Top 10 Most Controversial Videos Ever

What videos offend the masses and assault your senses? Find out here, but be warned - this list is NSFW.

Ultimate Guitar

Warning: this list is NSFW and contains violent imagery, graphic nudity and more that may cause offence.

On Wednesday we asked UG readers to nominate and vote for the most controversial music videos ever.

The results are in, and we'd love to say the results are great, but our stomachs haven't settled yet. These videos are an assault on the senses, and you'd have to be brave to sit through them all.

There were some music videos, that were not quite controversial. For example, we should note that music videos for Pink Floyd's classic "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II" and "Sleep Now in the Fire" by Rage Against the Machine are not controversial, but the songs at the same time had caused a lot of heart attacks in censorship committees.

There's nothing else to say except this: you have been warned.

10. Dir En Grey "Obscure"

Apologies to anyone who is about to settle down for dinner we're having to kick off with a rather grizzly video from the far East. It's all just horror movie effects, so the only really disturbing thing is the director's mind.

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09. Soundgarden "Jesus Christ Pose"

MTV banned this video in 1991 because they didn't like the image of a woman being crucified, but the length of the song also put the channel off airing it.

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08. Nine Inch Nails "Closer"

A heavily edited version of the video appeared on TV, but that simply whet the appetite for fans to dig out the original (and this is before the days of YouTube). The worst image is probably that of a monkey being tied to a crucifix - not because of the religious imagery, but because the poor fella looks genuinely uncomfortable.

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07. Cattle Decapitation "Forced Gender Reassignment"

This video is so famously gory that even YouTube won't host it. You can watch it here on Vimeo, but be warned: the internet is full of quotes from people who are mentally scarred after daring themselves to sit through it.

06. Madonna "Like A Prayer"

If you think Madonna isn't rocking enough to appear on a UG list, you probably don't realize how ballsy she used to be. This video was designed from the start to cause controversy with the burning crosses and black Jesus - and Madonna loved every minute of stirring up the conservative Christian masses.

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05. Pearl Jam "Jeremy"

The true story about a student who shot himself in front of his classmates was retold in this Pearl Jam song, but the image of a boy putting a gun in his mouth proved too much for TV bosses who wanted it cut. That's the only version available now.

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04. Nirvana "Heart-Shaped Box"

Once again, a crucifix causes widespread offence - this time set against a backdrop and color palette inspired by the "Wizard of Oz" movie - but a little girl dressed in Ku Klux Klan uniform jumping at baby foetuses growing in a tree were pretty tough on the eye too.

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03. David Bowie & Mick Jagger "Dancing In The Street"

Now for a completely different kind of controversy. Bowie and Jagger's version of the classes Martha And The Vandellas' original was shocking just because it's so bad, on so many levels. The song was mostly recorded in just four hours, so it's pretty much a demo, at which point they just out to shoot an almost entirely improvised video. Their egos told them it was all great, and the people around them were obviously too scared to tell them otherwise.

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02. Rammstein "Pussy"

We've posted the censored version of this because the original features graphic sex. You can probably guess why the video is controversial.

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01. The Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up"

Four minutes of sheer hedonism from a first-person perspective. What is there that this video doesn't include? It's full of drug user, aggression, and nudity - but none of that was as offensive as the song name, which the BBC refused to name in its official chart rundown because of its connotations with domestic violence.

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That's the end of our top 10 most controversial videos. How would you tweak the list? Did UG voters miss out on a better entry? Share your alternatives and reactions in the comments.

Oops. We've just forgotten to add one video.

It's not controversial at all, but it reached the upvotes peak, so we just could not ignore it.

Please, welcome, "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley!

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156 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Finally a 10 top for Rammstein to join!
    Mein Teil was in the most creepy videos.
    Mein Herz Brennt was more scary. There's nothing creepy in Mein Teil video.
    Its amazing how a top 10 list managed to get rick-rolled... And we aaaaall let it happen
    In response to #3 on this list, to quote Peter Griffin, "that happened, and we all let it happen..."
    Can next week's question be "Top 10 Most Controversially Misleading UG Titles"?????
    headlines like this... (i'm predicting they do this one day) HEADLINE - DAVE GROHL SAYS NIVANA ARE SHIT "CLICK" Foo fighters front man says nirvana were the shit.
    Cattle Decapitation's video was just a full 5 minute mind ****.
    I found that clip to be just an exercise in excess. Not really that creative just gory as all hell. I was fairly bored watching it I must say
    Super Cracker
    Getting ass raped by a broadhead arrow on a cordless drill isn't creative enough? I enjoyed it, although to be honest the first time I watched it I did think it was going to be worse.
    I can't view it on my to explain what happens in it?
    It's Forced Gender Reassignment's Literally. Bloody scenes of sliced male genitals.... When UG says "...the internet is full of quotes from people who are mentally scarred after daring themselves to sit through it. " it's a very real comment... This video will Fok up your mind... Go home and try to see it... but again... This is a very Foked up video...
    In all honesty, it's not that bad. I've seen horror movies that are way more graphic and gory than this video. People have just become too sheltered these days.
    In a nut shell: blood, genitals and what I think is some sort of cattle prod.
    Wow, an actually nice and reasonable list. Though I'd certainly replace Dancing in the Street with Pagan Poetry by Bjork. Those titties made half the world go insane back then.
    UG, while this is not a bad list idea, i'd like to see the following lists: Best Progressive rock/metal album, best album cover and best non-rock/metal album
    best long songs, like 10 mins as the minimum.
    Pretty much every song on the last 4 Between the Buried and Me albums -.-
    Best live band, best frontman, best indie band, best bassist, best songwriter/lyricist...
    nothing was more controversial than " I want to break free" by Queen in its era
    it's not a controversial video, "There were some music videos, that were not quite controversial. For example, we should note that music videos for Pink Floyd's classic "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II" and "Sleep Now in the Fire" by Rage Against the Machine are not controversial, but the songs at the same time had caused a lot of heart attacks in censorship committees."
    Cephalic Carnages video for Ohrwurm is pretty ****ed up.
    I have no Idea why it is not on here. probably posted too far down. HIS FUCKING PENIS EXPLODES!
    Its because its so amazingly unknown that its not really controversial in the sense UG was going for. Its a bit sick but its not caused ripples of outcry against it. To be honest going by this list I think if they would have just added a crucifix in there somewhere they would have gotten more attention...
    Legitimate question: do music videos matter that much any more? (I'm talking in modern perspective.)
    Yes, unfortunately. Nowadays, a song without a good music video (or no music video at all) won't be as popular as it can be. Sometimes, a good music video compensates for a shitty song. xD
    And because of this mindset, most songs nowadays are mediocre and shitty.
    No chance it should've made the list, but Bowie's "The Next Day" sure has stirred up some sh^t lately.
    you mean to tell me that theres a video physically showing a "forced gender reassignment", where: a mans dick is cut off, a bloody tampon is removed, the gimp is yelling "say it, FUCK GOD! FUCK GOD!", and a drill is shoved up a man's gooch, and its banned from youtube; and its only number 7?????
    To be honest I am extremely happy/proud to see Heart-Shaped Box in there. It was directed by Anton Corbijn, which some might know as a very succesful photographer/director (of mainly music videos). He grew up in the same tiny Dutch village that I am currently still growing up in and I walk by his old house every day, so every time I see one of his pictures or one of his videos I get this crazy feeling, because someone from this tiny village in Holland made it that far.
    Kinda surprised there was nothing from Marilyn Manson on this list. If he ever did one thing right and better than anyone else, that is creating controversy. Very good list though. That Cattle Decapitation video must truly be the one to end all brutal gore death metal videos and even music. I don't believe it will ever be topped. And also having Madonna on the same list really proves this site is one of the most open-minded corners of the internet.
    Aphex Twin? Rubber Johnny, Come to Daddy and Windowlicker all freak me out!
    Metallica's "one" video was pretty controversial when it came out. Considering EVERY music video at the time was guys who looked like girls, with girls.... Then the video for "one" came out and it was some of the grimmest stuff to be seen on MTV up until that point... I'm shocked that it didn't make this list, simply because of how "controversial" it seemed at the time. The video for Van Halen's "hot for teacher" was also banned from MTV I believe, and caused quite the shitstorm in conservative groups. Also, where was Marilyn Manson's video for "the beautiful people?" It literally helped traumatize an entire generation.... It STILL is one of the most flesh-crawling music videos ever made, (By a remotely TOLERABLE artist, unlike "cattle decapitation...)
    the chalky one
    Two of these videos were also on the list for scariest music videos... it's amazing how those two things tend to coincide.
    Surely the fact that YouTube won't allow Cattle Decapitation's video means it should be the most offensive.
    Dancing in the Street is the only one that I disagree with. Would rather see Foo Fighters or M.I.A. Rest of the list is pretty good though, and it's good to see a DnB song top a list on a guitar, and mainly rock/metal website
    al capwn02
    What Foo Fighters video was controversial?
    Learn to Fly got pulled from the airwaves after 9/11, in spite of the fact it was a killer video
    link no1
    That doesn't make it controversial, it was just bad timing for releasing it. By this logic Spiderman game for PS1 is the most controversial video game for being delayed for exactly the same reason.
    Absolutely agree with you! The only thing - The Prodigy are not DnB Anyway, that's cool)
    Good list, though I would swap out NIN's "Closer" with "Happiness in Slavery." That video makes "Closer" look like a Disney cartoon.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Aaand the Broken movie makes HIS look like a Disney cartoon, apparently. I agree, though; Closer is softcore.
    Cattle Decapitation wins because it's too controversial for UG to post on here lol. At least the Rammstein version is the censored version, CD's music video almost got banned from the internet as a whole. When your video is too controversial for the INTERNET (you know, the place where women literally smash kittens with their shoes for the purpose of turning on perverts?), you know that it deserves number 1.
    There's a difference between being gory and being controversial. While Cattle Decapitation was the most gory, it didn't stir people up like some of these other, more well-known videos did.
    I didn't say "CD wins because it's gory". There's more to it than that. Madonna didn't even get banned from MTV for her video. CD, however, is not going to get that played on any channel on TV. They aren't going to even get it onto Youtube, and for a while, not even Vimeo (which allowed the Rammstein video). It was too risky for them to put it on there. In the conservative, "holy crap all metal is satan!" 1980's, Madonna got away with her video, and CD, in the much more liberal 2010's, with the safe-haven of smut known as the internet, didn't manage to make it onto Youtube, the SAME WEBSITE, that, in fact, has multiple videos of "A Serbian Film uncut full movie". Being gory =/= controversy. Being banned = controversy. Being banned from a place that would gladly accept any of these other videos = most controversial.
    "we're having to kick off with a rather grizzly video from the far East." Oh no, I can't bear those.
    Try and find Necrophagia - Bloodfreak Got a guy killing people and then masturbating on them, all uncensored, of course. That's a strange video.
    10. Bizarre but generic, loses all credibility during the emo singing parts 9.Insert Mainstream 90's grunge rock video here 8. Bizarre, mostly outside the box. Awesome 7. I vomited, enough said 6. She gets points for messing with the mainstream 5. Insert Mainstream 90's grunge rock video here. 4. Often replicated, never duplicated. RIP kurt 3. FAIL! 2. Awesome! 1. Good twist ending!
    Most moronic WQ ever to be in this site's history. Real responsible, UG, encouraging people to send in videos with extreme violence and gore to be published. Ever thought about that there are young members on this site who might see this?
    It's not the responsibility of a website to worry about what children are reading/watching/listening to you moron.
    And why not? This isn't a metal site, this is a guitar site. A LEARNING RESOURCE. Many children play the guitar, and many will come here for tabs. UG surely has a responsibility to ensure that their content is suitable for the people who use the site.
    Ok, so if that is the case, then UG should remove all songs with any profanity or any references to sex, drugs or violence. Right? Or is it just the videos that are going to harm the kid's minds? UG doesn't have a responsibility to police their content when it is artistic content. If a person can pull up the tab with lyrics to NIN's 'Closer', then why the hell should UG worry about the video being posted here? I'm a parent, but I'm not going to blame a website, tv show, song, etc... if my kid sees something they "shouldn't". That's on me as a parent. Your way of thinking is exactly the problem, and the way this country is headed. The 'Everyone's Fault But Mine' argument.
    That's obviously cool if you're happy with your kids stumbling across this stuff. If you know that can deal with it. I do see your point, parents should check what their kids are looking at, but at the same time they can't check every single page on every site. That is where the admin at a site has to set a line. Having profane lyrics on a tab is one thing, because a kid would have to search that song and would have already been exposed to the lyrics. To link that Cattle Decapitation video so that someone could get to it in 2 clicks from the homepage is irresponsible. I remind you of the other week when there was a video of a beheading going around Facebook, how would that make you feel if your kid found that and had a severe reaction to it?
    Especially since the article isn't drenched in warnings about what's in these videos! If only it started with something like "Warning: this list is NSFW and contains violent imagery, graphic nudity and more that may cause offence." With a title like "Top 10 Most Controversial Videos Ever", and videos like "Pussy" and "Smack My Bitch Up", kids might think it's a list of the top 10 classic Disney movies or something. Won't someone think of the children???
    Right, because if UG never posted any of this stuff, kids would never try to use the internet for less than noble purposes. You people are ridiculous. This type of content is everywhere for anyone to find, it is not UG's responsibility to worry about who might be viewing their content.It's this type of thinking that got Howard Stern fined when he was on terrestrial radio. The idea that if a kid sees/hears something "too mature" for them, they will self destruct. So what do we do? Oh just regulate everything and punish people who DO want to listen/watch the content. There is no more personal responsibility. Stop blaming everyone. We have freedom of speech here, whether it makes our lives easier or more difficult in some cases (like being a parent).
    Well, if they can't handle intense music videos, then they probably shouldn't be here, then. Music is a very wide and varied form of art, so there's going to be the family friendly videos that Hannah Montana makes, and there's going to be the kind of stuff that gives Satan nightmares.
    And why shouldn't they be here? This is a tab website, and this was linked on the homepage. Just grow up and realise that websites should take responsibility for what they show. I personally don't mind the graphic violence and such, but why children should be able to stumble across it on a site that exists for a different reason?
    Totally agree, Music in it it of itself is controversial and pushes boundaries, that's the beauty of it, it expresses ones mind and thoughts.
    I'm afraid it goes a little beyond that. The minimum age UG requires to have an account is 12, but that doesn't stop younger kids from coming here and looking at the tabs and articles without having an account. It's a very open website with little to no restrictions to its content. Indeed, music is a varied form of art and all kinds of inappropriate content can reach the kids any day of the week, but it's up to parental control to take care of that and be aware of what the kid is listening to. The parental advisory thing that is all over the place on albums and films are there for a reason. But the point here is that a kid coming across contents of nudity or explicit gore can be avoided in this case, and it's correct. Parents don't have spider senses and people are highly impressionable in the childhood. @Braykah's got a point, really.
    1)The video existed before the website. People still could have seen it. 2)Do kids even read this? 3)Them kids should KNOW not to watch it, it's their responsibility (and their parents' responsibility) to make sure that they censor content that they personally will be offended by. 4)Kids would probably turn it off by the time the guy was screaming "SCREAM IT YOU FILTHY PIECE OF ****"... so I don't know how many kids would end up sitting through to get to the more disturbing parts.
    Nothing beats Forced Gender Reassignment, it's just the most shocking piece of motion picture I have ever whitnessed. Although low budget, it's actually far worse than most serious splattermovies. I like it in context of the song, but it's really crazy as ****. The only reason this is not 1. is that nobody gives a shit about Cattle Decapitation, which is kinda sad.
    Well, my google history just got even funnier with the search of "Cattle Decapition"....