Episode 22 – worst record covers

This episode of the podcast is a bit different… Instead of our usual, reverent look back at examples of the best in record sleeve creativity, we dig into its darkest and often unexplored corners of obscurity to expose some of the worst, or at best, most bizarre record sleeves ever created.

This collection of more than 500 of ‘the worst record sleeves’ is part of a touring exhibition of the same name, which I visited a couple of times when it was on display in Birkenhead, Wirral, from November 2023 to January 2024. Click HERE for my review. Whilst there, I spoke with the curator of the collection, Steve Goldman, along with Simon Robinson, the man behind a supporting book that showcases and expands upon the works on display.

I’d highly recommend a visit to the exhibition, so if you’re near any of these places, do pop along. You can also keep up to date with the growing archive via the links below. Here’s where the collection is currently planned to be exhibited in 2024:

Bailiffgate Museum and Gallery
Alnwick, Northumberland
6 February–21 April 2024

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
4 May – 22 June 2025

Bearded Theory Festival
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
23 – 26 May 2024

Warrington Art Gallery and Museum
September–December 2024

During the collection’s installation at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead, visitors were invited to select their favourite worst design and here’s the top ten for your consideration and amusement, from votes cast by 642 people.

1. Oil and Vinegar by Dave McKenna/Wilbur Little
2. Stai in Poala Mea by Holograf
3. Robots Apres Tout by Katerine
4. Hier Aujourd’hui by Carlos
5. Before I Go by Vietnam Chain
6. Ik Dank Je by Ray Franky
7. Narita by Riot
8. Toy by David Bowie
9. Lady’s Fancy by Dan Crary

10. Dirty Sally by Hans Edler

In the episode, we spoke about a few other examples, which may come as a surprise, including the following guilty suspects:

Buy the book ‘The art of the bizarre vinyl sleeve’ by Simon Robinson directly from the publisher at this link: www.easyontheeyeshop.co.uk

Join the Facebook group: facebook.com/worstrecordcovers

Instagram: @worstrecordcovers

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