Chromeo just released Jealous (I Ain’t With It) and originally rejected the song because they thought the opening riff sounded too much like Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Luckily they decided to keep working on it because it’s a great song. Here are 7 songs that almost never happened.
Moby – Natural Blues:
Before Moby saw worldwide success, and before his album Play went platinum in more than 20 countries, he had some friends over and was playing it for them. They thought “Natural Blues” was too weird. Moby says he couldn’t get a good mix of it and almost left it off the record until he sent it to a guy in England that figured it out.
The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979:
When The Smashing Pumpkins were recording Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Billie Corgan brought 27 songs into the studio. Once they got through all of those he had one more – it was “1979”. When he played a rough version of it, the producer (Flood) didn’t think it was good enough, so he gave Corgan 24 hours to make it work or it wouldn’t be on the album. Billy Corgan went home that night and worked on it, wrote some lyrics and it was recorded the next day.
Vampire Weekend – Diane Young:
Modern Vampires of the City made all sorts of year end lists in 2013 including #1 on Rolling Stones “50 Best Albums of 2013”. The lead single “Diane Young” wasn’t always the song it is today. While recording that album they had so many down tempo songs the producer (Ariel Rechtshaid) wanted to do something with higher energy. The band didn’t really like the demo for “Diane Young”, they thought it was a boring Rockabilly song and dismissed it. Rostam and Ariel worked on it until they got what we have today.
Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah:
This one was always supposed to happen, it just took forever. Cohen is a gigantic perfectionist and this song took him 2-3 years to finish. He claims he filled 2 notebooks and wrote over 70 versus for this song. I’m sure a less committed artist would have quit much sooner.
Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know:
This was one of the biggest songs of 2012. After Gotye wrote the first verse he didn’t know where to go lyrically, so he added a female part. He booked a “high profile” female artist but she backed out the night before they were going to record (Gotye won’t say who this was), then he tried getting his girlfriend to sing but the dynamic didn’t work with the breakup content of the song, so finally Kimbra signed on. After all of that he almost didn’t put it on Making Mirrors because he thought it sounded too much like his previous material.
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean:
Michael Jackson co-produced this song with Quincy Jones and they fought continuously over it. Jones hated it. When Michael Jackson brought him this song he thought it was too weak, hated the famous baseline and wanted to cut the instrumental intro. It was to the point that it almost didn’t make the album. This also ended up being the song Michael Jackson first did the moon walk to. This is the supposed to be the video of the first time he did the moonwalk, it’s at about 4 minutes and lasts about a second.