Battle Axe – Burn This Town
Burn this town? More like burn this album cover! Although, apparently this was only supposed to be an unfinished sketch of what the idea of the cover would look like and the record company printed the first run of albums with this. How? Surely, someone was in charge of quality at the label and should have said this looks like a kindergarten student drew it.
Madam X – We Reserve The Right
I’m guessing they reserved the right to look like the yearbook picture of “The Sweathogs” on this album cover. Or maybe at the very least a B Movie sequel to “The Warriors” movie. Maybe it was a crossover between The Munsters and Welcome Back Kotter. That actually makes the most sense to me as one guy looks like Lurch, one looks like Juan Epstein and girls look like vampires.
Riot – Narita
Wow! Where do I begin with this? Riot seemed to be infatuated with using a baby seal face somehow on their album covers. Which also often showed it with a sumo body and carrying an axe. What the hell? Riot was a really good band but maybe whoever was designing these covers was smoking far too much dope to be given creative license. Just a theory anyway, because this never made any sense to me at all.
Stryken – First Strike
After Stryper hit the Christian metal scene, these guys showed up. I’d like to think that if Jesus was guiding them, he would have given them better advice for this album cover. The dude on the left looks like he’s ready to party and the guy on the right looks like he could have joined Twisted Sister but the two in the middle? To me, they look like two transitioning hockey players or at best robot Raggedy Anns.
Poison – Open Up And Say Ahh!
Is this supposed to be erotic? This cover was actually banned originally with the tongue being censored. I always wondered if this was supposed to tie into the “Look What The Cat Dragged In” theme from the first album or what? It’s not sexy and it’s also stupid. Why did she even need to be a cat woman? That’s the kind of tongue that makes Gene Simmons go “Damn, that’s a long tongue”. Lucky for Poison the songs were hits and the album sold well despite the ridiculous cover.
Def Leppard – On Through The Night
Apparently, Def Leppard just did a gig on the moon and is traveling back through outer space in a semi-truck with the world’s biggest fuckin’ guitar on board. I like this album and it got Def Leppard to a larger audience with its release but this cover was atrocious.
Pantera – Metal Magic
When Pantera released Metal Magic in 1983 this was the cover. WTF? It looks more like one of the Thundercats. I’m not sure if it even has pants on but it has a belt. The tail looks like a demon or devil’s tail. If he doesn’t have pants on, then there’s nothing hanging between his legs, so maybe that’s why he’s pissed. I’m guessing they were going for a panther-demon hybrid but honestly the Pink Panther looked tougher than this thing.
Manowar went about proclaiming to be manly men above all. I’ve never seen how people dressed at an ancient Roman gay bathhouse, but I’m thinking they would have dressed a lot like this. I highly doubt that much of their audience was female and I know I didn’t want to see dudes in loincloths gyrating on stage to loud music. If that was the case, you could have just gone to a Chippendale show and saved your hearing. Having said that Manowar did have some solid songs and set several World records over the years for the loudest concerts among others.
Accept – Accept
This was the German metal band Accept’s debut album cover. What am I accepting here? A chainsaw up my ass?
King Kobra -Thrill Of A Lifetime
So you name your band King Kobra, which is a decent name for a metal band and release your debut album with a logo that has fangs on it and snakeskin. Then, for your second album, this is the cover? This is so bad, I doubt most of the pop bands of the 80s would have gone with this album cover. If the band had a future, it ended with this album cover.
Scorpions – Lovedrive
Who’s bubblegum is this? Did it just fall out of her mouth and land there? If it was his, why on earth didn’t he take it out of his mouth before he started making out with her? Either way, this cover is a sticky mess!
Barren Cross – Rock For The King
Barren Cross was actually a great Christian metal band in the 80s, but this cover does give you that idea at all. Judging from the strange outfits they’re wearing, it looks like the album should have been called “Aerobics For The King”.
Raven -The Pack Is Back
The pack is back…but from where? A hockey game? A lingerie football game? Raven had some solid metal songs but this look was always silly and probably resulted in a lot of metal fans never taking their music seriously. Even if they were going for a Mad Max style apocalyptic look, they look dressed more like the women in those movies than the barbarians.
Savatage -Fight For Rock
So, I get the symbolism here, but… I can’t get past how cheesy this is. Savatage is a good band and dropped some great albums over the years, but this cover is cringe-worthy.