Visual & Music Pt. 1: Awesome Albums With Awful Cover Art

They might be classics, but that's some horrid artwork.

Ultimate Guitar

Apart from being undisputed classics of rock and metal genre, certain amazing albums tend to suffer from a distinctive setback - awful artwork. We'll focus on a few such efforts and invite you to join the discussion. Full rundown below.

Megadeth - "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good"

Megadeth's debut effort was severely botched by the label, as the cover features extremely cheap-looking plastic skull and even some tinfoil. Vic Rattlehead was really off to a weak start, as the artwork was bashed even by the group themselves.

Black Sabbath - "Sabotage"

Talk about making a fashion statement! Ozzy's kimono and lady boots, Geezer's suit, and last but far from least - dem red tights! However, the "Symptom of the Universe" riff is enough to shut everyone up about the cover, now isn't it?

Slayer - "Show No Mercy"

Thrash titans really had a lot of trouble with their debut covers. Slayer logo seems quite cool on this one, but the goatish creature and the lame font are really ruining it here.

Led Zeppelin - "Led Zeppelin III"

Seeing that it features some of the band's all-time classics, Led Zeppelin should have put more effort in their third album cover.

Death Grips - "No Love Deep Web"

A slight detour from the strict rock domain - considered as one of Death Grips finest efforts, "No Love Deep Web" might have the most distasteful cover of all time.

WARNING: This cover is NSFW, so if you really want to see it - click here.

The Beatles - "Magical Mystery Tour"

Each and every record they've put out is pure gold, but the cover of The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" is something else.

Helloween - "Pink Bubbles Go Ape"

For their fourth studio album, German power metal masters decided to go full apesh-t in the artwork department. The result awaits below.

Exodus - "Bonded by Blood"

Thrash titans really, really had a lot of trouble with their debut covers. Exhibit three for the thrashers - Exodus classic debut "Bonded by Blood."

Cannibal Corpse - "Butchered at Birth"

Should be scary and gory, but the way that guy on the right is looking at me is just hilarious.

Riot - "Narita"

Early metal heroes Riot round up the list with a full dose of WTF. Riot aren't exactly giants as some of their metal peers on the list, but this one just had to make the list.

Got more amazing music behind horrid artwork to share? Do it in the comments.

56 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Iron Maiden - Dance of Death
    Sleaze Disease
    Led Zeppelin III is cool if you actually have the record with the wheel that turns. All those circles are actually holes that show different pictures.
    I actually like Led Zeppelin III
    I find it funny, that it's okay to display a picture of baby corpses and shit dangling from meathooks, but a picture of writing on a dick is NSFW XD
    Yea tbh, that cover is probably the creepiest and graphic I've seen. Don't even recommend more because I don't find that eye-candy
    "Seeing that it features some of the band's all-time classics, Led Zeppelin should have put more effort in their third album cover." >Implying they could predict which songs would become all-time classics before they designed the cover.
    come on,"Bonded by Blood" and "Butchered at Death" are great covers.
    Blind Faith's original art for their self titled and only album. Classic Clapton, but that cover...
    I'm not a fan of 80's Queen albums, but a lot of people are, so I'm gonna say pretty much all of Queen's album covers in the 80's... they're awful. I also want to say Soundgarden's "Superunknown", love the album, hate the artwork.
    A Kind of Magic is definitely among Queen's weirder covers. They're all just blue Hulk versions of space!
    I don't like hot space but the rest of the covers from Queen aren't really bad. I rather like the A kind of Magic cover and the Miracle while nothing special by today's standards was revolutionary in the day. The works is nothing special but it's not a bad cover... If any I don't like the cover from their first album
    Emenius Sleepus
    I love that Slayer cover. Cheesy, over the top thrashing madness - exactly as ridiculous as it should be. Exodus, on the other hand, looks like Marcia Hines 40'th Best-Of compilation. Lame!
    I would have to say Mr. Bungle's self-entitled artwork is pretty bad, but I guess it fits with the batshit insane music.
    Maybe awesome is bit too much, album is decent and has some cool tracks but the artwork is just very random and not very great. Helmet - Betty
    Nah man, Butchered at Birth's cover is pretty cool. Evisceration Plague and its respective live tour album are by far their worst, other than maybe The Bleeding.
    Tool - Opiate (EP) Every VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC cover 30 Seconds To Mars - Love Lust Faith + Dreams (The name is bad too)
    30stm's album cover is pretty inoffensive and simple. I don't love it but I don't see what's so bad. In agreeance with the album title though it's not very great.