Remember when people used to buy music?
We all convinced ourselves the packaging was actually part of the experience. Especially when someone made an album cover so titillating, stores couldn't even put a record on the shelf without special censors.
Well, even in today's digital music age, some clever artists are finding ways to push the good-taste envelope. Luckily, we here at Crossfade don't have time for good taste. So we've compiled this totally sexy, totally fucked-up list of the most NSFW album covers ever.
Enjoy, you filthy animals.
This mega classic probably doesn't even come to mind, but it was a huge deal back in its day. That is a baby's penis, you know. Originally, stores refused to carry the thing unless the itty bit was photoshopped off, or whatever they used to photoshop things in the early '90s. These days, the kid is like 21 years old and everyone who's anyone has his baby picture in their iTunes.
Black Crowes' Amorica
What's a little pubic hair? Apparently, a whole lot when you let it lie over some patriotic bikini bottoms and release it as the art for your major-label album. These rock 'n' rollers found themselves in the hot seat over this gaffe, and had to release a store-friendly version with everything but the flag bikini blacked out.
Pansy Division's Touch My Joe Camel
Punk rockers are all about shock and awe, and gay dudes are all about cock and balls. So it stands to reason if you put the two together, you're going to get one helluva NSFW series of album covers. We like this one for Touch My Joe Camel the best. It's a not-so classy homage to the old cigarette company design, and it's good for a few LOLs.
Team Jaguar's The Crew
Speaking of having fun and pushing buttons, that's what this Tallahassee group was doing with their cover for The Crew EP. Sure, it's basically harmless, but this eyeball turned on its side and poked in just the right way looks like, well, if you don't know, consult an anatomy book. Online retailers released a censored version, but we like this playful attitude right in our face.
John and Yoko's Two Virgins
Imagine there's no clothes. OK, well, you don't have to because ex-Beatle John Lennon and his artist wife, Yoko Ono, were naked together at just about every chance they got. This cover for Two Virgins shows the couple holding hands in their birthday suits, and they're not worried about airbrushing all the everyday goodies. This is art and nature, people.
Roxy Music's Country Life
If you came to this list looking for sexy, this is your spot. These two nearly-nudes adorn the cover of glam-prog pioneers Roxy Music's Country Life record, which brought eye-opening musical mayhem into the living rooms of boys and girls all over the country. And it was probably stashed under a few mattresses for safe keeping on lonely, exploratory nights.
Goon & Koyote's Wellness Is Wild
BOOM! TITTIES IN YOUR FACE, BITCH. This Parisian-based electro duo made waves with their energetic, disco-house EP Wilderness is Wild, but they caught everyone's attention with the giant gazungas on the front cover. It's like, you come for the boobs, you stay for the great jams. After all, sex sells!
Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist
Oh yes, you don't have to blink. That is a dark, psychedelic series of cocks and anuses. Do you recognize the artistry of H. R. Giger? The same man behind the super-creepy Alien movie series sets and creatures. This isn't the only album cover he ever designed, but it is the most sexually repulsing. Punk rockers know how to make them say "ughhh."
D-Styles' STD Breaks
This foul-looking EP from D-Styles had the underground on fire, and it probably convinced a number of DJs to make that doctor's appointment they'd been putting off. No one really wants a reminder of how bad sex can be, but everyone can't help taking a second look at this nasty thing in the record bin.
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Death Grips' No Love Deep Web
But hands down, the best NSFW album cover award goes to Death Grips for No Love Deep Web. It's nothing but a big, hard cock with the album title written on it in some chicken scratch. Let's face it, tits are boring, they've been done. But hard cocks? It's super effective.
Now, go wash your eyes out with soap. You've been through a lot.