Classic Album, FUCKING TERRIBLE Cover Art

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Take a good look at this piece of shit:

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000OQF.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

"Destruction" just barely fits on the banner. Plenty of room for "*Appetite," though. All around ugly and poorly executed.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 19:54 (seventeen years ago) link

http://www.nexusunderground.com/images/goingblank.jpg

Yngwie AlmsteenMay (sgertz), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:10 (seventeen years ago) link

Going Blank Again does have a shit cover, doesn't it. Great album, tho'.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:12 (seventeen years ago) link

one album - two awful covers!

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:13 (seventeen years ago) link

http://home.clara.net/antoni/kj2003.jpg

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:14 (seventeen years ago) link

err, i forgot the 'classic' part

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:14 (seventeen years ago) link

alex did too

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:14 (seventeen years ago) link

the orig. appetite for destruction = much better obv.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:14 (seventeen years ago) link

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:15 (seventeen years ago) link

the orig. appetite for destruction = much better obv.

Why did they ever switch? And why is that version no longer available? Down in history with an embarrassing cover.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:16 (seventeen years ago) link

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000006MV8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg
Don't use a group photo of one the ugliest bands ever on the album cover.

Asthmatic Cajun (Asthmatic Cajun), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:17 (seventeen years ago) link

alex did too

No I didn't, worm.

It's an amazing record cursed with an idiotic sleeve, chosen by the record company (whom they've since parted ways with) after they fired original sleeve designer Mike Coles.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:18 (seventeen years ago) link

they switched because it depicts rape. and was thusly withdrawn.

that badfinger cover is awesome!

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:18 (seventeen years ago) link

they switched because it depicts rape. and was thusly withdrawn.

Ah, but the argument could be made -- albeit poorly and without a great deal of merit -- that it also displays the consequences of rape, i.e. being pounced on by a big scary red robot with daggers for teeth.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:21 (seventeen years ago) link

I had a version of GNR Appetite with all the images on the cover and the GNR guns logo over the top of it (on tape).

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:21 (seventeen years ago) link

uh alex i think it's the big scary red robot thing that's doing (or did) the raping.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:22 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't actually think the Guns-N-Roses cover is that bad, but obv the original is much much better.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:22 (seventeen years ago) link

The GNR layout is nice, but the typograpy and artwork is pure shit! It should've at least been given the Molly Hatchet or Motorhead treatment!

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:24 (seventeen years ago) link

http://www.mirai.ne.jp/~mieki/aol/images/heya/kaimono/au/guns_ep/gnr_sign.jpg

I always thought it was the other robot that did the raping, as the big red one appears to be jumping over the wall at him.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:24 (seventeen years ago) link

anyway:

http://eil.com/newgallery/Guns-N-Roses-Appetite-For-Dest-307531.jpg

xpost - that's not a skeleton?

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:24 (seventeen years ago) link

i don't understand robt. williams's mind but that's okay. i like his paintings. esp. the ones with naked chixxx on tacos.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Which, the one standing next to the girl? That's a robot with a lit-up head.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:27 (seventeen years ago) link

tuna taco!

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:27 (seventeen years ago) link

a skeleton robot.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:28 (seventeen years ago) link

how anyone could approve of *either* GnR cover is beyond me - that original is completely silly (the other's just kinda lazy)

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:28 (seventeen years ago) link

WHY THE FUCK IS MATT SORUM'S AUTOGRAPH ON THAT RECORD?

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:28 (seventeen years ago) link

guys, that robot rape GNR cover is far worse

Gear! (can Jung shill it, Mu?) (Gear!), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:29 (seventeen years ago) link

i think i like the 2nd gnfnr cover more

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I agree. The original doesn't look *classic* either and it doesn't look the way GNR sounds (to me). I think just a better execution of the cross design would be perfect, actually.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:29 (seventeen years ago) link

haha did yall see the arrested development with ben stiller with the great use your illusion joke in it?

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:30 (seventeen years ago) link

The robot rape cover is just appropriated from Robert Williams (who painted it years earlier, I believe), making it lazy. The skull-cross logo is merely juvenile and exceptionally silly.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:31 (seventeen years ago) link

wasn't the 2nd cover a tattoo of waxl's?

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:32 (seventeen years ago) link

haha did yall see the arrested development with ben stiller with the great use your illusion joke in it?

Yes, I loved his "W" goatee.

Lemonade Salesman (Eleventy-Twelve), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link

It is, but I don't which came first (cover or tat). I believe he's since BLACKED IT OUT (i.e. Duff's...er...skull is no longer visible on his arm, etc.)

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link

uh, appropriated? lazy? make sense?

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:34 (seventeen years ago) link

haha if i'm ever really rich and really bored i'm gonna get a r. williams cover 'appetite' autographed by every member of gnfnr who doesn't actually play on that album. if there's enough room.

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:35 (seventeen years ago) link

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkwind/cover_firstalbum.gif

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:36 (seventeen years ago) link

This cover never did the album justice, IMO:

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B0001WPSJ0.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

darin (darin), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:37 (seventeen years ago) link

http://www.musicobsession.com/Pictures/d/e/delasoul187996.jpg

Sym Sym (sym), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:38 (seventeen years ago) link

I was thinking of the Kinks as a band that had pretty mediocre cover art compared to their contemporaries. But when I went and looked at them again they all seemed pretty appropriate if understated.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Sym Sym you are CRAZY

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:41 (seventeen years ago) link

somebody insert soft machine, vol. 2 pls.

carly (carly), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:42 (seventeen years ago) link

That Kinks album always reminded me of....

http://hometown.aol.com/jesusandsue2/PorkyPigTag2.jpg

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:43 (seventeen years ago) link

How often does a classic album elevate the mediocre cover art to something passable or even iconic? For example, I can't really separate Soft Machine Vol. II from the cover art. Even though objectively I would probably have to admit that it's a crappy piece of art it seems like an integral part of the album to me.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Thumbs up for GnR managing to have two alternate covers on the same album, both of which are among the most awful covers ever.

However, this album always belongs in threads like this one:
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B00005ASHM.03.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

It is interesting that, while album covers from the mid 60s or earlier were usually crap, great albums such as the first three Beatles albums, Elvis' debut and Sinatras' "Sings For Only The Lonely" all had really classic covers.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:52 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, i can't stand to look at it. maybe that comes with time. but right now it kind of makes me want to throw up.
xpost

carly (carly), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:53 (seventeen years ago) link

pet sounds cover art is great

j blount (papa la bas), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Like walter says, the de la cover is iconic because it's such an incredible album. but it is also very very ugly.

Sym Sym (sym), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:54 (seventeen years ago) link

I think that De La Soul cover is great. Captures their image and style in a perfect way. You knew immediately that hippie rap had arrived.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 14 April 2005 20:56 (seventeen years ago) link

that RHCP album cover is sick, better than all their previous album covers combined

brimstead, Sunday, 24 July 2022 19:54 (three weeks ago) link

but I like 90s goa trance compilation art so wdik

brimstead, Sunday, 24 July 2022 19:55 (three weeks ago) link

https://static.stereogum.com/blogs.dir/2/files/2014/02/Soundgarden-Superunknown-608x597.jpg

Soundgarden - Superunknown

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:06 (three weeks ago) link

ps. this thread is re classic albums vs crap covers.
while i am open(ish) to the idea that rhcp vs classic album status,
no-one knows re this album.
yet.
but yeah, that's a truly dreadful album cover.

mark e, Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:08 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah I posted it mainly as a lark & b/c this thread was active (I actually searched first for “Deliberately bad cover art,” but no dice)

slide into my KMFDMs (morrisp), Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:11 (three weeks ago) link

Never realized how bad the cover of Superunknown was until seeing that post just now.

Meme for an Imaginary Western (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:17 (three weeks ago) link

Never realized how bad the cover of Superunknown was until seeing that post just now.

― Meme for an Imaginary Western (James Redd and the Blecchs),

co-sign.

mark e, Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:19 (three weeks ago) link

It's not bad, it's just very, very, very, very, very 1994.

but also fuck you (unperson), Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:20 (three weeks ago) link

If you squint, he looks like a molten lava version of the Joker from the old Batman: The Animated Series cartoon from the '90s

Not really a Soundgarden fan, but I was always under the impression that this was the closest they ever got to a truly superb album, albeit one that feels highly derivative of Led Zeppelin and other classic hard rock acts.

birdistheword, Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:22 (three weeks ago) link

Never realized how bad the cover of Superunknown was until seeing that post just now.

― Meme for an Imaginary Western (James Redd and the Blecchs),

co-sign.

― mark e, Sunday, July 24, 2022 8:19 PM (three minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Looks like its badness is becoming...

Superknown

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:24 (three weeks ago) link

Always thought the cover of Pearl Jam’s Vs. is pretty bad, but I get that it’s an aesthetic choice.

slide into my KMFDMs (morrisp), Sunday, 24 July 2022 20:30 (three weeks ago) link

Pearl Jam’s Ten meets the criteria

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Sunday, 24 July 2022 21:09 (three weeks ago) link

lol I also considered Vs. while running through my memory of big 90s rock albums

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 24 July 2022 21:28 (three weeks ago) link

The album's cover art (known as the 'Screaming Elf') is a distorted photograph of the band members, photographed by Kevin Westenberg, above a black and white upside-down burning forest.

visiting, Sunday, 24 July 2022 21:39 (three weeks ago) link

Just remembered, Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions

My favorite of his albums, but the sleeve art…ugh

birdistheword, Thursday, 4 August 2022 05:39 (one week ago) link

idk I always kinda liked the Superunknown title because it put me in the mind of the wendigo legend

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:20 (one week ago) link

I always thought it was a really cool cover

brimstead, Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:22 (one week ago) link

superunknown cover is awesome, it's the mainstream red medicine

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:23 (one week ago) link

gah, "Superunknown cover" that should be, I also dug it for being one of the CD era albums where each song got its own artwork in the booklet

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:25 (one week ago) link

miss that trend a great deal, the siamese dream booklet was amazing to me as a kid

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:26 (one week ago) link

I've never liked the Superunknown cover. I never looked into it too deeply, like a wendigo or something, which I admit is pretty fucking cool and makes me think about it differently. I only saw it as a picture of Chris Cornell showing off the magical powers of his voice and chinbeard.

I'm not much of a Soundgarden fan, so I've never given it too much thought. But that was my first impression and it has stuck with me.

peace, man, Thursday, 4 August 2022 15:54 (one week ago) link

It would be a better cover if it were just the trees or just the blurry image, but it’s less than the sum of its parts

Jaqueline Kasabian Oasis (bendy), Thursday, 4 August 2022 16:34 (one week ago) link

Yeah, I'll admit to never having even noticed the trees until today. I just thought it was some kind of black and white pattern of wear and decay, like the picture had water damage or something.

peace, man, Thursday, 4 August 2022 16:56 (one week ago) link

I really like the earthy tones on Innervisions' cover. I'd rather single out Songs in the Key of Life, which does not have much for it except that it reminds me of that Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso poster.

Nabozo, Thursday, 4 August 2022 17:03 (one week ago) link

The earthy tones are actually nice, I like those, it's just the front cover that's disappointing. I don't want to criticize it too much because I don't want to sound mean, but I just kind of wish the artist tried something else conceptually. I don't think the visual representation of the title was a good idea.

birdistheword, Thursday, 4 August 2022 17:25 (one week ago) link

Or rather how they chose to visually represent the title.

birdistheword, Thursday, 4 August 2022 17:26 (one week ago) link

the innervisions cover is dope

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 4 August 2022 17:33 (one week ago) link

Yeah, I'm all about Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life album covers.

peace, man, Thursday, 4 August 2022 17:46 (one week ago) link

Music Of My Mind is the best cover, but none of them are bad.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 4 August 2022 18:12 (one week ago) link

I remember the Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants cover was embossed with braille, is that true of any of his other LPs?

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 5 August 2022 14:58 (one week ago) link

Songs in the Key Of Life always reminds me of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and I can't quite work out why

frogbs, Friday, 5 August 2022 15:01 (one week ago) link

I'd buy Stevie Wonder popcorn.

birdistheword, Friday, 5 August 2022 15:53 (one week ago) link

I guess you can also see the sun in late December

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 5 August 2022 15:59 (one week ago) link

The resemblance is probably stronger here.

birdistheword, Friday, 5 August 2022 16:18 (one week ago) link

I've always assumed that the cover of Songs in the Key of Etc was supposed to be an abstract representation of the birth of Stevie Wonder's daughter. As a tie-in with "Isn't She Lovely".

And I don't mean that as a joke, e.g. I have always assumed it was supposed to be a crap, hippy-drippy 1970s attempt at portraying the miracle of birth. What is it supposed to be? The internet has nothing to say about the cover art (the US Rolling Stone magazine thought it was cheap-looking).

Ashley Pomeroy, Friday, 5 August 2022 17:34 (one week ago) link

I've always seen it as Stevie arriving on Saturn.

peace, man, Friday, 5 August 2022 17:48 (one week ago) link

Baby coming down the birth canal, first thing it sees is Orville Redebacher

Are U down with the BVM (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 5 August 2022 18:28 (one week ago) link

Future Sound of London - Dead Cities

https://i.discogs.com/FQHgALMFgyfvPc6LCSs4nnplRGSqtRwBzuvJOaLp7zY/rs:fit/g:sm/q:90/h:600/w:600/czM6Ly9kaXNjb2dz/LWRhdGFiYXNlLWlt/YWdlcy9SLTE4MzEz/Mzk5LTE2MjI2MjI2/OTMtMzIyMi5qcGVn.jpeg

What a terrible, dated, cover. Wasn't a fan of it even in the late 90's early 00's when I bought the CD. But it's a stone cold classic record.

octobeard, Saturday, 6 August 2022 01:05 (one week ago) link

Agree with both statements.

beard papa, Saturday, 6 August 2022 01:09 (one week ago) link

lol at first glance i thought the hype sticker at bottom left was yet another dubious 90s graphic design decision

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 6 August 2022 01:47 (one week ago) link

The Stevie covers are great. Superunknown is fine, a bit generic and of its time, but not grievously bad by any means.

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Saturday, 6 August 2022 01:52 (one week ago) link

That FSOL cover is ghastly.

Disarm u with a SMiLE (morrisp), Saturday, 6 August 2022 01:58 (one week ago) link

the lifeforms cover is amazing so i guess they had to immediately counter it

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 6 August 2022 03:41 (one week ago) link

Tbf Stevie couldn’t actually see his cover art so at least he has an excuse.

I’d like to nominate Frank Ocean - Channel Orange, deserves a better cover than orange with some text.

Agnes, Agatha, Germaine and Jack (Willl), Saturday, 6 August 2022 06:53 (one week ago) link

i love that FSOL cover.

mark e, Saturday, 6 August 2022 13:27 (one week ago) link

I dunno even the shitty art made pre-personal computers was better than a lot of the generic shit that’s popped up since. Feel like there was a period where everybody’s album cover looked like a handbill for a shitty tropical house club or something. Nb: I’m probably full of shit

brimstead, Saturday, 6 August 2022 15:09 (one week ago) link

agree, mark e… see even the early crude digital art was better

brimstead, Saturday, 6 August 2022 15:09 (one week ago) link

it's the intense over saturated colours that i love.
yeah, it is dated, but i care not (see the shamens covers from this period for some seriously dated coverart !).
i just think that the whole cd booklet suited the album brilliantly.

mark e, Saturday, 6 August 2022 15:47 (one week ago) link

My recollection is that in the late 1990s there was an abrupt leap in the sophistication of CGI / early PhotoShop album art. There was the "we can do CGI" pre-modern era, with grey aliens holding a spliff / robots dancing / bees flying over a fractal landscape etc:
https://i.discogs.com/kCk40WSmGccEVa_znPsW8HonMZVq33q7OXz2lzRKYQ4/rs:fit/g:sm/q:90/h:590/w:600/czM6Ly9kaXNjb2dz/LWRhdGFiYXNlLWlt/YWdlcy9SLTExNzA4/NS0xNTc1NjIyNTUw/LTg1MjIuanBlZw.jpeg

Then there was the modernist Buggy G Riphead stuff, which was better-executed but conceptually still in love with novelty. And then there was the post-modern Tomato / Designer's Republic stuff, which felt a lot more sophisticated:
https://i.discogs.com/thHFxphlLVWsiKEjsFGh-Y6VlCJUZ7ixCu-m49hiEoE/rs:fit/g:sm/q:90/h:595/w:600/czM6Ly9kaXNjb2dz/LWRhdGFiYXNlLWlt/YWdlcy9SLTIzMjE0/LTExNzkzMTMyNjIu/anBlZw.jpeg

I picked those two examples because that compilation series spanned the three eras. FSOL's graphic language circa Dead Cities is odd - the visuals for "We Have Explosive" came from Run Wrake's Jukebox, which was edited into the video for the single:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwPys3JQZ74

As a consequence it doesn't look like the rest of the album. In my opinion it has aged better.

Ashley Pomeroy, Saturday, 6 August 2022 20:03 (one week ago) link


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