Revenge, Best Served Loud
Today's episode is brought to you by the your brain on facts book available. Now, want the facts without my voice, get the your brain on facts book. But if you want my voice with the facts, I am available for hire for voiceover work no job too small and my listeners get fifty percent off email me at Moxie at your brain on facts dot com. Popular Music is very to lead littered with songs getting back at someone from Waylon Jennings to Taylor Swift. The best known revenge song is probably Carly Simon's you're so vain which has led to decades of speculation as to who the song was about, and why could it be ex-lover Warren Beatty or Kris Kristofferson alleged fling, Sean Connery, or occasional duet partner Mick Jagger. Rake up songs aside, a fair number of the tracks you know by heart or actually Clap Bax, not two former lovers, but to the people in the mixing booth or the boardroom. My Name's Moxy and this is your brain on fact. A microphone is a good enough platform forgetting back at someone, but an entire recording studio is even better. And when I said songs, you know by heart I mean by an Nancy. Wilson rockin roles, sisters of Awesomeness. Their hit Barracuda, which somehow failed to crack the billboard top ten when it was released in nineteen seventy seven isn't about the Plymouth fastback muscle car or even the sleek and toothy underwater killing machines. With, arguably one of the greatest opening riffs and Classic Rock Barracuda was written by Anna Nancy Wilson together with Guitarist Roger Fisher and Drummer Michael Derosier. It was written at a time when there was friction between the band and their label to put things mildly. The song appears on the album little queen their first album with CBS. Portrait. Records. They'd left their old label mushroom records after a contract dispute and mushroom was none too happy. Because according to mushroom heart owed them a second album. They not only sued the band for breach of contract and try to block the release of the CBS album but released magazine an album made up of songs that Hart had recorded but didn't think we're good enough to release as well as some live recordings needed to get it up to album length. The dispute dragged on and eventually the court decided that heart was free to sign with a new label but mushroom was indeed a second album. So. Heart went back to the studio to rerecord remix edit and re sequence the magazine recordings in a marathon session over four days. A court ordered guard actually stood nearby to make sure the master tapes weren't being erased. Heart eventually came out on top. As not only did the album little queen outsell magazine by a wide margin. The debacle gave the band the distinction of having all three of their albums on the charts at the same time. The court case wasn't the only reason. The Wilson Sisters in company were mad at mushroom records. After the first album became a million seller mushroom took out a full page ad in rolling stone touting the band's success using the headline million to one shot sells a million. No problem so far. The AD looks like the front page of a tabloid newspaper and included a photo from the Dream Boat Anne album cover shoot. The caption read. Hearts Wilson Sisters confess it was only our first time. Implying the sisters had an incestuous lesbian affair. Shortly. After this ad appeared a Detroit radio promoter asked an Wilson where her was. She assumed he meant her then boyfriend band manager Michael Fisher. But when the reporter clarified, he was referring to her sister Nancy and was understandably outraged and retreated to her hotel room to write. When she related the incident to Nancy to was outraged and join an in the writing session, contributing a melody and bridge. Nancy puts suitably angry music to the word to complete the song comparing the sleazy side of the Music Biz to a dangerous ill like fish. The song became an enduring classic and Barracuda remains one of the band's signature songs. Vera Khuda was test to another incident of severe irritation for the Wilson Sisters at. Against in two thousand eight. During that year's presidential campaign the song was used as the unofficial theme song for Republican Vice President Nominee Sarah Palin. The ALASKAN governor had apparently earned the nickname, Sarah? Barracuda as a high school basketball player for her competitive nature. The day after the song was played at the National Convention Anna. Nancy Wilson issued a statement reading. The. Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song nor would they have been granted that permission? We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored. Their wishes were not honored. As the Republican campaign pointed out, they had obtained the proper performance rights to the song from the record label and were under no obligation to get any further permission to use it. The Bar for performance rights being somewhat lower than the bar for commercial or video rights. With no legal recourse. The Wilson Sisters retaliated in the media telling entertainment weekly. Sarah Palin views and values in no way represent us as American women. We. Ask that our Song Barracuda no longer be used to promote her image. The Song Barracuda was written in the late seventy s as a scathing rant against the soloist corporate nature of the music business particularly for women. While, heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song the RNC. There's irony Republican strategists choice to make use of it. They're. The. Songs Co writer Roger Fisher was also anti Palin but he saw things differently telling Reuters. He was thrilled that the song was being used as it was a win win situation. He explained that while heart gets publicity and royalties the Republicans benefit from the ingenious placement of a kick ass. Song. He added that he would use some of the proceeds in a donation to the Obama campaign and thus the Republicans are now supporting Obama. See Kids. There's always a silver lining if we look for it. The inimitable late great Freddie Mercury of queen penned another musical hate letter though this one is better known to fans who owned the album a night at the opera, which this reporter should still have on vinyl around here somewhere. As the song death on two legs was never released as a single and didn't really get radio play. This track was dedicated to Norman Sheffield. Queens former manager and CO owner of Trident Studios. Mercury himself described the lyrics as quote. So vindictive that Brian May guitarist backup vocals felt bad singing it. It opens with the line. Like You break. And you read. Ma. And had lyrics like was fin on your back part of the deal shark and you're a sewer rat decaying in a Cesspool of pride Nice. The surviving band members noted the unhappy atmosphere in the days of our lives documentary explaining that they felt they were being done wrong by the label as they kept producing hit single after hit single without really seeing any money coming their way. By Way, of example, at one point Roger Taylor was told that he shouldn't hit the drums to hard as they couldn't afford new drumsticks. But. Taylor noted you see the management running around in stretch limos and thank hang on something's not right here. The band split from Trident Studios was unsurprisingly acrimonious and this song acted as something as a final word from the band, the oral equivalent of the British. Two Finger. Salute. As it appears on the album the song has dedicated to dot dot dot after the title. Even the song doesn't use his name or any overtly identifying characteristics. Sheffield tried to sue for defamation of character. This was a bit of a miscalculation on his part as by doing. So he effectively admitted there was cause for them to dedicate this song to him. The parties eventually reached an out of court settlement. But y'all I googled for like an hour and I couldn't find any specifics outside of the fact that. Queen. Was the one doing the paying. If you happen to know more about this situation by all means at me on the social media as facebook Instagram, slash your brain on facts twitter at brain on facts pot. Now Queens next manager. John Reid. Spent a lot of his initial time working with the band clearing up their finances and resolving bad deals they had gotten into. In his autobiography published in twenty thirteen life on two legs set the record straight. Sheffield denied that he had mistreated the band in his capacity as manager and cited the original nineteen, seventy, two management contracts which included in the book in his defense. He named his autobiography after their song. The lady doth protest to much methinks. If you like your history with a heaping side of the weird, you've got to check out the sponsor for today's show the mystified podcast. Fellow lover of Weird Facts Tasha dreadful is joined by collector of all things dark Steve Chaos to tell you stories of the strange and the creepy that are going to make your brain tingle and your skin crawl. You can check out mystified on your favorite podcast player. We're by going to mystified. pod Dot. com. The music industry can be a harsh mistress record executives on only tell you how to live in the present day. They make up a punchier past for you altering your history to help them sell more records. And once you're no longer laying golden eggs your goose is cooked. At. least. That's how the members of Pink Floyd felt. While the album title, wish you were here and the song title welcome to the machine may have been statements. They're recording actually asked a question. What is the true cost of fame? The story of the album is in no small part also the story of founding member Syd Barrett. Barrett was the band's original lead guitar and vocalist but in the late nineteen sixties dove headlong into heavy LSD use. His behavior became erratic and unpredictable leading people to speculate now that he may have been self medicating schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. As his hold on reality became increasingly tenuous. The band finally made the painful decision to replace him bringing on David Gilmour. Barrett's deterioration was the impetus behind one of the band's most enduring hits. Shine on you crazy diamond. If the title is written on three lines. You'll see the acronym sit. Barrett visited the band once in the studio at that point virtually unrecognizable to his former bandmates. It was the last time. Any of them would see him alive. Shine on bookends the album dominated by a four note guitar theme that Roger Waters Thought sounded like Barrett's lingering ghost. Shine on contains the lyrics. They blamed the music industry specifically for Barrett's decline. This can be seen again in the song have a cigar with the famous line. Oh, by the way which one's Pink The lyrics are one half of a conversation between a record. EXAC and the musicians he's trying to woo with fame and fortune. Without, bothering to know the first thing about them. The same sentiment makes up welcome to the machine. It tells the story of a record exact talking to a musician without carrying in the slightest about them as a person creating a marketable back story. They can sell. The exacts even right the creatives future. What did you dream? It's alright. We told you what to dream. The song is full of ominous tones and mechanical sounds reflecting the cold and inhuman nature of the industry. Pink Floyd carried this message through to the album art. The front cover shows two men shaking hands in business deal with one of them on fire extensively literally being burned in the deal. On the back cover, a faceless businessman stands in a barren desert. If you just been reminded how much you like the song welcome to the machine or you want to check it out for the first time also check out the cover by the band pinwheel. Do not listen to the Queen's Reich cover. Just. Don't trust me. The shadows fall version is pretty good too. At the same time pink floyd was dealing with their label. We saw the launch of virgin records which got huge initial boost from artist Mike Oldfield and his head tubular bells. Oldfield was only nineteen years old when he wrote the Ethic Rock Symphony which at forty nine minutes had to be split onto two sides of a record. After the demo he recorded in his London flat somehow found its way into the hands of billionaire to be Richard. Branson. Branson signed Oldfield to a recording contract and sent him to re record a new version of the album in his newly established manner recording studio where Oldfield played nearly every instrument himself. The finished product would become the first release on virgin records and a critical and commercial smash reaching number one in the UK album charts and remaining there for a record shattering to. And weeks. It's fame was further cemented by Director William Freakin who used the album's spooky opening piano theme for the soundtrack of the exorcist. The successive virgin records set Branson up to create a business empire including virgin mobile telephone and Virgin Atlantic. Airlines. Things were strained between Oldfield and Branson from. Jump Street. Branson and an engineer remixed tubular bells without Oldfield's permission. Oldfield could politely be called a recluse but Branson knew they needed to capitalize on the song's success by having Oldfield performance life Branson, gave, Oldfield. His Own Bentley if he would just get on stage. The Bentley as it turned out cost more in repairs than it would have cost Oldfield to buy one for himself. Branson also got considerably richer than Oldfield from tubular bells as he was both the owner of the. Record Label? And Oldfield's manager. It took time for royalties to trickle into Oldfield at his below industry standard rate of five percent. The tax bill on the other hand came immediately. Rather than our usual assumption that instantly famous equals instantly rich Oldfield was in debt more often than not and council by an accountant to move overseas. His contract with virgin records was grueling requiring thirteen albums over the next seventeen years. Lawyers were brought in and the pair were joined in a legal struggle that dragged on for years only narrowly avoiding ending up in court. In one, thousand, nine, Ninety Oldfield released his second to last obligatory album amor. Rock. He decided to get his own as the Brits say in a subtle way. The album was an hour long continuous stream of often discordant. Some might describe it as noise essentially guaranteeing it is unplayable on the radio. Buried forty eight minutes in the rhythmic cacophony is overlaid by Staccato screeches. Though. It would fail to grab the ear of the average person boy scouts and old sailors would recognize it as Morse code. What were the words? Well let's just say the first word was the acronym Forum Awful Carnal Knowledge which side note is not where that word comes from and you can bet your sweet baby that I'll do a Patriot about that one of these days. And the next word was the word off followed by the initials R B. This was certainly not the sequel to tubular bells. The record sects have been pushing for all those years. Old Field would eventually record that. After he signed on with Warner Brothers. Things did seem to get a little bit better between Oldfield Branson. They've been able to share the occasional amicable meal and Oldfield gets free flights on Virgin Atlantic. Though, they don't fly to where he lives in the Bahamas. So he rarely gets use them. Thankfully, I'm not beholden to any record label, just the occasional sponsor and when I don't have them, I always have the support of the members at Patriotair Dot com slash your brain on facts where everyone is getting every reward for the time being since we're doing a musical episode, I thought I would do something a little bit different for the shoutout apologies to Jennifer and the puppy podcast who joined after I. La Borey Asleep put this together as well as my apologies to anyone with a sense of pitch everyone else enjoy. Elizabeth Dornan gwen Lawrie and Jonathan Elisha Karen and Charles Caleb Colton Denise polling cupcake Green Kalian Batasuna. Laura Michael Maria and Eric Scottdale read and then Kate. Ruth Jennifer Christina Mackenzie all of my patrons are great. There's Michael L. Center and someone called Whale Biscuit James Tricia and Eric. Number Ryan Darren Dan Sean Bigger and Michael K Nathan very first one atom bomb. Well that was something. But. We've gotten through it together, and if you're saying, Hey, wait a minute that wasn't the whole song. Well, I guess that means you better head over to Patriot dot com, slash your brain on facts. So I have more names to do next time whether that's a promise or a threat remains to be seen. Mike Oldfield is far from the only artist to produce a deliberately unusable album to fulfill a contract. Quality is subjective of course, particularly in a form of artistic expression like music. So it's impossible to bake a requirement like that into a contract. Here's the rundown that by no means exhaustive list of albums recorded for the sole exclusive purpose of fulfilling a contract. There's one item of note I can only mentioned in passing. The Rolling Stones, Track Schoolboy Blues, which may require you to turn Google safe search off to even find the lyrics. Even, if you don't know the artist's name, almost anyone who's heard Classic Rock Station has happily Sung along to Brown eyed girl by Van Morrison. After a pretty unhappy couple of years with the label bang records in the mid sixties Van Morrison wanted out. Lucky for him, Warner music stepped in and bought out his deal with bang records. Unluckily however, there was still one small contractual detail. Morrison was obligated to record exactly thirty six songs for his old label. A label that would continue to earn royalties off of anything he released in the first year after leaving. Not a patient man at the best of Times van Morrison to the only thing he could think of. He recorded more than thirty songs in a single recording session on an out of tune guitar about subjects as diverse as ringworm, blowing your nose, some dumb guy named George and whether he wanted to eat a Danish or a sandwich. Bang records concluded that the songs were somewhat below the artists regular quality. You Think N. deemed the bizarre collection unfit for release. The tracks did eventually see the light of day in the mid nineties and remained some of the weirdest but still really enjoyable music ever recorded by a mainstream artist in a frank savvas. Speaking of whom in early, nineteen, seventy, seven frank ZAPPA wanted out of his deal with warner brothers and recorded leather an eight sided three hour quadruple album of all brand new material. He was told he needed to deliver four separate albums to fulfil his contract however. So he reformatted this giant album into the four required albums. Mourner wasn't having it though and still wouldn't release the records. They not only refused to let Sabah out of his contract. They also wouldn't pay him for what he had done. In. The Pre Internet Age Zappa did the only thing he could do He took one of the test pressings to krld Q in Los Angeles and played the whole set on the air as an exclusive. He also asked his fans to record the whole thing thus giving them permission to bootleg it. Warner. Brothers released some material from rather in nineteen seventy seven while they in Samba were tied up in court and he wasn't recording. They eventually released the bulk of the album in nineteen, ninety, six, three years after ZAPPA's death. Not to say that, Frank Zappa was prolific would be too damn with faint praise leather was his sixty fifth album. Things were tense between Neil, young and Geffen records and David Geffen personally as young reached the end of his contract with them in nineteen eighty six. Geffen had sued young for three point three million dollars on the ground that young's most recent records were non commercial and musically uncharacteristic. Basically David Geffen sued Neil Young for making albums that didn't sound enough like a neil young album. Landing on water sounded like Neil young alright albeit a rather jaded and disillusioned version thereof. Several of the songs on the album were resurrected from. Neil. Young and crazy horse's failed nineteen eighty-four sessions a set of sessions where according to longtime producer David. Briggs the musicians quote played like monkeys. Young, subtle at a court with jeff records but again can't find the specifics. Before releasing his own required but unsellable albums, the purple one himself, the artist formerly known, and then again later known as Prince changed his name to the famous unpronounceable gender mixing squiggle hieroglyphic. It existed in no alphabet occurred on no keyboard and made marketing a nightmare. Prince performed with the word slave written across his face, making it that much harder for warner brothers to market him. In hopes of being more trouble than he was worth. He began churning out albums at a prodigious rate. The. Last album of his contract chaos and disorder was collection of dodgy leftovers and tracks otherwise unsuitable for a proper album. The first album he released with his new label em I was right back up to his old standards, the title. Emancipation. Releasing a live album is a time honored way to deliver on a contractual obligation. With his band the experience having broken up in mid nineteen, sixty nine. Jimi Hendrix put together a new band, the band of gypsys in order to make this record and get it out as quickly as possible. But even though the motives were entirely pragmatic, the results were pretty amazing. Recorded over two nights at the fillmore East and New York City specifically New Year's Eve nineteen sixty, nine New Year's Day nineteen seventy. The album finds Hendrix at his incendiary best. The band went their separate ways only a few weeks later. And barely six months after that hendrix would be dead. For much of the nineteen ninety s British Goth, punk band, the sisters of mercy battled viciously with their record label eastwest. There was a train wreck of a CO headlining tour with public enemy, the snap firing of a manager and canceled distribution in the state's. Trying to kill the last two games that the sisters owed East West Singer Andrew Eldridge sent the label work from another project. Without, even listening to it, the label said, the new material would cover their obligation. What eldridge sent them with some abysmal techno entitled. S S V. Hyphen. And S. M. A.. B.. A. O. T. W. M. O. D. A. S. C. O. T. A. T. W.. which is rumored to stand for screw shareholder value not so much a band as an opportunity to waste money on drugs and ammunition courtesy of the idiots at Time Warner. eastwest never actually released the album, but bootlegs are pretty easy to come by. Marvin gaze album here. My dear arose from a day in court but not with his record label with his now ex wife. The legendary crooner and his Mrs Anna Gordy had become estranged. marvins remarkable cocaine habit and extravagant lifestyle meant that he couldn't afford to pay her alimony. Therefore a deal was reached half of the royalties of gays next album would go to Anna. As you might imagine gay didn't really fancy making another masterpiece like what's going on? Instead. He hoped to turn in some barely passable rubbish. or in his own words, Lazy. that. Of course, you can never predict when genius will strike. Once gay got going. He just couldn't help but make good music writing one of the most beautifully candid and. Rob break-up albums ever. That having been said gay got his original wish when the album was released and fans and critics gave it a collective. Meth. Every now and again, the double edged sword of artists integrity. POPs up. Ben Folds of the Economist five signed a publishing contract that he later regretted. It required him to pen a very specific amount of songs each year right down to the decimal point. The track one down is one of a number of songs dutifully turned out to meet that contract. And details the struggle and silliness of being party to such a legally-binding document. The lyrics directly addressed the ridiculous situation of having to write point six of song. As well as the temptation to give his publishing company something just a little bit terrible. With not a little irony he sings. One Down and three point six tomorrow and I'm out of here. People tell me Ben just make up junk and turn it in. But I could never white bring myself to write a bunch of. Not. All contract fulfills are of poor quality. Belly thought his contract with our CA would expire with the album lodger the third album in what is called the Berlin trilogy. He was counting the double live album stage as to records RCA however was having none of that and demanded another album to fulfil boase obligation. The result was arguably his last great studio album, scary monsters and super creeps. The advanced single ashes to ashes which resurrected his popular major Tom Character from space oddity went to number one in the UK while performing fairly strongly in a number of countries. In the US however, the song saw a different fate not even cracking the billboard hot one hundred. Fashion. A direct descendant from station to stations. Golden years followed in short order pushing scary monsters to the top of the UK charts and Billy managed to reach number twelve in America. For many fans, you need say no more than ashes to ashes to remind them of Bowie's creative genius. and. That's where we run out of ideas at least for today. So, who is so vain? They probably think that song is about them. Well. Carly Simon. Won't say. She, never has. Though she has alluded that Warren Beatty would have reason to think that the song was about him which isn't exactly the same thing. There is one person who knows Simon sold the name in a charity auction. It was bought by NBC sports and Dick Ebersol for fifty thousand dollars but came with the proviso that he must never reveal the name to anyone. And also included a private performance by Simon over a lunch peanut butter, jelly sandwiches, and vodka on the rocks. Now, normally this is where I say you can find all of the sources at your brain on facts dot com firdous. You may have noticed I've been refreshing stuff from the bottom of the catalog. From back before I kept really good bibliographies. So sorry about that, and if you hear any facts that you think are incorrect by all means, get at me about it. Thanks for spending part of Your Day with me. And stay safe.