Worse Than You Can Imagine

Jan Herman sent me this link, and I absolutely laughed my ass off. It would be churlish not to share such effective medicine with the world. (If the link doesn’t still take you to Ten Worst Album Covers, try this: http://salamitsunami.com/archives/91.)


  1. says

    In fact, I am the proud owner of 12 Top Hits. It is the crown jewel of my vinyl collection.

    Well, actually, it’s a toss-up between that record and Blood, Sweat and Tears 3, featuring the both the epic three-movement work “Symphony for the Devil/Sympathy for the Devil” (a strong candidate for worst cover version ever) and “40,00 Headmen,” which weaves together themes lifted from Bartók’s Hungarian peasant songs, Prokofiev’s Lt. Kijé Suite, Monk’s “I Mean You,” and Fred Lewis’s “Etude for Lew and Zoloff,” and features the vocal stylings of the “Manhattan Borough-Wide Chorus for the Friends of Music of New York City.”

    I will admit that 12 Top Hits has a better album cover. But just barely.

  2. says

    Horrendous album covers are awesome. I have seen others here , though there is some overlap with your link.

    This brings up a question I have – are album covers, and the concept of visual art tied to musical art generally, a phenomenon of the 20th century and recorded media? Or were there other forms of visual art tied to earlier musical works – such as the covers of mass-produced sheet music?

  3. Jordan Stokes says

    I have a facsimile edition of Scott Joplin’s collected piano works, and most of those were originally published with some kind of cover art. Often, they would try to sell it with sex – which is pretty funny, because the late-19th-century hack engraver’s conception of an attractive woman is… well, it wouldn’t make me buy any sheet music.
    Also funny are the covers that seem completely disconnected from the music. I’ve got nothing but respect for Joplin – obviously, since I own this collection – but his rags are all a little same-ish. So when the cover art promises that this particular piece will whisk you away to the Great Pyramid of Giza, that strikes me as a little disingenuous.