80's Songs Banned Here At One Time
1) Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - Crimson and Clover (1981) - I Love Rock 'n Roll
This was banned from the radio station at the time here in town as well as by my high school. The reasoning was that it was a lesbian love song and well that went against the laws of God. The local radio station being very part of a certain church at the time. They also played hours and hours of religious lectures and so on at night.
2) The Police – Invisible Sun (1981) - Ghost in the Machine
Banned from the radio station but not from my high school. The rezoning is it was as “offensive” look at the violence in Northers Ireland. I guess the talk of what was happening was a little too real and as a lot of things in that time on our radio station it was sanitised.
3) Billy Idol - White Wedding (1982) - Billy Idol
Banned from the radio and my high school for the reason of “being about ritualistic satanic suicide”. The thinking was that it was a code for killing yourself in the name of Satan to have power over some souls in hell. The reality that it was mocking his sister for having a white wedding when she was less than pure kind of never phased these people. Even if it was obvious to a lot of us at the time.
4) Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train (1980) - Blizzard of Ozz
The idea here was this was a song from an album that was done in the name of Satan. As on the cover a photo of Ozzy throwing a cross to the ground. The fact that literally nothing was Satanic on the album was beside the point. It was more cartoonish than anything in my mind. The idea that Ozzy is actually a strong Christian is kind of strange to a lot of people by the way. I know people who stopped listening to him when he came out Christian.
5) Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast (1982) - The Number Of The Beast
Banned on radio and at my high school. It’s relatively obvious why. It is talking about the devil, so it must be satanic worship music. We literally had a guest speaker come in and talk about this album. He said that children where killing themselves after listening to it in reverse. Not being actually stupid enough to scratch up my shinny new LP doing this, I never knew if there was a “message” or not. But I was assured by a friend there was nothing and he said he tried it 10 times. There was a massive thing in Canada and the USA over Satanic Cults at the time. None of it was credible at all.
6) Soft Cell - Sex Dwarf (1981) - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
Banned in both the radio station and my high school. Now this entire album was kind of a lot less offensive than this song I have to say even though there where shades of random sex and self harm along with BDSM in some of the other songs. But yes this is literally about having sex with a dwarf and random “disco dollies”. Even if it was implied and not actual. Back then the idea of the kink thing was so repulsive to the average person it was literally demonised.
7) Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy (1984) - The Age of Consent
Banned in both I have to shamefully say. This song is literally about a small town boy who ends up having to run away from his family to find a place where he is accepted. The reason is that he is Gay. Strange thing is, they don’t up and say it but you know what they are talking about. The video for this was of course the big tell for those who did not get what the words where saying to them. To this day I have a very sad and lonely feeling in my heart when I hear this song. I know so many people who had to leave home after coming out and some who where literally beaten for it. It really is like these so called Moms and Dads are something out of the dark ages. I am Glad my parents where NOT like this.
8) Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (1984) - Welcome to the Pleasuredome
Banned in both, obviously. It’s really not very veiled what this song is about. I mean you should be able to tell just by listening to it. The bin nail in the coffin was that it was done by a “notoriously gay band”. If you have seen the uncut video and not the rather silly clip loop video you will know right away that there is a lot of things that you could not show on TV at the time. That being said, they played it in Canada on Much Music late at night. See the laws where such that this content could be played after 11PM. Now it would be played in the middle of the day on any TV station. But back then NOPE.
9) Cyndi Lauper – She Bop (1983) - She's So Unusual
Banned on the radio station and the high school did not seem to know it existed or they would have banned it I am sure. But it never showed up on the list off “offensive music to avoid”. Yes, we literally had that at the time. Sigh. But the reason was it’s about masturbation and is a bit obvious about it. Like “the stroke” and “I think I am turning Japanese” and so on. BTW that last one to this day my friend will insist it’s about the Japanese taking over the electronics market world wide. I know – It’s like they up and said I’m jerking off to the rest of us, but to him no. Strange because he normally got the sex songs.
10) Dead Kennedys - Too Drunk to Fuck (1980) - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
Banned in both. Literally only because people requested it at the radio station and talked about it in the halls. Otherwise they would never have heard of it. Like a lot of the punk movement in the time it was spread by word of mouth and underground pirate radio (yes we had that here for a short time). It’s over the top obvious why it was banned in a religious radio station and a Catholic high school.
* On a side note I did a book report on the collective works of Poe and was almost kicked out of class for it. I had to literally ask why the nice nun was so offended. Turned out the book was banned in our school and I did not know it. I just liked his work and picked up the book at a sale in a Regina book store one day after reading it from the public library. She literally told me to stick to Robert Keats. Always thought that was funny, but that is another story.