Worst Artwork of 2012
One of my earliest memories of music, and the mystery it seemed to hold, is of sitting cross-legged in front of my parent's record player, flipping through LPs. Alongside albums by Kris Kristofferson and Barbera Dickinson, they had some future classics: Sgt. Pepper, Tubular Bells and Dark Side of the Moon. I remember being captivated by the stiff, glossy cardboard, the dense colours, the exotic imagery. Later, I came to learn that a picture really is worth a thousand words, and that artwork was an integral part of cementing certain records as iconic and legendary.
Sadly, the switch from vinyl to CDs, and more recently from CDs to digital files, has significantly lessened the importance of something which many bands now seem to regard as a drain on their most precious resources; money and time. And who can blame them? An image just doesn't hold the same power when its 12cm by 12cm, never mind as a thumbnail in iTunes or whatever. Of course, some artists still take the time to seek out or create something intelligent, meaningful, or thought provoking – Crystal Castles' (III) being a good example – but mainly, they just don't seem to care, leaving it to management or some mate with an art degree.
Some artwork however goes beyond mere mediocrity to a whole new level of awfulness, covers so bad that you wonder how on earth anyone associated with the label or the artist signed it off. Whether offensive, stupid, or just downright bizarre, it's been a bumper year in this category, so much so that it was hard to pick just ten. Here then are 2012's worst offenders; crimes against art that would have Sir Peter Blake and Aubrey Powell running for the hills.
Graham Coxon - A&E
Yes Graham, it's cool that you have a camera phone from 2004… and used the first picture you took… and borrowed the Talking Heads font, but let's be honest, there's a reason Damon doesn't let you do Blur's artwork, isn't there?
DJ Baglady - Beloved
You'd hope that the sinking SoundCloud tab was a wry comment on digital sharing and the value of art in 2012. Sadly, Skrillex in make-up, and the fact it looks like it was created using ClipArt '95, makes that theory highly dubious.
GTA - Booty Bounce
GTA? More like GTF.
Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon
Because nothing says "difficult second album" like a burlesque corpse stuck in a swirling ceiling.
Bob Dylan - Tempest
Oh Bob, why do you do it? I know you employ people to come up with stuff like this, but seriously? You're either paying them too much, or paying them too little.
Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind
And what, pray tell, exactly is that sound Benjamin? The sound of a robot taking a shit? The Beastie Boys' lawyers getting ready to sue for ripping off 'Intergalactic'? Or the last exhale of breath from the lifeless corpse that is your comeback?
The Chap - We Are Nobody
Correct, you are, and covers like this won’t change that fact anytime soon. You could've at least gone all in and changed that "h" for an "l".
Ringo Starr - 2012
Just as there's no excuse for anyone dressing like George Michael's tragically hip older brother, there's no excuse for a former Beatle to be associated with this. Just look at that shadow…
The Darkness - Hot Cakes
Has a band ever been more openly in thrall to Led Zeppelin? Kudos where it's due, this manages to reference their lascivious promiscuity, one of their most famous covers - Houses of the Holy - and the 70s general Neanderthal attitudes to gender equality. On every other level, a monstrosity of epic proportions.
Lil Gash - King of Fiji
Clearly, Mr. Gash has learned nothing at school. For if he had, he would know that Fiji hasn't had a constitutional monarchy since the days of Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau (1871 – 1874). Who looks stupid now, eh?