Kama Sutra Album Art Censored

Censored cover art. So what's the big deal?

After intense pressure and threats of freeze-outs from several major retail

chains, TVT Soundtrax has been forced to alter the cover art for the soundtrack

to the film, Kama Sutr .

The movie, based on the legendary sensual

manual, whose director, Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala, Salaam

Bombay) was already forced to make several cuts after the Indian Supreme

Court ruled that several scenes would need to be edited or eliminated before

the movie could be shown in India, is scheduled to be released on Feb. 28,

although a rating is still pending from the Motion Picture Association in the

U.S.

The cover art in question, which was considered by several major

retailers to be too racy for shelves, features a photo of the male (Ramon

Tikaram) and female (Varma) leads of the movie in a suggestive, fairly

explicit, pose taken straight from the pages of the ages-old manual to

lovemaking. The censored image will feature a solo image of Varma. The

soundtrack, scheduled for release on Feb. 11, is described as a "fusion of

modern and classic Indian sounds" compiled by Mychael Danna

(Exotica).

Late last year it came to light that major discount

chains--including Wal-Mart and Kmart--were presuring record companies to change

artwork, remove songs, modify lyrics and the like. Albums by Nirvana, White

Zombie, Jackyl, Catherine Wheel and even John Mellencamp had been modified in

order to meet standards imposed by Wal-Mart, according to a Nov. report in the

New York Times.