Queen - News of the World
I don't about any of you Gen X'ers or seventies crew, but this album cover scared the living shit out of me as a child. It's cathartic if not ironic that "We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions" was literally my lullaby for most of 1977 as I used to have the radio on and tuned to the local rock station that did a top 5 at 9:00 pm and I'd force my 7-year-old body to stay awake until Queen finished the final note, then drift off.
When I saw the cover of News of the World and that cold, emotionless robot dipping his metallic finger into a gored planet and holding the dead bodies of Queen with blood dripping from his steel finger, Jesus wept... I couldn't keep it together when I saw it in the stores. I was so petrified of that murdering automaton, and I laugh now, since at the same time I thought that Gene Simmons with blood curling out of his mouth was the coolest thing ever!
Even more unnerving is when you extend the gatefold to see the rest of the artwork. Obviously the robot served as metaphor, which is sheer genius, but for a child of the seventies, what a stark visual of hell if there ever was one. Of course, my cousins laughed at me when I didn't want to look at their cassette copy. This, as the 8 track was dying out and cassettes were a brand new technology, yikes. News of the world indeed...