#2. Warrant -- "Cherry Pie"
If you've heard of Warrant (and we're not being judgmental, but we're guessing that's maybe only half of you), you know them for one song and one song alone: "Cherry Pie." Nothing so perfectly symbolizes late '80s/early '90s hair bands like this goofball song full of sexual innuendo meant to appeal to 13-year-old boys.
In the video, lead singer Jani Lane prances around with his feathered hair, making cartoon character faces and singing to his four shirtless friends about how much he loves female genitalia. The lyrics are interwoven with complex, subtle imagery, such as a titular piece of cherry pie falling into a woman's crotch before she is sprayed in the face with a fire hose. Due to its undeniable catchiness and the video's heavy rotation on MTV, "Cherry Pie" became the band's signature song and was eventually named by VH1 as the 56th greatest hard rock song of all time, because VH1 clearly doesn't understand what "hard rock" is.
"It's still not clear enough. Could we maybe spell the word 'vagina' in newborn babies on her crotch?"
It's easy to forget that Warrant had a total of nine Top 40 rock hits throughout that period, virtually all of them permed-mullet power ballads. And that if Jani Lane had gotten his way, "Cherry Pie" would never have existed.
Following the commercial success of their debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, Warrant went in to record their anticipated sophomore effort. While everyone in the band was happy with the end result, the record label was worried that the disc didn't have a clear hit single. So, they told Lane to get his bug-eyed, Bret-Michaels-doppleganging ass back into the studio and write them a toe-tapping jam they could use to move units. He responded by writing "Cherry Pie" in 15 minutes on the back of a pizza box, which was meant as a thinly veiled "fuck you" to the label executives ("I Dare You to Play This Pussy Ballad on the Radio" was presumably the song's original title).
"Oh, and you know how you wanted me to be a pretty boy frontman? You might want to sit down."
To his woeful surprise, the executives loved it, and "Cherry Pie" became both the album's title and its lead single. Understandably, Lane held a bit of a grudge for being eternally associated with a song he was forced to write, despite the fact that its massive success undoubtedly led to a deluge of "research material" for future compositions:
"I hate that song. I had no intention of writing that song ... And my legacy is 'Cherry Pie,' everything about me is 'Cherry Pie,' I'm the 'Cherry Pie' guy. I could shoot myself in the fucking head for writing that song."
Other band members may have been a little more into it.
The intervening two decades evidently did not do enough to teach him to be grateful for every morsel of fame the universe chose to bestow upon his ridiculous band. However, his words proved to be eerily prophetic -- Lane died in 2011, and the upcoming biopic about his life is called Cherry Pie Guy.
#1. Led Zeppelin -- "Stairway to Heaven"
Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is widely considered by middle-aged white people everywhere to be the greatest song in the history of the world. Whether or not that is correct is debatable, but the song is undeniably one of the most iconic pieces of rock music ever composed.
After its debut on Led Zeppelin IV in 1971, "Stairway to Heaven" became so popular that it was the most requested song on FM radio throughout the rest of the decade, despite the fact that it was never actually released as a single in the United States. Rolling Stone put it at No. 31 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and VH1 continued to beg people to give a shit about them by ranking "Stairway to Heaven" as the third best rock song ever written. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page later referred to the song as being "the essence of the band," which seems to suggest that it somehow smelled like alcohol and vagina cocaine.
Calm down, Robert. It's over, man. It's aaallll over.
Robert Plant, lead singer and resident funslayer of Led Zeppelin, hated him some "Stairway to Heaven." And not just a little hate. We're talking a hate so epic, it rivaled the scope of the song itself. By the late '70s, Plant was thoroughly sick of singing the damned thing, later saying in an interview, "I'd break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show."
That's code for "Fine, I'll sing the fucking thing. Bring me two Benadryl."
Plant referred to it as "that bloody wedding song" (for reasons that aren't entirely clear) and felt that it paled in comparison to the rest of their repertoire. He was doubly irritated that "Stairway" was the only thing interviewers seemed to want to talk about, and fans became borderline obsessed with it, cooking up bizarre theories surrounding the song's possible hidden meanings that persist to this day.
Plant's dislike of the song was so intense (and so contrary to Page's enthusiasm for it) that it impeded talks of a Led Zeppelin reunion for decades, simply because Plant didn't want to have to perform it every night and have Page turn it into a 38-minute guitar solo. When an Oregon public radio station announced that they would never play "Stairway to Heaven," Plant actually pledged a donation. That's right -- he gave money to a radio station that had literally vowed to never play his most famous work.
Dude, seriously, you have to relax.
So there's a new goal for all of you aspiring musicians and garage bands out there: May you someday make a song so iconic and universally loved that the sheer mention of it sends you into a fit of rage.
For more creations hated by their creators, check out 6 Classics Despised by the People Who Created Them. Or learn about The 5 Most Famous Musicians Who Are Thieving Bastards.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 4 Least Anticipated Movies of February 2013.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn why Host-Droid Michael Swaim's regrets creating him.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!