Recently, I received an anonymous email in response to my post The Mysterious Mrs. Drake about the infamous Joyce LP. In case you're not familiar: the Joyce record has become the poster child for bad album covers around the world; however, the identity of Mrs. Drake has been a bit of an enigma. Perhaps, we now have an answer:
It is Joyce Drake. She is my aunt. Yes, she is a pastors wife in Sealy, TX and she knows. Considering that album was made in 1983, there is nothing bad or super funny about it. Everyone looked like that in the 80's. There are too many lame people making fun and trying to find out who she is. Recently her album was featured on a segment with Jeff Bridges on the Ellen show. Instead of wasting your time on sites such as this, how 'bout sending Ellen an email requesting Joyce be on the show. At least then you can see the person behind the album.I have a few thoughts in response to this message...
1. Thank you for the comment. All comments are appreciated at Retrospace (except for Chinese spammers).
2. I think you shouldn't be too hard on people who take delight at your aunt's expense. The fashions of the 70's and 80's are hilarious - you can't find fault with folks who have a sense of humor about it. If pictures of me from this time period were plastered on album covers, I guarantee they would be a source of widespread amusement.
3. I couldn't agree more with your statement that everyone looked like this in 1983. Truer words were never spoken. However, the reason your aunt's cover has stood out among a plethora of bad album covers isn't because it's worse than all the others, it's because it is just so perfect. It's not too busy or muddled - it's just Joyce in all her glory. The simplest imagery is what ends up being the most "successful", just ask anyone in marketing. If the cover had contained her family, maybe her living room, etc., it wouldn't be the icon that it is today.
4. You have to admit that she wasn't exactly a Cheryl Tiegs. So, the romantic pose with the rose definitely strikes at the funny bone. Guys like Will Ferrell capitalize on this sense of irony as a source of humor all the way to the bank.
5. I would love to see Joyce today. I doubt she'll wind up on Ellen, but a picture of her today would be fantastic. Send one to me, and I promise to post what the real Joyce looks like today. Not as a subject for ridicule, but for closure for us idiots who are obsessed with bad album covers.
And finally, as proof that Joyce Drake was by no means alone in her fashion choices, I point Retrospace readers to Life's Railway to Heaven, IMHO the best collection of awful religious album covers (sometimes called "saved vinyl") out there. Here's a taste...