Here at VK, usually when we talk about covers, we're referring to a song played by a band that was originally done by another band. However, I don't think that actual albums covers--that is, the "artwork" on the face of the album--get credit where they are due.
Oftentimes, a great piece of art not only draws the eye, but enhances the vibe and message as the musical component of the album. At its best, the work can be as sublime, moving, beautiful or curious as the songs it's packaging.
HOWEVER! Bad album artwork can really backfire. The Sun-Sentinel has put together a gallery of the worst album covers of all time. You can even upload atrocities you've seen, and vote for the worst.
Most, like this, are simply an overbearing punch of retro SO ugly, even Threadless wouldn't pick it up for kitsch value (ouch!):
Others are "merely" an affront to the basic aesthetic sense of those who have better than 20/400 vision, but are an all-out insult to those with even a modicum of graphic design preference:
Others... there is simply no excuse, and nothing to say:
WOW. Well. On that note, let's take this "covers" term and deliver some random cover songs for you as well.
- Andrew Bird - Oh Sister (Bob Dylan Cover).mp3
- Cold War Kids - Electioneering (Radiohead cover).mp3
- Beirut - Hallelujah (live Leonard Cohen cover).mp3
- Arcade Fire - Born on a Train (Magnetic Fields cover).mp3
- Editors - Feel Good, Inc. (Gorillaz cover).mp3
- The Society Of Poor Academics - Woke Up New (Mountain Goats cover).mp3