Art Rock

The Hottest Censored Album Covers, 1981-Present (NSFW)

Longtime readers of Rocks Off might remember that back in 2009 we ran thorough look at censored album covers that spanned the years of 1966 to 1980, with two more recent covers at the end. Of course, album covers didn't stop being censored just as frequently after 1980, and the two examples in our first list -- Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction and the Coup's Party Music -- are certainly not the only ones to be hastily covered up and/or recalled in response to controversy.

Since it's been a few years and this sort of controversy is rearing its ugly head once again thanks to the new album from ex-Oasis front man Liam Gallagher's band Beady Eye, it seemed appropriate to revisit the idea by filling in the blanks over the last 30 years, so this list picks up at 1981.

Bow Wow Wow, See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy (1981) What you see above is only the censored alternative cover which appeared in the UK and U.S. releases; honestly, nobody here wants to go to jail for showing you child pornography (really). The original version of the album cover showed BWW lead singer Annabella Lwin, 14 years old at the time, posing nude in a tribute to Manet's Luncheon on the Grass. It went over about as well as you'd expect.

Guns N' Roses, G N' R Lies (1988) No strangers to controversy over, well, every single thing they ever did, Gn'R even had to censor the cover to their 1988 EP G N' R Lies because somehow someone mistook the original's text of "ladies, welcome to the dark ages" and "wife-beating has been around for 10,000 years" as endorsements of misogyny. Who knows where they got that idea, but the album was reissued with altered text immediately.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mother's Milk (1989) One more in the nudity-censoring column. The very prominent breasts on the original cover were covered up by enlarged images of the band members.

Jane's Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual (1990) After already having their previous album Nothing's Shocking sold in a brown paper bag for the nudity on its cover, Jane's just replaced the cover this time with a white background, their logo, and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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Corey Deiterman