For as long as there has been heavy metal music, there has been controversy. Not only have the albums lyrics been called into question since the inception of metal, but coverart has received a lot of negative attention. As recent as two weeks ago, the FBI began investigating the already banned cover for the Scorpions album "Virgin Killer" which was released in 1976.
For this Top 10 list, I did omit all death metal, gore grind, and black metal albums as the list would be much too long. That list will be saved for another day.
Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Although you can still see this cover in the CD insert, it was replaced as the cover after a couple months on store shelves for depicting a graphic and bloody rape scene.
Dream Theater - "Live Scenes From New York"
This album cover got banned for more of a timing issue. The album features the twin towers in New York engulfed in fire. If that weren't enough, it was released on Sept. 11, 2001, how's that for timing? The record label quickly pulled all versions of the album from store shelves and re-released with a new cover.
Slayer - "God Hates Us All"
The original cover for this album was so cool, could have made my top covers list. Not sure what happened here. Probably a retailer issue not wanting to stock a album with blood on the bible.
Stryper - "To Hell With The Devil"
I wish I could say this album was banned because of the shirtless, greased up and muscular men on the cover. This cover was changed after many Christian stores refused to stock the album as there was a pentagram on the cover.
Bon Jovi - "Slippery When Wet"
Jon Bon Jovi claims he killed the cover to Slippery When Wet after the label put a pink border on the cover. Record execs actually made the final call in getting this cover pulled from shelves for the large tatas on the cover. Big breasts have no place in 80's hair bands.
Pantera - "Far Beyond Driven"
Not sure what the boys in Pantera were thinking when this cover was conceived. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the cover concept meeting. A giant drill being rammed up a mans ass??? I'm kinda glad this got censored. I wonder how many kids would have hung a poster of this on their wall?
Great White - "Hooked"
Back when sexy covers were a crime. Major labels caved the the "Dan Quail Morality Police." The censored version was still pretty cool. They just dropped the naked girl on the hook into the water. I guess drowning naked women is ok.
W.A.S.P. - "Animal (Fucks Like A Beast)"
Not really sure what the problem is with this cover. They censored out the word 'Fuck.' I guess you can't have circular saws emerging from the crotch.
Iron Maiden - "No Prayer for the Dying"
This cover didn't get censored until the re-issue came out some years later. Word is record execs wanted to tone down the violence as they were feeling the heat from some whack-job group.
Kreator - "Extreme Aggression"
Another instance of record execs over thinking the covers concept.