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Five Major Pop Artist Censorship Controversies

Five Controversial Moments of Censorship In Pop Music
Five Controversial Moments of Censorship In Pop Music
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
5.) The Rolling Stones "Spend... What?"
When The Rolling Stones performed their classic hit "Let's Spend the Night Together" on the Ed Sullivan Show, they were asked by Sullivan himself to change the lyrics of the song to the more appropriate "Let's Spend Some Time Together."
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
4.) The Kinks Travel The Globe To Avoid Product Placement
Ray Davies of the British rock band The Kinks had to fly back to the UK from the band's US tour to re-record the song "Lola." Originally the song included a name reference for Coca Cola, which violated the BBC's no-product placement rules, so Davies flew across the pond mid-tour to change the lyric to "cherry cola."
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
(photo by Newsmakers)
3.) Cole Porter & Frank Sinatra "Get Their Kicks"
Cole Porter wrote "I Get A Kick Out of You" for Frank Sinatra, but he got in trouble for the controversial line "I get no kick from cocaine," and had to change it to the more family-friendly (but also more nonsensical) "I get perfume from Spain."
(photo by Newsmakers)
image source: Getty Images
2.) Nirvana Gets "Waifed" by Wal-Mart
Nirvana's 1993 album In Utero was the target of a name change still talked about to this day, as their record label had another version of the album created for department stores Wal-Mart and K-Mart. The most notable variation was the song "Rape Me," which was changed to "Waif Me" on the back cover of the CD, although the original title still exists in the liner notes.
image source: Getty Images
1.) The Beatles Butcher Cover Gets the Axe
1.) The Beatles Butcher Cover Gets the Axe
The most famous case of pop music censorship was the original "Butcher Cover" of The Beatles' Yesterday and Today album. The Fab Four were tired of traditional photo shoots so worked with art photographer Robert Whitaker to create an album cover featuring the band in butcher aprons, covered in fake blood and body parts of dolls. The band wanted to use one of these photos for the LP cover, and a small number were sent for sale before the label changed the cover image to a less-risque shot of the band... which was glued on top of the original Butcher cover! The value of the original Butcher Cover (called "first state") has increased dramatically over the years, with perfect condition records being appraised as high as $10,000!
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