THE YEAR: 1991
THE CONTROVERSY: One score and one year ago, a rock trio from Aberdeen, Washington, released their first “official” album, Nevermind, collection of 12 — okay, 13 — songs that would come to be regarded as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The now-iconic album cover featured a three-month old infant — the new son of the photographer’s friend — swimming towards a dollar bill hooked on some fishing line. The label was okay with the anti-capitalism message, but had concerns about the prominent display of baby genitalia.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS: According to band biographer Michael Azerrad (Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana), the label wanted to use a different image. Lead singer Kurt Cobain agreed to only one compromise: a strategically placed sticker that would read: “If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile.” The original album art went out untouched.PHOTOS: Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ No Longer A Teenager