But in an effort to reconnect with the past a number of Christian artists have again revived the practice of designing "tacky" album covers. With countless editions of shareware drawing software on the market, it seems anyone with an 486DX processor or better can put together a class A, absolutely tasteless album cover
in just a matter of minutes.
"I remember long summer days at my Grandmothers" said Sachapone Davis, a singer from Memphis, Tennessee whose recently released self-produced album Let Me Tell You About My Friend has sold almost 8 copies over the past 6 months. "I remember she had just the stacks and stacks of records that I'd look through, all of people I'd never heard of before. Sometimes there'd be a family all dressed alike on the front. I remember this one singing duo, it was two sisters. One was holding a big old bass guitar and the other had an accordion. It's that kind of stuff that people remember."
Many Christian artists have surmised that the tackier the better. "When something is just so bad that it's good, people will not forget it" said Bruno Maltise, an indy artist from Chicago. "People want to see color, big pictures that are just terrible, and every font imaginable."
In order to solve the problem of the limited space available on the front of CD covers, many of the independent artists have resorted to returning to recordings on records.
"Records were the best" said Davis. "As long as you handled them with white gloves, perfectly got the needle on the record itself and a stiff breeze didn't slightly jiggle the record player while it was going, a record would last up to 9 months. You just can't beat that kind of quality."
It remains to be seen if the trend will catch on with other artists around the country. But for now, the few that have undertaken to revive an old tradition are satisfied with the results.
"It's always fun to see people's reactions when I try to sell my records" said Davis. "At first people think that these are old albums, then they see the copyright date of 2007 and they start laughing."