It’s the End of the World as Clear Channel Knows It

On Thursday of last week Clear Channel Communications, a company that owns and programs air time at over 1,000 U.S. radio stations, sent e-mail to its program directors at stations across the country with an updated and expanded list of songs with “questionable lyrics” that they should avoid playing. Some of the 162 songs–more if you include the blanket directive against “All Rage Against the Machine Songs”–are understandable, such as Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy” or Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution.”


But many of the songs on the list are ridiculous in their tenuous connection to anything even remotely offensive to survivors of the Sept. 11 attack. The Bangles’ utterly harmless piece of fluff “Walk Like an Egyptian”? Or what about Elvis’ “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise,” Pat Benetar’s “Love Is a Battlefield,” and Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife”?


Large stretches of the list reveal a grisly perspective on the part of the authors: Boston’s “Smokin,” Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ for You,” Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” Judas Priest’s “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,” and the Dave Clark Five’s “Bits and Pieces.” Several pro-peace songs made it onto the list: Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken” and “Peace Train,” presumably because Stevens is now Muslim and goes by the name Yusuf Islam. The oddest inclusion has to be John Lennon’s explicitly pacifist anthem “Imagine,” unless Clear Channel is pushing a pro-war agenda.


Jack Evans, a regional senior VP of programming at Clear Channel insisted this list was not an effort initiated by management: “After and during what was happening in New York and Washington and outside of Pittsburgh, some of our program directors began e-mailing each other about songs and questionable song titles,” though the finished list was distributed to the program directors by Clear Channel management.

Evans concedes that some of the songs are off base: “I think there were certainly songs on the list that people were reading too much into” (the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” perchance?) though he supports the list in general. “There were a substantial amount of songs in question that I’m glad the [program directors] brought up so we didn’t air them at a very, very sad time.” You can judge for yourself. Here’s the list, with original spellings intact.


Clear Channel is now denying the existence of the list. Click hereto find out more.

Drowning Pool                                     Bodies 

Mudvayne                                            Death Blooms

Megadeth                                             Dread and the Fugitive

                                                            Sweating Bullets

Saliva                                                   Click Click Boom

P.O.D.                                                 Boom

Metallica                                              Seek and Destroy

                                                            Harvestor of Sorrow

                                                            Enter Sandman

                                                            Fade to Black

All Rage Against Machine Songs                                  

Nine Inch Nails                                     Head Like a Hole

Godsmack                                            Bad Religion

Tool                                                     Intolerance

Sound Garden                                      Blow Up the Outside


AC/DC                                                Shot Down in Flames

                                                            Shoot to Thrill

                                                            Dirty Deeds

                                                            Highway to Hell

                                                            Safe in New York City


                                                            Hells Bells

Sabbath                                                War Pigs

                                                            Sabbath Bloody


                                                            Suicide Solution

Dio                                                       Holy Diver

Steve Miller                                          Jet Airliner

Van Halen                                            Jump

Queen                                                  Another One Bites the 


                                                            Killer Queen                

Pat Benatar                                          Hit Me With Your Best 


                                                            Love is a


Oingo Boingo                                       Dead Man’s


REM                                                    It’s The End of the

                                                            World As We Know 


Talking Heads                                      Burning Down the


Judas Priest                                          Some Heads Are Gonna 


Pink Floyd                                            Run Like Hell   


Savage Garden                                     Crash and


Dave Mathews                                     Crash Into Me   

Bangles                                                Walk Like Egyptian

Pretenders                                            My City Was


Alanis Morissette                                  Ironic              

Barenaked Ladies                                 Falling for the First 


Fuel                                                      Bad Day                      

John Par                                               St. Elmo’s Fire             

Peter Gabriel                                        When You’re


Kansas                                                 Dust in the


Led Zeplin                                            Stairway to


The Beatles                                          A Day in the


                                                            Lucy in the Sky With


                                                            Ticket To Ride             

                                                            Obla Di, Obla 


Bob Dillon/Guns and Roses                  Knockin on Heaven’s


Arthur Brown                                       Fire                 

Blue Oyster Cult                                   Burnin’ For


Paul McCartney and Wings                  Live and Let


Jimmy Hendrix                                     Hey Joe                       

Jackson Brown                                    Doctor My


John Melloncamp                                 Crumblin Down

                                                            I’m On Fire                  

U2                                                       Sunday Bloody Sunday

Boston                                                 Smokin

Billy Joel                                               Only the Good Die


Barry Mc Guire                                    Eve of Destruction

Steam                                                   Na Na Na Na Hey Hey

Drifters                                                 On Broadway

Shelly Fabres                                        Johnny Angel

Los Bravos                                           Black is Black

Peter and Gordon                                 I Go To Pieces

                                                            A World Without Love

Elvis                                                     (You’re the) Devil in


Zombies                                               She’s Not There

Elton John                                            Bennie & The Jets


                                                            Rocket Man

Jerry Lee Lewis                                    Great Balls of Fire

Santana                                                Evil Ways

Youngbloods                                        Get Together

Ad Libs                                                The Boy From New

                                                            York City

Peter Paul and Mary                             Blowin’ In The Wind

                                                            Leavin On A Jet Plane

Rolling Stones                                       Ruby Tuesday


Simon And Garfunkel                           Bridge Over Troubled


Happenings                                          See You In September

Carole King                                          I Feel The Earth Move

Yager and Evans                                  In The Year 2525

Norman Greenbaum                             Spirit In The Sky

Brooklyn Bridge                                   Worst That Could 


Three Degrees                                      When Will I See You 


Cat Stevens                                          Peace Train

                                                            Morning Has Broken

Jan and Dean                                        Dead Man’s Curve

Martha and The Vandellas                    Nowhere to Run

Martha and The Vandellas/Van Halen   Dancing in the Streets

Hollies                                                  He Ain’t Heavy He’s

                                                            My Brother

San Cooke, Hermans Hermits               Wonder World

Petula Clark                                         A Sign of the Times

Don McLean                                        American Pie

J. Frank Wilson                                    Last Kiss

Buddy Holly and the Crickets               That’ll Be the Day

John Lennon                                         Imagine

Bobby Darin                                         Mack The Knife

The Clash                                             Rock the Casbah

Surfari’s                                                Wipeout

Blood Sweat and Tears                        And When I Die

Dave Clark Five                                   Bits and Pieces

Tramps                                                 Disco Inferno

Paper Lace                                           The Night Chicago Died

Frank Sinatra                                        New York, New York

Creedence Clearwater Revival              Travelin’ Band

The Gap Band                                      You Dropped the Bomb

                                                             On Me

Alien Ant Farm                                     Smooth Criminal

3 Doors Down                                      Duck & Run

The Doors                                            The End

Third Eye Blind                                     Jumper

Neil Diamond                                       America

Lenny Kravitz                                       Fly Away

Tom Petty                                            Free Fallin

Bruce Springsteen                                 I’m On Fire

                                                            Goin Down

Phil Collins                                           In the Air Tonight

Alice In Chains                                     Rooster

                                                            Sea of Sorrow

                                                            Down in a Hole

                                                            Them Bones

Beastie Boys                                        Sure Shot


Cult                                                      Fire Woman

Everclear                                              Santa Monica

Filter                                                    Hey Man, Nice Shot

Foo Fighters                                         Learn to Fly

KORN                                                 Falling Away from Me

Red Hot Chili Peppers                          Aeroplane

                                                            Under the Bridge

Saliva                                                   Click Click Boom

Smashing Pumpkins                              Bullet with Butterfly


System of a Down                                Chop Suey

Skeeter Davis                                       End of the World

Rickey Nelson                                      Travelin’ Man

Chi-Lites                                              Have You Seen Her

Animals                                                We Gotta Get Out of

                                                            This Place

Fontella Bass                                        Rescue Me

Mitch Ryder and Detroit Wheels           Devil with the Blue 


James Taylor                                        Fire and Rain

Edwin Starr/Bruce Springsteen              War

Lynyrd Skynyrd                                    Tuesday’s Gone

Limp Bizkit                                           Break Stuff

Green Day                                            Brain Stew

Temple of the Dog                                Say Hello to Heaven

Sugar Ray                                            Fly

                                                            When It’s Over

Local H                                                Bound for the Floor

Slip Knot                                              Left Behind, Wait and


Bush                                                     Speed Kills

311                                                      Down

STP                                                     Big Bang Baby

                                                            Dead and Bloated

Sound Garden                                      Fell on Black Days

                                                            Black Hole Sun

Nina                                                     99 Luft Ballons/99 Red 


Bad Company                                      No Smoke Without a