Author(s): Martin Cloonan
This book reveals the previously hidden history of the censorship of popular music in Britain, bringing together a wealth of material for the first time, it also includes a great deal of original material. The censorship of popular music is detailed from the point of production in record companies, through retail outlets, attempts to prosecute records (and covers) in radio and television bans and in banned concerts and raves. Numerous cases are presented and debated. The book also includes a section on organised censors such as moralist pressure groups and religious sects and the more intermittent censors – the press and MPs. A number of common themes – including the desire to protect children, the use of aesthetic critiques, the importance of locality to censorship and the idea of the business manipulating its audience – recur throughout the book and are brought together in the conclusion. The book will be of interest to those who seek to understand the nature of British society and those concerned with censorship in all its myriad forms.
Part 1: Contextualisation:
A concise history of British censorship
Censorship: some characteristics of the debate.
Part 2: Industry and Law:
“Not here you don’t” – censorship by record companies
“I’m sorry Sir, we don’t stock that” – retail policy towards popular music
“I fought the law” – pop into Court.
Part 3: Broadcasting
Introductory note: British broadcasting and the law
“What’s that sound?” – control and censorship of British pop radio
Ob-Seen? Pop and television.
Part 4 Live Music:
“Keep yer ya yas in” – censorship of live music
Festivals and raves: community sensorship?
Part 5: Censorial Campaigners:
Keeping up the pressure
Religious censors – combatting the Devil’s music?
Pressed into censorship?
Rockin’ the house? The role of MPs in censoring rock.