Country Life is the fourth album by a British avant garde rock group, Roxy Music. It was released in 1974 and peaked at No. 3 in the UK charts and 37 in the United States.
Country Life’s album cover was shot by a Swedish photographer Eric Boman. It features two scantily clad German models, Constanze Karoli and Eveline Grunwald. Roxy Music’s lead singer Bryan Ferry met these two happy-go-lucky girls in Portugal when he was writing lyrics for the album and persuaded them to do the controversial photo shoot.
The album cover image was considered ‘much too revealing’ in the United States, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands and it was heavily censored. In some countries the indelicate position of Karoli’s fingers annoyed so many music retailers that they refused to stock the album altogether. As a result some album cover releases were equipped with green shrink-wrap and some were pressed with an alternative picture that removed the semi-naked girls altogether, showing only the green Portuguese foliage.
An American photographic archivist Michael Ochs described the result as the most complete “Cover” -Up in rock history. On the other hand, and perhaps aided by the controversially sexy cover, Country Life was the first Roxy album ever to penetrate the American Top Forty. Country Life was ranked at No. 387 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and is considered to be among the band’s most sophisticated and consistent albums ever.
The cover has inspired numerous imitations, such as this one from a German born artist Pia Dehne:
And this one from Ultrabunny:
Here’s a few out takes from the Portuguese photo shoot: