Rock and roll has never had the most cordial relationship with the straight media. As much as this kind of music may have been fun back in the day, it was also meant to be music to piss your parents off more than a few times, with concerned mothers keeping a close eye on whatever their kids brought home and put on the turntable. Anything was fair game in rock though, but some of the higher ups had something to say about the decency of some of the greatest songs in the genre.
Since rock and roll was known to be dangerous, some of the suits felt that these songs were indecent to put on the radio, choosing to ban them entirely or to censor them for ridiculous reasons. This genre was always known to be a little bit on the dirty side though, so putting together more censored versions of some of these songs completely undermines the point. If some of them had taken a listen to the lyrics, a lot of these songs aren’t even that dirty to begin with, if anything rallying against any form of violence and talking about a world where everyone might be able to live in peace.
Then again, it gets a bit harder to defend some of these, some of which get to be a little too risque to feature on regular albums. The world is a much different place than it was when Chuck Berry started this whole thing, and the suits should have realized by now that censoring songs like this often works as the greatest advertisement you could ask for.
10. Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
Throughout most of their career, the Rolling Stones were never considered the most wholesome rock outfit for anyone to get into. The Beatles may have kickstarted everything the British Invasion had to offer, but the thought of any of those teenage girls bringing home someone like Keith Richards to their house would have been a nightmare waiting to happen. So when they actually started advocating violence, you better believe that the higher ups had something to say about it.
Then again, Street Fighting Man is not really supposed to be about chaos in the streets, with Mick Jagger talking about the madness going on outside and choosing to sing for a rock and roll band instead. The Stones always had that kind of menace in their sound from day one, but the reason they got banned for this song had to do more with the context of its release than the song itself.
Around the time that the Stones were making Beggars Banquet, the States had already gone through their fair share of protests, which more often than not turned violent. Just when the song was about to be released, cities like Detroit had forbidden it from being played, thinking that it would spark a riot the second that it was blasted in the streets. The Stones were going to get their point across one way or the other though, and Detroit already had the likes of the MC5 and the Stooges who were more than willing to spread the gospel of rock and roll.