From Rolling Stone:
When YouTube banned David Bowie’s music video for “The Next Day,” it seemed ironic, since the site is normally the best place to see once-banned videos. But YouTube says it’s cool with Bowie now – that banning his racy, bloody, religious-themed video was a mistake. While the video has been reinstated, the flap reminds us of other music videos that were initially banned. Here are some of our favorites:
“Dead End Street” by the Kinks
In 1966, an early music video depicting the band members as top hat-wearing pallbearers was deemed tasteless by the BBC – even though the “corpse” jumped out of the coffin, apparently alive and well – resulting in the BBC’s first pop video ban.
“Girls on Film” by Duran Duran
During MTV’s infancy, efforts to appear hip and edgy didn’t include airing the racy mud-wrestling scene in this 1981 video. Eventually, an edited version – featuring roughly half the footage and exactly none of the boobs – made the cut.
“Killed by Death” by Motörhead
An Island Records stunt – having two female executives deliver the video to MTV while dressed in chains and biker gear – didn’t help get this video on air. Citing “excessive and senseless violence,” including a scene depicting lead singer Lemmy Kilminster zapped in an electric chair, MTV sentenced this metal video to death by obscurity.
“This Note’s for You” by Neil Young
Young’s satirical video singled out big-money TV sponsors including Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser. So when MTV decided to ban the video in 1988, it gave the uncool impression that it was kowtowing to corporate sponsors. Even though the video was reinstated – and won Video of the Year – the damage to MTV (“spineless twerps,” according to Young) could’ve made even Spuds MacKenzie hang his head in shame.
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