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If I Could Turn Back Time takes place on board the USS Missouri, where Cher sings to a large group of sailors. It was filmed on July 1, 1989 while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D along with the crew. The band plays amidships, and the whole vessel is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes. The crew is on the deck, waving with the rhythm.
Cher's outfit for the video (a fishnet body stocking under a very revealing black one-piece bathing suit) caused some controversy, and many television networks refused to show the video. In 1989, MTV banned the video and only played it after 9:00 PM. A "censored" video, including new scenes, and showing less explicitly sexual content than the previous original video was then made.
Cher's son, Elijah Blue Allman, only twelve at the time, makes an appearance in the video, playing a guitar (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).