Censorship is not an unknown meaning to people, as it has been around since they started communicating.
Although today (supposedly) everyone has the right to produce and receive information without any restrictions, there is no absolute freedom of expression.
There are cases where censorship is legitimate, as in the case of child pornography, hate speech, and sensitive social groups.
But when the censorship aims to hide the truth from the people and to serve expediencies in politics, history, economy, society, then things change.
In the occasion of music, it is not uncommon for the rulers to censor.
The methods of applying censorship vary depending on the ideas, habits, and ethics that prevail in each country and in each era.
What is worse is when states that “advertise” their democratic ideas and freedom of expression function as totalitarian regimes.
Music censorship is the practice of editing musical works for a variety of reasons, stemming from a wide variety of motivations.
Among them are moral, political and, of course, religious reasons.
Modesty, prudery …
Most of the songs are created to be broadcasted on radio and/or television.
Blasphemy or reports of sex and drug use are content that is considered unacceptable by the media and states.
It should be noted that here we are dealing with issues that concern societies to a large extent, as these are real-world situations.
States, however, disagree on such issues. After all, it’s better to hide the problem under the rug than to discuss it and try to solve it!
Moral codes for a few, but they decide what you can say freely and what you can’t…
The first contact with censorship in music can be seen through the story of Rock…
- In 1965, Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” was banned from radio because of sex messages
- In 1968, Doors’ “Unknown Solider” was banned from radio due to the song’s anti-war messages.
- .Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life” was banned by the BBC for drug use.
The epitome of censorship came in the 1980s, as the number of songs referring to all the issues affecting the “excellent” increased.
Drugs, Sex, Violence, Alcohol and, of course, mystical issues.
Among the songs banned from the radio were:
- Black Sabbath – Trashed,
- Venom- Possessed
- Mercyful Fate – Into the Coven,
- WASP – Animal (Fuck like a Beast),
- Judas Priest’s – Eat Me Alive,
- Motley Crue – Bastard,
- AC/DC – Let Me Put My Love Into You,
- Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It,
- Def Leppard’s – High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night).
Of course, censorship did not stop there, as many more bands could not play live in many states.
Among them were:
- Cannibal Corpse (banned in Australia, Germany, and Russia)
- Lamb of God (banned in Malaysia)
- Behemoth (banned in Russia)
- Watain (in Singapore)
Of course, the above mentioned are only a few of the artists of the Rock and Metal scene. There are, unfortunately, many more!!
We will refer, more extensively in time, to other bands and songs that censorship over the years, despite the majority of states with democratic regimes, remains and becomes more stringent.