Here are the ten worst album covers I could think of for 2007. I will state that it’s not definitive. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some and I’m sure there are many terrible ones I’m not aware of. I’ve not given them numbers as it’s difficult to calculate terribleness. I really can’t decide if Celine Dion’s is worse than Pinback’s because they are both shocking. The only thing I’ll say is that Ted Nugent has three different covers for the same album and all are worthy to be included here. But these are all pretty dreadful. Maybe you’ll disagree. If you know of any worse, comment below.
Celine Dion – Taking Chances
This reminds me of the scene in Father Ted, where Dougal and Ted return home with a new car for a raffle which they notice has a little dent in it. They hammer it a couple of times to try and fix and before you know it, the whole thing is a disaster. Well, replace hammer and car with airbrush and Canadian bint and you pretty much have the same result. But seriously, who actually approved this as the album cover? Did no-one stop at any stage and go,
“Maybe you look too much like the monster from Alien with big hair?”
Hard-Fi – Once Upon A Time In The West
In an age where packaging has become more important than ever, one could see this album as a bold statement or you could see it as a band declaring, “You might as well download it”. Possibly not as bad as some people have claimed it to be (Many have dubbed it to be The Worst Record Sleeve of All Time), it’s still pretty rubbish and reeks of a band confused as to how to portray themselves). It may be an attempt at a Factory-style sleeve but compare it to ‘Unknown Pleasures’ by Joy Division or ‘Brotherhood’ by New Order or countless others and it just fails on every level.
Pinback – Autumn of the Seraphs
Apart from the fact that the artwork on this one is horrible, it also completely misrepresents the band. It looks like the work of a dreadful Heavy Metal band. It is in fact, an average indie record with one amazing song (‘From Nothing to Nowhere’), a bunch of decent songs and one that sounds note-for-note like The Police. But never has an album’s artwork got a band so wrong. I wouldn’t have listened to this record had I not been aware of Pinback previously, as I would have just presumed it to be awful.
Ted Nugent – Love Grenade
Boardroom meeting about the Artwork:
“So, the album’s called Love Grenade?”
“Well, what can we use to illustrate ‘love’?
“A naked woman?”
“And how can we illustrate a grenade?”
“Maybe just use a grenade?”
“Brilliant. So simple”
“And maybe the naked woman could have the grenade in her mouth?”
“Fuck, yes. How did you become so clever?”
“And maybe she could be on a platter with her hands tied behind her back and with a guitar in the corner?”
“Now you might be going too far…”
Stereophonics – Pull The Pin
This is what the Ted Nugent album cover might have looked like if it hadn’t been designed by a horny American teenage boy.
Bonde de Role – With Lasers
They probably thought it looked fun, anarchic, bold, slightly ironic. But the actual result is just tacky. The metalband font is repugnant and it just looks substandard and nasty. It is, for me, the most over-rated album of the year too.
James Blunt – All The Lost Souls
This is a strange one. In theory, it’s an okay concept. Basically, do what they did to Myra Hindley with lots of kids handprints except use lots of little James Blunts to make one huge one. The problem here is
(a) It’s James Blunt and one is far more than enough
(b) It doesn’t really work
(c) It’s got the most hideous font(s) used at the top
(d) It looks like a bargain bucket album from the 80’s.
(e) It’s shit.
Richard Hawley – Lady’s Bridge
This one is a shame. I have a lot of time for Richard Hawley. I think he’s made some great records, though most of his artwork hasn’t been great. This, however, is his worst cover sleeve to date. It’s banal, uninteresting and just shit, basically.
Shoot the designer. This doesn’t in any way represent the surroundsound beauty of his music.
Britney Spears – Blackout
It’s been a criticism you could probably level at most of her previous cover art, if not her herself as well: It looks cheap.
She looks awkward and just pasted on top of a wacky slightly psychedelic/Op Art background and it looks like it took about ten minutes to knock up.
Cadence Weapon – Breaking Kayfabe
This may be a controversial choice but it’s a pretty ugly cover, I reckon. I don’t think it suits the record and looks like the demo for some shit Irish band.
Joss Stone’s ‘Introducing Joss Stone’, ‘8 Diagrams’ by Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Changes’ by Sugababes, ‘Planet Earth’ by Prince and Girls Aloud’s ‘Tangled Up’
Coming Soon: The Best Album Covers of the year. If you have any suggestions, comment below.