Battling the music video boundaries as Bowie’s back on Youtube

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It’s a hard task these days to create a successful music video and particularly one that doesn’t leave a sense of controversy floating at the back of viewers’ minds.

David Bowie’s latest single, The Next Day, has done just that, even confusing Youtube bosses themselves in their decision to take down the video but then to today return it to the masses.

The video features a Christ-like Bowie playing his song in a church hall, with Gary Oldman as a strange priest who floors a homeless boy and Marion Cottilard as a scantly-dressed woman flailing around in her own blood.

You know, the usual set-up.

A ‘content warning’ has now been placed on the video (which doesn’t offer an option to leave the video).

Youtube have commented today on the original removal of the contentious religious performance.

The spokesperson told Bilboard.com: “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”

So here is David Bowie’s new video, The Next Day, taken from his latest album of the same name.


Bowie is not the first to challenge the boundaries of the music video limitations and will surely not be the last with more and more aesthetically pleasing music being produced as time goes on.

In recent weeks, American heartthrob Robin Thicke’s video for his track Blurred Lines was removed from the Youtube servers for being ‘too hot’, as Thicke likes to put it.

The explicit video featured rappers Pharrell and T.I and many beautiful ladies in not a lot of clothes… disgraceful I tell you.

And at one point ‘Robin Thicke has a big D’ flashes up on the screen, which probably isn’t the most subtle way to disguise any wrongdoings.

Pharrell tweeted: “Why they trying to ban good sh-t?”

I’ll let you decide on that one…


The likes of Rihanna, Motley Crue and Robbie Williams have all had restrictions on their videos.

At one stage, Rihanna’s S&M video was banned in 11 countries and Radio One limited it from being played before 7 pm.  A similar ordeal occurred with her We Found Love video.

Rihanna-We-Found-Love-Video

The infamous Elvis Presley had many videos banned from public viewing in the 1950s because the smooth-mover would shake, rattle and roll his hips in a provocative manner. Oh how times have changed.

Here is an originally banned clip of Presley performing Hound Dog in 1957, with the King exciting all the girls so much that their long frilly socks become unfolded.


If you’ve ever seen the Michael Jackson – Black or White video and thought, “I don’t get it…” then you’re not fit for this world. But, there is a small section missing at the end so we’ll let you off.

The controversial scene was banned in 1992 and still remains removed from the official video.

MJ takes on the panther dance in this deleted scene – smashing racially labelled windows and grabs his crotch numerous times in a crusade for equality.

The windows include the terms ‘KKK’, ‘6o home ni66a’ and a swastika before Jackson commits mindless vandalism on a man’s car who’s VAT could be scheduled for the next day.

You know those times when you’ve got to just pull off an array of electrifying dance moves, shout a lot and jump on cars, I think this is one of those moments– take a look.


Tom Rawle
Follow me on Twitter @trawle91

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