Best and Worst Album Covers of 2008
There were a number of fine covers in 2008, but the one that wins hands down has to be The Mars Volta's Bedlam in Goliath. Its mix of the real and surreal is only surpassed by that of the music in the grooves. Plus, it had an excellent vinyl package. (Yeah, the Ouija board piece is a shaped 7" picture disc. You just don't get stuff this cool with CDs, although there were limited numbers of a bonus CD with Bedlam in Goliath that actually had vinyl pressed on one side so they did get pretty close).
Master Slash Slave's Scandal and Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen's Parasols and Pekingese are close runners up, but can't quite touch TMV.
Worst is usually a tougher call since there seem to be so many ways in which to be bad. I usually have to eliminate amateur photoshop covers from self-released and demo albums right off the bat, because there are simply too many to choose from. This year is different though, because (perhaps as payback for making it so hard on me when I had to listen to the music) Judas Priest made the task easy with Nostradamus. The cover is as over-the-top stupid as the album itself. It really is sad though, because it seems Priest wants us to take this cover as seriously as they'd like us to take their ridiculous, epic concept album about a pop culture subject. Ooooh, scary eyes. Yeah, wait 'til you hear the music. The scariest part is that a band with almost four decades of music (most of it good) under its belt couldn't tell that both the cover and music were rotten.