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Albums banned in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s? September 30, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I was recently involved in an event where someone suggested that the Sex Pistols “Never Mind the Bollocks” was banned in Ireland in the 1970s. Can anyone say if that was accurate, and if so for how long? I seem to recall buying it early in the 1980s. I also wonder were there other albums banned in Ireland in the 1960s on through until…when?

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1. irishelectionliterature - September 30, 2017

Was there a Wolfetones album banned?

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Ramzi Nohra - September 30, 2017

I’m pretty sure a Christy Moore album was banned.

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Joe - October 1, 2017

Was the Christy Moore thing about his Stardust song? It wasn’t banned but injuncted by the owners of the Stardust cos they said it libelled them or somesuch?

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WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2017

I am not sure if I’m misremembering but I think you are right Joe.

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Miguel62 - October 1, 2017

Yep, Joe is spot on. They Never Came Home, great protest song with Christy’s trademark fiery anger at the oppressor mixed with his empathy for the oppressed. The offending line was “and all because the fire exits were chained.” Deemed to be defamatory of the owners. Copies of the Ordinary Man album were pulled and the song was replaced with the fairly forgettable “another Song is Born.” I bought two copies of the original LP when the court case was underway and put one in the attic for posterity where it remains to this day. The internet was unknown then and I never could have imagined it’d be freely available on youtube etc etc.

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2. benmadigan - September 30, 2017

Silencing music that does not support the government ethos and progeamme has a long tradition of being banned in ireland north and south.
Lots of irish music like Mise Eire for example, and not just the film, was banned in NI and as far as I know traditional irish songs like kevin barry were banned on RTE https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/mise-eire/

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3. CL - September 30, 2017

The Dubliners ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ was banned on RTE.
http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/seven-drunken-nights-dubliners

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4. Gerryboy - September 30, 2017

In 1967 the Rolling Stones released ‘Let’s spend the night together’ on the A side with ‘Ruby Tuesday’ on the B side. It was played on Radio Eireann and Telefis Eireann, but the Ed Sullivan Show in America insisted that the lyrics be changed to ‘Let’s spend some time together’. There were other difficulties on the show which resulted in a walkout by the group. On a China tour around 2006, the song was forbidden in concert repertoire because the authorities considered that the lyrics were making an immoral suggestion to the youth.
In the early 60s an English pop song called ‘Tell Laura I love her’ caused controversy in the UK and Ireland because it was sung by a young lad speeding who crashed his car and, as he was dying in the wreck, he sent a message to the girlfriend that he loved her. Letter writers in the newspapers thought it was unsuitable material for impressionable teenagers. I don’t know what Safe Driving campaigners thought of the number.
The IRA border campaign lasted from 1957 to 1962 and during that time several named patriotic Irish nationalist songs were banned from the airwaves by ministerial direction. In the 1970s Conor Cruise O’Brien directed that The Men behind the Wire and other hits be not played.

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WorldbyStorm - September 30, 2017

Ironically after Bloody Sunday the version of the Men Behind the Wire by the Barleycorn was at Number 1 for was it six weeks…

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5. roddy - September 30, 2017

The men behind the wire sold tens of thousands that would never have featured in “the hit parade”.Every household I know had a copy including SDLP types and most copys would have been sold by various republican support groups.

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6. roddy - September 30, 2017

Mise eire had to be smuggled over the border to be shown in my local GAA club and advertised by word of mouth lest the RUC launch a raid to seize it.

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7. sonofstan - September 30, 2017

I’ve heard all this before: such and such a record was ‘banned’ in Ireland/ in the UK/ Wherever. AFAIK though there isn’t, and never was, a body in either country that could comprehensively ban a record from sale the way the censorship of publications act or the film censor could deal with other media. What people generally mean is that the record was banned from public radio; doesn’t mean you couldn’t buy it.
Regarding the Pistols record – I bought it in the Sound Cellar on the week of release; a UK pressing though, but I’m pretty sure there were later versions pressed in Ireland. It was available in most record shops and I think one brave Golden Disc even did a window (could be false memory – but weirdly, for a chain, GD shops were quite different from each other; the one in Liffey St -or Mary St.? – was a treasure trove of deep catalogue)

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WorldbyStorm - September 30, 2017

Golden Discs were interesting and quite a good selection for a supposedly mainstream chain.

That was what I thought re banning SoS.

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8. Jonathan - October 1, 2017

Not on the subject of banning, but I remember going to Dublin when I was a lad in the 90s and being amazed by the few shops selling bootleg recordings of live gigs (weren’t they always with yellow, orange or pink paper with b&w photocopied covers?). I still have one of a concert I went to (a Neil Young show in the RDS). It wasn’t hidden or anything – it was a whole counter of the things on open display! When did the ‘I fought the law and the law won’ moment happen for these rebellious shops?

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WorldbyStorm - October 1, 2017

Haha, yeah, great question. I never bought one, basically because I’ve always hated live albums, but that’s very true. I remember them too. And am I wrong in thinking loads of them had coloured vinyl?

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