Alternate album covers are my favorite corner of the record geek universe. Most often a cover is altered due to sexual or religious content, which pretty much says everything you need to know about life in the United States. Sometimes they’re changed due to copyright issues (Rolling Stones’ Some Girls), tragedy (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Street Survivors), or some general notion of offensiveness (the toilet on the cover of The Mama’s and the Papa’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears).
Basically what it comes down to is this: If stores wouldn’t stock an album the cover was changed. When and if the physical formats (CD and LP) completely die out, I wonder if artists will finally have the freedom from market pressure to do whatever the heck they want.
We’ll see, but for now you can enjoy a gallery of past heinous offenses that corrupted America’s otherwise totally naive and innocent youth. Can you think of any albums that I’ve missed? Let me know and I’ll gladly add them, unless you are thinking of the original sleeve for the Scorpions’ Virgin Killer. Even I draw the line at that.