A reader asks: “What’s the deal with radio edits?

A reader asks: “What’s the deal with radio edits?
This can range from language edits (i.e. Anything to get their song on as many radio stations as possible, you know? Songs are often tweaked in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways so that they fit better with certain formats. Songs are sometimes made shorter so that stations can cram more songs into an hour. The second version was one without rap, i.e. I am very curious to know. Rap is still a polarizing sound with some audiences. removing or replacing bad words) to full-scale remixes to removing/adding certain bits. Is there a racist element to it somehow? In response, a non-rap version was issued to radio. I distinctly remember that the song was featured twice on the album single. How are these radio edits still a thing? Perhaps there a significant demographic of people that do not enjoy hearing rap at all and thus it must be removed from songs on certain stations? “Blurred Lines” is another good example, When the song began to cross over from pop to adult contemporary stations, many programmers felt that the rap bit sounded out of context when it came to the other songs they played. Or is it something much less nefarious? It’s all in an attempt to customize songs for specific audiences and specific radio formats
For example, “Take Me to Life” from Evanescence came in a couple of forms: one with the rap and one without. A non-rap version was issued to those stations so it fit better with their music flow. This popped into my inbox from John:
Hi Alan,
A musical question came to my head recently and you might be the one to answer it. Others have things like guitar solos removed because they’re a bit too wild-sounding for the overall sound of certain types of radio stations. But these edits aren’t restricted to removing rap bits. For the most part, artists don’t mind when these edits take place. It has little (if anything) to do with racism but instead with the way the performance is delivered. Rock stations told the label that they liked the song but were worried about the rap bits turning off rock fans. Record labels recognize that radio exposure is still the most effective way of turning a song into a hit. I can remember as a child listening to the Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack which featured the single “On Our Own” by Bobby Brown. What’s the deal with radio edited versions of songs? I also thought back to the song “Blurred Lines” from a few summers ago, where T.I.’s rap bridge was removed for some radio stations but not for others. Kind Regards,
John
A great question! Nicki’s part of the song was more or less totally removed. the rap bridge was edited out of the song. Mollified, rock stations added the song to their playlists and the song ended up become a huge hit for Amy Lee. Just as some people don’t like country, some don’t like rap. How did it start? I can remember thinking it was strange to put the same song on a cassette where the only difference was to have the rap section removed, but didn’t think much more on the matter. The question jumped into my head more recently when I heard the pop song “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj on the radio.