Joss Stone: Did her label make her change her provocative album-cover art?

Joss Stone has been using a provocative image to promote her fourth album, Colour Me Free. The black-and-white shot of the British singer contorted behind prison bars, midway through being penciled in color-by-numbers style (top left), appears on her MySpace page and her official website, and it’s the one that was provided to EW to accompany our review of the album. Yet pick up the CD at exclusive physical retailer Target or download a copy from iTunes and you’ll see very different cover art (top right): just Stone’s name in a large font above the album title on an otherwise blank purple background. What gives?

A rep for Stone says her label, EMI, insisted on switching the album art. Indeed, the singer still prefers the original behind-bars illustration: “As far as Joss is concerned, that’s her album cover.”

An EMI spokesperson, however, begs to differ, telling EW, “Joss agreed to the album cover selection” — i.e., to the purple text-only image that accompanies the actual CD.

This would appear to be the latest skirmish in Stone’s ongoing dispute with EMI. Last month, she told EW that the label was responsible for delaying Colour Me Free‘s release until Oct. 20. “It’s all record company stuff,” she said then. “I just want to make music and put it out. They have a different mind set. So, we had a little tiff and now we’re putting it out.” Sounds as if the tiff goes on.

So whose side are you on? After comparing and contrasting the two cover images, which one do you like better?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Joss Stone’s new single, “Free Me”: Hear it now
Kris Allen: We exclusively reveal the track listing for his self-titled debut!
Paloma Faith: Don’t cry “Amy Winehouse rip-off!” just because she’s awesome
Janet Jackson recording “up-tempo dance album”: Can she recapture a rhythm nation?

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Lizi

    What was wrong with the original that it needed to be changed? I prefer the original

  • Muggs

    I wouldn’t mind “her” cover if there weren’t a giant foot in the forefront. Really. She couldn’t have been holding onto one of the prison bars or just have her face there? Other than that, I don’t really see anything wrong with it. EMI’s version isn’t horrible, either, although they could have taken the title literally and infused a bit of colour. It’s kind of boring.

  • i’m a lady

    both are hideous, and look like they cost about $10

    • Tim

      Agreed. And frankly there’s never been anything remotely ‘provocative’ about Joss Stone. I see from this ‘article’ that that continues to be the case.

  • B-Mo

    An EMI spokesperson, however, begs to differ, telling EW, “Joss agreed to the album cover selection”

    Well since she was just on Chelsea Lately a few weeks ago saying she didn’t know why it was changed…I guess we can call BS on this statement.

  • Brandon

    it’s almost offensive as a designer that EMI would put something like that out. both are awful and look like they were made in MS paint. come on!

  • Dean

    Both covers look bad.Who cares who agreed on what?

  • Mary

    I prefer the new one, because it isn’t completely hideous.

    This is why so many good graphic designers can’t get work: the crappy designers have all the jobs.

  • sosgemini

    Both are proof positive what a hack Stone is. The girl needs to find her own voice and stop mimicking our soul legends. Also, Nikka Costa called and wants her image back.

  • Flyer

    Looking at the original cover, I can’t help but ask – was the original title “colour me free!” or “colour my feet!”?

  • Will

    The first one looks like some 14-year-old who just got photoshop did it, and the second one looks like absolutely no thought was put into it whatsoever…both are terrible.

  • Darrin

    Does it really matter what the cover looks like? No one’s going to buy this album either way. EMI did not promote the record!

  • SG

    the foot is a major turn-off

  • fiveagainstone

    Both covers are horrible. Her version looks like a broken mannequin in a cage. The other is just too much purple. Either way, I wouldn’t buy her CD for 20 cents, never mind 20 dollars.

  • kim

    I don’t understand why they couldn’t have gotten someone to do a better job. This looks like it was done on Word Document in 5 minutes.

  • mark

    i think her original album cover is weird and awkward. i prefer the boring purple cover

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