#3. The Black Crowes Wanted an Album Cover Full of Pubes
Rock stars are a rebellious bunch, and the Black Crowes set out to prove that in grand fashion with the release of their third album that anyone cared about, Amorica, in 1994. When it came time to choose an album cover, the band decided to work blue. We suspect that perverts all across the country were hit with an immediate twinge of deja vu upon seeing that album, because it's simply the cover of a 1976 issue of Hustler magazine with all of the unsightly words cropped out.
Patriotism, pubic style.
For some reason, retailers were less than enthused with the prospect of stocking a close-up shot of a Hustler girl's overflowing pubes on their store shelves. With several outlets, including the almighty Walmart, refusing to stock the album, the band stuck to their guns and decided that their artistic vision was more important than the cash windfall that accompanies being able to sell your albums in places where people shop.
Just joking. They immediately set about doctoring up a version of the album cover that would be palatable to the less-pube-friendly tastes of the big box department stores.
"See? This could just as easily be a folded flag that's being given to a widow."
To keep their integrity intact, the band argued that for some kids, places like Walmart were the only option for buying music, and not having their album stocked there meant that those kids couldn't buy it. The problem eventually worked itself out when nobody bought the album.
#2. A 1960s Album Almost Featured a (Gasp!) Toilet
All of the talk about the 1960s centers on how loose and free things were. It was a time of rampant sexual experimentation and copious amounts of drugs and opening your mind to new experiences. That said, it was also a decade that ended more than 40 years ago. The hippies were running wild, but everyone else was still living the 1950s dream of an America where things were orderly and proper and nobody put a picture of a toilet on their album cover. As you can see, the Mamas & the Papas did not share that dream.
It seems unfathomable nowadays, but at the time of its release, the above album cover was highly controversial. So much so, in fact, that it was recalled by the label. All because the prevailing opinion of the day was that actually showing a toilet was indecent, on the same scale as (insert whatever you've seen done with a toilet on the Internet, we don't have all day). That toilet might as well spell the word "fuck" in big porcelain letters, because that's how store owners viewed its presence in that photo.
Scrambling for a solution, record executives decided to just slap a sticker over the unsightly commode.
If they'd really been thinking, they would have just put the album next to the hand fans and smelling salts.
That ridiculous sticker did the trick. When the album was sent back out to record stores, there were no complaints. At least, there were no complaints about the toilet. Future versions of the album just cropped out the toilet, the bathtub, and generally any signs that they were in a bathroom at all, because really you can never be too careful:
"But how do we know they're not nude from the waist down?!"
#1. Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland Is a Pile of Naked Women
This is one of those odd cases where what the artist wanted was actually way more tame than what wound up on some record store shelves. In 1968, Jimi Hendrix was ready for his first real album and had a grand vision for the art. Basically a collaboration between him and Linda Eastman, it was to be set in Central Park and feature kids of each race on a statue of Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
"OK, now Jimi, you'll be the Whiiii- Mad Hatter. You can be the Mad Hatter."
While tame by modern standards, a "one world, one race" message in the late 1960s was not appreciated by record executives, who instead went with this:
"Nothing says rock and roll like Ronald McDonald."
But in England, the label wanted to take things in, uh, kind of a different direction. They decided to humor Hendrix's race-oriented idea, and hired 21 women of many different races. The ladies were originally supposed to be around Hendrix like he was a god, but he had second thoughts and decided not to go to the shoot. When he didn't show up, the women were told that if they disrobed, they would be paid more money, and the rest is "You should have been there, man" history.
Censoring courtesy of us, because the Brits sure as hell weren't going to do it.
Afterward, Jimi would talk openly about how much he despised the English version of the album cover, which was on a completely different planet from what he wanted.
So what's the moral here? Always attend your photo shoots, because you never know when the titties are coming out.
For album covers that maybe should've gotten a second look, check out The 19 Most Hilariously Failed Attempts at Sexy Album Covers and The 15 Worst Album Covers of All-Time.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Insane Pieces of 'My Little Pony' Fan Art (By Grown Men).
And stop by LinkSTORM because it's Friday, it's cold -- so screw it.
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