Controversial Album Covers That Had to Be Recalled
If you're old enough to remember vinyl albums, you may recall that some covers were either too controversial or too eye-popping – but deaths have also caused record companies to recall them, too.
"Mighty" John Marshall, "The Record Guy," is one of the nation's top record historians and appraisers. You'll often times hear him on these nighttime syndicated shows, but he's also on the air at WBSM as a regular guest.
He gets a lot of questions from all over, but what's the most common?
"The most popular question is about Lynyrd Skynyrd's Street Survivors album cover," Marshall said. "The cover shows the band with flames shooting up behind them. Well, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered plane crashed in 1977, and six passengers, including two members of the band, were killed."
MCA Records ceased printing that cover immediately and demanded all the albums be sent back to the company.
"That was a joke! Just because they said it, everybody held on to them," Marshall said. "A lot of people think the original cover is worth big money, but's it's not true, because so many people had a copy, the market was flooded, so it might bring in $40 at the most."
In 1978, the Rolling Stones crossed the line.
"The Stones' Some Girls 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 a lawsuit for the use of their likenesses without permission," Marshall said. "So the record company recalled the album, but too many were already sold before the recall, and they're only worth $20 today."
If a record is called back, and only a small number of albums go out, as in the case of the Beatles, then it becomes a highly-prized collectible.
"The Beatles' Yesterday and Today album originally showed the Beatles dressed up as butchers holding chopped up rubber dolls and raw meat on the cover. In response to the retailers' outrage, only a week passed and not many copies got out, which makes it very collectible," Marshall said. "An original stereo album, sells for up to $25,000."
You'll be hearing more from "Mighty" John Marshall, who just recently was inducted into the Maine Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Coming soon, some outstanding hilarious and personal stories about Marshall with Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker.
If you're curious about the worth of any of your vinyl, go to MoneyMusic.com or check out his YouTube channel.
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