On a recent visit to the Newseum I had the pleasure of viewing “LOUDER THAN WORDS: ROCK, POWER AND POLITICS”. Within the displays of the exhibit, I came across a playlist that forever changed the music industry for better or worse. In 1985, the Parents Music Resource Center created a list of fifteen offensive songs marked by sexual, violent, or drug related themes. Eventually this lead to the creation of the “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” stickers placed on tapes and CDs. Today a similar Parental Advisory logo can be seen on the digital distribution of music. Both online and brick and mortar retails offer “clean” editions (censored versions) sold next to the explicit originals. The following songs are from the PMRC’s most dangerous song list, ‘The Filthy Fifteen’… parental discretion is advised.
What are your thoughts on censoring music for younger listeners? How did you react when music was restricted to you? Send us your stories at email@example.com with the subject line My Censorship Story.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Create Change or its affiliates.