Worst Record Covers

15th November 2023 – 27th January 2024

Record cover for a record called Peter Rabbitt with four white rabbits with human faces superimposed onto the rabbit's faces.

From the unintentionally funny to the completely bizarre, Steve Goldman’s collection of more than 500 record covers are something to behold. Collected over a seven-year period from charity shops and online marketplaces, Goldman’s selection criteria is stringent: Is this one of the worst record covers in the world? The exhibition of this collection, Worst Record Covers is a unique celebration of some of the most questionable design choice in music history.

Goldman explains that to get into his collection, a cover “has to make me laugh! There are plenty of covers which are bad for the wrong reasons – sexist, homophobic, racist, gory etc – you won’t find any of these. I want records where the designers have tried to do something that’s gone horribly wrong”.

Visitors will have the opportunity to have their say on which is the best – or worst – via a public vote to select a favourite. This is an exhibition which can be enjoyed by the whole family, and younger visitors can enjoy games and activities, including designing their own worst record covers.

The exhibition will run 15th November 2023 – 27th January 2024. Free entry – but Goldman is a stroke survivor and is staging the exhibition in aid of Different Strokes, a charity helping younger stroke survivors.

CHRISTMAS HOURS: Please note the Williamson will be closed from 23rd December 2023 until Wednesday 10th January 2024. For all other visiting information check our Visit page.

EVENTS:  Friday 15th December – The Worst Christmas Party! Free, book on Tickets Wirral

Join us for the Worst Christmas Party! The team from Birkenhead’s own Skeleton Records will be playing some of the best tunes from the 500+ records in the exhibition, plus a few of the best, worst and most unexpected Christmas records. Homebrew Bottle Shop will be providing the bar, while Skeleton Records will be bringing a pop-up vinyl shop so you can pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts.

The exhibition’s opening will also mark the publication of Goldman’s book “The Art Of The Bizarre Vinyl Sleeve”, published by Easy On The Eye Books. The text is written by Simon Robinson at Easy On The Eye, who has produced many sleeve designs himself (happily none of which feature in Steve’s collection!)  with a foreword written by comedian Stewart Lee.

Find more exhibitions at the Williamson

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum