R.E.M., ‘Pop Song ’89’ – Banned Music Videos
After being told the three nude women dancing in R.E.M.‘s original ‘Pop Song ’89’ video had to be covered up, frontman and director Michael Stipe decided to use excessively large and obtrusive black bars on all four naked bodies — the last one being his own. “A nipple is a nipple,” was his explanation for the change to the clip, a promo for the third single from R.E.M.’s sixth studio album, 1989’s ‘Green.’
The move — think of it as some sort of statement on nipple equality — earned R.E.M. plenty of attention, and that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The controversy helped propel the lead track from ‘Green’ into the Top 20 of both the Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.
Watch the R.E.M. ‘Pop Song ’89’ Video