The 2001 Clear Channel Memorandum List

Banned

I came across the most interesting factoid regarding music recently and felt like sharing it with you. In the days immediately following the September 11th 2001 attacks in New York and Washington Clear Channel Communications, a company that owned 1,200 radio stations at the time, issued a memo strongly suggesting that certain songs not be played due to them being “lyrically questionable”.

During the time immediately after the attacks, many television and radio stations altered normal programming in response to the events, and the rumor spread that Clear Channel and its subsidiaries had established a list of songs with lyrics Clear Channel deemed “questionable”. The list was not a demand not to play the songs listed, but rather a suggestion that they “might not want to play these songs.”

The list contains 165 songs, including all songs by Rage Against the Machine as well as certain songs recorded by multiple artists (for example “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan and the same song by Guns N’ Roses). The list features many artists from the 60’s to then present day 2000’s, many are obvious choices and may have deserved a temporary veto, out of respect, but some are curious choices at best.

I’ve listed almost all 165 songs and will highlight the ones that seem like odd choices, however, now some 13 years past the event I may be too far separated from that day to see the need to consider these songs “lyrically questionable”. It was a very different time then, nerves were on edge.

The 2001 Clear Channel Memorandum List of “lyrically questionable” Songs

All songs by Rage Against the Machine
Duck and Run – The Better Life
Down – 311
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC
Hells Bells – Back In Black
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Safe In New York City – Stiff Upper Lip
Shoot to Thrill – Back In Black
Shot Down In Flames – Highway to Hell
T.N.T. – High Voltage

The Boy from New York City – The Ad Libs’ The Boy from New York City – EP (Original)

Simply because they mention New York, is that why? I don’t get the ban on this one.

When You’re Falling (feat. Peter Gabriel) [Remix by Wren and Morley] – Pod (Real World Gold)
Down In a Hole – Dirt
Rooster – Dirt
Sea of Sorrow – Facelift
Them Bones – Dirt
Smooth Criminal – ANThology
We Gotta Get Out of This Place (US Single Version) – Retrospective
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Walk Like an Egyptian – 30 Stars of the 80’s

Bordering on slightly racist selection here, this song is a harmless 80’s beat.

Falling for the First Time – Maroon (Bonus Track)
Rescue Me – Chess Soul: A Decade of Chicago’s Finest (The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)
Sabotage – Ill Communication
Sure Shot – Ill Communication
A Day In the Life – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

WHAT on earth can be wrong with this one?

Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – The Beatles (White Album)
Ticket to Ride – Help!
Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Crimes of Passion
Love Is a Battlefield – Best Shots
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
War Pigs (Basement Tape) – The Ozzman Cometh
And When I Die (Single Version) – Blood, Sweat & Tears: Greatest Hits
Burnin’ for You – Fire of Unknown Origin
Smokin’ – Boston
Fire – Hot Fuzz (Music from the Motion Picture)
Doctor My Eyes – Jackson Browne

Again, I’m not seeing the ban on this one.

That’ll Be the Day – 50s Greatest Rock N Roll
Have You Seen Her – The Chi-Lites: 20 Greatest Hits
Bits and Pieces – The Dave Clark Five: The Hits
A Sign of the Times – The Ultimate Petula Clark
Rock the Casbah – Combat Rock

Another semi-racist sounding choice in my opinion.

In the Air Tonight – Face Value
Wonderful World – Greatest Hits
Travelin’ Band – The Complete Collection
Fire Woman – Sonic Temple (Remastered)
Mack the Knife: Greatest Hits (118 Original Songs Digitally Remastered) – Bobby Darin
The End of the World – The Essential Skeeter Davis
America – Neil Diamond: The Greatest Hits 1966-1992
Holy Diver – Holy Diver
The End – The Future Starts Here: The Essential Doors Hits
On Broadway – All-Time Greatest Hits & More (1959-1965)
Bodies – Sinner
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3
Santa Monica – Ten Years Gone – The Best of Everclear 1994-2004

I don’t see why this one is on the list.

Johnny Angel – The Very Best Of Shelly Fabares
Hey Man, Nice Shot – Short Bus
Learn to Fly – There Is Nothing Left to Lose
Bad Day – The Best of Fuel
You Dropped a Bomb on Me – 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Gap Band
Bad Religion – Good Times, Bad Times – Ten Years of Godsmack
Brain Stew – Insomniac

Again, no idea..is it because it was featured in Godzilla? A movie made only 4 years earlier about a giant lizard destroying NYC? Or the visceral images implied by the term ‘Brain Stew’?

Spirit in the Sky – Spirit in the Sky – Single
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses: Greatest Hits
See You In September – Platinum & Gold The ’60s
Hey Joe – Experience Hendrix – The Best of Jimi Hendrix

This song, about a jilted lover, makes the no-song list?

(What A) Wonderful World – Herman’s Hermits Retrospective (Remastered)
He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother – The Hollies’ Greatest Hits
Dead Man’s Curve – Surfs Up
Only the Good Die Young – The Stranger
Bennie and the Jets – Rocket Man – Number Ones
Daniel – Rocket Man – Number Ones
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long Long Time) – Rocket Man – Number Ones
Some Heads Are Gonna Roll – Defenders of the Faith
Dust In the Wind – The Best of Kansas
I Feel the Earth Move – Tapestry (Legacy Edition)
Falling Away from Me – Issues
Fly Away – Greatest Hits
Stairway to Heaven – Mothership (Remastered)
Imagine – Imagine (Remastered)

A song about hope and peace, vetoed immediately after 9/11? Seems like a very odd choice.

Great Balls of Fire – 50s Greatest Rock N Roll
Break Stuff – Greatest Hits
Bound for the Floor – As Good as Dead
Black Is Black – Los Bravos
Tuesday’s Gone – Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
The Worst That Could Happen (Re-Recorded) – One Hit Wonders (Re-Recorded Versions)
Dancing in the Street – 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: Motown 1960s, Vol. 1
Nowhere to Run – The Ultimate Collection: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band – The Best of What’s Around, Vol.1
Live and Let Die – Wings Greatest
Eve of Destruction – 60’s Gold
American Pie – American Pie

This one confuses me, anyone care to explain it?

Dread & the Fugitive Mind – Greatest Hits: Back To the Start (Remastered)
Sweating Bullets – Countdown to Extinction (Remastered)
Crumblin’ Down – Words & Music – John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits
Paper In Fire – Words & Music – John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Fade to Black – Ride the Lightning
Harvester of Sorrow – …And Justice for All
Seek & Destroy – Kill ‘Em All
Jet Airliner – Greatest Hits 1974-78
Ironic – Jagged Little Pill
Death Blooms – L.D. 50
Travelin’ Man – 100 Hits From 1961
99 Luftballons – 30 Stars of the 80’s

This one isn’t even (originally) in English, very odd.

Head Like a Hole (Remastered) – Pretty Hate Machine (Remastered)
Dead Man’s Party – Dead Man’s Party
Suicide Solution – Blizzard of Ozz
The Night Chicago Died (Rerecorded) – One Hit Wonders – 18 Pop Classics from the Stars That Time Forgot (Rerecorded Version)
St. Elmos Fire (Man In Motion) – St. Elmo’s Fire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I Go To Pieces – The Ultimate Peter and Gordon
A World Without Love – The Ultimate Peter and Gordon
Blowin’ In the Wind – The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary
Leaving On a Jet Plane – The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary
Free Fallin’ – Full Moon Fever
Mother – The Wall (Remastered)
Run Like Hell – The Wall (Remastered)
Boom – Greatest Hits – The Atlantic Years
(You’re The) Devil In Disguise – The Essential Elvis Presley (Remastered)
My City Was Gone – Learning to Crawl (Expanded & Remastered)
Another One Bites the Dust – The Game
Killer Queen – Sheer Heart Attack

Maybe because of the title? Not too sure.

Aeroplane – One Hot Minute (Bonus Track Version)
Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers: Greatest Hits
It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – Document
Ruby Tuesday – GRRR! (Deluxe Version)
Devil With the Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly – The Best of Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
Click Click Boom – Every Six Seconds
Evil Ways – Ultimate Santana
Crash and Burn – Truly Madly Completely – The Best of Savage Garden
Bridge Over Troubled Water – The Best of Simon & Garfunkel
New York, New York – The Best Of Traditional Pop
Left Behind – Iowa
Wait and Bleed – Slipknot
Bullet With Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins: Greatest Hits
Black Hole Sun – Superunknown
Blow Up the Outside World – Down On the Upside
Fell On Black Days – Superunknown
I’m Goin’ Down – Born In the U.S.A.
I’m On Fire – Born In the U.S.A.
War (Live) – Live/1975-85
War – The Very Best of Edwin Starr
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – 60’s Gold
Morning Has Broken – The Very Best of Cat Stevens
Peace Train – The Very Best of Cat Stevens

This one I have the biggest objection with, a song about peace, something we all needed after the hysteria and fear of that awful day. Bad choice to veto this one.

Big Bang Baby – Thank You
Dead & Bloated – Core
Fly – The Best of Sugar Ray
Wipe Out – Wipe Out
Chop Suey! – Toxicity
Burning Down the House – The Best of Talking Heads (Remastered)
Fire and Rain – James Taylor: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Say Hello 2 Heaven – Temple of the Dog
Jumper – Third Eye Blind: A Collection (Remastered)
When Will I See You Again – Collections: The Three Degrees
Disco Inferno – Disco Inferno
Sunday Bloody Sunday – War (Remastered)

This song is a protest song about a completely unrelated event, plus 9/11 occurred on a Tuesday, not too sure why this one would be banned.

Jump – The Very Best of Van Halen (Remastered)
Dancing In the Street – The Very Best of Van Halen (Remastered)
Last Kiss – Last Kiss-the Definitive Collection
Get Together – The Best of the Youngbloods
In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus) – Nipper’s Greatest Hits 60’s, Vol. 2
She’s Not There – The Original Studio Recordings, Vol. 1

What do you think of this list? What about my selection of songs that I was curious about? Comment below!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: