Nevermind by Nirvana didn’t just come out of nowhere in September 1991.
Mainstream music may have seemed to be dominated by hair-metal, dance pop, and aging rock stars come the dawn of the ’90s, but big sounds bubbling up from the underground had been pounding serious cracks in the firmament throughout the previous decade.
By Frank Donovan
When an artist is finished recording an album and it’s time to give it a name, how can they desecrate their efforts with a pun? Were their dads in the studio? For whatever reason, musical wordplay has transcended era and genre, forcing fans to groan and hang their heads in shame. Ok, and crack a smile (don’t tell anyone).
By Frank Donovan
The Beatles’ Abbey Road, Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, Nirvana’s Nevermind–Even the most iconic and highly-regarded albums have a track that we always skip. We’re all for artists evolving their sound, but it’s often painfully clear when the sonic experimentation in the studio should have remained in the scrap pile instead of sandwiched between way better songs.
Read on for 15 subpar tracks that detract from music’s greatest albums.
Paul McCartney is one of the most iconic living musicians of all time. Whether you like him or not (and you like him, because who doesn’t love Paul, the best Beatle?) there’s absolutely no denying his cultural significance and immense musical talent, especially since his legacy is an ongoing one. That’s right: Paul McCartney is by no means done making music or a cultural impact. To celebrate the legend, and the release of his new single with Rihanna and Kanye West, “FourFiveSeconds”, we’re looking back at the times Paul McCartney shocked us with curveball collaborations. From Carly Simon or his secret band The Fireman, to rocking out on stage with Jay-Z and Linkin Park, these are the most unexpected Paul McCartney alliances we’ve been blessed with.
-By Frank Donovan
Today we rarely listen to entire albums, track by track, as one cohesive experience painstakingly crafted by musicians and their producers. But it used to be nothing short of crucial, especially for debut albums, to open with a bang. The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was a jubilant yet bold testament to their new progressive, symphonic sound; Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” introduced not only their album Nevermind, but also the Seattle sound to the world. Like they say, first impressions matter!
It’s been widely established that Kurt Cobain had an extremely wide range of musical influences, and nowhere is this more apparent than on ‘Montage Of Heck’ -a newly unearthed sound collage mixtape he recorded years before reaching international stardom with Nirvana. The trippy aural montage pulls together songs and sound effects from literally everyone you can imagine, and even a few you can’t. Cher, Led Zep, William Shatner, the Jackson 5, and even clips from The Flintstones are represented. Hold on to your hats, because it’s about to get weird.
20 years ago today the remaining members of Nirvana released MTV Unplugged in New York. Released a little more than a half a year after the tragic suicide of singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain, the scaled down versions of the band’s usually bombastic songs showed their power lay in the writing, not in the volume with which they were originally performed. The album was an immediate hit and a fitting final tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of the era. Read more…
Kiss’ Gene Simmons might think that rock is dead but he would be wise to invest in the mementoes of its glory years (though knowing him, he probably already has). Not only are classic rock bands still filling arenas to the tune of over $300,000,000 so far this year, but original concert tees from their heyday can fetch up to $10,000 and sometimes more. Whether on super models or super fans, the market for vintage rock t-shirts has exploded in recent years. Read more…
“Good music” is a subjective thing. One person’s favorite band could sound like tuneless electronic white noise to someone else. Even albums that are widely hailed as among the best in recorded history have their fair share of detractors. To prove it, we’ve read the Amazon.com customer reviews for every entry on VH1′s 100 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Many are positive, but there still a few who awarded a lowly one-star to these classics -usually for hilarious reasons. We guess there’s just no pleasing some people. Nirvana fans, AC/DC fans, Jimi Hendrix fans, Beatlemaniacs and more: prepare to get royally bummed out.