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.
Always loved hand painted coats and jackets – bombers, motorcycle cuts, hippy band jackets, etc. I’ve been painting them off and on for years – painting more now. I love commissions so If you’ve got something you want painted drop me a line – email@example.com.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop first met at NYC hotspot, Max’s Kansas City, in 1971, while Bowie was on tour with his album The Man Who Sold the World. The then-largely unknown Iggy made a deep impression on Bowie, (and was part of the inspiration for Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona). Bowie invited Pop, who was experiencing heroin addiction, to London, where he helped mix Iggy and the Stooges’ album Raw Power. Though the album would eventually become a classic, the band collapsed under the weight of Pops drug addiction and general bad behaviour. Returning to California, Pop would check himself into a mental institution in an attempt to overcome his heroin addiction. Bowie remained one of his few friends and visitors. In 1976 riding a wave of hits Bowie toured his most recent album Station to Station bringing Iggy along for the ride. The pair moved into an apartment in West Berlin, (over an auto parts shop) where Bowie would began the first of his Berlin trilogy of albums – LOW, and also collaborating on writing and recording Pop’s first solo album, The Idiot. In 1977, Iggy Pop finally went on a 30-date world tour as a solo act. His backup band included David on keyboards and backing vocals. Bowie remained truly in the background behind the keys. No costumes or stage show, Bowie wore bell bottom turned up jeans, flannel shirt and cap. It was meant to be Iggy’s show not the more famous Bowies’. That year the two also collaborated on Pop’s second album, Lust for Life, which would become Iggy’s long-awaited critical and commercial success, (with the title song eventually appearing in tons of commercials and films, most notably the opening for the Danny Boyle film Trainspotting). Iggy and Bowie would remain friends for the rest of Bowies’ life.
Helmut Newton (born Helmut Neustädter; 31 October 1920 – 23 January 2004). Helmut Newton was a very influential fashion photographer who primarily worked for Vogue Magazine from the early 1960’s to the late 80’s. His sexually charged fashion photos were scandalous for the time but he was always in demand and highly regarded. In 1981 he changed his focus to what he called “Big Nudes”, deviating from the smaller, whispy model to a taller more buxom ideal, paving the way for the next generation of larger super models. Looking back on his work, it seems (to me) incredibly dated, but you can certainly see the innovation, style and effect he’s had on other photographers. The first few shots are from his Big Nudes series and a couple of his most famous shots – and indeed are great. The second series are his portraits, which seem much less dated and just great photography (though the Dolph Lungren, Grace Jones portrait is certainly ‘of-a-time’).