Banned on the Run: 20 Shocking Classic Album Covers [NSFW]
Join us as we take a look at 20 of the most shocking, banned classic album covers of all time.
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Street Survivors (1977)
Three days after this album’s October 20, 1977, release, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed en route to Baton Rouge, LA. The accident claimed the lives of the pilot, copilot, Skynyrd’s assistant road manager and three band members: singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Out of respect for the survivors and the victims' families, the original cover image—featuring the band in a ring of fire—was replaced with a respectful, though funereal, band image.
Mama Lion - Preserve Wildlife (1972)
The wildcard of our list, Mama Lion’s Preserve Wildlife cover featured the singer nursing a lion cub. In a move to prevent confusion, as much as objection, the final version of the album was issued with a cutaway cover that obscured the cub-to-jug action.
Pantera - Far Beyond Driven (1994)
The original art for this groove metal gem included an anus being impaled by a drill bit. After the album was banned under new censorship laws, Dime & Co. went with the now-classic skull-impaled-by-drill bit motif. Perhaps that was just their way of telling the government it had its head up its ass.
Poison - Open Up and Say...Ahh! (1988)
This glam-metal album boasted a cover with a female demon sticking out a massive Gene Simmons-style tongue. After much fuss from church and parental groups, the black bars were added to hide the offensive tongue. (Unfortunately, Simmons was spared the same treatment.)
Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984)
Roger Waters’ solo concept album about a man’s midlife crisis went to press with a cover that featured a rear shot of a female hitchhiker, wearing nothing but a red backpack and high-heels. This impractical travel wear didn’t win points with censors, and subsequent pressings received black bars over the woman’s backside.
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