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100 Worst Album Covers

There’s a lot of ugliness in the world, but it’s hard to see it all at once—thanks then to Jim Washburn, who presents here far more than the promised 100 most-awful album covers in the history of music. Collectors like Deke Dickerson pitched in to locate missteps by Dylan (The Band’s Music From Big Pink), the Beatles (the famed and gory “butcher” cover) and James Brown (featuring a photo of Brown peeking through a keyhole and a caption reading “Soul Brother #1 is peeking at you thru the key hole”) as well as lesser-known anti-classics by Captain Beefheart (the endearingly hideous Trout Mask Replica), the Louvin Brothers (the legendary Satan Is Real) and Blue Cheer, whose sophomore Outside/Inside cover was painted by their Hell’s Angels roadie-slash-manager, Gut. It’s a real testament to the power of the human mind—which, as included musician Frank Zappa said, is the ugliest part of the human body.
Sat., Aug. 1, 6 p.m., 2009


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