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July 01, 2008 Slideshows » Music

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The 20 Most Unpatriotic Album Covers of All Time 

With the 4th looming ahead, what better time to dig through the Net for some cheerful bastardizations of American iconography? OK, not all of it is particularly cheerful - some of it is downright disturbing. Got better? Leave a comment below.
20. OK, taking a swipe at George W (the face that launched a thousand dart boards) is a cheap and easy way to make it into our illustrious Top 20...but his jerkheadness had to figure in here somewhere. So punk rockers NOFX are on the list for the cover of "The War on Errorism," which depicts the president as a cartoony clown. The back of the inlet reads: "Somewhere in Texas there is a village without its idiot." Ya sure know how to elect 'em, America.
19. Neil Young's "American Stars 'n Bars" cover features an intoxicated Young, apparently bested by the bottle of Canadian whiskey in the pretty lady's hand. Yes, CANADIAN whiskey. Wikipedia told us so. Fail, Young.
18. Guns n' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" features your classic all-American blondie waitress post-violation by a robot rapist. The cover, based on a Robert Williams painting, disturbed music retailers so much that the band had to come up with a new, much less jarring cover.
16. Sly & the Family Stone meant well with the cover of "There's a Riot Going On." Sly says suns are used instead of stars because "stars to me imply searching ...like you search for your star...Betsy Ross did the best she could with what she had. I thought I could do better." Suns are pretty, Sly, but they ain't traditional. And patriotism is all about tradition. Betsy Ross or bust, buddy.
15. We're apparently born for war if N.E.R.D.'s "Fly or Die" cover sings true. On it, the American egg hatches Pharrell Williams in fatigues.
14. Sam Turton's "Patriot" is a toss-up. One one hand, smeared blood and a bloody peace sign aren't exactly the most glistening patriotic images (unless you're somehow spilling said blood for the motherland). On the other, Turton believes that "when citizens of a democracy believe that their present government is detrimental to their life and country, it is patriotic to affect change by dissent and democratic process." Dissent: Patriotic or un? You decide.
13. Anti-Flag's "A New Kind of Army" lovingly bastardizes Joe Rosenthal's historic photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" with mohawked men instead of soldiers raising an upside-down flag.
12. Another "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" bastardization, but Canned Heat ups the game by slapping it on the moon for their "Future Blues" album.
11. Speaking of space...here's another rebellious cover. Feederz' "Teachers in Space" twistedly depicts the Challenger explosion - which killed the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, in 1986. Teachers in Space was a Reagan-approved NASA program that closed shop after the incident though the then-President assured the nation otherwise.
10. Another simple yet efficient way to get an unpatriotic message across: The Capitol dome is struck by lightning for Bad Brains' self-titled 1982 album cover.
9. The Statue of Liberty bathes in blood red and looks positively goat-like for M.O.D.'s "Red, White and Screwed." (And heck, you don't get much more unpatriotic than screwing with that good 'ol "Red, White and Blue.")
8. On his "Ressurection" cover, irreverent Swamp Dogg wraps his crotch area with our fair flag and crucifies himself on a cross of "Program Failure" in what appears to be a war field.
7. Yum yum. A ravenous Statue of Liberty snacks on some multi-racial babes on Funkadelic's aptly-titled "America Eats Its Young." We like the greenery on this cover - few things are more American than greed.
6. Yes, Anti-Flag snuck its way back into the lineup with another awesome cover. For their "For Blood and Empire," the White House is tainted black and red, its palatial front lawn lined with grave markers.
5. The Dead Kennedys' "Bedtime For Democracy" cover has so many fun things going on. On the left, a Nazi aircraft fires into Lady Liberty's arm, revealing her to be Trojan Horse-like and filled with citizens. At center, a NASA Spacecraft pokes out an eye while a fat cat-mobile floats beneath her, milking dollars from a nostril.
4. Smashing Pumpkins' "Zeitgeist" is plain by comparison but striking with the Statue sinking into a red sea.
3. Ice Cube's "Death Certificate" wraps a cold body in a flag; the dangling label reads "Uncle Sam."
2. You knew 9/11esque iconography was coming. And Paris delivers with "Sonic Jihad," where a jetliner appears to be on course to slam into the White House. But don't get upset just yet...the cover in our #1 slot is similar, but worse.
1. This was the original cover for The Coup's "Party Music," which was actually designed prior to 9/11, sometime in June 2001. In it, Coup members Pam the Funkstress and Riley stand before the twin towers, with Riley hitting the button on a guitar tuner and apparently blowing the place up. The cover was eventually swapped for the image of a gasoline-filled (and lit) martini glass.
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20. OK, taking a swipe at George W (the face that launched a thousand dart boards) is a cheap and easy way to make it into our illustrious Top 20...but his jerkheadness had to figure in here somewhere. So punk rockers NOFX are on the list for the cover of "The War on Errorism," which depicts the president as a cartoony clown. The back of the inlet reads: "Somewhere in Texas there is a village without its idiot." Ya sure know how to elect 'em, America.
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