1994’s Amorica was the Black Crowes’s third album, following the multiplatinum success of Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Unfortunately by 1994 the Robinson brothers’ brand of revival rock wasn’t going over with music fans mourning Kurt Cobain and eagerly anticipating post-grunge milquetoasts like Bush and Creed. Amorica sold roughly 500,000 copies, a respectable number but nowhere near the triple platinum Money Maker.
Big box retailers like Wal-Mart refused to stock the album for fear that the cover art was too controversial. I’ll grant you that a photo lifted from Hustler magazine may have been a bit over the top for middle America:
The band’s record label was happy to oblige with an alternate cover for the weak at retail heart:
Why a disembodied vulva floating in space is less disturbing than pubic hair is anybody’s guess, but that’s censorship for you.
The album itself is rock solid, every bit as good as its two predecessors and well worth your five bucks or so. Five hundred thousand might not have been killer sales in 1994, but it’s enough copies floating around to keep the cost of used CDs down. There’s not a significant difference in value between the censored and uncensored covers, so don’t get suckered into paying more for a little body hair. Regardless, it’s fun to have the pair of covers around as conversation pieces.
In this case if you’re looking for a collectible your money is better spent on the July 1976 Hustler from which the photo was taken. The magazine regularly trades in the twenty to fifty dollars range, but I ask you: Do you really want to purchase used porn?
Categories: From the Stacks, Music
I like the Black Crowes. I think I’d only seen the censored cover. When did we start hating pubic hair so much? I can’t remember when that change occurred.
I don’t know, but I think it says something about our culture. I’m not sure what exactly, but whatever it is I’m uncomfortable with it.