5 Most Outrageous CD Cover Designs Ever

June 23, 2010

Ever since musicians have dared to push the social envelope – and this dates back to at least Mozart's time (surely you've seen “Amadeus”?) - the artwork that accompanies their packaged music has fallen in stride to match. By the time the 1980s rolled around, one might wonder which was more controversial: the music or the album cover?

Don't get me wrong; there are some incredibly well-designed CD covers out there. Some are tasteful, some are not – naturally, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Then, there are those CD covers that never should have been designed in the first place, regardless of how iconic they might have been.

Nudity and swearing notwithstanding (which pretty much eliminates all ’80s metal), I present my list of the five most outrageous CD cover designs ever.

Black Sabbath: Born Again

The demon child is the most terrifying infant I've ever seen, even if it the horns are just budding. It makes you wonder what sorts of horrors it would bring if it were allowed to live to adulthood. Oh, right... Ozzy. Question answered.

Queen: The Miracle

What could be more horrific than four man-faces melded together into a single visage? When those four man-faces are the very same that sang “Fat Bottom Girls.” Yeah, they make the rockin' world go 'round.

Orleans: Waking and Dreaming

This picture's worth a thousand words, but only two questions: how much were they paid to do this? And how much were they paid to do this?

David Bowie: Heathen

As if David Bowie weren't scary enough, they had to whiten out his eyeballs to suggest he came from another universe. I'm not sure we needed the suggestion, but hey, at least he's clothed.

“Weird Al” Yankovic: Off the Deep End

A list of outrageous CD covers wouldn't be complete without Weird Al in the mix, and though I promised no nudity I couldn't resist the master of musical parody's take on Nirvana's breakthrough album. Still, a naked man chasing down a fish-hooked doughnut is probably the last thing most of us want to see at any hour of the day.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Thanks for the post - I found it to be written well. Very eye opening!

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