Rock and roll has never had the friendliest relationship with straight media. While this kind of music was fun back then, it was also meant to be music to piss off your parents more than once, worried mothers keeping a close eye on whatever their kids brought home. and put. the turntable. However, anything was acceptable in rock, but some of the higher-ups had something to say about the decency of some of the genre’s greatest songs.
As rock and roll was known to be dangerous, some of the suits felt it was indecent to put these songs on the radio, choosing to ban them altogether or censor them for ridiculous reasons. This genre has always been known to be a bit dirty, so putting together more censored versions of some of these songs completely undermines the point. If some of them had listened to the lyrics, a lot of these songs aren’t even that dirty to begin with, if something rallies against all forms of violence and speaks of a world where everyone could live in peace.
Then again, it gets a little harder to defend some of them, some of which get a little too risque to be on regular albums. The world is a much different place than it was when Chuck Berry started all of this, and the costumes should have realized by now that censoring songs like this often works like the best publicity you could ask for.
For most of their career, the Rolling Stones were never considered the healthiest rock band for anyone. The Beatles may have kicked off everything the British Invasion had to offer, but the idea of one of those teenage girls bringing home someone like Keith Richards would have been a nightmare waiting to happen. So when they started advocating violence, you better believe the higher ups had something to say about it.
Then again, Street Fighting Man isn’t really supposed to be about the chaos in the streets, with Mick Jagger talking about the madness happening outside and choosing to sing for a rock and roll band instead. The Stones have always had this kind of menace in their sound from day one, but the reason they were banned for this song had more to do with the context of its release than the song itself.
Around the time the Stones hosted Beggars Banquet, the United States had already seen its fair share of protests, which had mostly turned violent. Just as the song was about to be released, cities like Detroit had banned its broadcast, thinking it would spark a riot the second it hit the streets. The Stones were going to get their message across one way or another, and Detroit already had the likes of MC5 and the Stooges who were more than willing to spread the gospel of rock and roll.