Are you a big music fan? Do you remember the days when you bought music in CDs? Or records? The bad thing about buying MP3s is that you don’t get to see the awesome album artwork anymore. You might see a tiny thumbnail on the website, but that’s it. There are some versions of the albums on iTunes where you get a PDF of the album booklet with the MP3s, but you usually have to pay for the “deluxe” version of the album. There have been many controversial albums over the years. Some of them were controversial for the lyrics, and some were controversial for the album covers and/or other artwork on the album.
There was the album, In Utero, by Nirvana. It had a crucifixion on the cover. There was the Beatles album where they are holding parts of baby dolls. Many albums that just had some shocking imagery on them. Some had to be re-released with different covers. Especially, some of the classic albums; a lot of those are censored. Nowadays, they may not seem that bad, but back then they offended many people. The Lynyrd Skynyrd album that had a picture of the band members surrounded by flames, which is ironic because a lot of the members died in a plane crash. So, it was only offensive because of the separate event.
Today, I am presenting a list of the sexiest album and single covers that should’ve been censored. I’m including any time period and any genre. Most of them include nearly nude women, or women that are nude but have something strategically placed to hide their naughty bits.
12. Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”
Next up is the famous hit album from Katy Perry. The lead single was “California Girls” featuring Snoop Dogg surrounded by an army of gummy bears. There were five more hit songs from this album as well including the title song “Teenage Dream.” That song was immortalized on an episode of Glee when the rival glee club, “The Warblers,” sang an amazing acapella version of the pop song. The next single was the self-empowerment number, “Firework.” The song features the classic lyric: “Baby, you’re a firework.” It has an odd introductory lyric “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” She also did a collaboration with Kanye West on the song “E.T.”
11. Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Here, we have a very popular song. Nicki Minaj took the classic 90s big butt anthem, and made it even more booty-centric. The song samples the classic “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Her chorus samples the famous line “my anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun.” The video has Nicki and several back up dancers all wearing booty-revealing clothes. They do a lot of butt-wiggling in their thongs and booty shorts. The song also quotes the famous line from the beginning of the video for “Baby Got Back:” “Oh my god, look at her butt.” This is a derivative of the original introduction for the video “Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt.”
10. Bon Jovi – “Slippery When Wet”
Here we have Bon Jovi’s classic album “Slippery When Wet.” It was a major breakthrough hair metal album in the 80s. The successful songwriter, Desmond Child, went on to write hits for the likes of Aerosmith, Michael Bolton, and Ricky Martin among others. This album had two songs that would go on to be defining songs for Bon Jovi’s career: “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.” It mixes the Bruce Springsteen– style storytelling and guitar hooks. The first single from “Slippery When Wet,” “Let it Rock,” became a hair metal anthem in the 80s.
9. Whitesnake – “Love Hunter”
This album came out 35 years ago in 1979 and featured former Deep Purple singer David Coverdale, and Deep Purple organist, Jon Lord. A former Deep Purple producer, Martin Birch, helped with the classic song “Walking the Shadow of the Blues.” The album cover definitely offended many women’s groups when it came out. It was made by fantasy artist, Chris Achilleos, who had been working for fantasy art magazines such as “Heavy Metal.”
8. Lil’ Kim – “La Bella Mafia”
Released in 2003, this was Lil Kim‘s comeback album after having a period of lower success. Her 2000 album, Notorious K.I.M., was not very successful. There were a lot of collaborations, and a lot of shout-outs to the late Notorious B.I.G. On La Bella Mafia, she went back to her sexy, gangster style of hip-hop. This album did much better amongst her fans. Some people that contributed to the album’s production include Timbaland, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, and many others. The album also includes guest appearances by 50 Cent, Missy Elliot, Styles P, and Twista. She often challenges the sexist world of rap with her female empowerment lyrics.
7. The Slits – “Cut”
Here we have the 1979 album “Cut” by The Slits. They were a hardcore, feminist hard rock band with no musical experience when they first formed. They were formed in 1976 by Ari Up. On their debut tour with the Clash, Mick Jones used to have to tune their guitars. Their demo recordings were very crude, as the band only knew how to play two or three chords on the guitar. When the band released “Cut,” it was their first time performing as a trio. There was the addition of some reggae elements to the guitar sounds. They were passionate about exploring their punk rock sound.
6. The Strokes – “Is This It”
Here we have The Strokes first album “Is This It.” Some websites show alternate covers for this album. Obviously the profile of a nude lady was bound to be censored. They opted to release the album with a different cover image in the US and the UK. Many stores banned this version of the cover. Their sound was an update of the New York punk rock style. After the World Trade Center incident on 9/11, the track “New York City Cops” was removed from the album. They got a lot of press on the album’s release, and they got labeled as “critic darlings.” They drew influences from John Lennon and Buddy Holly among others.
5. The Pretty Reckless – “Going to Hell”
Here we have The Pretty Reckless’ 2014 album “Going to Hell.” The lead singer, Taylor Momsen, started out as an actress on the series “Gossip Girl.” She also appeared in the live version of “The Grinch.” The band’s sound is a throwback to the 90s grunge era rock. She’s influenced by other great female-fronted rock groups such as The Runaways and Hole. But, luckily, she doesn’t push the envelope quite as much of these bands. They haven’t had the controversy and scandal that Hole had.
4. Kool and the Gang – “Live at the Sex Machine”
Here we have the album “Live at the Sex Machine” by Kool and the Gang. The band was formed in the mid-60s. They were one of the best funk bands in the 70s as well as being a famous R&B bands in the 80s. They drew influence from James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic, the group fronted by George Clinton. Robert Bell and his brother Ronald are from New Jersey, and they got into music because of their father’s interest in it. This LP was released in 1971 along with Live at PJ’s. It included some very off the wall covers such as “Walk on By” and “Wichita Lineman.”
3. The P*$$Y Warmers – “My P***y Belongs to Daddy”
This is made to look like an old 70s LP, but it was actually released in 2009 by a band called the Pussy Warmers. This album comes from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. They are a mix of 20’s Jazz, 1900s orchestra, etc. They call themselves a “Little Freak Circus Orchestra.” They have many acoustic instruments in their music such as horns, upright bass, etc. I have not seen this version of the album cover on many sites, so it must have been censored at some point.
2. Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream and Other Delights
Here we have a classic from the 60s group Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. “Whipped Cream and Other Delights” was released in 1965 on A&M Records. It sold over 6 million copies in the United States. Unlike other rock groups in the 60s, this band was more on the easy listening side of things. The lovely lady on the cover is Dolores Erickson. She was actually three months pregnant at the time. It contains the image for her emerging from a large pile of whipped cream. It looks reminiscent of the scenes of strippers bursting out of cakes. In this image the whipped cream serves to cover her naughty bits.
1. Steel Panther – “Balls Out”
Here we have “Balls Out” by Steel Panther. Steel Panther was formed in the 2000s, and they are a satirical band pretending to be an 80s “hair metal” band that missed their big break by about 20 years. They appeared in a Discover Card commercial. They played themselves on an episode of the Drew Carey Show. Their song FF was used by MTV’s Fantasy Factory show. “Balls Out” was released in 2011, and it displayed their great metal talent. Being a comedy band, they cranked out some serious metal. It has a mixed following: either you’re going to get it or you’re not.