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Friday, March 14, 2014

5 Hit Songs Written Because The Artist Hated Their Record Label

5) The Ting Tings "That's Not My Name"

WHAT YOU THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT: Guys trying to pick up lead singer Katie White, but they're too drunk to remember what her name is.

WHAT IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT: Soon after signing with Mercury records, the execs who signed the Ting Tings left the label, and the band was ultimately dropped. Out of that frustration of being dropped came this catchy as hell #1 single.

QUOTES: "You feel like your career's over at 22 and you haven't even gotten a record out. It was like, you really are that forgettable unless you put your stamp on something" -Katie White-

"We were really frustrated because we had been in a band before and been dumped by our label. Back at the time, we weren't specifically trying to write a song about anything. We were just trying to have fun with it. But when we look back at the lyrics we realize they're all about frustration. In a way, she's saying she wants to be heard. She wants people to know her name." -Jules De Martino, the second half of the band-


Four letter word just to get me along / It's a difficulty and I'm biting my tongue and I / I keep stalling, keeping me together / People around gotta find something to say now

4) Eminem "The Way I Am"

WHAT YOU THINK THIS SONG IS ABOUT: Eminem hating the world because they refuse to accept Eminem for the way he is. Plus, this song was released 2000, of course Em is mad at SOMETHING.

WHAT IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT: The pressure the record label placed on Eminem to create a hit lead single to promote his new album, The Marshall Mathers LP. 

Eminem albums tend to be long with many songs. Especially his first two records. The Marshall Mathers LP (his second record) had 18 tracks on it! Part of the reason it had so many tracks, is that Eminem created an album he was proud of, but his record label said it needed at least more song on it- a song like "My Name Is". It needed a pop friendly song to be the album's first single. Needless to say, Eminem was upset when he heard this. Not only did he think he was done with his album, but he's Eminem. So he went into the studio and recorded a variety of angry tracks- one of which was "The Way I Am." He eventually produced the song his record label was looking for, "The Real Slim Shady", but not after spewing out a few more angry songs first.


I'm so sick and tired of being admired / That I wish that I would just die or get fired / and dropped from my label / Let's stop with the fables / I'm not gonna be able to top on My Name Is

3) Korn "Freak On A Leash"

WHAT YOU THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT: Depression. 'Cause you know, it's a Korn song.

WHAT IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT: The music industry treating Korn like a dog, hence the band feeling like a freak on a leash. Also the greatest song ever if you in junior high in 1999 and watching Total Request Live everyday when you got home.

QUOTE: "[Freak On A Leash is] my song against the music industry. Like me feeling like I'm a ****** pimp, a prostitute. I'm this freak paraded around but I got corporate america ****** making all the money while it's taking a part of me. it's like they stole something from me. They stole my innocence, and I'm not calm anymore. I worry constantly" -Jonathan White, lead singer-


Feeling like a freak on a leash / feeling like I have no release / How many times have I felt diseased? / Nothing in my life is free (is free)

2) Maroon 5 "Harder To Breathe"

WHAT YOU THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT: Considering this song is off of Maroon 5's debut album "Songs About Jane", this song is obviously about the nasty and physical part about the relationship with Jane.

WHAT IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT: Feeling suffocated by their record label to produce a "certain kind of sound"

"Harder To Breathe" was the band's first song and THE song that brought them into the cultural zeitgeist where they would never leave. It is also by far and away their best song. It was written because their record label told them they needed more songs on their album. Fed up with the process, lead singer Adam Levine just shat out "Harder To Breathe" as an angry rant to his record company.

QUOTE: "That song comes sheerly from wanting to throw something. It was the 11th hour, and the label wanted more songs. It was the last crack. I was just pissed. I wanted to make a record and the label was applying a lot of pressure, but I'm glad they did." -Adam Levine-


How dare you say my behavior is unacceptable / So condescending unnecessarily critical / I have the tendency of getting very physical / So watch your step 'cause if I do you'll need a miracle

1) Sara Bareilies "Love Song"

WHAT YOU THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT: It's a female singer/songwriter, so clearly this is a song about an ex-boyfriend of hers. Hell no she's not going to write him a love song!

WHAT IT'S ACTUALLY ABOUT: Because Bareilles is a singer/songwriter, her record label had a specific image in mind for what they wanted Bareilles to be in the public eye. In particular, she's supposed to write love songs. Think about Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat. Their hits are all about love and boyfriends and such. But not Bareilles. She was pissed at her record company for forcing her to write a love song, that she wrote a song about how she doesn't like her record label forcing her to write a love song. Pretty meta, huh?

QUOTE: "[Love Song] was actually written for my record label. I had been turning in new music. I was getting the red light. I couldn't go into the studio yet because they were waiting for something. But I wouldn't... nobody said what they were waiting for. So I kept turning in new songs, thinking like 'Is this was you want? Is this what you want?' And it was always a big thumbs down, and I ended up writing 'Love Song' out of frustration." -Sara Bareilles-


I'm not going to write you a love song/ 'cause you asked for it / 'cause you need one / you see /
I'm not going to write you a love song / 'cause you tell me it's make or break in this /
If you're one your way / I'm not going to write you to stay /
If all you have is leaving / I'ma need a better reason / to write you a love song today

What do you think is the great song that's actually an "Eff You" to the record labels?

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