Shit List: Ten Biggest Musical Travesties Of ALL-TIME!


Let's face it, the world is full of travesties - Katy Perry marrying, much less touching Russell Brand, No Doubt cutie Gwen Stefani getting hitched to, much less having kids with "bi-curious" Bush singer Gavin Rossdale - but this list will try and focus only on those pertaining to "the music".

10. The New Cars
It had been almost twenty years since singer/guitarist Ric Ocasek had broken up the band following the release of the poor-selling 1987 album, Door To Door, but surviving members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes decided it was perfect time to join forces with Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton and Prairie Prince in a band called, incredulously, The New Cars. The band chose to commit further sacrilege by releasing the live "greatest hits" album It's Alive! in 2006. This album featured their versions of many classic Cars hits, as well as three new originals, going on to sell a paltry 16,000 copies.

9. Creedence Clearwater Revisited

It's disheartening to see Elliot Easton show up twice on this list, but, prior to participating in the New Cars debacle, he decided to dip his toes in the water of sacrilege by joining this coyly-named CCR tribute band that just so happened to feature a couple original members and a dead ringer John Fogerty sound-alike on lead vocals. Sure, one could have forgiven the band's desire to make a buck on the nostalgia circuit, but then the band took to re-recording CCR classics and releasing a very misleading The Best Of Creedence Clearwater Revisited Millennium Collection on MCA in 2006. Unforgivable.


8. Not since Alien Ant Farm unintentionally hilarious remake of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" had a nu-metal band so blatantly committed audio assault upon a funk classic. Of course, Korn walking all over Cameo's funk jam "Word Up!" was funnier than anything Weird Al could have come up with at his most inspired. One hates to think that the guys in Korn had previously prided themselves on their funky side because there is no evidence that anyone in that band even has a funky side. Cringe city.

7. Korn, Period.

Unfortunately, we know all too well that the same guy (Jeff Kwatinetz) who managed local legends Material Issue went on to discover and manage Korn. It is said that upon hearing the band's first demo, Kwatinetz actually saw dollar signs. The rest, as they say, is history. Did you just throw up in your mouth a little, too?

6. Kelly Clarkson

Imagine going from small-town girl with no options to America's singing sweetheart like Kelly Clarkson did after winning the first season of "American Idol". She hit #2 in 2005 with the Max Martin-penned "Since U Been Gone", taking ona more rock-oriented image in the process. One of the story lines touted by her PR people was that Clarkson had a hand in "co-writing" six of the album's cuts. This, of course, led Clarkson to believe she was actually participating in the writing of hit songs. This led her to take a "more active role" in writing her next album, My December. Of course, it's just a tad odd that an album she claimed to have virtually written all by herself would include ELEVEN co-writers, but who are we to judge? Of course, when label head Clive Davis threatened to can the album unless it was re-worked, Clarkson (obviously still high on her own fumes) defiantly refused in full view of the media. Behind the scenes, her team began hastily reworking the album. Released in June of 2007, the album was a huge limp noodle that saw Clarkson confusing herself for Amy Lee from Evanescence. With poor sales and horrible reviews, Clarkson cancelled her tour and fired manager Jeff Kwatinetz (nice!), who had actually been the one guy to go to bat for Kelly, telling the label that he thought the album was brilliant from beginning to end. You can now find copies of My December for $3.99 or less at most used CD stores. Anybody who pays more than that is out of their bloody mind.


5. Madonna Playing Guitar. In Public.
There are no words to express the utter ridiculousness of Madonna playing guitar. I mean, at the time, she was still semi-hot and known solely for dance music that had been largely co-written and performed by session musicians and producers such as Nile Rodgers, Jellybean Benitez and Patrick Leonard. Of course, the performance was not without its unintentional highlights, such as when Madonna exclaimed, "That damn battery pack falling out of my pants." Sigh.


4. Britney Spears Covering, Not To Mention Naming Her Greatest Hits Album After, A Bobby Brown Song.
For a pop idol who was on top of the music world, having amassed her own canon of playful pop hits, it was perhaps the first sign that "Brit" may have been a little out of her tree when she chose to name her greatest hits album after Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative". Admittedly, the album also included her version of said song, but why go so far as to title her first hits package after someone else's hit. That would have been like No Doubt calling their greatest hits album, It's My Life: The Best Of No Doubt. Luckily her erratic personal behavior, including getting her hair chopped off and then her kids taken away from her, would overshadow this musical travesty.

3. The Cult Covering "Born To Be Wild"

The year was 1987 and The Cult were coming off one of the hottest alt.rock success stories of '86 after they'd scored huge Modern Rock hits with the songs "Rain" and "She Sells Sanctuary". While decidedly a rock band, the production of their album Love had been slick enough to garner heavy play on the dance floor. This must have rubbed the band the wrong way, as their next album was an unabashed ode to 70's metal, featuring a no-frills production from Rick Rubin, who should have tried a little harder to talk the band out of covering Steppenwolf's classic "Born To Be Wild". Instead, he hit "record" and simply allowed the band to dig their own grave in a performance that seemingly revealed their every weakness; from singer Ian Astbury's pitchy performance to to guitarist Billy Duffy's rinky-dink guitar leads. Thankfully, the rest of the Electric album is amazingly enjoyable. Just make sure to skip over Track #9.

2. Sixpence None The Richer's Version of "There She Goes".

The La's were a short-lived 80's pop band who gave the world one shining musical moment in the form of the hit single "There She Goes". While a couple other tracks may have gotten some airplay from their self-titled album, none would have quite the impact as this near-perfect pop gem. Deservedly, the song would go on to receive multi-format radio airplay for years after its release. Then, in 1999, the band's own cover of the song, which had been added to their very end of their self-titled 1997 album, began getting radio airplay. The song eventually made it into the Top 40, but has since nearly completely replaced the original version of the song on most radio formats. Sure, La's singer/songwriter Lee Mavers sees money everytime it does, but that's not the point. The point is that an inferior, chick-sung version of a great rock song that was originally sung from the MALE POINT OF VIEW has been turned into background music for episodes of "Dawson's Creek" and "One Tree Hill".



1. Kanye West and Jay-Z's New Tune, "Otis".

In the annals (or perhaps "anals" is more apropos) of music history, few songs are more blatantly and belligerently sacrilegious than this hot-off-the-presses joint by hip hop "legends" Kanye West and Jay-Z. While I have already enjoyed a good chuckle at the sight of a Jay-Z album being the subject for an installment of the otherwise consistently on-the-monewy "Classic Albums" series, hearing the ramshackle rapping of Beyonce-banger Jay-Z as his verbally bullish boasts treat this Otis Redding track like a china shop ripe for destruction. Kanye, of course, is flat-out one of the most delusional souls on the planet, but, looky there, it is because millions keep hanging on his every musical note, even if said note is a dialtone over which he spouts profanities. It's one thing to sample a riff or a beat, but to simply let a classic Otis track play in the background as Kanye and Jay-Z whip out the Jergens and go to town on each other is a new low, which is really saying something.

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