It’s no secret that rock stars push the envelope when it comes to music videos. But for some broadcasters, that envelope has been pushed too far.
From Motorhead to Madonna, videos of a violent, sexual, or even anti-corporation nature have gotten the boot by networks like BBC and MTV.
Here are the 10 most controversial music videos that have been banned in the past (and thanks to the Internet, we can relive again!)
“Dead End Street” by the Kinks
This video was the first one banned by the BBC. Back in 1966, the Kinks’ music video showed the band as pallbearers, where a corpse comes back to life and jumps out of a coffin. The network deemed it “tasteless.” If only they knew what was to come…
“Girls on Film” by Duran Duran
Duran Duran’s 1981 video contained a mud-wrestling scene that had to be edited out in order to get played on MTV. An edited version had to be aired instead, but thanks to the magic of the Internet, the original vision lives on.
Killed by Death” by Motörhead
Although Motorhead loved the idea of having Lemmy Kilminster succumb to the electric chair treatment, MTV didn’t agree, and gave the video a death sentence.
“This Note’s for You” by Neil Young
Young’s 1988 video took aim at massive corporations like Coke and Pepsi, which obviously had their affiliations with MTV and were upset at the video getting rotation. MTV banned the video but brought it back after receiving tons of backlash.
Funnily enough, the video went on to win Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards that same year.
“What It Feels Like for a Girl” by Madonna
This Guy Ritchie-directed music video caused controversy the moment it was released in 2001. Madonna goes on a wicked crime spree in the miniature movie, which MTV and VH1 did not approve of.
“Be Chrool to your Scuel” by Twisted Sister
This video received the banned treatment when two of the zombie high school students featured had simulated sex. Guess the fear of high school students coming back to get it on was running rampant.
“In My Darkest Hour” by Megadeth
MTV banned this video due to the lyrics being interpreted as suicidal. Dave Mustaine actually wrote the song about his former bandmate, Cliff Burton, passing away.
“Jesus Christ Pose” by Soundgarden
Nailing vegetables on crosses? Nailing girls on crosses? Nailing skeletons on crosses?
Three ingredients that will help get your video completely ignored by MTV.
“Justify My Love” by Madonna
Another entry from Madge: This time, the 1990 video was yanked off the airwaves for its overtly sexual content, especially sensual in black-and-white.
“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails
Severed animal parts and naked women in bondage masks meant that red flags were being waved from every corner of the offended. There was no hope for this Nine Inch Nails to be aired during daylight back in 1994.