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September 7, 2011

B-sides

No-Play List
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was attacked. All normal sense of everyday life and logical thought was overtaken by fear, and that was true at the corporate level as well as on the streets of Manhattan. The country’s largest radio chain, Clear Channel, soon issued a list of songs that were not — legally speaking — “banned”; they were merely suggestions for local programmers to consider avoiding. Explanations were not provided.

Either way, the list itself suggested censorship of the weirdest kind. While all Rage Against the Machine songs were forbidden, the band Bad Religion was left alone but Godsmack’s song “Bad Religion” made the cut.

Any songs about “falling” in love were in trouble.

Some selections only make sense in that they exist on the border of racism and xenophobia (The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”). Some refer to New York in some irrelevant way (The Drifters’ “On Broadway”), Chicago (“The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace) or Los Angeles (Everclear’s “Santa Monica”).

Some excerpts from a very long list:

Louis Armstrong — “What a Wonderful World”
Barenaked Ladies — “Falling for the First Time”
The Beatles — “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”
Pat Benatar — “Love Is a Battlefield”
Brooklyn Bridge — “Worst That Could Happen”
Neil Diamond — “America”
Dio — “Holy Diver”
Shelly Fabares — “Johnny Angel”
Filter — “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
Foo Fighters — “Learn to Fly”
Fuel — “Bad Day”
The Gap Band — “You Dropped a Bomb On Me”
Norman Greenbaum — “Spirit in the Sky”
The Happenings — “See You in September”
Carole King — “I Feel the Earth Move”
Korn — “Falling Away from Me”
Limp Bizkit — “Break Stuff”
Lynyrd Skynyrd — “Tuesday’s Gone”
Dave Matthews Band — “Crash Into Me”
Alanis Morrissette — “Ironic”
Red Hot Chili Peppers — “Under the Bridge”
Rolling Stones — “Ruby Tuesday”
Steam — “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey”
The Surfaris — “Wipeout”
U2 — “Sunday Bloody Sunday”