Idolator’s Guide To Completely NSFW Album Art

Oct 18th, 2006 // 12 Comments

The news that Ice-T was getting a little help from his well-endowed wife on the cover of his new album got us thinking about scandalous album covers of years past (we still have both covers of Ritual de lo Habitual). With the help of the listers at RateYourMusic, we’ve compiled a guide to our favorite–and least favorite–NSFW album covers. After the jump, we look back on front-cover nudity through the years.


dwarves.jpgCalifornia’s Dwarves probably deserve a place in the NSFW Album Cover Hall Of Fame–they’ve even started enlisting the Suicide Girls for their live shows and DVDs. This cover, for their 1989 album Blood, Guts, and Pussy, even had a squeaky-clean sequel that came out ten years later.

lennon.jpgNotable because he’s a Beatle, of course, but the cover for John and Yoko’s 1968 album is, we guarantee, the only one that inspired a protest song–and it was performed by none other than Sissy Spacek, using the pseudonym “Rainbo.”

sodom.jpgLeave it to a death-metal band to fuse the idea of “not safe for work” with “not safe for your rotting body’s afterlife.” How many skulls do you think this cover’s photographer went through before the perfect belly-to-skull-to-belly proportion was attained?

unrest.jpgNothing says “back away from the stove” like this cover for Unrest’s “Animal Park” 7-inch … and no, we’re not going to make that joke.

greatwhite.jpg“Dear Penthouse–You’re not going to believe what happened to me. I was out fishing with the bros, and all of a sudden, my hook really started to thrash…”

boxer.jpgWe’re posting this cover, from a 1975 album by the British outfit Boxer, because we want you to share in the stabbing pain that we felt when our eyes first happened upon it. Whoever thought this cover was a good idea should get a taste of his own art direction.

myles.jpgWe hope that whoever “Black Velvet” singer Alannah Myles hired to advise her career in the years after her Elvis-loving ballad topped the charts was kicked to the curb shortly after this cover came out.

sugarray.jpgSugar Ray’s music may be maddening, but you can’t say they aren’t savvy–they had the wisdom to realize that lead plasticman Mark McGrath probably wasn’t that high on the list of people whose front-cover nudity would be appreciated by the record-buying public, so they phoned up rock muse Nicole Eggert for a photoshoot.

NUDE NUDE NUDE!!! [RateYourMusic]
Nude Album Art [RateYourMusic]

  1. urbanjewess

    How about Roxy Music’s Country Life? Not exactly complete nudity, but too scandalous for the U.S.

  2. DisposableRob

    Lords of Acid’s uncensored “VooDoo U” cover by Coop was always one of my favorite risque covers.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    So does anybody have a fullsize image of the Ice-T cover posted yet? The Fix had a postage-stamp-size JPEG up.

  4. Kluv

    I gotta say, the absolute worst NSFW album cover is the Scorpions “Virgin Killer” album. The original cover, which you can see here if you dare, features a fully naked 13ish-year-old girl.

    It just makes you wonder who the hell talked to the band and said that this would be a good idea. Taste. Less.

  5. kerry

    That Sugar Ray cover isn’t anywhere near as sexy as this similar Pulp cover. I would also like to nominate the original cover for Jane’s Addiction’s “Ritual de lo Habitual.”
    I second the nomination for “Surfer Rosa,” too. Something particularly lurid about that, even though it is just some boobies.

  6. Tyler Knew and Turk! Wendell Ate Won Too

    Not sure of the name, but my high school radio station had an Afghan Whigs EP (or something) with the band on a whitebackground holding white towles over their bloody privates. Not truly NSFW, but nothing I wanted to contemplate in the throes of puberty.

  7. Kevin7

    Yes, Kerry; plus that Pulp album contains other nice photos inside the booklet…

  8. Wasp vs Stryper

    Death metal takes the cake though. Remember European death metal band Dimmu Borgir, with their EP featuring a bunch of long haired Eastern European men dressed in corpse paint, dining on the body of dead naked woman. Also, Obituary had that disgusting album cover of a dismembered corpse and other such lovely imagery.

  9. beardman77

    I may be an old fart, but I remember the original cover to “Blind Faith” circa 1968. Hippie chick naked from the waist up holding a toy airplane.

  10. kzinti

    Ohio Players: Honey, Fire, Mr Mean. Pixies: Surfer Rosa. Buckingham Nicks.

  11. Feh Am Legend

    Jesus, the last page gets kinda harsh. It’s like boobs, boobs, bad jokes, bad art nudes, then “Yikes!” Forget playing music to kill a party – just start showing off your collection of Waco Jesus lps. And there’s one on there that I swear looks like a still from a snuff film (it’s way too disturbing to click on the full size image). Virgin Killer seems like the paragon of taste.

  12. Anonymous

    *Sodom are thrash, not death metal.

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