The cover, which became controversial because some Christian book store owners felt that it resembled a Tarot card, was designed and painted by Taylor's wife, Debi Taylor. It was actually intended to resemble early 20th-century French poster art.
Regarding the controversial cover, which critics claimed included new-age or satanic symbols, Steve says, "It wasn't like a couple people shooting off, enough people were believing it . At a certain point, I was spending more time defending myself than I was talking about music and the mission and all that. I'm very seldom angry. I'm usually a very happy guy. It was uncomfortable to always be defending those things that I felt were so ridiculous--[I felt like asking] 'Should I not at least get the benefit of the doubt on some of the issues that seem pretty absurd?' Some of that I didn't mind because, when you're talking about controversial songs like 'We Don't Need No Colour Code' or something like that, I'm happy to talk about that stuff, because that's worth talking about. When you're talking about tarot cards and new age hand signs, that's no fun--that's just silly. That, combined with just the sense that if I wanted to keep doing this, I wanted to be able to achieve certain artistic goals, as far as concerts, the production, making records, and being able to achieve a certain standard there. It was really going to require toning down or becoming more mainstream as a gospel artist to keep selling that number of records and all that stuff. To me, whatever I'm doing, there needs to be joy and there needs to be enthusiasm. I felt like I could leave at that time with all those things intact, but if I would have stayed in and did another album and did another tour that I would be definitely flirting with carrying on for the wrong reasons. It was a good time to bow out gracefully."
The All Music Guide says:
It's small surprise the Christian community all but disowned Taylor after songs like "I Blew up the Clinic Real Good" and "Since I Gave up Hope I Feel a Lot Better." The songs on I Predict 1990 don't look for easy answers " they rarely look for answers at all " and they're often unsettling. But half of Taylor's point is that life rarely gives easy answers. The other half is in the final song: "Harder to Believe than Not To."
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