds: hawks, eagles, but since the name of this band is called Budgie, well… three guesses as to what species these heads belong to.

Bandolier is Budgie’s fifth album, released in 1975, and combines all the worst elements of the early Yes album covers.

Crappy Album Covers #119 — From Here To Paternity

Album_Cover_Crap_197_Flickr Not much is known about Fontanna and His Orchestra. But the guy on the cover of “Music for Expectant Fathers” seems a little presumtive. He seems to be all geared up to have a boy, but how does he know that? I am guessing that this LP came out before the days of ultrasound.
Album_Cover_Crap_196_Flickr Germans Ralf Bendix and the voice of a little baby girl named Elizabeth made a worldwide smash hit in 1961 with Babysitter Boogie.

When the single came to North America it was played without any translation. It didn’t need any. It was a delightfully funny novelty song. Bendix made me laugh when I first heard it, and I don’t understand a word of German, or for that matter German baby-talk (which I would suppose is the same in all languages).

Here is Babysitter Boogie, with a much older Ralf Bendix (and, uh, the baby looks older too) from 1979:

Crappy Album Covers #118 — More Chix With Guns

Album_Cover_Crap_189_Flickr They have seemed to have Cha Cha Cha albums for every occasion. Now they have one based on westerns. 

For this remake of High Noon, it’s not Will and Harv in a shooting match, but Will against a topless woman in high heels. I guess it’s the only way to go, if you have to die.

Simon (“Si”) Zentner and his Dance Band makes this their second out of a string of 34 albums released over his career, which started in 1959. His last known non-compilation album was a Frank Sinatra tribute released in 1998. A compilation was released in 2007.

Album_Cover_Crap_188_Flickr Liz Anderson, with her 1970 LP “Husband Hunting”, shows that she knows how to land her man. The single that bears the same title as the album, peaked at #5 on the Top 40 country and western songs that year.

Crappy Album Covers #117 — Scantily-Clad Ladies Reclining On Top Of Things

Album_Cover_Crap_191_Flickr I chose these records because both women have similar poses, except this one is more clothing-challenged. 

What this lady doesn’t seem to know is that Cerrone keeps more ladies in the freezer she’s reclining on. Cerrone has used nudity on several of his records. When being marketed to his more uptight American audience, the nudity had to be greatly subdued, or covered up.

French musician, talent scout, and stud with the ladies, Jean-Marc Cerrone, marks this as his fifth album out of 26 he has made in total since 1972, the latest one, “Cerrone XXIII”, being released in 2009.

Album_Cover_Crap_190_Flickr The lady may not be nude in this second album, but it has every other element needed for proper seduction: a piano, a waiter to keep up the flow of booze to reduce the inhibitions, a smoky bar. I have to admit, however, the lights are a tad bright. 

While I can’t think of any women who would be interested in listening to ragtime, Eddie “Pianola” Barnes proves with this 1957 release that, by playing ragtime tunes on his piano, he can play ragtime on his piano and still be a hit with the women.

Honky Tonk Piano is listed on some websites as a jazz album.

Crappy Album Covers #116 — Banarne-Rama!

Album_Cover_Crap_194_Flickr Swedish children’s entertainers Trazan and Banarne are at it again with another two records depicting a kind of  Trazan character who looks like Curious George Harrisson; and a scary looking primate called Banarne. 

Where do they find a restaurant with silverware and fine crystal in the jungle? Also, being a jungle, there would be no need of a fake potted fern when real ones are likely plentiful.

Album_Cover_Crap_193_Flickr Just to show that no animals were killed in the making of  this children’s show, Trazan and Banarne reveal themselves to be vegetarians, with their meal consisting of  a watermelon split: a half watermelon with cream on top, with cherries, pineapple and banana garnish. 

So, this means they are not strict vegetarians.

Crappy Album Covers #112 — "By his stripes we were healed"

album_cover_crap_137_maxim_com The title of ths blog article is the last line of verse 53:5 in the book of Isaiah.

This tells me that Stryper has come to save us from, uhh …, what? Whtever it is, they had to bring out the guns and armoured vehicles for it. Something tells me that the anwer to our interpersonal conflicts should not involve the use of military vehicles.

album_cover_crap_154_showandtelmusic_com Clever title, Isabel. I actually like it very much. It says that I choose God for something I like, not for something other people are coercing me to like. You have to respect that.

No information exists on Isabel Baker that I could find, except that this blogger found an MP3 of her gospel singing. (trmporarily unavailable)

[audio:http://foodsci.info/other/Isabel_Baker_-_Jesus_I_Am_Loving_You.mp3]

This goes beyond categorizations of “Christian Rock.”  She sounds more like a cross between Lydia Lunch and Diamanda Galas. While these latter two don’t qualify as Christian  Rock, the resemblance between kinds of music was uncanny. I might even add Romeo Void.

By the end of that song sample, one would be led to think that she loves God just a bit more than is, uh, Christian. Where have we heard that one before?

Crappy Album Covers #111 — People are Beautiful, man

album_cover_crap_152_showandtelmusic_com There was a certain social trend in the late 60s and early 70s that was my personal favourite: it was a social trend that celebrated life, the beauty inside every one of us, glorified love, nature, truth, and personal freedom.

And, so long as that became the gravy train which paid the bills, there were a number of artists lining up for a piece of the action. Some of them were sincere, and others not so sincere. I recall artists like Bruce Cockburn and John Denver singing this kind of music long after it was stylish or trendy.

I have not heard of this group, but I wonder how often they were told by hecklers to play on the freeway?

album_cover_crap_153_showandtelmusic_com This is an interesting cover. Often identified with the early 70s evengelical Christian movement, I could find no tangible information on what the letters BJRE stand for. Notice the black-and-white photos of guys placed all over a map of northern Europe in this 1974 album. East and West Germany are most prominent, so is Denmark, then we see pieces of Yugoslavia, Poland, The Netherlands.

With Germany placed in the middle of the cover, could it be that his exaltation of beauty is only reserved for the nations depicted? Curious.

As an extra added bonus, and to conclude this post just the right way, here is REM, featuring Kate Pierson of the B-52s with the 1991 hit “Shiny, Happy People”:

Crappy Album Covers #110 — Minimalist design

album_cover_crap_150_showandtelmusic_com I am unsure of the origin of the name of the group. If they got rid of the outline of the head, and enlarged the photo, there wouldn’t have been so much empty space around the album. 

The last time I heard of a group name with the word “experience” in it was by a 60s guitarist who did A LOT of drugs. Maybe they should have stolen one of Jimi Hendrix’s titles: “Are You Experienced?”

Album_Cover_Crap_198_Flickr When you are aiming for a minimalist design, why have humans? And why do you need clothes? Or scenery? Or limbs? Or genitalia? 

Mi-Sex’s 1979 single “Computer Games” made it to #1 in Australia, and #5 in New Zealand. It was one of a string of hits for this New Zealand group that extended into 1983.

They were reported to have a hit in Canada, but checking our chart information, they do not appear to have charted in Canada.

Crappy Album Covers #109 — Family photos do not make good record covers

album_cover_crap_148_showandtelmusic_com The photo for this record cover appears to have been originally intended for a family album. Obviously, Daniel Sheaffer is proud of his musical family. 

There are many problems, however, with this picture even qualify as a family photo. There is an organ in the way; and in front of the organ is something looking like a pulpit. If they were photographed elsewhere with all that out of the way, you at least would have a family photo.

album_cover_crap_149_showandtelmusic_com Armand Lefebvre is here with an album called “Take Another Chance on Me”. 

It appears that this album would be greatly improved if the puke yellow border was cut out, the title was erased, and the resulting portait with border framed and placed on a mantlepiece.

Crappy Album Covers #108 — Sucking back in the day

album_cover_crap_145_cendella_com The early 1960s, before the days of The Beatles, were a kind of doldrum period where the safest way to record a hit was to record a cover version of something that was a hit before. Robert Louis Ridarelli, known as Bobby Rydell,  entered the industry at a young age — around 16, and throughout his career, recorded five top-10 hits, the rest beig elsewhere in Billboard’s hot 100. 

This album “All The Hits”, released in 1962, two years after he began his career, contains none of his own hits, but mostly buy online viagra contains the hits of other people. At least none of his top-10 hits are listed.

album_cover_crap_147_showandtelmusic_com Here are the Royals, with their album entitled “Music”. Well, it could be an attempt to copy  formula that has worked for Madonna, Carole King, and hundreds of other musicians. All of them released an album with a title consisting of the single word “music” and nothing else. 

They look like an informal gathering of accountants. Guy with the glasses looks like Bun E. Carlos.

Crappy Album Covers #106 — Crappy Canadian Covers

… And both of them are from that group from Montreal called April Wine. This group was really big in Canada in the 70s and 80s, and they had some of my favourite songs that I grew up with. Trouble was, while their music was really good, their record covers consistently sucked greasy cheese balls. They were flat, cliche covers that made no impression whatsoever on the buyer. Here are two of, in my opinion, the worst album covers that April Wine had offered in this vein.

Album_Cover_Crap_169_April_Wine This is their 1973 album “Electric Jewels”, which is cliche in every detail  and screams to the buyer nothing more than “this is an album with music in it”. It totally belies what is inside the covers of this album. Well, there is “Electric” in the title, so you might be expected to play this one a little louder. 

While just about every track on this record is a strong track, capable of getting you hooked, none of its three singles made the top-10 (Lady Run, Lady Hide (peaked @ 19, lasted 5 weeks); Weeping Widow (peaked @ 40, lasted 2 weeks); and Electric Jewels (never made the top 40)).

Both records in today’s posting could easily have been designed by K-Tel.

Album_Cover_Crap_170_April_Wine_2 The cover for “Live at the El Mocambo” embellishes the design on the backdrop of one of the stages of the landmark night club. The two palm trees were part of El Mocambo’s trademark. But this idea only works as an album cover backdrop if you live in Toronto. If you are from outside Toronto, or have never been in the night club, you are left scratching your head, wondering if they’ve adopted a Jimmy Buffett sound. 

The ElMo, as it is known to us locals, is located on 404 Spadina, in the middle of what they call the Computer Ghetto in Downtown Toronto. Got changed to a dance studio a few years back, then re-opened again.

The Ramones played there. So did Lou Reed, Blondie, The Police, Black Flag, Jonhhy Winter, Charles Mingus, Rush, Elvis Costello, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and even Marilyn Monroe. She played there in 1958. When April Wine recorded live for this album in 1977, they were opening for The Rolling Stones.

Just like a Canadian band to take all that tradition, and all those bragging rights, and make an album cover that is as lame as you can possibly make it. Believe it or not, their concerts were not lame, explaining why they recorded 7 live albums in their tenure. This album reputedly has a killer live version of Oowatanite. But who would know? By 1979, I remember noticing piles of these albums in the delete bin.

In total April Wine had released 35 singles by 1993, and 21 of them charted in the Top 40. 7 of them were hits in the U. S., with three of them peaking on Billboard in the Top 40: Could Have Been A Lady (1972), Roller (1979), and Just Between You and Me (1981). At least 3 of their albums went either platinum or double platinum.

Crappy Album Covers #105 — Selling fantasy

album-cover-crap-3_lp-cover-lover1 The Jay Gordon Concert Orchestra offers the album “Strictly for Lovers” off of the TOPS label, a CAC factory which was located at one time somewhere in the southwestern U. S. which has supplied my blog with a healthy number of CACs thus far. 

There’s an attractive woman, whispering something into her boyfriend’s ear. Something like “I haff zee microfilm.”

Anyone who is not a lover should stay away from this record. Turn it off! Don’t buy it! Put it back in the remainder bin!

album_cover_crap_139_maxim_com TOPS made money actually selling radiation instruments, if readers of my blog will remember. This could make them part of the Military Industrial Complex. And while we are on the topic of war, here are the natives of Auburn, New York with their band Manowar, with their 1983 album (not found on TOPS, sorry), called “Into Glory Hole Ride”. 

This cover has been fodder for many a CAC blog, mostly because of the overwhelmingly subconscious homosexual slant involving handlebar moustaches and loincloths. OK… maybe a little more than subconscious. I suppose they could have called their album “Hairway to Steven”, but the Butthole Surfers already have that album title.

Manowar is notable for owning their own label and distribution system. They are a true “Indie” band. Their label is called Magic Circle Records.

Wikipedia says that Manowar broke the longstanding record in 1994 for the world’s loudest rock band. Beating The Who by 3.5 decibels, their Hanover concert was measured at 129.5 decibels. Over the years, The Swans, Motorhead, AC/DC, Deep Purple, My Bloody Valentine, and The Rolling Stones have all surpassed this, breaking the 130 decibel mark. Manowar beat them all in 2008 with a Magic Circle Fest concert that measured 139 dB. Guiness Book has stopped making records of “loudest concerts” due to the prospect of encouraging hearing damage.

Crappy Album Covers #104 — Crappy Blockbusters

album_cover_crap_146_2_cendella_com_greatest_picks Solo artist Andrew W. K. with a 2001 album called “Andrew’s Greatest Picks”, an album of what material he could work out at that time, usually with a pencil, but sometimes with sharp surgical instruments. It is an offering of his booger blockbusters between 1999 and 2000. 

Oh, my bad. No, that was Andrew Wayne-Kruer. This 2001 album cover is about another Andrew W. K., that of Andrew Wilkes-Krier. The real title was “I Get Wet”, and the album featured actual music on it, of the audio variety.  It was #1 for a few weeks and yielded two singles.

I gotta work harder to get my notes in order.

album-cover-crap-44_grenadefishing_com Andy is not the only one with medical problems. Looks like Freddie, Bryan, Roger, and John were part of an experiment in 1989 to give the world its first taste of genetically modified music. 

You have to admit, it’s cheaper for the record companies, and everyone else. You have lower hotel expenses, you don’t need such a big stage, and the jobs of caterers, hairdressers, and costume designers is greatly simplified if all band members were fused into one body. Conversations are the only difficult thing, since everyone is sharing the same body now, and they have to decide which of their four mouths speaks first. It also complicates the job of journalists.

So, you don’t think Freddie Mercury really died of aids in 1991, do you? He never died at all, folks! Medical breakthroughs like the one you see here have kept him alive the whole time!

The album “The Miracle” peaked on Billboard at #24, and its single “I Want it All”, peaked at #50, yielding no hit (top 40) singles across the pond (in the U.S.).

Crappy Album Covers #102 — Ideas that wouldn't work these days

album-cover-crap-5_lp-cover-lover Roughly translated from Portuguese, “Nozinho (Kinkle) and His Music”, the title of it being “For Your Pleasure”.What may have made this album successful, if it was, is that it had a colour photo on the cover, at one time, a rare treat.I can’t help but think of the Rikki-Lee Jones’ Lyric to Skeletons when I see this cover: 

  Some kids like watching
      Saturday cartoons
  Some girls listen to records
      all day in their rooms
  But what do birds leave behind,
       of the wings that they
       came with
  If a son's in a tree building
       model planes?
album-cover-crap-48_thriftstoreart_com Those of you who remember Mr. Magoo can hear him on vinyl. Recall that the voice was done by actor Jim Backus, who played The Millionaire on Gilligan’s Island. 

Gotta love those headphones, and that antenna on the phonograph.

Crappy Album Covers #97 — Religious Ideas that Backfire

album_cover_crap_134_coverbrowser_com_child_molesting I am glad that Greg Kendrick is sharing his saga of sexual abuse with us. Why keep it bottled up inside? Yes, Greg, we understand. The police are on their way to apprehend the guy who touched you. Cellmates will probably kill him when he goes to jail.

OK, so this is not the only album with this title. Four middle-aged guys called The Minister’s Quartet had this title, and it too has wound up in every “worst album cover” blog from here to heck, including mine.

album_cover_crap_128_bozos This is the one and only album for the Christian Metal/Glam Metal group, Stryken. First Strike, released in 1986, shows on its cover what you expect to hear inside. Here you see the four natives of Austin, Texas, all of whom don’t look so threatening as loopy, putting out an album, that takes the Christian metal genre to its ultimate futility.

The next year they were said to have been arrested for distrupting a Motley Crue show when they appeared in front of their stage wearing full armour and carrying a large cross. Few people remember Stryken anymore.

If you talk to God you are likely praying; but when God talks to Stryken, it is more likely because they hadn’t taken their meds.

 

Crappy Album Covers #95 — Le Concours de Fromage

If these albums were entered into a cheesiness contest, they would be strong contenders.

album_cover_crap_131_coverbrowser_com_cliche This 1989 album cover appears to have been designed by an 11 year-old who discovered the shape tools in MS-Paintbrush and began to overuse them. It was released by Sony in 1990 and re-released by smaller labels in 1998, 1999 and 2000. This is their 7th compilation LP out of several. Having only recorded only 8 albums, their latest being in 2006, they have had more albums of compilations than of original material. 

What adds a tinge of sadness to their musical history, is that one of the members of their original lineup, Jessee Whittens, was murdered, according to allmusic.com, but another blogger says  that Whittens lost his life in an accident.

album_cover_crap_130_coverbrowser_com_cliche The Glitter Band, a band put together by ’70s rock star Gary Glitter, was supposed to be formed from a core of two drummers and two saxophonists. 

Their biggest hit was a song called Makes You Blind, first released in 1976, and peaked at #91 for a week in that year.

The record seems to say: “Hey! We’re lame and proud of it!”

Crappy Album Covers #94 — Not My Day Job

album_cover_crap_133_coverbrowser_com_occupational Allan Smethurst, also known as The Singing Postman, was known for a 1966 novelty hit written in his Norfolk dialect, called “Hev Yew Got a Loight, Boy?” It remained on the British charts for 9 weeks, even knocking The Beatles off the #1 position at least a week in 1966.

So widespread was his fame, apparently, that he had inspired tribute acts, such as The Singing Farmer (also from Norfolk County in England).

And yes, Smethurst was a real mail deliveryman who just happened to submit a demo to the BBC and things took off from there.

album_cover_crap_132_coverbrowser_com_occupational This is a rare album that commands more than the original cover price from collectors ($40CDN on E-Bay), called “The Singing Priest”, by Servite Friar Father Columbia McManus.

I have understood in Catholicism, a sharp distinction between religious music that accompanies a traditional Church service and this thing called “Gospel Music”. I have also understood that while Gospel music can be uplifting, it is often cheesier than the former. I think Father McManus is likely veering dangerously close to the latter. To be honest, I haven’t heard the album, but it is just a hunch.

Crappy Album Covers #92 — Sucky even for metal

projectsjungle I have said several times on my blog that I had a policy of not listing metal covers due to the fact  that ugliness is often a sales point with this music genre. I often delve into metal CAC blogs to see if I can find anything I could write about (in case there might be some howlers out there), and after 91 CAC entries, I have come up empty-handed. Now in CAC #92, I have found two CACs, both from the same group, Pantera. These are Pantera’s first two albums ever, “Projects in the Jungle”, followed by “Metal Magic.” This band from Arlington, Texas is still going with its own website, Dimebag is still there with his bro’ Vinnie, as they have been for the past 28 years. 

Now, if there was some kind of “first law of metal album cover design”, it should be to never let yourself do the cover, and to never let someone’s kid do the cover.

metalmagic This next bit of adolescent artwork would have pleased his mother, but the next step should have been to send him to art school, not make metal album covers. 

Here, we have Pantera, without pants. The albums give the impression of a low-rent band that would be considered “not bad for local”.

Pantera would have had to bave been together for 9 more years before they saw their first major commercial breakthrough, Cowboys From Hell, which established them as pioneers in the post-punk “Groove Metal” genre.

Crappy Album Covers #91 — Threatening Covers

album-cover-crap-130_lpcoverlover_com Relax now with the Creed Taylor Orchestra, while you listen to the album “Panic: The Son of Shock”.Anyone in the mood to listen to someone’s musical impression of panic? If you like this album, you’ll love the sequel “Hysteria, daughter of shock”. While you are at it, you can help yourself to the follow-up album “Feeling rushed: second cousin of panic”.
album_cover_crap_129_coverbrowser_com_tarkus_takeoff This album has appeared on many “worst album cover” blogs, and the discussions make it appear as though this album cover is like no other album in the history of the universe.Now, am I the only one in on the joke, or is there something else I am not seeing. I think this album, right down to the childlike drawing, is making fun of the ELP’s 1971 album, Tarkus.
album_cover_crap_135_tarkus This is the album. I didn’t like the cover either. The person who drew Metal Tit (possibly a talented 5 year old kid) couldn’t draw armadilloes, or wheels or catepillar tracks.Trouble here is that ELP didn’t have a low budget or an indie label as an excuse for such an awful album cover.

Crappy Albums Covers (Sidebar) — Make your own crappy album cover

witness_album This is April Fool’s Day, so I thought that it would be a good time to post albums that don’t exist. In fact, I will be doing nothing but fake albums for the month of April.If you have been an avid reader of my postings, you would have noticed that the band names depicted here were the same ones I made up in this post.Looks like any of hundreds of indie band album covers.

If you want to know how to put these things together, scroll down. And yes, these were photoshopped.

jesus_of_kapuskasing If you want to boost album sales, there’s nothing like watermarking a “Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics” logo on the cover so that people will ignore your artistic message and simply buy your album to listen for all the F— words. And if there aren’t any, they can’t really sue a rating system for false advertising, can they?

You can getchy’er parental advisory sticker by Googling it (there are plenty out there), then layer it in Photoshop (shrink it first if necessary), setting the opacity to under 50% so that it simply shows up as a watermark. When you’re done with inserting the title and band name, cropping the photo and so on, you then flatten the image and save it as a jpeg.

Here are the instructions for making up your own artificial crappy album cover, courtesy of emptees.com, together with my own commentary:

A Do-It-Yourself Indie Band Album Cover:

  1. Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”, or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Or alternatively, pick a band name using the band name generator and word of your liking at bandnamemaker.com (my preferred method). Warning: to my knowledge neither method will generate a band name such as “Jesus of Kapuskasing”. That name was pure invention. Jesus is, well, Jesus; and Kapuskasing (pronounced cap-us-KAY-sing) is a small town in northern Ontario. I used it because “Jesus of Montreal” was already taken (it is the title of an independent film). Wikipedia has that title.
  2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. In both cases above, I used the Wikipedia titles from rule #1 to title the album.
  3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days.  The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I threw less caution to the wind and looked a little harder.
  4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Make sure it’s a square. 500 x 500 pixels is ideal. I require a square image too, but I do not have “ideal” limits. Whatever the size, it ends up on my blog as 300 x 300.