The Real Reason The Rolling Stones Had To Replace This Cover Art

Rock 'n' roll music is no stranger to controversy. If it doesn't make frequent appearances on somebody's black list, can it really even be considered rock 'n' roll at all?

The Rolling Stones have been one of the most colossal and celebrated musical forces in all of history. Their trademark fusion of British pop, American blues, soul, and country has defined a special realm of rock music for over half a century. With 240 million album sales (via Forbes) and over 2,000 concerts performed worldwide since their conception in 1962 (per We-Buy-Beatles), there's no question that the Stones reign supreme. However, even kings have to answer to somebody.

In the early days, there was one album cover that raised enough pulses to call for significant creative restructuring. No, it wasn't the infamous crotch shot that was the face of "Sticky Fingers" — it was the up close depiction of a toilet on the cover of "Beggar's Banquet" (via Rolling Stone).

Paint it white

In 1968, the Rolling Stones released "Banquet" through Decca records (via Stones on DECCA). Evidently, the album art depicting a public bathroom wall plastered with graffiti behind a gaping toilet seat was too much for the company's sense of propriety. They insisted that the band flush the original idea and change it to something more appropriate because images of toilets were considered somewhat taboo at the time. Ultimately, they settled on a simple white face for the album, but not without some resistance from the group (per Rolling Stone).

Mick Jagger had some words that didn't go unheard. "We really have tried to keep the album within the bounds of good taste. I mean, we haven't shown the whole lavatory. That would have been rude. We've only shown the top half. Two people at the record company have told us that the sleeve is terribly offensive. We'll get this album distributed somehow, even if I have to go down the end of Greek Street and Carlisle Street at two o'clock on Saturday morning and sell them myself," Jagger reportedly said, according to Far Out.

Still, beggars can't be choosers. The band conceded to a more "appropriate" image for the time being, and the original art wasn't released until the '80s (via Rolling Stone).