Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasies: Raunchy Album Covers That Didn't Make It

Posted By on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

(Complete scene here.)

All-around entertainer Kanye West announced the other day that his forthcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, would come bundled with five different album covers. The only one we've seen so far is a painting by New York-based art-weirdo George Condo that depicts a naked, armless "phoenix" astride a disturbingly crude intimation of West:

click to enlarge kanye_phoenix.jpg

This may or may not be a bit of calculated outrageousness meant to garner attention and piss off Walmart, but it's far from the first time a bizarre or offensive album cover has landed an artist in hot water. Let's take a look at a few such trespasses from history, courtesy of this helpful, citation-needing Wikipedia page.

The Beatles - Yesterday and Today (1966)
Apparently the whole bloody spare baby parts thing didn't play well. Clean-shaven-Brits-in-a-trunk? Safer.

click to enlarge beatles_yesterday_orig.jpg
click to enlarge beatles_yesterday.jpg

Michael Jackson - Ben (1972)
Theme song from a movie of the same name. IMDB synopsis: "A lonely boy becomes good friends with Ben, a rat. This rat is also the

leader of a pack of vicious killer rats, killing lots of people." The approved cover is just young Jackson's face. The cover they ditched also has Jackson's face, but with more murderous rats.

click to enlarge michael_jackson_ben_front_cover_1188_thumb_500x500.jpeg
click to enlarge file_michael_jackson_ben_original_rat_cover_thumb_500x504.jpeg

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Daniel Levin Becker


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"