It's true that the world looks more innocent through a child's eyes. But album covers, even those made for kids, are designed by grown-up, world-hardened and bitter adults. So sometimes you just have to ask, what the hell were they thinking?
Believe it or not, the fucked-up aspect of this cover doesn't have anything to do with Raffi's cold and judgmental glare. It might take a few moments for you to see it. We'll wait.
Although Raffi looks as though he's no stranger to uncompromising discipline, this child clearly knows that he's the least frightening of the boogeymen who lurk at the corner grocery store. The real horror hides in the bushes, in the upper left, and there is a zero percent chance he's wearing anything from the waist down.
Because the contents of your mind consist of hovering, cross-dressing robots, breakdancing aliens and some kind of spring-loaded bellman in a disco ball suspended above a giant, anthropomorphic cock, we are redirecting your postcards "return to sender."
Also: While you're in the realm of the dick monster, do NOT buy the ice cream.
What are "the Diddymen"? Apparently little buck-toothed hunchback trolls with comically oversized hats, the weight of which has ruined the curvature of their spines. What's most unsettling about this is we're pretty sure this image represents what Ken Dodd sees all the time. The Diddymen are always there, aren't they, Ken?
Wait a second, is the Diddyman on the far left making that chick blow him?
(Note that this is one of several covers we found thanks to LP Cover Lover, who seems dedicated to laboriously scanning every obscure LP sleeve ever printed).
FOFAO appears to have been something like the Brazilian equivalent of Barney the Dinosaur. Whereas America's youth grew up with a playful if mentally impaired purple dino-pal, Brazil got a Muppet with a scrotum for a head. Seriously. LOOK AT ITS FACE. Picture waking up tomorrow morning with it staring at you from six inches away.
Focus on that unearthly creature to the right. You know, the thing that looks like a cat wearing a Pennywise the Clown wig.
Now look at the whole image, and notice how terrified the clown-cat monster is of the leering guy to the left. That thing is shitting its pants. You want to know when you've found the real monster? When you find out what the other monsters are afraid of.
(From LP Cover Lover.)
We admit openly that we hate and fear kids. Even so, we think there is a very fine line between smiling, happy children, and terrifying, murderous, wide-eyed zombie monsters. Look at their faces. Really look at them. Those children are not smiling. Especially the little girl - she's warding off an attacker. Tell us she's not. Now look at the words floating over her head. Little Wendy: "Why? WHY?" This cover was clearly conceived and executed by the only person present to hear Little Wendy's last words, and he's cold blooded enough to turn them into a mocking nickname.
Of course, the artist wasn't satisfied with that kind of subtlety, so we get a dozen disembodied, grabbing hands.
Stripped of context, Grandpa's River by Skip Jones and the Beaver Dam Chorus seems to remind us of tranquil childhood days, pole fishing by Grandpa's Nebraskan homestead. This impression is shattered when we discover that "Grandpa's River" is home to a snarling, blood-soaked yeti.
Also, the next time your neighbors are having noisy sex, just try to avoid thinking of that sound as, "the Beaver Dam Chorus."
We're tempted to chalk this one up to a bad case of Engrish mistranslation from our friends across the Pacific. It's easy to see how "Wonderland" could have been misread as "Waterland," and the "Mad Hatter" may have been literally interpreted as "Angry Hat."
In any case, how we are supposed to believe that they're pouring a cup of tea underwater? How the hell are you going to drink it? Could they have made a more disturbing Alice in Wonderland cover?
Ah, that's one way. Just portray Alice in mid-rape.
At a stretch, we concede that they may have been trying to illustrate the exact kind of situation that a growing girl needs to shrewdly avoid. But we've noticed an unfortunate trend in these old-timey sex education records - they seem to go miles out of their way to pick the downright creepiest bastard they can find to post front and center on the covers.
Are we wrong to hope that the man in that photo doesn't know in explicit detail what it's like to be a growing girl?