Serious record collectors, and I’m speaking vinyl here, are in it for the sweet grooves, but even the snobbiest of collectors will sometimes fall prey to the album with the sweet cover art regardless of musical integrity.
I’ve bought enough records from the cheapo bin just because I dug the cover enough times to speak to the truth of this.
When it comes to vinyl cover art though, there are some album covers that are famous in and of themselves. The album The Velvet Underground & Nico is one of hell of a good record, but it’s also famous for the Andy Warhol cover featuring a banana. Earlier copies of the album featured a zipper over the banana, which you could peel back to reveal a flesh covered
dick banana; a crazy good find for anyone going through the bins of their local record store.
Some folks, like Storm Thorgerson, Roger Dean, Peter Saville, Vaughn Oliver, and Jamie Reid are famous just for the work they’ve done on album covers. Of course, some of the more memorable album covers out there involve nudity of some kind, which is a big “hell yes” for us. Of course, we’re so used to nudity these days that a sexy album cover is usually received with a “meh,” but when taken in context (the year it was released, etc) a lot of these covers were pushing the limits of what was considered acceptable at the time.
Just take the cover for Electic Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix & The Experience for instance, released in 1968 the thing was a shocker and pushed the envelop considering it featured approximately 20 nude women.
Electric Ladyland might be an iconographic album cover these days, but at the time it was brown bagged, censored, and banned all over the place. The thing that interests me the most about album covers is the story that comes with them. It’s interesting to note that Jimi Hendrix was never pleased with the bevy of naked chicks that graced the cover of his album, especially when you consider that he had originally asked for “a color photo by Linda Eastman of the group sitting with children on a sculpture from Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, NY.” (Wiki) Clearly, that’s not what he got making him a not so happy camper. The past can’t be re-written, but his family or whoever is in charge of his estate have stated that the nude cover can no longer be used in re-issues making this album a collectors item.
Anyway, enough with the history lesson, here are some pervy album covers for you all to enjoy.
10. Chocolate & Cheese – Ween
Some lovely under-boob.
9. As Nasty As The Wanna Be – The 2 Live Crew
Great cover for a great title.
8. Love Drive – Scorpions
This cover amuses me to no end. The wad of gum. Her stainless steel expression. His passive interest. Perfection.
7. Amorica – The Black Crowes
Real pubes or a merkin? Let’s take a vote.
6. Blood Guts & Pussy – Dwarves
Who said blood wasn’t sexy?
5. Small Change – Tom Waits
There’s a rumor going around town that they go-go dancer leaning in the background is no other than Elvira Misstress of the Macabre, you know, before she became Elvira, but I have no idea if that’s true. I did read however that this cover was unplanned and of a spontaneous nature…. with Tom Waits going “ya, why don’t we just leave the stripper in the background” or something like that and history was made.
4. Cardiac Arrest – Cameo
Jesus on a cracker, the oil, the sheen, the water, the sweat, the goofy pendant… brilliant.
3. Country Life – Roxy Music
Brian Ferry met models Constanze Karoli and Eveline Grunwald in some hotel in Portugal, convinced them to strip and pose for the cover in front of some trees. Yup, that shit happens in real life. The model duo also helped with the lyrics to “Bitter Sweet.”
2. Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky – O’Donel Levy
Fuck yeah, is all I have to say to that. Oh and I really want to listen to some funk right now.
1. Heaven or Hollywood – Uncle Sam
Just look at the glint of that straight razor. Magic. Apparently, this ’80s garage (punk) rock album is apparently pretty kickass. I can’t vouch for it, since I haven’t listen to one note of it yet, but I could look at that cover all day though.