Banned by the BBC

July 14th, 2015

Banned by the BBC
So just how hard is it to get your song banned on the BBC? Not very hard at all – it seems and in today’s blog I thought it would be fun to run through a few of my favorites that the BBC found unsuitable.

There a few obvious tunes that I won’t go on about as they’ve been critiqued to death like “ God save the queen “ for example and my goal here is to satisfy my need to be heard (lol) and hopefully educate you on some music you might not have heard in your strict Christian upbringing or perhaps you’ve been living in a secluded cave for a number of years?

First up is the most amazing post – punk band, The Gang of Four which if you didn’t guess from the name are/were very politically oriented. The BBC found the 1981 “ I love a man in uniform “ to be a little risqué as the Brits were on there way to crush the Argentines in the Falklands Islands. I guess they didn’t want the soldiers to be portrayed as macho blood lusting monsters?

“The girls, they love to see you shoot
The girls, they love to see you shoot
I love a man in a uniform
I love a man in a uniform
I love a man in a uniform “

I just love the back-up singers on that song!

Did you know that Radiohead’s “ Creep “ was banned? True! Apparently it was deemed to depressing.

And back to our show…
The Smiths! Who the hell doesn’t love The Smiths? Well aside from the readers who have been living in a remote cave somewhere – no one that’s who!
The single, “ Stop me if you’ve heard this one before “ was banned from daytime airplay. I guess that nighttime listeners must be better adjusted? Anyway in the song is the lyric,
“ plan a mass murder “
The BBC once again didn’t like the timing of the songs release in 1987 as Brits were dealing with the Hungerford Massacre where Michael Robert Ryan gunned down 16 people. Did you ever notice that lone gunmen are always referred to by their three given names?

The video for The Police’s “ Invisible Sun “ was banned due to disturbing images about “ The Troubles “ in Northern Ireland. You might be interested to know that Sting thought the song was about Ireland and Stewart Copeland thought it referred to Beirut but they both agreed that the song was full of hope. But why don’t I let them tell their own story.
From Wikipedia…

“I actually wrote the song in Ireland, where I was living at the time. It was during the hunger strikes in Belfast. I wanted to write about that but I wanted to show some light at the end of the tunnel. I do think there has to be an ‘invisible sun’. You can’t always see it, but there has to be something radiating light into our lives.”
—Sting, Revolver, 2000

“For me, the song was about Beirut, where I’d grown up, which at that point was going up in flames. My hometown was being vilified by the media as a terrorist stronghold, and it was being blasted by bombs and napalm. Twenty thousand Lebanese were killed that year. And the Lebanese must have been feeling some heat from the invisible sun, because they were keeping their peckers up.”
—Stewart Copeland, Revolver, 2000

The Police – Invisible Sun (1981) from MTVClassic1 on Vimeo.

Thanks for reading, viewing and listening.

“ One of the lessons learned during the Vietnam War was that the depiction of wounded soldiers, of coffins stacked higher than their living guards, had a negative effect on the viewing public. The military in Iraq specifically banned the photographing of wounded soldiers and coffins, thus sanitizing this terrible and bloody conflict. “

Walter Dean Myers


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