Crappy Album Covers #170 — Unhealthy lifestyles

Album_Cover_Crap_285_musicforants_com_mew-and-the-glass-handed-kites The idea of heads being depicted as eating other heads on this “Mew” album, as an attempt to look disturbing, fails miserably and just becomes another Photoshop hack job.

However, Mew’s CD released some time around 2007 is reputed to be a decent album content-wise.

Album_Cover_Crap_309_progulus_com Carnival in Coal was a French Death Metal band that had been together for 12 years from 1995 to 2007. For those keeping track, they mixed many avant-garde genres, but all releated to death metal.

Maybe they were tired of walking out on stage like corpses. Corpses with lipstick and mascara.

Bunk Strutts has requested at least a video, a link, something that might add another dimension to these people. I was looking at “Carnival in Coal”, and passed over titles like “Shemale Whoregasm”, and “Fuckable (live in Paris)”. Instead, I have them doing “Don’t be Happy, Worry”, a new take on an old Bobby McFerrin tune. (no longer available)

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Crappy Album Covers #169 — Bad Steely Dan Covers

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.

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Crappy Album Covers #167 — Negative Brand Recognition II

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.

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Crappy Album Covers #166 — Negative Brand Recognition I: Weezer

Album_Cover_Crap_282_thealmightyguru_com_WeezerBlue Uh, yeah, like, we’re members of this band “Weezer”, and, uh, like, buy our record OK?

Weezer is a band that may, on some level, be authentic and earthy (in the grunge sense); but with these album covers, they just look like some guys that just came out of Starbucks to pose for a cover before going back to their lattes.

This is thier first album, self-titled (or to re-use an old joke, maybe they didn’t title it themselves).

Album_Cover_Crap_283_thealmightyguru_com The Beatles had their songs on albums referred to as “The Red Album” and “The Blue Album”, so why can’t Weezer? This is their third self-titled album, referred to as “the Red Album”, released in 2008. No matter how they dress, they still look like they are about to trot back to Starbucks to order their biscottis and doppio macchiatoes in the best fake Italian they can.

The picture-of-band-members-on-a-primary-colour-background aesthetic has, I believe, run its course, Weezer. Consider that artistic avenue explored, and move on. Please.

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Crappy Album Covers #165 — Just Hanging Around

Album_Cover_Crap_275_rateyourmusic_com This is the second CD released by the Toronto-based group Our Lady Peace. The cover features septuagenarian model Saul Fox, a frequent flier on many of OLP’s album covers. A combination of bad lighting and bad retouching makes it pretty clear that he is standing on the floor, giving little cause for the fear and tension in Fox’s expression. There should have been more effort made to produce the illusion of being airborne. And Fox ought to lose the mascara.

Considering that Canada has roughly the same population as California, selling one million albums in Canada alone is a rare achievement, and is awarded diamond status. OLP’s album Clumsy went diamond in 1997.

In the United States, Diamond is awarded by the RIAA for sales in excess of 10 million.

Album_Cover_Crap_265_funkyjunktrunk_com This lady likes to hang around too, although she looks more relaxed, and besides, she seems to have bagged a couple of hunters for herself. And while she doesn’t look like a “big dame”, I am sure most guys won’t mind her size at all. My only fear is that she might end up on some guy’s mantle as a trophy woman.

This is put out by “Sounds of A Thousand Strings”, although there are many blogs and sites selling used/reissued copies of this LP that claim it is by Art Neville, the New Orleans-based studio musician. Not much other reliable information seems to exist, such as what year this album was made. I am getting years in the 1980s and 1990s, likely the year of reissue. However, the depiction of late Nebraskan model/actress Irish McCalla (1928-2002) places this LP solidly in the mid-1950s.


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(Adult Content) Crappy Album Covers #164 — How they do it

Album_Cover_Crap_300_guardian_co_uk This is a 2005 album by Coco Rosie called “Noah’s Ark”. We see unicorns having a threesome over here (a slight departure from Genesis). My impression was that this album was some kind of progressive/heavy metal/grunge/experimental album. However, this is far from the case. Coco Rosie plays folk. Freak folk, to cite Wikipedia.Coco Rosie is a French-based female duo Bianca “Coco” Leilani and Sierra Rose “Rosie” Casady.
Album_Cover_Crap_291_rateyourmusic_com_cooked I put the black bars there myself, and consider it an improvement. The band name and title say it all anyway, doesn’t it? Their oeuvre deals mainly with taboo and edgy subjects ranging from drug addiction to necrophilia. Their approach is rarely serious; mostly absurdist. “Jim Seed Collector” is the name of a seven-inch single, released some time back.Smell & Quim are a British experimental group, performing in England as late as 2007.

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Crappy Album Covers #163 — Lacking a Certain "Je ne sais quoi"

Album_Cover_Crap_200_musicforants_com In a failed attempt to “Out-4AD” the album designs of other groups signed to that label, The Mountain Goats approved this supposedly muted-but-proggy album design. 

You place a cartoony stock image of a boxer painting on top of a splattery concrete background that the Cocteau Twins probably rejected, then place the album and band name somewhere on the cover, and ya gotchyerself a 4AD album all your own. Easy as pie.

Their 2006 album “Get Lonely” was their 15th to be released, but their fifth album on 4AD. It reached #193 on Billboard’s Top 200 that year.

Album_Cover_Crap_202_uncoached_com There is little information on Rulli Rendo’s Orchestra and Chorus. But for those interested, he has a very current website. He has been over 40 years in the music business, and has lived most of his life in Mexico. He currently is residing in Peru, his native country.

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Crappy Album Covers #143 — Guys who only want to be your friend

Album_Cover_Crap_205_bloodhound_gang_-_Hefty_Fine_-_vinylhaven_com This is the album cover from The Bloodhound Gang’s last album as far as I can tell, their 2005 offering called “Hefty Fine”. 

The album cover has the much-wanted “Explicit Lyrics-Parental Advisory” sticker on the cover. Translated, that means: Kiddies, this is a way cool record! That other stuff without the sticker is garbage! Buy this one!

The nude guy on the cover is part of a program thought up by executives at Geffen Records to attract girls to begin buying rap records. Nude chicks on rap albums had been a staple for too long, and it is unknown whether girls who bought this album pinned up this picture on their bedroom walls. Nevertheless, it did peak at #24, and they haven’t released another album since.

Album_Cover_Crap_210_-_static_guim_co_uk After Prince was dragged into the police station back in 1979 for wearing high heels that clashed with his leg warmers (oh yeah, this was the *fashion* police), a photo of his mug was taken so that you didn’t have to see him in a bikini brief. He copied it from their hard disk on to a floppy, photoshopped it, and it became the cover of his second album, self-titled.This is Prince just before the pinnacle of his career, while still under the watchful eye of Warner Brothers. After ending his association with WB, he began his love affair with himself releasing triple albums of his work, the latest effort being a triple package called “LOtUSFLOW3R” released just this year. Wikipedia has claimed that it peaked at #2 on the Top 200. It had peaked at #1 on both the Hip Hop and Independent charts, and is currently still charting. However, it is no longer on the Top 200.


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Crappy Album Covers #142 — Diving for Crabs

Album_Cover_Crap_246_sebadohBy the time this record came out, Nirvana already took the idea of totally immersing the kid in water, so I guess they had to settle for this. Neverhteless, I hear that the Children’s Aid Society is looking for the guy who took this photo and allowed the infant depicted in this photo to play with the toilet water.

I have it on some authority that Sebadoh’s album doesn’t suck as much as the cover suggests. In fact, this 1996 album is considered their finest, and it put them at the forefront of the indie rock scene back then, helping to pioneer the so-called “lo-fi” music genre.

Album_Cover_Crap_204_amright_comWat Tyler’s (circa) 1999 recording “The Fat of The Band” is actually a parody of Prodigy’s “The Fat of the Land”.

Tyler has a few humorous songs on this LP, but they have not garnered good reviews. A New Music Express reviewer said of this recording “If this is punk rock, my name is Rick Wakeman”. I could only guess that his name already wasn’t Rick Wakeman, since the article is uncredited.

And just to show you the difference, here is Prodigy’s 1997 million-seller (2 million, actually)  “Fat of the Land”, released on Warner and peaking at #1 on Billboard for 1 week.:


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Crappy Album Covers #140 — Bad Hair III

Album_Cover_Crap_207_bad_hair_-_wikipedia_org Enough with bad hair on women, Guys are equally capable of falling out of the wrong side of the bed and combing their hair with a mixmaster. 

Many may like the music inside this 1998 double CD by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but clearly, their hair is wearing them, not the other way around.

The album was recorded over two separate years, all but 5 tracks were done in 1967 and the rest in 1969.

Album_Cover_Crap_230_-_chris_lee-cool-rock_pitchfork_com Chris Lee clearly has a case of bed-head. Photo was likely cut off at the top to hide the “cow-lick”. 

This 2003 album “Cool Rock” has been mildly recieved by reviewers, and has not charted, that I am aware of.

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Crappy Album Covers #136 — Food on Vinyl V

Album_Cover_Crap_224_-_amright_com While I can’t say whether the alternative group Soul Asylum qualifies as Aplert “wannabees” exactly, having bassist Karl Mueller sit half-naked in a mountain of clam dip and other unintelligible seafood was actually something that made Alpert very un-amused. And since he is the owner of A&M Records, who in turn own Twin Tone (where Soul Asylum was signed under), this 1989 album was something that almost marked the beginning of the end of the group. 

This album is still in print (according to Wikipedia) under Rykodisk.

Album_Cover_Crap_226_-_amright_com Is it a parody of Alpert’s record? *Is* it? 

Take a good look at the woman’s “dress”: yes, kiddies, it is made of bubblegum. This is “Right to Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited”. Features groups with quasi-familiar names (at least to me) like “The Mitch Easter Sound!”, “Jim Laspesia With Michael Quercio”, “The Rubinoos”. This website has verified that this 2002 album does not suck. It’s currently selling on many websites for around $15.

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