Controversial Album Art : 2000s

List of Controversial Album Art : 2000s

The following is a list of notable albums with Controversial Album Art 2000s (based on nudity and sexuality / religion / copyright / violence & others), especially where the controversy resulted in the album being banned, censored or sold in packaging other than the original one.

Marilyn Manson – Holy Wood In the Shadow… (2000)

Controversial Album Art 2000s

The cover art, which portrays Manson as a crucified Christ with his jawbone torn off, is intended as a criticism of censorship and America’s obsession with media martyrs. It is a cropped version of the reinterpreted Hanged Man card. Under it is an obscured copy of the coroner’s report for John F. Kennedy with the words “clinical record” and “autopsy”. The Marilyn Manson typeface uses the same font as the Disney World logo of the 1960s. The cover was controversial; some copies were issued with a cardboard sleeve featuring an alternative cover, since some retailers refused to stock the album with the original artwork.

Buckcherry – Time Bomb (2001)


The cover depicts a black-and-white headshot of a child with bandages crossed on its eyes and mouth. This led to the album being pulled from certain stores such as Target Corporation as it was declared child abuse. As of March 2010, the album is currently out of print.

Slayer – God Hates Us All (2001)


The original album cover depicts a Bible spiked with nails placed in a pentagram star shape, covered in blood with the word “Slayer” burnt across it. The idea was suggested by the band’s record company, although King wanted more time to develop a better cover. King’s concept for the cover was to show nails in the shape of a pentagram and have them miss keywords in Bible verses so it appeared as if it had been created by a sociopath who knew where every word appears. In order for the album to be sold in more outlets, an alternative slip insert was created.

The Strokes – Is This It (2001)


Ranked as one of the greatest album covers of all time, the original cover art featured a photograph of a woman’s nude bottom and hip, with a leather-gloved hand suggestively resting on it. Copies of this album were banned and the cover art was changed to a microscopic close-up of particle collisions.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By the Way (2002)

RHCP_By The Way

The album cover features a painting by Julian Schnabel of his daughter Stella topless standing on a palm tree background with her eyes scratched out. A few uses of the album cover (such as the album’s page on Spotify) have the subject’s nipples painted over.

Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)


The cover sleeve showing Chris McClure, a friend of the band, smoking a cigarette, was criticised by the head of the NHS in Scotland for “reinforcing the idea that smoking is OK”. The image on the CD itself is a shot of an ashtray full of cigarettes. The band’s product manager denied the accusation, and in fact suggested the opposite — “You can see from the image smoking is not doing him the world of good”.

Slayer – Christ Illusion (2006)

Christ illusion

The cover depicts a mutilated, stoned Christ in a sea of blood with mutilated heads. For stores who refused to sell the album with the original cover, an alternative cover was provided instead. In India, Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Mumbai Christian group Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), took “strong exception” to the original album artwork, and issued a memorandum to Mumbai’s police commissioner in protest. As a result, all Indian stocks were recalled and destroyed.

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