Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunless Shortlist: Worst Covers

I had a pretty good purge of blog posts around New Year when I put together my year-end music lists. It was fun and a nice little challenge for myself. Since then, however, I've been pretty devoid of inspiration. I haven't been writing much because I have nothing to write about. Here's something.....

I am a pretty serious music collector. I collect the music, but I also love collecting the art that comes with the music. I don't do burned CDs. I'll burn them for you, but don't give them to me.

I was looking through my collection the other day and came up with the idea of finding my favorite covers, and my least favorite, out of every single album I own. It may have been the toughest couple of lists I've ever done. Let's start with my ten least favorite, ordered alphabetically.

Beck - Midnite Vultures

I really hate tight pleather pants. I really hate pink pleather pants. Here they are all up in my face. I actually skipped this Beck album when it was released. I don't think it was the cover that did it, but the cover didn't help. I finally got this album last year. Eh, it's actually pretty good.

Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk

Oh I get it. It's a topless girl breast feeding a toy tiger. And it's called Tigermilk. How clever. Whatever.

Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

Hmmm, this seems vaguely familiar. I don't usually trust albums with gimmicky covers. My intuition is very acurate when it comes to Cassadaga. Dumb art gimmick. Uninspiring music contained within.

Eels - Beautiful Freak

Eels had everything driving them towards mid-'90's college rock one-hit purgatory. However, their sound had just enough character to make them last, even now. This cover really helped hold them back. If I just saw this cover in the record store without knowing the music is great, I'd throw it in that dollar bin with Seven Mary Three and Candlebox, just because. Oh God, the pictures inside are really awful too. E pretending he's crying while the rest of the band looks blankly away from the camera. Because you pose, you get no sympathy from me.

Flaming Lips - Oh My Gawd!!!

I know this cover pretty acurately represents the Flaming Lips sound of the time. Oh my, that does not make it good. This cover looks like something Robert Pollard put on his notebooks in high school.

John Wesley Harding - The Name Above the Title

There isn't a single thing good about this cover. When did John Wesley Harding join the cast of Martin?

New Pornographers - Challengers

I covered this one. Just so horrible!!

Supergrass - s/t
Supergrass is the ugliest band on the planet. Their x-rays make them even uglier. Seriously guys, love ya, but stay the hell away from my eyes.

Uncle Tupelo - Still Feel Gone

Yeah I feel bad about this one. Uncle Tupelo was one of my most influential bands. However, they really had some terrible album art. Seriously, woodgrain? I spent four years in a duplex with wood-panelled walls. Those same four years, I had an office with wood-panelling. It was enough to drive a man insane. This cover reminds me of those four years.

Tom Waits - Real Gone
Tom Waits really suffers here from having three killer covers in a row (Mule Variations, Blood Money, and Alice). He follows those great covers up with this one. Somebody got lazy, just like me trying to finish up this list.