10 music videos that were way too raunchy for their time

Music videos offer artists a unique platform to exude visuals which accompany their musical creations. For some artists, they are a fantastic tool which helps them tell a story, while for others, it’s a great excuse to let their dirty minds run amuck. 

Over the years there have been several clips which don’t leave too much to the imagination. In fact, there are some so raunchy that both the videos and the artists sparked controversy and received significant criticism at the time.

10 music videos that were too raunchy for their time

Sometimes, things are just too hot to handle. Check out 10 music videos which were way too raunchy for their time – oh, and enjoy. 

Madonna – Like a Prayer 

Madonna is, without a doubt, the queen of controversial music videos and a total sex icon. In the 1980s and beyond, Madonna blessed us with a considerable number of releases, many being accompanied by horny clips. While we could name more than few, Like a Prayer famously takes the cake for its sex and religion-related contention. In this clip we see Madonna hooking up with a black saint in a church and dancing in front of a row of burning crosses.

It was seen as so problematic at the time that Pepsi pulled their $5 million endorsement deal with the artist, claiming that she certainly was not family-friendly. Now, more than 30 years later, the video is not half as scandalous as it was once seen. 

The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up 

Okay, but if the title wasn’t lewd enough, the music video sure was. English rave group The Prodigy released Smack My Bitch Up in 1997, when the explicit content of its music video was seen as an absolute disgrace.

The video depicts scenes of drunken and drug-fuelled sexual excess and violence which left many feeling sick to the stomach. The video was, of course, banned on MTV, and to this day is banned on YouTube. This video was way too raunchy for its time – or probably any time for that matter. 

Duran Duran – Girls on Film 

Duran Duran were seen as some of the biggest sex symbols of the ’80s, the group leading a luxurious life with the companionship of many stunning women. After seeing the exploitation of many models in the fashion industry, all five members were inspired to write Girls On Film. 

The track’s film clip was created to be exclusively played at nightclubs with television screens. However it still sparked a controversy which spread like wildfire. The clip, which showed models cat-walking, sumo wrestling, swimming, massaging, and more, was banned by the BBC and heavily edited for its run on MTV. Of course, the band couldn’t be happier with the result. 

Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time 

Maybe if Cher could turn back time, she would have never made this distastefully raunchy music video. The clip showcases a very fit looking Cher performing to a navy ship crew, wearing fishnet stockings and what appeared to be a bit of gaffa tape covering up her bits.

If that wasn’t controversial enough, seeing the pop icon straddle some of the US Navy ship’s apparatus sure was. The Navy was so horrified by the clip that they decreed that never again would musicians be allowed to film music videos on their ships. Gee, thanks, Cher. 

Mötley Crüe – Girls Girls Girls 

Mötley Crüe were always scrutinised for the way they celebrated and glamorised sex, violence, and alcohol. The music video for one of their most well-known tracks, Girls Girls Girls, sees the band members ride their motorcycles from strip-club to strip-club, taking their pick from a tremendous number of strippers.

Paired with the song’s suggestive lyrics, the band received criticism for their blatant objectification of women, something they surely wouldn’t get away with in this day and age. 

Aerosmith – Crazy 

This is one of those music videos which is just as creepy today as it was the day of its release. The video follows two teenage girls as they escape school to run away and get up to no good, using their sultry looks to win money in a pole dancing competition. Oh, and did we forget to mention that one of those teenagers is Liv Tyler?

Yep, Steven Tyler, frontman or Aerosmith employed his own daughter to play the part of a sexy pole dancing schoolgirl while he sings “That kinda lovin’ turns a man to a slave, That kinda lovin’ sends a man right to his grave. I go crazy, crazy baby, I go crazy.” If that doesn’t leave a foul taste in your mouth, we don’t know what would. 

Divinyls – I Touch Myself 

I Touch Myself is one of the world’s greatest guilty pleasure tracks, and as far as Aussie music videos go, it could be one of the raunchiest of all time. At the point of its release, people were shocked and horrified by the fact a woman was announcing her masturbation habits in a song, but it still turned out to be the band’s biggest hit, in Australia and worldwide. 

Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett shared her O-face with the world throughout the video’s entire duration, with the exception of a few quick snippets of some other sexy ladies doing their thing. 

The Strokes – Juicebox 

In the late ’90s and early 2000’s, The Strokes were simply oozing sex appeal, and they promised their fans a tantalising x-rated music video with their Batman-esque track Juicebox. What fans received was certainly more than they bargained for.

Exhibitionism is at the forefront of the clip, the band’s casting call requiring “people of all genders, ages, ethnicities and sexual preferences who are ‘comfortable’ with exhibitionistic displays of love, tenderness and affection.” Not only is this sex frenzy featured, but perhaps more strangely, so is an old woman seemingly trying to seduce her dog.

Obviously, the clip received a heavily edited version for television and other promotions, but it was clear the band set out to cause a stir. 

Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler

What starts out as a seemingly innocent game of Chinese whispers between a group of young female friends quickly goes south in the music video for Hustler by the English EDM duo Simian Mobile Disco.

And by south, we mean south. Before you know it, the once-pure group of pals are having an orgy right before your eyes. While the female cast are still all wearing clothes in the clip, it still doesn’t leave much to the imagination and caused quite the uproar when it was released back in 2006. 

Björk – Pagan Poetry

Björk has always been known for risque self-depictions, including a number of suggestive album covers, comments about sex and sexuality, and of course, her music videos. Pagan Poetry displays Björk in a sort-of wedding dress attire – except you’ve probably never seen a wedding dress which displays two bejewelled breasts for the whole world to see.

In this clip, the Icelandic singer contorts her body in strange ways, much like an exorcism, receiving six piercings in her back which bleed out as the song concludes. The uncensored version also includes abstract footage of explicit sex scenes from Björk’s personal collection of footage, including oral sex and ejaculation. Not only is this film clip raunchy but it’s just plain old creepy. But would we expect much else from this musical mastermind?