1. The Rise of MTV
MTV launched on New Year's Eve 1980 and ushered in the 80's, a new pop culture, a media where bands who were not played on radio can be seen, heard and made famous.
We all know of the MTV generation - stars like Michael Jackson; Madonna; Duran Duran (to name a few) became big superstars thanks to MTV. But along the way there were some videos that proved too risque even for the "edgy at that time" MTV - and Madonna seems to have the lead on censored or banned videos.
2. Censored/Banned Videos - Random Blurbs
Billy Idol - Hot In the City
The first video I remembered being censored or even banned from MTV was probably Billy Idol's "Hot In The City". Looking back - I can't see why - but check out the you tube link above.
Queen - Body Language (Banned)
According to Wiki, the first video to be banned on MTV was Queen's "Body Language". Here's the quote:
The video was banned "Due to thinly veiled homoerotic undertones plus lots of skin and lots of sweat (but apparently not enough clothing, save that worn by the fully clothed members of Queen themselves), it was deemed unsuitable for a television audience at the time".
3. The Star-Boys of MTV sings about "Girls on Film"
I also remembered "Girls On Film" by Duran Duran being banned in the UK - the video had some hot model babes mud wrestling in the nude - bare breasts being shown. I 1st saw on MTV back in the 80's and my cousin said - that the unedited version had girls naked mud wrestling - at that stage in my life - I was sold - I had to see it (but we did not have you tube back then).
See the video link below - trust me - it's over 6 minutes long but it is unedited and was too long for MTV.
Duran Duran - Girls on Film.
Also some 26 years later the boys repeat the female nudity in their videos with Falling Down which was off "Red Carpet Massacre".
4. Frankie - Gay-Erotica hits video-waves & Russia vs USA 80's style
Another video was "Relax" by "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" which featured Holly Johnson entering a gay leather bar - this video was way ahead of it's time - both for MTV and for the industry as a whole.
The version that eventually aired on MTV was one which showed live concert footage.
Extract from the video
Frankie Goes to Hollywood_Relax (Banned)
Their follow up video "Two Tribes" was also banned as it features a mud fight between Ronald Reagan and Gobarchov - talk about taking a political agenda to height.
5. The "B" word gets Prodigy into trouble
One of my fave videos that was banned is Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" - initially I heard that MTV would only air this video after midnight and then I heard that it was banned altogether. The video has full female nudity (hence why it was banned on MTV and also the BBC) and some steamy sex scenes.
Check out this video here - talk about debauchery - and there's a nice surprise at the end.
Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up.
6. The Queen of Banned/Censored videos - Madonna
And for the grand daddy of banned videos - the video that seemed to break every sexual taboo - Madonna's "Justify My Love" - this video had nudity and Madonna's then boyfriend being tied up in leather; cross dressing in leather and looking all gar-erotic. It also had Madonna tongue kissing a hot Italian model. This video depicted a blonde Monroeisque Madonna trapped in a hotel and each room having a different fetish.
Madonna - (Extract only - Justify)
7. Other banned videos included:
"18 and Life" - Skidrow - I can't understand why this video was banned - but I did see it on Headbanger' Ball a few times;
"45" - Shinedown - Good song - but the lyrics might have been too much. Shinedown actually requested that their video be pulled;
"Erotica" - Madonna (need we say more). Madonna is no stranger to banned or censored video on MTV - there was "Justify My Love" mentioned above, and also the original version of "American Life" was banned. Also "What It Feels Like For A Girl". And don't forget the Pepsi controversy with "Like A Prayer".
"Girls Girls Girls" - Motley Crue - with a name like that and a band like the Crue singing it - is it any wonder that the original video got pulled.
"Jesus Christ Pose" - Soundgarden - in the early to mid 90's Soundgarden (led by Chris Cornell) was everywhere. This band was unstoppable in the underground. I saw this video on a show called "Noize Bizzaire" which was aired from some station in Kenosha Wisconsin (I know - obscure but they played all of these cool underground bands which could not be seen on MTV).
8.0 Other Nudes
I also remembered quite a few videos with nudity in it -
- "Don't Cry" - Guns N' Roses - showed Axl Rose's behind;
- "Hello Again" - the Cars - had a toy car rolling its wheels over a bare chested woman;
- "Allentown" - Billy Joel - ummmm - I remembered this video showed some nice steelworker's buns;
- "China Girl" - David Bowie - showed David's butt;
- "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails - naked female model;
- but there are loads more.
Anyway peeps - if you need to look at any of these on You Tube - remember to take a look at the uncensored ones.