I'm listening to Charles Mingus' 1959 album Mingus Ah Um on Amazon Music. The titles of the majority of the track on this album are listed with "[Clean]" after the title:

Mingus Ah Um on Amazon Music

What does "[Clean]" mean in this context? I would normally have thought that this refers to an alternate version with non-explicit (censored) lyrics, but the entire album is instrumental jazz with no lyrics on any track.

If it helps anyone figure it out, I have determined that this version of the album is a later re-issue of the album with expanded uncut versions of several of the tracks as well as three tracks that were not on the original release. However, the list of expanded tracks do not coincide with the tracks that have the "[Clean]" notation.

  • 2
    It could just be an error in the amazon database. Amazon does label clean versions of songs as [Clean] - e.g. amazon.com/Album-Version-feat-Cent-Clean/dp/B000WIR5G2 - and perhaps that's been done erroneously here.
    – user16
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:51
  • @topomorto Yes, that probably makes the most sense.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:52
  • Apparently Fables of Faubus does have some lyrics in some versions, so I read! Anyway, fantastic album IMO.
    – user16
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:53
  • I don't see this tag in France...
    – Bebs
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:54
  • @topomorto The version of that track with lyrics is called "Original Faubus Fables", and while they aren't explicit, they are angry. But that track is one of the few tracks that does not have the [Clean] label.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:54

3 Answers 3


According to a discussion here, these are probably censored versions of the songs.

EDIT: Answer from the Amazon support :

Amazon support

The Clean version you see next to some of the Music titles means that the song/Album is edited out, like songs on the radio and does not contain any offensive content. Often swearing is taken out, lyrics deemed too violent for general people. Like how some TV shows have language bleeped out and scenes censored, it works the same way.

In that specific case, it is probably a mistake.

  • 4
    These are instrumental jazz songs. There are no lyrics to be censored.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:41
  • Yes... it might be stupid but I let my wrong answer here so other people don't make the same mistake.
    – Bebs
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 20:56
  • 1
    @BenMiller An instrumental song can also qualify as "censored to the extreme" ;-)
    – xhienne
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 19:11
  • I'm accepting this answer. I originally thought there was more to it than that, but I guess it is simply someone at Amazon getting overzealous with the "Clean" label, applying it to a few instrumental tracks in which there are no Explicit versions.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 1:18
  • @BenMiller, sometimes brass instruments can sound like farts, or guitars or flute like woman moans, maybe Amazon find this offensive.
    – Bebs
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 13:27

Hypothetically, and without doing a careful listen to the album...

It's not unusual for music recordings to pick up studio chatter or other unplanned voices. For example, the Kingsmen's classic recording of "Louie, Louie" includes the drummer yelling "fuck!" at one point when he dropped a drumstick. It's not part of the song lyrics or easy to make out, but it might be enough for there to be a "clean" version where it had been edited out.

So-- again hypothetically-- maybe that's what happened here? There are no vocals, but there were people near microphones. It's not impossible that something similar is at work.


Clean is a remaster taken from an Unplayed vinyl.

  • 3
    Welcome to Music Fans. You could considerably improve your answer by editing it to provide references.
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 9:04

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