Offensive album covers, over the years

In the wake of the ridiculously absurd British blocking of the Wikipedia entry for Scorpions’ “Virgin Killer” [warning: full-frontal underage female nudity], it has come to my attention that there are plenty of other album covers out there just ripe for re-censorship.

Take Blind Faith‘s one and only album.  While the prepubescent girl in question is certainly posing less provocatively than the one on the Virgin Killer cover, she was nonetheless 11 years old at the time (which would make her 60 today – incidentally, she has spoken recently about the cover and the pony she never got in return).

And what about this gem?  The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today, which was eventually released with a wildly different cover, faced controversy in the beginnings for its lovely depiction of the Fab Four with decapitated and bloody baby dolls.

And who could forget Mom’s Apple Pie? Or Electric Ladyland?  Or my very favorite, which should never in a million years have been considered controversial…

Apparently the youth featured on the cover has referred to himself as “the world’s biggest porn star.”  Awesome.

*How did I never see this article, where the Spencer Elden, the Nirvana baby, recreated the pose at 12 years old (with swim trunks)?

2 replies on “Offensive album covers, over the years”

As a teenager living in Germany in the late 70s and early 80s, I recall very clearly that the Scorpion’s “Virgin Killer” album cover was controversial even at the time of release. It was difficult to find the original album cover, as it was pulled and replaced with an alternate album cover, even in Germany.

One of the bands former guitarists, Uli Jon Roth, has said “Looking at that picture today makes me cringe. It was done in the worst possible taste. Back then I was too immature to see that. Shame on me — I should have done everything in my power to stop it.”

Of course, bad taste does not mandate censorship. However it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the photograph is controversial and offensive to many.

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