Saturday, 19 September 2020

steering committee

With the expressed aim of empowering parental control over children’s and adolescences’ access to music and restrict exposure to material deemed violent or sexual, founding member of the “Washington Wives” Tipper Gore, spouse of Al Gore, formed the Parents’ Music Resource Center early in 1985. Encouraging the record industry to adopt a voluntary censorship regime with a rating system akin to that of the Motion Picture Association, Gore and other concerned citizens convinced the US Senate to hold a hearing on so-called “porn rock,” having identified a catalogue of their Filthy Fifteen, a selection of popular songs from that era—suitable as a playlist (see below), they felt proved the need for regulation.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) agreed on 19 September of the same year during compelling testimony by expert witnesses to place a label on their products (though more than a decade in the making) warning of explicit content not age-appropriate for young people. Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker, testified that while there are many causes for the ills of society, it is “our contention that the pervasive messages aimed at children which promote and glorify suicide, rape, sadomasochism and so on have to be numbered among the contributing factors.” The Filthy Fifteen are:

She Bop by Cyndi Lauper—for its message of masturbation 

Possessed by Venom—for the Occult overtones 

In My House by Mary Jane Girls—Sex 

Trashed by Black Sabbath—glamourizing Drugs and Alcohol 

Mercyful Fate’s Into the Coven—Occult 

High ‘n’ Dry by Def Leppard—Drugs and Alcohol 

Animal by W.A.S.P.—Sex, Language and Violence 

Dress You Up by Madonna—Sex 

We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister—Violence 

Let Me Put My Love Into You by AC/DC—Sex 

Bastard by Mรถtley Crรผe—for Language and Violence 

Vanity’s Strap On Robbie Baby—Sex 

Eat Me Alive by Judas Priest—for Violence and Sex 

Sugar Walls by Sheena Easton—Sex 

Darling Nikki by Prince—Masturbation and Sex