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Timeline : PMRC

December 29, 1975

Time magazine introduces the phrase "Sex Rock" in an article taking aim at Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby."More

November 19, 1979

Frank Zappa's one and only rock opera, Joe's Garage, is released. The opera mixes styles of blues, jazz, doo-wop, lounge, orchestral, rock, pop and reggae. It draws controversy for profane lyrics but is hailed as a cultural milestone and landmark album. The work also looks forward to Zappa's later crusade against the PMRC with its themes of government censorship, and introduces a few memes into the Zappa lexicon, including "The Central Scrutinizer," "a little green rosetta," and of course, the term "roto-plooker."

May 31, 1985

The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) sends its first letter to the RIAA requesting a ratings system for albums and concerts. The group is led by Tipper Gore, the wife of Senator Al Gore, so the record industry takes it seriously, and cuts back on their metal budgets. The end result is warning stickers on albums containing offensive lyrics.

May 13, 1985

The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) holds a meeting in a Washington church where they foment support for their agenda: a ratings system for albums and concerts like those used for movies, and also to keep offensive album covers out of view in record stores. Their efforts lead to warning stickers on albums with offensive lyrics.More

September 19, 1985

Frank Zappa, John Denver and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister testify at a Senate hearing where the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) argue for a ratings system on music. The musicians explain that this is censorship, but the PMRC wins a victory and warning labels are ordered on albums containing explicit lyrics.More

November 1, 1985

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) agrees to some demands made by another initialed organization, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). As a result, any album deemed to contain offensive lyrics must be issued with a warning label, or the lyrics must be printed on the sleeve. Most record companies go with the labels, which don't seem to hurt sales.More

July 28, 1987

The Ice-T album Rhyme Pays becomes the first hip-hop album to get a warning label for explicit lyrics.

July 18, 1993

Rage Against The Machine protest music censorship by appearing at their Lollapalooza set in Philadelphia completely nude except for duct tape over their mouths. They refuse to play any music, and simply stand for 25 minutes with the letters PMRC written on their chests, a reference to the Parents Music Resource Center.

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