Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 16)

Year: 1995

Dead Infection: A Chapter of Accidents

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The Problem: Polish goregrind merchants Dead Infection served up one of the genre’s landmark releases in 1995 with the sloppy satisfaction of A Chapter of Accidents. The album’s cover had to be censored to just the band logo and album title upon release due to the graphic and disturbing nature of the severed, deformed, rotting head on the front.

My Take: Overtime, this one started to gross me out a bit. Just a bit. I would advise not to be eating when you gaze upon this album cover. Most of these Europeans come up with sick and gross things for their album covers, don’t they?

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 15)

Year: 1994

Acid Bath: When the Kite String Pops

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The Problem: Adorning the cover of Acid Bath’s When the Kite String Pops is Pogo the Clown, the infamous alias of serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The painting itself was made by Gacy while he was in prison awaiting execution. The killer would notoriously dress as the clown at kids’ parties and charitable events.

My Take: It looks innocent, but very twisted. Clown are just downright scary, period. John Wayne Gacy or not. Plus, I just got finished with watching American Horror Story: Cult too? Mmmm…. (BTW, John Wayne Gacy was featured in American Horror Story: Hotel too.)

Nailbomb: Point Break

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The Problem: Nailbomb, the group consisting of then Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera and Fudge Tunnel’s Alex Newport, surrounded themselves with quite the buzz in 1994. Point Blank is a sonic combination of the duo’s two bands and boasts a controversial album cover where a U.S. soldier is pointing the barrel of a rifle against the face of a female Vietcong member.

My Take: This would be better fit on the cover of National Geographic.

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 14)

Year: 1993

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Doggystyle

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The Problem: Doggystyle was Snoop Doggy Dogg’s major solo debut album and an instant success. The album title alludes to the “doggy style” sexual position and was a reference to the rapper’s name. Unfortunately, the cover didn’t impress civil rights activist C. Delores Tucker and her campaign against “gangsta rap.” In 1994, the album’s inner sleeve artwork was introduced as evidence at a hearing on Commerce, Competitiveness, and Consumer Protection in Washington D.C. Moreover, critics believed it adhered to the narcissistic and sexual lyrical themes of “gangsta rap.” Technically, there was nothing explicit on the cover of Snoop’s debut album. It was just highly suggestive.

My Take: Should we really be surprised by this? This is from the man who brought two dates on collars and leashes. This is just how he rolls. Ms. Tucker needed to chill. The cover is actually kind of funny.

Impaled Nazarene: Ugra-Karma

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The Problem: Outspoken Finnish black metal act Impaled Nazarene got their record label, Osmose, in some legal trouble with the release of Ugra-Karma in 1993. As it turns out, the band used artwork without permission from a book given to frontman Mika Luttinen by a Hare-Krishna. A metalhead who later became a Hare-Krishna informed one of his peers about the ordeal, eventually leading to an out of court settlement. The image depicts the Hindu deity Shiva seated on a tiger.

My Take: It looks very pretty, I’ll give them that. Maybe they should’ve asked for permission in the first place. I would love to have this image as a poster on a wall. Just take the text off and it would be perfect. Well, maybe the album name, but leave the band’s name. Maybe, I don’t know. Maybe…

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 13)

Year: 1992

Kool G Rap and DJ Polo: Live and Let Die

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The Problem: Month’s prior to Kool G Rap and DJ Polo’s third and final album, Ice-T released his notorious Body Count single, “Cop Killer.” So when the rap duo took their album to Warner Bros. complete with the album’s cover art that featured two guys getting hanged, the label refused to distribute it as part of a deal that they had with Cold Chillin’ Records.

My Take: I don’t really have much to say about this one. This album cover reminds me of about another cover with people about to hang themselves on it. I can’t remember the band’s name or the title of the album. The title is kind of fitting to the end of their career and the timing was crappy. Other than that… Yeah… Next.

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 12)

Year: 1991

Great White: Hooked

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The Problem: For their fifth full-length, Hooked, the consummate gentlemen in Great White chose a design of a naked woman straddling a large hook being hoisted from the sea. Following objections, the cover was reprinted so that the model and hook were partially submerged in the ocean. Well played, sirs.

My Take: It doesn’t really look too bad. Both the censored and uncensored version play on the title of the album. It would’ve been cooler if the woman was made into a topless mermaid and really bring out the imagery from the title. Still, I’ve gotten pretty used to seeing nudity by this point.

Type O Negative: Slow, Deep, and Hard

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The Problem: Type O Negative were always a sarcastic bunch who sometimes were the only ones to understand their demented sense of humor. The title of their first album, Slow, Deep and Hard is well-represented in the hazy, green album cover. A closeup of intercourse graces the raw debut and is not quite the poster image for advertising “safe sex.” Surprisingly, no alternate artwork was made.

My Take: This one is not as gross as the other album cover in this project. At first, I couldn’t tell what I was looking at here. I can kind of see it now. Still, not too bad. I have seen worse at this point. (Like this band’s other album cover!)

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 11)

Year: 1990

Hurricane: Slave to Thrill

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The Problem: The enigmatic cover art for Hurricane’s third album featured a naked woman sitting on a biomechanical, H.R. Geiger–style machine seat/penetrator. This unnerved enough people for Hurricane to remove the woman altogether from the scene in all additional pressings.

My Take: Once again, they are scared to show women enjoying sexual pleasure. Come on, people, women can enjoy sex too. Plus, the image fits the title perfectly well, thank you very much! Lighten up, people!

Dwarves: Blood, Guts, and Pussy

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The Problem: By 1990, punk music was contextually not as shocking as it was in the ‘70s with death metal and grindcore taking shape and gathering most of the controversial attention. The Dwarves shifted the focus back to punk in 1990 when they released Blood, Guts and Pussy with a gripping album cover. Three nude models were covered in animal blood in the Michael Lavine photograph, enraging feminists who only saw more red after going through the album’s lyric sheet.

My Take: This reminds me of the movie, I Spit on Your Grave for some reason.

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 10)

Year: 1989

2 Live Crew: As Nasty as They Want to Be

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The Problem: Independently released in June of 1989, the Miami-based rap group sold one million records in less than a year inspired by the sex-driven singles “Me So Horny” and “C’mon Babe.” By spring of 1990, the group was fighting for their First Amendment freedoms at their high-profile obscenity trial. The cover, along with the album lyrics, infuriated parents and became a target for Tipper Gore’s Parents’ Music Resource Center. A federal district judge also ruled that the album as a whole was obscene and made it illegal for people to own it (the ruling was later overturned by the Eleventh Circuit).

My Take: Given 2 Live Crew’s history, why should we be surprised by this? I’ve had “Me So Horny” and “C’mon Babe” on my iPod for a few years. I have those tracks burned on a CD somewhere. (I had an interest in them at the time.) This is proof positive that parents need to see what monitor what their kids are watching and listening. Later on, 2LC won their case in 1990.

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 9)

Year: 1988

Ice-T: Power

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The Problem: Not long ago, Ice-T was a rapper, not a Law & Order detective. In fact, Ice-T’s sophomore album Power became subject of controversy when released thanks to the provocative pose that Darlene Ortiz (girlfriend at the time) struck while holding a shotgun in a skimpy bikini. In 1988, the album cover was a bit risqué for the time but is far from shocking these days.

My Take: Ice-T, buddy, we’ve missed you! It’s been so long since you’ve made an appearance in this project. We haven’t seen you since 2014. This cover actually isn’t too bad compared to the previous three in this blog. The woman isn’t even showing much skin on the cover. Her boobs and genitals are covered up. Are they sure that’s bikini? That’s a one piece, but I digress. I’m about to beat a dead horse with this, but: this is a far cry from the man that now plays a cop on TV. I guess time does mellow you out.

Boogie Down Productions: By All Means Necessary

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The Problem: In 1987, after Boogie Down Productions’ Scott La Rock’s murder, Krs-One posed for their second album cover alone, staring out a window surveying for enemies, gripping an Uzi as Malcolm X had his rifle two decades before (a nod to Don Charles’s famous photo). The landmark political-orientated album covered social issues that included government-sanctioned poverty, government & police corruption, safe sex, and violence in the Hip Hop community. The album’s cover portraying an infamous militant-inspired pose paired with its controversial lyrics ruffled a few feathers in the music industry.

My Take: The history of this album cover is rather interesting. I had to do a quick search about this band and the album itself before I could post my take on this. What do people expect? It’s gangster protest rap? Being controversial is the only way to get anyone’s attention the problems going on with the world. I say, right on and more power to them!

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 8)

(I would like to apologize for this timeline going out of whack again. I forgot I had this cover. I don’t know why I’m slipping this year, but it probably won’t be the last. So bear with me here.)

Year: 1984

Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA

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The Problem: Patriotic Republicans had a major fit over this album cover, thinking that Bruce was shown to be urinating on the US flag.

My Take: Oh, the little patriotic crybabies. How can they even tell just by him standing there with his butt facing us? It didn’t stop them from using the title track for a political rally without Mr. Springsteen’s permission or actually knowing the real meaning behind the song. They haven’t changed at all. What’s even funnier is that this shot is in the video for the title track before the camera pans up to show Mr. Springsteen’s face as he turns to the camera. The patriotic crybabies were just desperate for attention.

Black Flag: Slip it In

The Problem: Black Flag’s Slip It In could ostensibly refer to the range of musical influences the icons employed throughout the record’s eight tracks. However, the cover art suggested something else entirely, showing a cartoon of a nun with her arm wrapped around the knee of what is assumed to be a nude man whose two bare legs are seen in the image.

My Take: It’s not as bad as their last one on this display. It’s kind of cheeky, in fact. When I first saw it, I thought the nun had her arm around his arm. Plus, I am a bit of a sucker for plays-on-words and corruption of the church. So, go Black Flag for this album cover existing.

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Controversial Album Covers IX (Pt. 7)

Year: 1985

Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion

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The Problem: H.R. Giger’s artwork has always been eye-catching and controversial and the ‘Satan I’ painting that graces the front of Celtic Frost’s masterwork To Mega Therion is true to that statement. A devilish character is bookended by two monstrous tentacle creatures and is depicted using Jesus in the crucifixion pose as a slingshot. The partnership was the start of a lifelong, close friendship between Celtic Frost’s Tom G. Warrior and the famed Swiss artist.

My Take: It actually looks pretty cool. I would love to see this on the cover of a fantasy novel. It’s not as bad as the album cover that had a woman getting herself off with a crucifix. I think I might have to come back to this album sometime for more inspiration for my own work. Plus, the band name sounds that cool too.

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