One of the best albums by the Rolling Stones, 1978’s “Some Girls” was plagued with artistic infringements when it was first released. Not for the music; for the album’s cover artwork.
The cover was designed to look distinctly like an advert for the Chicago company Valmor Products, which made female beauty products. The Stones were promptly sued by Valmor for copyright infringement. The case was settled for an undidclosed amount.
But the legal issues with the cover didn’t end there.
The cover also featured a cut-outs that pictures of the band members, printed on the record sleeve, appeared through so they were wearing wigs in the ad. In addition to the band members, photos of several female celebrities also appeared under some of the wigs. And therein lay the problem. The Stones never asked for permission to use the other celebrities’ pictures. Farrah Fawcett, Lucille Ball, and Raquel Welch all threatened to sue over the band using their copyrighted pictures without permission. Marilyn Monroe’s estate and Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli also threatened.
To avoid the litigation, the artwork on the record sleeve was altered for all future pressings, replacing the female celebrity photos with solid colored spaces and the words “Pardon our appearance – cover under re-construction” in their place. That seemed to satisfy all parties involved and no charges were filed.
Both covers are pretty cool, but personally, I prefer the original. Partly because it is more rare but mostly because – and let’s be honest here – it’s got Farah Fawcett’s picture on it. What high school boy didn’t have a crush on her back then?