There are a bunch of "bad album covers" blog posts out there. But over the past few years I've been collecting a list of album covers which aren't so much bad as clunky; inappropriate, misleading, frustrating or just plain annoying.
Here's my list of five clunky covers.
Misleading album covers
One album springs to mind for this one.
Throbbing Gristle were an arty English band based around London, active in the late seventies. Their genre was experimental, noise-punk. Bach it was not.
So imagine your surprise when you took this album home and placed it on Granny's turntable:
20 Jazz Funk Greats
Yeah, you might not have got what you expected there.
Crap cover, great album
There are undoubtedly a number of good albums with bad covers. But let's turn it up a notch and consider one of the greatest pop albums, perfect from start to end... until you look at the cover.
Just... why? Why are they feeding goats?
Just plain annoying album covers
Most album covers; bad, misleading, nonexistent; at least they are pretty inoffensive - put them back on your shelf and they don't bother you.
That's not the case with The Return of the Durutti Column.
The Return of the Durutti Column
It looks a bit like sandpaper doesn't it? That's because it is sandpaper. So, not only would stacking it on your record shelf ruin the record sleeves either side, it would also over time leave a trail of sand/glass grain all over your shelf and floor.
That's just downright hostile!
Interesting side note - the original run of sleeves were put together by Joy Division to earn some extra cash.
Can't be bothered to pay an artist?
We've spoken before about how the oevre of an album can be thought to include its album artwork. So I still can't help but feel a little short changed by The Beatles:
... or, as it is commonly known, The White Album (for obvious reasons).
"What were they thinking?" album covers
Staying with The Beatles...
Yesterday and Today
It appears that at no point before release did the band, their manager, their record company, no-one - suggest "Er, maybe this is a bit much?"
Apparently, this image was originally not intended to be an album cover or even be publically released, and the band saw the shoot as a change from the monotony of normal 'shoots. In addition, the escalation of the Vietnam War galvanised Paul McCartney to push through the release of the cover as their "comment on the war"
In the end, the record company eventually saw sense and replaced the cover in a new run.
Thanks to DaveBleasdale for the image above.