Nirvana's baby image too much for Facebook


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The Independent Online

Twenty years after its release, the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana's breakthrough Nevermind album still retains the power to shock.

An image of the cover, posted on the band's Facebook page to announce a 20th anniversary special edition of the record, was promptly censored by the social networking site.

The picture of the baby floating in a pool, with his penis visible, was removed for "violating the Facebook Terms of Use".

A notice on the page read: "Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence or other violations of the Terms of Use."

The three month-old baby in the photo, Spencer Elden, was a friend of the photographer. He is proud of his place in rock mythology and even consented to recreate the shot. "Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis. So that's kinda cool," he once said in an interview.

Frontman Kurt Cobain conceived the idea of the "naked baby" image with Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. When his record label Geffen suggested an alternative cover, covering up the penis, Cobain said it would have to carry a sticker: "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet paedophile."

Released in September 1991, Nevermind went on to sell 30 million copies and established Nirvana as leaders of the "grunge" movement..

The anniversary edition, released on 19 September, will include unreleased recordings, obscure B-sides, alternate mixes, radio sessions and other rarities in a four-CD plus DVD package.

Nirvana fans will be attracted by the first full official release of the pre-Nevermind demos recorded at producer Butch Vig's studio, offering early versions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and other songs.

In a move likely to spark a frenzy of demand, the "super deluxe" edition of the album will receive a limited edition release, with just 10,000 copies being available in the US and a further 30,000 distributed across the world.

Cobain committed suicide in 1994, aged 27, seemingly unable to cope with the fame brought by his commercial success.