Worst Album Artwork - The Classic Edition

Because of the helpful annual DIS threads we all know what the worst artwork of recent years is (Drones by Muse, obviously) but what is the worst artwork from the 60s, 70s and 80s?

I sense there is lots to play with here, so I think we should stick to what you might call ‘mainstream’ acts, ignoring the novelty records, religious records, private press releases etc. There is plenty of bad artwork from quite famous artists to play with. To start with can anyone beat The Royal Scam by Steely Dan, described by bandleader Donald Fagan as ‘the most hideous album sleeve of the 70s, bar none’?


Haha, I actually sort of like it - it’s kinda modern Goya (Sleep of Reason).

Do hate all those covers with you group grinning like lobotomised freaks in some sort of pre/post-incest photoshoot though.

The eighties is surely a treasure trove of awful artwork as well! I don’t know where to start…

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My obsession with Steely Dan/Fagan/Becker means objectivity is out of the window. Actually like The Royal Scam cover.

If I was going to go for worst covers from 60s to the 80s, I would pick something by Hipgnosis. Their visual puns as album covers…

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It was apparently first offered to Van Morrison who rejected it as too hideous.

Pretzel Logic and Aja have beautiful, brilliant covers. Gaucho is nice too. The other albums, not so much.

I didn’t know that. I should have known that.
(Dreams of winning Mastermind with specialist subjects Steely Dan and James Bond films)

Yeah, Aja is the best cover for me. I like the bluey weirdness of Countdown to Ecstasy and rate it above Pretzel Logic.

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A worthy objective. You can use this site for revision

You’ll be safe if you’re asked who Doctor Wu was or what’s in a Black Cow.

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Not a chance, Senorwrongwrong! This is a great album cover - in particular I would personally LOVE to feed :goat:s with Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. It must have been a great acid trip

No he’s right, it’s very dull.

I’m going to say:
#With The Beatles

Sorry guys, dull.

This absolute classic of the genre.


Never been able to make my mind up about that one - the font and the general design is really good. The picture is a bit literal though.

A Hipgnosis special…


JFC, that is really bad.

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I think I love that. Every single thing is so 80s, the bathroom, the font, the literal ‘controversial’ take on the title. More spinal tap than spinal tap.

More taps than Spinal Tap too!


Very good :smiley:


It’s ugly, but also kind of brilliant.