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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The political climate of the day caused bans on these songs

“God Save The Queen” - Sex Pistols

It’s almost inevitable that punk rock would have a few bans across the genre's discography. Let's face it, anarchy doesn't usually go down that well with the establishment. The song was highly critical of the British government of the time, goodness only knows what they’d have written today! References to ‘The Fascist Regime’ and digs about the Queen not being human were enough for the BBC to ban this song from their airwaves. So much for free speech.

“Walk Like An Egyptian” - The Bangles

It’s hard to imagine this bright pop song being deemed offensive. It’s one of many which was blocked by the BBC in the UK and Clear Channels Communication, overseeing the US. It was banned twice, in 1991 and again in 2001. On both occasions, a large number of songs were listed as do not play. The reason was that they may have been deemed offensive during the Gulf War and just after 9/11. 

For this Bangles song, it was the direct reference to Egypt and Egyptians which triggered the block. It wasn't just a reference to a nation or its people that caused a problem. Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” were both surprisingly on the block lists.

“Street Fighting Man” - The Rolling Stones

This was subjected to a more local ban, initially in Chicago. Its 1968 release came after violent confrontations there between Police and anti-Vietnam war protestors. Chicago radio stations, fearing the song may incite more trouble on their city streets, decided not to play it. The ban spread wider and dented sales of the single. It was the Rolling Stones lowest charting single since their debut release four years earlier.