As an old marketing adage declares, sex sells. Naturally that extends to the music industry, and we've got the 50 sexiest album covers to ever pop out of record store shelves in the very NSFW gallery below.

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 definite sensuality going for them.

Below, you'll find records that pushed the envelope of society's mores, whether it was through partial nudity, full nudity, implicit sexuality. explicit sexuality, homoeroticism and/or androgyny. And the list of acts who have made sexy album covers run the gamut, fromfully established superstars to new bands possibly hoping that a cover scandal could give them a little extra press to make them stand out from the rest of the bunch.

But even with the potential for increased sales, many major U.S. retailers often refused to stock these records on the basis of their covers, particularly during the culture wars of the late '80s through mid-'90s. This forced the band to either change the artwork or issue a second disc without the offending images.

So check below to see what we've found. But once again, we remind you that many of these albums covers are NSFW.