Buh-Bye, Tipper Gore: A PMRC Mixtape


By now, we’re sure you’ve heard today’s juiciest morsel of gossip: Al and Tipper Gore are splitting up after a whopping 40 years of marriage. Of course, this is shocking, and on a personal level, we’re sad for the couple and their children. But it also kind of makes sense to us. Let’s admit something to ourselves: for a few years now, Al has been a little too cool for Tipper. He “invented the Internet,” launched youth-oriented Current TV, and made us all care about global warming. Meanwhile, Tipper remains best known for co-founding the Parents Music Research Council, an organization that has spent the past 25 years trying to censor your music. With that in mind, we’ve made a mixtape featuring ten of Tipper’s least favorite bands. In our fantasy, Al will blast these songs in a (hybrid) convertible while cruising for a new mate.

1. Prince — “Darling Nikki” As the story goes, the PMRC was born when Tipper caught her daughter listening to this dirty track. ytaudio(536dvGMmThw)

2. Madonna — “Dress You Up” We know, we know: Of all the Madonna songs, this is the one that makes the PRMC’s Filthy Fifteen? ytaudio(8VDRiByuV4A)

3. Van Halen — “Hot for Teacher” You’d think the PMRC ladies would be in favor of anything that had kids pay attention in school, but no. They presented the song’s video at a Senate hearing in 1985 as a particularly outrageous example of MTV filth. ytaudio(g0XLKcMoXRE)

4. Twisted Sister — “We’re Not Gonna Take It” Apparently, Tipper and her friends were particularly outraged by Twisted Sister’s combination of cross-dressing a teenage rebellion. This one made both the Filthy Fifteen and the Senate hearing — where Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider testified against PMRC. ytaudio(WT1LXhgXPWs)

5. Frank Zappa — “Porn Wars” Zappa also testified against PMRC, but then he did Snider one better by producing the track “Porn Wars,” which included audio clips from the hearings. The lengthy track appeared on an album called Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention, whose cover was a parody of PMRC’s explicit lyrics warning sticker. ytaudio(Dz8P0M_VoaY)

6. Danzig — “Mother” Zappa wasn’t the only artist to use his music to hit back at Tipper and co. This 1988 track criticizing PRMC cracked the top 40. ytaudio(2jEV459TFVE)

7. Ice-T — “Freedom of Speech” Listen, we don’t condone the misogyny. (Those lines about “ain’t gettin’ no dick” have to sting today.) But who can deny the power of the rest of what’s going on in these lyrics from favorite PMRC target Ice-T’s 1989 song? ytaudio(nEFHC2KQRmE)

8. Dead Kennedys — “MTV — Get Off the Air” It wasn’t the music on Dead Kennedys’ 1995 album Frankenchrist that PMRC opposed. It was a poster folded into the record created by H.R. Giger (you know, that pornographer) that included real, live naughty bits. ytaudio(F7X3PzAPL5A)

9. Sheena Easton — “Sugar Walls” The female orgasm: not popular with the PMRC. This racy track also turned up on the Filthy Fifteen. ytaudio(qVXdjF_5n6Q)

10. John Denver — “Rocky Mountain High” Surprising, right? But Denver testified against PMRC alongside Snider and Zappa, claiming that censors often misinterpreted even the most innocent songs. “Rocky Mountain High”: not about smoking pot. Got it? ytaudio(udQ4i2NbxLY)