There is life after MTV death for music videos, and it’s on cassette. More than a dozen controversial clips have been released unexpurgated in long-form video compilations and are widely available in video stores. Viewers have a chance to decide in private whether the banished work was daringly artistic or just trashy, or possibly both. These are some of the most notable:
Things That Go Pump in the Night
MTV smacked black bars over the big make-out scenes in ”Love in an Elevator,” but here a bit of bare breast can be seen pressing against guitarist Joe Perry. The cassette also contains some revolting brain splatter in ”Janie’s Got a Gun” — the only brains in evidence.
R.E.M.’s singer and resident artiste, Michael Stipe, wanted his ”Pop Song 89” to be a statement on sexism. So he decided to have both male and female dancers go shirtless, daring the viewer to see them as objects. MTV put bars over both the women’s and the men’s chests, all seen barless on this tape.
Lifestyles of the Ramones
One of the first videos to be banned by MTV was 1983’s ”Psycho Therapy,” included in this compilation. Set in an insane asylum, the clip shows a simulated lobotomy, complete with a grotesque creature spewing from the patient’s head, and is not for the faint of heart.
Come Out and Play
There’s gore galore, as well as poor spelling, in this tape’s ”Be Chrool To Your Scuel.” MTV thumbed it down because of its gushing, Dawn of the Dead-style flesh-eating, but aside from a few shots, it’s no bloodier than Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller.”
MTV wanted Michael’s sex, but not this much of it. The channel cut a few tongue clinches and fleshy undulations from ”I Want Your Sex,” included here, and persuaded Michael to offer a mealymouthed intro about how all this pertained only to monogamy.
Oh Say Can You Scream
One of the most gruesome clips ever to become an MTV hit is Skid Row’s ”18 & Life,” centered on an abused teen who gets drunk and shoots his best friend in the head. The video version includes still more gunplay, a look at the friend’s falling body after he’s been shot, and a painting of blood pouring from a smiley face.
The Rolling Stones
A snip of the infamous, repressed Stones feature movie, C—sucker Blues, finally turns up in this compilation. Included is some mock cunnilingus from the airplane orgy scene, which the band now claims was staged for the camera.