Aerosmith’s Nine Lives

2007.11.14 Aerosmith’s Nine Lives

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The other day I was organizing my music library, cleaning up ID3 tags and adding artwork, when I came across an interesting factoid about Aerosmith’s 1997 record Nine Lives.

2007.11.14 Nine Lives Cover Art

Now, I’ve never been a huge Aerosmith fan but the intro scene of Dazed & Confused where “Sweet Emotion” is played as a 70’s muscle car turns the corner in slow motion is hard to beat. I also fondly remember having Nine Lives on a road trip to Colorado when it first came out.

2007.11.14 Krishna Danching on KaliaAs I searched for cover art, I was surprised to uncover two different versions. The initial cover depicted the cat figure in a well known Hindu parable as Lord Krishna (see left for a traditional depiction). In it, Krishna dances upon the head of the naga (snake) Kalia to punish him for poisoning the surrounding area. The Aerosmith version adds a cat’s head and female anatomy to the popular imagery, which Hindu’s claimed was the equivalent of showing Christ on the cross with the same additions.

Not only the cover was changed, but some retailers opposed the CD art as well, which depicted scenes from the sexually explicit Kama Sutra.

2007.11.14 Nine Lives CD Art

So, the cover was changed and two different versions of the CD art were distributed. This site, though, of the American Hindu Anti-Defamation Coalition, debases the use of this artwork yet prominently displays the cover. Huh?

The record’s hits include “Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees),” “A Taste of India,” and I’ve included my favorite of the bunch, “Pink.”