the songs grew in popularity. Take a look at some classic rock songs
and find out why they were once banned.
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
This song’s title was thought to be representative of the drug LSD, that, among other supposed drug references caused the song to be banned by the BBC.
Light My Fire – The Doors
“Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” was supposed to be changed to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better,” but Jim Morrison did not censor himself and as a result, The Doors were banned from The Ed Sullivan Show on September 17, 1967. This song was also banned in 1991, during the Persian Gulf War because of the use of the word “fire.”
Let’s Spend the Night Together – The Rolling Stones
The very title of this song was banned from The Ed Sullivan Show. The Stones were told to change that particular lyric to “let’s spend some time together.” Unlike Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger followed the rules, all the while rolling his eyes at the camera. In fact, after that song, the band left the stage and came back to perform in Nazi uniform. Ed Sullivan was not happy and so began The Stones’ two year ban from the show.
My Generation – The Who
Parts of this song were thought to resemble stuttering and therefore considered offensive and banned by the BBC. The song ended up being a hit and the ban was eventually lifted.
Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
This song was banned by some Archdiocese of the Catholic Church for promoting pre-marital sex among teenagers. Billy Joel even said, “the point of the song wasn’t so much anti-Catholic as pro-lust.” The song wasn’t an immediate hit, but once it was banned, it became popular.
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
This song was originally titled “Brown Skinned Girl” however Van Morrison changed it to make the song more radio-friendly. Despite the name and lyric change, some radio stations still banned the song on account of the line “making love in the green grass.”
You Don’t Know How It Feels – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Let’s get to the point, let’s roll another joint” – that line was censored on MTV in October of 1994. At the time, drug related references were commonly censored. The song went on to chart, reaching No. 13 and even received an MTV Video Music Award.
Imagine – John Lennon
Of all songs to be banned after 9/11, this peace-seeking song was banned by some radio stations because the lyrics “imagine there’s no heaven” was seen as offensive to some religious groups. The song charted despite its ban.
Lola – The Kinks
The use of a single word had this song banned – that word was “Coca-Cola” – which violated BBC product placement rules.
Angie Krueger is a journalist who enjoys eating to Classic Rock music. She also enjoys listening to it.