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Before the days of ladies tramps popstars parading around without their gitch on and giving us all the money shot of their down-belows, naked used to mean something. (Here’s a helpful tip – right before you leave the house, just do a mental checklist, you know… shirt, skirt, lack of self respect, shoes, underwear… that sort of thing)….

And, it used to be shocking; it used to be a big deal. Unfortunately, the little pop tartlets have ruined naked for the rest of us. Now, when we get a glimpse of the bits and bobs, we’re like whatevs, old news, half of L.A. has already seen your twinkie, and we forget it in a week.

There was a time though, that when one of our favourite celebs dropped their drawers the image was burned into our retinas, and it became one of those “remember when?” moments, like the Kennedy assassination or when the red balloon joined the Lucky Charms lineup. The following is a list of musicians who knew what getting naked is about and totally rocked it out.

5. The Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Although it’s not been at just one concert, RHCP immortalized the use of concert socks (a way for concert-goers to cover themselves that offers a plausible defense if stopped for a streaking related offense) (um, clearly only to be used by men). Since the first appearance of RHCP’s almost naked glory at the Kit Kat Club, the Chili Peppers have continued to be big proponents of socks on co…ahem. This usage has (a) immortalized the Chili Peppers and (b) showed the versatility of the sock.

4. Janet Jackson

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Photograph Courtesy Getty Images

Listen, we’ve all been to a G’N’R or a Motley Crue concert and seen the legions of ladies middle-aged cougars women bearing their ta-ta’s to the lecherous dirty lecherous old men in the audience (and band). But Janet, oh Janet, she was on stage; she was the entertainment! Because of an absent (never there?) tassel, the FCC cracked down on all broadcasts in the next couple months that could possible be deemed offensive. This resulted in Don Cherry getting a five second delay (should have been an off-air delay if you ask me), and all television shows taking on a TBS-like quality. (Translation = Suckfest.) Pretty significant consequences for five seconds of nip.

3. Madonna

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Although we all wish she wouldn’t, no one does naked like the “Queen of Pop” (again, nor should they… or, really, should she). When Madonna released her book Sex in 1992 (coincidentally a day after her album Erotica, and not at all related to generating album sales), it was to great controversy and expectation. The book sold all 1.5 million copies out in its first four days, much to the chagrin of coffee tables around the globe. If you are lucky (snigger) enough to get a copy, be sure to enjoy the “artisitic” (i.e. pointless) photos of Madonna doing things like eating a pizza naked (ouch! pizza cheese is hot!) pumping gas naked (burney! flamey!), or hitchhiking naked. (Actually, this is probably a pretty good tip for getting a lift.) This was naked with a purpose. A hot cheesey, flamey, severely dangerous purpose.

2. Blink 182

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Nothing beats three naked dudes running down a busy street wearing only sneakers and socks (um, on their feet.) When Blink 182 released their video for What’s My Age Again, I think we all had a tiny moment of glee when we saw beautiful, beautiful Mark Hoppus in his birthday suit. (Wheeeeee!!!) My favourite part is when they threw bananas (tee hee!) at each other. More than that, it was just the looks of pure joy on all their faces when they were swinging their bits wildly through the streets. Forget Mel Gibson, it’s nudity that equals freedom (but only if you’re super cool and pretty attractive).

1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono

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Front of album with brown bag (left); back of album without brown bag (right)

When John and Yoko released Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins, they were really trying to send a message. Of what the message is, we’re still not sure. Offering the musical stylings (oxymoron) of Yoko, the album also featured a cover with a full frontal nudity shot of the pair (my eyes, MY EYES). If that wasn’t enough, the back of the album gave us a rear shot of the two. (Pleasing those advising us to check for colorectal cancer everywhere.) In addition to being seen as in questionable taste (and attractiveness), the cover sparked a huge controversy, and led to the album being sold in brown paper bags. This, in turn, gave rise to all sorts of dirty jokes about brown bagging it.

So there you have it. The top 5 musicians who got naked with style, (and not just for some random paparazzo’s camera. Once again hoochies girls, skirts AND skivvies are recommended.)