15 brilliant songs the Establishment did not want you to hear

These songs were covered up, blocked or censored one way or another. Sometimes for what now seem bewildering reasons.

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Over the years many great songs have suffered some form of censorship. They’ve been banned for a variety of reasons, some of which seem ludicrous or unthinkable now. At the time the establishment and others, whether it be media, TV companies, radio stations, politically based, law agencies, or others - they just didn't want us to hear them played.

Sure, sometimes it’s obvious why. Strong sexual content or explicit language is more commonplace today. But even now, that can be inappropriate for daytime radio play or public broadcasts when families and young children are around. While such songs may be restricted in where you can hear them, it’s rare now for an outright ban.

Then it can just be the sounds or suggestive content of a song that gets the censors of the time twitching. “Je T'aime” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin was a bit too hot even for the late 1960s. Or Donna Summer with her range of additional sounds on “Love to Love You Baby” in 1975, for example. You can perhaps understand the rationale better for those songs at the time.

Songs the Establishment did not want you to hear

There are of course other songs that may get a form of ban. That's usually more for something visual on the supporting video and prevents us from seeing that. Rather than for the song itself, which may be perfectly fine for radio play. Madonna's 1989 hit “Like A Prayer,” for example, had a video that no less than the Vatican declared as blasphemous with Pope John Paul II encouraging people to boycott her gigs in Italy. 

Putting those perhaps more obvious examples to one side, many others were deemed too controversial for our ears and minds. Right now, it’s the censorship of those songs which seems much more questionable. Here are 15 great songs which they tried to stop us from hearing.