A friend of mine sent me a link the other day that has kept me entertained with what has become my first top ten list. I guess “bottom 10” would be more appropriate, since it goes from “really bad” to “crime against humanity”. The problem with the original website featuring these album covers (Kersbergen has redirected his traffic to this site after his server got all gummed up) is that they were in no particular order and no one wrote any captions. I plan to fix that. Aside from that, I thank the person who gathered and compiled these works of art.
Let’s get down to business, shall we?
#10- 12 Top Hits (featuring the finest in top hit entertainment)
Have you ever been to one of those parties where everyone sits expectantly and watches two people dance around like retards in a retard shop? Right. No one has, because those parties don’t happen. Maybe it was a simpler time when songs like “Poor Little Fool” and “Splish Splash” had some kind of mind controlling power over teenagers. It caused them to pull their pants up too high and wear the worst socks ever made. No wonder there was such condemnation of Rock and Roll in the fifties. Look at what it did to their stupid kids. Granted, this one isn’t terribly offensive, but they get worse.
That’s right, just “Joyce”. It practically sells itself. For as much as 50 cents, judging by the price tag. Kudos to the marketing genius who came up with this layout. (I think Joyce went on to become an angry algebra teacher at my high school. She always used to bust me and my girlfriend making out behind the building.)
Here’s Joyce’s big day-
“Hello, Joyce residence”
“Hi, Joyce? This is Artie, your producer. We got the photographer to come in today, so grab an extra bottle of aqua-net and get your hot ass in here. I have a nude badminton tournament at noon.” (I can only guess at the weird stuff these people did for fun)
“Oh, what should I wear?”
“Something with rainbow colors, or whatever you have on. I don’t know what the background is going to be. Those faggots from the 12 top hits album are using the fake living room.”
“Great! I just got new glasses. I think they make my head look less human.”
“err…good. Wear them. Bring a flower or something…to…accentuate your cheekbones”
“*giggle* okay, handsome, I’ll be right over.”
Little known fact about Joyce: She started the whole “one name” thing for singers. Madonna, Cher, Prince, Pantera…all Joyce wannabes.
#8- The McKeithens
The lost art of using an Olan Mills family portrait as your album cover is lost for a reason, and this is it. Polyester as far as the eye can see, and some insane woman wearing the world’s largest ball of twine on her head. The McKeithen family from left to right- Marsha, JoJack, Ma, and Jebediah. They were as functional as you would imagine any christian family singing group would be. Jebediah (known by his friends as “Twig”) had a raging addiction to bourbon, pornography and molesting Marsha, who worked as a stripper for several years before breaking into her acting career at age nineteen. She legally changed her name to Saucy Peaks and starred in such movies as ”EThree- The Extra Testicle”, the ever popular ”Prime cuts- Yo Quiero Taco Smell”, and ”Ultra Kinky #79- Bowlin’ in her Colon.” She eventually got back to her first passion in the same industry, singing lead in the off-broadway porn-rock-opera ”Ass hole-o-mio.” I think you have to use a hyphenated movie title to make it in the porn industry. JoJack eventually learned of his sister’s abuse at the hands of his father, and killed Twig one night on the way home from a Klan rally. He is now doing 15 to life in San Quentin. Ma McKeithen, however, never lost her faith. She did go bald and develop a neck condition from the weight of her hair, but collected it and sold it to a wig shop. With her earnings, she bought a house on Nantucket Island, where she composes songs for our number seven contender…
#7- Country Church
This is not a far cry from the family portrait, except they opted for the “Kountry Kowboy” lame farm background. The least they could have done is bring in a fake section of fence for them to lean on. The first concept for this cover showed the men with a piece of straw in each of their mouths, but that was too much like smoking, and thus too edgy. Plus, the guy on the left kept tickling his own nipple with it. They were all, “Hey, mincing guy on the left, leave the straw in your mouth!” but the request was met only with giggles. No one liked the guy on the left, but he coordinated their outfits, so they needed him. Coincidentally, this album is why the popular fashion movement of sweater vests with turtlenecks and checked pants never got started. The lady sitting in front is actually the set designer’s sister in law, and was brought in to keep the wholesome group from looking “too gay”.
#6- The Ministers Quartet- Let Me Touch Him
These guys don’t look too bad. The pose is pretty static, but they look more or less like ushers at any church in Americ….whoa. “Let Me Touch Him”? Wow. That kind of conjures an image that doesn’t have anything to do with praising the gospel…
#5- Orleans- Waking and Dreaming
Hey guys, I think you got your album title mixed up with the Ministers Quartet up there. By the way, if I ever ‘wake up into a dream’ where I am surrounded by a bunch of naked male hippies, it had better be the result of a toxic snakebite and/or a fever-induced coma. Again, I have to ask the obvious question; who decided that an album cover featuring hairy naked dudes would sell music? Especially when some of the guys look way too happy, while a couple are noticeably uncomfortable. They snapped the picture when the guy in the middle was saying, “Hey, Julian, we aren’t all like you and Viceroy. Where is your other hand? I need to see them both. That was the deal.” I have no idea what this music is like, but at least we know where boy bands came from.
#4- Millie Jackson- E.S.P.
E.S.P. stands for “extra sexual persuasion”, by the way. See, she decided to use her sex to persuade people. Really original. Luckily, other women never caught on to the idea. What? Extra Sexual Persuasion? Well, if it’s extra sexual…well, that’s different now, isn’t it? Let me call my friend Tino and we’ll make a day of it.
I know exactly how this cover layout came to be. Millie is another former porn actress known as Tanner Treats. Her producer called her to do the shoot, but she was in the third day of a nine-day coke binge and couldn’t be reached. He looked through her archive of photos and found one of her that was shot just as she was about to perform fellatio on a dead horse. After that, it was only a matter of removing the equine phallus and replacing it with a crystal ball.
On an unrelated note, this album once belonged to Larry Wattley, who signed his name on it with a black marker. You don’t want you friends walking off with part of your Millie Jackson LP Collection.
#3- John Bult- Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday
This photo appears to have been taken closer to Julie’s 27th birthday, but let’s pretend we are idiots for a minute. In the world of visual communication, you have to worry about things like the feeling an image evokes. I *think* they wanted this to be a picture of a father consoling his young daughter on her sweet sixteen because she got pregnant or something. I’m not a father, but I’d guess you do stuff like that when your daughter turns sixteen. What I see when I look at this picture is a married guy (wedding ring) in a bar (beer and cigarette), holding hands with a girl who is twenty years his junior. She has been in the trunk of his Camaro for two or three days, and he made her put on lots of makeup so he could get her in to the bar for a “date”. He is busy insisting that she loves him, or will grow to love him if she knows what’s good for her. She silently screams for him to stop squeezing her hand so hard and just let her go. The absence of eye contact says it all. She is praying for the sweet release of death.
#2- Devastatin’ Dave (The Turntable Slave)- Zip Zap Rap
Devastatin’ Dave was just barely nudged out of first place. Something tells me that Dave has never quite devastated his way to the top. This may have been his only shot at number one, but he just sucks on so many levels that I couldn’t even let him win a contest of suckiness. From the hair that was washed in Wesson oil, the lightning bolt earring, to the outfit that was left over in the wardrobe room from Breakin’ 2- The Electric Boogaloo. Being a turntable slave requires that you cut the fingers out of your gloves and tear off your sleeves. Turntable slaves don’t need that shit. When asked what he wanted to name this album, he came up with “Zip Zap Rap”. Come on, Devastatin’, cant you come up with something a little less inspired? I’d imagine that most of his lyrics start with “Well my name is Dave and I’m here to say…” The best part about this cover is that diagonal yellow band in the top. You can’t read it, but it says “Hear our Message- Say no to Drugs!” Yeah. Hear our message. The smallest text anywhere on the album. The real message is “Kick my ass. I am carrying around an album called ‘Zip Zap Rap’”.
#1- Tino- Por Primera Vez
This album cover was made because not enough people in Tino’s hometown hated him. Por Primera Vez means “for the first time”. As in- For the first time, I have an excuse to wear my little sisters clothes. I’m sure he was referring to de-flowering a virgin, based on his oh-so-seductive pose. He doesn’t look the least bit creepy or unnatural. What he looks like is a smoldering latin heart throb…wearing Jordache shorts that were made for an eight year old girl, and an izod golf shirt that is stretched so tight you can see through it. The colors used in the title block are timeless, assuming your idea of time is between 1976 and 1978. It was a close race between Tino and Devastatin’ Dave for the number one spot, but the element that pushed it over the edge was Tino’s left hand on his abdomen. I don’t know why that triggers my gag reflex, but it does. If anyone has any ideas that would make this album cover more uncomfortable to look at, please don’t tell me.
Author’s note: You have probably seen these images elsewhere. I asked permission and gave credit to the sources from which they came. I wrote the captions myself, and most people find them funny. If you are offended or think they are lame, start a blog and write better ones.