As a longtime record collector, I have to admit that sometimes I buy records for the album art rather than for the music inside. I like oddball album art. Occasionally, weird album art and good music can be found in the same package, but that’s just a happy circumstance.
- Liz Anderson, Husband Hunting
This well-known country songwriter and mother of country star Lynn Anderson released this album in 1970. Here’s the opening of the title tune:
“I’m lonely and I’m looking for a husband
Like I do every Friday at this time
A frisky-thinking, whiskey-drinking husband
I’m looking for a husband and he’s mine.”
- Brother JT, The Svelteness of Boogietude
A great record with a cover that always catches my eye. This is a 2013 release.
- Johnny Cash, The Holy Land
This 1968 release probably doesn’t translate well in a photo. What you have to know is that the photo of Cash is presented in a 3-D hologram on the album cover. That must have been quite the thing back in ’68 because I have a record released that year by Johnny Nash (Soul Folk) that also features him in hologram 3-D.
- Ray Charles, Do the Twist
This I chose for false advertising because Ray Charles does not cover the 1960s dance craze in this 1961 release.
- Cher, Half-Breed
I debated whether to highlight this cover or the cover for The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher. This 1973 release won by a Cher hair.
- David Allan Coe, Penitentiary Blues
Would you buy a record from this man? The cover for this 1970 debut record by country outlaw Coe says nothing. It just features his ugly mug.
- Faces, Ooh La La
The last studio album by the band featured a movable face on the cover. Press down on the top to make the eyes and mouth move. It’s a 1973 release.
- Joe Farrell, Canned Funk
This 1975 release is on the glossy CTI label, which I have been collecting for years. Love the record, but don’t know why an eye is in a can of peaches.
- Freddy Fender, The Best of
I do not know what Freddy is doing to that cactus and I do not want to know. All I can do is ask, Why Freddy, why? This is a 1977 release.
- Sally Field, Star of The Flying Nun
This 1967 release has Sally Field singing and capitalizing on her mid-1960s hit TV show The Flying Nun. I believe it was the last time Miss Field opened her mouth to sing.
- Roberta Flack, Quiet Fire
I love the way the designer used Flack’s afro as a design element in this 1971 release.
- Fleetwood Mac, English Rose
This 1969 release is an American compilation of several releases by the English blues band. That’s drummer Mick Fleetwood in drag on the cover.
- Funkadelic, Maggot Brain
Great record. Strange cover. It was shot by Joel Brodsky, who shot many album covers, including Funkadelic’s Free Your Mind…and Your Ass Will Follow, as well as for The Doors, Van Morrison, MC5, Isaac Hayes and Herbie Mann. This is a 1971 release, and the final record by the original Funkadelic lineup.
- Judas Priest, British Steel
This 1980 release makes my fingers hurt every time I see it.
- Dick Kossins, Mellodies of
An in-joke from this Chicago polka band has the bandleader’s wife, Marian Kosskins, pulling the strings. I own two copies of this classic cover.
- Live and Heavy
This 1981 compilation features such “heavy” tunes as Deep Purple’s “Smoke On the Water” and the long forgotten Status Quo doing “Roll Over Lay Down.” The implication is that if your eyes don’t bleed, it ain’t heavy.
- Loverboy, Get Lucky
It doesn’t help to know that the person in the red leather trousers is the photographer’s 13-year-old daughter. Don’t know who the hand belongs to. This is a 1981 release. Thanks to a collection I recently bought, I have several copies of this record. I have never listened to it.
- Loretta Lynn, Your Squaw Is On the Warpath
This 1969 release may be a contender for the most politically incorrect cover of all time.
- Anne Murray, Where Do You Go When You Dream?
Yes, I have this in my collection as both an album and a sleeved single with the same bizarre image. I have never listened to this 1981 release, but I do pull it out every now and then to wonder … what does it mean? Why is that cherub hanging onto her legs? Why is she trying to look like Jesus?
- Augie Meyer, Augie’s Western Head Music Co.
The first thing about this record, his name is Augie Meyers, not Meyer. Along with Doug Sahm, he was a founding member of the Sir Douglas Quintet and played the Vox on great tunes such as “Mendocino” and “She’s About a Mover.” He and Sahm later went on to found the Texas Tornados with Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez. This 1971 album is great, but why is Augie trying to give his steed a joint?
- Soul Asylum, Clam Dip and Other Delights
This is, of course, a take-off of Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. That’s bass player Karl Mueller taking the role of Dolores Erickson, who fueled many a male fantasy on the Tijuana Brass cover. This is a 1989 release.
- Jim Steinman, Good for Bad
Do I have to say anything about why this 1981 cover is ridiculous?
- The T-Bones, No Matter what Shape (Your Stomach’s In)
This 1966 record is an oddity in that the title tune is taken from an Alka-Seltzer commercial and became a hit. When the record hit, the LA studio musicians who recorded it, known as The Wrecking Crew (they recorded for many stars, including serving as Cher’s band on the above-mentioned Half-Breed), refused to tour behind their hit, so a touring group of The T-Bones was formed. The touring group of the T-Bones went on to record in the ’70s as Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds.
- Ike & Tina Turner, Nutbush City Limits
What in the world is Tina doing to the truck on this 1973 release, which is her last with husband Ike?
- Porter Wagoner, The Bottom of the Bottle
Mr. Wagoner has several strange album covers that I could have included, but this 1968 release is tops for me, with the singer looking at his own hobo image inside a bottle of booze. All the songs are about drinking – “Wino,” “Swinging Doors,” “One Dime for Wine,” Etc.
- Muddy Waters, After the Rain
Weird idea for this 1969 release. Hey, let’s cover Muddy in detritus and have him hold a giant frog. Yeah, great idea!
- The Young Rascals
This 1966 debut by the blue-eyed soul group features the fellows dressed up like Little Lord Fauntleroy. It was the time of weird costumed groups, but this has to be the worst example of that time.
- Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks, Greatest Hits
What in the world is Frankie leering at in this 1987 compilation? Creepy with a capital C.