Kooky Covers: 35+ Artists Who March To The Beat Of Their Own Drum

By Aileen D December 13, 2023

This article was originally published on tunefulsoul

Without a doubt, album covers have been a crucial piece of music since the early days of vinyl records. They serve as the visual representation of an artist’s work and can convey the mood, tone, and message of an album. From iconic designs to controversial images, album covers have become an art form in their own right.

Just like music, album cover art can stir up their own bit of controversy. We’re not talking about Nirvana’s Nevermind or cool designs with funky easter eggs. We’re talking about the bizarre, really “out there” album covers. Whether it’s a band dressed in fruit costumes or a solo artist posing with a giant rubber duck, these designs are definitely not for the faint of heart. But hey, who said music can’t be a little bit weird and wacky?

Yodeling

In the ’80s, it wasn’t uncommon to see couples exploring new hobbies and interests together. But for this couple, their shared passion for music took things to a whole new level. The woman, a timid housewife, had always been drawn to blasting people’s eardrums.

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John, on the other hand, had never played an instrument in his life, but he was determined to give it a try with all this shiny new equipment. He and his wife may have ruined their image as the ideal couple, but they were okay to pay that price.

Not Inspiring Confidence

The Singing Evangels, a beloved gospel group, had decided to release a new album about the eternal journey. But as they brainstormed ideas for the album cover, things got a little… interesting. How could they preach about the eternal journey when they only had a few decades of experience?

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Should they change the title of their hit song? Would it be silly to preach about their minimal experience? In the end, they agreed not to. It was better to inspire the public about the salvation that awaits should they decide to convert to Protestantism.

Modern Day Man

The world was in need of a savior, and they found one in the form of a modern-day messiah. He was a man of the people, a leader with a magnetic personality and an aura of goodness that seemed to radiate from him.

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What better way to spread his message than with an album cover? The modern-day messiah posed for the camera, arms outstretched, wearing a white robe and sandals, looking every bit the part of a biblical figure. The only thing missing was a halo of light around his head.

Strap On Your Seats

The Flight Attendant Sisters were ready for takeoff with their new album, Denim Skies. But when it came time for the album cover shoot, things got a little… jean-heavy. The sisters, all flight attendants by day, decided to go with an all-denim theme for the photo. They donned matching denim jackets, and skirts.

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You could say the same about their songs. Instead of uplifting the spirits, it was one to make your eyes feel heavy-lidded. After a couple of attempts, they decided to return to a stable job assisting passengers in putting on their seatbelts.

Pun Intended

Derek Bell’s album cover was certainly living up to its name. In the center of the photo is a man lying under a grand piano, trapped but still playing his wind instrument. After only a couple of minutes, a sheen of sweat lined his brow, and he appeared out of breath.

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Apparently, Derek likes to experiment not only with wind instruments but stringed ones as well. What was he doing under the piano? We can’t for sure. Maybe he’s doing a maintenance check on one of many of the instruments he has on display.

Find Your Flow

Introducing the latest album from the one and only Fabio Flow! With his luscious locks flowing in the breeze and his electric guitar slung low, he strikes a pose that would make even the most macho man feel a little bit inadequate.

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The album cover, titled Hair-raising Riffs, features Fabio holding his guitar in one hand while the other is flexed just right to show off his muscles gained from years of strumming the guitar. What better way to woo the ladies than showing off on an album cover, right?

Who’s The Father?

Get ready to join the dark side with the latest album from the Leather Lords! This group of leather-clad rebels has taken things to the next level, sporting none other than Darth Vader’s iconic mask on their album cover. They even took it up a notch with four helmets!

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Die-hard fans can’t help but fall in line to buy tickets for this group’s concert. When interviewed about why she loved the band, one fan said that the Leather Lords are a galactic tribute to the empire than a menace to it.

Deafening Blows

What can you expect from Big Drum Bob? The cover features Bob, the slick, mustached drummer, sitting behind his kit with a massive bass drum that’s nearly three times his size! Just how hard does he have to hit that thing?

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It’s an impressive sight to behold—Bob looks like he’s barely sitting in place as he tries to slam down on the base pedal with all his might. But despite the challenge, he looks completely in his element, grinning from ear to ear as he bangs away at the kit.

Trick or Treat

You can tell that the crowd absolutely loves this band’s music. They grin at each other, composing their own garbled lyrics to fit the song. You can always expect this trio of goth metalheads to deliver in both style and substance.

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As you listen to the music, you’ll find that KinderGoth’s sound is just as dark and ominous as its fashion sense. With thunderous guitar riffs and haunting vocals, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Good thing these kids have a limited vocabulary, right?

Seranading Plants

Here’s the greenest band around: The Plant Whisperers. This group of artists has taken their music to the most unconventional of audiences—plants. If we had to judge by the cover alone, we’d say that ferns are the absolute number one fans of this strange band.

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As you listen to the music, you’ll find that The Plant Whisperers’ sound is just as soothing and peaceful as their surroundings. With gentle guitar melodies and soft vocals, they’re a perfect way to soothe your plants when you’re not around to talk to them.

Even He Has Taste

Introducing the latest album from the alternative rock band that’s just too loud for one little kid, Earplugs Please! The album cover features the band in all their grungy glory, complete with an all-black attire and one rocking a classic pair of Raybans.

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But the real star of the show is the little kid in front of them, who’s holding his hands over his ears in a desperate attempt to block out the noise. Despite his best efforts, the music seems to be piercing straight through his tiny hands and into his eardrums.

The Prince of ’70s

This artist was catapulted to fame for having the biggest hair in the business. If you stand behind him, you’ll be covered in pitch-black darkness. But not to worry, it’s perfect for blocking out all your other senses so you can fully listen to his songs.

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As you listen to the music, you’ll find that Afro Thunder’s sound is just as wild and unpredictable as his hair. With funky basslines, soaring horns, and soulful vocals, this guy and his hair are a true force of nature.

Without Further Adieu

This is the most out-of-this-world, out-of-synch rockers you will ever see: The Space Jam Band. The album cover features the two band members dressed in shiny, silver foil capes that make them look like they just landed from another planet.

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They’re holding their electric guitars at their side yet ready to blast off into the stratosphere. And if it weren’t for their fans, we would have blasted them up into space. There, they can fully play their bassy overtures and funky music.

Simple Parroting

Here’s the latest album from Terry and Terry that has got fans screaming “amen.” Just who are they, you might ask. Is it a duo, or is it just one person with a talent for deception? Look right below and take a guess.

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The cover seems innocent enough, but the longer you look at it, the more unsettling it becomes. Why is there a need to use a ventriloquist’s doll as a backup singer? We’ll admit that ventriloquism takes skill, but this cover is not the place to bring up your other talents.

Resembles a Wolf

When they agreed upon a band name, they could have cared less that it was named after their male lead singer. Standing proudly in the center, he doesn’t mind showing off his hairy chest—a remnant of his ancestors he’s proud of.

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The album cover features Harry front and center with the rest of the band members huddled around him like a pack of wolves. They’re all wearing the classic ’70s onesie, smiling at the camera, ready to rock your socks off.

What Era Was This?

Allow us to introduce you to the Singing Richey Family, the most old-fashioned band you’ll ever see! On their latest album cover, they look like they were transported straight from the early 1300s, around the time of the bubonic plague.

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We would have guessed this picture to be taken in sepia tones, given the vintage clothing. Despite their old-fashioned appearance, the Singing Richey Family’s music is surprisingly modern. They’ve taken classic bluegrass and folk tunes and given them a modern twist.

Groovy

They had really set their sights on saving the world with their music. These were the Teen Titans, clad in superhero attire, complete with capes. They gathered around their then-futuristic instruments and relied on synth to create groundbreaking pop music.

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Do they look ready to save the world from dreary orchestral music or what? Together, they’re a force to be reckoned with. The Tech Piano Teen Titans play a blend of rock, pop, and techno that’s unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Bleached Santa

Here’s the latest holiday-themed album that will have you ho-ho-ho-ing all night long—Santa’s Sing-Along by The Jolly Jingle Band! The album cover features the lead singer, a heavyset man with a bleached mustache and eyebrows. Or, is that Old Saint Nick disguised as a rocker?

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The rest of the band members, although not in the picture, are dressed in festive attire as well, with candy cane-striped suits and Santa hats. They didn’t want to be seen, not with this intimidating presence overshadowing them. But they stood carrying tinsel and ornaments aplenty.

Half-Jock, Half-Instrumentalist

Meet Dave, a dedicated soccer player who had a big match coming up. He had been practicing for weeks, ready to lead his team to victory. But one day, he got a call from his friend, who was a music producer. “Dave, we need you for an album cover!”

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In a moment of pure spontaneity, Dave skipped soccer practice to pose for the album cover. He showed up at the studio with his drum and sticks in hand, ready to rock out. The photographer instructed him to stand in front of a colorful backdrop and strike a pose.

Someone Lace Them Up

Meet the “Pink Panthers,” a group of men who were stuck in the ’70s and never looked back. They were a musical sensation, known for their catchy tunes and outlandish fashion choices. Someone really ought to have told them to lace it up.

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The suits were a little tight, but that didn’t stop the Pink Panthers. They strutted around the studio, chests bare and confidence high. The photographer was a little taken aback. He had seen some wild things in his career, but this was something else entirely.

Sour to Our Liking

Meet Lemon, the world’s most sour alternative rock band. They were known for their screeching guitars, pounding drums, and lyrics that could curdle milk. But one thing they weren’t known for? Their avant-garde (’90s) fashion sense. They were the favorite of many housewives.

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Lemon was made up of four men—Tom, Jerry, Bob, and Dave. They all had different tastes in fashion, and it showed. Tom wore a boring polo shirt, while Jerry donned a felt blouse. Bob was always seen layered in an office jacket, and Dave never left the house without his shades on.

Above the Knees

Meet Skirt Rock, the band that broke all the gender norms and rocked skirts like nobody’s business. Their sound was edgy, and their look was even edgier. Skirt Rock was comprised of four guys, Johnny, Mick, Bobby, and Danny. They all wore skirts, eyeliner, and boots with thick soles.

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They looked like a cross between David Bowie and a Scottish Highlander. Their sound was unique—a mix of punk, grunge, and classic rock. And their look was just as unique. They wore plaid skirts, leather skirts, denim skirts, and even kilts.

The ’70s

Ah, the ’70s. A time of disco balls, bell bottoms, and questionable fashion choices. Let’s start with the bell bottoms. These pants were so wide you could fit a family of four in them. They flared out at the bottom, making even the skinniest legs look like tree trunks.

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People wore them with everything—t-shirts, blouses, even cowboy hats. They were the ultimate statement piece. Then there were the platform shoes. These bad boys had thick soles that could add a foot to your height, not that these guys needed help with their stature.

Grunge Was King

The ’90s hard rock. This was a time when grunge was king, flannel was the fabric of choice, and everyone wanted to be a little bit angsty. The bands of the ’90s hard rock scene were a little less glam and a lot more gritty than their ’80s counterparts.

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They wore their hair long and unkempt, and their clothes were torn and faded. But despite the less flashy appearance, these bands still knew how to start an upheaval. It would have been better if they were able to rally employee unions to strike a deal against management, but hey, that’s a work in progress.

Opening Night

With their dark clothes, heavy makeup, and love for all things macabre, the goth hard rockers were certainly a force to be reckoned with. Even Grandma couldn’t help but demand that these kids repair the garage after their fiasco of a performance last night.

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Of course, between us, it’s Grandma who’s the feistiest of them all. She doesn’t need to paint on white makeup or wear eyeliner. You can feel her very presence creating a ripple amongst the young crowd as they try to keep up with the woman.

For the Road

This band looked like they came straight out of a motorcycle gang but with a twist. Their attire was a mix between black leather jackets, studded belts, and bandanas, and the classic emo look of tight pants, dyed hair, and a constant expression of teenage boredom.

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Their music was just as confusing, blending heavy metal guitar riffs with emotional lyrics about lost love and misunderstood emotions. They called themselves “The Sad Bikers,” and their fans were as confused (about their sense of selves) as they were devoted.

Boris

The Shadowed Souls were known for their dark and moody music. They were a staple of the ’90s goth scene, and their fans couldn’t get enough of their pained guitar riffs and nail-screeching lyrics. But there was something different about one of their members, a guy named Boris.

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He always stood out on stage, not just because of his stunted height but because he wore a pair of horns on his head. No one quite knew why Boris wore the horns, but some speculated it was because he believed himself to be a beast.

The Virtuoso

Jan Akkerman, the Dutch guitarist Virtuoso, was known for his incredible skills on the guitar. But his 1977 album Jan Akkerman was also known for its rather risqué album cover featuring Akkerman lying on a bed beside a naked woman with a guitar body.

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Some people were scandalized by the cover, while others found it humorous. But Akkerman himself seemed to find it all rather amusing. In interviews, he would joke about how he had to be careful not to scratch the finish on his guitar.

Feline Madness

There was a one-man band named Jerry. Jerry was a talented musician, but he didn’t have many human fans to play for. So, he decided to take his act to a new audience—cats! You can bet that they bared their nails and swung to Jerry’s music.

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As Jerry played on, the cats swayed their tails in time with the music. Some even meowed along, adding their own unique harmonies to Jerry’s tunes. It was an intriguing sight to behold. Maybe Jerry ought to invite some of us humans, too!

A Little Discretion

This album cover looks… interesting enough. We’ll ignore the outfits because, well, it was taken in the late-’70s to mid-’80s, when hair volume and unflattering outfits were all the rage. We’ll even look past the awkward smiles. No, what really catches our eye are the instruments.

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Is that even supposed to be a guitar? Is this like that version of “Somebody I Used To Know”, played with five people on one guitar? We know weird outfits were a fad, but we didn’t realize that bizarre instruments were trending, too.

United They Sit

Put your hands together for the most visually striking musical act you’ll ever see—the Show Brothers Quartet! These four dapper gents take the stage in matching suits and glasses, looking like they just stepped out of a 1950s corporate office.

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Don’t be fooled by their nerdy appearance—these guys can sing, and they’re here to entertain, that is, if you get to buy their album and put it on a phonograph first. Many have said that the album sounds good, so long as you disregard the album cover.

In Another World

We had to do a doubletake. We know that Michael Jackson had been in a band with his family, but we hadn’t expected them to be pale-skinned and rocking frizzy hair like these dudes. After a closer look, we noticed that this guy only looked a lot like the King of Pop.

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As the lights dimmed and the music began to play, the crowd eagerly awaited the appearance of the legendary Michael Jackson. But as the smoke cleared, they were greeted by a man who looked eerily similar to the King of Pop, surrounded by a group of white men dressed in matching suits.

The Roundtable

As the camera flashed, the band of caped heroes struck a pose for their album cover. They were all clad in brightly colored spandex suits and flowing capes. But what really caught the photographer’s eye were the yellow underpants they wore over their tights.

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As they prepared to take another picture, a gust of wind blew their capes up, revealing even more of their yellow underpants. They quickly adjusted their capes and struck another pose. They decided to edit the photo to make it sepia-colored. They couldn’t risk losing their fanbase.

Not What They Were Expecting

What would happen if you don’t fulfill your end of the contract with the design artist? Well, they can make your album cover look like you were being roasted alive. If you ask us, it totally fits the bill of a hard metal band, completely oblivious to the he**ish heat.

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The artist worked tirelessly for days, creating a masterpiece that he was proud of. But he decided to revamp the whole design as soon as he heard that his customers wouldn’t be able to settle their payment before the due date.

No Thanks

Mary and Martha were born into a family of gospel singers. They grew up singing in church, standing in front of the crowd, wings flapping with harps in hand. They were known for their beautiful harmony, perfect pitch, and their heaven-high hair.

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One day, the sisters decided to record an album of their favorite gospel songs. They wanted to create an album cover that would reflect their passion for music and their strong bond as twins. They were thrilled at the new cover; it ticked all the boxes.

Did A Full 180

For every album cover, these artists would stand in a row. Their lead singer was always standing with his back to the camera, his neck craning awkwardly to look at the picture. The guy was doing a whole 180-degree turn with his neck!

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Aptly named “the Neckbreakers”, this was a heavy metal band with a reputation for wild, live shows, jaw-dropping kicks, and headbanging music. It’s always a shocking sight to see that the singer would beat the time whilst looking at his audience.

Career Shift

This band is composed of middle-aged men with impeccable style. Without their instruments, they could easily be mistaken for stockbrokers. While they always had style and class in all their album covers, the real fan favorite was the furry feline.

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Everyone gathered around the lead singer, who was sitting in a chair, restraining the cat on his lap. Owing to this feline’s impatient nature, they all had to finish the shoot in less than three minutes, quicker than any song they had ever written.

Stood Out

John had been in the music business for years, but he had never quite made it big. He had a decent voice and could play a few instruments, but he lacked that certain something that would make him stand out.

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He decided to use his receding hairline to his advantage. After all, it had been the coffee table topic for a while now. He was certain his album would gain traction because of this display piece as well. As he guessed right, the cover caused a stir.

Two Were Unhappy

With five people in the band, this group struggled to come up with a name. One of them jokingly suggested one, and it stuck. And their debut album cover had to be equally amusing. Unfortunately, two of them were unhappy with the idea of sitting in a grassy field, staring down the barrel of the camera.

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The Happy Three would go on to create three more albums. But with each album release, fans grew more restless and unhappy with the band’s songs. At least these folks tried, and that alone earns them a few points in the music industry.

Not In The Clear

Chuck had been playing music his entire life. But no one seemed to take notice of him. That all changed when he released this album, with a self-explanation: My Friends Call Me Chuck. It was self-introductory and uncomplicated, just the way he liked it.

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The album cover featured him taking a stroll in the middle of a clearing. He was grinning ear to ear and it looked like he was being welcomed by fans cheering him on, “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck!” Two years later, he manifested that into reality.

The Punching Rockers

This band played hard rock music that was as powerful as a heavyweight boxer’s punch. But what made The Punching Rockers truly unique was their appearance. All of the band members dressed like they were 1900s boxers, complete with black-and-white striped leggings, and blush-on.

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When The Punching Rockers performed, their fans couldn’t help but be transported back in time to the early days of boxing. They moshed and headbanged as if they were in a boxing ring, throwing punches in the air and dodging imaginary jabs.

Country Road

This farmer loves to play music in his spare time. But instead of going home to practice, he decided to bring his harp with him to the farm. He put it atop the tractor and would only swivel around to play a musical piece or two after a hard day’s work.

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As he plays, the forest animals gather around him, drawn by the sound of the harp. A family of deer watch from a distance, a squirrel scampers up the tractor’s tire to get a better view, and a family of birds perched on the harp’s strings, swaying to the music.

Mix It Up

After years of practicing and performing at local events, this band decided it was time to go pro and make an album. While they’d perfected their music, they couldn’t decide on a look. Would they keep things as edgy as their music? Or go in the opposite direction?

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They couldn’t figure out a theme they all agreed on. So, in the end, they decided to individually dress up as they wanted to. Some found parts of old Halloween costumes, while others settled for something that matched their music’s vibe.

Frivvy Five

The Frivolous Five had just finished creating their comeback album. They had just retired from their day jobs, nursed their grandchildren to sleep, and had a great deal of time to compose music. They even sewed costumes for concert openings.

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Their first order of business was to come up with a name for the album. After much brainstorming and a few glasses of wine, they settled on Sour Cream and Other Delights. The songs were surprisingly good, considering the fact that the band members had a combined age of 374.

Electric

Wanting to outshine the competition, this duo decided that they had to come up with an outfit that would draw the attention of the crowd. They got their wish for all the wrong reasons. Electrical tape goes so well on electric guitars.

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They thought it would add a cool, edgy vibe to their guitars, but in reality, it just made them look like a pair of DIY enthusiasts. People couldn’t believe their eyes. They laughed, they cried, they cringed, and they wondered why on earth anyone would think it was a good idea.