Published Dec 03, 2014Year in, year out, artists put their hearts and souls into their albums, tweaking the sonics just right in hopes of putting out the best LPs of their careers. Sometimes, though, we at Exclaim! question whether acts put the same kind of passion into the overall package. You can put out a platter just packed with hits, but what happens if the first thing people see on the iTunes store or record shelf is an unsightly or offensive album cover?
The incongruity between album title and image, nauseating misogyny, lazy pop culture spoofs and poor layout skills: we've seen it all this year. Witness, if you will, the horror show that is our Worst Album Covers list below.
Don't forget to head over to our 2014 in Lists section to see more of our Year-End coverage.
Worst Album Covers of 2014:
10. David Crosby
To be honest, we're not saying this is a particularly bad picture of David Crosby. Looking at his body of solo work, between the nauseating rainbow hue of both If I Could Only Remember My Name and Thousand Roads, and the '80s-tastic gradient blur of Oh Yes I Can, this simple headshot is by far the classiest cover of the bunch.
Any of that dignity, however, is smeared out by the ridiculous, "hip" nickname of an album title that takes up the top tier of the cover. Who knows, though — maybe it'll all make sense once Stillz and Nazh complete the cycle?
9. Mariah Carey
Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
On the surface level, this isn't really that far off from any other Mariah Carey release that's come out over the course of the last 20 years. Let's break down the scene, though. We'd wager that if Mimi were truly trying to become the "Elusive Chanteuse," she's already handicapped by being one of the biggest recording artists of all time. Standing smack dab in the centre of the cover art in a bathing suit isn't doing her any favours, either.
Fun fact: Carey wasn't that fond of the Photoshop job herself. See below:
That definitely was NOT my selection for the cover... ugh! 😂— Mariah Carey #MC20 (@MariahCarey) June 21, 2014
Hold It In
Long-running sludge lords Melvins tried something new with their Hold It In LP by adding Butthole Surfers members Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus to the ever-revolving lineup. Reflecting this personnel shift is an album cover featuring four spoons ready to serve you the quartet's severed heads.
Though there's something kind of cute about the artwork (did you notice the personalized cursive engravings on each utensil?), just the thought of getting a sweaty swish of King Buzzo's famously frizzy 'do in our mouths makes us want to Freak Puke all over the "Honeybucket."
7. Young Thug
1017 Thug 2
Using a picture of yourself for your cover art can be a bold statement, revealing the true nature of your character to your fans, if not the world. Between Young Thug's studded leather jacket and "anything goes" goofball pose, 1017 Thug 2 puts forth the message that the on-the-rise Atlanta rapper serves up street toughness with a side of humour. But, wait, what's that? That's just his dome pasted on top of Wiz Khalifa's body? Well, it's still a pretty nice jacket.
In My World
In Matthewdavid's world, this is how you hold a baby.