Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cracked Article: 5 Iconic Songs Despised by the People Who Created Them

So this article required a ton of rewrites. The hardest part was finding entries that fit the editors' criteria; they wanted either interesting backstories for the hate (such as "Pinball Wizard") or extreme reactions of hate (like "Stairway"). Here are some that didn't make the cut.

X. Van Morrison- Brown Eyed Girl
 The song that spread Van Morrison’s name and rocketed his career. Brown Eyed Girl has won numerous awards and was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. You can frequently find it on “Greatest Songs of All Time” lists. But Morrison thought Brown Eyed Girl was just a piece of filler, and felt it was one of the worst he ever wrote.

X. Oasis- Wonderwall
Wonderwall is notable in that no high school yearbook is complete without quoting Wonderwall three different times. A huge hit and a massive stepping stone for Oasis, Wonderwall has been certified platinum and has been covered numerous times, mostly by teens on YouTube. Frontman Liam Gallagher hated it though, to the point that every time the English band went to America and someone mentioned it he wanted to hit them.

X. Maurice Ravel- Boléro
Boléro is one of the final pieces famed French conductor Maurice Ravel made before illness struck him. It's his most famous work and is considered to be one of the best classical arrangements ever. When it premiered in America in 1929 at the New York Philharmonic the audience shouted and cheered; critics said Boléro was Ravels launchpoint for his career and the performance had almost turned him into a national hero.

There was mayhem the first time it played and a woman in the audience shouted over and over that Ravel was mad. When told about this he smiled and said she'd been the only one to understand the piece.

Even if you don't recognize the name, you've heard it:

Ravel hated Boléro and was shocked it was ever performed; he'd predicted that no good orchestra would ever want to play it. He called it "a piece for orchestra without music." It wasn't just the composition he hated; he had envisioned a setting where dancers move about a faux factory to emphasize how mechanical the piece was. Instead it was set in a seedy tavern and was highly sexual. Further, Arturo Toscanini, the conductor who premiered it in America, led the piece faster than Ravel had written it; there was a standing ovation and Ravel began a feud with Toscanini over it. Ravel didn't like the original piece but didn't like the adjustments made either, despite both versions being wild successes.

When pressured to talk about it he spitefully said, "My masterpiece. Unfortunately it contains no music."

X. Neil Young Won't Sell His Critically-Acclaimed Album
Time Fades Away was Neil Young's first live album and one he hates.
Despite it being highly praised by critics and long-desired by fans (referred to as Young's "Holy Grail" album due to how unattainable it is) and how widely pirated it is, Young still won't sell it. He calls it the worst album he's ever made and that it brings back dark memories of the tour as a whole- a tour punctuated with death, bandmembers leaving, Young being almost permanently drunk and a rock group of amazing, famous individual musicians who hated each other.

X. Al Jourgensen of Ministry Nearly Quits Music Over "With Sympathy"
Ministry's first album, With Sympathy was reportedly changed so much by the label and the album's producers that frontman Al Jourgensen hates it to this day. He called it an "abortion of an album." He also put on a fake British accent for the record. There are also rumors that he would destroy any copy of the album he saw and actually paid to get copies, but I can't find a reputable source about it.

X. David Gilmour Hates Pink Floyd's Final Cut Album (and it leads to their breakup)
Gilmour was the guitarist and main vocalist for Pink Floyd. PF's last album was The Final Cut, but it was primarily put together by founding member Roger Waters. Gilmour was only allowed to sing for one track on the album, and even worse to him, Waters used a number of rejected songs from the band's seminal album The Wall. Gilmour was furious, saying, "If these songs weren't good enough for The Wall, why are they good enough now?" Gilmour demanded his name be removed as producer of the album.

X. "The Long and Winding Road" is one of the reasons McCartney Left The Beatles
Paul McCartney originally conceived The Long and Winding Road as a simple piano ballad. Without being consulted the song was heavily redone with many instruments (Lennon had input but McCartney didn't) and when he found he out he went nuts. Interestingly Phil Spector said he only redid the song because of Lennon's poor bass playing. McCartney eventually sued the other Beatles to dissolve the band and The Long and Winding Road was one of the six reasons he formally gave for the breakup.

Friday, January 25, 2013

TopTenz Article: Top 10 Creepiest Murderabilia Available for Purchase

Check it out here.

I mentioned a while back that I was working on this. Usually it takes a few months for TopTenz to publish their lists but the editors bumped up the date for me. I first learned about murderabilia in college while researching a paper, and then when I was working on the Insane Prison Escapes article for Cracked (found here!) one of the first entries was a serial killer who also had murderabilia items for sale. I decided to see if TopTenz would be interested in a straightforward list, and they were.

The hardest part of writing this was toeing the line between enough information and too much information, especially see TT didn't want it too graphic. I wanted to be respectful of the seriousness of the situation while also highlighting how batshit insane these people were and are.

In any case, expect another post soon! I should have another Cracked article coming out shortly.