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12 Songs That Were Yanked From the Radio

Lorde

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In this era where seemingly anything goes when it comes to popular entertainment, it’s hard to believe that people get upset lyrics in a song. But music in particular has an ability to really infuriate people, which leads to hit songs getting pulled from the radio stations. To get you ready for the premiere of Eric Jonrosh’s banned masterpiece The Spoils Before Dying, check out a dozen tracks that got pulled from the airwaves for a variety of reasons.

12. “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town

Country radio is notorious for being conservative, but a song like “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town is certainly not worthy of all the hubbub it generated. The track, about a woman jealous of her ex- boyfriend’s new flame, was yanked from stations across the country because people interpreted the lyrics as advancing the “gay agenda.”


11. “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People

It has to be hard to be a band in this situation –- Foster the People had a huge hit in 2011 with “Pumped Up Kicks,” a breezy summer jam about a troubled teen shooting up a school. But after the shocking attack at Sandy Hook Elementary, it didn’t seem wise to be bopping your heads along to lyrics like “you better run, better run, faster than my bullet” and many stations stopped playing it.


10. “Walk Like An Egyptian,” The Bangles

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, radio juggernaut Clear Channel published a massive list of songs that were “questionable” that it recommended DJs not play. Some of them made sense, but some, like the Bangles’ late-’80s hit “Walk Like An Egyptian,” were pretty perplexing. Some stations did go along with the list and blocked many of the songs from airplay for a time.


9. “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!,” Jerry Samuels

This absurd 1966 novelty record by Jerry Samuels (sung from the perspective of a mental institution inmate) hit #3 on the pop charts the year it was released and then dropped like a stone because DJs around the world feared (with good reason) that people would be offended. Interestingly enough, teenage fans of the track actually picketed radio stations in protest.


8. “With You,” Chris Brown

Sometimes it’s not a specific song that gets pulled from the radio but an artist’s entire body of work. In 2009, with domestic abuse allegations swirling around Chris Brown, Cleveland, Ohio station WAKS yanked all recordings by the artist from the airwaves, including his recent hit “With You.” It’s not certain exactly when they lifted the ban –- maybe after Brown finished his community service?


7. “Relax,” Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Liverpool New Wave band Frankie Goes To Hollywood got some BBC airplay behind their breakthrough single until a DJ noticed that the lyrics were almost entirely about gay sex. The Beeb pulled the track from airplay, but the damage was done and it shot to #1 on the charts without their support.


6. “If U Seek Amy,” Britney Spears

Before she pulled it together, Britney Spears’ post-Kevin Federline career was a sad and sordid plea for attention, and in 2009 she made a stab at radio controversy with the generic dance-pop tune “If U Seek Amy.” Sing the chorus fast enough and it sounds racy, of course, and the Parents Television Council raised a fuss and threatened stations who played it until Britney recorded a “clean” version.


5. “Money For Nothing,” Dire Straits

The Dire Straits hit probably most famous for its low-tech computer graphics video was pulled from the Canadian airwaves in 2011. This shouldn’t be surprising to anybody who’s actually listened to the lyrics, which contain an entire verse that could be construed as homophobic. Some Canadian stations protested the ban by playing the song on loop for an hour, which sounds like a fate worse than death.


4. “Travelin’ Soldier,” The Dixie Chicks

In 2003 the Dixie Chicks had the number one album on the charts, as well as the top single with “Travelin’ Soldier,” but stations around the country yanked them from the playlists after band member Natalie Maines had harsh words for George Bush and the war in Iraq.


3. “Come Again,” Au Pairs

Here’s another track that was yanked off the air by the BBC for sexual reasons. Post-punk pioneers the Au Pairs covered a number of edgy topics in their music, but “Come Again” -– about “orgasmic equality’ -– is a remarkably cold-hearted examination of the beast with two backs.


2. “Die Young,” Ke$ha

After the Newtown school shooting that we talked about earlier, another track that radio DJs shied away from playing was her recently-released single “Die Young.” The song’s title and lyrics just didn’t seem appropriate.


1. “Royals,” Lorde

Most of the reasons radio stations have given for pulling songs have been understandable, but let’s close this one out with a totally ludicrous case of sports-related censorship. In 2014, San Francisco radio station KFOG pulled Lorde’s “Royals” from the rotation because the New Zealand singer admitted to being inspired by a picture of Kansas City DH George Brett. The Royals were up against the Giants in the World Series, and San Francisco ended up taking it 4-3.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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