May 11 Reviews / Songs/Albums that have been ruined...

As always, feel free to discuss any current or past reviews, etc.

This weeks discussion is inspired by a slight bit of talk that went down last week. Have you ever had a song (or album) that you enjoyed ruined through some sort of experience? Did a co-worker play something over and over until you snapped? Did an artist license their tunes to a product you hated?

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Noname
Metal sound like Metallica bring with their second LP. That was amazing, a shock. I can't bear anymore that sound or any similar sound because I heard to many copies of this.

Z
Hmmm. Maybe the books are tryin to tell us that hummers ain't right... shit

Moka
Almost every song they've used on tv spots or movies. I'm not bothered to the fact that they use good songs on spots or movies (which by the way start looking like 2 hour ads nowadays) but I hate it when I'm listening to a song and someone else tells me "that's the song from (insert brand)"

Henrik
Basically being a musician is an occupation and a way of earning a living. So...

If someone offered you 50k for your work would you not except it


cheque!!!

kilas99
Yeah, the thought of $50K kept me up last night, let's just say that. I can't say I would or wouldn't take it.

I've heard stories of what Doug from Built to Spill did before the band really took off. Apparently, he was a janitor at my old college's library. Can you imagine Doug Martsch cleaning toilets???

Go back in time, and if some horrible (hm, car?) company wanted to offer him $50,000 for "Car", I'm telling you the plot thickens.

"You get the car i'll get the check..."

Who knows? Not me.

almostcool
Hrmmmm. For $50,000, I could pay off my car, my wifes student loans, and part of my house mortgage. It would definitely be hard to turn down, but having it come from a company like Exxon or Hummer would likely create too large of a pit in my stomach to actually let me accept it.

Fortunately, in real life (outside writing for this site), I'm able to pay all my bills and get by. There are some musicians who are scraping by a bit closer to the bone, and even though accepting money from a company you don't like would suck, knowing you could pay off some debt (or pay for health insurance, or something else rather critical) might be the tipping point in making you hold your nose and taking the money anyway.

I think it's a bummer that certain artists sell their music to companies I don't like (heck, I even think Nike is evil and don't buy their product, and A LOT of artists have sold music to them), but I can't pretend to know all their personal reasons for doing that, and therefore can't condemn them when they do.

loosey
na, I'm sure it had everything to do with the record co. Most of those Motown musicians got screwed with publishing rights.

roman
loosey, ain't nothing like the real thing is marvin gaye and tammy terell, next to ella and armstrong they might be the best male/female duo ever..though both tammy and marvin have been dead for at least 20 years so that gets them off the hook..i really could'nt see marvin selling out

kilas99
sure, i just think that when faced with a $50,000 decision it's gets a little tougher.

super
not everyone has a price tag...can't you understand that?

kilas99
Here's a theoretical:

almostcool, I work for Exxon and I'd like to offer you $50,000 to advertise on your wonderful website. Yes or no?

Michael
Mogwai were slated for "sellling out" when they allowed "Summer" to be used for a Levi's advert. They used the money they recieved to build their own studio and start their own record label.

almostcool
Wow. So much dislike for The Books due to their selling a song to Hummer. It's interesting, because some friends and I had a lot of discussion about it a month or so ago when this article came out:

http://www.austin360.com/music/content/music/stories/2006/02/22hummer.html

Obviously, Hummer is about as bad as they come in terms of companies to support, but I have to admit that as a musician, it would be hard to turn down a check for $50,000. When I saw them live, I know that Nick Zammutto said he and his wife are going to be having a child, and I'm sure that life as The Books isn't exactly highly lucrative. They probably held their noses while cashing the check, but sometimes money does come into play. I can say I wouldn't do the same thing, but I'm not going to fault them for it even though I think Hummer is evil.

BTW, some other artists who have had their music used by Hummer in commercials include; LFO, Diplo, Everything But The Girl, The Album Leaf, and Casino Vs Japan.

loosey
"the Books aren't contributing anything more than a soundtrack to Hummer's World Destruction" ...Exactly..fuck 'em for it too.

Mickey
Fumbling Toward Ecstacy - Sarah McLachlan. I introduced my girlfriend to it early in our relationship and she fell in love with it to the point of obsession and I learned to hate it with a strange, strangling passion. To this day, I can barely listen to it and it's an excellent disc.

Thank God I kept KaTe Bush to myself.

kilass99
correction: M n Ms not skittles.

Also, regarding the Books song and Hummer....it's such a great song that existed in my mind prior to the commercial, it's tough for me to really dislike the song, or the artist. Plus, I had just seen them live at Schubas in Chicago and they opened their amazing show with that song.

I don't really hold it against artists for having their songs in commercials. At least not as much as I used to. IMHO, the Books aren't contributing anything more than a soundtrack to Hummer's World Destruction..... j/k, kinda.

peter
"hate them" = hate hummer, the company.

peter
I haven't seen the new Hummer commercial, and as much as I want and do hate them, their commercials are freakin dope. Especially the one that used a song by Midwestern Product (also the best song on their second album...).

loosey
kilas99, thanks for pointing out that fact about the books selling their song to the most disgusting product of our consumerist society. I'll be sure to download their albums now instead of properly purchasing them.

One of the most obviously ruined songs due to corp. co-opting is "Ain't Nothing but the Real Thing" by ?
Man, I love that chorus but it's forever tainted and I'm sure that most young person's first experience with it was through the Coke commericial.

mike
ah, man. any band that sells to a Hummer commericial hits the lowest of lows. No respect...sorry. bomb the dealership!!!

kilas99
Anyone seen/heard the Books "That Right Ain't Shit" on the Hummer commercial? I had just put that song on a comp too....

it won't have any effect on the way I view the band/song, just super weird

kilass99
the Skittles commercial is an Iron and Wine cover of Postal Service's "Such Great Heights", which was featured on Garden State.

-Iron and Wine
-Postal Service
-Skittles
-Garden State

Elwin
Hey Aaron,
You are right about Gondry and Cunningham, the latter did magic with Björk's 'All Is Full Of Love'
I have never seen those Autechre videoclips by him, gotta hunt for those.

almostcool
That's an interesting idea Elwin. I hadn't even thought of that angle, but it totally ties in with the discussion.

Back when I was in college, I used to watch MTV some (mainly for 120 Minutes and AMP), and there were numerous times where a song would either be heightened or lessened in my mind after watching a video for it.

Off the top of my head, I remember seeing the very first Autechre video (I think it was for "Basscadet") and it was really weak, boring 3D animation stuff that seemed rather outdated. On the other side of the Autechre coin, their "Tri Repetae" video by Chris Cunningham was perfect. Creepy and claustrophobic. Loved it.

Some other fun videos that seemed to enhance the songs they were attached to were Laurent Garnier's "Crispy Bacon" and Ken Ishi's "Jelly Tones" (which was done in sort of a Akira-style Japanese animation).

The Directors Series that Palm Pictures have been releasing are a nice way to fill in the gaps from some exciting directors (like Gondry and Cunningham), but I still wish I could go back in time and pick out a compilation DVD of my favorite videos from AMP (including a sweet black and white samurai one for Photek's "Ni Ten Ichi Ryu."

Elwin
I have this thing with crappy videoclips
Sometimes I love a song, then I see a horrible video and the images stick to the song!
The other thing can be cool, like when a clip is gorgeous it can add to the song, but in the other case it's terrible.
Lot's of 80ies videoclips have this effect on me.
Clips I love btw are the Glosoli videoclip and the old videoclip of 1979 (Smashing Pumpkins, before they started the gothic look)

david
I can't listen to anything "trip-hop" because my friend played this genre to death in college (Portishead, Tricky etc.) I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed many of these artists regardless but the fact I was forced to hear the shit at 10AM when I was hungover, getting up to go to class sealed the deal. He also spinned (poorly) a lot of drum & bass which I similarly can't stand.

mike
Yeah, I'll defend Nirvana...didn't mean to lump them in with those other shitty grunge acts. Everything but "Nevermind" is still pretty good

peter
Oh...and while I won't defend nirvana any other time, their Unplugged record is amazing. The only thing that is worth listening to by that band 15, 16 years after they hit it big.

peter
If funny that you mention "Everything in its right place" and movies, because Six Feet Under nearly blew "Lucky" for me. My girlfriend absolutely loves the show (I don't care for it myself), and during an incredibly 'dramatic' scene, all of the sudden "I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll this time..." starts up and i'm like 'fuck, they did not just do this'. it was just too much, and too over the top to a) make an effective use of the song and b) just irritating that they tried to pull it off.

Thankfully, OK Computer is still such a great album that I can overlook the blantant attemps by Six Feet Under to be 'deep' by almost destroying "Lucky".

mike
oh man, Praxis I was planning on writing your list. I just cringe when I think of those "awkward years" blasting those shitty grunge records. Although, gots to say, some REM still holds up.
Speaking of the Chili Peppers, did you see those clowns of SNL? I felt so embarassed for them. Was that a tribute band?

praxis
the only experience for me that has ruined past favorites is the experience of hearing new and better music. I've never killed a song. I don't listen to the radio and keep my exposure to mass media at a bare minimum, so that BS rarely phases me. that said... old favs I can no longer stand include:
the smashing pumpkins (the WORST BAND EVER!)
REM
pearl jam
red hot chilie peppers
nirvana
NIN

kid_A
I remember popping in the Vanilla Sky DVD for the first time and "Everything In It's Right Place" playing in the first few seconds of the movie. My buddy immediately said something to the effect of "crap...that song is ruined now"...I reserved my opinion till I actualy finished watching the movie(and indeed it was a piece of rubbish). I am glad to say that that this was a case where the song was too good to be ruined by Cameron Crowe (see Tiny Dancers below). I really think if the song is good enough, it can endure some misuses and in some cases even work. Point in case: the new Jaguar commercial with Spoon's "ITurn My Camera On"...pretty badass.

Michael
When I was younger I was pretty obsessive about songs that i liked and would play them to death. So when i hear classic songs like "Creep" by Radiohead, I switch off and take no notice off them because i must have heard that thousands of times.

peter
The Smashing Pumpkins are definately one of those bands that I really felt I loved, but in reality pretty much just tolerated, and now, don't really want to hear again and could go the rest of my life without hearing a song of their's and not miss it. however, that being said, i wish people would stop playing them at work.

The Smiths, a band whose music I always enjoyed despite never owning any of it, has pretty much had a bad taste left in my mouth from work as well.

And "tiny dancers". jesus h christ. give it a rest.

The winner of the Strangest song license, though, i believe can be given to modest mouse, when they ok-ed the use of the same song (from the moon and antartica) to a beer commerical and a nissan mini-van commercial. Never did make much sense. but they did get paid. hopefully.

weis
I listened to The Cure's Pornography constantly when I bought it even though I was bed-ridden with the Mumps at the time. When I hear anything from that record now I'm certain to get a really queasy feeling in my gut and a fever. Not fun.
More recently, the same thing happened with Number None's Urmerica record. I listened to that while suffering a super nasty 24 hour hangover. Can't lay eyes on alcohol without wanting to chuck while listening to that record again.

Andy
I saw Clap your hand say yeah. Was expecting an exciting stage presence. And the band just stood there. Killed me. I have a hard time enjoying their album now. And has anyone else seen the skittles (or some sort of candy) that has co-opted an iron and wine song? Ouch!

richie
Once I went to a Low concert with a then-boyfriend. We made out on the ride home to the sound of Secret Name. We broke up unhappily shortly after.

For months, I couldn't shake that bad memory from the music. Thankfully, now the effect has worn off, but I can't help but be reminded of that time in the car every time I hear Starfire. Ugh.

almostcool
I have to admit that I was one of those people who really enjoyed Moby's "Play" when it came out. Although other artists had been doing similar things, he seemed to pull his ideas together in a unique and catchy way and I really enjoyed the disc. About a year and a half later, though, he'd licensed every single song on the album (some of them twice) and I couldn't stand to hear the album again.

Another song I really enjoyed (I got the single the first day it came out, long before it was getting much radio play) was Beck's "Loser." I was a young an impressionable college student and I thought the song was hilarious. Sadly, just about everyone co-opted the song as well as soon as it really blew up and I no longer enjoyed it as much.