For most people, being angry with your boss or coworkers results nothing more than broken office supplies and/or passive-aggressive emails. For musicians, the same thing can result in fame and fortune. That's because their petty squabbles have a tendency to live forever in album form, for better or worse:
6Metallica Tells Fans Not To Overpay For Their Hastily-Made Bullshit
Nowadays, youngsters know Metallica predominantly for their Simpsons cameos and being those greedy old dudes who sued some grandmas for downloading MP3s. However, as much as we like mocking these guys, we have to set things straight: Not only did Metallica never sue their fans for money (just Napster), but at one point, they actually came up with a subtle ploy to make sure people didn't pay too much for their albums. Here it is:
Yes, it was Lars Ulrich's face.
Ironically, it all came down to Metallica's disgust toward opportunistic music industry suits. After the tragic death of bassist Cliff Burton in 1986, the band decided to take it slow for a while. However, due to the success of their previous album, the group was receiving a lot of pressure from their handlers not to kill the momentum. In order to appease their capitalist overlords and break in their new bass player, they figured they could remove two bat heads with one bite by recording a five-track "practice" EP.
The end result had a garage band feel ... because it was literally rehearsed in a garage, then quickly recorded in a studio in six days. Also, it was all cover songs.
Metallica's management did not object, knowing that at the time they could release an album of James Hetfield farting into the microphone and still make tons of money out of their rabid fanbase. Hell, they could probably squeeze 10 bucks a pop out of this cheaply-made crap! Metallica's reaction? Titling the collection The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited, explicitly referencing its small budget and small workload when compared to the albums they gave a crap about.
"Honestly, we put more effort into our handwriting than the songs."
The warning was clear: Try to overprice this modest offering and feel the wrath of a million Aragorn lookalikes. The original vinyl edition even had a useful sticker on it stating "DO NOT PAY MORE!!!" as a declaration of war to anyone trying to rip off Metallica's fans. Only they (and Lou Reed) get to do that.
5Fleetwood Mac's Rumours Was Fueled By Illicit Sex And Revenge (And Cocaine)
Warner Bros. Records
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac was the best-selling album of 1977 -- a more innocent time, when "butts" wasn't the most common theme in pop music. Take for example "You Make Loving Fun," in which Fleetwood's Christine McVie sings about believing in miracles, the magic of love, and how fun it is to get screwed by the band's lighting director. OK, that last part wasn't so innocent -- especially to bassist John McVie, Christine's husband, who had to play this song every night, even after he realized it wasn't really about his wife's dog like she originally claimed.
You make being a very good boy fun, yes you do.
It wasn't only the McVies, though: At this point, everyone in Fleetwood Mac was banging everyone except the ones they were supposed to. Lindsay "I'm a guy" Buckingham and Stevie "I'm not a guy" Nicks had recently broken up; by the time the band started recording the album, Nicks was having an affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood and Buckingham was medallion-deep in groupies. To complete the set, Fleetwood had just found out that his wife was cheating on him with a former band member / best friend. Rumours, therefore, is the perfect '70s rock album, in that it was a completely drug-fueled explosion of grievances.
Warner Bros. Records
Pictured: a solid wall of cocaine.
Almost every song in Rumours is about how tattered everything was, but the most audacious examples of pure musical hate are found in the dueling banjos of Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way" and Nicks' "Dreams." Both songs not only spend an inordinate amount of lines explaining how the other party will die alone in a house filled with cats, but also feature the target themselves filling in as backup singers. So it is Nicks who has to reluctantly sing that she can "go your own way" (i.e. "fuck off") and Buckingham who has to harmonize about "what you had and what you lost."
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"On that second line, I need you to hit that F# when singing about what a cheating bitch you are."
That Rumours consistently winds up in "Best Album of All Time" top tens is made all the more impressive if you know that while performing, the songwriter was cheating on the guitarist with the drummer and the lead singer was making sexy eyes at the spotlight while her husband was leading her in -- with all of them on a strict diet of cocaine and vengeance.