The Beautiful South vinyl reissue to use ‘fluffy toys’ cover art

When SDE mentioned the vinyl reissue of The Beautiful South‘s 1989 debut album on Monday it appeared as if Universal Music has opted to revert to the original cover design which was withdrawn at the time. However, it has now been confirmed that this is not going to happen and the vinyl reissue will be the second version which features fluffy toys!

The original cover designed featured two pictures (by Jan Saudek) –  one of a woman with a gun in her mouth, and another with a man smoking (something). Woolworths (remember them?) refused to stock it and so this rather ironic replacement was hastily assembled.

The original cover image was withdrawn

It is probably unlikely that Universal are fearing a nation of youngsters will go out and buy this reissue and attempt to copy the actions depicted. My guess is there is some dull legal reason which is not allowing the cover to be changed back.

Either way, ignore any listings on any site that suggest the vinyl reissue will have the original cover – it won’t. Just to make it even more confusing, Amazon UK have replaced the ‘wrong’ cover with a two-for-one image of the band’s debut and Choke. This is incorrect!

Welcome to the Beautiful South is reissued on vinyl on 26 January 2018.

  1. Song for Whoever
  2. Have You Ever Been Away?
  3. From Under the Covers
  4. I’ll Sail This Ship Alone
  5. Girlfriend
  6. Straight in at 37
  7. You Keep It All In
  8. Woman in the Wall
  9. Oh Blackpool
  10. Love Is…
  11. I Love You (But You’re Boring)

31 responses to The Beautiful South vinyl reissue to use ‘fluffy toys’ cover art

  1. Andy Barratt says:

    I’ve got an original bunny cover. Whilst it was only temporarily issued (in the U.K.) I’m sure it sold so many copies that there’s plenty around. Discogs confirms the price / demand to be ordinary. But yes, subsequent pressings reverted to the gun cover anyway.

  2. CS says:

    Universal Music web site shows the 26/01/2108 release with the gun cover.

  3. Ryan says:

    My copy arrived today and it’s discorded.

    • Andrew M says:

      what does discorded mean?

      I had to send my War of the Worlds back for a replacement due to a problem. Quality control isn’t what it was!

  4. Andrew M says:

    Looks like I’ve been banned for some reason, God knows what I’ve done :(

    But I’ll keep trying just in case. To confirm – In at 37 is NOT on this vinyl.

    The colour is the same as the original, not the blue in the image above.

  5. Mark W says:

    Andrew B and Chris Squires: Nice bit of social commentary on the world today we live in. This country i.e. the UK is fast becoming a joke which every man and his dog taking offence to absolutely EVERYTHING. AHHHHHHH!

    Never seen the fluffy toy cover by the way.

  6. MusicFan says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily say the alternative artwork was ‘hastily assembled’.

    I saw it as an intelligent political statement to those who can’t handle the truth in life. Hence the dumbing down use of fluffy childish toys as sometimes that is the constructed truth some people are willing to accept.

  7. Horst says:

    Even the Breatles’ butcher cover is available today. By the way I wonder if anybody used the alternate cover sticker that came with it …:)

  8. Ben Williams says:

    It amazes me that Universal think that children will be buying a vinyl reissue of a nearly 30 year old album, let alone that someone listening to Song For Whoever will suddenly put a gun in their mouth…. strange decision. There are worse album covers out there.

    I actually got the CD of this two weeks ago and that just has a picture of the guy smoking, no gun.

  9. David McCallum says:

    These days, both should be included for posterity’s sake. It’s become a bit common for other formats (most Scream Factory releases have reversible new illustration and original artwork) but I can’t quite picture it for vinyl. LOL

  10. tom says:

    Chris Squires for PM! This is Year Zero. One day everything pre 2010 will be erased from history.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Ha, far too much integrity. (for now anyway).

      Also going on what David says above, that is probably the next thing after coloured vinyl.

      We’ve had the Morrissey thing of 6 colours (or whatever number it was) and the latest Judas Priest comes in about 5 alternative splatters. So my Crystal Ball says the next big thing will be 2, then 3, then 4 alternate covers. Pulp did something to pave the way with different slip cards for the front cover but Universal have missed a trick here. Both covers should be released a 1000 limited edition original and main release of the alternate cover. Boom, instant interest.

      Tin Drum expanded vinyl with alternate Sylvian, Karn, Barbieri, Janssen sleeves would be a good start.

  11. Andrew M says:


    Would have cancelled my preorder if it hadn’t already shipped.

  12. Mike the Fish says:

    Straight in at 37 wasn’t on the original vinyl.

  13. Alan says:

    The fluffy toys cover art was only briefly issued in the UK, and is extremely rare I think. I heard the Woolworths story at the time, but it seemed to quickly revert back to the original cover.

    Miaow had two covers as the first one used a dog design that looked like Nipper. HMV (or other companies with rights to Nipper) complained and it was changed. Unlike Welcome To… , the original Miaow cover was never reinstated.

  14. Neil says:

    Didn’t Miaow also end up with two different covers? Although I don’t think that one was particularly controversial.

  15. CJ says:

    But SDEs. Bring us SDEs of Beautiful South. Full CD boxes. Make my wold a better (and slightly more cynical) place.

  16. elliott buckingham says:

    was gonna buy this but saw how long the album is cramming nearly 25mins per side of vinyl will no doubt sound awful typical universal I take it its gonna be a back on black reissue pressed at gzvinyl

  17. Dan says:

    I found a mint condition vinyl with the original artwork for £10 a couple of months ago, glad I snapped it up.

  18. Andy B says:

    I find it weird that in the United States, the cover has always been, as far as I know, the original. We seem to like to protect everybody from everything in America.

  19. Robert says:

    In the US, the gun/smoking cover is the only one we know. It was never released here with the bunny cover. I’d love to have the bunny cover version!

    • AndyB says:

      I did a bit of research, i.e. Wikipedia.

      Apparently, the bunny cover was only sold in the U.S. at Woolworth’s stores because they found the cover offensive and refused to stock the album.

      I would like the bunny cover, too, because I find it quite amusing and such a dig at the record company because it is SO inoffensive. The original image is provocative, attention-grabbing, and makes the potential listener wonder, “What is this band all about? Perhaps I will buy it to find out.” The bunnies? Not so much.

  20. Dogfacedboy says:

    Yes the youth of today are all about Beautiful South album covers – can’t get enough of snapchatting themselves with copies of Blue Is The Colour and quoting the lyrics to Woman In The Wall.

    I think UMC should release both to double their money.

  21. Chris Squires says:

    To me it’s just “groupthink” and internet bullying. Companies are panic stricken that they will become the subject of an internet campaign where share prices can tumble due to moral panic. Bored kids will join any campaign without even reading what it is if they get a chance to push someone around and feel important, which is why no-one, not one company or person is willing to take a risk any more. It’s having a terrible effect on artistic endeavour in the west. The worst thing you can have these days is a sense of humour allied to artistic integrity.

    Best espoused by the campaign to get A Fairytale of New York banned and boycott any station or channel that played it. There’s a great quote from a letter that was published in the Times last year about being judged in the future on current behaviour. “Can the editor please tell me how I should behave today, so I don’t get into trouble tomorrow”

    Take no risks, challenge no one, do NOT step outside the box, do NOT cause offense.

    So sad they caved to even a possibility of something happening. Mary Whitehouse would be proud and prohibition is but a step away.

  22. James Foran says:

    I would have bought it with the original cover but not with the later cover. People may argue that the cover has no bearing on the music on the vinyl and why should it matter but of course it matters a great deal to collectors and Universal should be wise to that. Let me know when they reissue it with the original cover!

  23. Joe says:

    Where is that blue cover from? I have both original vinyl versions and, other than the images, they were identical – same colour, size and lettering.

  24. Andrew B says:

    Legal Issue?, I would probably opt for the moronic one brain celled masses known as todays yoof, that would think this was a cool thing to copy and post on fakebook etc, the world is just sheep these days, and I guess you would have to think ahead in these cases to avoid the idiotic dumb and dumbness of being sued.

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