#2. They Had a Race of Women Who Were Very Tiny
Somewhere hidden in the walls of your house or under the floorboards there is probably a small community of them. They are elusive and secretive today, but during the '50s and '60s they were ubiquitous -- drawn out into the open only by the power of music, out where they were easy prey for hawks and cats, all so they could sit on the ends of their favorite instruments and just listen. They are the race of very tiny women.
I have no idea why the Borrowers kept popping up on album covers 50 years ago, but the trend is too predominant not to mean something. Clearly people were more inclined to buy records when there was a tiny woman on the front or they would've stopped making so many of them, but I'm afraid to explore it any further than that, because I'm almost positive it has something to do with gender subjugation. If I'm wrong and nothing on this cover art is meant to be a metaphor, then that man's harmonica has no business being that big.
The one aspect of all of these pictures that's kind of endearing is that these women seem to be loving the shit out of being tiny. None of them look terrified or even apprehensive, which means they're either lost in the music for one fleeting moment in an otherwise peril-filled day, or they have owners who take very good care of them and keep them safe. And by owners I think we all know I mean regular-sized husbands.
#1. Everybody Was Wasted
I suspect that in the middle of the 20th century, everyone accidentally confused looking sexy for looking black-out drunk. It's the only reason I can think of for putting so many shit-faced people on the covers of albums. All the heavy eyelids, the curled lips and the nests of hair hanging over one eye are red flags that the people on these record sleeves need to drink three glasses of water and go directly to bed before they do something regrettable.
Worst of all, whatever element of sexual appeal might be present in these photographs is overwhelmed by that subtle but irrefutable look in their eye that says, "I'm not going to tell you when, but some time in the next 10 minutes I'm going to throw up on you." That's true of all of them, except the woman who's so stoned that she's seeing a little man in a white suit pleading with her to stop ruining her life like this.
Sadly, the idea that everyone was constantly drunk may be the only trustworthy element presented by the album covers from this era. It would certainly go a long way toward explaining why they needed someone else to pick their music for them, and why everyone was always spilling over furniture or collapsed on floors. The only missing link in all the album covers of the mid-1900s was a tiny woman swimming around in a glass of whiskey.
Sorry, never mind.
For more from Soren, check out 4 Cliche Movie Moments Explained by Psychology and 7 Real Suits That Will Soon Make the World a Cooler Place.