Visual & Music Pt. 2: Awful Albums With Awesome Cover Art

Name an awesome album cover that heavily disappointed you.

Ultimate Guitar

So after we delved into the domain of classic rock and metal albums with dreadful cover art last week, we'll do the opposite one for this week.

Granted, it's a bit more tricky to find truly amazing artwork with horrid music inside, but a few anti-gems can still be singled out, and you can check them out below.

Metallica - "St. Anger"

The massively-bashed "St. Anger" is clearly not a fan favorite, although the album's quality is certainly a debatable matter. However, the cover artwork is pretty top-notch, with most of the fans agreeing about it's quality.

Nickelback - "All the Right Reasons"

When awful music is discussed, it's difficult not to mention Nickelback. However, not even the most hardcore Nickelback haters can call the "All the Right Reasons" artwork awful, and many will dub it plain awesome.

Yes - "Tales From Topographic Oceans"

As an avid Yes fan, I have a major problem with "Tales From Topographic Oceans." Hailed as a masterpiece by many fans, I just can't get into it and find it mind-numbingly boring after multiple listens. If you could point out something that might change my mind, please do so in the comments. Much like most of the band's covers, this one's also quite beautiful.

Puddle of Mudd - "Come Clean"

Puddle of Mudd aren't exactly associated with quality music, but the "Come Clean" cover is pretty damn awesome.

Megadeth - "Super Collider"

Getting back to the metal domain, Megadeth's "Super Collider" was mostly bashed by fans and critics. The record's quality can be debated, but the artwork deserves nothing but praises.

Jethro Tull - "Roots to Branches"

Prog rock legends Jethro Tull have a few stinkers in their opus, but what makes "Roots to Branches" different from the rest is a rather nice cover.

If you were a music lover back in the day, have you ever bought a record based solely on the cover and got utterly disappointed? If the answer's yes, share the story with us below.

37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I don´t think the artwork of All the right reasons is that great.
    I don't really like Nickleback...but that was probably their best album to me.
    Super Collider's cover is crap compared to their other covers. It's just a real photo with cheap effects.
    I thought come clean was actually a pretty decent album.
    Actually not bad album for me too. But pissing boy on cover is not good looking for me)
    I was surprised to see Eddie Vedder's Ukulele Songs album on the article cover, I really like that record. Was it poorly recieved?
    I love that album and cover, but I think that some people didn't like it because it wasn't rock, just sweet uke songs that Eddie did a fantastic job on.
    Sylosis - Edge of the Earth. Not terrible, but mostly bland in my opinion. Unlike the cool cover art.
    Its got Dethklok/Amon Amarth song structure/vocals, but it has that strong hint of Avenged Sevenfold in the guitar tone that makes it put offy to me. :/
    The Nickelback one is about as generic as I'd expect from a Nickelback album cover. Didn't like the Megadeth one either but I don't think I've ever liked a Megadeth cover. I can accept the rest.
    I went into my iTunes looking for something that would fit this category, but then I realised, why would I have awful albums on my iTunes?
    I actually liked "Super Collider" except for the single "Super Collider". It isn't that thrashy, but I liked it. It got unnecessary hate just because of the god damn circle jerk.
    So what criteria did you even use to judge this? Overall, I think you could have done a much better job on this album. In talking about the Yes album you even said it was generally well received but just you didn't like it, so that makes it an awful album? Pretty poor article IMO.
    how is the yes album good artwork? bad album usually bad work.
    Cool artwork done by Roger Dean like their other albums and it's a great ****ing album, man. My favorite Yes album other than Relayer.
    St. Anger is a misunderstood album.
    St. Anger is decent album. It has great strong moments but also alot horrible moments. It's bad for Metallica album but if you listen to it as it's own thing it's not too bad. Doesn't deserve top spots in worst albums of all time for sure. There is way worse music out there. Worst thing about St. Anger to me is James vocals
    I strongly disagree with the notion that Tales From Topographic Oceans is a bad album. I agree that the cover art is awesome though.
    I feel like this list could of been done a lot better. This is like looking through your ex-girlfriends CD's.