The Filthy 15 (Explicit Content?)

3 min readFeb 13, 2021


About 35 years ago, the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) shook the music industry and which, of course, gave us the infamous ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker. The songs were rated as ‘X’ for Sexually explicit, ‘V’ for Violence, ‘D/A’ for Drugs or Alcohol, and ‘O’ for Occult. Here’s a look at the playlist made by the PMRC, dubbed the Filthy Fifteen.

Parental Advisory warning label, introduced in 1996 (Image, taken from Wikipedia, is a registered trademark of the RIAA in the US and British Recorded Music Industry in the EC)
  1. “Eat Me Alive” — Judas Priest

Was I headbanging to this song while writing this article? You bet I was. One of the best vocals by Rob Halford, this musical masterpiece was rated X for its obscene lyrics about Sex and Violence.

2. “Bastard” — Mötley Crüe

This rockin’ piece by the infamous band Mötley Crüe was also a part of the filthy fifteen playlist. This song was rated V for Violence.

3. “Darling Nikki” — Prince

A ton of my teen years was spent grooving to this bewitching song. This was also rated X for its explicit lyrics about Masturbation and Sex.

4. “Sugar Walls” — Sheena Easton

Sheena Easton’s crazy and peppy song was also a part of this list, a list that seemed like an attack to the rock and metal music artists and industry from afar. This song was rated X.

5. “Animal (F**k Like a Beast)” — W.A.S.P

Fun fact: There have been many speculations about the full form of the acronym W.A.S.P ranging from “White Anglo-Saxon Protestants” to “We Are Sexual Perverts”. Well…

The PMRC concluded this song to be ‘porn rock’ and thus, it got the X rating.

6. “Into the Coven” — Mercyful Fate

Into the Coven by Mercyful Fate is one among the only 2 songs which got the O-rating on the Filthy Fifteen list. O stands for Occult.

7. “Strap on Robby Baby” — Vanity

I literally burst out laughing upon hearing the name of this song. This groovy and hit song from the singer’s ‘Wild Animal’ album was also part of the list. Take a wild guess as to what the rating of this song was.

8. “High’ n’ Dry” — Def Leppard

As the name suggests, this headbanging party song (never thought I’d use these 2 words in the same sentence) was rated ‘D/A’ for its lyrics dealing with drugs and alcohol use.

9. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” — Twisted Sister

Frontman Dee Snider was one of the three musicians on the frontline defending the music industry during the infamous hearing in 1985. Their song, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, was rated V for Violence.

10. “Dress You Up” — Madonna

Was I shocked to see this song on the list? Absolutely. This song seems pretty anodyne compared to other explicit songs by Madonna. Nevertheless, this song somehow made it to the filthy fifteen list and was rated X.

11. “She Bop” — Cyndi Lauper

Never in a million years would I have imagined that “She Bop” would have made it to the filthy 15 list. It was only through research that I actually understood that this song was ‘an homage’ to masturbation. This high-spirited song was thus, rated X.

12. “Let Me Put My Love Into You” — AC/DC

Do I need to say more? This classic and beautiful AC/DC song was rated, you guessed it right, X for its sexually explicit lyrics.

13. “Trashed” — Black Sabbath

Honestly, what would the Filthy 15 be without a song by the very own Gods of Metal? Trashed was rated ‘D/A’ for its lyrics about Drugs and Alcohol use.

14. “In My House” — Mary Jane Girls

This breakout pop song from the ’80s by the Mary Jane Girls was rated X for its bold sexually explicit lyrics.

15. “Possessed” — Venom

And finally, the 15th song on the filthy 15 list was “Possessed” by Venom, no pun intended. This song by the black metal band, as the title suggests, was rated O for its lyrics regarding the occult.




A conversationalist on concepts ranging from music, true crime to science. she/her