Album Covers: The Not-So-Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Not even the Beatles could get away with this one...

Even the biggest entertainment act of the 20th century had to back back when Capitol Records nixed their butchered babies album cover.

The Suits were a little queasy about the concept. And the subdued expressions of the group on the album cover, as released, seem to suggest that they weren't all that happy about the more conservative approach.

Sweet Mother of God!!!

We're thinking if you threw Edgar Winter, Elvis Costello and Rosa Klebb in a blender this is pretty much what you'd get.

Heino is some kind of German folksinger who may explain why so many people in Germany are ga-ga over David Hasslelhoff.

Liebe Mutter translates into Dear Mother, just in case you were wondering.

Not exactly Peter, Paul and Mary ...

We're not sure which one of this trio is Maddy.

And we're also not sure that an accordion and an organ offer the most diverse musical accompaniment, but there it is.

To be fair here, it looks as if this album cover was created from a candid snapshot and not the result of an elaborate photo session.

That said, the cover does have a disturbing funereal vibe to it.

Will Ferrell channelled music groups like this one on SNL.

We couldn't find any recordings of Maddy and the Boys but we imagine they sound something like this.

And speaking of Jesus Use Me...

The Faith Tones

We weren't completely sure whether this is a bona fide album cover or not.

It has such a strange, twisted thing going on here that it might have been some kind of spoof.

There's something about the nuclear mushroom cloud of a hairdo of the Faith Tone on the left and the thousand yard stare of the Faith Tone on the right that seem odd.

And the lighting on the faces is just wrong somehow.

"Use me for what exactly?" is the question that comes to mind.

American Gothic Meets Children of the Corn

Good God! Who the hell's hand is that on her shoulder!!!

It ain't the guy behind her. It's too low for him, too far away for the guy stage right and wrong hand for the guy stage left.


The most disturbing thing about this cover is that it's for Mike Terry not Michelle Terry.

Are you sure Elton John started out like this?

Somebody call 911

We're pretty sure that whatever is going on here is illegal in at least 42 states, though not necessarily in the one where this album was released....

Again, somebody call 911

This may be some kind of comedy album. A very vulgar one, we would imagine.

First of all, Old Jacinto should lose the hat. A hat like that is always a bad choice.

If Thomas Edison had worn a hat like that we'd still be reading by gaslight.

Imagine Neil Armstrong making his small step on the lunar surface wearing that hat.

Imagine JFK asking us not what our country could do for us, but what we could do for our country wearing that hat.

But, of course, that's not the only thing wrong with the album cover. This peeping tom and his slavering ebullient grin is never going to impress the ladies. No way.

Especially wearing that hat.

Not exactly the Sopranos...

Don't these guys look like they're high-tailing it from some low-rent drive-by in South Jersey?

At least, that's what we hope they're doing.

But seriously, who-the-hell's hand is that???!!!


It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman

Up, Up and Away

You can talk Spider-Man, Iron-Man and X-Men all you want but Superman was the old-school original.

And if Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster hadn't come up with the idea for the Kryptonian alien back in 1932, there might be no such thing as a graphic novel today.

Superman has been flying to the rescue in some media or another for nearly 80 years.

Oddly enough, this iconic super-hero started as a hairless Lex Luthor-type megalomaniac bent on world domination.

In 1938, Siegel and Shuster retooled the idea and transformed the character into a hero.

Some think the inspiration for the invulnerable and bullet-proof Superman was a tragic incident in which, just one year before the character's first comic book appearance, Jerry Siegel's father died during a robbery attempt.

The Superman who made his debut in 1938 was patterned after the swashbuckler Douglas Fairbanks.

Comic Harold Lloyd was the template for Clark Kent.

Ten years after the first comic book was published, Superman hit the big screen as a movie-serial.

Special effects in those days involved using a cartoon image for Superman's flying scenes.

And yes, that's Noel Neill as Lois Lane. And Tommy Bond, as Jimmy Olsen, looks just like what you'd think a cub reporter would look like back in the 1940s.

The late, great George Reeves brought the character to TV in the early 50s.

Baby Boomers were unaware of the movie serials of the decade before. For millions of mid-century kids, this was the definitive Superman.

This wasn't the first time George Reeves was Gone with the Wind.

When the first Superman comic books were just hitting the newstands, George was cast as one of the twin red-headed suitors of Scarlett O'Hara.

Christopher Reeve takes flight.
Forty years after the first Superman comic book was published and thirty years after the first Superman movie serial, Superman was again on the big screen.

In 2006 Superman was rebooted, this time with Brandon Routh wearing the cape.

And it looks like another Superman reboot is in the works.

This time with the guy who rebooted Batman at the helm.