When Drummers Go Solo, Their Album Covers Are The Worst: A Case Study

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Originally published by JUNKEE – July 17, 2014

Yesterday, Faster Louder published a piece on the Spinal Tap-esque name of AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd’s solo album (hint: ewww). This sparked a volley of emails between our two publications regarding the terrible album artwork that drummers seem to adopt once they go solo. A volley of them!

It’s almost as if, when finally freed from the shackles of ‘band democracy’, drummers decide to go crazy, but instead of using 90-second drum solos, and tuneless songs in 11/4 timing to showcase this freedom, they instead commission the absolute worst artists to represent their solo vision. Below are our favourite examples of this.

Between them, these musicians provided the backbeat for some of the most popular songs of the past 50 years, but that’s all just background noise compared to the true horrors that lie below.


 Don Henley: Eagles

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Actual Miles was Henley’s first greatest hits collection, and lest you think this artwork is a relic from the ’80s, keep in mind this was released in 1995. The intended tone of the car salesman art remains a mystery. Is Henley the shifty agent? The dodgy product? Is this the same car he was driving in Boys Of Summer and Life In The Fast Lane, or were they both metaphorical cars cruisin’ down metaphorical roads and lanes? Was it even summer? What else is Henley keeping from us?

 


 Keith Moon: The Who

 

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“…and we call it Two Sides Of The Moon, you see? ‘Cos there’s my arse, right, and there’s my name. Two sides. Could we work the actual moon as well, do you think? Might complicate things, though.”


 Peter Criss: Kiss

 

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Peter Criss has a new hobby now that Kiss touring has slowed down, and it is using a graphic design program that came on three floppy discs twenty-five years ago, and there are flags and planes, and space backdrops, and loads of different 3D fonts, and most of the planets, and if Kiss only had access to this software during the ’70s, it would have been a whole different ball game.


 Ringo Starr: Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, The Beatles

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Ringo Starr helped change almost every aspect of popular music, drummed on Rain, which remains the best drumming to this day, and invented The Chemical Brothers and the selfie, so he gets a pass. Still, look at it. Really look it.


 Roger Taylor: Queen

 

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Taylor’s idea of Fun In Space involves an alien in an unfathomable galaxy, reading a feature about Taylor, presumably published to promote his album, Fun In Space.


 Mick Fleetwood: Fleetwood Mac

 

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Mick somehow named one of the biggest-selling bands in history after himself, and appeared on the cover art of their two biggest albums: Rumours, and the self-titled one that looks like it was a test shoot for the Rumours coverWhen it came time to truly take the spotlight though, he knew what had to be done. One can only imagine the amount of cocaine that steers a brainstorming session towards ‘big avocado on a truck’, and then sees this concept through to completion.

 

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