The joy of the ‘so bad it’s good’ album cover.
Okay, so maybe cover art isn’t the reason for the season, but we all have our quirks. Mine—well, one of mine—is that I love accidentally bad album covers. Finding one in a charity shop or forgotten in a record store bin breaks up the monotony of flipping past endless copies of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and the Top Gun soundtrack. My dream is to capture a Louvin Brothers Satan is Real in the wild, but that’s the record collector equivalent of finding a Picasso in a thrift store.
Collecting aside, I’m grateful for the unintentional message articulated by a bad album cover. “Hey, we tried,” the long forgotten art directors seem to be saying. “They can’t all be winners, but guess what? The world didn’t come to an end when we released this dog.” That’s a powerful message for makers of things, many of whom suffer from perfection paralysis.
So get out your camera, your pencils, your keyboard, and make things. Some days you’ll make a Dark Side of the Moon and others you’ll end up with a Rod Hart Breakeroo! Either way you will have accomplished something and enjoyed yourself, and that’s worth being thankful for.
You can view more of my favorite good, bad, and controversial album covers here.