Radio station breached Ofcom rules by playing song that featured ‘prolonged sexual moaning’

Classic Chicago house track ‘French Kiss’ has been censored from UK radio on more than one occasion

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Monday 19 April 2021 08:49
The cover art for ‘French Kiss’ by Lil Louis, 1989
The cover art for ‘French Kiss’ by Lil Louis, 1989

Ofcom has said that a radio station breached broadcasting regulations by playing a song that featured “prolonged sounds of sexual moaning” at around 8.20am.

The Essex-based station, Caroline Community Radio, apparently broadcast the Chicago house track “French Kiss” by Lil Louis at a time when “children were particularly likely to be listening”.

The techno club song, released in 1989, was a hit for the Chicago-born DJ Lil Louis – real name Marvin Burns – in clubs around the world, and became a crossover hit that peaked at No 50 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It has been ranked by a number of music publications as one of the greatest dance tracks of all time.

Ofcom’s report observed the song contained no lyrics but included “prolonged sounds of sexual moaning lasting two minutes and 20 seconds”.

Caroline Community Radio’s licensee said it had been in the process of transferring its music library from one computer system to another and that “some scheduling restrictions that it had applied to songs had not been carried across to the new system”.

It confirmed that it was undertaking a review of its database to ensure all song information is correct”.

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Ofcom said that, while the station’s target audience meant the likelihood of children listening was “low”, the song was “not appropriately scheduled”.

This is not the first time “French Kiss” has landed a radio station in hot water.

In 2018, London digital station 883 Centreforce was censured for playing the track, after a complaint was made about “sexual noises” on a midday show broadcast during the school summer holidays.

In a 2015 interview with French music publication Trax Mag, Lil Louis recalled that the first time he played “French Kiss”, people reacted so loudly he “literally couldn’t hear the song anymore”.

“People were screaming so loud, there was no more record,” he said.

Asked if it was true that the famous sound of the woman, who has never been identified, was “recorded live in the studio”, he responded: “I wouldn’t call it ‘the sound’ but ‘the love’. I think that answers your question…”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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