It’s December, we’re approaching Christmas faster than a rocket-powered Santa’s sleigh and nothing can dim our festive cheer – or so we thought. A quick flick through these awful Christmas album sleeves will have you in Grinch mode in no time at all. Just take this Kenny Chesney monstrosity. The guy looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch mannequin brought to life by black magic.
Quite what was in Rudy Ray Moore’s eggnog the day he decided this was a good idea, we’ll never know. We’ll give the guy this – naming an album ‘This Ain’t No White Christmas!’ takes some serious baubles.
A man in salmon coloured blazer (with nothing underneath) sobs hysterically while lost in the lighting department of Croydon Ikea. We’ve all been there, pal. Why chose it as your Christmas album sleeve image, though?
Cee-Lo Green stars as a fur-clad Santa on the sleeve for ‘Magic Moment’, riding through the cosmos on a horse-pulled Rolls Royce with a reindeer at the wheel. Can’t picture Cliff Richard doing this, somehow.
The words “fear” and “deep-seaded psychological terror” aren’t words usually associated with Christmas. Or at least they weren’t before Swedish Elvis impersonator Eilert Pilarm, whose ‘Eilerts Jul’ (‘Eilert’s Christmas’) album sleeve paints him as the very last person you want slipping down your chimney in the dead of night.
‘Grease’ stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunite on the inexplicably creepy sleeve to ‘This Christmas’. Tell me more, tell me more? No thanks, we’re alright actually.
Imagine bounding downstairs on Christmas morning to find Santa and a terrifying wigged accomplice in Victorian school boy shorts pulling a doll apart like a party cracker in some kind of sacrificial ritual. No wonder the grim, bare walls look like a prison cell interior – Stan and Doug are probably incarcerated in one right now.
In Holland, Santa is a kind of Father Christmas/the Pope mutant called Sinterklaas who lives in Spain, sails around in a boat instead of a sleigh and is assisted by ‘blacked-up’ helpers, all called ‘Black Pete’. Which goes some way to explaining this nightmare-inducing Christmas conundrum but absolutely nowhere near enough.
Poor Mike Adkins. He probably meant to come across as a caring, handsome animal-lover on the sleeve to ‘Thank You For The Dove’. As opposed to a cricket umpire with a dark, dark secret. Is it just us or does he look like he’s about to eat the dove alive?
There’s something a bit ‘cannibal barbecue’ about Thore Skogman’s Christmas dinner. Also, what’s with the weedy Christmas tree? Did someone forget to order one in time?
Lenny Dee looks scarily like a ’70s bank robber hiding from the police in a shopping centre grotto here. He even looks like he’s taken a couple of puppies as hostages, the sign of a truly malevolent bastard – probably not the vibe he was going for here.
It doesn’t bode well for a Christmas album when its cover looks like a MS Paint rush job, with the artist’s face crudely dropped in. Also William, we get why you called your record ‘Hung For The Holidays’ but given suicide rates across Europe and America reach record highs around this time of year, is this really the best possible title? Really?
There’s so many unanswered questions here it’s difficult to know where to begin. Why are the band called The Surfers if their favourite mode of transport is a canoe? Where did they get a Christmas tree made out of pink wafer biscuits? Perplexing stuff.
A strong candidate for most traumatic image of all time: a trouserless Santa out walking in a porno wonderland with a bag full of multicoloured penises. That sound you can hear right now? Psychologists’ phones ringing across the country.
Listen Sanders, Christmas is about turkey trimmings, not greasy KFC chicken. No amount of Christmas singalong albums is going to change that so give it up, old man.
Good thing this guy is wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes from the glaring sunshine you get in December. At night. While it’s snowing.
Can someone please inform Santa he’s supposed to bring glad tidings to all men? His stare here’s of a man about to lump you round the head with a pool cue in a North Pole Weatherspoons. Nice bangs though.
Jimmy Pelham’s ‘Santa! Watch Your Claws’ cover looks like a scene from an x-rated Eastenders holiday special. Terrible, just terrible.
A ‘Christmas Record For Children’? Sure, if you want your child to be subjected to months of sleepless nights, their dreams plagued by demonic elf gnomes with murderous looks in their eyes.
“Real kittens sing 20 holiday classics!” boasts the cover to ‘Jingle Cats’. Just to clarify, everyone knows that cats have no reckoning of Christmas, no grasp of the English language, no understanding of the concept of rhythm or melody and definitely cannot sing, right? Jesus wept.