I've spent 15 years travelling the world to find the most terrible album covers ever
WHEN it comes to album covers, some musicians hit the right note.
This week Nirvana’s 1991 release Nevermind, featuring a naked baby swimming underwater next to a dollar bill, was voted the most iconic of all time.
But DJ Michael Sumner, 48, has spent 15 years and £2,000 trawling the globe to find his pick of the very WORST album artwork.
The record dealer, from the Isle of Wight, who has amassed a 500-strong collection of unusual and ugly sleeves, says: “It started out as a bit of fun but then I realised how hilarious they were and made my book, 101 Terrible Record Sleeves.
"Some you look at in horror, others would never be made today. And then there are a few where you wonder, ‘What the hell they were thinking?’ ”
Here, Michael shares some of his favourite images from the book.
CLINKERS – The First Clinkers: “There are only 100 copies of this cover in the world – and thank God for that. One of the songs was even shockingly named The Great Poofter.”
THE BILLY COBHAM/GEORGE DUKE BAND – Live On Tour In Europe: “Ten out of ten for musicianship, but one for the sleeve as it reminds me of the hands from Evil Dead 2.”
TUBBY BOOTS – Goes Topless: “The US cross-dressing entertainer made the most of his 26st 11lb frame. He used to attach pasties to his man boobs to swing about.”
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Top Szene Hamburg: “This is quite genius and equally revolting. I don’t know who would want to look at it, let alone put up the accompanying poster.”
KJELL KRAGHE – Vind I Seglen: “I love sleeves with what looks like terrible Photoshop. This one is nautical nonsense and makes him look like a friendly sea monster.”
FRITZ FETZER – Petra Pilz/Schaffa On Wuala: “Everything is just odd. From the badass performer to the fact that they cut off the scantily clad women’s heads to fit him in.”
PADDY ROBERTS – Songs For Gay Dogs: “This came out in 1963 when ‘gay’ was commonly used to mean happy. Or who knows, maybe there’s a big market for gay dogs?”
JOHNNY HANDLE – She’s A Big Lass, She’s A Bonny Lass: “I mean, the pained expression on her face is priceless. How he convinced her to pose for this I’ll never know.”
TOZOVAC – Jeremija: “Some of the best sleeves are from Serbia. Dressing as a dictator and posing with a phallic-looking weapon between your legs is beyond bizarre.”
BONED – Up At The Crack: “Is that a guitar in your pants or are you just pleased to see me? This typifies the numbskull rock sleeves inspired by the likes of Spinal Tap.”
JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON – A Real Mother For Ya: “I love that he went to the lengths of pimping a pram to make it look like a limo and then got someone to push him about.”
Michael Sumner's 101 Terrible Record Sleeves is available to buy from Blackwells and Amazon.Michael Sumner’s 101 Terrible Record Sleeves is available at blackwells.co.uk.CLINKERSTHE BILLY COBHAM/GEORGE DUKE BANDTUBBY BOOTSVARIOUS ARTISTSKJELL KRAGHEFRITZ FETZERPADDY ROBERTSJOHNNY HANDLETOZOVACBONEDJOHNNY GUITAR WATSONMichael Sumner's 101 Terrible Record Sleeves is available to buy from Blackwells and Amazon.