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1985 - Obscenity in rock music

Take one record, in this case Prince's Purple Rain, and throw in a Senator's wife, a couple rock musicians, and a Senate hearing. What do you get......record labeling. Tipper Gore, wife of then Senator Al Gore, purchased the Prince album for her daughter only to be outraged by some of the lyrics on it. Together with several Washington DC friends, she formed the Parents Music Resource Center to advocate for labels on music warning the consumer of the violent and sexual content of lyrics. The group made their way to Capitol Hill when on September 19, 1985, Gore testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Frank Zappa, Dee Snyder (of Twisted Sister) and John Denver represented the musicians side. Shortly after the hearing, the Recording Industry Association of America voluntarily began putting warning labels on music.


For more information, see Record labeling: hearing on contents of music and the lyrics of records (Gov Pubs fiche Y 4.C 73/7:S.hrg. 99-529).