February 21, 2019 / 7:54 AM

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8 Album Covers That the Artists Hate: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and More



Writing and recording an album can be a long and arduous process, which is why most musicians leave it up to their record label to design a suitable album cover, though as these eight albums prove, this can often lead to regrettable designs that the musician ends up hating.

1. The Beatles - Yesterday and Today (1966)

The Beatles' 1966 US album Yesterday and Today isn't really remembered for its songs (it's just a mishmash of Help, Rubber Soul, Revolver, and some singles), but rather for its highly controversial cover, which featured a photo of the band holding raw meat and decapitated baby dolls. Though John Lennon and Paul McCartney defended the cover as a critique of the Vietnam War, George Harrison thought the cover was "gross" an "stupid."

2. Van Morrison - Blowin' Your Mind! (1967)

As I've written about before, Van Morrison's debut album, Blowin' Your Mind!, was released without the singer's permission, which means he had no say in its hideously psychedelic cover design. When Morrison first saw the album cover, he claims that he "almost threw up."

3, 4, 5. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced/Axis: Bold As Love/Electric Ladyland (1967/1967/1968)

Jimi Hendrix didn't have much luck when it came to the covers of his three albums with the Experience. Though he found the original UK cover of the trio's debut, Are You Experienced, to be dull and uninspired, he found the appropriation of Hindu imagery on the cover of Axis: Bold as Love to be disrespectful and offensive. Hendrix developed his own idea for the cover of the group's third album Electric Ladyland, though this was ultimately ignored in favor of a photograph featuring a group of nude women, which he (again) disliked.

6. Pink Floyd - Meddle (1971)

This one is a bit of a cheat; it wasn't Pink Floyd who had a problem with the bizarre cover of Meddle, but rather the cover's designer, Storm Thorgerson. Thorgerson had originally intended to photograph a baboon's anus for the cover, but when the band understandably rejected that idea, they proposed a photograph of an ear underwater. Thorgerson would later describe it as his least favorite Pink Floyd album cover.

7. Black Sabbath - Sabotage (1975)

To put it as bluntly as possible, the cover of Black Sabbath's Sabotage was a stupid idea that was executed poorly and made even worse by the band's ridiculous, totally non-metal, outfits. However, the photo that was ultimately used for the album cover was thought by the band to be part of a test shoot, which explains why Bill Ward decided to wear his wife's bright red tights that day instead of something black.

8. Scorpions - Virgin Killer (1976)

If its title is any indication, the cover of Scorpions' Virgin Killer is so incredibly offensive and NSFW that I don't even feel comfortable posting it here, so please consult Wikipedia. Guitarist Uli Jon Roth has said that the cover makes him "cringe," and that it "was done in the worst possible taste."

What are some other album covers that the artist hated? Let us know down in the comments section below!

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