2012 Year in Review: The Worst Album Covers Of The Year

5. Swans, The Seer - You felt bad when they had to shoot Old Yeller, but if they hadn't, this would have been the result. If, you know, Old Yeller had been a Yorkie. If only space and family values allowed us to show you the back cover, which is a closeup of the dog's hind quarters. At least lead singer Michael Gira's teeth weren't grafted onto that particular illo.

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Album art is shrinking, from the LPs we once fondled to the tiny digital covers we now squint to comprehend. But they'll never be too small to bring out the worst in musicians and their art directors, as cover art always has. Nothing in 2012 could quite compare with the horror that was Lady Gaga's Born This Way album artwork in '11. But a lot of artists made their best/worst attempts to uglify their covers, from Ke$ha to Carrie Underwood to the Killers. Here are a dozen of the year's weirdest or most wretched album sleeves. -- Chris Willman

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