September 2, 2018

Let’s Get Dirty! 20 of the Raunchiest Album Covers Ever!

Sexiness is a largely subjective topic. Whilst one person’s erotic vinyl cover could easily be the next person’s buzz kill, there’s something sexily controversial about the way certain album covers have gone above and beyond the normal level of titillation. And maybe it’s because “sex sells”, or perhaps it’s simply viewed as a snippet from an artistically defined culture, whatever it is – it works.


Known for their raunchy appeal and creative dirtiness, these album covers define an era. Either too provocative for their time banned or changed to please a somewhat prudish public, they reveal the drastic changes between what was completely unacceptable 40 years ago to what’s so normal now.

From nudity to kinkiness, general raunch to a pinch of classiness these album covers top the dirtiest of all time. Complete with some sexy tunes to really increase the seductiveness of the artwork – let’s get nasty with these ones.

1. Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream & Other Delights (1965)


The album cover that made a generation salivate at the notion of licking away a truckload of whipped cream to reveal what was underneath. (Fun facts: it was actually shaving cream, and model Dolores Erickson was three months pregnant.) The image was memorably parodied by Soul Asylum on the EP Clam Dip & Other Delights.


2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland (1968)


Sexiness by excess: if one naked woman is hot, then surely 19 naked women must be orgasmic? That was apparently the logic on this European variant cover for the classic Hendrix double album, which anticipated the seas of naked flesh by art photographer Spencer Tunick and suggested that listening to “Crosstown Traffic” on headphones was just the prelude to an orgy.


3. The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (1971)


Classified as one of the most notorious album covers of all time, Sticky Fingers flaunts classic rock-grunge naughtiness. Created by pop artist Andy Warhol, early editions of this vinyl favourite actually included a working zip – tastefully adding to the album’s mischievous appeal. This well-equipped stud is said to be Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro too – the ultimate American male sex symbol, and not Mick Jagger.


4. Mom’s Apple Pie – Mom’s Apple Pie (1972)


Decades before American Pie popularized the notion of coitus with dessert, an Ohio rock band had one of the most lurid album covers ever. The cover illustration was in the tradition of Norman Rockwell, except for the giant speakers and the slice cut into the apple pie, which revealed a spread vulva — shown in pornographic detail, lubricated and dripping.


5. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973)


The title, slang for a blowjob, came from a Dr. John single. The art, by H.R. Giger (most famous for designing the alien in Alien) originally had a more obvious shaft heading towards the mouth. Even obscured by the record company, the image of freaky skull-based fellatio remained.


6. Roxy Music – Country Life (1974)


Roxy Music album covers typically featured beautiful women in classic pinup poses — but with an unsettling note of teeth-gritting discomfort for the models. Country Life, maybe because the models seemed relatively at ease, became the most iconic of all Roxy covers — and the flimsy panties on models Constanze Karoli and Eveline Grunwald emphasized the pun in the title (borrowed from a Hamlet line about “country matters”).


7. Ohio Players – Skin Tight (1974)


Renowned for pioneering the sex pinup icon and funk vinyl sleeve classics, Ohio Players tease your musical (and visual) taste buds with their Skin Tight cover. Employing both S&M bondage with Playboyish type material, these sexual “players” were true attention grabbers with their erotic album covers.


8. Ohio Players – Honey (1975)


A well-oiled Playboy centerfold under hot lights with a jar of honey — what could possibly go wrong that a good dry cleaner couldn't handle? According to urban legend, model Ester Cordet was disfigured because the “honey” was actually acrylic, and when she came to the studio, the band’s manager stabbed her, with her screams captured in the breakdown on “Love Rollercoaster.” Ohio Players drummer Jimmy “Diamond” Williams denied all these stories: “We’ve never been arrested or incarcerated or interrogated,” he told Rolling Stone. “Some of us have been handcuffed — we’ve had some wild times — but that’s different.”


9. Wild Cherry – Wild Cherry (1976)


If there ever was an art to making fruit look scrumptiously sexy, then this album cover has most certainly nailed it. Using possibly the most sexually suggestive fruit out their – cherries – Wild Cherry has a magical way of getting all juices flowing. The prized fruit was enough to spark a great effect on this ’70s album.


10. Blondie – Picture This (1978)


Really playing on the whole “vinyl is sexy” theme, Blondie’s Picture This is deliciously dirty. This album cover is quick to define the seductive correlation between music and sex, and can turn any album into an object of temptation. Combining the ultimate mix of flirtatious fantasies, Picture This is filthy, sexy and rock N’ roll all at it’s finest.


11. Scorpions – Lovedrive (1979)


This German metal band, with an assist from the design firm Hipgnosis, presented one of the most adolescent depictions of sexuality ever: the back seat of a car, a bare breast and an astonishing amount of bubblegum.


12. The Slits – Cut (1979)


Fierce, topless, mud-covered. On the cover of their debut album, Cut, the great British punk group the Slits subverted the pinup potential of cheesecake album pictures and National Geographic photo spreads — and simultaneously reveled in the power that the sexy imagery gave them.


13. The Cars – Candy O (1979)


For their second album, the Cars lured renowned pinup artist Alberto Vargas out of retirement; at age 83, the Peruvian master delivered with a gorgeous image of a redhead in a body stocking, reclining on a car. The automobile was lightly outlined — Vargas knew that neither the car nor the Cars was the selling point.


14. Prince – Dirty Mind (1980)


Tempting you with his simultaneously threatening yet sexy look, Prince is memorable for his filthy tracks and seductive innocence. Dirty Mind is rich with all things raunchy – on both sides of the album.


15. Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love (1981)


Violent, danceable but insanely sexy all at once, Motley Crue’s raunchy rock beats ooze dirtiness. The cover of Too Fast For Love stands true to this, making it one of the most controversial album sleeves of all time. And let’s be honest, who couldn’t resist a rockstar in tight leather black pants!?


16. Scorpions – Love at First Sting (1984)


Provocatively submissive this “innocent” embrace suggests so much more is about to happen. And it does too, if you combine listening to the vinyl with admiring its cover art. Threatening eroticism and restraint, Love at First Sting strikes its fair share of sex appeal.


17. Prince – Lovesexy (1988)


Prince made many memorably filthy tracks, from “Head” to “Erotic City,” but none of them may have been as dirty as this cover, which cloaked itself in floral innocence. But Prince wasn’t content to have a photo of himself starkers: the cover also featured a prominent pistil, sometimes called “the flower penis” by fans: his sex pistil, if you will. It was Prince’s best visual double-entendre until the 2006 Super Bowl, where he went behind a sheet so his guitar would, in silhouette, explode out of his pants.


18. Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988)


Indicators that these bare breasts have been classed up and the album cover should be considered art rather than porn: the sepia-toned photography and the flamenco dancer outfit. But somehow the overall vibe is “hot quickie between two eager photography students in the university darkroom.”


19. The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Abbey Road E.P. (1988)


An artistic take of The Beatles’s famous Abbey Road shot, Chili Pepper’s version leaves nothing to the imagination. Following the less-than-subtle “socks on cocks” routine, these Californian rockers have absolutely no shame – in their music and their album covers.


20. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Mother’s Milk (1989)


Anthony Kiedis described this cover as “like four Tom Sawyers being held by this giant naked lady.” Hot for fans of giantess porn, or for those who like to imagine the Chili Peppers as anatomically correct Ken dolls. When the band printed up posters where model Dawn Alane’s nipples were exposed, she successfully sued them for $50,000; Kiedis groused, “I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t have found a model who was happy to have her tits on a cover.”

(via Toward Music and Rolling Stone)




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