Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
 

Banned Cover Art

Here's a top twelve of notorious banned cover art:

1. The Beatles: Yesterday And Today (1966)
The Beatles: Yesterday And Today (1966)
It's hard to know what Capitol was thinking when they okayed the issuance of the famous "Baby Butcher" cover art for Yesterday And Today in 1966. It's easy to guess what the Beatles were thinking though; tired of Capitol chopping their albums up and repackaging them in inferior configurations, they must have gotten a snicker out of this. Yanked from stores within days, it's now one of the most valuable of all rock albums.

2. The Rolling Stones: Beggar's Banquet (1968)
The Rolling Stones: Beggar's Banquet (1968)
This is one of the all time great covers, the first from the Stones that didn't feature a band photo. At the last minute, London records balked at the unsavory graffiti and overall squalor, and the album was issued in a plain white sleeve with gilded lettering instead. The cover was restored with the earliest CD pressings, in the mid-80's. Many consider this to be the best Rolling Stones album of them all.

3. Bow Wow Wow: See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah! City All Over, Go Ape Crazy! (1981)
Bow Wow Wow: See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah! City All Over, Go Ape Crazy! (1981)
Promoter and well-known scoundrel Malcom McLaren needed another way to shake things up after his pet project, the Sex Pistols, imploded. His solution this was this band, Bow Wow Wow, a mediocre post-punk bubblegum act. His draw was 14-year-old lead singer Annabella Luwin, whom he promoted like jailbait, posing her topless, shot from the back on their first release, and fully nude (at the age of 15) on the second. For all his efforts, the band only managed one hit, a cover of the Strangeloves' "I Want Candy". Many stores wouldn't stock the albums.

4. The Black Crowes: Amorica (1994)
The Black crowes: Amorica (1994)
This close-up of a bikini with a protruding tuft of pubic hair from The Black Crowes' hit 1994 album was deemed too racy for retailers; in its place, a cover of just the bikini over a black background was issued. Pubic hair ranks high on the list with surreptitiously extended middle fingers as primary reason album cover art has been banned through history; there are too many examples to include here.

5. Mama Lion: Preserve Wildlife (1972)
Mama Lion: Preserve Wildlife (1972)Mama Lion: Preserve Wildlife (1972)
Mama Lion was a bluesy hard rock band of the early 1970's that would be completely forgotten now were it not for their original album cover, which featured a photograph of lead singer Lynn Carey breastfeeding a lion cub. The album was released with an altered photo that puts Carey's face behind bars. Lynn Carey is still out there, most recently fronting a band that claimed to be the Strawberry Alarm Clock at a Hollywood record store.

6. Birth Control: Operation (1971)
Birth Control: Operation (1971)
Another band better known in America for its banned cover art than for its music, Birth Control is a German prog-rock/kraut-rock outfit of little reknown outside of Germany. They've actually managed a career extending from 1969 to the current day, releasing numerous albums over that span. This one is mildly interesting musically, featuring brass and strings with synthesizer. Some outlets were queasy about the giant spider eating babies and wouldn't stock it.

7. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Street Survivors (1977)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Street Survivors (1977)
This album was released a week prior to the band's plane crash, which killed singer Ronnie VanZant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines. The cover was hastily pulled and the picture replaced with one without the flames. Street Survivors is a pretty eerie album even without the flames, many of the album's themes deal with death. CD reissues in 2001 restored the original cover.

8. The Scorpions: Virgin Killer (1979)
The Scorpions: Virgin Killer (1979)
German heavy metal band Scorpions perhaps take the trophy for most offensive cover here, with their nude girl of about 12 or 13, her genitalia barely obscured by a star, presumably representing the virgin in the title. From your friends at RCA records. There was no way this was going to fly in America, and a band photo was substituted. While most editions of the CD feature the tame cover, a few reissues have restored the original artwork.

9. John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Two Virgins (1968)
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One of the most notorious albums of all time, and also one of the most unlistenable. John and Yoko recorded this over the course of a trippy night while wife Cynthia Lennon was away. Full of squacks, screeches, bird noises, tape loops, organ doodling, spoken voice, and assorted sound effects, it sounds like John Cage on acid. Not good acid. The album was distributed in a plain brown wrapper.

10. The Coup: Party Music (2001)
The Coup: Party Music (2001)
Here's one that probably didn't seem so funny the next day. Anti-establishment hip-hop group The Coup completed Party Music in the summer of 2001. The cover art depicts leader "Boots" Riley with a detonator, blowing up both towers of the World Trade Center. On Sept. 12th, an embarrassed 75 Ark record label announced they were pulling the cover, which had been designed two months in advance. The album was released Nov. 6, 2001 substituting a close up of martini glasses on a bar.

11. Roger Waters: The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking (1984)
Roger Waters: The Pros And cons Of Hitch Hiking (1984)
Roger Waters' first solo album after leaving Pink Floyd was targeted by feminists for this cover, which they claimed was a rape fantasy. The cover was re-released with a black bar covering the woman's backside. However, in the videos projected over the stage during the accompanying tour, the same woman featured prominantly, walking nude along a highway with the same shapely butt to the camera.

12. Tad: Jack Pepsi (1991)
Tad: Jack Pepsi [Single] (1991)
Seattle grunge band Tad, and Sup Pop records, were told to drop this by Pepsi, who objected to their logo being used for a 1991 single that promoted drunk driving. Band and label quickly acquiesced, and the image was changed. No comment was forthcoming from Jack Daniels.





Twelve more banned album covers can be seen here!

 
Comments:
I didnt know about a few of them, interesting
 
I knew about some of them, too.

Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog. =)
 
That was interesting to see some of the banned cover art and why. Keep up the great work!
 
I can name and URL about 4 or 5 more covers if you're interested email me the gnMAIL sn is just swtpete
 
Has anyone purchased Roger Waters Tickets from the website http://roger-waters-tickets.doitbigtickets.com/
 
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