1. Jesus Use Me (The Faith Tones, 1964)
We begin the list with this album because its cover represents several themes to which we’ll return:
- Bouffants all up in your face – these things go to infinity and beyond!
- Questionably intentional sexual innuendo – do they really not realize how S&M-ish “Jesus Use Me” sounds? I half-expect the single to be titled “The Leather Daddy, the Son, and the Holy Ghost”
- The thousand yard stare of a cult member questioning their own choices for the first time – it’s that sense that behind the smiles, they’re all desperately trying to snuff out newborn doubt with a pillow.
This cover also has the distinction of being so terrible that Google’s autocomplete suggestion for “Faith Tones Jesus Use Me” is “Faith Tones Jesus Use Me HOAX.” Seriously, go try it for yourself. We’re not going anywhere.
2. God’s Best (Neil Grant Vosburgh, 1974)
Then again, sometimes the pleasure found in album art is as simple as a game of “Lost Orbison or Obasan?”
3. Country Church (Country Church, 19??)
Turns out country church sings the gospel of sweater-vests and polygamy! Whodathunk? They’ve also got quite a faithful and devout following for the most part, except for that first guy on the left. That doubt’s starting to creep in – better grab the pillow.
4. He Touched Me (Greg Kendrick, 19??)
This one falls into the (presumably) unintentional innuendo column, but with a dash of intrigue. Is that child Greg Kendrick? If he is, then who touched him? His producer? Is this a cry for help? And what if that child ISN’T Greg Kendrick? Is this a childhood Greg’s childhood bully? Current bully? Is Greg Kendrick a grown man calling out this child for inappropriate touching?
WE HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS!
5. Uncle “D” Talks with Charlie and Sheila (Uncle D, 1975)
Another bizarre trend we discovered looking through these covers: there used to be a time when artists believed there was nothing more appealing to listening audiences than straight up horror movie ventriloquist dummies. We’re, like, 90% sure the puppet on the left auditioned for Slappy on Goosebumps, and the one at the left at the very least auditioned.
The album title, meanwhile, sounds like a euphemism to explain to your children why they can’t see their uncle anymore, without breaking the news of his arrest. “Sorry kids, Uncle D won’t be viiting again any time soon, he’s… talking with Charlie and Sheila now.”
6. Tell Bible Stories For Boys And Girls (Randy Dandy and Judy, 1970)
See? Yet another puppet, yet another bouffant. These patterns are not quiet! Meanwhile, each of those children grew up to be a serial killer, including the dummy.
7. Amen! (Erick, 1974)
I’ll be honest, I can barely articulate a full sentence looking at this artwork, so I’m just going to bullet point it:
- The dummy, Erick, is getting first billing on this album.
- The human, Beverly, is credited as “His Manipulator.”
- Their relationship is incredibly sexual.
- Beverly has definitely messaged her governor to allow her to marry Erick because she doesn’t believe in sex out of wedlock.
- Beverly is conflicted because the guilt just makes the sex hotter for her.
- Erick has no opinion on the matter, because he is a puppet made of wood.
8. The Touch of God (The Simmons, 19??)
And let’s bring all together for one last chance at glory! We’ve got bouffants! Matching outfits with clashing patterns! Eyes shaded by theological uncertainty! And even a ventriloquist dummy! …I think.
The one on the guy’s knee. That is a dummy, isn’t it? It almost looks like it was once alive, but that’s GOT to be a puppet. God, the longer the stare, the less certain I become. The world seems to grow dim, and does anyone else hear a quiet howling? It’s getting louder the more that puppet smiles.
Why is she smiling so widely anyways?
Why won’t she stop laughing at me?
What’s so funny, I don’t get-