1. The Black Crowes, ‘Amorica’ (1994)Amorica depicted a closeup of a bathing suit with pubic hair showing.The picture was from a 1976 United States Bicentennial issue of ‘Hustler’ magazine and caused quite a controversy. The record company ended up putting out an alternative cover that blacked out the offending image. They loved it in Brazil though.
2. Bow Wow Wow, ‘See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah! City All Over, Go Ape Crazy!’ (1981)The singer for Bow Wow Wow was only 15 years old when this album was released. Lwin’s covered-but-naked body on the album cover, prompted her mother to accuse band manager Malcolm Mclaren of exploiting a minor. Scotland Yard even investigated the case.
3. Cannibal Corpse, ‘Butchered At Birth’ (1991)This was the death metal band’s second album, and was quickly banned in Germany until June 2006. The very grotesque cover art featured a slaughtered mother-to-be being cut up by a zombie, with her baby apparently about to be slaughtered by another zombie
4. Chumbawamba, ‘Anarchy’ (1994)This one doesn’t need any explanation as to why it caused problems. The anti-establishment rockers, whose guitarist Danbert Nobacon very famously drenched Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at the 1998 Brit Awards, actually intended to cause outrage with this sleeve. Many stores refused to stock it and others covered it with a plain wrapper.
5. David Bowie, ‘Diamond Dogs’ (1974)On Diamond Dogs, Bowie was pictures as a man-dog, whose genitals were clearly visible on the reverse sleeve. When record executives realized that this would cause a major stir, they had the offending area airbrushed out. The original albums now command thousands of dollars from collectors.
6. Guns N’ Roses, ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987)This very disturbing picture of an alien and robot rape scene was the original graphics for the for the cover of Guns N’ Roses’ debut album. In the end they decided to use a completely different image, although this picture did still appear on the inside sleeve of the album.
7. The Five Keys, ‘On Stage!’ (1957)The Five Keys were big in the 50′s, which just so happens to be a time when over-prudence was the norm. Rudy West (far left) had his right thumb just barely visible on the record jacket for this release. Of course everyone got really excited about it, because what if someone mistook it for some ahem, other body part? As a result, on later pressings the offensive digit was covered up.
8. Roger Waters, ‘The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking’ (1984)When this album (a really under-appreciated album, by the way) was released, complaints that it could be seen as encouraging rape meant that subsequent pressings were changed to have a black bar across the hitch-hikers’ bum.
9. Jimi Hendrix, ‘Electric Ladyland’ (1968)Obviously this much nudity wouldn’t do in 1968 – the sleeve as it appears here was banned. Even now, the version you’ll see in the shops features Hendrix’s face covering the album. I guess they ran out of black bars to cover up the bad bits. If you like this album, you should definitely check out the “making of” DVD.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Street Survivors’ (1977)In a fairly ironic twist of fate, only three days after this album came out several members of the band, including lead vocalist and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash. Suddenly the flames on the sleeve seemed insensitive to everyone, so for many years the flames were airbrushed out.