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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers

Bip
Good albums with crummy album covers
January 20, 2021 09:05PM
I liked the Flock of Seagulls debut, but what the hell is going on with that cover? That’s what they all decided to go with? If they wanted seagulls on the cover, I wish they would’ve followed “Heaven up here”’s lead.

I was okay with the first couple REM album covers but they just lost me after that.

Usually good albums come with good covers (or they grow on you because you love the music). What are examples of when this wasn’t the case?
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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 21, 2021 01:45AM
The one that stands out in my memory is The Best of and the Rest of Be Bop Deluxe. I swear, for three years, I would visit my local record store, and I'd inevitably pick up that 2-LP set and look at those four faces staring at me from that cover. Something about those four guys seemed so unappealing-- maybe the unfashionable clothes, maybe their smug expressions ... yet I felt as if they were saying, "Just take this up to the counter and put down your money. You know you're going to, sooner or later. Just get it over with."

And they were right. One winter night in 1985, I finally rolled my eyes at my resistance, succumbing to a strange compulsion that seemed inevitable, and purchased that album -- never having heard a note of it. It didn't leave my turntable for weeks.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 21, 2021 08:26AM
I'll just reiterate my view from years ago:

<[trouserpress.com];
zoo
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 21, 2021 10:10AM
The first one I thought of off the top of my head:

Thin Lizzy - Fighting

My favorite album of theirs, but that cover is repulsive. It was their second album with the Gorham-Roberston guitar duo, and their sound was considerably tougher than the previous Nightlife album. But it would have been better for them to just let the music do the talking if this was their idea of what "tough" looks like. And it certainly didn't represent the sensitive, introspective nature of the album's best songs, "Wild One" and "Spirt Slips Away."





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2021 04:53PM by zoo.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 22, 2021 03:47PM
There are four excellent David Sylvian albums--Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities, Gone to Earth, Dead Bees on a Cake, and the Holger Czukay collaboration Plight and Premonition--that have, in the last several years, been reissued with completely different, and completely uninspired, cover art. It's my understanding that this is due to the unavailability of the original artwork. It that's true, then things have come to a pretty pass, indeed. It's not that the cover photographs are actually awful--on the Eighties albums in particular, Sylvian looks, as he always did in those days, not-of-this-Earth magnificent--but the new artwork is no match for the beauty and the mystery of the original album designs. The reissued Gone to Earth, for a truly appalling example, has a close shot of Sylvian sitting in a car with the door open! This is beyond crummy. Thank goodness I have the original CD's.
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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 25, 2021 01:40PM
Black Sabbath - Born Again. I mean it is so so bad, mostly because it is so different than the music on the album. I mean a devil baby? C'mon man. The production on that offering was murky at best, I need to try and find a re-master, but I quite like a few tunes off of there honestly. Kind of a homemade vibe to it, probably not even on purpose. Weird hearing the Deep Purple guy singing for Sabbath but in some ways it worked pretty well, I bet in concert it sounded much better. Anyway, not really a TP band but the topic led me straight to that gosh awful album cover straight away.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 25, 2021 02:33PM
I like that cover! Pretty creepy. Their debut had the best cover.

Now "Paranoid" on the other hand = their best album, but the cover sucked. Some guy in a bike helmet running around with a sword or sumthin? What is he, one of the Capital rioters?
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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 25, 2021 03:56PM
If I recall correctly, the model on the Paranoid cover was the photographer's assistant. It looks like he was in the middle of asking, "What is it you want me to do again?" when the shutter snapped, and somebody yelled, "That's a wrap!"
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
January 27, 2021 11:42AM
Michael Toland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If I recall correctly, the model on the
> Paranoid cover was the photographer's
> assistant. It looks like he was in the middle of
> asking, "What is it you want me to do again?" when
> the shutter snapped, and somebody yelled, "That's
> a wrap!"

And then came the hookers and blow.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 01, 2021 06:00AM
Stiff Little Fingers - Listen (EP).
Bip
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 25, 2021 11:16PM
Sorry to revive my own thread, but The Who’s “a quick one” has GOT to be one of the most disappointingly cheeseball covers ever. Here’s a young exciting band and they come out with THIS?? This looks like a kiddy album on Pickwick Records that your grandmother bought at the grocery store with S&H green stamps. Crummy crummy cover.
ira
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 26, 2021 01:18PM
Funny this topic has come up again - I've been inventorying my record collection as a pandemic project and keep coming across old LP covers picturing semi-nude women. It's kind of shocking how many bands (or labels) thought the best way to promote their music was by photographing hired boobs. Some of them are tasteful-ish, but many of them are just crude and exploitative. You could do a book of them and call it Wankers Playtime
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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 26, 2021 01:38PM
So often it feels like a desperate bid for attention - "the music's not good enough to grab you, so hopefully this cover will make you 15-year-olds plop down your money!"
zoo
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 26, 2021 06:40PM
But Sunburst Finish and Country Life are excellent albums...no boobs were necessary.
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Bip
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
February 26, 2021 07:35PM
I’m really not a total prude, but there’s certain album covers that there is just NO WAY I could get myself to actually purchase.

You could tell me Montrose’s “jump on it” is a top notch album... and I could even see a nice copy for $1.... but you’d never get me to stand there at the counter with that thing waiting to be rung up. Oh, the indignity!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2021 07:37PM by Bip.
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Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 01, 2021 10:46AM
I'll see you Montrose's Jump On It and raise you Uncle Sam's Heaven or Hollywood.

Don't look at this at work!

Uncle Sam was actually one of the better hair metal acts of the late 80s, not that that's saying much. Their follow-up Letters From London is pretty solid. Having a sense of humor and an understanding of how ridiculous it all was helped.

But, to your point, I can't imagine taking this to a record store counter, even with the censored cover (which had a hype sticker over the model's crotch).

Edit: sorry, not a hype sticker, but a bikini bottom over her crotch. Still...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2021 10:49AM by Michael Toland.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 01, 2021 09:28AM
I kind of really want the censored US cover of "Country Life" but it's rare, now! Not sure if I want to drop $20 for an LP I'll never play. But every time I take a walk in my woods in the pre-dawn hours with a headlamp, I see that cover all around me and think of it. I find that the censored cover is even more ironic than the original one. Which was hella seedy, in my opinion.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 01, 2021 11:55AM
The thread about Pitchfork's "review" of Duke reminded me of this thread. To me, the three covers that Paul Whitehead did for Genesis -- Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot -- look really cheap and amateurish.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 01, 2021 04:38PM
Delvin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The thread about Pitchfork's "review" of
> Duke reminded me of this thread. To me, the
> three covers that Paul Whitehead did for Genesis
> -- Trespass, Nursery Cryme and
> Foxtrot -- look really cheap and
> amateurish.

For the record, I thought "Duke" was one of the best Genesis covers. But I had to look at the covers for "Trespass," "Nursery Creme," and "Foxtrot." When I went to Discogs I saw that, OMG, I OWN a copy of "Foxtrot!" How did that happen without me knowing it? Looks like my wife bought it at the library sale…four years ago. Gosh. But I think you're right. poor covers all, though better than the budget twofer of "Foxtrox/"Nursery Cryme" I bought in the late 70s when initially investigating Genesis. All the Genesis LPs took a dive once I discovered used record stores. The cover was all black with just the logos thrown on the back void and garishly colored.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2021 04:39PM by Post-Punk Monk.
zoo
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 05, 2021 12:50PM
Delvin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The thread about Pitchfork's "review" of
> Duke reminded me of this thread. To me, the
> three covers that Paul Whitehead did for Genesis
> -- Trespass, Nursery Cryme and
> Foxtrot -- look really cheap and
> amateurish.

Oh, gosh, you are correct. I don't even need to look them up, as they are pretty much etched in my brain. Definitely cheap, and in the case of Nursery Cryme, garish and creepy with the girl winding up to strike a human head with her croquet mallet. Their covers certainly got better over time. I really like A Trick of the Tail, with all of the characters from the songs depicted on the front and back (and inside the gatefold again next to the song lyrics). It's a really nice presentation front to back.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 05, 2021 04:40PM
The Move's albums are choice, but Shazam has a really lame cover. Message from the Country's cover makes those aforementioned early Genesis covers look downright well-crafted. (And that takes work.)
zoo
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 05, 2021 05:27PM
Delvin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Move's albums are choice, but Shazam
> has a really lame cover. Message from the
> Country
's cover makes those aforementioned
> early Genesis covers look downright well-crafted.
> (And that takes work.)

I had to look those up...couldn't resist based on your comments. No joking, those are BAD! Made me laugh out loud.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 08, 2021 11:46AM
I've always like the Message cover, but it's definitely of its time. The shittiness of Shazam, however, is indisputable. Guess they couldn't get the rights to the DC/Fawcett Captain Marvel (or maybe the character was still in legal limbo at the time).
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 08, 2021 11:44AM
Mainly because I'm listening to this one right now:

Larry Coryell - Fairyland

A live album from the early 70s from the great jazz/fusion guitarist. The original 1971 cover is fine, but the cover from the 1976 reissue (which is what I have) is just...dire. Somebody waited until right before the deadline, smoked a bowl, and slapped this crapola together in five minutes.
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 08, 2021 04:09PM
Michael Toland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mainly because I'm listening to this one right
> now:
>
> Larry Coryell - Fairyland
>
> The cover from the 1976 reissue (which
> is what I have) is just...dire. Somebody waited
> until right before the deadline, smoked a bowl,
> and slapped
> this
> crapola
together in five minutes.

Yep.
zoo
Re: Good albums with crummy album covers
March 08, 2021 05:05PM
Michael Toland Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mainly because I'm listening to this one right now:
>
> Larry Coryell - Fairyland

I don't what's more offensive as a consumer...that awful cover (which at least has shock/shlock value) or that it was a full-priced live album clocking in at about 32 mins. You gotta believe he played longer than that. Where's the rest of the show?
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