11 bands banned from Russian radio for completely crazy reasons

by Mark Teo

June 4, 2014






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You don’t need us to tell you that Russia’s a weird place. This, after all, is a place that dings the foul-mouthed with a $1,400 fine for swearing. It tried to ban “emo and goth music.” But recently, a list surfaced detailing the taboo bands on Russian radio—and the names are weirder than you’d think. Really.


Reason for the ban: Neofascism, violence

AC/DC’s been accused of being violent before—“Night Prowler,” after all, was cited by serial killer Richard Ramirez as an influence. But neo-fascism? Unless “Back in Black” was referencing the blackshirts—a.k.a. Benito Mussolini’s armed thugs—we’re not seeing this one.

Black Sabbath

Reason for the ban: Violence, “religious obskurantism”

We don’t get this at all. While Black Sabbath was heavily associated with Satanism and the occult, songs like “After Forever” featured these lyrics: “Could it be you're afraid of what your friends might say, if they knew you believe in God above? They should realise before they criticise, that God is the only way to love.” While Soviet Russia wasn’t fully a Christian nation, those are basically P.O.D. lyrics.

Julio Iglesias

Reason for the ban: Neofascism

Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias is a clear neo-fascist. After all, with hate-filled lyrics like “I only want to live if you are there to give your love to me,” it’s clear that Iglesias draws influence from Mussolini and Hitler.


Reason for the ban: Nationalism, violence

Titles like “World Without Heroes” sound like they could be flag-wavin’ Blake Shelton bangers, but in reality, the most nationalistic song they have is “Rockin’ in the U.S.A,” which, at its best, is vaguely support-the-troops in rhetoric.


Reason for the ban: Violence, religious mysticism, sadism

These Scottish hard rockers built a career off hard-driving tracks like “Hair of the Dog,” but despite their affiliation with metal (and a few menacing album covers), they were hardly associated with any religion. As for sadism, the band did write “Love Hurts”—but if the Russians are calling love sadistic, we’re going ahead and calling them emo.

Pink Floyd

Reason for the ban: Interfering with foreign policy of the U.S.S.R. (Afghanistan)

Is this a reference to “Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert?” It clearly is.

Judas Priest

Reason for the ban: Anti-communism, racism

This one’s a puzzler. We couldn’t find any Judas Priest songs that suggested the band’s racist—in fact, Rob Halford has called Arizona’s immigration laws racist. We don’t think he meant it as a compliment.

The Ramones

Reason for the ban: Punk, violence

Along with the B-52s and Madness, the Ramones were banned for being punk (as, arguably, Pussy Riot would be). There’s no denying that.

Donna Summer

Reason for the ban: Eroticism

OK, we’ll give it to you, Russians: The Giorgio Moroder-produced “Love to Love You Baby” is pretty damn sexy. Like, not “Pony” sexy. But pretty damn sexy.

Talking Heads

Reason for the ban: Myth of Soviet military danger

Which David Byrne songs perpetuated the “myth of Soviet military danger”? No one knows.

Village People

Reason for the ban: Violence

It’s curious that an artist named Kenet Hit (???) was banned for homosexuality, but the Village People were banned for… violence. We think the Russians completely misunderstood the intent of “Macho Man.”

Tags: Music, Lists, WTF, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Donna Summer, Judas Priest, Julio Iglesias, KISS, Nazareth, Pink Floyd, talking heads, The Ramones






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