List of controversial album art

List of controversial album art

The following is a list of notable albums with controversial album art, especially where that controversy resulted in the album being banned, censored or sold in packaging other than the original one. They are listed by the type of controversy they were involved in.


Nudity and sexuality

  • The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceElectric Ladyland (1968)
    • The intended artwork for the UK version of the album did not arrive in time to press the album, so a cover of naked women lounging in front of a black background was issued in its place. The US cover by Karl Ferris, which Hendrix had intended, has since become the official cover of Electric Ladyland internationally.
  • John Lennon & Yoko OnoUnfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins (1968)
    • The front cover displayed Lennon and Ono frontally nude, while the rear cover featured them from behind. Distributors were prompted to sell the album in a plain brown wrapper,[1] and copies of the album were impounded as obscenity in several jurisdictions.[citation needed]
  • Blind FaithBlind Faith (1969)
    • The cover featured a topless pubescent girl, holding in her hands a silver space ship, which some perceived as phallic. Photographer Bob Seidemann used a girl, Mariora Goschen, who was 11 years old.[2][3][4] The US record company issued it with an alternative cover which showed a photograph of the band on the front.
  • Mom's Apple PieMom's Apple Pie (1971)
    • The cover shows a pie with a sliced removed, leaving a fairly obvious labia. "Mom" licks her lips and the missing pie piece 'overflows'. Due to the fact that the obscenity was hidden right in plain sight, it took a little while for people to become offended. However, after word got out, retailers demanded[citation needed] that Capitol Records do something about it.
  • David BowieDiamond Dogs (1974)
    • The cover art featured a half-dog, half-Bowie figure painted by Guy Peellaert. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid’s genitalia, which were later airbrushed out.
  • Roxy MusicCountry Life (1974)
    • The cover features two models, who lead singer Bryan Ferry met on holiday. They appear wearing translucent underwear, with their pubic hair and nipples on one of the models visible whilst the other, who isn't wearing anything over her breasts, is covering them with her hands.
  • ScorpionsIn Trance (1975)
    • The album cover shows a woman smashing a guitar, with one of her breasts exposed. The album cover gained controversy and has since been changed so that the breast is covered up.
  • UFOForce It (1975)
    • The somewhat controversial original cover was designed by Hipgnosis, as were almost all other UFO albums of the 1970s. For years, the genders of the couple in the bath were unknown, and the nudity was on the verge of decency standards. The models were actually Genesis P Orridge and girlfriend Cosey Fanni Tutti, both later of the band Throbbing Gristle. The artwork was softened for the initial US release, making the loving couple in the bathtub transparent.
  • Rare BirdSympathy (1976)
    • The cover shows a naked woman sitting on a tree. Her right breast is exposed, though the opposite is covered by one of the branches.[5]
  • ScorpionsVirgin Killer (1976)
    • This cover featured a photo of naked prepubescent girl, with her pubic area partially obscured by a "cracked glass" effect. Her pose and the title "Virgin Killer" added to the image's notoriety. The Internet Watch Foundation, a British non-profit group who provides content blacklists for major ISP's in the country, also notably blacklisted pages on the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia for featuring the cover on its article about the album.[6] This block was later retracted due to technical problems which occurred as a result of the blocking mechanisms and due to the already "wide availability" of the image.[7]
  • RushHemispheres (1978)
    • The cover art features a naked man walking across a giant brain. An alternative cover, which displays the "Rush Hemispheres" text printed in red and yellow on a black background, exists on some reissues.
  • CrassStations of the Crass (1979)
    • One cover of this album caused controversy;[citation needed] it depicts a nude woman lying in bed exposing one of her breasts and the right part of her rear-end.[8]
  • ScorpionsLovedrive (1979)
    • This LP features a photo of a man and a woman in the back seat of a car. The woman's chest is exposed, and the man is pulling a large wad of bubble gum off of her breast. Apparently this cover offended some[who?], as there is a version that features only lettering on the cover. The photo cover is the more common cover.
  • Dead KennedysFrankenchrist (1985)
  • Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction (1987)
    • The original cover for Appetite for Destruction, based on a Robert Williams painting of the same name, featured an opened-shirt woman, who had clearly been raped by a robot rapist, about to be crushed by a metal avenger. When every music video programme[citation needed] refused to play any music videos because of the cover, it was changed to show a rendering of a tattoo Axl Rose had on his forearm of the band as 5 skulls on a cross.
  • Jane's AddictionNothing's Shocking (1988)
    • The album cover, created by frontman Perry Farrell, features a sculpture of a pair of nude female conjoined twins sitting on a sideways rocking chair with their heads on fire. Farrell said the image, like much of his artwork, came to him in a dream and he hired the employees of Warner Bros. to create the cover sculpture; after learning how to create sculptures by watching them closely, he fired the Warner Bros. staff and created the artwork himself. Farrell hired someone to help create a full body casting of his girlfriend for use as the sculptures. Retailers objected to the album's cover. Nine out of the eleven leading record store chains refused to carry Nothing's Shocking, and the record had to be issued covered with brown paper.
  • PrinceLovesexy (1988)
    • The artwork for this album showed a naked Prince in a devout pose, with a suggestively placed flower stamen nearby. Many stores covered the album in black wrapping, somewhat ironically, as Lovesexy was issued as a replacement for the hastily withdrawn Black Album, which had a monochrome black cover.
  • Red Hot Chili PeppersMother's Milk (1989)
    • The album cover features a black and white photograph of the band sprawled across the arms of a proportionately larger naked woman. A rose conceals one of her nipples while singer Anthony Kiedis' standing body conceals the other. Several national chains refused to sell the record because they believed the female subject displayed too much nudity. A stricter censored version was manufactured for some retailers that featured the band members in far larger proportion than the original.[9]
  • Jane's AddictionRitual de lo Habitual (1990)
    • Anticipating censorship, two versions of the disc packaging were created: one cover featured artwork by singer Perry Farrell including male and female nudity; the other cover has been called the "clean cover", and features only black text on a white background, listing the band name, album name, and the text of the First Amendment (the "freedom of speech" amendment of the U.S. Constitution). The "clean cover" was created so the CD could be distributed in stores that refused to stock items with nudity on the front cover.
  • BlurShe's So High (1990)
    • The cover shows a naked woman astride a hippotamus, painted by Californian artist Mel Ramos. The poster and accompaning T-shirt, with the picture printed in full size, caused some controversy amongst students and advertisements for the single were banned in Hackney and the London Underground, and defaced elsewhere.
  • MardukFuck Me Jesus (1991)
    • The cover shows a naked woman masturbating with a crucifix. The album was banned in various countries[where?][citation needed].
  • NirvanaNevermind (1991)
    • The album cover clearly showed an infant's (Spencer Elden) penis. Chain stores such as Wal-Mart, and K-Mart were highly offended and initially refused to carry Nevermind. However eventually due to such high demand, Nirvana compromised and put a sticker that read "Featuring «Smells Like Teen Spirit», «Come As You Are» and «Lithium»" over the genitals. Nirvana saw continued controversy for their next album, In Utero.
  • Tad8-Way Santa (1991)
    • The original cover featured a picture of a man fondling a woman's breast. Tad ran into legal trouble after the man and woman featured on the album cover saw the record and sued the band.[citation needed] Sub Pop was forced to change the album cover to a group shot.
  • SuedeSuede (1993)
    • The gender-ambiguous cover art provoked controversy in the press,[10] prompting Anderson to comment, "I chose it because of the ambiguity of it, but mostly because of the beauty of it."[11] The cover image of the androgynous kissing couple was taken from the 1991 book Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs edited by Tessa Boffin and Jean Fraser. The photograph was taken by Tee Corinne and in its entirety shows a woman kissing an acquaintance in a wheelchair.[12]
  • ToolUndertow (1993)
    • Photos in the liner notes of a nude obese woman, a nude man of normal weight, a cow licking its genitals, and the band members with pins in the sides of their heads generated controversy, resulting in the album being removed from stores such as Kmart and Wal-Mart.[13][14] The cover was later replaced by a giant bar code.[13]
  • The Black CrowesAmorica (1994)
    • The album cover's depiction of pubic hair, taken from an issue of Hustler magazine, caused controversy.[15] The record company ended up putting out an alternative cover that blacked out the offending image.
  • Eric BanaOut of Bounds (1994)
    • The cover art features Bana naked from behind while streaking at a crowded Australian Football League game. He is reaching for the ball and his buttocks are covered with the message "contents may offend". The scene was created digitally, with the overlap of two photos. An alternative cover for the album was later released.
  • PanteraFar Beyond Driven (1994)
    • The album cover featured the picture of a drillbit impacting an anus. Copies of this album were banned and an alternative cover was created, featuring the drillbit impacting a skull. However, the remastered vinyl version contains the original artwork.[citation needed]
  • ChumbawambaAnarchy (1994)
    • The cover art features a close-up photo of a baby's head exiting from its mother's vagina during birth.
  • Sugar RayLemonade and Brownies (1995)
    • The cover art features actress Nicole Eggert posing naked. One of her breasts is exposed, though the nipple is covered by the white fur she is laying down on.
  • NOFXHeavy Petting Zoo (1996)
    • The cover art for Heavy Petting Zoo, by illustrator Mark deSalvo, depicts a man sexually touching a sheep. The LP version was even more graphic, showing the same man and sheep, except in Position 69. The title itself is a play on words, with the phrases heavy petting and petting zoo combined to suggest taboo human-to-animal interactions. The alternate LP title, Eating Lamb, suggests both regular eating and the slang use that means performing oral sex, and the cover art shows a human "eating [a] lamb" in the latter sense.
  • MinistryDark Side of the Spoon (1999)
    • The album's cover depcits a naked obese woman seated in front of a blackboard where the words "I will be god" are written numerous times. The cover generated some controversy when retailer Kmart refused to stock it in its stores.[16] In the album's insert, the same woman covers her breasts with her hands, and her behind is also exposed on both the insert and back cover. Despite the controversy, no clean cover has existed.
  • The StrokesIs This It (2001)
    • The original cover art featured a photograph of a woman's nude bottom and hip, with a leather-gloved hand suggestively resting on it. Copies of this album were banned[citation needed] and the cover art was changed to a microscopic close-up of particle collisions.
  • Ted NugentLove Grenade (2007)
    • The original cover featured a nude woman on a silver platter, with her hands tied behind her back and a grenade in her mouth. The side of the woman's breast is visible, though the nipple is covered by her leg. Outcry over the cover lead to it's being replaced with a hand grenade adorned with a pink ribbon.
  • Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
    • Soon after publishing by Twitter cover image from his new album, the singer Kanye West said that retail stores will refuse to sell their album in the United States. However, according to the Los Angeles Times, the image was not censored. A source told the newspaper that there was only an effort to convince Kanye West to use another image, since some stores could boycott the album's release.[citation needed]


  • DioHoly Diver (1983)
    • The original cover offended churches[citation needed] because it looks as if the monster on the album was killing a Roman Catholic priest.
  • PoisonOpen Up and Say...Ahh! (1988)
    • The original cover offended churches and parental groups[citation needed] in a satanic panic because it featured model "Bambi" dressed as a luminous red demon with a protruding tongue.
  • DeicideOnce Upon the Cross (1995)
    • The original cover was going to depict a disemboweled Jesus Christ, but it was too controversial and would offend churches. Their then-label Roadrunner Records had to cover it up with a bloody sheet over the disemboweled Jesus Christ.
  • AerosmithNine Lives (1997)
    • The original cover aroused the anger of some Hindus[who?] who felt the artwork, taken from Hindu imagery and altered by giving the dancing figure a cat's head, was offensive. The band, who had been unaware of the source of the artwork, and record company apologized, and changed the artwork.
  • SlayerGod Hates Us All (2001)
    • The cover depicts a Bible spiked with nails, covered in blood and "Slayer" burnt across it, while the liner notes feature Bible verses crossed out with a black marker. The cover art was deemed "too graphic" by some audiences,[who?] so a slipcase was placed in front of the cover.
  • Tenacious DTenacious D (2001)
    • The album cover depicts a parody of the Tarot card The Devil, showing the devil along with both members in the band below the devil naked. Because of the cover's satanic nature, the album was briefly recalled from stores.[citation needed]
  • SlayerChrist Illusion (2006)
    • The cover depicts a mutilated, stoned Christ in a sea of blood with mutilated heads. For stores who refused to sell the album with the original cover, an alternative cover was provided instead. In India, Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Mumbai Christian group Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), took "strong exception" to the original album artwork, and issued a memorandum to Mumbai's police commissioner in protest. As a result, all Indian stocks were recalled and destroyed.[17]


  • Blonde on BlondeBob Dylan (1966)
    • The original inside gatefold featured nine black-and-white photos,[18] including a shot of actress Claudia Cardinale that Dylan selected from Schatzberg's portfolio. Since it had been used without her authorization, Cardinale's photo was subsequently removed, making the original record sleeve a collector's item.[19]
  • Richard PryorRichard Pryor (1968)
    • The debut album of comedian Richard Pryor was recorded live at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. The cover was art directed and designed by Gary Burden. According to Burden, As a result of the Richard Pryor album cover, which I loved doing, I got two letters: One was a letter from the National Geographic Society’s attorneys offering to sue me for defaming their publication. The second letter was a Grammy nomination for the best album cover.[20][21]
  • Pink FloydUmmagumma (1969)
    • On the original UK pressings appears the album from the film Gigi; to avoid copyright infringement, the Gigi image is removed in US releases.
  • Psychic TVTune In (Turn On The Acid House) (1988)
    • The album was initially pressed to DC Records however after copyright issues of using Superman on the artwork it was repressed by Temple Records with alternate songs.
  • NegativlandU2 (1991)
    • The cover features the album title, "U2", as a very large logo, with the band's name in small text beneath the album. Island Records sued the band for the use of the misleading album cover because "U2" is trademark of the label. The cover is both misleading and an attempt to confuse fans of U2, an Irish band of the same name, to make fans believe it is a new album by U2. The songs on the album were too controversial, as they were versions of a song by the Irish band U2 which were copied without permission.
  • The Beautiful SouthMiaow (1994)
    • The cover originally depicted rows of dogs seated in a music hall with a gramophone on the stage. However, HMV made the band withdraw it as it mocked their trademark dog, and the band put out a second cover, depicting four dogs in a boat.[22]
  • MillencolinTiny Tunes (1994)
  • Matchbox Twenty - Yourself or Someone Like You (1996)
    • In May 2005 Matchbox Twenty was sued by the subject of the cover, Frank Torres. Torres claimed that the band had never sought his permission to use his photo on the album's cover and that the photo had been the cause of mental anguish. Torres justified the delay in suing Matchbox Twenty by claiming he had only seen the album photo within the last two years.[23]
  • Sufjan StevensIllinois (2005)
    • The original cover featured a likeness to Superman on the front cover. After a cease-and-desist letter from DC Comics,[citation needed] Asthmatic Kitty (Sufjan Stevens' Recording Label) covered the image with a sticker featuring balloons. The balloons were eventually added in place of Superman on the cover art in subsequent releases.
  • The Chemical BrothersWe Are the Night (2007)
    • The original cover, which featured human eyes on human hands, resembled a work by Herbert Bayer and was discontinued in 2008 due to legal reasons.[citation needed] The cover was replaced with a purple silhouette of the hands.
  • Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (2008)
    • The albums original artwork, a black and white image of Madonna with a black eye with 'c/r/y/s/t/a/l c/a/s/t/l/e/s' written across it, was originally going to be cover art of the bands debut album but the artist who created the image sued them[citation needed] because they did not have copyright. Instead an image of both members of the band standing in a street, leaning forward so their faces cannot be seen was hastily taken and used for artwork. However the Madonna image already featured on band merchandise and as the art for their first single "Alice Practice" so they were forced to buy rights to the image.
  • Vampire Weekend - Contra (2010)
    • The cover art, taken in the 1980s, features a blond girl staring into the camera with an unidentifiable expression on her face. The band are currently being sued by the model, Kirsten Kennis,[citation needed] who claims the photographer who sold the image to the band did not take the picture and she was not aware her image was being used until she saw the copy her teenage daughter had bought.


  • The Beatles - Yesterday and Today (1966)
    • This album is remembered primarily for the controversy surrounding its original cover image, the aptly named "butcher cover" featuring the band dressed in white smocks and covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of meat. The album was recalled after an outcry[by whom?][citation needed] and had an alternate picture of the Beatles cover pasted over it.
  • The Mamas & the Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
    • The original cover featured the group sitting in a bathtub with a toilet in the corner of the room. In a move reflecting the mores of the time (1966), this cover was pulled from stores after the toilet was declared indecent[by whom?][citation needed]. A second cover was then released with a list of hit songs on the album obscuring the toilet, followed by a third with a black border that removed any hint that the picture was taken in a bathroom.
  • The Rolling StonesBeggars Banquet (1968)
    • The cover photo that the band intended to use was taken in a filthy lavatory. The record label refused[citation needed] to distribute the record with this photo, so a plain white cover with the name of the record was substituted. The original artwork has been restored to recent CD reissues.
  • The Mothers of InventionWe're Only in It for the Money (1968)
    • The front cover of the album was originally intended as a parody of the cover for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released a year before.[24] However, this caused controversy and at the insistence of Verve Records, the image became part of the gatefold sleeve. Instead of the parody of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the cover art depcited a groupshot of the band members, although some later reissues feature the former cover.
  • Alice Cooper - Love It to Death (1971)
    • The album cover caused much controversy at the time[citation needed] of its release due to Cooper's thumb sticking out of his pants, thus giving the illusion that it is his penis, leading Warner Brothers to censor it (four different versions of the front cover exist on LP). Cooper's thumb is clearly airbrushed out on censored versions.
  • Michael Jackson - Ben (1972)
    • The original cover of the album depicted Jackson above various different killer rats. Whilst the rats were not depicted as being killer, the same image was used for the film Ben, which was about killer rats. Motown Records discovered[citation needed] that the cover could scare children from buying the album, thus a 'second' cover replaced the original one, showing the same image except the rats were removed.
  • Scorpions - Taken by Force (1977)
    • The album cover shows a man being shot by another man in a grave yard with a gun, with many cross tombstones clearly marking that the dead man is due to be buried under one of the crosses. The album cover was replaced in some regions with a different cover.
  • Cannibal Corpse (1990 - 2006)
    • Most albums by death metal band Cannibal Corpse were banned in Germany until June 2006,[citation needed] due to the graphic cover art on their albums. For example, Tomb of the Mutilated featured one corpse performing cunnilingus on another. The censored version features a further corpse presumably watching the act (not shown) in adoration.
  • U2 - Boy (1980)
    • The album features the head and shoulders of a shirtless young boy on the cover. The subject is Peter Rowan, brother of a friend of Bono's, who also appears on the cover of War and other U2 releases. The Canadian and U.S. releases of Boy featured distorted images of the band members on the cover.
  • Yoko Ono - Season of Glass (1981)
    • The cover caused controversy[citation needed] when it was admitted that the blood-stained glasses on the front cover were actually those of John Lennon which he was wearing after he was murdered, with the blood-stains being his own. Ono once explained that she chose this cover to "remind people that John didn't just die... he had been murdered".
  • Black Sabbath - Born Again (1983)
    • The cover art, designed by Steve Joule, features an image of an infant with horns and vampire fangs. The cover eventually caused controversy and has been hated by some fans.[25] Drummer Bill Ward has said that he did not like the album's cover and according to him, then-singer Ian Gillan told the press that he vomited when he first saw the cover. Guitarist Tony Iommi approved the album cover.[26] Despite the controversy, the album has never had an alternate cover.
  • Overkill - !!!Fuck You!!! (1987)
    • The original cover art featured a hand gesturing an upraised middle finger. The 1990 CD re-issue was sold with a reversible cover art booklet. The visible side when sold in the stores was a simple field of white with the band's logo, the album name reading as !!!**** You!!!, with a subhead that read "The Record THEY tried to ban". A Parental Advisory logo appeared in the lower right corner. The original cover art was able to be used if the booklet was opened and reversed by creasing the cover the opposite way.[27] The expanded re-release, entitled !!!Fuck You!!! and Then Some, displayed the original cover photo.
  • Guns N' Roses- G N' R Lies (1988)
    • The album cover depicts a newspaper article with various text written on it, alongside images. The original version of the album cover included the headines "Wife-beating has been around for 10,000 years" and "Ladies, welcome to the dark ages", which both become very controversial, due to the misogyny nature of both sentences. They were quickly replaced with "Lies Lies Lies" and "Elephant Gives Birth to Midget" respectively.
  • Autopsy - Severed Survival (1989)
    • Two covers of this album exist but both of them have gained controversy: the original album cover depicts a creature with a hook in his tongue and is about to be slaugthered by some sharp objects, while the second cover depicts the point of view of the person receiving autopsy. The album has never had a "clean" cover.
  • The Beautiful South - Welcome to the Beautiful South (1989)
    • The album cover originally depicted two pictures, one of a woman with a gun in her mouth, and another with a man smoking. The cover was banned by Woolworths[citation needed] because they thought it might cause people to take up smoking; the picture of the woman with a gun in her mouth also offended. As a result, a second cover was made, depicting a fluffy rabbit and a teddy bear.[28]
  • The Offspring - The Offspring (1989)
    • The album cover originally featured a picture of a man's body exploding as a creature resembling the xenomorph from the Alien franchise holding a Stratocaster guitar emerges from his chest. Copies of this album were banned[citation needed] and an alternative cover was created for later reissues.
  • Pestilence - Consuming Impulse (1989)
    • The album cover was originally going to depict a group of people eating each other, but at the last minute, without the band's permission, Pestilence's then-label Roadrunner Records replaced the cover; the band never liked the outcome.[citation needed] The replacement cover features a face covered with ants.
  • Paris - The Devil Made Me Do It (1990)
    • The album cover originally showed a picture of a police officer choke-holding a young black male, it was later replaced with a face shot of Paris, himself.
  • Paris - Sleepin With the Enemy (1992)
    • The original album cover showed Paris hiding behind a tree with a gun (while then-president Bush was waving to the crowd) waiting to assassinate him. Like his previous album, the final release showed another regular face shot of him.
  • Ugly Kid Joe - America's Least Wanted (1992)
    • The album cover depicts the impostor statue of liberty's right hand gesturing an upraised middle finger. Several national chains refused to sell the album,[citation needed] and a more censored version was manufactured for some retailers that featured the same boy on the original cover, who is tied up and wrapped in chains, and has his right hand covered in duct tape.
  • Brujeria - Matando Güeros (1993)
    • The album cover depicts a person out of shot holding up a decapitated head, which was taken from Mexican newspaper ¡Alarma! Because of that cover, some stores in the United States and other countries refuse to sell the album. Roadrunner released a censored version with the cover showing just the name of the band and album title on a black background.[29]
  • Ice-T - Home Invasion (1993)
    • The album's cover depicted a white boy listening to rap music in the midst of a home invasion in which Blacks are attacking Whites (presumably the boy's parents). Sire Records, owned by Time Warner, refused to release the album with the cover, and Ice-T resigned from the label as a result.[30]
  • Nirvana - In Utero (1993)
    • When In Utero was released, there were many objections to the song "Rape Me", despite the band's claims that the lyrics were "anti-rape." Wal-Mart and Kmart also refused to stock the album because of its artwork (featuring an anatomical figure and model fetuses), so a "clean" version was released for them which featured an altered version of the back cover collage and listed the title "Rape Me" as "Waif Me", though the song remained unchanged.[31][32]
  • Mayhem - Dawn of the Black Hearts (1995)
    • Infamous[citation needed] for bearing a photograph of Mayhem's vocalist, Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin), after his suicide in April 1991. This photograph was allegedly taken by Mayhem's guitarist, Euronymous (Øystein Aarseth), upon discovering Dead's body.
  • Master P - Ghetto D (1997)
    • The original album cover was pulled from the shelves deemed inappropriate. It depicted a crack addict sitting on the curb smoking from a glass pipe. It was promptly replaced by a collage style cover.
  • Pitchshifter - Deviant (2000)
    • Pitchshifter's album cover used a picture of one of Gee Vaucher's Paintings which the painting shows a cross between the Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II. The album cover was banned in Poland, due to the some of the public's response to the image of the Pope John Paul cross between Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Dream Theater - Live Scenes from New York (2001)
    • This is a 3 disc live album originally released on September 11, 2001, but when it was noticed[by whom?] that the cover artwork depicted the twin towers of the World Trade Center in flames, it was recalled and re-released a short time later with different artwork.
  • The Coup - Party Music (2001)
    • The original cover art, designed in June 2001, depicted Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress appearing to detonate the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. After the September 11 attacks, the album's release was delayed until November 2001 to allow new cover art to be used.
  • Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)
    • The cover sleeve showing Chris McClure, a friend of the band, smoking a cigarette, was criticised by the head of the NHS in Scotland for "reinforcing the idea that smoking is OK".[33] The image on the CD itself is a shot of an ashtray full of cigarettes. The band's product manager denied the accusation, and in fact suggested the opposite — "You can see from the image smoking is not doing him the world of good".[33]
  • Caeser Pink & The Imperial Orgy - All God's Children (2007)
    • The cover depicted cartoon images of a green dinosaur, an African child with a machine gun, and Mickey Mouse portrayed as a Nazi with a Hitler mustache and a red armband. The cover caused the CD to be banned from radio stations[citation needed] across the country[where?]. WFCF Radio of Florida stated that the station "Did not want to subject their listeners to a band that would portray Mickey as a Nazi." Band leader Caeser Pink defended the song as a statement against consolidation of mass media, and the use of media to keep the public engaged in shallow entertainment, such as the flood of pop stars from the Disney Studios that have dominated American culture. Pink further claimed that the radio station bans constituted censorship of free speech on political grounds.[citation needed]
  • James - Hey Ma (2008)
    • The album cover was promoted on billboards, although all billboard posters for the album were banned less than a month before the album's release because of fears concerning that the baby is depicted with a gun in the cover image. Despite the controversy,[citation needed] the band refuse to replace the image.
  • Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers (2009)
    • The album art depicts a painting by Jenny Saville. A number of UK supermarket deemed the red/ochre colours on the portrait to be blood, and therefore used alternative packaging to stock the item.[34] The alternative packaging in question is a longbox, a type of outer packaging used for some CDs in the 1980s and early to mid-1990s.
  • Michael Jackson - Michael (2010)
    • The original cover featured the symbol of pop artist Prince in a bubble on the cover, which lead to some believe that the artist had some involvement with the album. When asked about the rumour to Prince's camp, they said "No permission was granted!". The symbol was later removed.


  1. ^ Yoko Ono, Time magazine
  2. ^ Thorgerson, Storm; Powell, Aubrey (1999). 100 Best Album Covers: The Stories Behind the Sleeves. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 29. ISBN 0751307068. 
  3. ^ Interview with Mariora Goschen
  4. ^ Mariora Goschen's web page
  5. ^
  6. ^ Eric Blair. "UK Censors Wikipedia Article with Nude Girl Album Cover". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "IWF lifts Wikipedia ban". Channel 4 News. Channel 4 News. 9 December 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Images for Crass - Stations Of The Crass". Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  9. ^ Apter, 2004. pp. 196–197
  10. ^ "Past Mercury Music Prize winners". Metro. Retrieved on 3 September 2009.
  11. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Independent; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text
  12. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named B114; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text
  13. ^ a b Griffin, J.R. (1994). "Tool on Videos, Censorship, Art, And Why You Should Never Let A Guy Named Maynard Put You In A Cage". Axcess. Retrieved 2007-05-13. "It came as no surprise when Wal-Mart and Kmart refused to carry the album. Rather than miss out on a large audience, Tool decided to censor itself and released a plain white album cover that contained nothing more than a giant bar code, the band's name, and the album tracks." 
  14. ^ Richard Harrington (1994-04-06). "Keeping Those Risque Covers Undercover" (fee required). The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  15. ^ Morse, Steve (March 23, 1995). "The Black Crowes: Rock rebels take home-grown spirit on tour". The Boston Globe. pp. 18. 
  16. ^ "Ministry's Dark Side Of The Spoon (1999) was banned by Kmart due to its cover.". MTV. 2007-10-26. 
  17. ^ "Slayer's 'Christ Illusion' Album Recalled Following Christian Group Protests". 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  18. ^ Dylan Disks Showcased, p. 41
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  23. ^ Matchbox Twenty sued over album cover. Retrieved 14 November 2007.
  24. ^ Show 43 - Revolt of the Fat Angel: Some samples of the Los Angeles sound. [Part 3] : UNT Digital Library
  25. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "allmusic (((Born Again > Overview)))". Allmusic. Retrieved 9-25-2009. 
  26. ^ Popoff, Martin (2006). Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History. ECW press. p. 206. ISBN 1-55022-731-9. 
  27. ^ "Fuck You! And Then Some" album notes. 1996 Megaforce Records
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  29. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum - Brujeria - Matando Güeros". 1993-07-06. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  30. ^ The Ice Opinion, Ice-T as dictated to Heidi Siegmund, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994
  31. ^ Nirvana fan club FAQ Retrieved on 10 June 2006
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  33. ^ a b BBC News:Arctic Monkeys defend album cover Retrieved on 5 June 2006
  34. ^ Manic Street Preachers album cover censored by supermarkets The Guardian, 15 May 2009

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