6 Famous Female Artists’ Bizarre Early Album Covers

From Houston Press:

Marketing can be a funny thing in the music business. Look at Garth Brooks, who tried a dozen different
gimmicks before becoming the world’s most famous country singer. Even the Beatles were shaped and forged into the lads we know after an early career dressing like hooligans and nailing condoms to walls during performances.

Image is just too big a part of the game to ignore. So it’s probably not surprising that many of the female artists we know and love did not step out of a clamshell, fully realized, into the forms we are most familiar with.

Probably the most famous example on this list, the woman that defined the ’90s with her deep lyrics and daring music started out much more Debbie Gibson-ized with a full backing band that included, no joke, Guns N’ Roses’ Matt Sorum. The whole thing was a ridiculous plan by Atlantic records and thankfully died an early death, which allowed her to try again with the album Little Earthquakes.

Lady Gaga remains one of the most popular artists in the world, and as far as I know is the best-selling female rock star of all time to bathe in a blood fountain onstage. She’s known for everything from rumored hermaphroditism to wearing meat.

In the beginning, Gaga fronted the Stefani Germanotta Band and released two EPs, Words and Red and Blue. For a woman who would make mind-trippy videos like “Bad Romance” her trademark, the cover for Red and Blue is tamer than some of the contemporary Christian albums in the world. Hey, speaking of which…

Before she shot things out her breast guns at Snoop, Katy Perry was little Katy Hudson, devout Christian artist. Her first album was recorded at the age of 16 by a record label that soon went broke. Honestly, it’s a pretty good record. “Last Call” in particular has a sort of desperate sincerity that tops anything she’s put out as Katy Perry.

Continue reading the rest of the list on Houston Press