30 Years Ago: Mötley Crüe Duke It Out With MTV After This Video Is Banned For Being A Little Too…Real

30 Years Ago: Mötley Crüe Duke It Out With MTV After This Video Is Banned For Being A Little Too…Real | Society Of Rock Videos

MotleyCrueVEVO / YouTube

Crüe Get Controversial With 1987 Video For “You’re All I Need”

While these days I wish MTV were a little more…discerning in the content they air, if only to allow for the return of music videos (it is ‘Music Television,’ after all), there was once a time when the network heavily censored their content, going so far as to move certain music videos to a later rotation to avoid the risk of young eyes seeing something they shouldn’t and in the case of Mötley Crüe, actually banning videos for being a little too heavy.

In 1987, Mötley Crüe proved to be just a little too dangerous for MTV when the first cut for their video “You’re All I Need” was banned, the domestic violence and subsequent murder of a woman at the hands of her boyfriend before he’s carted away by police – while being an all too real subject for all too many people – too violent to air at any point in the day. Directed by Wayne Isham, “You’re All I Need” was shot entirely in black and white and after facing backlash for crafting a music video around a subject matter that’s sadly all too commonplace, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx felt compelled to issue a statement in response to what was very clearly a misunderstanding as to what Mötley Crüe was trying to accomplish.

MTV And Censorship: Music Videos That Were Banned By MTV

Mötley Crüe are in good company; theirs wasn’t the first music video to be banned by MTV, and something tells us it won’t be the last. Here’s a look at some other music videos that were banned by MTV:

  • Megadeth’s “A Tout Le Monde”– despite Dave Mustaine’s protest that the song was not about suicide, the music video was banned nevertheless due to “objectionable lyrics”.
  • Sepultura’s “Arise” – ‘apocalyptic religious imagery, including crucified figures wearing gas masks.’
  • Twisted Sister’s “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” – showing ‘zombies in a school engaging in suggestive acts.’
  • Queen’s “Body Language” – ‘homoerotic content’.
  • Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “Hurricane” – containing ‘sexually explicit scenes and violent imagery’.
  • Megadeth’s “In My Darkest Hour” – ‘alleged suicide references.’
  • Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose” – ‘depicting a blindfolded girl and a mechanical skeleton on a cross, followed by several crosses that flashed repeatedly from upright to inverted positions.’
  • Madonna’s “Justify My Love” – containing ‘explicit imagery of sadomasochism, voyeurism, and bisexuality.’
  • Madonna’s “What It Feels Like for a Girl” — violent content ‘throughout’.

“There’s a positive and negative side to everything,” Sixx noted in a statement. “That includes the music and videos of Mötley Crüe. But some people seem to focus only on the negative.

‘You’re All I Need’ doesn’t condone or exploit this tragedy. It clearly shows how one life is destroyed and another ruined forever. And it’s probably a lot less graphic than much of what we see on the 6 o’clock news every night.”

Despite the controversy that swirled around it, “You’re All I Need” gave Mötley Crüe a crossover hit but ultimately not the boost they were looking for, coming in hot at the #83 slot on the Billboard Hot 100. All’s well that end’s well, though; Crüe’s moment came two years later with Dr. Feelgood, “Without You” soaring to the #8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and best of all, you get to see the video for “You’re All I Need” in its entirety just below. Enjoy!

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.