The new album by the Manic Street Preachers–Journal For Plague Lovers, which features the lyrics of 14-years-disappeared band member Richey Edwards–has been stripped of its cover by nervous supermarket bigwigs in the UK before its Monday release. The artwork (at left) has been deemed “inappropriate” by four of the country’s six major supermarkets, who thought that the brushwork by artist Jenny Saville was so realistic, it looked like there was actual blood on the CDs. Yeah, I don’t know either.
“If you’re familiar with her work, there’s a lot of ochres and browns and reds and browns and perhaps people are looking for us to be more provocative than we are being.
“We just saw a much more modern version of Lucian Freud-esque brushstrokes. That’s all we saw.” Bradfield added that the band were frustrated by supermarkets’ attitudes.
“You can have lovely shiny buttocks and guns everywhere in the supermarket on covers of magazines and CDs, but you show a piece of art and people just freak out,” he said.
Four of the main supermarket chains – Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – are among the shops using the slip cover.
Asda told 6 Music they wanted to be extra cautious in case the artwork upset some of its customers.
Meanwhile Nicola Williamson, Sainsbury’s music buyer, said: “We felt that some customers might consider this particular album cover to be inappropriate if it were prominently displayed on the shelf.
“As such, the album will be sold in a sleeve provided by the publisher.”
Who knows if this is some sort of stunt–the “sleeve provided by the publisher” is a plain slipcase–but let’s just point out that this is a country that was seemingly OK with this bloody Sun cover, which depicted an actual person who was actually shot. I guess the presence of naked ladies on Page Three made that OK?
[BBC via ONTD]