Given all of the druggy references and seductive musical passages, Queens of the Stone Age is not a band for the innocent. The brainchild of Joshua Homme had formed out of the ashes of stoner rock outfit Kyuss and were on the cusp of reaching their creative peak by the early 2000's. When it came time to put a label on their record, they decided to have some fun with a cheeky warning label.
Rated R is a record that has a certain sinister quality laced throughout the track listing from the bad acid trip of "Better Living Through Chemistry" to the laundry list of narcotics that permeate "Feel Good Hit of the Summer." The band were extremely proud of the effort, but were a bit jaded that the censors would badger them to clean up the tracks.
Rather than making some elaborate drawing, the band chose to have a simple blue background with the MPAA R rating put in the corner. Not only did this work from an aesthetic point of view, but the actual placement ensured the band wouldn't need to slap a Parental Advisory sticker on the front. With just a simple letter, QOTSA promised something a bit more raunchy than your typical rock and roll.
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