Awful CD abd album art work
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Anthrax: Fistful of Metal

I went through my CD collection a while ago to create the 'Best CD artwork' section of this site. In doing so I realized that for each good design, there were easily ten bad (and sometimes funny) ones. I made a small selection of 20 sleeves for your amusement. Emphasis is on Rock and Metal CD's only.

Be warned that my opinion on these sleeves does not reflect my opinion on the music. Some of these albums are actually quite good.

The rights of these images are owned by the artists or their record companies.

Anthrax - Fistful of Metal : Let's start with an album each self respecting Metalhead knows. This is supposed to be a violent image, but in reality it just looks silly.


Frank Gambale - Thunder from Down Under : One day Frank realized he was unhappy with his green guitar and his flesh kangooroo and the fact that his life was devoid of carpets. So scientists invented a pink guitar and made him a metal kangooroo. They also bought him an Australia-shaped carpet and Frank was happy again. Then a painter immortalized this fact and also painted lightning.

Dofka: Toxic Wasteland  

Dofka - Toxic Wasteland : I believe the painter who created this stunning piece of art had more physical oddities than the guy in the painting. For starters, I don't think he had hands. Or a neo cortex.

Maineeaxe: Going for Gold


Maineeaxe - Going for Gold : Judging by his smile, his slightly unfocused gaze and the colour of his nose, I'll bet you this design was created by the second band member from the bottom (see second image). The only guy who seems to notice something's terribly wrong is the one at the top. He's probably looking at the design while they took his picture. But noone listened to his objections. So, he's probably the drummer.

Manilla Road: Crystal Logic


Manilla Road - Crystal Logic : "Hurrah! We have found the Valley of Unfocused Paintgun Strokes and the City of Multiple Perspectives and Really Thin Walls! Hang on, where's Manobob?" Unfortunately Manobob is looking for his contact lenses in the Magical Pond of Eternally Lost Objects.

Shogun: 31 Days  

Shogun - 31 Days : "Look at me! I have muscles and a tattoo." Not only that, Maurice also was a magical super hero who had the power of jumping out of calendars to eat at least five sausages. But only in months with 31 days.

Max Webster: Universal Juveniles  

Max Webster - Universal Juveniles : Wearing a bright yellow spandex outfit probably isn't such a good idea if you're anorexic.

The album does contain one of the best Prog / Hard Rock songs I ever heard though.

Piledriver: Metal Inquisition  

Piledriver - Metal Inquisition : The funniest part of this photograph is the kid lying on the floor, pretending to be in excrutiating agony. This image is so silly it becomes funny. But maybe it also helps to know that Piledriver was very much tongue-in-cheeck.

You can read a review of this album here.

Lost & Found: Welcome to the Real World  

Lost & Found - Welcome to the Real World : This band is called 'Lost & Found'. They should've simply called themselves 'Lost', and hopefully never to be found again.

Unfortunately in this case the quality of the music also matches the quality of the art.

The Handsome Beasts: Beastiality  

The Handsome Beasts - Beastiality : Hands down the weirdest NWOBHM sleeve I ever saw. At least it catches the attention.

Last Crack: Sinister Funkhouse number 17


Last Crack - Sinister Funkhouse #17 : WTF? I can only guess they had no budget for proper art but that an idea quickly formed in the head of their vocalist, a man known to expose himself to cattle and poultry in an archer's pose. He also had a can of red paint in his basement, left over from the time he painted his lawn. Why this isn't hanging in the Guggenheim is beyond me.

Iron Angel: Hellish Crossfire  

Iron Angel - Hellish Crossfire : One day, Slurpy the Winged Serpent of Obtrusive Annoyances and Constipor the Green Demon of Unmistakeably Constipated Facial Expressions, threatened Kelsey, the Queen of Women with Wings that are too Small to be of Any Use. It's a good thing François, the Barbarian with the Purple Satin Underwear, was in the neighbourhood.

Ash Ra Tempel: Schwingungen  

Ash Ra Tempel - Schwingungen : A brilliant 70's Kraut Rock album from one of the movement's most interesting bands. How can we explain the terrible album art work that seems to be done by an intoxicated nine year old?

Charlie: Here Comes Trouble  

Charlie - Here Comes Trouble : Ah, yes. English AOR band Charlie always had a special interest in barely dressed persons of the female persuasion, but of all their album artwork, this one's easily the worst.

Gillan: Future Shock


Gillan - Future Shock : The woman in the back seems to find the sea horizon of more interest, so I can only guess that men sprouting from the concrete are a trivial occurence in the future. The band member at the left seems unimpressed as well. And a bit disgruntled too because they made him wear these ridiculous overalls. So he decided to draw the line at participating in the drama enhancing dynamic poses. Also of (silly) note are the examples of future technology displayed in this image, such as the handheld knee listening device (see second image) that probably will become immensely popular in Japan in the next century. Or is it a knee energy powered cheeck pushing appliance?

Grief: Torso  

Grief - Torso : Good job, boys, on making this anatomically correct torso with intestines coming out of the hips (where the legs were torn off), blue ectoplasm shooting out of the shoulders (where the arms were torn off), an explosion coming out of the anus (were the sphinkter was torn off) and lava spewing out of the neck (where the skull was torn off). So that's what happens when you jump into The Grey Vortex of Excrutiating Dismemberment in Specific and Rather Unpleasant Occurences in General?

Ice Age: the Great Divide  

Ice Age - the Great Divide : A great example of how not to use 3D software.

Liquid Mirror: Kicked out of Fantasy  

Liquid Mirror - Kicked out of Fantasy : Naked Women flying through space on Pink guitars. Such a classic theme in Heavy Metal. Beautiful logo too. And all this with music to match.

Magnum: Vigilante  

Magnum - Vigilante : From a technical point of view this is the creation of a Fantasy artist who is clearly very skilled. But when your five year old daughter thinks the artwork is incredibly beautiful, you should start to question your taste level.

Attila (Billy Joel): Attila  

WINNER : Attila (Billy Joel) - Attila : We have a clear winner, folks. This is Billy Joel's historically accurate depiction of Attila the Hun, standing in his meat locker. It makes sense. If you're the destroyer of nations, slayer of men and raper of women, you would of course use the most terrifying way imagineable to depict yourself in order to strike fear in the hearts of your enemies. I mean, just look at the unhygienic conditions this meat's stored under. If he invited you to his house warming banquet you'd die of salmonella.

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