Alright, let’s do this. Over the years artists come and go, change their style, reinvent themselves, record great album and terrible ones. Sometimes they win fans, sometimes they lose them, some burn out and some fade away. And then there’s the artists that sell out.
Here are ten artists who did just that.
Whether you’re gonna admit it or not, Aerosmith recorded some absolute classics – don’t tell me you haven’t drunkenly sung to Walk This Way, Dude (Looks Like A Lady) and Love In An Elevator.
Unfortunately, any shred of respect anybody ever had for them died a long time ago. Examples: Steve Tyler’s godawful film ‘career’. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Steve Tyler being a judge on American Idol.
Aerosmith have become a bunch of dicks who not only stole their highest ever selling song from Celine Dion, but are forever the soundtrack to Ben Affleck waxing philosophical about fucking animal crackers. While Tyler’s daughter Liv gets it on.
I fucking adore Queen. Freddie Mercury had the greatest voice of anybody, ever, in rock history. They’re one of my all time favourite bands. Unfortunately, after he passed away, things took a turn for the worse. Way, way too much time has been filled by the remaining members attempting to relive the glory days. Remember that time Queen re-did We Will Rock You with boy-band 5ive? Or the time Taylor and May performed Bohemian Rhapsody on the X-Factor, and We Will Rock You on American Idol?
I’m leaving Adam Lambert out because admittedly, I was blown away when I saw them play together a couple months ago. But the fact remains that this event should not have existed. They should have disbanded permanently when Freddie died.
Oh my god, the Sex Pistols. Arguably, they were always sell-outs, considering that their whole punk image was meticulously sculpted by endless asshole Malcolm McLaren. The Sex Pistols were a lot more similar to 5 Seconds of Summer than anybody cares to admit.
Here is the leader of the punk revolution advertising British fucking butter.
OH AND DON’T FORGET THE TIME HE WAS ON JUDGE JUDY
I really like Iggy Pop, but there’s no denying that he deserves a spot on this list. The man who used to slash himself to bits in the name of rock ‘n roll; the man who had an enticingly gossip-worthy relationship with Bowie, the man who had my all-time favourite awkward conversation with my beloved Tom Waits, the man who will almost certainly live forever alongside Lemmy and Keith Richards was not only on American Idol, but in an ad for CAR INSURANCE. What a glorious dickhead.
Anyone who has known me for while knows that behind the hip hop, bass-heavy electronic, ambient, soul and everything else I listen to daily, will know that my heart lies with rock ‘n roll and grunge. I freaking adore Soundgarden and Chris Cornell has the third best voice in the genre, after Staley and Vedder.
Then in 2009, this happened:
I have no words. I remember seeing this video at some cafe with my family. I nearly cried. I didn’t want to believe it. I still don’t.
He also co-wrote a song for someone off American Idol. That seems to be a bit of a trend with the artists on this list, hmmm.
As an Australian, I am very proud of INXS. Sitting somewhere between Duran Duran, The Police and Tears For Fears, with a frontman blessed with the charisma, good looks and swingin’ hips of Jim Morrison, INXS did a hell of a lot for Australian rock music. Then, Michael Hutchence died.
But they didn’t stop there. INXS went further than the other guys on this list when it comes to being involved in reality TV. Remember Rock Star: INXS? The entire reality TV season dedicated to finding them a new singer, and for some reason Dave Navarro was there?
It really made me cringe. Okay, so Queen recruited a guy from Idol. But INXS made their own fucking show entirely about it. It was SHAMEFUL AND HUMILIATING. JD Fortune, the dude who won? How could he be anything even remotely close to Hutchence? Why did they even try? Seriously. Why.
This is a tough one because I really, really love Eminem. I love that Rick Rubin worked on MMLP2 – Hell, I love that it was called MMLP2. But the fact is that he has sold the fuckkkkk out.
Firstly (and I realise many may disagree with this.) One of the first things anybody learns about Slim Shady is that he really fucking hates his mum – and for good reason. I hate Debbie. You probably hate Debbie. I can personally guarantee that at least a few million people have yelled the words “FUCK YOU DEBBIE” with absolute glee, over the past decade or so. We learn so much about Debbie from Em’s songs. Her crippling pharmaceutical addiction. Her lies about her health for government benefits. Her gross mistreatment of baby Marshall, and kid Marshall, and teen Marshall to the point where he had to constantly, aggressively, violenty rap about it. And then, WHAT THE FUCK. HE APOLOGISES. THROUGH SONG. AND THEN THROUGH REAL WORDS. THEN THEY HUGGED.
On a more legitimate level, Eminem has progressively become soppier, poppier and generally worse. The dumb pop stars he used to make fun of? Now he features them on his songs. In general (with some exceptions – there were a handful of brilliant tracks that shone through MMLP2) his music has been steadily stumbling for around four albums now. Particularly in his over-usage of annoying female-led helium-high pop choruses, over-produced backing rhythms, and far, far too many ghost writers. It really makes me sad.
Magna Carta Holy Grail was an ad for Samsung. And it was a terrible album anyway. He’s an unbelievably successful businessman. He should stick to that. He should not pretend to be any kind of credible rapper anymore because he’s not.
That’s all I’ve gotta say about that one.
Staying on rap train for now – unlike Ice Cube. Some might argue that Ice Cube didn’t necessarily sell out, more that he re-branded. He is a pretty good actor after all, and in all honesty, 21 & 22 Jump Street were actually fucking hilarious. But when you think about the fact that this is the guy who did this
And then the fact that he did this
You will realise that it’s possibly the lowest moment in hip hop history.
Finally, Silverchair. So, Silverchair were the first band that ever got me into music. I have an extremely vivid memory of hearing Frogstomp for the first time, around 12 years old. It changed my life and I’m not alone in that sentiment. Frogstomp, Freak Show and even Neon Ballroom are some of the best Australian rock albums – and in the case of Frogstomp, one of the best rock albums in general – for the last three decades.
Anyway, there you have it. I’m going to go weep into my copy of Superunknown now.