So I’ve been doing a good deal of driving over the last couple of weeks, mostly to Richmond and back—one kid going this way, one that way, one coming back from one of those ways. You get the idea. I don’t mind driving too much. It lets me put on and belt out my favorite tunes on The Spotifys.
Today was another such day, and at first I was gonna come home and toss out a blog post about my favorite horror-y tunes, mainly because one of the things that shuffled through was 1965 version of “Strychnine” by The Sonics. In truth, for a long time, I always thought it was a Cramps song and, as much as I love Lux Interior, I kinda prefer The Sonics original version a tiny bit.
But then Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” popped up, and I was reminded of this religious nutjob from my yute. His name was Gary Greenwald, and he was on the front lines of the Satanic Panic of the 80s. I used to watch his show, The Eagle’s Nest, just to hear him yammer against rock music, play shit backwards, and “deconstruct” the satanosity of the album covers, no doubt unwittingly drawing hundreds more people to the albums he tried to vilify.
Halle-fucking-lujah praise jeebus.
Anyway, that put a different idea in the ol’ gulliver—horror-y album covers which for some reason came to mind much faster than the songs. So I give you my Top 10 Creepy Album Covers.
#10 Eldorado (Electric Light Orchestra, 1974)
I’m not a huge ELO fan, but I like them fine. This particular image stands out because A) Gary Greenwald didn’t approve of it, and B) after the flying monkeys, this is one of the scarier scenes from the always terrifying Wizard Of Oz.
#9 In The Court Of The Crimson King (King Crimson, 1969)
Before Emerson, Lake, And Palmer, Greg Lake started with these folks on this album. It’s an unnerving cover, and the album’s title track, all 9 minutes and 23 seconds of it, is one of my favorite favorite songs in the history of ever.
#8 Welcome To My Nightmare (Alice Cooper, 1975)
I mean, it’s Alice Cooper. That should be self-explanatory. Plus the horns on the title track are mwah.
#7 And Roll Over (Kiss, 1976)
My favorite Kiss album, and the first one I ever bought, much to the consternation of my very catholic grandmother. I know, right? Kiss? Oh if only she knew what was to come.
#6 Hair Of The Dog (Nazareth, 1975)
This, along with No Mean City, was another one of the covers on Greenwald’s hit list and contains the aforementioned “Love Hurts.” Incidentally, until looking up this album for an image today, I never knew this was a cover of an Everly Brothers tune. And the original ain’t bad.
#5 Holy Diver (Dio, 1983)
Back in college, my dear friend Steve Frankenberry, author of Frankenberry’s Attic, would trek the hour into Pittsburgh for concerts—Triumph, U2, Quiet Riot. Actually, when Quiet Riot came on, we left, with Frankenberry announcing, “For all of you here to see Quiet Riot, we’re leaving. We only came for Icehouse” (the opener). And there was Dio. Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Floor seats. Near the tower speakers. I couldn’t hear for three days after.
#4 Brain Salad Surgery (Emerson Lake And Palmer, 1973)
Cover by pre-Alien H.R. Giger. Nothing further is needed.
#3 Uriah Heep (Uriah Heep, 1970)
“Easy Livin'” is the only Uriah Heep song I know, and it ain’t even on this album. But that cover. Sheesh. It looks Lovecraftian and also looks like the giant maggot that does you-know-what in Galaxy Of Terror.
#2 Bad Music For Bad People (The Cramps, 1984)
Ah, my introduction to the world of psychobilly. My second favorite Cramps album (the first is Songs The Lord Taught Us), but by far my favorite Cramps cover.
Mood Swing (The Nails)
Oil And Gold (Shriekback)
White Hot (Angel)
#1 Number Of The Beast (Iron Maiden, 1982)
One of my all time favorite covers from my all time favorite album by my all time favorite metal band. Eddie Lives!
There they are gang! What are some of your favorite creepy album covers? Lemme know in the Comments.