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Window Seat to "Justify My Love": A Short History of Nude Music Videos

April 2, 2010 2:30 PM ET

When Erykah Badu stripped down to nothing in the middle of Dallas for her "Window Seat" video, the neo-soul singer not only raised eyebrows of the Dallas PD but also entered the pantheon of great and provocative music videos that push television censors and NSFW to the max. Matt & Kim's nude run through Times Square for "Lessons Learned," the clip that inspired Badu, scored the relatively unknown duo the Breakthrough Video prize at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, proving that while the clip itself might have been too taboo for MTV, showing a little skin goes a long way.

Rolling Stone has collected our favorite boundary-pushing music videos, from Chris Isaak's rollick on the beach with a topless Helena Christensen in "Wicked Game" above to Girls' porn-pushing "Lust for Life."

Below, watch "Window Seat," "Lessons Learned" plus videos by Blink-182, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and a video by Madonna that was deemed "Too Hot for TV" back in the day. And for more classic nude moments in music, be sure to visit our Crotch Rock gallery and Getting Naked: Big Names Show Some Skin on the Cover of Rolling Stone.

Chris Isaak - "Wicked Game"

Erykah Badu – "Window Seat"

Michael Jackson – "You Are Not Alone"

Matt & Kim - "Lessons Learned"

Madonna – "Justify My Love"

Sigur Ros – "Gobbledigook"

Britney Spears – "Everytime"

Alanis Morissette – "Thank U"

Blink-182 – "What's My Age Again?"

Girls – "Lust for Life"

Related Stories:

Infamous Crotch Rock Moments: From Adam Lambert's AMAs Stunt to "Dick in a Box"
Getting Naked: Big Names Show Some Skin on the Cover of Rolling Stone
Police May Charge Erykah Badu for Nude "Window Seat" Video

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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