Bands Who Posed Topless Together for Album Covers

At the risk of sounding like a nostalgic old fart — but seriously, it’s an objective fact that this crap the kids listen to nowadays isn’t even music, it’s just noise — I miss album covers. I don’t miss vinyl records themselves, but those 12″ cardboard album covers were cool to have around. How do modern teenagers deseed their weed without double live albums? I don’t get it.

Plenty of artists created album covers with nudity, an easy way to garner notoriety and tweak the squares. Plenty of artists have put revealing images of themselves on their album covers. This particular listicle pays tribute to a very specialized subgenre: album covers in which whole bands posed topless or naked together. As they ask on Fashion Police, Who wore it best?

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Grand Funk Railroad, Heavy Hitters

This one barely sneaks in. It’s a greatest hits record, the topless photo is too blurry to do much for anyone, and Grand Funk Railroad was terrible. The one saving grace is Don Brewer’s legendary white afro.

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Aguaturbia, Aguaturbia

Aguaturbia was a Chilean psychedelic band. The cover of their 1969 debut record suggests a Manson familyish commune with the male/female ratio reversed. Pretty good band though.

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Elephant’s Memory, Elephant’s Memory

Elephant’s Memory was best known for backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the early 1970s. For the cover of their own 1969 album, six dudes and one chick and one elephant got together and, well, drugs may have been involved.

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Pablo Cruise, Lifeline

Between the band name and their early 70s San Francisco roots, you might suspect a gay subtext. But apparently not, they were just four straight guys who enjoyed hanging at the beach or marina together.

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Orleans, Waking and Dreaming

Try to imagine a time when a band could use this album cover in a completely non-ironic way and think it was cool. The 1970s were a strange and wondrous era.

Lead singer John Hall later became a congressman. In 2010, some moronic political bloggers attempted to turn this album cover into a scandal. The Huffington Post noted that Hall “was pictured shirtless — and perhaps fully naked — on a recently-resurfaced album cover.” Oooh, shocking.

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The Slits, Cut

The Slits were an punk-rock/art-rock band in the late 70s and early 80s. For their first record, band members Ari Up, Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt posed wearing only loincloths and mud. Original (female) drummer Palmolive quit the band just before the Cut sessions, “partly because she disliked the others’ concept for the sleeve” according to Wikipedia, which means it’s probably bullshit. New (male) drummer Budgie didn’t get to be in the naked album cover.

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The Itals, Give Me Power!

Jamaican singers Keith Porter, Ronnie Davis and Lloyd Ricketts formed reggae vocal harmony trio The Itals in the mid 70s. Their 1983 record Give Me Power! was angrier and more political than their earlier work, which is not the vibe I get from this album cover.