Artists have the ability to grow on you. We validated this statement in this month’s staff playlist. I asked all of our staff members to give me a couple bands that they used to absolutely hate, but have now come to love. Some of the choices will come as shocking.
This made for a pretty interesting playlist. Listen below and read the fun stories from each staff member as well.
As a mopey insecure teen I actually hated mopey insecure British ‘80s bands like the Smiths/the Cure/Depeche Mode. A decade later I married someone who’s both well-adjusted AND a huge fan of those bands, so it was easy to let the hate go and finally appreciate so many overplayed classics that I missed the first time around:
The Smiths - “How Soon is Now?”
The Cure - “Fascination Street”
Depeche Mode - “Personal Jesus”
The National. When I first heard their self titled album, Cherry Tree and even Alligator .... I really didn’t like it. I thought the singer’s voice was way too deep causing the lyrics to become buried behind his strange voice and the music itself just seemed boring. BUT BOY WAS I WRONG. They came out with Boxer, High Violet, and a real winner… Trouble Will Find Me and won me over.
Stand out tracks:
Cherry Tree (yes I love it now!)
Calvin Harris. This one’s more like a guilty pleasure but I seriously hated ‘Feel So Close’ until I myself experienced dancing to it with all my best friends and screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs while fist pumping. I still listen to ‘18 Months’ while running and working out and love every second of it.
Stand out tracks:
I Need Your Love
Prince - I love Prince now, but when i was a kid i didn’t get it, then he did the whole Batman Soundtrack. It was like i shook hands with the Joker buzzer in palm style. “Batdance” - Prince
NIN - Yeah i said it, anyone who knows me know that I love this band (borderline obsessed would be more accurate ). I went from thinking these cats were a bunch of industrial electronic dj’s that ripped the shit out of Joy Division drums to not missing a single tour from 1999 and on. How did such a swing from hate to love occur? The magic of a live show in 1999 at Madison Square Garden for the Fragility tour. After seeing that i must say I was WRONG, really WRONG, sorry Trent and Atticus. And like i said I haven’t missed a tour since the fragile….. “Where is Everybody” - Nine Inch Nails
John Legend- When he 1st came out I thought this guy was super soft for an R&B guy, so disregard almost anything he did, then Kanye put him on a track and going back Mr Legend, i was wrong sir, my bad. John Legend is solid in my books. “Who Did That To You” - John Legend
The Killers - Change Your Mind
No other band has made a 180 in my life quite like The Killers have. My response to their first single “Somebody Told Me” was that the song made little sense and therefore the band sucked. But after a few listens to the full debut album “Hot Fuss,” it became clear to me that The Killers were really onto something. After publicly bashing the band for their inane lyrics and annoyingly catchy melodies, I finally changed my tune after witnessing a stunning live performance on the hit television concert series, Pepsi Smash. To this day The Killers’ sophomore album Sam’s Town is my litmus test for judging the potential success of indie bands.
Fleetwood Mac - The Chain
The Beatles - She’s Leaving Home
I know what you’re thinking. “The BEATLES? Fleetwood MAC? JUSTIN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” My response, television ruled my young adolescent mind, blame it on those annoying 90’s infomercials.
I grew up “hating” both Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles for the same inexcusable reason. Time Life, the popular 90’s infomercial company would run ads with “Once in a lifetime” offers to buy music, catalogues, Swag, etc via Call-in orders (Sorry, No CODs).
Don’t blame me, I just wanted to get back to my cartoons. If anything, blame the idiotic advertisers who purchased time slots between “2 Stupid Dogs” and “Dexter’s Laboratory” on Cartoon Network.
The good news is that I now love and appreciate both bands in a manner that respects their god-like status. No thanks to you, Time Life.
Phish - I witnessed hoards of Phish fans going into a concert as a teenager and wrote them off as ‘just another crappy jam band’, followed only by the world’s dirtiest hippies. Lately I’ve given them a listen and realized that Phish consists of incredible musicians and are all pretty much geniuses. Or maybe I’ve just turned into a hippie… either way, they rock!
The National - Anyone’s Ghost, Pink Rabbits
St. Vincent - Birth in Reverse. that choppy guitar!
Surprisingly I use to hate Beyonce! Drunk Love is now my jam.
I also used to think Outkast was super annoying on TRL. Thought So Fresh, So Clean was So annoying.
Brandy Clark - Pray to Jesus, Stripes
I hate country music. It’s self-righteous in it’s celebration of banality and hackneyed cliches. I initially hated Brandy Clark for being responsible for some of country music’s most egregious offenders, but her album 12 stories leverages country’s bourgeois format to tell brutally honest stories that are also accessible because they’re surprisingly fun.
When I was younger I found my parent’s Frank Zappa records and I couldn’t get into them because they seemed too weird and out of context, kind of like starting in the middle of an episode of Arrested Development without having seen it before. Now Frank Zappa is one of my all time favorites.
Frank Zappa - Father O’Blivion