I think the BBC has a stick stuck cross-wise up their ass, and has had one there for quite some time.
FIVE SONGS THE BBC REFUSED TO PLAY AS WRITTEN/RECORDED (and the reasons) — 1955 - 1970
1. Beep-Beep — The Playmates
- Censored due to the BBC’s very strict rules about mentioning products by name. In their eyes, it came off as free advertising, and that was a strict no-no. The lyrics say “While riding in my Cadillac/What to my surprise/A little Nash Rambler was following me/About one third my size.” That was enough to get the song axed from the airwaves.
2. Maybelline — Chuck Berry
- Though you might think this was due to Maybelline being the name of a cosmetics company and that it was banned based on the BBC’s strict rules about free advertising (see #1 above), even the BBC found it obvious that Berry was singing about a girl and not lipstick or eyeliner. What the BBC did care about was that Maybelline wasn’t “true,” and since Maybelline obviously slept around, the BBC labelled the song “immoral” and refused to play it.
3. The Monster Mash — Bobby 'Boris' Pickett
- This Halloween classic was banned by the BBC because it was “too morbid.” Censorship at its most ridiculous.
4. Let's Spend The Night Together — The Rolling Stones
- Actually, this was pretty predictable given the title, and the BBC banned it on the grounds that it “promoted promiscuity.” Incidentally, this song also got the Rolling Stones in hot water in the US with Ed Sullivan, who made Jagger change the lyrics to “let’s spend some time together” when he sang it on The Ed Sullivan Show.
5. Lola — The Kinks
- This is one of the most famous examples of a BBC-banned song of all time, probably because it wasn’t banned for the reasons you’d expect. This song wasn’t banned for describing an encounter in a club with a transvestite who “walked like a woman and talked like a man,” or because the singer says “I’m glad I’m a man/And so is Lola.” Instead, it was banned under the free advertising clause mentioned in #1 above, because of the line about how the champagne “tastes just like Coca-Cola.”
(to get the song back in airplay, Ray Davies and the band re-recorded a version in which they changed the line to “tastes just like cherry cola.”)
For the record, this was obviously the biggest taboo on the BBC ... mentioning something by name. Other performers that ran afoul of this ridiculous line of reasoning include Paul Simon (obviously I'm referring to “Kodachrome”, as well as “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard”, for the reference to the cover of Newsweek)
, Jimmy Buffett (“Come Monday”, in which he sings about how 'I got my Hush Puppies on')
, and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (“Cover of the Rolling Stone” and its mention of the rock-and-roll trade newspaper)
... and they weren't the only ones; just some of the more iconic artists.
Although maybe there is such a thing as going TOO far the other way. If I never hear another mention of Cardi B's “W.A.P.” again, it still won't make up for the fact that it was ever written and recorded in the first place.
Yes, I suppose I could agree with you ... but then we'd both be wrong, wouldn't we?