The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1

17th Dec 2012 | 13:40

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
The ghosts of Christmas (albums) past...
We return to the worst Xmas album covers ever

Inspired by this vaguely unsettling festive beauty from the Travolta/Newton John camp, we figured it was high-time to revisit MusicRadar's round-up of the worst Christmas album covers of all time.

So let's delve back in to part one of MusicRadar's guide to the Worst Xmas Albums Covers Ever. Today, we'll give you a rundown of the mad, the bad, the nutso and the probably-worth-sixty-bucks-on-eBay-but-just-look-at-the-thing.

Anyway, have fun, stick the Star Wars one on your Xmas list and we'll see you back on Monday for Part Two. Over to our first entry…

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Carol Channing - The Year Without A Santa Claus
Broadway's golden girl gets her Christmas on

A husky-throated spoken word special from theatre vet Channing, reading the headlining Phyllis McGinley’s novella along with other festive classics.

As if the desperate ‘Hug mommy!’ artwork wasn’t disturbing enough, six years later McGinley’s book would become a terrifying Rankin/Bass animation starring Mickey Rooney (who’s still not dead. Wait, better check. Yeah, still going).

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Mickey Gilley - Christmas At Gilley's
All round to Big Mickey's place

A Christmas cash-in after Gilley’s career was jumpstarted following an appearance on the soundtrack to John Travolta’s 1980 hit Urban Cowboy.

God bless him. Nothing says ‘I’m gonna make it this time’ harder than a boozed up Santa and a crowd of cheering rednecks.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Heino - Deutsche Weihnacht... und festliche Lieder
Not so Silent Nacht

Children Of The Damned albino bowl cut: check.

Dark glasses and madly bulging eyes: check.

Pattern sweater and massive Christmas tree: check…

Then this must be the Christmas album from kitsch German minstrel, Heino. Intrigued? Course you are. More here.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Korean Bing Crosby - White Christmas
Fact: this isn't really the Korean Bing Crosby

We have no idea why this Korean version of White Christmas exists, who sings it, and why lampshades make him so happy.

Not that any of that matters when it sounds so awesome.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Woody Phillips - A Toolbox Christmas
Oh, good gourd

The cover to this gourd music monster looks like a soft-focus snuff movie before the messy part begins.

The noise is even worse: it sounds a bit like real music, in the same way a tongueless dog howling at the moon sounds like a trained choirist. See?

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Star Wars - Christmas In The Stars
Droids are for life, not just for Christmas

Shameful but officially sanctioned Star Wars Christmas album from 1980 (the cover was drawn by the series’ poster artist Ralph McQuarry, triv fans).

It’s mostly Anthony Daniels dueting with the synth-splurge that is R2-D2, though the album also features the first professional vocal performance of Jon Bon Jovi.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
The Kingston Trio - The Last Month Of The Year
We three King(ston)s

The clean-cut folk trio pictured committing typically chirpy group suicide by electrocution following the release of their 1960 seasonal release.

Not really. Though there is something desperate in their faces - maybe they sensed that The Last Month Of The Year would be their first major flop, reaching only #11 on the Billboard Pop chart.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Korla Pandit - Merry Xmas
Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Not just heroically ugly but also colourblind…

This cover takes Indian star Pandit - who was actually an African-American called John Roland Redd - and makes him look like a frightened white child.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Ringo Starr - I Wanna Be Santa Claus
Starry night, holy night

Ringo’s festive effort from 1999, featuring guest appearances from The Eagles’ Timothy B Schmit and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry.

Keeping up the collaborative theme, the album art was apparently designed through a colouring competition in McDonalds.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Various Artists - Christmas With Colonel Sanders
Q: Why was Colonel Sanders' rhythm section so bad? A: Because he had a chicken drummer…

Harry Bellafonte leads the charge on this weird fast food tie-in, the cover of which teaches us that using family feast buckets as gift wrapping is totally OK.

At least the Colonel looks more alive here than he did two years earlier on the front of the album’s predecessor, Christmas Eve With Colonel Sanders.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Indo G Presents… Christmas N' Memphis
Badass Santa

Swag-bag Santa fills up the unique cover of rapper Indo G’s extraordinary Christmas record.

Tracks include Frosty The Blowman, All I Want For X-Mas Is My Charges Dropped and Santa’s Ho House.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Santa's Helpers - All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
Novelty albums: the devil's work

That’s funny, kid, because we’d really, really like to give them to you.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Mirror Image - Disco Noel
Seasonal fever

The small red print says 'Disco dance step lesson enclosed!'… which isn’t much use for the lady reduced to jiving with a mirror-themed tree at Christmas time.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, it sounds like you’d expect a meeting of Christmas and disco to sound: like the apocalypse.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
DC Superheroes - Exciting Christmas Stories
And on the third day of Christmas…

Something worth considering: Superman is one of the few people who could genuinely do Santa Claus’ job without remodelling the laws of space/time.

Batman’s still the coolest though. Look, he’s carrying a bag of presents the same size as Superman’s, even though he doesn’t have super strength. Wow.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Six Million Dollar Man - Exciting Christmas Adventures
They can re-beard him

So what happens in these festive capers, apart from our bionic hero apparently doing some sort of festive strip?

"With only seven shopping days left until Christmas, Colonel Steve Austin suddenly remembers he has not bought any gifts." Really…

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
William Hung - Hung For The Holidays
Worshipping false idols

American Idol laughing stock/hero Hung’s 2004 Christmas covers album, which is only marginally more ridiculous than his debut from the same year, Inspiration.

Not sure about the sleeve design. Is it self-made? Some kind of post-modern joke so progressive it’s subsumed into its own well of meaning? Or just utter, utter wang?

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Thore Skogman Julskiva – Klappa Pa
"Now get in the bag with the others!"

Swedish dazzler Julskiva gives us a Santa with a difference.

That difference being a Hessian murder sack strung with a few sad noodles of tinsel and almost certainly containing the biological evidence to put him away for 25 to life.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Harry Secombe - Christmas Cheer
Between The Goon Show and Songs Of Praise, there was Cheer

Secombe turned to singing after the success of The Goon Show on BBC Radio.

But his rich voice didn’t power itself - it was fueled on roasted children, and they’re more potent served smiling.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Yngve Stoor - Jul Med Yngve Stoor
Santa catching the yuletide

Christmas with Yngve Stoor reads the translation to this Scandie Chrimbo cracker.

Further research is needed to explain why Father Christmas is escaping from man-eating savages on a surfboard wearing only a handkerchief.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Various Artists - Christmas At Our House 

Dreaming of a white-walled Christmas

Swingstress Martha Tilton and a promised group of other GREAT HOLLYWOOD stars bring us this bare-bricked image of Christmas dejection.

Where’s the tree, dad? Why didn’t you buy me enough train track to do a figure of eight? And why the hell do we only have a tiny square of carpet?

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Tim Dinkins - Christmas On The Moon
He's a rocket man

Obscure folk mimsy from the otherwise unheard of Dinkins, along with the mysterious Mrs Nellie Bond.

Interesting to note that Santa is a capable pilot, and that reindeer are presumably incapable of surviving in orbit even if they are magical enough to fly. Listen to the madness here.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Various Artists - Christmas In England
It's grim up North (Pole)

Keep yer fur-lined Santa and yer Coca Cola: cold brickwork and an inedible, death-black Christmas pudding is the real seasonal spirit.

This 1957 oddity was one of eight 'Christmas In…' albums released by Capitol in the same year. Check out how Catholic everybody is in Italy.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Shelley Duvall - Merry Christmas
All work and no play

Cher’s curly-fraz wig and a chorus of Cinderella-style cartoon critters help Hollywood misfit Duvall launch a sickly sweet assault on Christmas.

Have a listen - a few seconds is enough to have you reaching, Jack Nicholson-like, for a baseball bat.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Kim Se-Hwan - Merry Christmas
Big in Asia (it says here)

More Korean Christmas capering, this time from sporty star Kim Se-Hwan.

Normally, skiing without a helmet is considered dangerous, but Kim’s side parting is resin-coated and is strong enough to withstand bullets even when fired from close range.

The Worst Christmas Album Covers Ever: Pt. 1
Yoko Ono - An Xmas Message From Yoko
Warning: black ice

Yoko’s solo Christmas effort from 1991, now sadly out of print.

The evocative sleeve pictures Christmas not as a twinkling festive wonderland, but as a dark abyss scattered with meagre ashes. Merry Christmas to you too, love.

--

Click here for Part Two - it's even worse!

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