Turntables & Vinyl #25 – The Alternate Covers

It has been almost two years since I’ve done a Turntables & Vinyl post. And since today is the 2,000th Post on the site, why not do another. 2,000 Posts!! That is insane. I can’t believe I have bored you for that long now and yet you still come back. Thank you for that.

These Turntable & Vinyl post are basically about my collection or interesting things about collecting and this one is about collecting. As far as collecting goes, I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole of getting every variant of an album, but I have found myself, a little unknowingly, picking up duplicate albums with the big difference being they have a completely different album cover. I don’t have a lot, but I am noticing more and more that if I know there is a different album cover, I am now actively looking for it. However, most of the time it has been by utter accident that I found a different cover and didn’t know it existed.

This post is going to show you the handful that I have and then show the ones that I am actively hunting down. But first, why do artist have different album covers in the first place? Most of the time it is simply down to controversy. Some album covers have a little nudity or something offensive that pisses off the wrong people so in order to sell those albums in certain stores a new cover is done. In other parts, it is simply different tastes in different parts of the world. And then it might be a reissue so they change up the cover a little, either way, I think it is cool and so I am now collecting alternate covers.

This is my most recent acquisition and it is from Joe Satriani. The one on the left was the album cover I originally had and all I knew about and it turns out it is the European release cover and the one used in the 1988 reissue. But apparently there was alternate cover because I found the one on the right in a record store in St. Augustine Florida. It really isn’t the alternate cover because I believe it is the original release cover from 1986 and the one i had first was actually the alternate cover. Both are awesome.

Here is another one where I had the alternate cover first, the one on the left, before i had the original cover, the one on the right. The original cover was the UK only release of the original album. The giant snake on the left is the alternate cover for the releases outside of the UK. Not sure why the difference, but both are equally cool.

There are two covers for Billy Idol’s Vital Idol release. The one on the right is the original release back in 1985 in Europe. The one on the left is the US release from 1987 and actually has one additional track so they technically are more than an alternate cover, they are actually different releases, but still had to have both.

Now we are on to a couple that are alternate covers due to controversy. First is the Styrper cover for the album ‘To Hell With the Devil’. The original artwork, on the right, depicted four long haired angels (closely resembling the band members) throwing the devil into a fiery pit. Some Christian groups I believe were offended so they switched the cover to the black artwork with the title in large font.

Next up is Scorpions, ‘Love at First Sting’ and it had the two covers because one had that side boob action and apparently Wal-Mart had an issue with it so it was switched so they would sell it. As far as Scorpions covers, this one is tame…we will talk more about Scorpions soon.

And another recent one I bought, I actually bought the alternate cover the exact time as the original cover. The album was Def Leppard’s ‘Diamond Star Halo’. The Japanese editions had two versions both with different bonus tracks. One with a black & white cover and the other in glorious color. And this was on CD, not vinyl…oops.

Now there are so many albums with alternate covers, too many to mention them all. I will mention the ones I am actively looking to grab hold of at some time in the future. First up is the Guns N Roses cover for ‘Appetite for Destruction’. The original cover has a robot rapist or something like that so it was replaced with the more simpler black cover.

Another one I want is for Billy Idol’s debut solo album, ‘Billy Idol’. The original artwork was a little effeminate and not tough enough for the rock audience so they changed it up with a tough looking leather jacket. I have the leather jacket one…need the original.

Then there is the most iconic cover with The Velvet Underground & Nico album with the Andy Warhol artwork. The artwork is of a giant banana and it is a sticker. I want the one with the banana sticker still in tact and one with the banana sticker peeled off to reveal a pink banana. These are so expensive to get the older versions of this album.

Now, how about those controversial Scorpions albums. There are a handful more to discuss. First is the most controversial with ‘Virgin Killer’. There is one with the naked prepubescent girl on the cover and the other is a band picture. The original is about $150 to get if you can find one.

And the other controversial one is for ‘Taken By Force” which original showed some kids dressed up as soldiers playing war in a cemetery. People found this offensive so they changed it.

And don’t forget Lovedrive with the guy having grabbed the girls boob and there is gum now stretching from the boob. Pretty funny. They altered the cover as well afterbacklash.

And finally there is the cover for In Trance. There is a little boob action, barely noticeable so the alternate cover has it blacked out. Funny thing here, I have the original with the boob action, but don’t know if I want the blacked out version as it isn’t that dramatically different like the rest of the albums.

And I am sure there are others out there I will want and end up getting, but this is all for now. Let me know what alternate cover albums you have and which ones you want.

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