Sky Ferreira's Album Recalled By Capitol Records!

Sky Ferreira's "Night Time, My Time" (2013), left, and Blind Faith's self-titled album (1969)
While you might not be familiar with the name Sky Ferreira, you may be familiar with the album cover for her recent Capitol Records release, Night Time, My Time, which features a topless photo of the 21-year-old singer.

Showing some major skin on an album cover is nothing new - Ohio Players anyone? - but full frontal nudity is a whole other bag of wax.  The most well-known example came in the summer of '69 when Blind Faith (which featured Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ginger Baker) chose a photo of a topless pre-teen girl for the cover of their one and only studio album.  As one can imagine, the cover did generate a fair amount of controversy upon release, thereby leading to the release of an alternate cover, but the original cover remained in-print and is familiar to ANYONE who has ever walked into a record store in the past 50+ years.

Alternate cover art for Blind Faith's album
In what most certainly qualifies as a shining example of reverse progress, the original cover art has slowly and methodically been removed from the marketplace.  In fact, the original unedited artwork is nowhere to be found on eBay, which refuses to display the cover art in its original form.

While CD's carrying the original art are available on Amazon, the domestic version of the album began carrying the alternate artwork exclusively three years ago.

So, why is it that an album cover that was certainly controversial, but allowed to exist in the marketplace for 50 years, is suddenly deemed too racy and pulled from circulation?  If one didn't know better, one would almost think that it never existed in the first place.

Sadly, the same fate awaits Sky Ferreira's new album, which has just been recalled by Capitol Records due to the subject matter of the album cover.  Keep in mind that the label had no problem releasing the album a mere two months ago with the original cover art.

When the national media is increasingly focused on the latest clothing-optional antics of Miley Cyrus, who Ferreira toured with as opening act in 2013, while, at the same time, buckling to the whims of conservative groups lobbying for further censorship of albums, films, and books like Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", the message being sent to children and adults alike is a mixed one.

Call me crazy, but in the 30+ years since I became a familiar presence at local record shops in the 80's, I just presumed that we as a society would have moved past such ridiculous censorship issues by now.  Instead, we've regressed to a point where I half-expect to see a witch and some flying monkeys go screaming past at any moment.

Strangely, Tipper Gore's short-lived PMRC group that sought the censorship of song lyrics by such artists as Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest had no beef with Blind Faith's cover art.  Yet here we are in the year 2014 - where celebrity "wardrobe malfunctions" are considered front-page news - going to dangerous lengths to instill in our children the belief that the human form, even in an artistic context, is pornographic.

What next, burqas?

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