Creepsville in Cock Rock: 7 Times Album Covers Made Us Cringe

By Loryn Stone / Jonathan Meisner

 

Great bands, great music. Those two are synonymous. Great bands, great album covers? Well, that’s not always the case. Terrible band, terrible album cover? Sure, that’s a digestible reality to accept. Terrible band, amazing album cover? Huh- whadya know. That can happen, too.

Okay, I’ve made myself dizzy.

But when a band you love consistently produces albums with covers that make you raise an eyebrow, what do you do? How do you explain it to your nosy-ass friend who insists on digging through your CD or Vinyl collection, laughing at your Killer Pussy album and telling you they’re getting hard for your Appetite for Destruction album? What do you do then? Make new friends?

::ponders for a moment::

There are many articles out there covering terrible album art, but we here at PopLurker took it one step further. Today we’re presenting to you the best/worst Hair-Metal-Cock-Rock albums that take that journey to Creepsville to the extra place.

Because around here, we really like to focus on that Lurker part of life.

7. Scorpions Can’t Get Out of Creep-Mode

scorpions-9.jpg

It almost goes without saying that Scorpions is one of the greatest rock bands of all time. With hits like “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, “No One Like You”, “Big City Nights”, and “Winds of Change” the band is a rock and roll staple with a distinct and unforgettable sound.

Then why in the ever-loving-hell can’t they keep the cringe away from their album covers?

Their first controversy came almost 40 years ago on their album Virgin Killer, where a nude image of a ten-year-old girl with obstructed genitalia graced the cover. The album was pulled from shelves and replaced with a less creepy band photo.

Scorpions_VirginKiller
Although still, few people make me as uncomfortable as that Scorpions guitarist.

And while our buddies over at Cracked already slammed the Lovedrive album cover for the bubblegum boob (but yo, check out his gaze on her. I’m sorry, to me, that shit is way sexy), it’s a shame that the Animal Magnetism cover was left out. Because nothing says devotion like a game of “ready, set, suck it.”

With my bros the Scorpions, these aren’t just problems created in the vacuum called the 1980s. My Berlin-Boys were causing trouble right up until last year when their 2017 album was dropped with the less-than-subtle name Born to Touch Your Feelings.

Scorpions Born to Touch Your Feelings

Guys, we’re in hostile times. How about you keep your touching hands off my everything and we’ll keep it to the music?

6. Poison Generates Nightmare Fuel

Poison1

I don’t even know where to start with Poison’s Open Up and Say Ahhh cover art.

poison.jpg

The picture just looks like the bassist’s sister needed to get in on the action and daddy was the music producer who said if his little girl wasn’t allowed on the cover, then Poison would never play another gig in this town again.

Poison bassist.jpg
Uncanny Resemblance!

Oh, and then do an impression of Gene Simmons meets Lion-O for that ultimate hard-ass edge.

This album cover isn’t so upsetting in and of itself. Until you factor in the fear that Poison is the most unmetal band ever. Really, their sound boarders harder on Rockabilly and homeboy Bret Michaels totally dressed the part too. That aside, look at this cover. Does it remind you of anything? It reminds me of something. Maybe some demon creature from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

Poison 1.jpg
Never Sleep Again…

Commencing nightmares, now.

5. Van Halen Takes the Wasteland to an Uncomfortable Place

Van halen

Van Halen is the shit. Half legit band, half self-proclaimed sex symbol, David Lee Roth was the coolest front man short of a rock and roll clown doing lot of cocaine. Hell, I even bought a new pair of jeans the other day and promptly described the color as “Van Halen Blue”. The band left their impact, musically and aesthetically. And after looking at a picture of young Van Halen and realized that David Lee Roth looks suspiciously like Elaine Carroll of the old Very Mary Kate sketches, my respect and love for the band multiplied by like, infinity billion.

Very mary kate.jpg

Which made it even stranger when the cover of the band’s album Balance came to my attention. Aside from the abandoned wasteland behind the two (unnecessarily naked) girls, conjoined twins or not, there’s nothing less cock-rock-metal that children on an album cover.

Van Halen Balance.jpg

Let alonetwo of them.

4. Stryper Takes it to a (strangely) Literal Place

Stryper (1).jpg

I wish someone was brave enough to tell these guys that if your music is any good, you don’t need a stripy schtick. But clearly, no one did. In the 3rd grade a friend of mine brought a metal mag to school. In it were photos of different bands with a brief bio on each, and these guys were included in it. My 8-year-old brain couldn’t comprehend the Y in their name and I called them Stripper for months. And I doubt I was the only one to do that! What maroons.

stryper.jpg

Speaking of maroons, this cover for their Isaiah 53:5 is a strange beast. They’ve painted an ambulance it appears in their trademark black and yellow stripes, and…they’re brandishing automatic weapons? Are they supposed to be some sort of Christian A-team?

I looked up the actual bible verse from Isaiah 53:5 just to see if I was missing some kind of symbolic tie in. But that was reaching too far for something that actually made sense. It goes as thus:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

I mean, I guess those weird-ass assault rifles will cause some wounds. Other than that, these dudes look like bumblebee wasp kidnapping assassins and it’s all just in a bad place. But speaking of WASP…

3. WASP Front Man KNOWS He’s The Sex

WASP Last Command.jpg

One of my favorite things about WASP, aside from their underrated and kick ass music is front man/bassist Blackie Lawless’ unshakable confidence. That dude walks into a room, sets himself up in front of that camera, and he’s ready for everyone in the room to want to fuck him.

Cabbage Patch Kid face, Codpiece, and all. Just look at the cover for the incredible album The Last Command. Look at this man’s face. He’s phenomenal.

WASP Electric Circus.jpg

But to the untrained eye, one might see the covers for Electric Circus and the single for Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) and think there’s a severe or violent problem here. But those are mistakes made by those who don’t understand the majesty of a Fuck-God like Blackie.

WASP Fuck Like a Beast.jpeg

All right, the bloody crotch might be a little more than we needed.

2. Whitesnake Vs. Their Cover Art for Ultimate Creep Status

whitesnake.jpg

You remember Whitesnake. These guys on the wrong side of 40 with their flashy jackets and teased, layered hair. Although there’s no scientific evidence to prove it, I feel like these guys were really the nail on the coffin of that cock-rock genre. You remember their hit song “Here I Go Again”. Bet it’s the only Whitesnake song you know.

It featured this gorgeous woman:

Here I go again.jpg

pretending she had to be into this guy:

Whitesnake singer.jpg

Not a good scenario for anybody.

That said, the album cover for Lovehunter is way cooler than any song Whitesnake has ever written.

Whitesnake Lovehunter.jpg

Why didn’t they just go right for it and make some badass sleazy tentacle porn? Why stop with the woman and the snake? And let’s take a look at their self-title LP.

Whitesnake LP.jpg

You go ahead and tell me that snake’s mouth isn’t playing a less-than-subtle game of Peekaboo Pussy.

Because it is. I see it.

1. Bands Posing like Looming, Leering Creeps

dagger.jpg

There are fewer things more terrifying than another person looming over you, taking up your personal space. Which is why the last thing on our list will be addressing this awesome trend in terrible album photography. Just looking at Dagger’s Not Afraid of the Night, I’m immediately remind of some kind of Final Fantasy cosplay land, especially dude on the far left or the bands right. He sort of looks like Kuja from Final Fantasy IX.

Kuja FF.jpg

I was also stoked that these guys are Canadian, Montreal specifically. Representation at last! Too bad they didn’t sing in French…

Firehouse.jpg

Not that women aren’t guilty, too. See, this beautiful woman from the Firehouse album looks like she’s ready to sing you to sleep and then ruin your life…

sinner

But coming in second for the leering in the night award goes to Sinner on their album cover for Comin’ Out Fighting. Comin’ Out Creepin’ would have been a more appropriate album name. Look at these guys. They look like the type of dudes who would follow you out to your car if you caught them spiking your drink.

Two things immediately come to mind while looking at the cover. One, why is John Carpenter a member of this band, and two was he busy directing Big Trouble in Little China at the time this cover was shot? Considering this thing looks like he was photoshopped in at the last minute? John Carpenter’s doppelganger stands out to me on this cover for sure. It makes me think of the Sesame Street “One of These Things is Not Like the Other” song. The look in their eyes conjures forth a harrowing quote from the cinematic masterpiece Billy Madison.

Stop looking at me, swan!

 

Loryn and Jonathan have awesome taste in music, and you can find them both geeking out on Twitter. Or drinking the pain away. Pretty good chance that’s happening, too.

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