5 Actors Who Attempted Music (And Failed Miserably)
There's a curious tradition in Hollywood wherein, every so often, an actor gets it into their head that maybe they can cross boundaries and become a singer as well. Think of it like entertainment rabies. It's rare but not unheard of, it strikes without warning, and the victim will most likely end up dying a horrible death.
It's not that actors can't sing or vice versa; it's just that most can't and shouldn't. While your Dolly Partons and Ice-Ts may thrive in both forums, others fail so miserably someone should have intervened at the start with a harsh "No!" and a rolled-up newspaper to the nose.
David Hasselhoff: Night Rocker
David Hasselhoff is a full-grown adult man who was in his 30s when he dropped Night Rocker on us like a stray dog drops an unusually shiny turd near your shoe. There was no cause for this other than a vanity project and, since we all know the cliche joke about Hasselhoff's German popularity, we know what became of it. But do you know why?
The title track, "Night Rocker," is not about low-light rocking chair shenanigans. Instead it's about how the Hoff plans to seduce you with his rock 'n' roll badassery. And with lines like these, he'll have the women in slippery stacks waiting for him:
Kiss me and world is so cool and bright
It's so much music in the street
And when I'm walking with you down the boulevard
Something comes alive in me
"Boulevard"? That word's about as sexy as "dysentery" or "Hasselhoff." The fact that it's sung as out of tune as every other word isn't helping. And what's with all that music in the street? Are there bands all over the place, trying to out-music each other, or did a dump truck full of music tip over? Is it disrupting traffic? I mean, he's not talking about the quality of the music; he's clearly talking about quantity. There's just so much of it, and I guess he really likes that. But wait, there's more. There's the chorus:
I am the night rocker
I wanna rock you all night long
I am the night rocker
I wanna love you in a song
It's a sweet lullaby
And I know you want to fly
So come, let's fly away
I am the night rocker
He's the night rocker; he'll rock you all night long. His story checks out when you do the math, but something tells me there'll be less rocking and more half a glass of fiber supplement before bed.
Joe Pesci: Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You
Society as a whole has been complicit in the lie that Joe Pesci is a tough guy since Martin Scorsese cast him in 1990's Goodfellas. Since that time, he's repeatedly appeared in intimidating roles despite being roughly the size of a football. Compounding this madness is the fact that Pesci has played up one of his alter egos, pseudo-tough guy Vincent Gambini, from the movie My Cousin Vinny, and given him a singing career. In point of fact, Pesci is neither a tough guy nor a singer, as his album adequately displays with his cover of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World."
Here's a sample lyric, spelled phonetically for your enjoyment:
And I think to myself, "Wow, what a byoo-dee-full world."
The Beatles somehow dropped their accents entirely when they sang, but Pesci manages to ham his up by a couple of degrees on the Tony Danza scale. But he's in character, right? So it's charming? Well, here's Pesci busting out his '90s rap groove for "Wise Guy," a song about how he'll sexually violate your female relatives and then kill the men in your family, if time permits.
First, to ease us into the song:
It's the bitches that'll get yas
It's the bitches that'll get yas
It's the bitches that'll get yas
The stage has been set. We're already wary of bitches because we know they will get us. What next, Cousin Vinny?
A made man, fact like my ass is fat
Catch Joe in Bermuda throwing 'em back
Sipping on Tequila with a straw hat
Put the prez on hold, tell him I'll call him back
Tow away zones? I don't get a ticket
Any crime committed, that shit is acquitted
I'm a goodfella, I'll tell ya if I did it
Freak scenes with your wife last time I hit it
Cuz I'm more man than you'll ever be
And it was probably your wife in bed with me
If you see me you better look the other way
Double cross me you won't live to see another day
I got seven cars in my garage
A limousine with a TV and bar
I'm a star
Don't do blow and I don't sell crack
Stay alert, I got someone to whack
Fuck the Oscars. Get this man a Grammy.
This is all presented with unbridled sincerity, like a latter day Kanye West. Why was Pesci probably sleeping with your wife -- what the hell did you ever do to him? For that matter, what war crime did you commit to make your wife turn to Joe Pesci for comfort? And why do we care about the TV in his limo? Minivans have TVs in them. And most bizarre of all, how does he go from callously ignoring parking tickets to straight-up murder? This verse got out of hand.
Even more shocking is that, yes, Pesci actually is/was a singer and released an album before his acting career took off. He was almost in The Four Seasons, in fact. So what happened? We can only assume all those blows to the head during Home Alone ruined him.
Steven Seagal: Songs From The Crystal Cave
There's an awesome Hollywood rumor about Steven Seagal that's gone around for years. He has been known to be a bully on the set of his movies, and this has been corroborated by many actors and stunt people. Based on the number of unrelated people who have come forward with this story, there's a good chance it's true and/or the truth is even worse than the stories of him needlessly hitting and attacking his co-workers to prove how tough he is. But one story stands out, and that is about how on the set of Out For Justice, Seagal bragged to the crew that he could never be choked out. Judo legend Gene LeBell was on set and decided to make an example of Mr. Seagal by proceeding to choke him not just out but right into a hearty pantload of crapping himself.
Did a man ever choke out Seagal until he shat himself? Seagal says no, but LeBell, in an oddly respectful way, has gone on record saying yes. We'll probably never know the truth. Why do I mention this? Because even if Seagal didn't shit his pants, he certainly shit this album out.
"This is guitar? I can have eat it? BLARRRG!"
This multi-genre album tries to present pop, hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall, soft rock, and the poetic stylings of a glue-huffing Muppet. Read these lyrics and remember they weren't written while he was in a full=blown epileptic seizure:
If you sing with me
We can fill the world with harmony
If you dance with me
We can create a better place to be
Walk with me, feel me musically
You gotta let the music be the remedy
If you sing with me
We can change the world with a melody
You're going to think I'm joking when I tell you this, but I swear to you that I'm not: That song is literally just called "Music." And now I can't stop laughing, thinking of him saying things like, "This is a poem I wrote for my youngest child, Daughter. It's called 'Poem.'" Here's what it sounds like:
You can almost see Seagal playing a brightly colored plastic ukulele while a cartoon lamb sings backup vocals. The album is so unfocused it's hard to imagine anyone not in the midst of a bath-salts-fueled rage appreciating it for anything more than its comedy value. This is epitomized in the song "Lollipop," for which nothing can prepare you either physically or emotionally. You're not ready to hear this song; no one is. It's what happens when a sleepy white guy who fancies himself a Native American/Japanese warrior tries to become Bob Marley. The result is the Lords Of Darkness wincing and putting tentacles in their ears while the inventor of music shoots God a quick "I'm sorry" Hallmark card. Ostentatious and exaggerated criticism? I dare you to listen to the song that spawned these lyrics:
My girl Lollipop
My girl Lollipop (woooh yeah)
You make my heart go giddyup (woooh yeah)
You are as sweet as candy (woooh yeah)
You are my sugar dandy (woooh yeah)
That's, sadly, the least-stupid part of the song, and Seagal sings it with a mumble-mouth vaguely Jamaican patois. Should any decent human ever have to use the word "patois" when discussing Steven Seagal? God no.
Mr. T: Mr. T's Commandments
Here's some of Mr. T's sage wisdom for children:
Honor thy mother and father
The Bible makes it clear
If you break the rules
God help you fool
You got Mr. T to fear
In the midst of this in the video, Mr. T throws a man out of a window. You know, for not honoring his mother and father.
The idea of Mr. T recording an album of lessons for kids isn't terrible, in context; Mr. T was kind of a real-life superhero back in the day, and kids could look up to him. Why not impart some useful life lessons with the odd window toss? Sadly, what Mr. T possesses in common sense and good intentions he drastically lacks in musical skill, rhythm, and pacing. The whole album plays out like a sin Jesus wouldn't even take a splinter for, let alone die for. This, combined with the numerous murders he commits in the video (shortly after lyrics about honoring thy mother and father, he literally tosses two men down an elevator shaft) makes his lessons hard to swallow.
You go into this album wanting to hear Mr. T rap about kicking a hole through the spines of terrorists. Instead he raps about not opening the door when you're home alone and not doing drugs. Worse yet, in hero-shattering fashion, Mr. T's rap skills make Vanilla Ice look like a sci-fi hybrid of Tupac, Eminem, and Biggie. William Shatner could rap a better album than this after six whiskeys and a wisdom tooth removal.
T's "Don't Talk To Strangers" is probably the album's most egregious example of a badass tough guy from yesteryear shitting all over his own image for the sake of pandering to children. His voice takes on the affectation of one speaking to a dog that has a penchant for running into windows.
You're walking home after school
And this man drives up, and he's acting real cool
He'll say, "You want some candy, or do you need a ride?"
You just say, "No thank you, sir. I'm doing just fine!"
Bam! Abduction thwarted. I love it when a plan comes together.
Edward Furlong: Hold On Tight
You'll be forgiven if you weren't aware that the lovable scamp from Terminator 2 had a music career back in the day, because it's likely the CDC took possession of every copy of his album and buried it with those E.T. Atari games before humanity had a chance to unleash their plague.
These days young actor/singers are a dime a dozen, and, honestly, it wasn't even rare in the '70s for people to be marketed the same way, from your Donny and Marie Osmond all the way up to your modern-day Selena Gomez (I say "your" to imply it's someone else's fault). The difference between them and Eddie Furlong is that some fans would argue the Osmonds can sing. No one would extend that courtesy to the gravelly, limp-noodled throat farts of Furlong. Not now, not back in the 1990s. And that's just his technique. The actual songs he sings somehow lower his musical prowess into an abyss previously reserved for people who whistle while selling tainted baby aspirin.
When you're afraid my love will guide you
We'll cross the deepest ocean 'til we reach the other shore
And when you think you're out of love, I'll give you more and more
These are abrasively bad lyrics, like musical sand paper doused in Tabasco and rubbed on your asshole. The sorts of things a sixth-grader writes inside his binder during algebra because he's convinced if he ever meets Dave Navarro this is the song that will make him famous, and it was totally inspired by the time at that party when he felt Stephanie's boob. Wait, it gets worse:
I still remember when you gave your heart to me
It was a year ago today
We made a promise as I held you tenderly
A gift of love and holiday
That's from Furlong's holiday opus "It's Christmas Time," a festive ditty he had the balls to include in the same curiously robotic monotone as the entire rest of the album. Keep in mind this album was released in 1992 to capitalize on Furlong's Terminator fame, which means it was recorded in his mid-teens, and every song is about his undying love for some nameless girl who's in for an unfortunate romance -- except one: Furlong's aggressively terrible cover of The Doors' "People Are Strange," an addition clearly meant to punish Jim Morrison in the afterlife for some unnamed crime against Furlong's family.
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