There's nothing sadder than when artists become "sellouts," losing all of their edge to make some kind of family-friendly garbage. Or at least that's the way we usually hear it.
The truth is, though, that some of the greatest works of music, film and art have happened only because the artist agreed to compromise in the name of success. Just ask...
Back in the 50s and early 60s, The Beatles were a group of rough hooligans who smoked and swore onstage while chomping on chicken between songs. They wore leather jackets, played sleazy German titty bars and, perhaps most shockingly, their hairdos did not match.
So how did they go from that to being the biggest, most influential pop band in the world? By selling out.
The group had a steady gig playing strip clubs in Hamburg, but they weren't making a whole lot of money there. After returning to Liverpool in 1961, The Beatles were discovered by Brian Epstein. He liked what he heard and offered to be their manager, on one small condition: that they change everything about themselves.
"No, really. You pretty much suck."
Everything from the jeans (replaced by proper trousers) to the hair (matching hairdos for everyone) to the smoking/swearing/eating onstage stuff (respectively: no, no and fuck no) had to go. And definitely no more nailing condoms to walls and setting them on fire, a crucial part of their act until that point.
Epstein also came up with the idea that they had to take a synchronized bow at the end of each set.
"It's important that you remember you are my bitches."
The Beatles were not fans of these suggestions. John Lennon found the whole thing stupid and used to whip his arms around while doing the bow, a scathing form of protest that admittedly wasn't quite as shocking as throwing a burning condom at the audience. However, the band also realized that having their way would get them nothing but more shit gigs at the same shit clubs. As Lennon himself put it, "It was a choice of making it or still eating chicken onstage."
If they'd had modern fried chicken, the Beatles never would have sold an album.
Of course, cutting out the "holy shit are we edgy!" gimmicks stifled their creativity so badly that of Rolling Stone magazine's 10 best albums of all time, a mere four of them are from The Beatles.
So to recap, first came the haircuts, then came a level of popularity that bought them an unprecedented amount of creative freedom, and then came the albums that changed music forever. A feat that, sadly, no one has ever managed to achieve while working at a titty bar.