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19 April 2014
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Naughty lyrics, defamatory themes and raunchy videos have all sent Auntie's knickers in a spin. Here are a few songs that received a good rapping across their cheeky knuckles.


no 1'Relax' - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Frankie Goes To HollywoodFrankie said 'Relax' but Auntie Beeb balked at the suggestive lyrics and Radio 1 refused to wear the wet t-shirt. "Relax don't do it, When you want to go to it, Relax don't do it, When you want to come" was too much for Mike Read, who primly objected to the "overtly obscene lyrical content" and both song and video, with its camp, fetishistic imagery were banned by the networks. But the forbidden fruits had pricked the public's consciousness; 'Relax' with its hi NRG 'V' sign flicking cheekily at '80s chart pop, screeched in at No.1, selling the best part of 2 million copies and remained in the Top 40 for most of 1984.

Keith Flintno 2'Smack My Bitch Up' - The Prodigy

The Prodigy's relationship with the BBC had never been a rosy one. In 1996 the 'Firestarter' video had been banned following complaints about arson fixation and TOTP viewers remonstrated that Keith Flint's spiky punk theatrics had scared their children. Along came 'Smack My Bitch Up' with its sonic thunderstorm of electro-thrash coupled with the loop "Change my pitch up, Smack my bitch up", and the BBC winced once more. This track was a very hot potato that had been accused of condoning wife-beating but the corporation was also keen to dust off it's fuddy-duddy image - "We just don't ban records any more". The record was subsequently never fully vetoed but simply reduced to limited airplay.

no 3Serge Gainsbourg'Je T'Aime ... Moi Non Plus' - Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
Laying claim as the first ever No.1 to be banned, 'Je T'Aime's' licentious lyrics were deemed far too inflammatory for a nation at the end of a decade of swinging. It was 1969, Woodstock had happened, astronauts roared skywards and fashion dictated hemlines even higher, but the Gallic goblin croaking "I come between your kidneys ... I keep myself. No! Hand-holding comes" was just a bit too fruity. Although originally penned for Gainsbourg's previous lover, Brigitte Bardot, his new upper-crust amour Jane Birkin writhed as the chanteuse, breathing Chelsea tones into the steamy French verse. Gainsbourg earned himself the nickname 'Surge Forward' and continued with his unabashed goatish behaviour until his death in 1991. Birkin is still applauded for her provocative performance; "I was recently told by a taxi driver ... that he'd had three children to that record".

Sex Pistolsno 4'God Save The Queen' - The Sex Pistols
"God save the Queen, The fascist regime, They made you a moron, A potential H-bomb" bellowed Malcolm McLaren's punk proteges while a country waved flags with febrile patriotism for the Queen's Jubilee. The band had recently been dropped by EMI but swiftly snapped up by Virgin who, alongside McLaren, set out to promote the new single. A river boat aptly named the Queen Elizabeth was hired out and steamed up and down the Thames trumpeting their anti-establishment anthems. But a Sex Pistols party was never going to be a quiet one and a booze and drug-fuelled fight broke out. The offending passengers were promptly despatched by a police boat and arrested. Perfect publicity for the angels of anarchy. Despite a nationwide ban on the band considered dangerous to the fabric of society, 'God Save The Queen' marched into the charts at No.2 dubiously beaten by Rod Stewart at No.1. Conjecture remains as to whether this was a fix. All the boys had to do now was survive a clobbering from angry royalists.

no 5Smiley Face'We Call It Acieeed' - D Mob
It was 1988, the Summer of Love. Everyone wore dungarees, Kickers and bandanas. Clubs such as Shoom and Spectrum were awash with tie-dye. A big smiley face shone down on all of us dancing like loons, running on the spot, arms waving at imaginary air-traffic. But this was the advent of something big, something new. Dance music was sweeping up youth and feeding it ecstasy. Tabloid hysteria followed. The Sun's medical correspondent Vernon Coleman warned potential drug-takers, "You will hallucinate ... if you don't like spiders, you'll start seeing giant ones". Scarey stuff. Sir Ralph Halpern banned smiley t-shirts from Top Shop and TOTP went 'mental, mental', reluctantly playing the video once but not permitting a live performance. D Mob's risible dance-floor mash-up 'We Call It Acieeed' may have been removed from our screens but it did jack into the charts at No.3.

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  Status Quo  
  We take a trip down memory lane with the mighty Quo...  
  Pop Activists  
  Top pop people who fight for the rights...  
  Singing Drummers  
  Drummers who got sick of looking at the lead singer's wiggling bum.  
  Rolling Stones  
  Headline-grabbing moments from Britain's lippiest band.  
  David Bowie  
  Follow Dave's top 5 looks through the years - including the mullet action!  
  Hot Chocolate  
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  "Secret" Drug Songs  
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  Alas, some pop icons just wouldn't let that decade go.  


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