Over the summer, we took it upon ourselves to conjure up a list of what we thought were the 20 most outrageous album covers from past and present. These were the records that caused blank stares for one, maybe two minutes. (Someone stared at the Embryonic cover for 30 minutes, but we won’t go into details. It’s a touchy subject). These were the album covers that made us scratch our heads. The album covers that invoked feelings of confusion, laughter, and at times queasiness.
But, of course, more than 20 outrageous album covers exist in this world — there are at least 40 — and after publishing Volume One, we set out on a mission to catalog the next set. Just as we warned you the first time, these are the bizarre, the strange, the unexplainable. Your confusion will not wane as you read on, but you’re bound to be entertained. We know we are.
Now begins your journey through another 20 baffling album covers. As always, please list anything you think we missed in the comments section. Who knows: we may have enough for a third volume.
Aerosmith – Just Push Play (2001)
A lot of veteran bands make bold statements to prove that they’re still hip to the times. And according to Steven Tyler and Co., the “in” thing in 2001 was Marilyn Monroe fembots. Kinda makes you long for the days when Aerosmith designed more thoughtful album art–like a cow with a pierced teat and the band’s logo branded on its side. Eh, never mind. –Matt Melis
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito (2013)
When I was in high school, I had to endure quite a few horror stories, as well as graphic footage and images, intended to shock the students out of engaging in pre-marital sex or driving drunk, reckless, or even inexperienced. It’s inevitable that the cover to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito, which re-imagines the naked baby from Nevermind as a CGI Garbage Pail Kid, will be used to scare people out of dropping acid. –Frank Mojica
Die Antwoord – Ten$ion (2012)
Being that the South African “rap-rave” group is known for its bizarre songs and grotesque videos, a cover this gruesome isn’t that surprising for Die Antwoord. While the album fostered enough attention to grant them multiple festival slots in 2012, for most critics, the unsettling image of a winged Yolandi Visser gorging on a bloody heart was just as hard to stomach as the album. –Danielle Janota
Green Day – Dookie (1994)
February 1 marks the 20th anniversary of Green Day’s Dookie. That means we’ve had 20 years to try to decipher what exactly is going on in its, dare we say, outrageous album cover. From first glance, it’s simply a dog piloting a jet dropping bombs of dookie onto a town in a state of anarchy. Straightforward enough. But there’s so much more. You’ve got God up in his cloud, laughing his ass off. You’ve got other dogs pouring liquid dookie on the town’s citizens. You’ve got an ape holding a pile of dookie, contemplating whether he should throw it. Among the town’s citizens is a cat, a minotaur, a guy with a jack-o’-lantern head, Patti Smith, and Angus Young. Yes, there are stories and symbolism strewn throughout the chaotic cover, but we’re not here to talk about that right now. We’re here to applaud its absurdity. Bravo, Green Day, bravo. —Katrina Nattress