What makes an album cover sexy? It’s not just nudity, although a bit of that here and there certainly doesn’t hurt. And it’s not shameless salaciousness either, though, again, in the right circumstances a little bit of that can go a long way. Ultimately, it’s suggestiveness that gives sensual gravitas to a cover image. And the images you’ll encounter here have some serious sensuality going for them.

Some of these covers come right out and hit you over the head with their sex appeal, while others subtly sidle up to you and let you figure out for yourself. But wherever they may fall on that spectrum, a whole lot of them stirred some degree of controversy among uptight minds when they were first released. Are some of the older scandal-starters on our list still too sexy for prime time or has the culture finally caught up with them?