Friday, October 31, 2008


For me, the Misfits are as much a part of Halloween as trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns. Rather than post just one cover, I thought I'd hit a few of my favorites from Glenn, Doyle, Jerry and their various cohorts over the years.

Just like the music (and the 50s B horror movies that inspired it), the Misfits' album covers are unapologetic in their cheesiness, yet there is still something creatively ominous about them. Walk Among Us has that great 50s sci-fi style. Legacy of Brutality features the Crimson Ghost, perhaps the second most closely associated band mascot after Iron Maiden's Eddie, though he oddly didn't show up on every cover. Earth AD is perhaps the best artwork featured on any Misfits cover. I always loved how the woman's skull shows through the glass on Die, Die My Darling. The Crimson Ghost shows up again on Collection II, but this time as a photo of the real Crimson Ghost whom the band adopted. Finally, my personal favorite (and one particularly appropriate in yet another election season where we're asked to pick between bad and worse), Bullet, whose shocking image is mild compared to the song's lyrics.

I hope everyone's Halloween is as fun and goofy (and just a little bit scary) as the Misfits!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Helloween-Better than raw

German power metal legends Helloween often used horror and fantasy elements on their covers and on artwork inside the booklets. Pumpkin men have been used on many occasions as well. As for this cover I would say it proves that witches don't always have to be ugly, old crones.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grim Reaper - Fear No Evil

Grim Reaper was one of my very favorite metal bands of the eighties. Sure, Steve Grimmett had the tendency to wail off-key (particularly on their debut album See You In Hell), but the British power metallers were one of the minor league players of the eighties scene who broke out just a smidge between their best album Fear No Evil and their final one, Rock You to Hell. It was their guitarist Nick Bowcott who was the glue and the shining star of the Reaper. His solos were second to none and he used to have a guitar clinic column in Circus magazine. Sad that the only time I ever got to watch him perform live was a few years ago at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey the night they filmed Anthrax's Alive 2. Unfortunately Nick was doing a Dimebag Darrell tribute to samples generated from a laptop. Nick was Darrell's roadie in Pantera's glory days, which, no disrespect intended to Darrell whatsoever, but Bowcott's relegation to roadie was just wrong on all accounts. Ditto for the fact only myself and one other person I saw at the Starland knew who Bowcott really was, though nowadays you can win over any crowd just mentioning Dimebag's name, much less accurately cutting his riffs and solos.

If anyone speaks heavy metal Halloween upon immediate contact, it's Grim Reaper. Both See You in Hell and Fear No Evil are amongst the decade's more memorable album covers. I had a t-shirt of this one and I wish I'd had the foresight back then to know I would've needed to order an XXL since it was one of my favorites and ultimately shrunk to the point of unusability. Hmm, eighties concert shirts that shrunk quickly to the point of unusability... Coincidence?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bruce Dickinson, Tyranny of Souls

Talk about a guy who keeps busy: Bruce Dickinson has been up to a lot in the past few years.

He’s recorded a couple of studio albums and toured with Iron Maiden, which most people would consider enough. But not Bruce. He’s also spent time writing, fencing, and even flying Boeing 747 airplanes commercially.

Yes, really.

And he still had enough time in 2005 to record Tyranny of Souls, arguably his best solo album.

The striking cover uses art by 15th century painter Hans Memling. Although most of Memling’s work was standard religious depictions of the era, one panel of the Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation must have caught Dickinson’s eye.

It’s dark, creepy, and haunting. Perfect for Halloween week.

Iron Maiden-Flight of Icarus


Eddie is just such a cool mascot and a great monster as well. Maiden cover's just about always rule, but I think their best ones were in the first half of the 1980's.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

King Diamond-Abigail


It was the King's second full length solo release and it had "B movie" horror type lyrics. However the vocals, music and the album cover are all great.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Bomboras-It came from pier 13!


Southern California's Bomboras played heavy surf punk with lyrics that were oftentimes about horror and sci-fi topics. Most of their album covers were cool and this is one of my favorites because it is of course designed to look like a 1950's/60's movie poster.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Famous Monsters-In the night


Starting today and once a day until Halloween we will be posting Halloween/horror/monster related covers. So let's kick it off with "In the night" by Famous Monsters. This was a joke/surf/punk (mainly instrumental) band featuring Devil Doll (Sean Yseult of White Zombie), She-zilla and Vampire Girl. The band took their name from the legendary horror magazine and they had lots of horror and monster references in their songs.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raven - The Pack is Back

Raven was one of the better underground metal acts of the eighties, one who seldom gets acknowledgement. Of course, if they were to be judged by The Pack is Back, then the case would be made for their dismissal. Still, they could be looked upon as power and speed metal ambassadors of their time through better efforts such as All For One, Wiped Out, Rock Until You Drop and Life's a Bitch.

Raven were not exactly known for putting a heck of a lot of effort into their album covers, though Rock Until You Drop is clutter-filled hilarity, while The Pack is Back is well...just plain embarassing. Trust me, it doesn't speak all the well of the package beneath it, either. Oh well, everyone has their bad days...


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chilling, thrilling sounds of the haunted house


A sound effects album?
Who listens to that?
Well, I did when I was younger and I stared at the cover as well. This is from Disney so a lot of the sound effects can be heard in Disney films. Since it's Halloween season I will be dusting off my vinyl copy of this and cranking it up once again.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ogre-Dawn of the Proto-Man

The debut from Portland, Maine based doom outfit Ogre looks a scene from an old pulp magazine. I really like the creases as I think they add a nice touch. As a long time sci-fi fan I was a sucker for this cover. It also goes well with the band's fantasy and science fiction tinged lyrics.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Scorpions, Animal Magnetism

I’m amazed how often I’m reminded of lines from the classic film This is Spinal Tap.

For example, I played a guessing game last week with a young lady. And when I asked if the country she was thinking of had the letter “a” in it, she said yes. I guessed several country names, missing every time.

Eventually, I had to ask her what country with “a” in it she had in mind. She said, “Sweden.”

At which point I couldn’t help but think, “These go up to eleven!”

Now consider this cover, which appeared on Scorpions’ 1980 album Animal Magnetism. Looking at it brings to mind this classic exchange between lead singer David St. Hubbins and guitarist Nigel Tufnel:

David: They said the album cover is a bit sexist.

Nigel: Well, so what? What’s wrong with being sexy?”