Pop Culture | Music | 80s

In 1985, Parents Tried To Get The Government To Ban These 15 Songs

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Founded in 1985 by Tipper Gore, wife of America's future Vice President, The Parents Music Resource Center, or "PMRC," was a lobbyist group dedicated to censoring and banning what they considered to be "offensive" music. This movement picked up enough speed that there was a congressional hearing on the possibility of banning these 15 songs.


This ultimately lead to the infamous "Parental Advisory" labels being added to CD covers by the Record Industry Association of America. When we go back and look at these songs now, it's almost hilarious how tame they are in comparison to some of what's come since.

Prince - "Darling Nikki" (suggestive themes)

This seems like a bit of a weird pick given you could basically pick just about any Prince song for suggestive themes, but this was the song that led Tipper Gore to found the PMRC in the first place.

Sheena Easton - "Sugar Walls" (suggestive themes)

Written by Prince (no big surprise there), this ode to the female side of getting it on was never subtle about its themes. Easton herself was candid at the time, saying "Go watch the news and watch violence if you don't like this."

Judas Priest - "Eat Me Alive" (suggestive themes)

Singer Rob Halford described the song as a "fun S&M, rock, sex song. But the PMRC twisted it into some kind of snuff song, which is ridiculous." It's pretty tame by today's standards.

Vanity - "Strap On Robbie Baby" (suggestive themes)

Released the same year the singer would pose nude for Playboy, Vanity was never shy about her themes in either her personal life or her music.

Mötley Crüe - "Bastard" (violence)

The PMRC's efforts to censor the song ended up being a huge boon for the band. As singer Vince Neil described, "Once you put that sticker on, that parental-warning sticker, that album took off. Those kids wanted it even more."

AC/DC - "Let Me Put My Love Into You" (suggestive themes)

Having already become rock gods at the time, AC/DC were candid about their thoughts on the controversy, with singer Brian Johnson saying in their Behind The Music documentary "[With the PMRC,] you got idiots like Tipper Gore, who really is a twit."

Click to the next page for even more songs that were almost banned in 1985!

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