Kanye West And Other Banned Album Covers

Kanye West And Other Banned Album Covers

Category: Entertainment


“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is the upcoming fifth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West.

Even though it has not hit the stores yet (November 22, 2010 release date), it has already caused some controversy when West revealed on Twitter that it has been rejected by Walmart because of the cover art.

The artwork (a portrait by George Condo) shows West being straddled by an armless winged female (a phoenix). Both characters are depicted nude, and one nipple of the phoenix’s breasts and her buttocks are visible. The painting is centered on a red background with a thin yellow border.

Kanye West Banned Album Cover

In a series of tweets, Kanye West has this to say:

So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they cover but I can’t have a PAINTING of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings [link]

In the 70s album covers had actual nudity… It’s so funny that people forget that… Everything has been so commercialized now. [link]

I think he is right.

Compared to other controversial album covers, this one is tame.

Here are some of them:

The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today (June 20, 1966) – the infamous “butcher cover“. Sales on eBay for original copies in pristine condition can fetch up to $85,000!

The Beatles Banned Album Cover

John Lennon’s Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (November 29, 1968) – the Imagine singer is with partner Yoko Ono.

John Lennon Banned Album Cover

Scorpions’ Lovedrive (February 25, 1979)

Scorpions Banned Album Cover

Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland (October 25, 1968)

Jimi Hendrix Banned Album Cover

The Coup’s Party Music (November 6, 2001) – released after the 9/11 attacks. It shows the Twin Towers burning.

The Coup Banned Album Cover

What do you think of the banned album cover of Kanye West compared to its predecessors?

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6 Responses to “Kanye West And Other Banned Album Covers”

  1. James Moralde Says:

    Wow, that butcher cover got through? I think, had Kanye West and the phoenix just posed like John and Yoko, the cover would have pushed through un-opposed. I guess it’s the ‘straddling’ thing that did it.


    ark Reply:

    Actually, a day after the release of the “butcher cover”, there was a widespread criticism so it was immediately recalled and all copies were ordered shipped back to the record label Capitol Records, leading to its rarity and popularity among collectors.

    Regarding the Lennon-Ono cover, Lennon commented that the uproar seemed to have less to do with the explicit nudity, and more to do with the fact that the pair were rather unattractive (and the photo unflattering; Lennon described it later as a picture of “two slightly overweight ex-junkies”).

    Those facts are from Wikipedia of course. 😉


  2. marty Says:

    That John Lennon – Yoko Ono album cover is a classic. Hippies rule!


  3. Sports Says:

    I don’t think it should be banned compared to some of the other ones that are out there.


  4. Vince Says:

    at first glance, I thought the bottle kanye is holding was a green dildo… but after realizing it wasn’t so, I don’t think its that bad.


    ark Reply:

    Yes, the other album covers in this page are more shocking.


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