These Artists Were Banned From American Radio After 9/11
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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/DC — TNT 
  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. Jimi Hendrix — Hey Joe 
  66. Frank Sinatra — New York, New York 
  67. Fuel — Bad Day 
  68. The Gap Band — You Dropped a Bomb On Me 
  69. Godsmack — Bad Religion 
  70. Green Day — Brain Stew 
  71. Happenings — See You in September 
  72. Herman’s Hermits — Wonderful World 
  73. Hollies — He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother 
  74. J. Frank Wilson — Last Kiss 
  75. Jackson Brown — Doctor My Eyes 
  76. James Taylor — Fire and Rain 
  77. Jan and Dean — Dead Man’s Curve 
  78. Jerry Lee Lewis — Great Balls of Fire 
  79. Jimi Hendrix — Hey Joe 
  80. John Lennon — Imagine 
  81. John Mellencamp — Crumbling Down 
  82. John Mellencamp — I’m On Fire 
  83. John Parr — St. Elmo’s Fire 
  84. Judas Priest — Some Heads Are Gonna Roll 
  85. Kansas — Dust in the Wind 
  86. Korn — Falling Away From Me 
  87. Led Zeppelin — Stairway to Heaven 
  88. Lenny Kravitz — Fly Away 
  89. Limp Bizkit — Break Stuff 
  90. Local H — Bound for the Floor 
  91. Los Bravos — Black is Black 
  92. Louis Armstrong — What A Wonderful World 
  93. Lynyrd Skynyrd — Tuesday’s Gone 
  94. Martha & the Vandellas — Nowhere to Run 
  95. Martha & the Vandellas — Dancing in the Streets 
  96. Megadeth — Dread and the Fugitive 
  97. Megadeth — Sweating Bullets 
  98. Metallica — Seek and Destroy 
  99. Metallica — Harvester or Sorrow 
  100. Metallica — Enter Sandman 
  101. Metallica — Fade to Black 
  102. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels — Devil with the Blue Dress 
  103. Mudvayne — Death Blooms 
  104. Neil Diamond — America 
  105. Nina — 99 Luft Balloons/99 Red Balloons 
  106. Nine Inch Nails — Head Like a Hole 
  107. Norman Greenbaum — Spirit in the Sky 
  108. Oingo Boingo — Dead Man’s Party 
  109. Ozzy Osbourne — Suicide Solution 
  110. Paper Lace — The Night Chicago Died 
  111. Pat Benatar — Hit Me with Your Best Shot 
  112. Pat Benatar — Love is a Battlefield 
  113. Paul McCartney and Wings — Live and Let Die 
  114. Peter Gabriel — When You’re Falling 
  115. Peter and Gordon — I Go To Pieces 
  116. Peter and Gordon — A World Without Love 
  117. Peter Paul and Mary — Blowin’ in the Wind 
  118. Peter Paul and Mary — Leavin’ on a Jet Plane 
  119. Petula Clark — A Sign of the Times 
  120. Phil Collins — In the Air Tonight 
  121. Pink Floyd — Run Like Hell 
  122. Pink Floyd — Mother 
  123. P.O.D.- Boom
  124. Pretenders — My City Was Gone 
  125. Queen — Another One Bites the Dust 
  126. Queen — Killer Queen 
  127. All Rage Against The Machine songs 
  128. Red Hot Chili Peppers — Aeroplane 
  129. Red Hot Chili Peppers — Under the Bridge 
  130. REM — It’s the End of the World as We Know It 
  131. Rickey Nelson — Travelin’ Man 
  132. Rolling Stones — Ruby Tuesday 
  133. Saliva — Click Click Boom 
  134. Sam Cooke — Wonderful World 
  135. Santana — Evil Ways 
  136. Savage Garden — Crash and Burn 
  137. Shelly Fabares — Johnny Angel 
  138. Simon And Garfunkel — Bridge Over Troubled Water 
  139. Skeeter Davis — End of the World 
  140. Slipknot — Left Behind 
  141. Slipknot — Wait and Bleed 
  142. Smashing Pumpkins — Bullet With Butterfly Wings 
  143. Soundgarden — Blow Up the Outside World 
  144. Soundgarden — Fell on Black Days 
  145. Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun 
  146. Steam — Na Na Na Na Hey Hey 
  147. Steve Miller — Jet Airliner 
  148. Stone Temple Pilots — Big Bang Baby 
  149. Stone Temple Pilots — Dead and Bloated 
  150. Sugar Ray — Fly 
  151. Surfaris — Wipeou 
  152. System of a Down — Chop Suey! 
  153. Talking Heads — Burning Down the House 
  154. Temple of the Dog — Say Hello to Heaven 
  155. Third Eye Blind — Jumper 
  156. Three Degrees — When Will I See You Again 
  157. Tom Petty — Free Fallin’ 
  158. Tool — Intolerance 
  159. Tramps — Disco Inferno 
  160. U2 — Sunday Bloody Sunday 
  161. Van Halen — Dancing In The Street 
  162. Van Halen — Jump 
  163. Yager and Evans — In the Year 2525 
  164. Youngbloods — Get Together 
  165. 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, 5:00p.m.
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