You’re reeling so hard from the sheer WTF’edness of this album cover by Johnny Guitar Watson that you won’t get the visual pun. Like those magic 3-D posters that were so popular(?) in the 90s, if you stare at it long enough, you’ll see. Not that you really need to. Or want to. Or want to need to…
The latest batch of WTF album covers I’ve discovered runs the full gamut of clueless, offensive, bewildering, and just plain weird. I’ve started sharing stuff like this on Facebook on a daily basis so if you’re into bad album covers, lousy art, and strange records in general why not Like the WTF Records official page on FB? There’s plenty like these with many more to come.
This film was apparently made in 1969 (snicker if you must) and features a decent soundtrack, but that cover! That title! We must remember that in 1969, people had much stranger ideas about what it meant to be “respectable” or “decent”. Apparently, who you chose to have sex with–with regard to not having the same kind of plumbing as you–was really, REALLY important back then. Another argument in favor of the notion, right or wrong, that before the Internet, people were just dumber.
What is this album cover trying to say, exactly? Are those canes supposed to represent something? Or maybe this album is about the risks you take looking for love with a caning fetish? Who knows, but damn. How’d you like to see THIS stern, Charles Bronson-esque face hovering over you in the dark?
Is there a genre of album covers called “Head In A Jar”? I’m still doing research on that. I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, here’s the best example. Remember that old movie, Donovan’s Brain? The disembodied brain that still lived, exerting psychic influence over people to do the brain’s evil bidding? This album cover could be titled, “Donovan’s Dumbass”.
How long did it take anybody to realize just how much this album cover really, really sucked? Was it a gradual awareness like dawn breaking across an autumn sky, or did these people wake up one morning, look at what they had unleashed upon the world, and just start screaming until the ambulances came?
If you’ve read this site for any length of time you’re no doubt familiar with our obsession for WTF album covers. There is something wonderful about horrible, misguided, even offensive album covers. Trying to get inside the minds of the people responsible for the atrocities that grace album covers is half the fun of looking that them.
Naturally, the other half of the fun is exposing other, unsuspecting people to this stuff and watching them hurt themselves laughing.
But at some point, the album covers are not enough, and hence Turntabling has expanded its search for the bizarre, the unusual and seemingly from-outer-space records, too. I call them WTF records because that is basically your first reaction.
A WTF record doesn’t have to be BAD to qualify. There are plenty of good, quality WTF albums out there in the same way as there are enjoyable WTF movies, artwork, any consumer production you can think of.
Sometimes a WTF record is truly awful, and that’s how it earns the label. For example, who would want to listen to an entire record of Slim Goodbody nutrition sing-a-long music? But as a WTF album, Slim Goodbody’s “Health Is Wealth” is a real find–where else are you going to hear tracks like “Large, Lovely Liver” or “You Don’t Need a Brain”?
Sometimes the WTF factor is connected to who recorded the album. A record of Beatles covers is nothing new, but when Shatner does it, you’ve GOT to hear it at least once. The WTF value is at an all-time high when someone famous for things other than their relative merits as a songwriter is at the helm.
Isn’t that why the Grasshopper album by David Carradine is so collectible? Or Leonard Nimoy doing scary versions of old folkie tunes?
Then there are the weird records that provide a shock of recognition–maybe you didn’t know that before Dinousaur Jr. took off, they were just called Dinosaur.
When you spot the Homestead Records compilation The Wailing Ultimate featuring the track “Repulsion” by Dinosaur, you’ll get that WTF look on your face when you hear J. Mascis open his mouth and start in on his trademark wail.
Or perhaps you weren’t expecting to see a vinyl record featuring none other than Aleister Crowley? Discovering “Blue Sunshine” by The Glove is actually a side project by The Cure is a WTF moment for some.
And some of the most fun WTF albums are by far the weird ones–Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium Is The Massage, Moog reworkings of 70s butt rock classics, Sun Ra, TV preachers on vinyl, you name it. But whatever your WTF vinyl record poison, these albums are often neglected, unheard, or so obscure as to not get their proper due.
Turntabling aims to change that, one record at a time. So in addition to WTF album covers, we’ll be including a lot more coverage of WTF records here, too. Stay tuned, folks. It only gets weirder from here.
Who is losing the battle in the Man Vs. Mullet competition on THIS album cover? Three guesses.
He wins points for the anti-style statement he’s made with both the hair AND the suit, and the “I’m passing a kidneystone” expression on his face makes this a must-own addition to any bad album cover connoisseur’s collection.
This guy does NOT look like he’s going to sing to you. More like he’s here to shake you down for the hush money or carry out the orders issued by Hans the Butcher to break your femurs and coccyx. “Eef you do NOHT break-a ze coccyx, I vill be fhorced to break-a YORSSS. Dooo yhooo undersandsks?”