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.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
32

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Trending stories

156 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    deanwinchester0
    Finally a 10 top for Rammstein to join!
    Petzakecske
    Mein Teil was in the most creepy videos.
    TryTheKetchup
    Mein Herz Brennt was more scary. There's nothing creepy in Mein Teil video.
    jamie_hough
    Its amazing how a top 10 list managed to get rick-rolled... And we aaaaall let it happen
    goremetal22
    In response to #3 on this list, to quote Peter Griffin, "that happened, and we all let it happen..."
    The_Wilrus
    Can next week's question be "Top 10 Most Controversially Misleading UG Titles"?????
    wasamuel
    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.
    IplayBassLol
    Cattle Decapitation's video was just a full 5 minute mind ****.
    Somniferous-Sil
    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.
    Josh100_3
    I can't view it on my ipad...care to explain what happens in it?
    metaldalz
    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...
    i_am_metalhead
    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.
    zeroceid
    In a nut shell: blood, genitals and what I think is some sort of cattle prod.
    iommi600
    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.
    JBTheLefty
    Delicious.
    shumpitostick
    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
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    best long songs, like 10 mins as the minimum.
    lankeysob
    Pretty much every song on the last 4 Between the Buried and Me albums -.-
    headbang123
    Best live band, best frontman, best indie band, best bassist, best songwriter/lyricist...
    Mouloudo
    nothing was more controversial than " I want to break free" by Queen in its era
    60s&70s
    HEY UG, ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL BY PINK FLOYD HAD 50 VOTES (MORE THAN LIKE A PRAYER FROM MADONNA) AND ITS NOT EVEN IN THE LIST... WHAT HAPPENED?
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    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."