07:27:42 PM Feb 26th 2017
I've pulled this example from the page.
- The Kingsmen's (in)famous 1963 cover of "Louie Louie" is a quintessential example of So Bad, It's Good, with The Other Wiki's article on the subject being so ridiculous that the list of transgressions reads like a rewrite of This Is Spinal Tap. And it's fascinating:
- Instead of bothering to locate sheet music or at least hunt down Richard Berry's original recording, lead singer Jack Ely only ever heard another cover by the Fabulous Wailers under less-than-ideal conditions prior to recording. This resulted in him unintentionally leaving off a beat when instructing his bandmates, and messing up the rythym of the entire song.
- The desire by the producer and engineer for a "live sound" led to a three-microphone setup that might as well have had the band in another room entirely, with the drums in particular sounding hilariously flat and distant as a result. Additionally, this meant Ely had to stand on tiptoe in the middle of the stage, crane his head up to the overhead mic, and shout at the top of his lungs to be heard over his bandmates. Coupled with slurred speech following a dental operation he'd had earlier that day, this assured that most of the lyrics were transformed into some of the most hysterically garbled nonsense ever put to wide release. This song earned the ire of the Moral Guardians and eventually became the target of an FBI and Congressional investigation because of the many supposedly obscene Mondegreen heard in it in the years after its release. Eleven hundred pages after the fact, the committee concluded the song was unintelligible and gave up trying to find any such profanity... without once cross-referencing the squeaky-clean lyrics of Berry's original. This also ensured the cover's continued fame and inspired several other artist to make outright explicit covers of their own. This is even funnier taking the song's other major shortcoming into account...
- The cheapness of the recording wasn't just auditory— the band only had enough money for a single take, ensuring they were stuck with whatever mistakes were made during that one take. As a result, Ely clearly starts up and then hastily aborts a verse after coming in too early after the guitar bridge, and around the 0:55 mark Lynn Easton audibly yells "Fuck!" after fumbling a drumstick (obviously, this was never caught during the investigation).
- Predictably, the cover flopped hard on initial release, with sales so low the Kingsmen considered splitting up. When a famous radio DJ mocked the poor quality of the recording on his "Worst of the Week" segment, however, the album's fast-and-loose sound and admittedly catchy rythym immediately caught on with the youth of the day, making for one of 1963's biggest hits. These days, it's widely considered one of the most important and influential songs in the history of rock and roll, and even enjoys a following as the unofficial state song of the band's native Oregon. Maybe So Bad, It's Iconic would have been a better fit?