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S e c t i o n T w o
Incidents of music censorship in the wake of September 11
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The events of September 11
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put the American music industry in a difficult posi-
tion almost immediately. In the wake of such a numbing incident, many artists
and music companies felt the need to display some sensitivity in the form of
restraint: Dave Matthews nixed plans to release "When the World Ends " as his
next single, Bush changed the title of their new single from "Speed Kills" to "The
People That We Love ," the Cranberries pulled their video for "Analyse" because
of its repeated images of skyscrapers and airplanes, Dream Theater changed the
artwork from their three-disc live album to remove its renditions of burning New
York buildings, and Sheryl Crow rewrote several lyrics for her upcoming album.
While many of these gestures were simple exercises in latent taste in the wake
of the September 11
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attacks, others were not. For example, The Strokes removed
the song "New York City Cops " from the U.S. Version of their album Is This It. The
lyrics and theme of "New York City Cops" deal with a relationship, but it does
contain some lyrics, such as "New York City cops they ain't too smart," that
could cause potential consternation in a post-September 11
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America.
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The official Web site for the group Rage Against the Machine a high profile
virtual soapbox and town square for an assortment of progressive social and
political discussion shut down its discussion boards shortly after the attacks fol-
lowing queries to the band and site's management by federal officials. The offi-
cials stated that they had received several complaints about "subversive" com-
ments contained on the site's message boards. The company hosting the site
pulled down the discussion boards fearing it would be too closely associated with
the "anti-American rhetoric."
Further, the hip-hop group The Coup was forced by their record label, 75 Ark,
to change the artwork for their album Party Music . The original cover featured the
group standing in front of an exploding World Trade Center.
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While admittedly
eerie in the wake of the attacks, the artwork (originally created by the label eigh-
teen months earlier) bore no direct connection to the attacks. The cover had not