May 20, 2014

How To Find The Clean Version On Spotify

I’m trying out Spotify Premium on my Sonos and so far I love it. I want my kids to have good taste in music, or at least be able to introduce them to bands that they wouldn’t otherwise experience. Regular radio — top 40 — stinks, with very few choices and far too many songs by Ke$ha. I don’t want to force my taste onto my kids, but I do want to share my musical interests with them. Spotify Premium is a good way to do this without buying every album or downloading stuff illegally. Of course, not everything I listen to is free of dirty words. I’m no prude, but sometimes I’d prefer to have the kids listen to the non-explicit version of an album. So how to find the clean version on Spotify?


Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan

Spotifys huvudkontor på Humlegårdsgatan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Searching The Google for “spotify clean version” initially brings up accusations of “music censorship”, because many people who post comments on the Internet are nuts. Even Spotify’s official explanation is apologetic:

“Spotify does not censor music. We make music available in whatever form it’s given to us.”

Right. Because that’s what I was thinking. I know, other people were thinking it. But is it really so weird to think that someone, especially a parent, would want access to the clean/non-explicit version of an album? That’s how the record labels release music, even on iTunes. Spotify points this out:

Often, albums are released in “explicit” and “clean” versions.

So how to find the explicit or clean version, if such a choice exists? Here’s the explanation (emphasis added):

Often, albums are released in “explicit” and “clean” versions. Only one will be immediately visible.

1. Click the album title on the artist or search page.
2. Click the drop-down menu at the bottom for other releases.
3. Select the other version and you’ll be taken to it.

In rare cases, an error may have occured [sic] making the explicit version unavailable. The tracks may be re-linked to the “clean” version temporarily while we fix things.

I wonder if it ever happens that only the explicit version is available. If not, that gives The Hive more fodder to accuse Spotify of “censorship.” This appears to be an unfair accusation. As far as I can tell, if Spotify has the music you’re looking for (and they don’t have everything; for example, I wanted to put on some Steve Vai and they didn’t have anything by him at all), the default is usually the Explicit (Unclean?) Version. Which is fine. It’s not up to Spotify to keep my kids from hearing dirty words, or as I like to say, words I don’t want them repeating to their teachers.

Enjoy your music!

Thanks Spotify! I am.

Content censorship – Solutions – Spotify.


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