Censored Album Covers
Below are a few album covers that for one reason or another, were just too offensive for the public. Most seem ridiculous by todays standard – one seems really justified.
Roxy Music – Country Life. All Roxy LPs up to this point had sexy women on the cover but this one went one step further featuring semi-nude women in see through underwear, (there was even a rumor that the woman on the right was a man?!). Roxy’s label Island quickly caved into the controversy releasing the second printing with just the background, erasing the women all together and creating an exceptionally ugly cover for a very fashion conscious band.
Tad – 8-Way Santa. Seattle rockers Tad created one of the funniest LP covers to come out of the Seattle scene (or any scene for that matter). A found photo of a happy man grouping his happy girlfriend. No rights to the photo, no worries. When the LP was released it wasn’t long before the couple (now born again christians) came forward causing a stink forcing Tad and SubPop to dump the cover and replace it with the band and a bunch of cows. Side Note: 8-Way Santa is apparently slang for either a sex act or a drug experience (or both).
The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet. Very simple – in 1968 it was bad taste to show a toilet. And this toilet in a Porsche dealership in LA was just too much for the tender eyes of the public.The new cover w/ a pretty cool interior gatefold is less than inspired.
The Black Crowes – amorica. Just say NO to pubic hair. The new cover? An Exacto knife and a black piece of construction paper fixes any problem.
Janes Addiction – Ritual de Habitual. Offending genitalia on lead singer Perry Ferrel’s very cool diorama. Simply and effectively replaced w/ the 1st Amendment.
Alice Cooper – Love it to Death. Alice, what a jokester. Putting you thumb through a hole in your cape suggesting your penis. So shocking. Well, no problem – just airbrush out his whole arm. Easy peasy.
David Bowie – Diamond Dogs. A beautiful gatefold cover by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. Originally painted and released in 1974 w/ Bowie having dog genitalia. Later released w/ the offending member airbrushed out and replaced by a weird black blob.
GN’R – Lies. This is sort of a subtle one. In the lower left corner the headline “Wife beating has been around for 10,000 years” is replaced by LIES LIES LIES and in the middle right “Ladies welcome to the dark ages” is replaced by “Elephant gives birth to a midget”.
Scorpions – Lovedrive. Voted the Best LP cover by Playboy in 1979 and the worst cover by everyone else, Lovedrive’s confusing cover was just too much for most. The even uglier blue metal scorpion was the obvious choice for a replacement.
Pantera – Far Beyond Driven. The logical choice to replace a drill in the ass is a drill in the head – ’nuff said.
Tin Machine 2. David Bowie’s second LP as a band depicted drawings of Egyptian statues (I think), w/ penises. Solution – Break ’em off (and change the type placement).
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction. The original Robert Williams painting of a robotic rapist was dropped for the more awe inspiring “Band as Skeletons” approach, inspiring a thousand college boy tattoos forever.
The Beatles – Yesterday and Today. This is the one everybody knows. Getting tired of their American label chopping up their British albums to podge together songs for their US releases The Beatles released the infamous Butcher Block cover. 750,000 copies were shipped but quickly recalled because of complaints. Some survived w/ DJs and shop owners but most were returned and a boring photo was quickly slapped over the offending original. You can see a faint outline of Ringos hair and turtleneck on the right if you own a paste over copy. The originals in good shape sell for a few $1000.