10 album covers that were changed for unusual reasons

21 July 2021, 19:00

Radio X looks at the times the cover art has been messed with - for censorship, taste or more obscure reasons...

  1. David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

    David Bowie - Diamond Dogs: the front cover
    David Bowie - Diamond Dogs: the front cover. Picture: Press

    Bowie's 1974 album certainly wasn't "the dog's bollocks" as the half-man, half-canine hybrid of Belgian artist Guy Peellaert's cover painting had its knackers airbrushed out for British audiences.

    David Bowie - the back cover, minus canine testicles
    David Bowie - the back cover, minus canine testicles. Picture: Press

    If you buy the record today, of course, the balls are all present and correct.

    David Bowie - the back cover, plus canine testicles
    David Bowie - the back cover, plus canine testicles. Picture: Press
  2. The Strokes - Is This It

    The UK edition of Is This It by The Strokes: contains buttocks
    The UK edition of Is This It by The Strokes: contains buttocks. Picture: Press

    America couldn't, er, face the naked rear end of the original UK album cover, so the NYC band's debut was dressed in the most un-Strokes-like design ever conceived.

    The US edition of Is This It by The Strokes: buttock-free
    The US edition of Is This It by The Strokes: buttock-free. Picture: Press
  3. The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

    The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet: the band's choice
    The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet: the band's choice. Picture: Press

    Decca Records were appalled at the filthy, graffitied toilet wall that the Stones wanted for their 1968 album. They substituted it with a fake dinner invitation and it wasn't until the 1980s and the CD era that the original bog-based art was used.

    The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet: the label's choice
    The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet: the label's choice. Picture: Press
  4. David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World

    David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World: MAN IN A DRESS
    David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World: MAN IN A DRESS. Picture: Press

    A lot of people were taken aback by the sight of Bowie reclining on a chaise lounge in a "man's dress", especially the American label who rejected the shocking (for 1970) image. They used a cartoon instead. When Bowie had become a superstar in 1972, the album was reissued with a black-and-white glam-era shot of the musician.

    David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World: MAN IN TROUSERS
    David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World: MAN IN TROUSERS. Picture: Press
  5. Pink Floyd - Relics

    Pink Floyd - Relics: 2D version
    Pink Floyd - Relics: 2D version. Picture: Press

    Drummer Nick Mason drew the intricate pen-and-ink artwork for this 1971 collection of tracks. When the album was remastered in 1996, designer Storm Thorgerson created a 3D model of the contraption and photographed that.

    Pink Floyd - Relics: 3D version
    Pink Floyd - Relics: 3D version. Picture: Press
  6. Kraftwerk - Autobahn

    Kraftwerk - Autobahn: deutsches plattenalbum design
    Kraftwerk - Autobahn: deutsches plattenalbum design. Picture: Press

    The original edition of this landmark piece of electronica featured a charming painting of the titular highway, complete with both ends of the German motoring experience: VW Beetle on one side, Mercedes on the other. The UK version went for a more graphical approach, which was later adapted for vinyl reissues in the 2010s.

    Kraftwerk - Autobahn: British album artwork
    Kraftwerk - Autobahn: British album artwork. Picture: Press
  7. The Beatles - Yesterday And Today

    The Beatles - Yesterday And Today "bucther" cover: what were they thinking?
    The Beatles - Yesterday And Today "bucther" cover: what were they thinking? Picture: Press

    The Fab Four collaborated with photographer Robert Whitaker on a series of weird "pop art" photographs, but one of the series was plucked out of the set and plonked on the latest collection of pop tunes for teenagers - without any context our explanation. Retailers recoiled from the grotesque image of "dead babies" and raw meat, so the "Butcher cover" was hastily withdrawn with a more boring design.

    The Beatles - Yesterday And Today: the boring alternative
    The Beatles - Yesterday And Today: the boring alternative. Picture: Press

TRENDING ON RADIO X

Noel Gallagher According To Google

Why is Noel Gallagher called The Chief?

Stars of 2012: Psy, Jake Bugg, Taylor Swift and LMFAO

Only a genius can score 100% on this 2012 lyrics quiz

Festivals are making a comeback for 2021

Which festivals are going ahead in 2021?

TikTok app photo Illustrations

What does AS mean on TikTok? The story behind the Adult Swim trend