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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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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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