In an interview with MSNBC host (and noted hip hop lyric-droppper) Ari Melber, Sheryl Crow alleged that Walmart executives asked her record label to make her change lyrics from her 1996 song “Love Is A Good Thing.” She says these executives requested she change the line “Watch our children kill each other with a gun they bought at Walmart discount stores” to another discount center (Crow suggests K-Mart in the interview, and then fails to come up with another example she could have used) in order for Walmart to carry her self-titled sophomore album.
The clip is from “Mavericks with Ari Melber,” which is a series of interviews that the cable news host conducts with musicians and other cultural figures, a part of his show The Beat with Ari Melber. In the interview – after dropping a Drake lyric – he clarifies with Crow that the company didn’t have any problem with what is pretty clear criticism of guns and gun culture, so long as the name Walmart wasn’t specifically referenced.
“It was really heartbreaking because in my hometown Walmart came and all the other small mom and pops could not compete,” said Crow. “So the only place you could buy a record in my hometown was Walmart. So it was a hard decision because Walmart had such a huge profile across America and in small towns it was going to mean record sales.”
She ultimately didn’t change the lyric on the song, and Sheryl Crow is a triple platinum album that has sold millions of copies, bouyed by singles like “Every Day Is a Winding Road” and “If It Makes You Happy.” Crow adds that she experienced several more experiences like this over the years, though didn’t elaborate on what albums or songs and who requested her to censor her writing.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Shulz