The Beat Goes On: 30 Intricate Facts about Memorable Music Albums

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1Best of the Beatles

Best of the Beatles

After the Beatles fired drummer Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr, he formed a new band and released the album: “Best of the Beatles,” a play on his own name. This led to disappointment from fans who bought the album without reading the tracklisting.

2. Stagehands mistakenly installed a malfunctioning piano for hour-long solo Jazz performance. Musician, Keith Jarrett, had to improvise around the instrument’s limitations and a recording of this concert went on to become the bestselling piano album (The Köln Concert) of all time.

3. The sound quality of the album “Back in Black” by AC/DC is so good, that after its release, studios in Nashville would use it to check the acoustics of a room, while Motörhead would use it to tune their sound system.

4. The Offspring’s Album ‘Smash’ had a small budget of $20,000, which limited studio time. The last four songs recorded for the album were worked through in just two nights. “Smash” went on to be the best-selling album released by an independent record label with over 11 million sales.

5. All the tracks in Prince’s first album ‘For You’ was produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Prince. He sang all the parts and played all the 27 instruments, including the guitars, bass, synths, drums, wind chimes, piano, clavinet, and even the bongos.

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6Bitter Tears

Bitter Tears

Johnny Cash fought for the rights of Native Americans and dedicated an entire album to them named “Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian.” Radio stations refused to play any song in the album. In retaliation, Cash bought an ad on Billboard asking: “Where are your guts?”

7. Frank Zappa’s Grammy-winning album ‘Jazz from Hell’ received a “Parental Advisory” sticker even though it is a collection of instrumental pieces and contains no lyrics at all.

8. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album was on the Billboard charts for a total of 741 consecutive weeks from 1973 to 1988.

9. On the American metal band Tool’s 1996 album, “Ænima”, there’s an aggressive and intimidating song sung in German titled “Die Eier Von Satan” (The Balls Of Satan). However, when translated to English, the lyrics reveal themselves to be a recipe for hashish sugar cookies.

10. The Beatles purposely put a hidden sound on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album that only dogs can hear.

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11Abbey Road

Abbey Road

The Beatles album, “Abbey Road”, was originally going to be called Everest but none of the Beatles wanted to fly to the Himalayas to take a photo so they just called the album Abbey road.

12. Before becoming an actor Joe Pesci was a New York City lounge singer and released the album “Little Joe Sure Can Sing” in 1968.

13. Tom Petty was so popular his record label wanted to charge $1 more for his 1981 album “Hard Promises” than the standard $8.98, but they backed down after he considered naming the album “$8.98”

14. Simon & Garfunkel’s first album was so unsuccessful on the charts that the duo split. Their producer took one of the songs from the album, overdubbed/remixed it without their knowledge or permission, and “The Sounds of Silence” became a hit. The duo made four more albums.

15. While recording their debut album, “40oz. to Freedom”, Sublime did not have permission to use the studio they were using. Their friend snuck them in. Bradley Nowell had said “...they never knew we were there. We managed to get $30,000 worth of studio time for free.”

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16The IRS Tapes

The IRS Tapes

Willie Nelson released an album in 1992 specifically made to pay off his debts to the IRS, entitled “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?”

17. Singer Lorde has sound-to-color synesthesia, a unique condition where sound blends with sight to create certain colors. This greatly contributed to the creative process on “Melodrama”, where she wrote music to the “violets and blues” that appear on the album’s cover

18. Blink-182 was forced by the American Red Cross to remove a red cross from the artwork for their album “Enema of the State” as it was a violation of the international Geneva Conventions.

19. A man was actually set on fire for the cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” album. An unexpected change in wind direction during the shoot caused stuntman Ronnie Rondell’s mustache to catch on fire and burn off.

20. Mrs. Miller was a middle-aged housewife with no formal music training, whose first album “Mrs. Miller’s Greatest Hits” consisted of badly sung covers of popular pop songs from bands such as The Beatles. Her album reached #15 on the Billboard’s Top Albums chart in 1966.



Carlos Santana revealed to Rolling Stone that he was contacted by the Archangel Metatron and told how to create his next album ‘Supernatural.’ It went on to win 12 Grammy’s including Album of the Year, went 15 times platinum, charted #1 in 10 countries, and sold 30 million copies.

22. The title of Pantera’s 1992 album “Vulgar Display of Power” was inspired by a line in “The Exorcist.” When Father Karras asks Regan why she can’t make the straps restraining her disappear if she'’s supposedly the devil, she replies, “That's much too vulgar a display of power, Karras.”

23. Paul McCartney was mugged at knifepoint in Lagos, Nigeria. The thieves made off with all the demo tapes for the album ‘Band on the Run,’ that he was down there to make. McCartney had to re-create the demos entirely from memory before the album could be remade.

24. Boston’s debut album ‘Boston’ was initially rejected because band founder Tom Scholz had recorded and produced it entirely in his basement. In order to appease/fool the label, Scholz hired someone to pretend to produce the album while he re-recorded and reproduced the same album from his basement again.

25. Green day’s 1990s smash hit album “Dookie” was named as such due to the band members having the sh*ts from eating take out when traveling/touring. They were originally going to name the album “liquid dookie” but they deemed the name too gross.

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