• Singles they wanted to ban (19)

    By declaring that he “ain’t singing” for Pepsi, Neil Young is effectively doing its bidding for free. Still, “This Note’s For You” video is a great satire of 80’s corporate rock: a dog in sunglasses licks his chops at a bikini-clad girl, and a Michael Jackson lookalike catches fire, leading MTV to ban the clip

  • Singles they wanted to ban (18)

    Columbia Records refused to let Billie Holiday record ‘Strange Fruit’; when Commodore Records did, Atlantic co-founder Ahmet Ertegun called it “the beginning of the civil rights movement”. Strange Fruit – a song about lynchings – was considered so powerful that some US cities banned it, worried it would provoke civil disharmony.

  • Singles they wanted to ban (17)

    The Beatles’ track “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” was not censored by the BBC for referencing firearms, or for its phallic implications, but, John Lennon claimed, for being “about shooting up drugs”. Given that the phrase came from Charlie Brown “Happiness Is a Warm Puppy”, it would have been an endearingly innocent heroin reference. I

  • Love Songs We Never Want to Hear Again (19)

    If you didn’t know what foreplay is, you aren’t ready to have sex. That is what “Hello” is to me: all main event without any warm-up, like moving from a handshake to a cum shot in 60 seconds. It’s okay, Adele. I can find a place in my heart to forgive you, even if your

  • Love Songs We Never Want to Hear Again (18)

    When Journey went on hiatus toward the end of the Eighties, keyboardist Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neil Schon formed Bad English with John Waite of the Babys on vocals – and went on to achieve levels of cheesy terribleness their other band had barely approached. No blow-dried power ballad ever did it bigger, dumber, emptier

  • Singles they wanted to ban (16)

    The Kinks, “Lola” is one of the stranger examples on the list. While the famous Kinks song gained controversy for being about the love between a man and a transvestite, it was banned by the BBC for product placement regarding a reference in the lyrics to Coca-Cola. Kinks frontman and songwriter Ray Davies responded by

  • Singles they wanted to ban (15)

    Nirvana, “Rape Me”, the very title of this track from 1993’s In Utero was enough to get it pulled from the shelves of Walmart and Kmart. While Kurt Cobain was known for his strict adherence to his punk ethos, he relented to pressure by changing the title to “Waif Me” for sales at those stores

  • Songs I Never Ever Want to Hear Again (14)

    There are probably a dozen or so Rolling Stones songs I could have picked for this list. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a great song, but it is overused in commercials (that Coke ad from 2004 was particularly annoying), TV shows (from the great ‘Sopranos’ to the stinky ‘Swingtown’) and movies (it

  • Songs I Never Ever Want to Hear Again (13)

    Between the movie trailers, video games and its role as the de facto theme song for ‘CSI: Miami,’ the Who’s counterculture classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again” has lost much of its power over the past 44 years. After all, how can you give it to the Man when your song is bumping up against Michael

  • Songs I Never Ever Want to Hear Again (12)

    The granddaddy of overplayed songs still resonates with audiences 42 years after its release. There isn’t a day that goes by without ‘Free Bird’ flying high on some radio. Everyone knows it. Shout ‘Free Bird’ at a concert these days, and chances are the band onstage (if they have any sense of humor) will at

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