Moral panic and political censorship have created a long tradition of records filtered out of the BBC radio playlist. Here’s some notable examples…
The Police – Invisible Sun (1981)
The song was banned by the BBC in 1981 because of its overtly political, Northern Ireland-inspired lyrics, which refer to the “barrel of an Armalite” and “keeping out of trouble like the soldiers say”.
And it continues: “And they’re only going to change this place by killing everybody in the human race.”
Pink Floyd – It Would Be So Nice (1968)
The lyrics included a passing reference to London’s Evening Standard newspaper, and that was a no-no.
The BBC’s strict no-advertising policy did not allow the mention of any product by name. In the end, the Floyd spent additional time and money to record a special version for the BBC, changing the lyric to “Daily Standard”.
Scott Walker – Jackie (1967)
The single met with controversy in the UK likely because of lyrics like “authentic queers and phony virgins” and drug references. The song was banned by the BBC and was not performed on the corporation’s TV or played on the mainstream radio channels.