THE YEAR: 1988
THE CONTROVERSY: In late 1987, Prince fans awaited the release of his widely talked-about and deliciously funk-heavy Black Album. Only a few records went out before the artist, in true Prince fashion, abandoned the project and recalled all the albums — with the circulating copies becoming much sought-after bootlegs. A few months later, Prince released Lovesexy, which features a nude picture of the Purple One (shot by fashion photographer/video director Jean-Baptiste Mondino) reclining on a floral arrangement — with a distinctly phallic stamen pointed at his chest.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS: More than a few retailers objected to the images and would only sell the album wrapped in — you guessed it — black. (The “real” Black Album got an official release in 1994.)SPECIAL: 2012 TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World