the admiral

Good Albums With Bad Artwork

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American Slang and '59 Sound are two of my favourite albums ever, but man they have lame cover art.

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As much as I love the Grateful Dead, they've had some pretty bad album covers. Aoxomoxoa is the worst, imo.

 

Grateful_Dead_-_Aoxomoxoa.jpg

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surprisingly great album. laughably cheesy cover. keep in mind this came out may 2017.... i'd be more lenient if it came out in 1988.

 

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On 6/12/2017 at 0:05 AM, FGM13 said:

IMG_4121.JPG.4f4a64c655542b180f269fb85615a0c2.JPGIMG_4122.JPG.ec403a533704a0bf3d500fa77876fe1e.JPG

 

American Slang and '59 Sound are two of my favourite albums ever, but man they have lame cover art.

 

I absolutely love The Gaslight Anthem, and both those albums - I actually like the cover art for American Slang. Not going to win any awards, but it reflects the themes of the album quite nicely. The '59 Sound's cover art is very boring and generic, though I wouldn't say it's bad. They could've done so much more with a late 50's aesthetic though.

 

IMO, the Gaslight album with really bad cover art was Get Hurt:

 

Gaslight_Anthem_Get_Hurt.jpg

 

Not really in keeping with the band's overall style, or the sound of their music. That said, I wouldn't really call Get Hurt a great album - it has some highlights, and was a significant step backward from their previous work. I suspect (as do many fans) that it was produced to fulfill the remainder of a record contract, especially considering that Brian Fallon's solo album last year was great.

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1 hour ago, kroywen said:

 

I absolutely love The Gaslight Anthem, and both those albums - I actually like the cover art for American Slang. Not going to win any awards, but it reflects the themes of the album quite nicely. The '59 Sound's cover art is very boring and generic, though I wouldn't say it's bad. They could've done so much more with a late 50's aesthetic though.

 

IMO, the Gaslight album with really bad cover art was Get Hurt:

 

Gaslight_Anthem_Get_Hurt.jpg

 

Not really in keeping with the band's overall style, or the sound of their music. That said, I wouldn't really call Get Hurt a great album - it has some highlights, and was a significant step backward from their previous work. I suspect (as do many fans) that it was produced to fulfill the remainder of a record contract, especially considering that Brian Fallon's solo album last year was great.

 

Get Hurt is probably my least favourite album by Gaslight (yes, even including their debut Sink or Swim... I enjoy the rough punk thing they got going on there) but I really like the album cover. I think it does a good job of representing the sound of the album, which is different from the sound of the band. 

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1 minute ago, FGM13 said:

 

Get Hurt is probably my least favourite album by Gaslight (yes, even including their debut Sink or Swim... I enjoy the rough punk thing they got going on there) but I really like the album cover. I think it does a good job of representing the sound of the album, which is different from the sound of the band. 

 

Just from an aesthetic perspective, I wasn't a fan of the gigantic red heart upside-down staring me in the face. Just too hard on the eyes.

 

(And yes, I love Sink or Swim. I'm a punk fan, so not surprising that I love it. Definitely love the noticeable Against Me! and Replacements influences on it.)

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61kXhja7heL.jpg

 

Terrific '90s power-pop here. If you liked how New Radicals and World Party set their hooks in ambitious arrangements and nice harmonies, you'll like this too, but that cover art, woof. Woof. 

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8 minutes ago, the admiral said:

61kXhja7heL.jpg

 

Terrific '90s power-pop here. If you liked how New Radicals and World Party set their hooks in ambitious arrangements and nice harmonies, you'll like this too, but that cover art, woof. Woof. 

 

That's some really good stuff. I'm really digging it. I'd never heard of these guys. Thanks for posting it.

 

And yeah, that's one awful album cover. The music deserves something much better. 

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Thanks! I like it too. I'd throw Matthew Sweet in the RIYL too, now that I think of it, maybe even Skylarking-and-beyond XTC?

 

This one's my favorite:

 

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The album with Pink Houses and Play Guitar deserves better than this airbrushed mess.

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18 hours ago, the admiral said:

61kXhja7heL.jpg

 

Terrific '90s power-pop here. If you liked how New Radicals and World Party set their hooks in ambitious arrangements and nice harmonies, you'll like this too, but that cover art, woof. Woof. 

Speaking of the New Radicals, I'm tossing that cover on the list too. Fantastic album, but I have the feeling they made the cover in 15 minutes or less.

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1 hour ago, FGM13 said:

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The album with Pink Houses and Play Guitar deserves better than this airbrushed mess.

I think if there was a thread of Good Albums with crappy album title names this could be in it too.

 Surprised this album cover this didn't do to him what Rock Me Tonight did to Billy Squirer

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55 minutes ago, ChicagoOakland said:

Speaking of the New Radicals, I'm tossing that cover on the list too. Fantastic album, but I have the feeling they made the cover in 15 minutes or less.

 

It is a fantastic album! And maybe it's my bias with it being one of my all-time favorites that I think the cover is merely "not great" rather than bad. They could have drawn more attention to the "human with a barcode" idea since so much of the album is about criticizing rampant consumerism (which I learned, in those halcyon late '90s, actually made critics mad!), and you can really see the Photoshop brushstrokes on that glow (clone layer --> lock transparency --> white fill --> unlock transparency --> Gaussian blur), but again, f-ck it, man, "You Get What You Give," "Someday We'll Know," and "Gotta Stay High" cover a multitude of sins. And "A Love Like That" if you're like me and stuck that delightful little outtake on the end.

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In the mid/late 90s I really loved ska (obviously), and thought this was the height of record design:

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I mean, it's clearly the epitome of everything 90s ska -- cheap Photoshop effects, overly sexual ska puns, and porkpie hate/two-tone virtue signaling.

 

If you like third wave ska, the album holds up well.

 

 

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23 hours ago, the admiral said:

Thanks! I like it too. I'd throw Matthew Sweet in the RIYL too, now that I think of it, maybe even Skylarking-and-beyond XTC?

 

 

I'm familiar with some of his stuff. It's good, but for some reason, it doesn't grab me. Since we're talking power pop, I can't remember if I've asked you this before, but where are you on Cheap Trick? I've heard their latest album is very good. 

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49 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

 

I'm familiar with some of his stuff. It's good, but for some reason, it doesn't grab me. Since we're talking power pop, I can't remember if I've asked you this before, but where are you on Cheap Trick? I've heard their latest album is very good. 

 

Last I heard of Cheap Trick, they were opening for Nickelback. That can't be good.

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1 hour ago, FGM13 said:

 

Last I heard of Cheap Trick, they were opening for Nickelback. That can't be good.

 

Why? Because they're opening? Cheap Trick hasn't been an arena headliner in a very long time. Because it's Nickelback? I don't see how that affects Cheap Trick in any way. It's not like they're playing Nickelback music. Pretty sure they do their own stuff. B) Say what you want about Nickelback (I'll probably agree) but someone must be going to see them. It ain't like they're renting arenas just to play to empty seats.

 

Anyway, I saw Cheap Trick last summer (headlining at a fair) and they were great. In my experience, the size of the crowd or the building has no effect on the quality of the music. 

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3 hours ago, infrared41 said:

but where are you on Cheap Trick?

 

Love the hits, not a completist, as with the Cars and Tom Petty (the co-standards for Greatest Hits bands). Rockford, baby!

 

Matthew Sweet always seems to come up a little short of great albums, even Girlfriend drags a lot of the time. I think he did a covers album with noted dime Susanna Hoffs but I haven't bothered with it.

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