Controversial album covers that had to be recalled


If you’re old enough to remember vinyl albums, you might remember that some covers were either too controversial or too eye-catching – but deaths also caused record labels to recall them.

“Mighty” John Marshall, “The Record Guy”, is one of the nation’s top record historians and appraisers. You’ll often hear him on those late-night syndicated shows, but he’s also on WBSM as a regular guest.

He gets a lot of questions from everywhere, but what is the most common?

“The most popular question is about Lynyrd Skynyrd Street survivors album cover,” Marshall said. “The cover shows the band with flames shooting out from behind them. Well, the plane chartered by Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in 1977 and six passengers, including two band members, were killed.”



MCA Records immediately stopped printing this cover and demanded that all albums be returned to the company.

“It was a joke! Just because they said it, everyone clung to them,” Marshall said. “A lot of people think the original cover is worth a lot of money, but that’s not true, because so many people had a copy of it, the market was flooded, so it could fetch $40 at most.”

In 1978, the Rolling Stones crossed the line.

“The Rocks’ Certain girls the cover design was challenged when Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett, Liza Minnelli – representing her mother, Judy Garland – Raquel Welch and the estate of Marilyn Monroe threatened them with lawsuits for using their portraits without permission,” Marshall said . The record company recalled the album, but too many albums had already been sold before the recall, and they’re only worth $20 today.”



If a record is recalled and only a small number of albums are released, as in the case of the Beatles, then it becomes a highly prized collector’s item.

“The the beatles Yesterday and today The album originally showed the Beatles dressed as butchers holding minced rubber dolls and raw meat on the cover. In response to retailer outrage, only a week has passed and few copies have been released, making it highly collectible,” Marshall said. “An original stereo album, sells for up to $25,000 .”



You’ll hear more from “Mighty” John Marshall, who was recently inducted into the Maine Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Coming soon are some outstanding hilarious and personal stories about Marshall with Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker.

If you are curious about the value of one of your vinyls, go to or check out his Youtube channel.

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In the beginning, LPs usually featured basic portraits of the artists. Then things got weird.

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