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Here Are The 164 Songs That Were Banned From American Radio After 9/11

We look at the songs deemed too “lyrically questionable” to play on the radio right after the 9/11 attacks.

For many Americans, the September 11 attacks are the most important cultural turning point in history. The tragedy — in which radical Islamic terrorist group al-Quaeda flew passenger planes into both of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon — was the deadliest terrorist attack in world history, and sparked both rampant patriotism throughout the U.S. and jingoistic anti-Muslim sentiment across much of the world. It also had a dramatic effect on the arts, inspiring many musicians and artists to confront darker themes that fans were suddenly dealing with, whether they liked it or not.

Right after the attacks, though, many media companies began censoring art deemed insensitive or anti-American, for fear of offending or upsetting the traumatized nation. One such entity was media corporation Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), who, three days after the attack, sent a memo to its 1,100+ radio stations with a list of songs that they deemed “lyrically questionable” and insensitive to play following the 9/11 attacks.

The reasons for Clear Channel putting some of these songs on their memorandum are pretty obvious — the entire Rage Against The Machine catalog, for example, was most likely banned because their music was overly critical of America. However, some of the motives behind certain songs’ inclusion now seem ridiculous. The Bangles’ Walk Like An Egyptian, for example, was added for having references to the Middle East. It should be noted, too, that some DJs chose to play these songs, but that they were adamantly urged not to do so.

Here are all of the songs Clear Channel wanted skipped over, as provided by the AV Club.

  1. 3 Doors Down - Duck and Run
  2. 311 - Down
  3. AC/DC - Shot Down in Flames
  4. AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill
  5. AC/DC - Dirty Deeds
  6. AC/DC - Highway to Hell
  7. AC/DC - Safe in New York City
  8. AC/DCTNT
  9. AC/DC - Hell’s Bells
  10. Ad Libs - The Boy from New York City
  11. Alanis Morissette - Ironic
  12. Alice in Chains - Rooster
  13. Alice in Chains - Sea of Sorrow
  14. Alice in Chains - Down in a Hole
  15. Alice in Chains - Them Bones
  16. Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal
  17. Animals - We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  18. Arthur Brown - Fire
  19. Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
  20. Barenaked Ladies - Falling for the First Time
  21. Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
  22. Beastie Boys - Sure Shot
  23. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
  24. The Beatles - A Day in the Life
  25. The Beatles - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  26. The Beatles - Ticket To Ride
  27. The Beatles - Obla Di, Obla Da
  28. Billy Joel - Only the Good Die Young
  29. Black Sabbath - War Pigs
  30. Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  31. Blood Sweat and Tears - And When I Die
  32. Blue Oyster Cult - Burnin’ For You
  33. Bob Dylan/Guns N Roses - Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
  34. Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife
  35. Boston - Smokin’
  36. Brooklyn Bridge - Worst That Could Happen
  37. Bruce Springsteen - I’m On Fire
  38. Bruce Springsteen - Goin’ Down
  39. Bruce Springstein - War
  40. Buddy Holly and the Crickets - That’ll Be the Day
  41. Bush - Speed Kills
  42. Carole King - I Feel the Earth Move
  43. Cat Stevens - Peace Train
  44. Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken
  45. Chi-Lites - Have You Seen Her
  46. The Clash - Rock the Casbah
  47. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin’ Band
  48. The Cult - Fire Woman
  49. Dave Clark Five - Bits and Pieces
  50. Dave Matthews Band - Crash Into Me
  51. Dio - Holy Diver
  52. Don McLean - American Pie
  53. The Doors - The End
  54. Drifters - On Broadway
  55. Drowning Pool - Bodies
  56. Edwin Starr - War
  57. Elton John - Benny & The Jets
  58. Elton John - Daniel
  59. Elton John - Rocket Man
  60. Elvis - (You’re the) Devil in Disguise
  61. Everclear - Santa Monica
  62. Filter - Hey Man, Nice Shot
  63. Fontella Bass - Rescue Me
  64. Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly
  65. Frank Sinatra - New York, New York
  66. Fuel - Bad Day
  67. The Gap Band - You Dropped a Bomb On Me
  68. Godsmack - Bad Religion
  69. Green Day - Brain Stew
  70. Happenings - See You in September
  71. Herman’s Hermits - Wonderful World
  72. Hollies - He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
  73. J. Frank Wilson - Last Kiss
  74. Jackson Brown - Doctor My Eyes
  75. James Taylor - Fire and Rain
  76. Jan and Dean - Dead Man’s Curve
  77. Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire
  78. Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe
  79. John Lennon - Imagine
  80. John Mellencamp - Crumbling Down
  81. John Mellencamp - I’m On Fire
  82. John Parr - St. Elmo’s Fire
  83. Judas Priest - Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  84. Kansas - Dust in the Wind
  85. Korn - Falling Away From Me
  86. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
  87. Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away
  88. Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff
  89. Local H - Bound for the Floor
  90. Los Bravos - Black is Black
  91. Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
  92. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Tuesday’s Gone
  93. Martha & the Vandellas - Nowhere to Run
  94. Martha & the Vandellas - Dancing in the Streets
  95. Megadeth - Dread and the Fugitive
  96. Megadeth - Sweating Bullets
  97. Metallica - Seek and Destroy
  98. Metallica - Harvester or Sorrow
  99. Metallica - Enter Sandman
  100. Metallica - Fade to Black
  101. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Devil with the Blue Dress
  102. Mudvayne - Death Blooms
  103. Neil Diamond - America
  104. Nina - 99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons
  105. Nine Inch Nails - Head Like a Hole
  106. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky
  107. Oingo Boingo - Dead Man’s Party
  108. Ozzy Osbourne - Suicide Solution
  109. Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died
  110. Pat Benatar - Hit Me with Your Best Shot
  111. Pat Benatar - Love is a Battlefield
  112. Paul McCartney and Wings - Live and Let Die
  113. Peter Gabriel - When You’re Falling
  114. Peter and Gordon - I Go To Pieces
  115. Peter and Gordon - A World Without Love
  116. Peter Paul and Mary - Blowin’ in the Wind
  117. Peter Paul and Mary - Leavin’ on a Jet Plane
  118. Petula Clark - A Sign of the Times
  119. Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight
  120. Pink Floyd - Run Like Hell
  121. Pink Floyd - Mother
  122. P.O.D.- Boom
  123. Pretenders - My City Was Gone
  124. Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  125. Queen - Killer Queen
  126. All Rage Against The Machine songs
  127. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Aeroplane
  128. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge
  129. REM - It’s the End of the World as We Know It
  130. Rickey Nelson - Travelin’ Man
  131. Rolling Stones - Ruby Tuesday
  132. Saliva - Click Click Boom
  133. Sam Cooke - Wonderful World
  134. Santana - Evil Ways
  135. Savage Garden - Crash and Burn
  136. Shelly Fabares - Johnny Angel
  137. Simon And Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
  138. Skeeter Davis - End of the World
  139. Slipknot - Left Behind
  140. Slipknot - Wait and Bleed
  141. Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
  142. Soundgarden - Blow Up the Outside World
  143. Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days
  144. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
  145. Steam - Na Na Na Na Hey Hey
  146. Steve Miller - Jet Airliner
  147. Stone Temple Pilots - Big Bang Baby
  148. Stone Temple Pilots - Dead and Bloated
  149. Sugar Ray - Fly
  150. Surfaris - Wipeou
  151. System of a Down - Chop Suey!
  152. Talking Heads - Burning Down the House
  153. Temple of the Dog - Say Hello to Heaven
  154. Third Eye Blind - Jumper
  155. Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again
  156. Tom Petty - Free Fallin’
  157. Tool - Intolerance
  158. Tramps - Disco Inferno
  159. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
  160. Van Halen - Dancing In The Street
  161. Van Halen - Jump
  162. Yager and Evans - In the Year 2525
  163. Youngbloods - Get Together
  164. Zombies - She’s Not There



Everyone at Kerrang! sends their heart out to all those who suffered, or whose loved ones suffered, from the September 11 attacks.

Posted on September 11th 2019, 5:00pm
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