Crappy Album Covers #169 — Bad Steely Dan Covers

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Album_Cover_Crap_288_rateyourmusic_com You are looking at the two albums once rated by band members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen as being the two worst album covers of the seventies, bar none, according to Wikipedia. 

I disagree. I think I could come up with several seventies’ past postings that could be worse than this.

I grew up with this kind of music. I never knew what Steely Dan were about. Did anyone? Becker and Fagen never seemed to be quite sure either, in trying to define their style, which only had tenuous points of contact to rock. For this, they risked having the cover artist also unable to pictorally define their style. There is too much going on in the artwork to make heads or tails of it.

“Can’t Buy a Thrill” was their first LP, released in 1972, sounds more bluesy and jazzy than anything. It was a big album for them, having yielded their two signature tunes: “Reeling in the Years”, and “Do It Again”.

Album_Cover_Crap_289_rateyourmusic_com … And from “The Royal Scam”, “Kid Charlemagne” could arguably be another signature tune. 

A homeless dude asleep on a bench underneath images of mutating skyscrapers? I dunno. Doesn’t work for me, although it is supposedly an artistic attempt to shatter the Horatio Alger myth, that if everyone works hard enough, that one day everyone can own their own skyscraper (or something like that). And the imagery is of the hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-shovel variety.

Crappy Album Covers #167 — Negative Brand Recognition II

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Album_Cover_Crap_279_rateyourmusic_com_2001 This is the Manchester-based group, The Chameleons, with their 2001 CD “Why Call It Anything” with the world’s biggest UPC symbol to bugger up scanners all over the world. Behind that is some kind of dorky, clowny smiley thingy with too many teeth but excellent bridgework. 

What galls me is that the band, or some human, … somewhere, had to approve this album cover before it got released. It could have all been prevented, but I would say now that all those involved are covering their tracks, now.

Album_Cover_Crap_278_rateyourmusic_com_1983 “Script of the Bridge” their first album. A nice pencil crayon design that their Grade 12 art teacher would approve of. 

I have this album, and have owned a copy since at least 1984. The contents of this album are very good, and it was re-released last year with an additional bonus CD.

Crappy Album Covers #92 — Sucky even for metal

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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.

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