The end of 2011 means that it is time for the “Best of” and “Worse of” lists to be published online and in magazines. This year, there were not as many disgusting album covers as we have seen in the past. There were not any animal mutilations or covers featuring feces and other bodily wastes.
However, there were covers featuring amputated limbs, a mutilated woman, and a nose or two being picked. There were also a couple of covers that are noteworthy for being poorly designed and disappointing to fans. My list of The Worst Album Covers of 2011 appears below in order from 10 to 1.
#10 The Cars – Move Like This
The Cars were once known for producing albums with memorable album covers. Unfortunately, the cover for their first new album in decades was a major disappointment. It featured stock photo backgrounds and strange silhouettes of the surviving band members.
The third album by Arizona rock band The Maine credits four people for design, art direction and other tasks required to produce an album cover. I just want to know which one of them applied the lipstick.
The debut album by San Francisco electronic band The Limousines was self-released in 2010 and released by Dangerbird Records in 2011. It is the only album cover I have ever seen that features a spit bubble. The photos that my niece takes of her baby blowing them are cute. This? Not so much.
Released by Moshi Moshi Records, the Care Bear EP by Teeth is somewhat of a mystery. At first glance, the image of a hirsute statute with money falling around it seems wacky. On closer inspection, one notices that the anus of the male figure is very detailed and unusually large. Creepy? Yep.
I read a review that compared the cover art for Screws Get Loose by American rock band Those Darlins to those of The Smiths. No. Sorry.
The cover for the self-titled debut album by British electronic music duo You Love Her Coz She’s Dead features a young woman with a safety pin jammed through her bloody lips. What else can I add besides the description? Uck! This makes nose picking look appealing.
The cover for the sixth studio album by American rock band Limp Bizkit is one of two revealed in 2011 that many fans immediately thought was a joke. The illustration by Wes Borland is certainly meant to be satirical. However, it is just a bit too weird to have been taken seriously.
Every year, I can count on some German band coming up with an objectionable album cover. Nuclear Raped Fuck Bomb by N.R.F.B. features an inexplicable photo of amputees who appear to be using donkeys as crutches. Add the blatant attempt to shock us with a title that combines sex and violence and we’ve got a third-place winner for the “Worst of” list.
There is not much that I can add to the hundreds of thousands of words that have been written about what is certainly the most controversial album cover of the year. When the cover for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way was revealed online, the most common reaction was, “Where is the REAL cover?” Is it bad? Yes. Was it effective? Absolutely. The fact that it worked well as a marketing gimmick is the only thing that kept this monstrosity out of my #1 spot this year.
My choice for the worst album cover of 2011 is a for an album that celebrates rape, murder and a hatred for women. In that light, the cover featuring a woman who has been brutally murdered and dumped by the side of the road like garbage is fitting. The only question that remains is, “What kind of person buys this kind of thing?”