#3. "Axel F" Is Not by Herbie Hancock (But You'll Never Remember Who It Is By)
One of the most memorable themes in movie history has to be "Axel F" from Beverly Hills Cop. That's why everyone knows it's written and performed by Harold Faltermeyer! OK, like six people know that. And I actually don't have a problem with that, because unlike the other songs on this list, this song is pretty much one artist's attempt to copy another. I'm pretty sure being mistaken for Herbie Hancock was the plan. YouTube isn't letting me embed this song, so click this link while staring at this picture of Eddie Murphy. It's pretty much the same thing.
Da da da di da da da da duh daaaaa ...
This entry holds a distinction from the others on the list in that I, personally, made this mistake. Yes, I hadn't gone through puberty yet, and yes, it was an error made during that crazy '80s decade that you've heard so much about on VH1, but I did mess up. I was probably preoccupied with my Rubik's Cube and Capezios.
How Did This Happen? Pretty sure it was by design. In 1983, legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock released a groundbreaking recording that was an early exploration of sampling, programming, dance and pop. It also had a neat video by Godley and Creme. It left such an impact on the '80s that there has to be a memo in some Hollywood filing cabinet reading, "Herbie Hancock not interested. Get some German dude to do a hip Herbie Hancock type thing for new Eddie Murphy movie."
#2. "Bitch" Was Performed by Someone Who Wasn't Alanis Morissette
Hey, remember the '90s? I sure do. We had a young, charismatic president, but the economy wasn't in the toilet. It was awesome. I had long hair and I could eat and drink as much as I wanted without any exercise, all without worrying about losing my day job as a Calvin Klein underwear model. Oh, and a bunch of women -- some very talented and others decidedly less so -- were all over the charts. After the large explosion of estrogen and melody, the public was left with kind of an ambiguous musical ooze and people started getting sloppy with their memories, leading to this next entry.
In 1997, Meredith Brooks had a super ginormous hit with "Bitch." Remember Meredith at Lilith Fair? No, not the one with the bare feet and hairy pits. The older one. No, not the one who sang "Sonny Came Home." Y'know, this chick:
But it seems the more time goes on, the more people think it's by Alanis Morissette. Just look at this up on YouTube:
How Did This Happen? Of all the talented women of the '90s, Alanis Morissette had the biggest career. Why? For the same reason people prefer Tori Amos to Kate Bush: Because people are wrong all the time. So these folks hear an angry song by a woman and assume it has to be Alanis. Well it's not. For one thing, it doesn't carry the stink of Glen Ballard all over it.
#1. Holy Shit, People Think Bob Marley Sang "Don't Worry Be Happy"!?
I had no intention of writing about this song again. I had no idea people didn't know Bobby McFerrin wrote and performed this massive '80s hit. When I was taking suggestions for this column, this song was mentioned, and I instantly discounted it as a truly terrible idea, because who would be stupid enough to think "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was written by Bob Marley?
Apparently, a metric shit-ton of people!
And hey, it's got 3 million views on YouTube. You could say some of those views are from people who just clicked the link in disbelief like me, but it also has close to 10,000 likes.
And look at this lovely comment:
This song makes me sadder than Bob Marley's untimely death.
That is insane. Bobby McFerrin is doing a silly faux Jamaican accent, and this song came out years after Bob Marley died.
How Did This Happen? I have no idea. I still refuse to believe it. If you were one of these people, please don't call me names or try to defend yourself in the comments. Just lie. Deny it. No one needs to know, and the rest of us would all be happier thinking you don't exist. Like pissing in a public swimming pool. We wish you wouldn't do it, but if you do, don't tell us. We like to pretend we're not constantly surrounded by human waste.
Speaking of human waste, the latest HBN is about a sleazy South African club owner and his terrible new Avatar-based disco. When you're done watching that, follow Gladstone on Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest regarding Notes from the Internet Apocalypse. And then there's his website and Tumblr, too.
For more from Gladstone, check out Debate: Should Hotels Charge for Wi-Fi? and 5 Things That Are Totally Unrelated to Hot, Hot Lesbian Sex.