The White Album cover turned out to be hugely iconic, influencing everyone from Metallica to Weezer (multiple times). But the Beatles weren't the only British Invasion group with a fickle temperament ...
Who's Next Was Intended to Be a Collage of Extra-Large Naked Ladies
The Album Cover We Saw:
The Cover We Almost Saw:
A young Freddie Mercury saw this and immediately started taking notes.
Now here's a case where the final cover is already fairly edgy stuff, compared to the rest of this list. Who's Next famously featured all four band members having just urinated on a monolith possibly inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey (they either hated the film or loved it so much that they literally couldn't contain themselves over it). Others believe the public urination is a comment on their competition with Led Zeppelin (who liked putting sci-fi allusions in their work, the dorks), and that the phrase "Who's Next" suggested they were aiming their wieners at some other band now.
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Or any fan that insisted on asking them "Who's on first?" like no one had ever done that before.
But the subliminal debauchery of that cover is a tasteful postcard you could send to your grandmother when compared to the original. Ethan Russell, the photographer who captured the photo used for the actual album cover, remembers being around the recording studio when a collage of "extremely fat naked women" was submitted for consideration by another photographer. According to Russell, the collage was only rejected because "Jimi Hendrix had already done something almost identical, only the women in that instance were not fat" (as we in fact covered here). So, were it not for Electric Ladyland, the world would have been treated to this bounty of plentiful women with Pete Townshend's face tactfully looming over their vaginas.
Another cover they seriously considered? God among drummers Keith Moon showing us his underwear.
Oddly enough, it's the same as Ariana Grande's, except the color.
So, yeah, "pissing on a monolith" seems pretty restrained now.
Jacob loves these album covers but hates his co-workers. His blog, Letters to My Coworkers, Whom I Hate, is chock-full of angry letters to those bastards. He spreads that hate onto Twitter as well.
Related Reading: Speaking of baffling album choices, these concept albums botched their own concept. Some of these classic rap albums were so bad they ruined rap forever. And did you know Neil Young once had an album canned for being too depressing?