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(oh) Pretty Woman
This was the first video Van Halen made. It was very costume intensive, with David Lee Roth dressed as Napoleon, Eddie Van Halen as a cowboy, Alex Van Halen as Tarzan, and Michael Anthony a Samurai Warrior. It also featured midgets fondling the legs of a drag queen, which got it banned by MTV for a while.
Van Halen - Van Halen
Baby got Back
The outrageous video was briefly banned by MTV. This added to the song's popularity, as Mix-a-Lot played up the controversy. Years later, many rap videos featured dancers with big, healthy butts. The dancers in modern hip-hop videos usually have bigger rumps than those in "Baby Got Back," since in 1992, it was a lot harder to find models with a juicy bubble.
Return of the Bumpasaurus - Sir Mix a Lot
Be Chrool To Your Scuel
This song's video featuring zombies created by special effects wizard Tom Savini was banned from MTV for excessive violence and gore and resulted in a major financial loss for both Twisted Sister and Atlantic records.
Best of Twisted Sister - Twisted Sister
This song is blatantly about sex, featuring lots of groaning by Freddie Mercury and a video that was so racy that MTV wouldn't play it. The song was quite a departure for Queen, as it contained very little guitar and a Disco feel. Queen was always experimenting with different sounds, but this was a pretty drastic departure even by their standards.
Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - Queen
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover
The original music video created for the song was also controversial: MTV banned it due to its erotic content, forcing a new, more mainstream video to be made. A portion of this original video is featured in the documentary The Cream Will Rise.
The Best of Sophie B. Hawkins - Sophie B. Hawkins
He liked to feel it
This song, destined to be the band's next big hit in America, had a video that never aired in the United States. It is about a boy desperately trying to pull his tooth out just so "he could feel it." The violent scenes in the video prompted VH1 and MTV to ban it from airplay. Random TV stations in Canada, however, agreed to show it, continuing the band's fame in their home country, but they are still labeled as one hit wonders in the US
The Best of Crash Test Dummies - Crash Test Dummies
Jesus Christ Pose
This got little commercial radio play because of its references to Jesus and no MTV play because of its controversial image of a girl on a cross.
Telephantasm: [2 CD/1 DVD] - Soundgarden
The video was directed by Michael Palmieri and features David Cross as a DJ at a radio station in New York City. There was a lot of sexual content in the video, and when MTV balked at playing it, Palmieri changed the entire course of the video to make it less sexual. After the video was released, Palmieri complained about MTV's censorship and took his name off the video that would be shown on television.
World's Greatest Tribute to the Strokes - Various Artists
Justify my love
The video contained partial nudity. MTV banned it, but eventually agreed to play it late at night. With the controversy brewing over the video, ABC aired it on Nightline, with anchor Forrest Sawyer asking Madonna questions about the video as it ran. It was unusual for an entertainment story to be the focus of Nightline, but this raised censorship issues. It also didn't hurt that Madonna was a huge star and was sure to draw lots of viewers. While the video played, Madonna talked about how women in her videos are always in control sexually.
GHV2 (Greatest Hits Volume 2) - Madonna
What it feel like for a girl
The video shows Madonna going on a crime spree, ending with a car crash meant to symbolize a suicide. Madonna claimed the character she played had been abused, and it was an anti-violence message, even though it portrayed graphic violence.
The claymation music video was banned by MTV because it depicted, among other things, a boy sniffing gasoline and glue.
Pop Song '89
The video was directed by lead singer Michael Stipe. It features him and three women all dancing topless as a way to satirize videos that objectify women. When MTV asked for a censored version, Stipe superimposed black bars over the chests of all four dancers. He said, "A nipple is a nipple."
In Time: The Best of REM 1988 - 2003 - R.E.M.
Three videos were made. The first, which MTV refused to play, was filled with extravagant homo-erotic images. MTV aired the third video, which showed the band performing at a show.
Bang!...The Greatest Hits of Frankie Goes to Hollywood... - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
The video was pulled from MTV after failing the Harding Test, (guidelines to help prevent seizures in TV viewers). The clip featured dizzying special effects such as strobing, criss-crossing and interweaving black and white patterns. An apparently unconcerned Danger Mouse told Billboard magazine. "I think [the video] is cool. It works for me. But I'm not necessarily that easily seasick." The band later toned down the video enabling MTV to screen the clip.
Smack my B!tch up
The music video for this song is very intense and was banned by MTV. It's shot in a first person point of view style, where we see a person snort cocaine, go to a club and and cause all manner of hell and unrest. At the end of the video we see the person in the mirror, and it's a girl. Noisemaker-in-chief Liam Howlett told Q magazine June 2009: "The Americans picked up on it and wanted to make out it was a song about violence. We thought we'd have a laugh with it and set out to make an extreme video. That's the one time we thought we'd be controversial."
The Prodigy Experience/Special - The Prodigy
This note's for you
MTV originally refused to run the video because it mentioned products by name. This created some controversy, prompting MTV to put it in rotation. It won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year in 1989.
Neil Young - Neil Young