Celebrated spam rocker Bono once said, "Music can change the world because it can change people." It's true. Music can manipulate our emotions, making us deliriously happy or evoking bittersweet memories. And while we have a tendency to personalize music to our own experiences, sometimes we forget it's not all about us. There are a lot of moving parts that go into making a classic song, and occasionally they work together only because they have no other choice. In fact, for some bands, their most famous song is also the thing that led to their eventual demise. For example ...
6"Take My Breath Away" -- Berlin
"Take My Breath Away" was the smoke-and-mirrors ballad that helped trick the movie-going public into believing Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise were actually hot for each other in the feature-length U.S. Armed Forces recruiting vehicle Top Gun. The first single from the movie's soundtrack, "Take My Breath Away" won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for best original song in 1986 and became an instant middle-school-dance slow-jam staple.
But it wasn't loved by everyone ... specifically, members of the band who actually performed the hit song didn't care for it much.
The maudlin tune was written by Giorgio Moroder, who was known more for the pulsing electronica beats of classic drugsploitation films like Scarface and Midnight Express than sappy love ballads ...
Music to get busted by.
... and recorded by California new-wave band Berlin. To say everyone in the band hated it would be a stretch. Lead singer Terri Nunn, who appears in the music video in a skunked 'do and inexplicably shredded and soiled coveralls, was a fan of the track.
You would be too if you knew it meant you'd get to sing on top of a fighter jet.
However, bassist and songwriter John Crawford loathed it. Berlin had already found some success with new-wave classics like "The Metro" ...
... and "No More Words" ...
... so the sentimental "Take My Breath Away" was a pretty big departure from their signature sound, and Crawford let his objections be known.
Keep your sappy ballads right the hell away from this badass.
Signature sound or not, it was by far the band's biggest hit, so a rift was inevitable. The rest of the group agreed with Crawford that the song totally sucks, and the ensuing infighting led to Berlin's breakup less than a year after its release.
Ethics pay the bills only for so long, though. In 2000, the original lineup, including Crawford, briefly reunited for the aptly titled VH1 show Bands Reunited. They played one sold-out show in Los Angeles, and Nunn has been touring under the name Berlin with a bunch of randos ever since.
At least everyone seems happy.
You lose again, Crawford!
5"Sympathy for the Devil" -- Guns N' Roses
The Rolling Stones' timeless musical tribute to Satan and, presumably, living for 150 years, has long been saddled with a sinister reputation that it may or may not deserve. While it's often wrongly attributed to being the song The Stones were playing at Altamont when a fan was fatally stabbed, it did appear to have a hand in fatally injuring post-glam-metal rock band Guns N' Roses after they covered it for the Interview With the Vampire soundtrack.
GNR frontman Axl Rose is known for being kind of a jerk, and with good reason. From scrapping with Tommy Hilfiger to ranting via song, "What, you pissed off 'cause your dad gets more pussy than you?" at Bob Guccione Jr. of Spin magazine, Axl's contentious nature has rubbed plenty of people the wrong way.
King of the jerks.
Not one to shirk from stirring the pot, when it came to recording "Sympathy for the Devil," he wasn't afraid to let everyone know just how it should be done, including telling bandmate Slash how he should be playing his guitar. In his autobiography, Slash recounts:
I was told that I needed to re-record my guitar solo so that it sounded more note for note like the Keith Richards' original. Now, that really pissed me off, most of all because the message reached me three times removed like we were playing a game of telephone.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Yep, people still played that back then.
Still unhappy with the outcome, Axl had his childhood buddy Paul Tobias play over the original solo Slash had recorded. While the tension between Axl and Slash had been growing for some time, this blatant jerk move prompted Slash to leave Guns N' Roses. And he wasn't the only casualty. Guitarist Gilby Clarke also figured out he was getting the boot in the wake of the song:
I knew that that was the ending, because nobody told me about it. Officially I was in the band at that time, and they did that song without me. That was one of the last straws for me, because nobody had said anything to me and they recorded a song by one of my favorite bands. It was pretty clear I'm a big Stones fan, and they recorded the song without me. So I knew that was it.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Don't worry: he ended up on VH1 also!
So, in conclusion, Axl Rose has always been a dick and The Rolling Stones keep themselves alive by consuming the souls of younger bands. They probably learned it from that devil song.