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"Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is at once one of the most melodic and THE most bitter and vindictive album of all time ... I mean Taylor Swift writes the odd song about dumping some guy, but she doesn't then make that guy play on the recording of that song..."

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  • Aerosmith's Nine Lives, their return to Columbia Records after experiencing a Career Resurrection at Geffen Records, did not come out easily. One week before rehearsals, drummer Joey Kramer left because he went into a deep depression, having grieved the loss of his father shortly prior, and the band even hired a session drummer in case Kramer didn't return. The first recordings with Glen Ballard (who co-wrote a few tracks) did not satisfy the band, leading to a delayed release as Aerosmith fired their long time manager, reunited with Geffen's A&R man John Kalodner (who was at Columbia, but the manager decided to keep away) - who helped Tyler with the painful task of cutting over 10 tracks he had recorded - and discarded what had been done to re-record under producer Kevin Shirley. Then shortly after release, the album cover drew fury from Hindus and had to be replaced.
  • Alice in Chains' second album, Dirt, was plagued by vocalist Layne Staley's huge drug addiction. Staley would arrive in the studio singing off key due to how stoned he was. At one point his drug dealer even came into the studio trying to tell producer Dave Jarden how to mix the album. Staley ended up turning himself into rehab not long afterwards. On top of that, drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr were struggling with alcohol addiction. There was also issues with the band arriving into the studio on time, as the day after they started recording the Los Angeles Riots had started, causing massive traffic jams. At one point Jerry Cantrell actually watched a convenience store get held up by a robber. They ended up taking an emergency vacation into the Joshua Tree desert until the riots calmed down. The album became a massive success, putting Alice In Chains in the same tier as Nirvana for popularity.
  • The Allman Brothers' final album of the first phase of their career, Win, Lose or Draw, was, as many such bitter ends are, plagued by this trope.
    • Before the sessions began, Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts had already made plans to record solo albums for release afterwards. This led to mistrust from the other members, particularly after Allman missed the first day of sessions. When he did show up, the rest of the band spent little time recording or writing and instead confronted him at length about his future commitment to the band, confrontations Betts and others later admitted were aggravated by everyone's heavy drug use at the time. Over the rest of the sessions things deteriorated further, with Allman and Betts increasingly skipping sessions, unless it was their songs being recorded.
    • This annoyed the other members to the point that they, too, began skipping sessions. Eventually the sessions, as they often do in these situations, deteriorated to the point where a band who had recorded some of its best work by playing together live in the studio instead recorded their parts individually, with no one else present, and letting the producers put it together. At some points the producers even had to play parts on their own.
    • The final album was poorly received; it is considered their worst. It still managed to make the Top 10 and go gold, but that was far less well than the Allmans had been used to doing, and after its release, the band broke up for another 14 years.
  • Alphaville ran into this issue for two of their albums.
    • The Breathtaking Blue was recorded in a brand new studio that the band financed and designed themselves, but unlike their previous two albums, they had no plan for a particular sound or themes to explore and made the album up as they went along. They also tried to record songs as soon as they wrote them without recording demos first. Since they owned the studio and were acting as their own producers, they had no deadlines to meet either. Additionally, since they had no demos to fall back on, each of the band's three members tried to steer the production process into his own artistic direction, leading to a lot of infighting. Things got better once Klaus Schulze was brought on as a co-producer, but the intended six week production process ended up taking a year and a half. On top of all of that, the band had to repeatedly rebuff their record label's pleas that they go on a concert tour. Lead singer Marian Gold later expressed surprise that The Breathtaking Blue didn't end the band for good.
    • Strange Attractor was originally announced to release on September 27, 2014. The final release date was April 7, 2017. Like The Breathtaking Blue there was no grand plan for the album and the band made things up as they went along. But unlike that album, the band WAS touring during recording of Strange Attractor, prolonging the production process. Sadly, keyboardist and songwriter Martin Lister unexpectedly died halfway through the making of the album, and bassist Maja Kim left the band toward the end.
  • Bad Religion, while minor compared to other albums, have had some run-ins with this trope in the past.
    • Their first album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, was the band's third attempt to produce a studio-length album. Lacking money, they were forced to record their album in two days at Track Record Studios, getting only half the songs done. While working on lyrics for more songs, drummer Jay Ziskrout decided to quit the band for unknown reasons, causing them to have to use roadie Pete Finestone as a replacement.
    • The Process of Belief had drummer Bobby Schayer replaced due to a sudden shoulder injury, leaving him permanently unable to play drums. Recording sessions became audition sessions in search of a new drummer, going through five drummers before deciding on Brooks Wackerman.
  • The Beach Boys have had more than their fair share of production trouble, most of it stemming from a single album.
    • SMiLE is one of the greatest rock albums never released, and there are many factors as to why it was never released.
      • During the time of recording, Brian Wilson began experimenting with more potent drugs like LSD and cocaine. This took a toll on his already degrading state of mind. One famous incident led to him experiencing ego death during an acid trip, and inspired the song "The Elements: Fire".
      • As time went on, Brian's mental health further declined and grew increasingly more eccentric and erratic. He shelved "Fire", believing that it was magically lighting fires throughout the town. When he walked into a theater showing the film Seconds (which was partially financed by Brian's main inspiration, Phil Spector), a character coincidentally said, "Come in, Mr. Wilson." This convinced Brian that Spector was following him and made a movie about him. He cut off contact with one of his friends because he was convinced that his friend's girlfriend was using ESP to stop Wilson from making the album. He suspected that his father was spying on him from behind the scenes. As the recording sessions progressed, he even began hearing voices.
      • Frustrated with their lack of creative control, the Boys decided to attempt to end their contract with Capitol Records and form their own label, Brother Records. Unfortunately, this led to a brief lawsuit between the Boys and Capitol where the band demanded unpaid royalties and termination of their contract.
      • During the formation of Brother Records, guitarist Carl Wilson was drafted into the United States Army. He refused to report for duty, and was arrested for being a conscientious objector in May 1967.
      • Brian's insistent perfectionism would prove to be his own undoing, as he would repeatedly miss release dates so he could continue to tinker with already completed songs. The way he recorded the album was that he would record each section of a song separately, and splice them together to create the final product. This modular approach to recording led to him splicing sections together in many different ways, trying to find a final product he was satisfied with, which ultimately led to nothing getting done for a good part of 1967.
      • In 1967, after missing another release date, he decided that he needed to focus on preparing the two tracks "Heroes and Villains" and "Vega-Tables" for release as potential lead singles. It was during this time that he began to doubt his own abilities, and started to fear that the public would hate the album. What didn't help was pressure from the label and Mike Love to stick to a more conventional sound over concerns that this new sound would alienate their audience of teenyboppers. Brian's fears would turn out to be justified in his mind when "Heroes and Villains", the follow-up single to "Good Vibrations" and the centerpiece to SMiLE, flopped on the charts. He took that as a sign of rejection of his growing artistic abilities from the public.
      • During the sessions for the song "Cabin Essence", Mike and Brian's lyricist Van Dyke Parks got into an argument over the lyric "Over and over, the crow cries uncover the cornfield" and its supposed meaning, to which Van Dyke argued there is none. From that point on, Van Dyke began to distance himself from the project, and he left altogether in mid-1967, close to the album's cancellation.
      • Brian basically recorded SMiLE in a race against The Beatles to beat Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to market. However, he heard rumors that the Boys' publicist, Derek Taylor (who previously worked for the Beatles), played the SMiLE tapes for the Beatles behind his back, and started doubting the people around him. When Sgt. Pepper was released first, he took it as a sign that the Beatles won, and it severely demotivated him to work on SMiLE.
      • The final straw was when Van Dyke left the project over concerns that he was causing friction between members of the band. This left Brian without a direction for the album, and was unsure how to finish it.
      • In the end, Brian broke down, and cancelled the album altogether. A stripped-down replacement called Smiley Smile was hastily recorded, and SMiLE would not see release for decades. However, material from the album would slowly trickle out as album filler. After decades of battling mental illness, Brian would pull himself together and re-record SMiLE in 2004 to critical acclaim and in the end, the original Beach Boys sessions would finally see release in 2011.
    • It is far from the only album that the band had issues with. In 1992, they got together to record what was to be another triumphant return for the band, Summer in Paradise. Unfortunately, Brian Wilson was struggling with leaving the care of another person at the time and couldn't make the recording sessions. This left notorious Jerkass Mike Love in charge of the recording. Love demanded synthesized drum and bass parts, prevented certain band members from being able to play on the album, insisted on allowing Full House star John Stamos to sing on a track despite band member wishes, and made things a general living hell for those involved. The album barely sold 10,000 copies, was critically lambasted, and was left out of the 2000-2001 reissues.
  • The recording sessions for The Beatles' last three studio albums were marked by constant acrimony and infighting, especially the first two:
    • The sessions for The Beatles (AKA The White Album) in late 1968 found the Beatles largely working alone with whatever engineers they had handy and spending hours jamming with no results. The tense atmosphere and lack of productivity caused their longtime engineer Geoff Emerick to quit halfway through, and even George Martin felt he had to take a vacation. It pretty much marked the point when the arguments and fights that would later break up the band first reared their ugly head. The atmosphere was so bad Ringo even left the band for a couple of days, leading Paul to play drums in both "Back in the USSR" and "Dear Prudence".
    • The Beatles started work on Let It Be in early 1969, thinking that returning to the good ol' days of studio jams would get them out of their rut. It didn't work, of course, and the documentary film that was supposed to capture genius at work instead captured the ugly breakdown of a once great band. The album was eventually released in May 1970 when Phil "Wall of Sound" Spector cobbled together what usable bits existed of the recording sessions and turned them into complete songs (such was the acrimony among band members that they never actually recorded a complete take from beginning to end). In 2003, Paul McCartney completely remixed the album producing a rawer, more stripped down sound that he claimed was closer to the band's original vision. The accompanying film has not been shown publicly since the mid-80s because the remaining Beatles say that it brings back too many bad memories.
    • Abbey Road was more productive, as the band knew it would be their last work together. Still, tensions were high, with Lennon bringing Yoko Ono to the sessions and her clashing with the other Beatles, John and Paul having an extensive argument, and Paul's obsession on fine-tuning "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" displeasing the other members.
  • The Blue Nile have had several examples.
    • Their first album, A Walk Across The Rooftops, was an inauspicious beginning. They spent a total of three years trying to get the damn thing recorded and released. Paul Buchanan spent many years without a steady roster of musicians to play with him, as many would lose interest in the Adult Contemporary style he was shooting for. The band, notorious for their picky orchestrations and set-up, went through two producers and several different ideas of recording techniques. After frustration with some failed, low-quality independent recordings, the group settled with Charlie Brennan who was an inventor and innovator of the (then new) hi-fi technology. The result gave them the hi-fi recording equipment which pushed the limits and patience of the band even farther. Then it was revealed that the project didn't have an album's worth of material, resulting in studio time being spent on songwriting (something that was frowned upon at the time). The members would constantly play with knobs and set strange settings for their instruments, often coming back the next day having changed their minds of what they wanted. When it was finally released, it was faced with critical acclaim and a modest commercial success.
    • Hats was apparently even worse. This time the band spent five years getting the recording together and even threw out an entire album's worth of material (a move that, in its day, was quite daring) and working from scratch. The goal of the album was to push the dynamic limits of the CD and set a bar for production. It succeeded, but not without causing much frustration for the band and producers alike. The band ended up facing a lawsuit from their record company, were forced to take a 2-year-long break because of the constant arguments between members, and almost ended the project completely. To this day, Hats is often debated to be better than its predecessor and sometimes mentioned as one of the greatest albums of the late 80s.
  • The Blue Öyster Cult were originally formed with the intention of realising Sandy Perlman's dream of turning his imaginative myth-cycle Imaginos into a full-blown rock epic. While material and ideas from Imaginos found their way onto the band's first few recorded albums, (especially 1974's Secret Treaties) the whole idea was largely forgotten and sidelined at their peak of big-venue commercial success, and an attempt to revive the original conceit is thought to have contributed to the original line-up splitting in some acrimony. When an LP called Imaginos was finally released in 1988, only two members of the original lineup remained, and the LP was put together with 80% of the input made by disinterested session musicians. The track listing told no coherent story, the record company realised it had a turkey on its hands, and the LP is not considered to be the band's finest hour. Very little from this album makes it into live concerts and nothing has escaped as part of any "Greatest Hits" collections.
  • In addition to the problems that plagued David Bowie's 1973–74 Diamond Dogs tour (see below under Concert Tours), David Live had some additional troubles of its own:
    • Bowie's backup band learned of the intent to record the shows at Philadelphia's Tower Theatre only a few hours before the first one. Since recording a live album had not been provided for by their contracts, they threatened to walk out, and stuck to their guns when Bowie's initial offer was too low. Finally, after he promised them $5,000 each, they agreed to play. However, the bad taste the whole experience had left in their mouth affected their performances to an extent that is audible on the album.
    • But at least those performances were audible. As the album's notes admit, some of the backing vocals had to be overdubbed after recording since the singers were often too far from the microphone, and later it was divulged that this issue had affected some of the sax parts as well.
    • Many critics have also taken issue with Bowie's new arrangements of his songs, and his singing (probably a result of the already-stressful tour). Bowie admitted in retrospect that the cover image makes him look dead. Despite these shortcomings, the album is still essential listening as it captures Bowie as he transitioned from the Ziggy Stardustnote  sound and persona of his early work to the more soul-influenced sound of Young Americans.
  • Broken Hope had one hell of a time recording Grotesque Blessings. Between firing Ryan Stanek for stealing merch money and ripping off fans and going through several drummers and getting dropped from Metal Blade Records after being treated poorly by the label, the situation was a shitshow to begin with, but it got worse after the recording started thanks to a revolving door of bassists and general dysfunction within the band. The album got good reviews and led to multiple fruitful tours, but the damage was done and the band broke up not long after.
  • Jeff Buckley had both a very notable aversion and straight-forward example of this. Grace is one of the most easy-going recordings in popular music history, while Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk is an entirely different story.
    • Buckley first recorded several songs in Manhattan with Television guitarist Tom Verlaine as producer in 1996 and early 1997, but he and his band were dissatisfied with the results, and some tension plagued these sessions due to the band's changing lineup (Grace drummer Matt Johnson bolted after the first recordings, and was replaced with Parker Kindred).
    • Buckley and the band took another hack at recording the songs with Verlaine in Memphis in February, but he was dissatisfied with the results again and fired Verlaine, asking Grace producer Andy Wallace to return as a replacement. He continued to record several 4-track demos in preparation for the session with Wallace, and sent his band back to New York while he stayed behind to work, mailing them the results (much to their excitement).
    • The band was scheduled to return to Memphis for rehearsals and recording on 29 May 1997, but on that evening Buckley accidentally drowned in the Wolf River. The album was ultimately released posthumously as a double album, with the first CD containing all the previously-recorded, Verlaine-produced material Buckley had rejected, and the second CD containing Buckley's unfinished home demos.
    • The album is generally considered good, but really jarring, as the potential the album could have had brings sadness to many listeners. What also didn't help was that the producer they sent in was really pushing for hits to be written. Grace suffered slight sales disappointment in the eyes of Sony. Imagine the producer's insistence on hits combined with Buckley's above-mentioned perfectionism. That's what amounted to this album being recorded. This is where Buckley's famous quote "I write music for people who are crying on the highway to a blasting stereo" came from.
  • Captain Beefheart (Don Glenn [Van] Vliet). Hoo, boy... The recording of Trout Mask Replica is close to being an ultimate example of the trope.
    • Beefheart wanted the band to "live" his music, and so, he got all the musicians living in a small, dilapidated rented house for eight months. The house had only two bedrooms, one (bigger) was occupied by Beefheart, the other shared by the remaining four musicians, who were strictly restricted from leaving the house and forced to practice for at least 14 hours a day.
    • The composition itself was difficult. Beefheart had no musical education and could not read notes - on purpose - so his "compositions" were actually, in many cases, little more than piano chords created by Captain hitting ten different keys simultaneously. Sometimes, it took weeks to transpose the chord onto a guitar and figure out a way to play it properly. In the end, although the other musicians played a key role in arranging all the songs, all music, lyrics and arrangements were credited to Beefheart alone.
    • The recording was an ultimate nightmare. Beefheart demanded an absolute submission from all his accompanying players, and so, at various times one or another of the group members was "put in the barrel", with Van Vliet berating him continually, sometimes for days, until the musician collapsed in tears or in total submission. The musicians were so broken spiritually that, when Beefheart started attacking one of them, they joined in just not to be the next to face the anger. Drummer John French recalled an accident where he didn't play a drum break the way the boss wanted; first Beefheart scolded him and punched him in the face, then the other musicians started beating him just to calm the Captain down (including beating the drummer with a broomstick until it broke), and finally Beefheart told him that the next time French would be thrown out of a window.
    • The financial situation (of the musicians, but not Beefheart) was dire to say the least. French remembers living on a small cup of beans daily for at least a month. A friend who visited their house stated that the musicians were looking cadaverous. Eventually they resorted to shoplifting to survive; on one occasion, when they got caught, Frank Zappa (who served as the album's producer) had to bail them out (at Beefheart's request - just because the sessions had to be put on a halt had they remained in jail).
    • At one point Jeff Cotton (the guitarist) escaped for a few weeks after a heated argument with French; the drummer, who had thrown a metal cymbal at Cotton, ran after him yelling that he too wanted to get out. Both of them later felt compelled to return. The bassist Mark Boston at one point hid clothes in a field across the street, planning his own getaway.
    • By the end of the sessions, John French did dare to play something not the way Beefheart imagined it. He was fired from the band and, despite playing a major role in converting Beefheart's loose and foggy ideas into music, he was not credited on the album cover either as a musician or as an arranger. Oh, and Beefheart announced his firing by kicking French down a flight of stairs.
  • Most fans of Cat Power (real name: Chan Marshall, first name pronounced "Shaun") agree that naming just one album of hers would be a tall order (especially considering her erratic nature due to struggles with addictions and mental health), most will agree that 2012's Sun is the most notable example and also the most surprising example (given that it came after she cleaned up her act).
    • In 2006, Marshall experienced tons of critical and commercial success with The Greatest, and in an interview stated that she was all ready to go to record the next album and even went so far as to say that "Sun" was going to be the title. She also claimed most of the album was already written and that after finally having gotten away with lengthy financial issues including house foreclosure and bakruptcy, she was going to finance the album herself.
    • However, most of what was already written, which she had begun recording after spending eight months building a studio in her Malibu home, was junked after a friend told her that the music was too depressing, and Marshall clearly didn't disagree, going so far as to call it "too painful and personal to put out".
    • Then she faced pressure from her label Matador, and even lawsuits due to the fact that she was so inactive. So to release something, she gathered her band The Delta Blues and recorded and released a covers album in 2008 called Jukebox (which even had a reworking of one of her old songs "Metal Heart").
    • After the tour for Jukebox, she resumed work on Sun on what was more electronic tinged material. Problem was, not only was she working with a producer for the first time in fifteen years, but she couldn't play a piano, let alone compose on a keyboard. Furthermore, her focus on building a relationship with her boyfriend Giovanni Ribisi only complicated the creative process.
    • Then in 2011, she finally regrouped the Delta Blues for a tour where she'd perform ten tracks of unreleased material (four of which would end up on the album). Unfortunately, she only had skeletons of songs to work with and only one song ("Ruin") would end up having contributions from the Delta Blues.
    • She then broke up with Giovanni Ribisi, flew to Paris and worked with Philippe Zdar (former Beastie Boys engineer) to finish the album. Zdar had to work pro bono, but thankfully this ended up being mended.
    • And post-release was certainly no cake walk either. Health issues struck Marshall again (severe ones too) and Marshall would end up having to cancel the European tour supporting the album.
  • Doctor Who 'trock' band, Chameleon Circuit, experienced a hard time making their two albums. They were forced to release their first album unfinished because their producer left them. Their second album, their new producer, Michael Aranda, was stuck in France for two months, because the boarder officials won't let him go to London. Their second album was number 23 in the US Heat chart.
  • The Clash may be one of the most passionate and outspoken bands of all time, but that passion certainly made the production of their albums a living hell for anyone working with them. Almost every album they made qualifies for this trope.
    • The Clash presented the group's relative inexperience making a record. The DIY nature of the production rattled their record company, CBS. Aside from not knowing how to handle the control knobs, there was equipment issues out the wazoo. This was before the days where punk albums became known for their rough production standards. The album is recognized as one of the greatest punk albums of all time.
    • Give 'em Enough Rope presented the band having to deal again with CBS records. The first record sold well in the UK, but the label thought it was unsuitable for US release. This resulted in their first sessions for the album to be declined by the label. The band was instructed that additional time would need to be spent recording in San Francisco. Drummer Topper Headon and bassist Paul Simonon were left in the UK while Joe Strummer and Mick Jones flew to the US to continue production. The two, unfamiliar with the country, spent a lot of time wasting money and time exploring San Francisco. Around this time Jones started displaying his notorious Prima Donna attitude, making unusual demands that would stick until his leaving the band. On top of that, the album's producer, Sandy Pearlman, who was gay, found himself the victim of relentless pranks pulled by the band and their chaotic manager Bernie Rhodes. The album was released to mild critical acclaim, though not as beloved as the first.
    • Sandinista! came off the heels off of the critical smash London Calling. The band bounced off their previous record by diving even more into the world music trend that was taking over in the 80s. This confused the label, who wanted a more clear musical direction. Simonon ended up taking time away from production to star in the film Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. He was temporarily replaced by Norman Watt-Roy of Ian Dury and The Blockheads fame. Watt-Roy composed the memorable bassline for "The Magnificent Seven", for which he claims he was never credited. Also, fellow Producer Mikey Dread claims he was never paid for work he did on the album either. The revolving door of producers made for a mess for crediting on the album. On top of that, the band produced so much music that they wanted to make a 3-LP album, of which everyone involved in the production thought was overambitious. The label only agreed to do it after the band begrudgingly forfeited the royalties for the first 100,000 copies sold. To this day the album is a difficult listen at 145 minutes. Some consider it the band's masterpiece, others think it has some of their best moments, but it's overlong.
    • Combat Rock came after the band were slammed by CBS for the poor commercial performance of Sandinista! After spending 2 albums managing themselves, Joe Strummer decided to re-hire Bernie Rhodes. A polarizing figure, Rhodes' return was met with both praise and disdain from band members (Mick Jones in particular was not fond of him). Jones' antics polluted this album, with him getting into raging arguments with Strummer (one person who worked on the album noted that they left the band to work on the mixing for "Rock The Casbah" at 2 AM and returned in the morning to them still having the same argument). Around this time, Topper Headon's drug addiction became even worse than it ever had been. Upon returning to London after a successful show, he was stopped by customs who found heroin in his possession. This created even more tension between members and was considered an embarrassment for the band that refused to promote the use of hard drugs. Topper would soon be dismissed from the band due to his drug habits. Simonon also came down with a nasty stomach bug that almost claimed his life. When deciding on mixing, the band chose the legendary Glyn Johns. On Johns' first day, he had finished mixing 3 songs when Jones arrived late despite Johns' clear directions. Jones whined about disliking the mixes for all 3 of them, to which the usual mild tempered Johns flipped, attempting to put Jones in his place. After the album was released, Rhodes came up with the moronic idea of having Strummer stage a disappearance to give the album more publicity. Strummer went against Rhodes' original plan and disappeared in Paris, leading to many to think Strummer had legitimately disappeared. While he thankfully returned in one piece, the album was the band's most financially successful album, being their first and only top 10 album in the United States.
    • Cut The Crap was made after a troubled tour which resulted in the sacking of both Topper Headon for drug problems and Mick Jones for his prima donna attitude. With 2 major slots replaced, the band's sound drastically changed and the album was made with very little direction. It was actually Bernie Rhoades who bizarrely took over the musical direction, with the sound being more electronic than previous albums. The new members bumped heads with Rhoades' antics and band politics were so frail that by the end of production, The Clash was no more. It's often regarded as the worst in the band's discography, even if it's looked at as ahead of it's time in some circles.
  • The final Cocteau Twins album Milk And Kisses was described as a living hell by their record label as Liz Fraser and Robin Guthrie were going at each other's throats throughout (the two had previously been in a relationship, but Fraser had suffered a breakdown after it collapsed and Guthrie had sought treatment for drug and alcohol abuse), with Simon Raymonde - who was not only a member of the band but the owner of their record label, Bella Union - stuck in the middle.
  • Death Grips' No Love Deep Web was plagued with post-production issues. After promising a second album in the physical copies of their previous album The Money Store for fall 2012, Epic Records decided to force the band to postpone the release of their second album until "sometime in 2013". Unwilling to disappoint fans, the band pressed hard to get it released on time, but Epic failed to comply. After several problematic Facebook and Twitter updates, the band made the decision to leak the album for free on October 1, 2012. Epic responded by trying to sue Death Grips and reportedly resulted in the shutdown of their website (it is still disputed on if the band did this themselves or if it was Epic). The band also gave the album highly controversial artwork (a picture of the drummer's penis with the album's title written in marker). The scandal caused a lot of media buzz which only did Death Grips the favor of making them more well-known. The album finally saw a quiet release in 2013 with its original intended artwork.
  • Deep Purple's most familiar song was inspired by a troubled production. And it wasn't their only experience with the trope:
    • The 1972 album Machine Head is one of the most famous musical examples of this trope, mainly because it included, as a last minute addition, the iconic song telling the story of how the band struggled to get the album together in time with a mobile recording studio in Montreux, Switzerland: "Smoke on the Water", a reference to the smoke over Lake Geneva after the first location they wanted to use, a casino, was destroyed in a horrible flaregun accident involving Frank Zappa. First of all, they wanted to use the local casino to record. The night before, Frank Zappa was playing there ("Frank Zappa and the Mothers/Were at the best place around"), but a drunken fan fired a flaregun into its roof, destroying it ("but some stupid with a flaregun/Burnt the place to the ground"). So, they "ended up at the Grand Hotel" with their "Rolling truck Stone thing just outside" (the mobile studio was rented from The Rolling Stones), hastily converted into a studio. The jury-rigged studio, the looming deadline ("Swiss time was running out/It seemed that we would lose the race") and the hit guitar riff it spawned ensured this particular Troubled Production entered rock legend.
    • While that entry is really just about one song, the band's next album, Who Do We Think We Are, more genuinely fits the mold. There were no technical problems, but the band was literally sick and tired by this point. Literally, in that they'd been touring and recording for several years nonstop; they were all terribly burned out and several members' health had suffered as a result (Ian Gillan said that the band's management should really have made them all take three months off, but was worried they couldn't finish the next album by the contractually obligated deadline). That sick and tired, inevitably, spilled over into being sick and tired of each other, and they stopped talking. Studio time had to be carefully budgeted and planned so that members could record their parts without accidentally running into each other. While the ensuing album yielded one of their classics, "Woman from Tokyo," Gillan left after it was finished and that classic lineup of the band would not record and tour together again for a decade.
  • Deerhunter had this happen to both of their first two albums.
    • Their first album, Turn It Up Faggot has very few production details shared with the public. What is known is that apparently the album was "the result of a lot of negative energy" and the band's bassist passed away in the middle of production.
    • They went in to record their second album, Cryptograms, in New York in 2005, not long after the release of Turn It Up Faggot. The sessions failed heavily, due to lead vocalist Bradford Cox being ill with the flu. They dealt with an out-of-tune piano and an uncalibrated tape recorder. Cox described these sessions as being like listening to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless on shrooms. The tracks were left on a scratchy CD-R that Cox kept under his bed and the band quietly released it for free on their blog. They then got acquainted with punk band, Liars, who encouraged them to go back in and record again. These recordings went better with the exception of one thing, the very stressed out band were arguing about Creative Differences. The album was finally released in 2007; two years later than planned. It was met with generally favorable and some mixed reviews, but has gone on to be Vindicated by History a bit.
  • Def Leppard's most successful album, 1987's Hysteria, suffered from an immensely troubled production.
    • They began working on it in late 1983 after completing the tour for their previous album Pyromania, aware that they'd likely struggle to top a Diamond-certified album. Robert John "Mutt" Lange, whose work as producer had played no small part in Pyromania's success, was burned out from several years of steady work and had to take a break before recording even began. Meanwhile, Executive Meddling resulted in the recruitment of Jim Steinman as producer over the band's objections; they soon clashed, with Steinman wanting a rawer sound more of the moment, while the band wanted to stick with the more polished sound that had brought them so much success. When Steinman failed to produce anything meaningful other than an early version of "Don't Shoot Shotgun" with the group he was sacked, but still had to be paid. The band attempted to produce the album themselves with the help of Lange's engineer, but sessions through 1984 were fruitless.
    • Disaster struck on New Year's Eve, 1984, when drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident that resulted in the loss of his left arm, but he was determined to continue playing the drums with one arm and set about learning to play a modified electronic kit. Eventually they finished the album with a returning Lange—although they weren't done with health issues yet. Production was further delayed both by another car accident which seriously injured Lange, and then singer Joe Elliott came down with the mumps.
    • By the time of its 1988 release it had gone so far over its budget that they barely covered its costs in spite of selling about three million copies. They didn't catch a break until "Pour Some Sugar On Me" was released as the fourth single and propelled the album back to the top of the charts.
  • Happened twice to Dexys Midnight Runners:
    • Their first album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, was plagued with pay issues so bad that one of the band members walked out of a recording session. Lacking proper equipment made recording stressful and the band grew very frustrated with the record company. When it was finished, the band stole the master tapes and were planning on selling them to the black market to spite the label. When the label finally offered enough royalty compensation, the band returned the tapes and very narrowly dodged a Missing Episode when the tapes were risked being completely wiped in the England underground.
    • Don't Stand Me Down was under-budgeted for the band's size, leaving Kevin Rowland having to fire half of his band. The group was now centered around a nucleus of three members (down from ten): Rowland, violinist Helen O'Hara and guitarist Billy Adams. This change in personel had a radical effect in how the group worked as a unit: While Rowland was still the unquestioned leader of the band, Adams and O'Hara were also heavily involved with the artistic direction of the album. The record company wanted a repeat of what made Too-Rye-Ay such a hit, but the band were venturing in a surprisingly different, and more experimental, sound that the label didn't approve of. When pestered for a single, Rowland refused, and when the label refused to release the album without a single, Rowland specifically chose the 12-minute-long epic off of the album. The album is now oft-regarded as the band's best (though it took having to be Vindicated by History for that to happen).
  • Diamond Rio underwent this. After signing to Arista Records Nashville in 1990, they had the misfortune of half the group sustaining major injuries: mandolinist Gene Johnson severely cut his thumb in a carpentry accident, while bassist Dana Williams had his legs slashed by a boat propellor in a water-skiing accident, and lead guitarist Jimmy Olander was diagnosed with a tumor of unknown origin. While all three men successfully healed, the thumb injury altered the way Johnson played mandolin, and he nearly quit the group when songwriter/producer Monty Powell suggested that lead vocalist Marty Roe sing his own harmonies instead of having Johnson harmonize. Publicity photo shoots also presented a problem, as the photographers had a very hard time coming up with suitable shots that featured all six members. In addition, the name "Diamond Rio" was new enough that the band still had prior commitments under their previous name of "Tennessee River Boys", to the point that they sometimes had to use both names in the same day. Fortunately, everything worked out in the end, as in 1991, Diamond Rio became the first country band ever to have its debut single go to #1 on the Hot Country Songs charts.
  • While The Dillinger Escape Plan were recording their first album Calculating Infinity, their bassist was in a car accident which left him paralysed. Lead guitarist Ben Weinman was forced to record the basslines himself.
  • The Dixie Chicks have ended up in several of these.
    • Home was nowhere near as bad as most examples on this page. The recording process itself was really quiet and pleasant for the trio. What did go wrong, however, was Sony, their original record company, trying to sue the life out of them due to accounting issues. Lead singer Natalie Maines cited that the drama stirring from the lawsuit caused Home to be more stressful than she expected. A few other hiccups occurred, including the 9-11 attacks causing record executives to be iffy about some of the subject matter of the songs. The album also almost didn't happen because Sony wanted to claim ownership of it. It ended up becoming the Chicks' most critically and commercially successful album. Despite this, the band was the target of negative publicity when Maines said at a concert in London that she was ashamed to be from the same state as then-president George W. Bush, creating a massive backlash in the then very conservative and very pro-war country music fandom. This caused the single "Travelin' Soldier" to plummet from the #1 position, and original follow up "Truth No. 2" was canceled due to the lyric "You don't like the sound of the truth comin' from my mouth". It was instead traded out for a cover of Radney Foster's "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)", which only got to #48.
    • Taking The Long Way also proved to be fairly troubled as well. This time not because of lawsuits, but because of the incredibly negative press surrounding the band following the outburst. Record producers and executives where a little hasty to touch the band's music. Several magazines and newspapers lashed out at the possibility of the band releasing a new album, even though three years had passed. The Chicks decided to ride the controversy even more by posing nude for Rolling Stone magazine (covered up of course) and having Maines detract her apology for her outburst. Other problems included having a massive song selection, leaving four whole tracks on the cutting room floor (which to this day haven't even surfaced in bootleg form) as well as some arguments with producers over the "non-traditional" views of the lyrics. The album, while massively ignored by country fans at the time, got them new respect from Europeans and got them charting on Rock and Pop charts instead.
  • The original Doobie Brothers who were still in the band at that point recall the recording of Minute by Minute as "fraught".
    • There were no technical issues with the recording, but the band's unrelenting schedule of alternating touring and recording had taken its toll on their personal relationships after almost a decade. "We were all pretty sick of each other", said bassist Tiran Porter.
    • That schedule had already cost them founding vocalist Tom Johnston, who'd more or less left the band when he came down with a serious bleeding ulcer in 1976. His replacements within the band were guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and vocalist/keyboardist Michael McDonald At first it seemed like the band wouldn't break stride, as McDonald's "Takin' it to the Streets" became a huge hit for the band. However, the ensuing album, prophetically titled Livin' on the Fault Line, despite having been a rewarding experience for the band to record as they got used to their new bandmates and began to appreciate what they were bringing to the studio from their previous experiences with Steely Dan, became their first album to not produce a hit single ... unless you count "You Belong To Me", which McDonald had cowritten with Carly Simon. Her version was a hit.
    • So the record company was, shall we say, very expectant when the Doobies returned to the studio to record again. The more esoteric directions Baxter favored came up against McDonald's pop sensibilities ... with the latter winning. Baxter and drummer John Hartman left between the album and ensuing tour.
    • McDonald did, however, succeed in getting the band another hit single ... and then some. "What a Fool Believes" was one of the biggest non-disco singles of 1979, winning a Grammy for Song of the Year in the process. However, it had taken 48 takes to get right, and McDonald's perfectionism got even more rigid on tour. After one night when some of the backing vocals on the song's chorus had been noticeably flat, he took it upon himself to fire everybody else afterwards.
    • The Doobies' renewed success from this album came at a great cost. McDonald became more the Face of the Band, longtime fans disliked the new sound (listen to this album, especially its singles, and try to convince yourself that the band making it was once more or less the house band at Hells' Angels parties in the Bay Area) seeing the Doobies as following the general trend of bands that had started out Darker and Edgier in the early 1970s becoming noticeably mellow later in the decade after they had all moved to LA. Porter and another key early member, Pat Simmons, left after the next album, One Step Closer for precisely this reasonnote , and as there were pretty much none of the original members left at that point the band broke up and McDonald began his solo career.
  • Dream Theater's 1997 album Falling Into Infinity nearly led to the end of the band. If it weren't for the Executive Meddling, it would have been a completely different album. Here is an account of what went down:
    • After their 1994 album Awake was released, it was a critical and commercial hit, but not on the level of 1992's Images and Words. Plus, it didn't feature a hit single that matched the commercial success of "Pull Me Under". So Dream Theater's record label at the time Elektra Records wanted to make sure their next album had a radio-ready hit.
    • But trouble was going on with Elektra Records. The executives for the company that supported the band and allowed them to record their music how they wanted to were let go from the company. In came in a bunch of record executives that were more focused on the hottest music trends at the time, like alternative rock, hip hop, and boy bands. These new executives treated Dream Theater as a one-hit wonder past their prime.
    • Since the label wanted a more radio-friendly album, they wanted to Dream Theater to make their next album a collection of potential singles. Dream Theater was going to do an ambitious double album and they spent 1995 and 1996 writing enough material to fill two CDs. But the record label ordered to band to go back to the drawing board and make it fit on one CD. This meant the band had to cut songs off the album like "Raise The Knife", "The Way It Used To Be", "Speak To Me", and "Metropolis Pt. 2", where the last song was turned into their next album.
    • The record label pretty much flat-out told the band they wanted the hits. While John Pertucci and James LaBrie supported the decision, and John Myung and Derek Sherinian were neutral on the idea, Mike Portnoy was furious and wanted to keep the band's progressive sound that made them famous in the first place. The record label also elected Pertucci to fly to California to work with songwriter Desmond Child (famous for hits like "I Was Made For Loving You" and "Living On A Prayer") to rework the song "You Or Me", which became "You Not Me".
    • Also, Mike Portnoy's alcoholism was spiraling out of control at this point and James LaBrie was still struggling to recover his voice after blowing out his vocal cords from a food poisoning incident back in 1994. Dealing with personal issues along with being in a conflict with his own band members and the record label, Portnoy nearly left the band (which would have meant the end of the band, at the time), but the rest of the members convinced him to stay.
    • The actual recording of the album was rather peaceful for the most part. However when it was released, the album sold fewer copies than Awake and while it got decent reviews from critics, the majority of the fanbase hated the album (although not as much these days) and were afraid of the band selling-out and becoming a more radio-friendly rock/metal band. The album however was considered a commercial failure. While the band supported the album with a successful club/theater concert tour, the label only made one music video (for the song "Hollow Years") and they barely promoted the album in general. That's right, the label didn't want the band to release a commercial failure, yet Elektra Records were the main reason the album was a commercial failure. This whole debacle led to the band to force the label to allow creative freedom on all future albums, which they agreed to do. This freedom and a new keyboardist led the band to create their follow up. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory.
  • Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger was definitely ragged:
    • The band was coming off the wildly huge success of Rio worldwide and making a lot of money. They realized however that this was not going to last forever. Margaret Thatcher's government still hadn't completely reformed the British tax code, so they decided to make the most of the opportunity by becoming tax exiles, spending most of the next year overseas recording the album (they also wanted a change of scenery, something John Taylor says was really, for him, a way of avoiding coming to grips with his growing drug dependency, a problem Andy Taylor was having as well).
    • The first stop was the south of France. But it didn't go smoothly (they should have asked the Rolling Stones or Pink Floyd first). The studio they used was tiny. They had to play in an upstairs booth, and check to see that it was recording properly downstairs. Oh, and there were no outlets down there so everything had to be run off a truck, with extension cords running all the way out to it. When equipment broke down, replacements had to be shipped from London, slowing things down.
    • That didn't stop them from laying down a few tracks, but it caused enough frustration and delays that they were as likely to be around the pool or cruising the restaurants and cafés in Cannes as recording. Plus, John Taylor says, "I can state without fear of contradiction that this was Duran Duran's smoke period." He doesn't recall a single moment during this time when at least one member of the band wasn't either smoking a joint or rolling one. This led to the kind of long, deep, philosophical discussions you'd expect about things like the snare-drum part or the bass line.
    • They realized they needed another change of scenery and decamped to Montserrat, because they'd been heard the Police were having a great time there finishing up Synchronicity. They did indeed get more done, but Andy Taylor kept complaining about the still-inadequate equipment. Nick Rhodes was so stressed out he had to be hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat. Bills for their time at AIR Studios went unpaid to the point that they received a letter from the main office in London saying that they would not be able to use the facilities there until they paid up. They began to worry they wouldn't be able to make their deadline for the album.
    • In the middle of this they returned to Britain for the 1983 Prince's Trust benefit and another one in their hometown of Birmingham. The first one, performed before Charles and Di (they were her favorite band), was not a good performance (John Taylor says he couldn't keep his bass in tune, for one thing), largely due to all the stress they'd been were under, but it could have been worse—years later they and the world learned that an IRA bomb plot that night had been foiled by an informant. The latter show, at Aston Villa's home field, Villa Park, went a lot better.
    • Due to the problems in Montserrat, they decided to finish the album in Australia because they'd all enjoyed it very much when they'd been on tour there the year before. They did get it done, and on time, but the bad taste from the experience was such that John and Andy Taylor seriously considered quitting the band afterwards (oh, and John had discovered ecstasy during his time Down Under). Instead, they decided to put together the project that became the Power Station after the album and tour. But the rifts that developed in the band (Simon Le Bon and Rhodes fronted a side project of their own, Arcadia, during that time) led to their ultimate departure from the band after A View to A Kill.
  • Bob Dylan recorded all the songs for Blood on the Tracks in the course of a few days in New York in September 1974, and after making one notable changenote , sent it off to Columbia for a December release. Then, after listening to an acetate copy on his Minnesota farm a couple weeks before the album's release date, he decided he didn't like it and told Columbia to postpone the release. Shortly after Christmas he went to Minneapolis for a couple hastily-arranged dates with local musicians and re-recorded half the album ("Tangled Up in Blue", "You're a Big Girl Now", "Idiot Wind", "Lily, Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts", "If You See Her, Say Hello").
  • While at least one member of Fleetwood Mac had an idea for what to do following a big mid-'70s success, none of the Eagles did. That's why it took them three years to record their followup to Hotel California. Appropriately titled The Long Run, it wound up ending the band's classic years.
    • The main problem was songwriting, ironic for a band that at that point included Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, both of whom had plenty of experience in that field from their previous gigs, in addition to the core group of Don Felder, Glenn Frey and Don Henley. The latter two recall serious difficulty sitting down and trying to come up with songs that would meet everyone's expectations for something that would top Hotel California. Their friendship took a serious hit, as they too often had some deadline to meet and couldn't really just sit down with each other and talk. Ultimately, plans for a double album were trimmed down to a single disc.
    • The Long Run was nevertheless a commercial success, giving the band three hit singles. Critics were not as pleased, noting the heavy production gloss and wondering what songs the band had discarded during the process. The burnout and stress from the preceding years of almost incessant recording and touring (both involving plenty of cocaine and other drugs) was also catching up to them, much as it also was for The Doobie Brothers on Minute by Minute at the same time. This, predictably led to interpersonal tensions that came out on the ensuing tour. The Eagles were invited to a benefit concert for Democratic California Senator Alan Cranston, whom Frey and Henley were supporting. Don Felder's skepticism with the band's ties with political campaigns came to a head, with Felder remarking to Cranston's wife, "You're welcome — I guess" as Cranston thanked the Eagles for their help with a speech. This served to anger the other Eagles, Glenn Frey in particular. At the last show in Long Beach, Felder turned to Frey near the end and said "Three more songs and I get to kick your ass," to which Frey rejoined "I can't wait." They then went back to performing, crooning through "The Best of My Love" in perfect harmony.
    • After the tour, Felder left, leading ultimately to litigation that would not be fully resolved until 2007note . The Eagles for all intents and purposes had broken up. But:
    • Frey and Henley, barely talking to each other by this point, had to satisfy the band's remaining contractual obligations. They did this by editing tapes of the tour (and some older shows) into the two-disc Eagles Live. However, they turned down an additional $2 million to record two new songs—they just didn't have it in them anymore.
    • Which might be because they not only couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other, they couldn't stand to be in the same state. Frey went to New York, Henley stayed in California, and with producer Bill Szymczyk as a go-between they approved the final mixes (which significantly included performances of two of Walsh's solo hits). The album needed considerable vocal overdubbing (it was probably the most overdubbed live album ever); Szymczyk later thanked Federal Express for making it possible.
    • Frey and Henley didn't make up for most of the 1980s. The former told an interviewer during that time that the band would get back together "when hell freezes over". Which turned out to be just what they called their 1994 reunion album.
  • Enya may seem like a calm and collected woman given the music she writes, however, reading about the production of her second album, Watermark would have you think otherwise.
    • Enya's production team comprised a trio: herself, producer/arranger Nicky Ryan, and songwriter/lyricist Roma Ryan. The other two realized just how erratic and hard to work with Enya could be. A perfectionist of the highest magnitude, Enya was demanding of her compositions. She insisted on overdubbing her voice, sometimes hundreds of times, without sampling. This meant that a single vocal line would be recorded up to 50 times just for it to be to her liking.note 
    • The initial demos were recorded in a basement studio owned by the Ryans, similar to the production of Enya's first self-titled album. They lacked proper equipment and staff to pull off the elaborate instrumentation. When they submitted the recordings to Warner records, They said the recordings were "too rough" and forced the trio to transport production to Orinoco Studios in London England.
    • Even when production was moved, conditions somehow worsened. Enya found the city a distraction and disliked how it stalled her creativity. The track "Miss Clare Remembers" originally had vocals similar to the title track, "Watermark", but it didn't sound right so the vocals were scrapped, wasting hours of hard overdubbing work. When it came time to record "Orinoco Flow" Enya and Nicky Ryan found themselves at odds with the elaborate instrumentation, taking months to get it to sound just right.
    • Towards the end of production, Enya slipped on the steps in front of the studio, giving her 2 huge gashes on her leg. She finished recording with her leg propped up on pillows doped out on pain killers, scaring the Ryans into thinking she was picking up a drug problem.
    • To make matters worse, touring for the album was simply impossible. Warner and Geffin both wanted to cash in on the smash success of the album, but it was way too expensive to bring in the right number of musicians to do the songs justice. Enya was also awkward during promotion for the album, only doing bare-bones performances of the songs. She would notoriously perform "Orinoco Flow" with just her at a Casio keyboard since the song was just simply too complicated to pull off well. Modern performances of the songs have fared better, as technology has advanced, but the singer has still yet to do a complete concert performance of the whole album, despite fan demands.
  • To say that Faith No More had it rough while making King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime would be an understatement. Where do we start?
    • After firing guitarist Jim Martin due to creatives differences the group spent four months finding a replacement. They would finally settle on Trey Spruance thanks to his affiliation with Mr. Bungle, singer Mike Patton's other band at the time. Unfortunately, he left the band shortly before production finished. FNM stated that his unwillingness to tour with them led to his dismissal. As a form of retaliation, the group credited Trey as a session member in the album's liner notes. However, this did nothing but reinforce Spruance's claim that he was never meant to be a member to begin with. As if that wasn't bad enough, his live replacement, roadie Dean Menta, slowly could no longer get along with the group so he, too, got sacked after touring ended for KFAD and was never heard from again.
    • Mike Patton, being the workaholic that he always is, had to devote his time between making this record, crafting Mr. Bungle's second album Disco Volante with Trey and preparing his marriage with his now ex-wife Cristina Zuccatosta.
    • During the recording sessions, three members (Patton, Spruance, and drummer Mike Bordin) were involved in a serious car accident that almost killed them. Fortunately, they survived the crash.
    • Keyboardist Roddy Bottum was greatly affected by the deaths of his father and buddy Kurt Cobain, whose widow, Courtney Love, is Bottum's best friend. As a result, Faith No More had to make the record without him for the most part. This explains the notable decrease in keyboards on the album.
    • Despite receiving two nominations at the Bay Area Music Awards, it didn't seemed like it was worth it at the end of the day, as the album got mixed reviews. It also didn't help that it came at a time when FNM's 15 minutes of fame where long behind them. It wasn't until during the band's break-up that King for a Day's reception got better to the point that it's now considered one of the best releases the group has to offer.
  • Flaming Lips had this happen for the Zaireeka/ The Soft Bulletin sessions.
    • Having lost guitarist Ronald Jones, they were left having to improvise compositions. Their drummer, Steven Drozd became a multi-instrumentalist, putting a lot of pressure on him. The recordings were preceded by two of the band members getting involved in some major incidents (Michael Ivins ended up in a car accident and Drozd got a major infection caused by his frequent heroin use) postponing recording by a few weeks. Vocalist Wayne Coyne started experimenting with the concept of different stereos playing different parts of a same song and came up with the idea of Zaireeka. The format for the album was complex, it was released as four discs and each of the discs had its own unique part in the production. This proved to be difficult to record for as most Flaming Lips songs before this point were straightforward. The band started feuding, causing Coyne to have to say "We don't have to be friends, but we do have to record this album."
    • That's not even the whole story. The reason why the two albums were recorded together was because of demands from the band's label, Warner Bros. They were on bad terms with the label after their previous album, Clouds Taste Metallic flopped big time. The label was iffy about funding the recording and kept telling the band that it would take several months to produce such a project. This pushed The Flaming Lips and their producer to build their own studio for the sake of saving time (yes, Warner Bros was being that uncooperative). The label finally promised funding as long as the band recorded another, more accessible album at the same time. The Lips agreed and received a $200,000 advance. Zaireeka unsurprisingly flopped (though has been Vindicated by History to become one of the band's greatest albums) and The Soft Bulletin is now looked at as a classic.
  • After Fleet Foxes faced major critical and mainstream success with their first album, they wanted to get a second album out quickly. This backfired immensely as the drummer, J. Tillman, had prior commitments with his solo project (he had been an established solo folk artist before the group had become successful, and would later find fame when he began recording as Father John Misty) and their producer also had commitments of his own. When they did get to record, the results were less than satisfactory and were scrapped, costing the band $60,000 of their own money. With pressure from the label to get something of quality recorded, Robin Pecknold, the lead vocalist started pushing for a fast recording. The band, stressed already from what had been happening did not appreciate this, and thus the album took a few additional weeks to finish. They also had the rush hiring of a new member as a multi-instrumentalist which affected their complex compositions all the more. Vocals were expectedly a breeze for the band. When mixing was due, Pecknold spent so much time trying to get the levels perfect that his own girlfriend (who he was already feuding with) broke up with him due his constant business. Ultimately what was supposed to take a single year to release took 3, but many fans and critics praised the album and were all happy so much work was put into it. A rushed release would probably not have been as satisfactory. Helplessness Blues is considered to be one of the best albums of 2011 and Pecknold's girlfriend took him back after she found out how genuine the work is.
  • Fleetwood Mac's most commercially successful period also saw some of their most troubled productions.
    • Extensive use of cocaine marked much of the production of their 1977 album Rumours, recorded shortly after bassist John McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie had divorced, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks were in an increasingly turbulent on/off relationship, and drummer Mick Fleetwood discovered that his wife Jenny Boyd was having an affair. The interpersonal conflicts found their way into many of the songs on the album; such songs as "I Don't Want to Know" and "Dreams" were Nicks' reaction to the ups and downs of her relationship with Buckingham, who wrote "Secondhand News" and "Go Your Own Way" to give his take on the situation, while "You Make Loving Fun" and "Don't Stop" was written by Christine McVie not for John but for the man with whom she had been having an affair. Despite the troubled production, the resulting LP was a huge critical and commercial success, and regularly appears on lists of the best albums ever made.
    • The same problems continued, just turned up a few notches, when they went back into the studio to make the double album Tusk:
      • The album's size and change in musical direction started with Lindsey Buckingham going to Mick Fleetwood, then stuck acting as the band's manager, with a bunch of songs. While the conversation went pleasantly and ended with the two agreeing the band would record them, the two later admitted they'd read other things into it: Fleetwood thought that Buckingham was threatening to leave the band if he didn't get his way, while Buckingham thought Fleetwood was giving him permission to record each and every song for the band's next album. This had a lot to do with how things turned out over the next ... two years.
      • The first attempt to record the new songs took the band to Sausalito, California. After three months in a studio there all they had to show for it was drum tracks.
      • Fleetwood tried, and failed, to get the label, which had been hoping for (basically) Rumours II, to pay for the band to build their own studio. Instead, the label agreed to pay for improvements and customizations to the Village Recorder in L.A. ... work that wound up taking longer and costing more money than building a studio would have.
      • Unbeknownst to anyone else in the band, Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks were having an affair. Then he left her for her best friend, adversely affecting her mood and leaving her in no condition to work with Buckingham.
      • Buckingham was largely in charge, and he found yet anther way to piss off Nicks off, by cutting "Sara" down to six and a half minutes from the original 14. He was influenced by the New Wave sound of the time, and it shows. For the title track they got the USC marching band to play along.
      • Tusk cost a million dollars to make, the most expensive album ever recorded at that time, and although it generated three hit singles ("Sara" among them) and sold four million copies it was widely regarded as a failure because that was nowhere near the business Rumours had done.
  • Foo Fighters have two troubled albums to their name.
    • Their second album The Colour and the Shape was a bit of a Sophomore Slump - if only because after doing a "solo" record Dave now had to deal with a full band. He had clashes with the album's producer Gil Norton, was dissatisfied with the work of drummer William Goldsmith, went through a divorce, and was not enjoying living in Los Angeles during production (something that later inspired the song "Stacked Actors"; Dave has since had a happier life in LA following his next marriage). Dave then decided to take a break. After doing "Walking After You" all by himself, he decided to re-record the drum tracks, without warning Goldsmith. Once the drummer found out, he quit the band. The album sessions also featured a number of songs that didn't get finished for the album. And all the turmoil also made guitarist Pat Smear decide to leave Foo Fighters, only remaining in the tour while his eventual substitute finished other commitments.
    • Two albums later, One by One had the band struggling again. Probably helped by the band being burned out by years of touring, no one was satisfied with the recordings. Then during a UK mini-tour, drummer Taylor Hawkins had an overdose. As he left the hospital, the band rushed back to their Virginia studio, eventually moving to a top-notch LA one... and not only the frustration continued, but tensions were escalating. The band eventually decided to take a break - where, to make it worse, Dave Grohl went touring with Queens of the Stone Age, raising some ire from Hawkins. The band eventually decided they'd at least play the Coachella festival - where the rehearsals were mostly silent until guitarist Chris Shifflet (who was recording his first album with the band) said "Man, is it just me or we can cut the air here with a knife?" and fights broke out. But the concert was done, and since the band enjoyed their performance, they decided to re-record the album from scratch (aside from a track featuring Brian May) in Virginia during just two weeks. As Dave put out: "This version of 'All of My Life' cost $1 million and sounds like crap. This was recorded in half an hour in my basement and is the biggest fucking song we've ever had!"
  • Garbage's Bleed Like Me. The first sessions were mostly fruitless and led the band members to fight each other. After a four month breakup, they decided to resume recording with an outside producer, John King - who was eventually ditched for the band to finish themselves, though one of his tracks is on the final album. The thing still burned the group so much the album's tour was cut short and the band entered a hiatus afterwards, only playing together again two years later. The band blamed new label Geffen for the bad vibes - singer Shirley Manson declared that "We got dumped on a label who did not give one flying fuck about us. And it just became a very joyless process. Something that should be really incredible, exciting and adventurous became like a noose around our neck. And we sort of turned in on each other as a result, I think."
  • Genesis's 1975 offering, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and the accompanying live tour:
    • For starters, Peter Gabriel insisted on writing all of the lyrics himself, feeling that a consistent story would be necessary. Between the isolation resulting from this, and his marriage to his then-pregnant first wife becoming troubled, most of the backing tracks were written in his absence by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford, who were gelling into the main creative force of the band.
    • The location of the recording, Mick Jagger's Stargroves mansion, which was often a favorite recording location for Led Zeppelin, turned out be be rundown, infested by rats and was believed by band members to be haunted. The group had very little sleep, and what was supposed to be a way of solidifying group unity actually led to stress and strain for the band.
    • Arguments over included songs and lyrics. The other members of the band would occasionally rewrite Gabriel's lyrics to better fit their music, and Gabriel wrote several songs on his own (to bridge already-written sections) without the rest of the band's input (one of them, "The Carpet Crawlers", would be a live staple for the post-Gabriel band). Gabriel's responsibility for the albums story also left him in charge of the order of the songs, and other bandmembers felt the album order started with all the strong songs and left all the dross tracks for the second disc. Gabriel also ran into writer's block with "The Light Lies Down On Broadway", leaving Banks and Rutherford to write both music and lyrics.
    • In the middle of the album sessions, Gabriel received an offer to work with William Friedkin on a movie screenplay, and couldn't see why the rest of the band thought leaving in the middle of an album session might be a bad thing. Genesis' manager Tony Smith had to call Friedkin and get him to back off, which led to discontent on Gabriel's part. Gabriel made it clear he was leaving the band, although he stayed to do the live tour.
    • While recording the album in Wales, Gabriel's wife gave birth prematurely, and his infant daughter (who was not expected to survive, but fortunately did) was placed in an incubator. During the recording process, Gabriel would frequently shuttle from Wales to London and back. The other members of the band, all of whom were childless at that point, were not understanding of his predicament, something Gabriel still carries resentment for to this day.
    • Due to stress from being creatively sidelined on the album and his own failing marriage, guitarist Steve Hackett snapped a wineglass in his hand during rehearsals, injuring tendons in his thumb and delaying the start of the tour. After some juggling of venue dates, this meant the first wing performed was the American wing, where the album hadn't been released yet. Ticket sales went "meh." Hackett would record his first solo album shortly after the tour, and leave the band within two years. Hackett mentioned in an article for Prog magazine (made by the publishers of Classic Rock) that what triggered his wine glass accident had something to do with someone at a backstage party Hackett went to after a Sensational Alex Harvey Band concert he attended saying, "The band is good, but they'd be nothing without Alex Harvey", which reminded Steve of what people said about Genesis and Peter.
    • The live show was troubled by faulty equipment (including the slides meant to visually display the story). The band performed the entire double album, and only performed older, more recognized material in encores. Gabriel eschewed his trademark costumes for most of the show, and when he donned them for the second half, the overly elaborate designs prevented him from getting a microphone near his mouth, rendering the lyrics incomprehensible.
    • In the end, the album tanked on the charts, was savaged by critics and fans alike, and the band lost their ass on the tour, nearly breaking up in the process. For obvious reasons, almost all the members of the band treated it as an Old Shame for many years, only beginning to warm up to it much later when they could put the stress of creating it behind them. The album itself also became Vindicated by History, and is nowadays regarded as both Genesis's artistic peak and one of the greatest Progressive Rock albums of all time.
  • Guns N' Roses had Chinese Democracy. 11 years of development, millions of dollars spent, at least 11 musicians involved, and much pressure on getting the album released. The joke for much of that time was that actual Chinese democracy would likely come before the album was released.
    • After the extensive Use Your Illusion Tour wrapped, the band was unsure on their future. Their Cover Album The Spaghetti Incident? did not sell as well. To make matters worse, Axl Rose was still missing guitarist Izzy Stradlin, who was his primary songwriting partner and an old childhood friend. Stradlin had left in the midst of the last tour due to his recent sobriety and anger at Axl's behavior. He had been replaced by Gilby Clarke (though Izzy was brought back to some UYI concerts after Clarke injured himself). However, in the midst of this upheaval, Clarke was fired and Axl's old friend Paul Tobias was hired without consulting anyone else. Slash in particular hated Tobias, but Axl stood by him. The final straw came when a cover of "Sympathy for the Devil" for the Interview with the Vampire soundtrack had Tobias' guitar part mixed on top of Slash's. Slash officially quit two years later, but was pretty much done with the band at that point.
    • The band did try to record a new album, but it never went anywhere. Axl and Slash both have stated that the other tried to take over all writing and have the other fired. Slash in particular has repeatedly stated that Axl took the rights to the Guns 'N' Roses name by force (refusing to go onstage until Slash and Duff signed the name over to him - which actually wouldn't work at all legally) and treated all members as session musicians. Axl denies this and claims he was the one repeatedly shut out and threatened with dismissal. He does own the rights to the name, but this was apparently after a complicated legal battle.
    • After Slash's departure, Nine Inch Nails guitar player Robin Finck was hired as the new lead guitarist. Tobias stayed on, but eventually drove drummer Matt Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan away. This left Axl and keyboardist Dizzy Reed as the last two members from the Use Your Illusion tour. Tommy Stinson of The Replacements, Chris Pitman, and Josh Freese joined the band around this time and officially started work on Chinese Democracy. However, after cycling through many different producers and recording for a full year, the band only released one song in 1999. That song,"Oh My God", was only ever featured on the soundtrack to End of Days and was not critically or commercially well received (eventually being left out of the finished album despite some live performances of the song).
    • Finck quit for the first time before 2000 to rejoin NIN. When he returned to the band, Buckethead had already been hired as a replacement. The two toured together starting in 2001, and they didn't get along, because Buckethead was mad that he had to "share the spotlight" with Finck. Freese also quit and was replaced by Bryan "Brain" Mantia of Primus.
    • Buckethead was also hard to work with in the studio. Among other things, he demanded a chicken coop be built for him to record his parts in and when a puppy had an accident in the studio, Buckethead demanded that the feces not be cleaned up as it gave him inspiration. He also tried watching hardcore pornography while recording until Rose forbade it. Also, after several festival performances, Paul Tobias announced he would stop touring with the band and was replaced by Richard Fortus. Tobias did remain as a recording partner of the band and still appears on several tracks on the finished album.
    • Despite these problems, the album was mostly finished by 2002, but a terrible performance at the 2002 VMAs and a North American tour that imploded after only half the promised dates had been performed set everything back. It's also rumored the album was rejected by the record label for not having any potential "hits."
    • The album was then tentatively set to be released in 2004, with an accompanying tour. Right before the tour was supposed to begin with a performance at the Rock in Rio festival, Buckethead left the band. Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal was hired to replace him in 2006 and would end up rerecording many of Buckethead's parts, while Frank Ferrer replaced Bryan Mantia on drums during the 2006 tour. (Mantia said it was because he wanted to take some time off to spend time with his newborn daughter.) The album again was to set to be released in 2006, but didn't happen due to the line up shift. However, a number of leaks from 1999-2006 came out that year.
    • Weeks before the album was finally released in 2008, lead guitarist Robin Finck again quit the band, which cancelled a hopeful tour. Axl Rose did zero promotion for the album for the next year, barring a few message board fan interviews. The band hired DJ Ashba (who played with Nikki Sixx in Sixx AM) as the new lead. A year after the album was released, the band continued the Chinese Democracy Tour (which had been going on since 2001) with a band that only had three contributing song writers left. To top it all off, the booklet and promotional materials were rife with errors and some have said the album was actually intended to be a TRIPLE album (Axl Rose has said he always thought of it as a double. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach claims to have heard four albums worth of material at one point). Instead, one record with the majority of the songs being nearly 10 years old was released with no further albums in sight. The band would continue to tour for Chinese Democracy until 2012. A whole decade of (mostly successful) touring on one album that took 12 years to be released as 1/3rd of the intended content. And that doesn't mention the multiple lawsuits, including one over plagiarized ambient music before a track (a track that was completed and performed live in 2002, yet had the offending sample added shortly before release in 2008), and a major one with a former manager of the band.
  • Happy Mondays' New Sound Album Yes Please! was a production so troubled that it bankrupted the label that financed it, Factory Records. The album went way over budget, some members became addicted to crack (while attempting to kick a heroin habit), to the point of selling some studio gear in exchange for some more crack, and a recording session in Barbados resulted in recorded instruments but no vocals (due to Shaun Ryder forgetting to write the lyrics). When the album was released, it was universally panned and failed to sell.
  • The Human League's third album Dare had a much more troublesome production than the band's previous two albums, which were flops.
    • The band's two lead members, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, left the band in 1980 and formed a new group, Heaven 17. The press pretty much declared The Human League dead right there, as the only two members left were the ones that they perceived had the least to do with the band's musical direction: vocalist Philip Oakey and visual artist Adrian Wright. To add insult to injury, the band was already in crippling debt and Virgin Records was looking to drop them, but they still owed another album to the label.
    • Oakey recruited two local teenage singers, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall, to sing for the group and recruited keyboardist Ian Burden to round out the band. Oakey went on tour with this lineup, with Sulley and Catherall not intended as full members of the group. The tour was poorly received by the band's old fans, who heckled them at pretty much every concert. However, Oakey and Wright were so impressed by Sulley and Catherall's professionalism, that they made them full band members.
    • When the new iteration of The Human League arrived at the studio to record their new album, they discovered that the artist in the adjacent studio was, of all bands, Heaven 17. The toxic atmosphere between the two bands led The Human League to book a new studio outside of their native Sheffield, which resulted in the still-underage Sulley and Catheral having to frequently take bus trips back to the city to attend school.
    • While still working on the album, the band issued the single "The Sound of the Crowd", which Virgin reluctantly promoted, only to see it become their first Top 40 hit. Virgin then asked for two more singles, again before the album was even finished, causing some stress with the recording process. Virgin's idea paid off: "Love Action (I Believe In Love)" and "Open Your Heart" were even bigger hits, both reaching the Top 10. Around this time, guitarist Jo Callis was added as the band's sixth and final member late in to the album's production.
    • When Dare was finally released in October 1981, it was a massive smash for both the band and label...but Virgin still wanted one more single, and picked "Don't You Want Me". Oakey begged them not to release it because he thought it was the worst song on the album. They rebuffed him, and he was sure the song would embarrass the band and ruin the career they worked so hard to rebuild. He didn't need to worry: In a rare case of Executive Meddling gone right, "Don't You Wan't Me" was the biggest of all of their hits, a #1 in both the UK and the US, and one of the most popular New Wave songs of the entire 1980s.
  • Hüsker Dü had a pretty hectic history, but nothing can even light a candle to the production of their last studio album, Warehouse: Songs and Stories. The band had signed to a major label for the release of their previous album Candy Apple Grey. That album did not meet sales expectations with Warner and received lackluster critical reception. The band was already under heavy pressure, but internal conflicts proved even worse. Every member was arguing with each other. Drummer Grant Hart became a heroin addict at the same time that singer/ guitarist Bob Mould decided to sober up completely. Hart tested positive for HIV, causing him even greater distress, increasing tensions that much more (although, it was revealed after the band broke up, that it was a false negative). The band had so much material, it would make for a double album, something of which Warner tried to convince the band to shorten down to no avail. The label ended up convincing the band to accept royalties for a single album to allow for the costs to be covered. They then insisted the band get a manager, which the band didn't want. After being pestered to death about it, the band rush-hired their close friend David Savoy, who was not anywhere near the mental condition to handle the job. After dealing with the band's ridiculous antics, he lost it one night and jumped off a Minneapolis bridge to his death. Savoy's death hit the band hard. While the album hit Warner's sales targets, the band actually made less money than they would have if they had stuck with independent label SST, even without all the promotion. It's regarded as one of the band's best albums in an already incredible discography.
  • Michael Jackson's Invincible is a particularly spectacular example of this.
    • Over 50 songs were recorded for it over the course of four years; 16 made it to the final product. Production costs soared to a reported $30 million before it was finally ready in the fall of 2001 under pressure from Sony chief Tommy Mottola (who was appalled by Jackson's wasteful habits — renting out whole recording studios that were largely left vacant, etc.); it had originally been promised for Christmas 1999. Jackson was planning to leave Sony over contract disputes regarding the rights to his own work and their co-ownership of the valuable ATV Music Publishing catalog. But he was deeply in debt owing to his personal spending having spiraled out of control, so the album had to be at least as successful as his Glory Days output to make up Sony's money (plus another $20 million, by Sony's estimation, for promotional efforts).
    • He wanted "Unbreakable" as the first video/single; Sony wanted and got "You Rock My World". According to friend Frank Cascio, the directors of the video wanted Jackson to wear prosthetic makeup to make his face appear more normal-looking for the shoot, and he refused. Instead, director Paul Hunter convinced him to wear his hat in a way that covered most of his face in close-ups. The video cost $4 million to make, with $1 million of that budget going to Marlon Brando for his appearance in it. According to the biography Untouchable, Jackson continued to press for another $8 million for promotional efforts, including a video for "Unbreakable".
    • Sony wanted Jackson to do a North American tour; after all, he hadn't toured in the continental U.S. or Canada since 1989. He refused, instead staging two Madison Square Garden concerts with others paying tribute to him as the lead-in to a set that reunited him with his brothers for the first time in years. The first concert was plagued by delays. The second night went better...but it happened to take place on September 10th. The 9-11 attacks near-completely wiped discussion of the shows off of the media's table, with its highest-profile exposure an Entertainment Weekly cover story by an unimpressed attendee a few weeks later. Again, according to Untouchable, Jackson also cancelled several publicity appearances to spite Sony over not supporting his 9-11 Charity Motivation Song "What More Can I Give" (see the "United We Stand" concert under Concerts/Tours).
    • When the album arrived at the end of October it under-performed in the wake of mediocre reviews and disinterest from pop music fans of the *NSYNC/Britney Spears generation, and an edited TV broadcast of the Madison Square Garden shows in November did well in the ratings but didn't goose sales. Two follow-up singles were modest successes. Sony stopped pushing the album after those, and Jackson proceeded to claim that the album hadn't been a blockbuster because of...racially-motivated sabotage on Sony's part. Jackson family members, particularly Jermaine and La Toya, have since claimed that Sony's efforts to ruin him were also behind both his arrest on child molestation charges in 2003 and his death in 2009.
  • Like The Rolling Stones before them, and Pink Floyd and Duran Duran afterwards, Jethro Tull found that going off to France to record your album so the Inland Revenue can't lay a finger on the profits was more trouble than it was worth:
    • When they headed off to Chateau D'Herouville outside Paris to begin work on A Passion Play, the band was in the unusual situation of, for the first time in its history, having the same members as it had had during the previous album and ensuing tour. Apparently, this was too much stability for them.
    • Martin Barre and Barriemore Barlow started off the sessions still getting over a stomach bug they believe they got at a show in Bombay near the end of the previous tour. The poor quality food at the studio did not help them in the slightest and they often had to interrupt sessions and songwriting to go get friendly with the toilet.
    • The equipment was also poor and broke down frequently. The tension started to get to the band members, aggravating the homesickness they were already feeling. Nevertheless they managed to lay down most of the tracks for a planned double album, one meant as the real progressive Concept Album Thick As A Brick was a parody of.
    • But finally, with the band at their breaking point, they decamped back to England, having among themselves renamed the studio Chateau D'Isaster. Once there, Ian threw out all (or most, depending on who you believe) of what had been recorded in France and started afresh, writing most of the songs himself (whereas in France most compositions had been collaborations) for what was now a single album.
    • That album is either masterpiece or mistake, depending on which fan you talk to. The release of the original, Chateau D'Isaster tapes in more recent years has not settled this debate.
  • Toby Keith had this happen in 1998 when he intended to release his fifth album for Mercury Records Nashville. They rejected the material he had submitted except for two tracks, "Getcha Some" and "If a Man Answers", which were both put on a Greatest Hits Album and released as singles. While the former was a modest hit, the latter became his first single not to enter top 40 on the country music charts. He then submitted another album's worth of material to Mercury, and when they rejected that too, he quit the label and followed his producer James Stroud to DreamWorks Records Nashville. While his first DreamWorks single "When Love Fades" was a bomb, he persuaded the label to pull it in favor of "How Do You Like Me Now?!", one of the songs that Mercury had rejected. Despite a slow start, that song went on to become a Breakthrough Hit for him, as well as the biggest country airplay hit of 2000, leading to a new leg of his career that lasted for most of the first decade of the 21st century.
  • The Kovenant's fabled fifth album, Aria Galactica, has been in Development Hell for nearly a decade.
  • Led Zeppelin somehow dodged this trope for their classic first 6 albums, however it was on their seventh album, Presence, that things started to get dramatic. Vocalist Robert Plant suffered a serious car accident that left him having to recuperate in locations he was unfamiliar with for tax reasons. This delayed work on the new album, which disappointed fellow bandmates, who were eager to get back to recording. When recording finally started, they booked at a studio right before The Rolling Stones were scheduled to record, limiting the amount of time they had. This led to Jimmy Page to work 18 to 20 hours daily to finish recording, doing all the album's guitar overdubs in one long shift. On top of that Plant seemed to be going through heavy amounts of stress from the accident. He became claustrophobic, had to perform from a wheelchair, missed his family, and was starting to re-think his priorities in life. The album was released in 1976 to mixed critical opinion. Though it's not as beloved as the first 6 albums, it's still very well liked within the fandom.
  • Lift to Experience's one and only album The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads.
    • The album was an idea as early as 1997; it's a double concept album about the end of the world and the "holy ground" being Texas. It deconstructed many American and Christian ideas and was just nearly too ambitious. Many record companies refused to sign the band because of how anti-commercial they were. It took a whopping 4 years to finally get a producer that was willing to work with them.
    • After a few live sessions with John Peel that yielded dissatisfaction (rare for a Peel recording), they finally settled on Simon Raymonde of Bella Union Records. His ex-bandmate Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins also showed interest and helped produce the album. By the time the band started getting the album recorded, they had started feuding so badly that it would take hours to record a single track. Their ambition was getting in their own way and the members couldn't agree on how to deal with the complexity of the concepts. Whole tracks which were frequently played by the band live were scrapped as they could no longer agree on composition.
    • To make matters worse, Guthrie was a living hell to deal with. His perfectionist nature caused for constant re-recordings of takes that the already on-edge band members thought were perfect. Raymonde was also facing a crumbling financial status as his assets were getting liquidated left and right, and he hadn't been getting along with Guthrie since the Cocteaus' acrimonious breakup. He was quoted as saying that it was the band's music that helped keep him going, even though mixing was difficult as shoegazing was a venture he had never tried before.
    • The album was met with mixed to highly positive reviews. It wouldn't be for another 10 years or so that the album would be recognized for its achievement in lyrical and musical complexity. The band situation was apparently so bad, LTE disbanded just a couple of months after release with a disastrous tour. Lead vocalist Josh T. Pearson would not release anything for another 10 years due to the stress of this release.
  • Love and Rockets: A fire broke out in the studio during recording for Sweet F.A.. The band were unharmed, but visiting friend Genesis P. Orridge was injured, and their gear and months of work on the album was lost.
  • Perhaps the most morbid example was Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas.
    • Back in 1991, before most of the songs were fully written (initial songwriting began in 1987), lead singer Dead offed himself by hacking his wrists up multiple times before blowing his brains out with a shotgun. Almost immediately after Dead's suicide, stories about guitarist Euronymous taking pictures of the body and even making a stew out of the brain (along with Euronymous's generally poor treatment of Dead when he was alive) had prompted bassist Necrobutcher to leave the band.
    • Mayhem, lacking both a vocalist and a bassist, brought on Attila Csihar and Euronymous's then-friend Varg Vikernes to help finish recording. From the start there were issues with finishing what Dead started. Meanwhile, in 1992, Varg and Euronymous were out burning churches along with the rest of the "Black Circle" started by Euronymous. However, tensions soon rose between the duo over both priorities (Euronymous feared Varg was using Mayhem and the Black Circle's crimes to boost Burzum record sales) and politics (Euronymous leaned far to the left, and Varg was even farther to the right).
    • The details of what eventually happened are still disputed, but by the end of it, Varg had stabbed Euronymous to death in 1993, with recording just finished. He was arrested and sentenced to 21 years in prison for both the murder and the arsons. Drummer Hellhammer was asked by Euronymous's family to remove Varg's bass and redo the parts, but eventually he simply left it in, most likely because he had no idea how to play bass. The album would not be released until 1994 due to the controversy surrounding the murder. (Oh, and their next album? 1995's Dawn of the Black Hearts, an LP with one of Euronymous's postmortem photos of Dead as the cover.)
  • Metallica did not become one of the most high profile metal bands without a few troubled productions.
    • Though considerably less angsty than the notoriously angsty St. Anger recording process, recording Ride the Lightning was no easy feat.
      • Songwriting went well for the most part; it was when they got to Copenhagen, Denmark, to record at Sweet Silence Studios where the problems began. Lars Ulrich still had no idea how rhythm theory worked and required roadie Flemming Larsen to help guide him through the songs, and making things worse, Ulrich had to record his drum parts in a warehouse at the back of the studio - with absolutely nothing in the way of acoustics, which explains the overly reverb-y drum sound on the album. Sound problems occurred throughout the production because the band's gear was stolen three weeks before they arrived in Copenhagen (including Hetfield's favourite guitar and amplifier, which served as the inspiration for the song "Fade to Black"). The band also had nowhere to stay, so they had to sleep during the daytime at the studio and record at night, as they had not enough money for a hotel (hotels in Scandinavia were notoriously expensive at the time). Worse yet, the band had only 29 days to record, as a number of European shows were quickly approaching (this left them running on fumes by the time the shows arrived).
      • And none of that is anything compared to the post-production bullshit they had to put up with - with the budget having ballooned by $10,000 already by this point (starting at 20k), while recording, Metallica was still looking for a major label, and several A&R representatives visited the studio during recording. Metallica were originally set on signing with Bronze records, but Gary Bron didn't like the material recorded in Denmark, and signing them would have meant re-recording the whole album in America. Disgusted by his disrespect for artistic integrity, the band decided to can his ass and keep searching, despite the fact that Bronze was already advertising them as one of their bands. Their European label Music For Nations paid for the studio costs because Megaforce records owner Jon Zazula couldn't afford them, and given the band's already increasing frustration with his constant meddling, decided to sever ties with him. It wasn't until during a concert in New York that they got noticed by the then-current Elektra records head and signed an 8 record deal with them. Luckily by the time work for Puppets began, the band had remedied most of these problems and decided to return to Sweet Silence, but even that wasn't completely angst-less - they ended up being there much longer than anticipated (past Christmas too) due to their growing perfectionism, and their nasty drinking habits were beginning to rear their ugly head, though the band stayed dry on recording days.
    • Their mainstream breakthrough Self-Titled Album, to a certain extent. To recap: band members get sick of hyper-complicated prog-metal songs that are "too fucking long" during the And Justice For All era, hire Mötley Crüe producer Bob Rock, he proceeds to alter the band's schedule and actually challenge them on songwriting (something previous producers Jon Zazula, Paul Curcio and Flemming Rasmussen never did; in one specific example, Rock told Hetfield up front that his original, crib death-themed lyrics for "Enter Sandman" sucked hard and he needed to write better ones) and emphasizing the still-picked-on Jason Newsted in the mix (in contrast to Justice's infamous lack of bass), lots of arguments ensue. Metallica themselves said that they somehow bonded during the sessions through finding new ways to torment Rock - Hetfield claimed that at one point he was browsing a magazine which happened to contain a gay ad that startled Rock, so the next day he plastered an entire room with gay porn. Despite all the animosity, Metallica stuck with Rock due to the success they had with the Black Album (which is still the best-selling album of the Sound Scan era and the best-selling Heavy Metal album), all the way up to the disastrously received St. Anger.
    • St. Anger itself, as handily proven by the Some Kind Of Monster documentary (filmed during recording of said album and showing how everyone was experiencing a Creator Breakdown - not helped by Newsted finally jumping ship, forcing Rock to play bass before a replacement was hired - that led to overtly angsty songs).
  • Moby's breakthrough album, Play was not an easy feat for him. After his previous album, Animal Rights was lambasted by critics and audiences, the pressure was on him make a triumphant comeback. The techno artist spent many sleepless drunken nights in his Little Italy apartment meticulously crafting the songs that would appear on the album. After a couple of delays and threats from his label to drop him, Moby finally submitted the finished project around early 1999... just for Warner to drop him and leave the record in limbo. Many labels refused to so much as even listen to it, as Animal Rights turned him into a laughing stock. When V2 records took it in, they slapped the ambitious goal of 250,000 copies to be sold. Within the first few months, Play had barely sold and half the critics that would later give it rave reviews refused to even touch the thing. Word of mouth finally got it the glory it deserved, as it finally got the acclaim. Then having all the songs appear on soundtracks for movies, TV shows, and commercials, the album finally started selling and became the best-selling techno album of all time. It is now considered the artist's seminal work and helped save Moby from a total disaster.
  • A mild example, but it still counts. Modest Mouse's The Moon & Antartica was recorded in an unfinished studio and Issac Brock was attacked before vocal sessions, causing him to have to do much of the album with his jaw wired shut.
  • The Moody Blues went on hiatus in 1974 after an extended world tour that left them exhausted; three years later, they were ready to record again, but as keyboardist Mike Pinder had moved to California with his second wife, Tara Lee, the band and their producer, Tony Clarke, decided to record the new album, Octave, in the United States. However, the recording sessions were fraught with intra-band tensions, and after the first studio they were using was shut down following a fire, they moved to Pinder's house in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where torrential rainfall caused a landslide that blocked the only road back to civilisation, effectively leaving the band stranded. Although Pinder contributed to recording sessions, he dropped out before the album was finished and, concerned about the effect the accompanying comeback tour would have on his young family, decided to leave the band permanently, to the anger and embarrassment of his bandmates (particularly drummer Graeme Edge in the former and flautist Ray Thomas in the latter). The band tried to downplay Pinder's absence while promoting the album, but a Decca executive let the cat out of the bag when introducing the other four band members at a UK press party by saying that Pinder was absent in the USA. He was replaced by Swiss ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz,note  whom the other Moodies would later say was never a good match for them in terms of musicality or personality.
  • Motörhead has had a fair share of troubled productions over the years:
    • Another Perfect Day was a "fucking nightmare" according to bassist/vocalist Lemmy Kilmister. He claims that guitarist at the time Brian Robertson would take more than 17 hours recording his guitar parts for each song and would enter conflicts with Lemmy and drummer Phil Taylor. During the following tour, Brian was fired due to his behaviour and constant style of clothing when he would perform.
    • The early stages of 1916 weren't easy, as they had initially hired Ed Stasium who, without their knowledge, had added claves and tambourines into the mix of the song "Going to Brazil" and was fired as a result. Stasium claims that he left because of Lemmy's extreme drug and alcohol addiction at the time.
    • During the recording of Sacrifice, guitarist Wurzel had suddenly out of nowhere entered conflicts with the rest of the band. It would take him six hours to even perform a guitar solo and one time he slammed the guitar and walked out of the studio, quitting on the spot.
  • My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. You can probably get the whole lowdown on The Other Wiki or the band's own page, but just to recap: main vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Kevin Shields is perfectionist to the point of James-Cameron-ness, 19 recording studios were used, 16 engineers were credited (most of them just ended up bringing Shields tea; only Anjali Dutt and Alan Moulder actually engineered anything), Shields and vocalist/guitarist Bilinda Butcher didn't allow the engineers to actually listen to them while recording vocals, drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig couldn't take part due to illness and homelessness (his drumming was sampled, and he only played live on two tracks), they took two weeks to master the whole thing and it was almost all ruined when the computer they were using threw the entire album out of order and Shields had to piece it back together from memory. For years their label head Alan McGee claimed they spent £250.000 and almost bankrupted Creation Records, a claim Shields always disputed as exaggerated - his most recent explanation was that only "a few thousand" were actually used to record while the rest was "money to live on". However, it is true that the production of Loveless ended up terrorizing Creation's staff and draining their finances, with the label's second-in-command Dick Green having a nervous breakdown and tearfully begging Shields to just get it over with already - one publicist even commented that Green's hair turned grey from all the stress.
  • My Chemical Romance seems to be a magnet when it comes to Troubled Productions. Every single album they've done has been, on some scale, a troubled one.
    • I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was recorded in a stuffy, small basement studio. Gerard Way suffered an emergency dental procedure, which left him in pain during vocal takes. When he was complaining, the band's guitarist, Frank Iero punched him in the face before he went in to do a vocal performance. Iero also struggled with the complicated compositions, not knowing how to take his musical ideas and simplify them enough for one guitarist to pull off. They ended up rush-hiring friend Ray Toro to help out.
    • Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge showed the band facing problems with alcoholism and drug addiction. Gerard has described the recording process as a blur. He had an emotional breakdown that resulted in him having to face his inner demons and defeat his alcoholism. Being part of a major label for the first time also created tension among fans, who were not enjoying the new "commercial" direction the band was heading in. They also had to fire their drummer, Matt Pellissier, who caused an internet backlash over the situation.
    • None of the other albums can hold a candle to The Black Parade. Frustrated from the seemingly directionless concept of Three Cheers, they wanted to aim for a higher concept circulating around death and morbid situations. The problem was that they may have very well overdid the exploration of the concept. The band bickered constantly. Way trapped himself alone in a room, forcing himself into a depressive stupor. Mikey Way had to battle his alcoholism and drug addiction now, taking a vacation away from the band for nearly half the production. The media was also hounding MCR at this point, as the emo controversy had reached its peak. Shortly after the album was released, they embarked an exhaustive three-year-long tour that left them hating the songs they had just written so much that they were enjoying re-exploring Bullets era songs to try to make up for it. A 13 year old fan-girl also committed suicide during this time and Glenn Beck accused them of being occultists. This led to the problems that would later lead to the band's breakup.
    • For Danger Days, the band threw out an entire album's worth of material and started from scratch. This album, titled Conventional Weapons wouldn't see release for almost four years. Having even more bad luck with drummers, Bob Bryar parted ways with the group. The controversy surrounding the band caused them to become frustrated and attempting to aim for a more light-hearted, fun sound. However, Gerard ended up going with a rather complicated storyline anyways that the band did not entirely care for. Other members were also still sour about Conventional Weapons being ditched. After another exhaustive tour, the band were simply too burned out to keep going and broke up in 2013. They are now seen as the big important rock band of the 2000s, with the controversy surrounding them having fizzled out.
  • My Vitriol's follow up to their 2001 debut, Finelines has been in Development Hell because of quarrels with their record label. Due to demand in drastic musical changes, and despite giving a large song sampler as bonus track on a live album, only a 4-track EP was released. The band has been so dissatisfied with results that we may never see a true follow-up to the album.

    Albums, Artists N-Z 
  • This happened several times to New Order:
    • The recording of Joy Division's first two albums were fraught enough, thanks to their Mad genius producer Martin Hannett, but this paled in comparison to New Order's debut, Movement. Following the suicide of Joy Division's Ian Curtis, the band, now re-christened New Order, struggled to write new songs without their singer and de facto musical director. Unwilling to outright replace Curtis, the surviving band members took turns singing (to varying degrees of success), before eventually settling on guitarist Bernard Sumner, and recruiting drummer Stephen Morris' girlfriend, Gillian Gilbert, to assist with keyboards/guitar. These struggles were exasperated in the studio by Hannett's heavy alcohol/drug abuse, his deteriorating relations with their label, Factory Records, and his belief that the musicians were 'talentless wankers' without their former singer. The resulting album was a critical and commercial disaster on its release but has now somewhat been Vindicated by History. In the wake of its failure, New Order ditched Hannett and struck out on their own, resulting in their Signature Song "Blue Monday".
    • The complete flipside happened in 1989, during the recording of Technique. Wanting a change from gloomy London recording studios, the band opted to record their fifth album on the island of Ibiza, during its burgeoning acid house scene. Before long, the band plunged headfirst into the ecstasy-fuelled party atmosphere and ultimately left the island after three months with only two drum tracks recorded. The sessions reconvened in more sober settings at Peter Gabriel's studios in Bath, although their experiences heavily influenced their songwriting, incorporating balaeric beats into their new wave/electronic rock sound. The result was New Order's most successful album to date, perfectly capturing the 'Second Summer of Love' and saving their label, Factory Records, from bankruptcy, for the time being...
    • 1993's Republic is widely regarded as a personal low point for the band. Reconvening after a three-year break, the group found themselves under increasing pressure to produce an album in order to save Factory Records from financial oblivion. Fuelled by increasing drug use, musical differences between Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook, which had been bubbling for over ten years, finally came to a head, with Sumner favouring an electronic-pop direction, and Hook wanting to return to the band's rock roots. While the eventual album was a commercial success, it arrived too late to save Factory and the resulting tour caused further schisms, resulting in a second hiatus that would last until 1998. Even after nearly 25 years, Hook cannot bring himself to discuss the tracks on the album, such was the animosity of the sessions.
    • The recording of New Order's comeback album, Get Ready, was relatively smooth, but old tensions between Hook and Sumner surfaced again during its follow up, Waiting for the Sirens Call. Aside from their musical differences, Hook began to resent his band members for a perceived lack of support following a recent stay in rehab for alcohol and drug addition. In turn, Hook antagonised the group by purchasing the brand rights to their iconic club, The Hacienda, without consulting them. When the album appeared in 2005, it received mixed reviews and the subsequent tour would eventually lead to Hook leaving the band permanently in 2007.
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a minor example with their 1999 album Bang Bang Bang. It was originally to be released in early 1998 through Rising Tide Records, and the title track was making headway on the charts. But Rising Tide closed up just before the album's release, so the band was quickly moved to Decca Records. Not long after, Decca closed up its Nashville branch as well. Finally, the album was released in 1999 through DreamWorks Records, which also reissued the title track. Humorously, the re-release charted lower than the first time around on Rising Tide.
  • No Doubt's fourth album Return of Saturn was a result of this since it took at least two years to be made and here's why:
    • After promotion for their breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom ended in early 1998, the band began writing songs for their follow-up, but had trouble producing material, so they decided to experiment with new sounds.
    • During early production, the band reunited with Tragic Kingdom producer Matthew Wilder but after working on seven songs together, the band parted company with him due to Creative Differences, so they opted to work with Michael Beinhorn due to his work with Hole, Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
    • However, scheduling conflicts prevented this to happen, so the band interviewed several producers and eventually worked with Glen Ballard, who had worked at Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and believed in not using heavy production techniques.
    • After Ballard went through the demos and ruled out half of them, the band resumed production but their record label Interscope was unhappy that the album missed due dates as the band felt it would be unwise to rush the album in order to cash in on the success of its predecessor.
    • Though most of the production was done by July 1999 with the band releasing "New" as the lead single along with hoping to release the album later that year, Interscope recommended that they continue writing so they would have a more marketable single, which caused the band to be divided on it. Gwen Stefani offered to do so but drummer Adrian Young and guitarist Tom Dumont did not want to as they didn't trust their label, especially after it had sublicensed Tragic Kingdom to Trauma Records.
    • After a brief break, Dumont sent Stefani some of his demos as a peace offering and the band returned to the studio to create more upbeat songs and penned "Ex-Girlfriend" and "Simple Kind of Life", which concluded the recording sessions and the album was released in April 2000, though despite positive critical reception, the band's switch from Ska Punk to New Wave Music did not sit well with fans and was unable to measure up to the sales of Tragic Kingdom, due to one single "A Simple Kind of Life" only reaching the US Top 40.
    • Fortunately, the band followed it up with the more successful Rock Steady a year later, due to it being co-produced by Pharrell Williams and the success of their Top 20 hits "Hey Baby", "Hella Good" and "Underneath It All".
  • Oasis. Given the easily combustible nature of Liam and Noel Gallagher’s relationship, it’s not surprising they had a few examples of this.
    • Their debut, Definitely Maybe, proved very troublesome, owing to the band’s general inexperience.
      • The initial Dave Batchelor-produced sessions from late 1993 were a disaster. Creation Records - still reeling from My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless going insanely over-budget - were forking out at £800 a day for use of Monnow Valley Studios and it had resulted in just one useable recording - ‘Slide Away’ is the only track on the final album from those sessions. Noel ultimately got rid of Batchelor, and having tried one last time to salvage the music already recorded, decided there was no choice but to take another crack at recording the album.
      • In January 1994, the band decamped to Sawmills studios in Cornwall with Noel and Mark Coyle producing and Anjali Dutt, a veteran of the Troubled Production of Loveless, handling engineering duties. Despite Noel taking a far more active role in things, the sessions still went nowhere and Liam still hadn’t recorded any vocals yet. It was left to Owen Morris, whose services had been offered to the band prior to starting recording only to be turned down, to salvage the situation. Firstly he impressed everyone by getting some first-rate vocal takes from Liam, and then was able to take the existing recordings and turn it into the album most people know and love. Definitely Maybe went on to become one of the most acclaimed debut albums ever made by a British group.
    • (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was a much easier experience by comparison. Even the sacking of original drummer Tony McCarroll didn’t hurt proceedings too much. The main trouble occurred when Noel decided he wanted to Step Up to the Microphone for a song ("Don’t Look Back in Anger") which annoyed Liam so much that the younger Gallagher attempted to drunkenly interrupt his brother while he was recording his vocal take, and then (depending on who you believe) apparently trashing Noel’s equipment.
    • The production of Be Here Now is almost as infamous as the album itself.
      • The band’s popularity exploded following the release of Morning Glory, culminating in a series of sold-out outdoor shows in the UK summer of 1996. However, this was followed an ill-fated North American tour that had to be cut short due to various fallings-out. In order to try and keep things on an even keel, Noel suggested they record their next album as soon as possible (he’d had the material demo’d prior to their summer 1996 shows and so the songs were ready to go).
      • Producer Owen Morris wanted to try and keep things simple, generally close to the demos with minimal overdubs, whilst Noel wanted a far more elaborate production with multiple overdubs and even an orchestra. As anyone who has listened to the final product will know, Noel won the argument.
      • The original intention to record to the iconic Abbey Road Studios was derailed by press intrusion (not helped by Liam getting busted by the police for drug possession) leading to changes of venue. The album is somewhat infamous for being compromised by the amount of drug use, with Creation boss Alan McGee being appalled at how off the rails the whole thing was. Morris for his part disputes this and argues that Noel’s indifferent songwriting and I Am the Band tendencies coupled to poor relations within the band generally were as much to blame.
      • The album had a lot to live up to - Morning Glory was one of the biggest selling albums in UK history, despite getting So Okay, It's Average reviews at first. For Be Here Now the press arguably started Pandering to the Base and gave it five-star reviews initially, which increased hype even more. The album posted impressive first-day and first-week sales, but eventually the inevitable Hype Backlash came, and many of the same reviewers that had initially praised it were now queueing up to stick the boot in.
      • The album was by most objective standards a success, selling nine million copies and there has been a certain backlash against the backlash in the years since - both Liam and Oasis manager Marcus Russell have defended the album, and producer Owen Morris believes the album is Mis-blamed as the Genre-Killer for Britpop. Noel for his part regards it as an Old Shame, if not outright Canon Discontinuity (only "Stand by Me" stayed in the band’s live setlist in later years and the retrospective compilation album Stop the Clocks ignored it entirely.)
    • It didn't get any easier with the next album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants.
      • After facing (not entirely unfounded) accusations of It's the Same, Now It Sucks! over Be Here Now, Noel wanted to make its follow-up a New Sound Album. He'd also kicked a nasty drug habit during the band's hiatus, and wanted to curb some of the band’s more excessive traits during the recording sessions in France. (The fact that Noel was seemingly oblivious to the problems that, amongst others, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and Duran Duran had endured whilst recording in that country suggests a certain amount of Critical Research Failure on his part.)
      • In particular, he imposed a strict drinking curfew to try and keep brother Liam in good shape to record his vocals. This didn't sit well with the other band members, Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs especially. Arthurs' frustrations got the better of him, and he drunkenly pranked one of the hired studio workers. When an irate Noel found out and pranked Arthurs himself in retaliation, the ensuing argument resulted in Arthurs quitting the band on the spot. Bassist Paul 'Guigsy' McGuigan followed Arthurs out the door a few weeks later for reasons that remain unclear.
      • The result was the sessions being a real downer for all involved, not helped by Creation Records going belly-up. Sure, Oasis were big enough to Start My Own record label by that time, but it did mean yet another of the cohort who'd helped them on their way, Alan McGee, was now out of the picture. All three of the remaining band members were experiencing marital difficulties and Noel wasn't feeling particularly inspired as a songwriter (to cap it all, his new found sobriety meant the material he did write was far more somber than the band’s usual crowd-pleasing fare).
      • Ultimately the album was pulled together by Liam, Noel, drummer Alan White and whichever of Noel's mates happened to be in the studio. Tellingly, it's the only Oasis studio release that doesn't list the individual band members by name in the sleeve notes, as they didn’t get around to hiring replacements for the departed Arthurs and McGuigan until they started their tour to support the album.
    • Things got relatively easier for the band in terms of recording material after that - it helped that Liam, plus new members Gem Archer and Andy Bell started contributing more on the songwriting front and thus reducing the need for Noel to come up with an entire album's worth of material by himself every two years. However, the critical and commercial response was much diminished from their Glory Days. The band split amid yet more acrimony after 2009's Dig Out Your Soul.
  • Pearl Jam's Binaural had Eddie Vedder facing writer's block, Mike McCready battling an addiction to prescription drugs, the band having to get used to "new" (he had toured but not recorded with them) drummer Matt Cameron, and the first mixes not satisfying the band, who brought old producing partner Brendan O'Brien to remix half the album.
  • Pink Floyd became a magnet for these between the late Seventies and early Eighties, some of it thanks to Roger Waters's growing Control Freak tendencies.
    • The Wall: The band had to leave the UK for tax reasonsnote , and so recorded the album in studios in France and the USA. Aside from the ensuing homesickness, Roger Waters became more and more controlling of the recording process, and argued with producer Bob Ezrin. The album ultimately went behind schedule, and keyboardist Richard Wright was fired because he didn't want to cut his vacation short, but stayed as a session musician. Finally, the promotional tour was so extravagant that it lost profits—but Wright got off easy, because he was paid as a touring member.
      • Trouble for the band from the album continued well after it was released due to the use of the schoolchildren singing the second verse of "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2", the album's runaway hit single, and again on the song's video. The children's teacher had had to sneak them out of the school without telling the head teacher since he hadn't asked for permission to do so, believing (probably rightly) that he wouldn't get it. The class's compensation was being allowed to record one of their own compositions at the band's Britannia Row studio. Unfortunately, the British press found out when the single became a huge hit and had great sport over not only that but that the children hadn't even gotten free copies of the album, which Waters arranged for them to get afterwards. That still didn't stop a few of them from suing the band in the 2000s, arguing they still should have gotten actual money.
    • If producing The Wall was a nightmare, producing The Final Cut was Danteesque torment.
      • The album was originally envisioned as Spare Bricks, a companion piece to The Wall that would consist of original recordings made for the 1982 film adaptation plus a handful of original songs meant to expand the album's narrative. However, the onset of The Falklands War resulted in Roger Waters— then in complete control of the band— scrapping the original concept and creating a new album specifically to say "fuck you" to Margaret Thatcher, who he felt had acted out of jingoism and betrayed the ideals left behind in the wake of World War II (in which his father died fighting). This drew the irritation of David Gilmour, who was growing tired of Waters' policing of the band and felt unimpressed by the politics behind the album. Additionally, Gilmour was vexed by Waters' decision to include five outtakes from The Wall intended for Spare Bricksnote  and wanted the band to compose more original material instead— which Waters shot down, citing how little his bandmates had actually been contributing in the way of songwriting lately (itself the product of said bandmates wrestling with a wide array of personal issues at the time).
      • Writing and recording sessions were already tense from the outset as a result of these Creative Differences, to the extent where Waters and Gilmour could no longer tolerate working in the same building as one another. Gilmour felt constantly anxious during the sessions, to the point where he could barely keep from having a breakdown, and Waters was growing increasingly fed up with his bandmates, with his own anxieties (particularly his lack of confidence in his singing ability), and with co-producer and session pianist (in place of the recently-fired Richard Wright) Michael Kamen, who himself was constantly on-edge under Waters' directorship. At one point, Waters, having just finished recording a bevy of vocal takes, spotted Kamen scribbling in a notepad, demanding to know what he was doing and exploding at him upon finding the notepad filled with several pages of "I must not fuck sheep" written ad-nauseum.
      • By the time recording finished, Gilmour was so fed up with Waters' dictatorial leadership and complete control over the record that he asked to be removed from the album's credits (though was still payed royalties), Waters nearly had the album released as a solo record (only backing down due to Pink Floyd's contractual obligations with EMI), and the album ultimately released with the infamous credit of "by Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd," now a microcosm of just how tight of a grip Waters had on his bandmates at that point. The album underperformed, was critically maligned, and went on to become Pink Floyd's most divisive record since Ummagumma. Ultimately, Waters was so disillusioned by the whole affair that he quit Pink Floyd two years later, then unsuccessfully tried to sue the band when they kept going without him. To this day, the sheer acrimony of the sessions for The Final Cut remain as a large, dark stain on Pink Floyd's history and Waters' reputation.
    • A Momentary Lapse of Reason, the first album recorded after Waters left the band in 1985, saw Gilmour having problems with writer's block and bringing in numerous musicians to help, while Mason and Wright (the latter of whom was still not an official member) themselves didn't do much due to what Gilmour described as self-confidence issues in Mason's case (Gilmour said that Waters had a talent for "making others feel worthless") and Wright having been brought aboard too late in the album's production (largely at the insistence of his wife Franka) to do much besides add some extra keyboards and backing vocals. Finally, at the same time the album was produced, Gilmour and Mason were fighting a lawsuit against Waters over ownership of the Pink Floyd name. Eventually, both Gilmour and Waters agreed to a settlement; both Gilmour and Mason retained the rights to the Pink Floyd name, while Waters would receive the rights to The Wall and the Pink Floyd Pig.
  • While recording Synchronicity in Montserrat, the members of The Police each recorded their parts in different rooms (Stewart Copeland played drums in the dining room,note  Sting worked from the control room and Andy Summers recorded in the actual studio) and only overdubbed instruments when just one of them was in the studio at a time because they couldn't stand to be in the same room. Additionally, Sting and Stewart Copeland started a fight while recording "Every Breath You Take", which almost made producer Hugh Padgham walk out. It got even worse when they went back to try to record what would have been their sixth album, where they were going to do new recordings of all their greatest hits (it was released, with only "Don't Stand So Close to Me" updated). According to Andy Summers, one morning, as he expected, Stewart and Sting got into a fight about how to program a Synclavier shortly after they began working (Copeland had broken his collarbone and couldn't play drums, so the percussion needed to be done electronically - and he wanted to use a Fairlight computer instead of the synth). He slipped out and came back seven hours later ... only to find them still having the same exact argument.
  • The creation of Public Image Ltd.'s third LP, Flowers Of Romance, was plagued with setbacks, most stemming from the departure of Only Sane Man bassist Jah Wobble over monetary disputes, all worsened by Keith Levene's heroin addiction and John Lydon's increasing paranoia. It shows.
  • Radiohead are usually known for going into the studio and getting things done smoothly and professionally. For their fourth album, Kid A, however, things didn't go as smoothly as Thom Yorke and company had hoped. Fresh off the heels of their smash success album OK Computer, the band felt pressured to top it and were exhausted from all the touring and interviews. The fame had seriously drained them all. Yorke had grown tired of 16-bar guitar riffs and wanted to try something different. Having felt inspired by the music of Aphex Twin, Yorke wanted the band to tackle electronic music. This proved to be a tough sell, as the band just wanted to do what they had been doing for years. This led to a minor feud between Yorke and guitarist Johnny Greenwood for the first time in the band's history. The rest of the band were also not happy with the idea of not being able to play on some of the album's tracks. To make matters worse, Yorke suffered from writer's block and struggled to get lyrics down on paper. He also wanted to change his vocal style since so many other bands were mimicking him. He ended up using his voice more as an instrument and took focus away from lyrics, confusing his fellow bandmates. Production got extended again and again, and even though the label had no problem with this, it still stressed out the band. By the time production was completed, they had enough material for two albums, and their producer urged them to not release the music, fearing commercial suicide. Kid A was released to mixed to highly positive reviews and helped change the face of rock music as more and more rock bands started adopting a more electronic sound. Thom Yorke, in a fit of stress and rage, got his hands on a copy of the album and destroyed it.
  • The Ramones had this for nearly every album of the 80s.
    • They had a miserable time recording their fifth album, End of the Century, due to the antics of producer Phil Spector. He reportedly forced Johnny Ramone to play the opening chord of "Rock n' Roll High School" hundreds of times, made the band listen to him play the piano for all hours and pulled a gun on Dee Dee when he tried to leave. The resulting album divided fan opinion and was hated by most of the band.
    • It didn't get any better with the next album, Pleasant Dreams. Although not as nightmarish as End of the Century, the sessions were filled with conflicts on the direction of songwriting choices, as Johnny Ramone wanted to go in a hard rock direction while singer Joey Ramone preferred to go into a pop direction. To make it worse, Johnny started dating one of Joey's ex-girlfriends (whom he would later marry). As a result of all this, their relations were strained even more and the two wouldn't speak to each other for the rest of their careers.
    • Subterranean Jungle was smoother, but it wasn't entirely trouble-free, as Johnny had dictated the style of the music. To make it worse, Joey and drummer Marky Ramone had been dealing with drug addictions at the time of recording. It got so bad that Marky was fired during the sessions.
    • The trouble continued during the sessions of Animal Boy. Johnny Ramone refused to perform on Joey's songs, which continued to cause more conflict within the band. Also, the producer was selected by the label and as a result, the guitar on the album sounds extremely hideous.
    • Johnny claimed that Joey and drummer Richie made recording Halfway to Sanity difficult by forcing the producer to make numerous remixes and different tracks. Richie, however, claims that Johnny and the manager had caused the issues by keeping the production at a low budget. Conflicts also continued on how the members wanted to make it more radio-friendly and a hit, but Johnny and the manager wanted to continue to be underground.
    • Brain Drain had it so bad that it caused Dee Dee to refuse to perform the bass altogether and Johnny not performing his parts on a number of songs. Dee Dee left the band shortly after the album was released to pursue a rap career, which was a commercial failure.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers sixth album, One Hot Minute has sometimes been nicknamed One Hot Nightmare by fans who read about the production process of the album.
    • After the critical and commercial success of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the Peppers were astonished that they had become so famous seemingly overnight. Not comfortable with the fame, guitarist John Frusciante ditched the band in the middle of their tour for that album. They scrambled to find a guitarist to replace him, using many session guitarists for the remaining live shows. When talks started for their next album, the band auditioned several guitarists and ended up settling with former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. At first, he clicked well with the band, getting along with all the members.
    • Once production started, however, things got really weird. Navarro would show up late to recording sessions, if he could be bothered to show up at all. When he did show up, he had a professional attitude that clashed heavily with the rest of the band. He would constantly criticize the band's jamming and writing process, leaving vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, and drummer Chad Smith feeling alienated by Navarro's involvement with the band. Music was scarcely written, leading record executives to suspect whether the album would even be completed.
    • To add insult to injury, Anthony Kiedis, then 5 years sober, had to endure an emergency dental procedure. He was injected with morphine, which woke the "800 pound gorilla" (the nickname Anthony gives his heroin addiction). This resulted in Anthony disappearing for days and weeks while the band was working hard on new material. It's hard to tell who was causing the most delays, Keidis or Navarro. Either ways, Keidis was stuck battling an addiction he wouldn't again beat until 2000.
    • After a Woodstock '94 show, which was the first live performance to feature Navarro, attracted interest from fans, the band struggled even harder to get the album completed. The album wouldn't be released until 1995, spending a whopping 3 years in production, triple the time the Chili Peppers were used to.
    • The story doesn't even end there. Navarro's erratic behavior proved to be problematic during the disastrous tour for One Hot Minute. He would throw fits, hog the spotlight, and play the music incorrectly. Eventually, Navarro was sacked in 1997, and the Peppers eventually got Frusciante back for their next three albums, which led to a resurgence in their popularity. One Hot Minute left many fans feeling strange and betrayed, while others welcomed the change. It's regarded as one of the Peppers' weaker efforts, though not their worst. The lessons learned, though, helping the band to make sure all future recordings went much smoother.
  • Red House Painters had this happen with almost every single album they released:
    • Down Colorful Hill is probably the most tame of these. The recordings had already been done and all the band needed to do was give them to the record company for mixing. However, there were problems. The band argued with the American branch of 4AD Records for what songs they wanted on the album. Many of the demos they thought were their best work were scrapped in favor of the lesser known, "more accessible" ones. Though the album was praised, Kozelek wasn't pleased with it because the label also changed the atmospheric textures that made the early demos so memorable.
    • The recording sessions for Rollercoaster and Bridge didn't have as many studio problems as they did personal problems with the band. Kozelek was going through major depression and other members were fighting off recent break-ups that made getting along with each other hard. There was a slight problem with getting an agreement in for track listings. Kozelek remembers it as just "nine months of worry" during the recording session. Not all much was clear about this one. Rollercoaster is widely regarded as one of the greatest slowcore albums and one of the best albums of the 90s. There was also a lot of Enforced Method Acting pushed onto Kozelek, resulting in much frustration from him. He stated in later interviews that the strain put on him during the sessions made his depression worse, and affected the way he interacted with the 4AD staff on later recordings... Which explains the resulting Troubled Productions.
    • During the production of what was supposed to be a Mark Kozelek solo album, Songs for a Blue Guitar, the American branch of 4AD Records ended up in a raging argument with Kozelek over a guitar solo. Because Kozelek refused to change it, they threw not just Kozelek but the entire RHP project off the label, just a couple of months before the album was due to be released. During the next several weeks, Kozelek desperately tried to find a label that would release the album as well as let him finish it. Even when Island Records took him in, they demanded the guitar solos changed and that the album be labeled as Red House Painters rather than a solo album. While the guitar solos ended up staying, Kozelek would not release his first true solo album until 2000. When Songs was finally released it was met with some of the most inept marketing seen this side of Souvlaki and barely made a ding on the Billboard charts. This is something Island would use against him and the Painters on the next release. Songs for a Blue Guitar is considered one of the best albums to be associated with the singer/songwriter.
    • When the band got back together to record Old Ramon, Kozelek (feeling just a little too proud of the critical response to the previous album) was going through an ego trip. The band were constantly arguing with instrument arrangements, which on previous albums were a group effort, but now Kozelek was composing everything himself. Their connection with Island Records was also falling through, with the label one-upping 4AD's dropping them by not just dropping the band, but refusing to let them have the master recordings of the album. Old Ramon remained unheard (a miracle even by late '90s standards) until 2001 when Sub Pop records offered Island more money than the album was truly worth just to get this great piece of art out to the public.
    • Then there's Sun Kil Moon who mostly avoided this trope until 2008's April where Kozelek, depressed by the death of a one-time muse of his, started becoming controlling with songwriting. This created an ego in the singer-songwriter that nobody had seen before, making him difficult to deal with and prolonging recording sessions. The album was Kozelek's strongest-received album since the days of RHP. Ever since this, however, Kozelek has been doing more thinly orchestrated music that consisted mostly nylon acoustic guitar and occasional drums as to avoid conflicts with his ego. The album also took over five years to write and record. Said muse (if you know Mark's music really well, you'll know her as Katy from "Katy Song") was dying of cancer and Kozelek was one of the few people supporting her. To keep fans and the record label at bay, he wrote Tiny Cities, a Modest Mouse cover album in a hurry. Some of the songs were written in Katy's early stages of cancer and Kozelek's emotional struggle and above-mentioned ego made this somehow more stressful on the songwriter than Blue Guitar did.
  • Ride's last two albums, Carnival of Light and Tarantula were both caught in the wake of the collapse of Shoegazing. Pressure to create Britpop songs left the band playing in a style they were mostly unfamiliar and not very good with. The stress caused the members to argue with each other and even hate the songs they were playing. They referred to Carnival of Light as Carnival of Shite after production had finished. The band quarrels got so bad on Tarantula that they broke up a week after the album was released. Carnival is looked at as So Okay, It's Average while Tarantula seems to have become an old shame for everyone involved.
  • The Rolling Stones:
    • The beloved double album Exile on Main St. did not come easy. Setting a trend that was ill-advisedly followed by many bands in the 1970s, the Stones left the UK in 1971 for tax reasons and settled in France. Most of the backing tracks were recorded in the basement of Keith Richards' villa at Nellcôte, a poorly-ventilated environment where the heat would cause the guitars to go out of tune. Recording took place all night but none of the Stones ever showed up all at the same time - Bill Wyman sat out most of the sessions, Mick Jagger was frequently AWOL and Richards was just getting started on his infamous substance abuse. He was joined in said substance abuse by Mick Taylor, producer Jimmy Miller, session musician Bobby Keys and engineer Andy Johns - Wyman claimed in his autobiography that he, Charlie Watts, and Jagger were the only people in the villa who abstained to some degree. The band then took the piecemeal recordings and backing tracks to Los Angeles, added all the overdubs and assembled them into Exile.
    • Bridges to Babylon only saw problems emerge when it was time to record in LA, as Keith Richards did not like Mick Jagger's plan to invite outside producers such as The Dust Brothers, whose work on Beck's Odelay had impressed Jagger, and looping expert Danny Saber. Richards hated electronic music and refused to work with either of them. He even threw Saber out of the studio when he found out he was overdubbing guitars. As for The Dust Brothers, they ultimately only worked on three tracks. Most of the album was instead produced by Don Was, who had produced Voodoo Lounge. Midway through production, Was had to keep Jagger and Richards in separate rooms and studios. Richards and his engineer friend had to steal tapes to make sure a track was finished. Charlie Watts only got through the conflict by bonding with famous session percussionist and former Plastic Ono Band member Jim Keltner, with whom he would make a solo record later. Watts ultimately flew out of Los Angeles as soon as he was not needed anymore. By the end of the sessions, none of the Stones were speaking to one another. It was their last album for eight years.
  • The boys from Canadian band Rush have had a few brushes with troubled productions over the years:
    • Their fifth album, Hemispheres, endured a fraught recording process as Neil Peart explains this interview. The album would eventually go to Platinum status in the US.
    • The making of Grace Under Pressure also counts; the band had made the decision to change to a new producer for the first time, jettisoning Terry Brown amicably. They hired Steve Lillywhite to produce them, but Lillywhite unexpectedly bailed out on them at the last minute; the band hired Peter Henderson (who worked on Supertramp's Breakfast In America) as producer, had gotten along well with him, but gradually realized Henderson was mainly a recording engineer credited as a producer, and wasn't well-suited or well equipped to take on the traditional decision-making role provided by a producer. This had meant the band, unwillingly, felt the need to shoulder most of the production work and creative decision-making for what was already a complex album to put together. Geddy Lee mentioned in the official band biography Contents Under Pressure that as a result, GUP is a difficult album for him to listen to or remember too nostalgically, due to memories of how hard it was making the album.
  • Scritti Politti's 1982 New Sound Album Songs to Remember qualifies for this.
    • Its saga began in early 1981, when a cassette sampler distributed with an issue of New Musical Express included a demo of "The 'Sweetest Girl'", a synth-and-drums love song that was a radical departure from the band's previous work, which had been reggae-tinted social and political commentary. Fan were divided—it was either the greatest pop song ever written or a complete sellout. But everyone was talking about it, and assumed the band's label, Rough Trade, would capitalize on the buzz and release it as a single.
    • However, Geoff Travis, head of the label, felt that the single would benefit from some further tweaking in the studio (it was just a demo, after all) and encouraged the band's leader, Green Gartside (who was rapidly becoming the whole band, effectively) to do so. Since the members were all being paid £50 a week, on top of a very generous advance they'd already gotten, sure, they figured, why not? ... and took their time.
    • Lots of time. They finished the whole album in the process by August of that year ... and decided not to release it just then. Instead, they imagined, they could release the finished version of "The 'Sweetest Girl'", plus a few more singles, building up to the album's release. However, when they finally released the finished single in October, the British pop scene had moved on. Other artists had capitalized on the moment, and what had seemed like a contender for hit song of the year wound up barely grazing the charts.
    • A few more singles were released, none of them becoming great hits, before the album was finally released in September 1982. Gartside in the meantime complained that Rough Trade hadn't promoted the singles as effectively as it could have. The album sold well, giving Rough Trade its first-ever Top 20.
    • However, around the same time Rough Trade, which had expanded upward from the eponymous London record store to become a distribution, recording and promotional operation as well, found out it had overspent on just about everything, not least the small fortune Scritti Politti had cost the label while putting the finishing ... and finishing ... and finishing touches on their debut album. Were it not for the indulgence of Mute Records' Daniel Miller over the £1,000,000 or so he was owed, Rough Trade would have ceased to be right then and there.
    • Travis and Richard Scott, his co-founder, fought heavily over this and the net result was a major corporate restructuring. He had to let Scritti Politti go to a major label, along with Aztec Camera, who had delivered in "Oblivious" the hit pop single that "The 'Sweetest Girl'" had been expected to be, to Virgin. Both bands went on to success at their new labels. And fortunately for Scott, this gave him the space to sign the Smiths, who helped keep the label afloat for another six years.
    • "The 'Sweetest Girl'" ultimately did become a pop hit...but in a cover by Madness, and not until 1986. And it wasn't even one of Madness' bigger hits to boot.
  • Slint's Spiderland is known for being the first and sometimes best Post-Rock album ever created. It's also known for its freakishly stressful recording. The band only had four days to do the recording and had to pull all-nighters, only having energy drinks to keep them awake. The songs were originally written as instrumentals, but they were pressured into adding vocals and lyrics at the last minute (hence the spoken word throughout the album). Brian McMahan, the band's lead vocalist, threw out his voice after the take of the final track "Good Morning Captain", which may explain why Britt Walford performed the vocals and guitar on "Don, Aman". The producer that worked on the album, Brian Paulson, was also brutal, demanding absolute perfection on the takes, exhausting the band even more. The worst part is that two of the members were institutionalized for a few weeks due to the intense stress and pressure that was placed on them for this album. To this day, many rock historians believe it to be one of the harshest recordings in history. This is all believed to have been caused by the odd composition of Spiderland, leading many to believe it to be cursed. Paulson himself described the album as "fucking weird".
  • Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, the third LP by Slipknot, got off to a rough start, to say the least. Following their previous album Iowa and subsequent touring, most of the band members ventured off into various side projects, such as vocalist Corey Taylor's priority-band Stone Sour, and drummer Joey Jordison's group Murderdolls. Upon reuniting alongside producer Rick Rubin and being moved out to his Houdini Mansion in Los Angeles to craft the next record, most if not all of the members were not on speaking terms, and collectively contributed nothing to the album for three months, wasting away thousands of dollars whilst living inside said mansion. Even when they eventually gave themselves a kick in the ass to begin properly working on the record, Taylor still found himself drinking heavily throughout the entirety of recording, leading to some supposedly less-than-stellar vocal performances that ended up in the final product. This also wasn't helped by the fact that Rubin himself did not often show up for recording sessions (and didn't do a goddamn thing when he did), as well as the Houdini Mansion's documented paranormal activities spooking the band members. Nonetheless, Subliminal Verses was certified platinum, and is considered by many to be Slipknot's best.
  • Slowdive's Souvlaki almost makes Loveless look like a joke.
    • After an utterly moronic marketing campaign run by their label for Just for a Day, Slowdive started writing songs for the album while on tour in 1992. Around this time, band leaders Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, who had been best friends since they were children, broke off a relatively brief romantic relationship that nonetheless seriously tested their close friendship and the band's entire dynamic. They recorded around 40 songs at multiple studios under harsh conditions including malfunctioning recording equipment and general laziness from some of the band members or outside interference. In a notably bizarre incident, the band went into a Bath studio previously used by Spiritualized, where they found a large Scalextric model train left behind; Neil Halstead snarked that it took so long to get rid of and the sessions turned out to be useless that it would have been more productive to have just sat around playing with the model. When presented with the tracks, Creation Records head Alan McGee bluntly told them "They're all shit." They went back in the studio, completely dry of ideas and where to carry the album next. Neil Halstead started increasing his smoking of marijuana to try to cope with the stress, which resulted in the band struggling to get him motivated. They requested Brian Eno to produce for them, which he declined and insisted on collaborating with them, saying they were "good enough" that they didn't need his help. When he came in to work with them, his bizarre studio behaviour proved nearly impossible to work with. He told the band to just play random bits with their instruments and took a clock from the studio wall and placed it on the mixing deck - two of the tracks from the album ("Sing" and "Here She Comes") were wrung together from these recordings, with Eno playing minimal keyboards on "Sing". Eno declined to work on any more than the two songs that he thought needed his input, and left the band to work more for themselves. Halstead, even more stressed, left the group to seek isolation in a cottage. This left the three remaining members to struggle with production until Halstead's return with new music just a few weeks before recording was scheduled to wrap up (among the songs Halstead returned with was "Alison", which the rest of the band immediately picked as the album's first single). The album was released in 1993 to mixed reviews due to the demise of Shoegaze at the time.
    • The drama didn't end there. The marketing campaign used for Souvlaki proved even more moronic than the one used for Just for a Day. Fans were offered free copies of Just for a Day if they posted 50 fliers around New York City. This backfired immensely when people refused to do it. Things escalated even higher when SBK blamed Slowdive themselves for the marketing campaign and pulled funding from their tour to promote the album, leaving the band to have to pay for it themselves. Tourmates Catherine Wheel even spoke of SBK's idiocy, calling it "bullshit". To this day, the management of Slowdive is looked at as a go-to example of what not to do when managing advertising for a band.
  • Sly and the Family Stone's Theres A Riot Goin On has this trope written all over it. The band was agreed to be on a roll, due to the combined effect of the hit Stand album, their triumphant Woodstock appearance, and the new singles on the hit Greatest Hits album. Behind the scenes things were falling apart. Sly Stone moved from San Francisco to LA, creating physical and personal distance from the others. He and some other members greatly increased their drug intake. The Black Panthers, showing odd priorities, were pressuring Sly to fire drummer Greg Errico and saxophonist Jerry Martini because they were white. Errico did leave around that time, mainly because Sly's use of drum machines and guest musicians left him with little to do. During all this turmoil, song lyrics showed a surprising level of bleakness. The resulting album is remembered as simultaneously one of the group's classics and the beginning of the end for the Family Stone.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins have at least two examples.
    • Their mainstream breakthrough Siamese Dream ended up as this. Billy Corgan moved the band from Chicago to Marietta, Georgia in an attempt to get Jimmy Chamberlin to stop abusing so many drugs (it failed), he came down with suicidal depression and writer's block, D'arcy Wretzky and James Iha broke up at the same time and by the end Billy wound up playing most of the guitar and bass just to get things done quicker. By the time recording ended in March 1993, the album was four months and $250,000 over budget, and Corgan and producer Butch Vig were so exhausted they passed over mixing duties to Alan Moulder (chosen by Billy due to his engineering work on Loveless), who took 36 days to finish mixing it. The turmoil extended to the album's packaging as well, since Virgin Records vetoed the original plan to have an outsider artist do the artwork, and time constraints forced Billy and his wife Chris Fabian to assemble the artwork (largely old photos of his family and strangers, with the lyrics handwritten on top; the cover was shot separately by Melodie McDaniel) the day after their wedding, and he was ultimately dissatisfied with how it turned out. Still, the album debuted at #10 on the Billboard charts, earned great reviews and launched the band into mainstream success thanks to "Today".
    • Not quite as drastic as Siamese Dream, but the band have also stated that the recording of their debut Gish was troubled, despite lasting only 30 working days between December 1990 and March 1991. Billy once again performed nearly all the bass and guitar parts and commented that the strain of the sessions drove him to a nervous breakdown, and D'arcy Wretzky added that she had no idea how the band survived.
  • The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead may be seen as a masterpiece, but it had a turbulent time getting there. First off, before recording sessions even started, they were told by their lawyer that they only had to complete one more album for their label, Rough Trade. This excited them, making them think that they would be signing to a major label soon. This sent Johnny Marr into a workaholic frenzy. The band couldn't focus in their usual studio setting and instead settled in a cottage in the country. Morrissey started developing his infamous ego around this time, making him stressful to deal with. Marr would go days without eating, spending nights that he wasn't recording drinking and using cocaine. On top of that, he started getting exhausted having to manage the band. One phone call in which the label tried to get him to resolve a debt owed to a tour van they used, he screamed "Have someone else deal with it!" Their lawyer then came back and told them that there was a problem with Rough Trade, as the label thought the band owed them more than just one more studio album. The band pushed back, which caused Rough Trade to put an injunction on the new album, meaning it would not be released until a new agreement was made. This delay meant that the band was performing songs for an album with an unknown release date, confusing many fans. Marr attempted to get back at the label by unsuccessfully attempting to steal the master tapes. Finally, shortly before the album's release, bassist Andy O'Rourke's heroin addiction became so bad that he was thrown out of the band. Morrissey left a passive-aggressive note on his car, leading to him spending a whole day crying in Marr's shoulders, unknown what to do or how to cope. O'Rourke was let back in the band soon, leading to his replacement, Craig, to be relegated to the position of second guitarist. An agreement was eventually made with the label and the album was released in 1986.
  • Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run is another legendary story. After two financially unsuccessful though critically acclaimed albums, the Boss' career almost came to an end when Columbia Records almost dropped him entirely. Springsteen promised a smash hit and Columbia gave him a deadline of six months to finish the album. At this point, Springsteen was running out of funds to pay The E Street Band, with many of its members thinking of walking out of the recording process. Recording ultimately took a year and a half, triple the time Columbia originally wanted. Springsteen got into dozens of arguments with his fellow musicians, as his musical ideas that were in his head were difficult to bring to fruition. The album ended up drastically over-budget, causing Columbia to almost consider dropping the album altogether. Song selection was so great that seven tracks were left on the cutting room floor just to keep the album from being overlong. Ultimately Born to Run turned into the Boss' greatest musical achievement, selling far more copies than Columbia was demanding. It thrust Springsteen into the limelight and even attracted attention to his prior albums, which are both also looked at as classics now.
  • Starflyer 59's sophomore album, Gold. Prior to recording, "internal tensions" reduced the band's members to Jason Martin, and then the pressure of recording the album all by himself pushed Jason to the verge of a nervous breakdown. As J. Edward Keyes' semi-official biography of the band describes it:
    Martin entered the studio with engineer Bob Moon – and wouldn’t emerge again for a month. Not to sleep. Not to visit friends. Not for anything.
    Moon’s recollection is vivid. “It was just insane. I remember at one point standing outside the studio with Jason, and hearing him say that it was the first time he’d seen the daylight in seven days.”
    "I didn't leave the Green Room for a month. Period. [...] I was having a semi-breakdown," he admits. "It was a sick experience."
  • Steely Dan's 1980 album Gaucho has one of the more troubled productions in rock music history.
    • For starters, guitarist/songwriter Walter Becker was hit by a car before recording began, and while recovering from leg injuries, developed other infections which further delayed recording. After his recovery, he developed dependencies on the painkillers he had to take, which he supplemented with illegal drugs, causing a rift between him and band co-leader Donald Fagen. Additionally, Becker's girlfriend died of a drug overdose in his house in early 1980, and her parents sued him, claiming he was responsible for her death by introducing her to heroin. As a result, Becker wasn't really present in the studio for three songs, among them "Glamour Profession", still one of the fan favorites on the album, and Fagen admitted later that his longtime partner's input would have been helpful while they were trying to finish the album.
    • Also, Becker and Fagen became control freaks in production to an even greater extent than they had already become infamous for two years earlier when making Aja, demanding dozens of takes from studio musicians and continuous tweaks to already recorded material (the fade-out for "Babylon Sisters" alone took 55 attempts for Becker, Fagen and their longtime producer Gary Katz to decide on a version they liked). One track was recorded over and over ... only so they could get the drum part right. Mark Knopfler spent five hours in another studio jamming over the "Time out of Mind" instrumental, only to see just a few of his fills used in the fade-out of what turned out to be the band's last hit single.
    • Then, a song called "The Second Arrangement" — which the band had slaved over more than any other track — was accidentally wiped by a recording assistant and eventually had to be scrapped. Bootleg versions of an unfinished version have long circulated among the fanbase.
    • Lastly after the album had been finally been finished, a three-way legal wrangle sprang up between the band's former label (MCA), the label that the band had just signed to and planned to release the album on (ABC/Warner), and the band themselves, who just wanted the darned thing to be released. MCA won out, and released the album for an inflated price exclusively because the band were popular. Fagen and Becker, long-time friends and the only two permanent members of the band, began to grow distant due to Becker's drug use and Fagen's plans on releasing a solo album. Steely Dan broke up under a year after Gaucho's release, with Fagen and Becker not reuniting the band for 15 years.
  • The Strokes' fourth album, Angles was ridiculously troubled, especially in comparison to the easy-going recordings of the other three albums. The band were already having troubles getting along with each other back in 2007, resulting in a 2-year long hiatus. In 2009, they went back into the studio to begin work on a new album... with none of the band issues resolved (most of it was Julian Casablancas' ego). They recorded over 18 demo tracks with one producer and were unsatisfied with results. They fired him, and only kept one song from these sessions ("Life Is Simple In The Moonlight"). When they went in to record, the band's guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. and engineer Gus Oberg took over as producers, but Casablancas stopped showing up to recording sessions, recording his vocal takes at home and sending them by email. Casablancas was known for taking control of the recording process and the band was left clueless and unmotivated and wasted a lot of the recording time lazing about. The reason for Casablancas' not showing up was at first stated as him "wanting the band to take more initiative" but many fans believe it was his ego getting on the rest of the band members' nerves. When Casablancas finally sent directions for musical ideas to the band, they were vague and hard to follow. To top things off, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. was battling a drug addiction, which just added to the overall stress of the experience. When the album was finally completed and released, it was heavily criticized for its fractured, confusing feel and for being vastly different from the rest of The Strokes' discography.
  • Suede's second album Dog Man Star was troubled with band arguments, delays, and a scandal between the band's guitarist, Bernard Butler and producer Ed Buller. After a successful debut self-titled the band felt pressured to create an album that outdid the previous one. Butler wrote a song called "Asphalt World" that was 25 minutes and featured an 8-minute-long guitar solo. The rest of the band felt like the song was too demanding and this is where things started to spiral out of control. After the song was cut to 9 minutes, arguments got to the point where it was impossible to keep Butler in the same room as the rest of the band without fights breaking out. Butler tried multiple times to switch out the album's producer for a new one, but Nude Records refused several times. After this, Butler started feuding with Buller on Gallagher brother levels. Buller recalled a few phone calls where he could hear knife scratching against the phone. Then Butler stated making death threats directed at Buller and would start making claims that Buller was the dangerous one. After recording sessions got delayed an extra month and the drama continued, Butler made an ultimatum that Buller was switched out for producer or he would leave. The band chose to stick with the producer, thinking Butler was out of his head. Butler to this day still claims that they kicked him out. After Butler's leave, the band struggled the finish the album which delayed a couple of weeks more. It was released in October of 1994 to middling reviews, though many now view it as Suede's strongest artistic statement.
  • Suffocation's Breeding the Spawn is one of Death Metal's stand-out examples of Sophomore Slump due to this. The primary trouble came from their label, Roadrunner Records, who were busy basking in the surprise breakout success of Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses, and were consequently screwing over every death metal band on the label. In Suffo's case, this meant giving them a pittance for their recording budget, meaning they couldn't afford a return trip to Morrisound Recording, where Effigy of the Forgotten (and a slew of other legendary death metal albums) were recorded. For that matter, the band and producer Paul Bagin (subbing in for Scott Burns, Morrisound's resident death metal guru) apparently couldn't afford to do retakes, or properly master and mix the album, resulting in a full-length release with the audio quality of a demo - instruments are constantly surging or fading out of the mix, with the bass being particularly problematic in this regard, and the overall sound is much too thin for the genre. Naturally, all of this made it really difficult to appreciate the fact that Spawn represented a step forward for the band from a songwriting perspective, since they took the technicality that was already a stand-out feature of Effigy and pushed it Up to Eleven, something that fans have only really been able to appreciate once Suffocation started re-recording the album one track at a time on later releases.note  Some began to refer to the band as a One-Hit Wonder in the wake of Spawn's release, until they were able to get enough money to return to Morrisound and put out Pierced From Within.
  • Supertramp has had two of these:
    • In 1974 they were touring the West Coast of North America in support of their breakout album Crime Of The Century when vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Roger Hodgson, one of the band's leaders, broke his hand. This forced the cancellation of the remaining shows, and with nothing better to do the band went into the studios in L.A. to record their next album. They had a lot of time ... but nothing else. Hodgson and songwriting partner Rick Davies hadn't even begun to think about their next album yet, and not only didn't have any overriding theme or concept for it, they hadn't even begun to write songs. Thus the band went forward with all they had: songs they hadn't used on Crime, and a few leftovers from previous sessions. Given those choices, it's no surprise that everyone took two weeks off at one point so Hodgson and Davies could write some new songs ... leaving them, despite their original surfeit of time, with no time left to rehearse the new songs before having to record them. The bandmembers' wives and girlfriends were also going at on their partners' behalf, to the point that their manager says that things really were the way everyone thinks it was with the Beatles. Davies came up with the title, Crisis? What Crisis?, as an ironic comment on the situation, as well as the cover-art concept. It got some good reviews, but on the whole the band was unhappy with it due to the circumstances under which they recorded it. (Hodgson, however, has since said that upon further consideration he likes it the best of all Supertramp's albums.)
    • A decade later there was ..Famous Last Words... The band, by that time living in L.A. and enjoying the success of their previous album, Breakfast In America, were feeling pressure to follow it up with a successful album. Vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Roger Hodgson, one of the band's leaders, was growing disenchanted with the L.A. lifestyle, the music industry and touring, and was trying to start a family with his new wife and children. He had taken up yoga, meditation, vegetarianism and spiritual soul-searching, and wanted to record the album in his home studio. The rest of the band members were not adopting Hodgson's lifestyle, and he and the band were growing apart. Hodgson also felt that as Supertramp were getting tighter and more structured in soundcheck rehearsals, they stopped jamming, and were coming up with less ideas as a result; also, it had taken the fun out of the band for him. Vocalist/keyboardist Rick Davies, the other bandleader, recorded his vocals at his own home studio. Davies had also fired longtime manager Dave Margereson and employed his wife Sue as manager, a move Roger was uncomfortable with in a band already over-influenced by bickering wives gunning for their husbands in a Spinal Tap manner. When the album came out, it was criticized for (relatively) uninspired material and slick production, and sold a fraction of the amount BIA had done. Finally, Hodgson decided to leave the group in 1983 after a successful world tour.
  • Talking Heads' fourth album, Remain in Light is the band's most well-known and acclaimed work, but it was also extremely stressful. For starters, frustrated with David Byrne's increasing ego, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were pondering quitting the band before recording even started. After spending a few weeks in Africa, the couple brought new rhythmic and tonal ideas to the band that intrigued Byrne. This ended up changing their style when they were already on edge. Brian Eno, who had worked with the band on More Songs About Buildings and Food and Fear of Music, initially didn't want to work with them again until he heard the new recordings, after which he changed his mind. Byrne wanted looped rhythms, which contemporary technology was incapable of reliably creating (computers outright couldn't do looped rhythms, and tape loops were a risky gamble due to both the high number of moving parts involved and the natural playback degradation of analog tape). Consequently, he resorted to making the band become increasingly good at playing repeated beats and musical ideas throughout an entire song. It sounds simple on paper, but it ended up exhausting his musicians all the more, as Byrne demanded mechanical precision from them. The breakneck pace of the recording caused original sound engineer Rhett Davies to step out, prompting Steven Stanley to replace him. After instrumental recording wrapped up, Byrne found himself suffering from Writer's Block, using more African techniques to finish up lyrical ideas. Mixing was done in two different sessions by Eno and John Potoker. The album was released in 1980 to critical acclaim, but Eno was so taken aback by the stress of the recording sessions that he vowed to never work with the band again. The perfectionism instigated by Byrne set the stages for the eventual demise of the band eleven years later.
  • Tears for Fears' 2nd and most famous album Songs from the Big Chair suffered from the band trying to go in a new artistic direction from the previous album. The band would spend 18 hours a day recording, sometimes not leaving until 2 in the morning. The label had them under pressure to make a hit. "Shout" in particular was written in retaliation to their A & R guy. There would be nights where the band had mental breakdowns due to being overworked. The original version of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was unsatisfactory, causing the band to consider scrapping it. Then, one night, producer Chris Hughes asked for a particular guitar riff and got push-back from guitarist Curt Smith. After some arguing, Smith then played the catchy guitar riff similar to what Hughes was asking for, which was secretly being recorded without Smith's permission. Hughes then said "That's perfect!" and Smith replied "Yeah, well, I'm not doing it," and he stormed out. Hughes took the recording, created a tape loop, and layered the synths on top of it and the final version of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was born. The album was a smash critical and commercial success. The subsequent tour, however, destroyed and exhausted the band to the point where they would take a lengthy hiatus from music. The whole experience was captured in the documentary Scenes from the Big Chair.
  • U2 have had a few:
    • October, their second album, was their first to be recorded under difficult circumstances. The trouble started when, while they were on tour in Portland, Oregon, supporting their well-received debut, Boy, the notebook in which Bono had been writing down lyrical ideas for their next album was either lost or stolen (it was returned in 2004, to his delight). He had to start over from scratch, pushing back the start of their recording sessions and forcing the production to be done on an accelerated schedule with less money. As a result, despite some high moments such as "Gloria", much of the album sounded unfinished and critics were not shy to point that out. The same critics forgave them when War was released a year later, but the fans have been less gracious: more than 20 years later it remains the worst-selling studio album in the band's entire catalog.
    • Achtung Baby was recorded at first in Berlin's famous Hansa Ton Studios (formerly Hansa By The Wall, what with them being right next to the Berlin Wall) starting in October 1990 (in fact, the band caught the last flight to East Berlin, days before reunification), at the same time that an intra-band conflict started up: Bono and The Edge, burned by the poor reception of Rattle and Hum and their own Creator Backlash, wanted to go in a cyberpunk-industrial-electro-alternative-rock direction, inspired by the contemporary growth of the Alternative Rock, Shoegazing and Madchester scenes. Larry and Adam, on the other hand, wanted to keep the "old U2" sound. Hoping that they would be inspired by the post-Cold-War-ending euphoria, the band instead found the mood in Germany something of a malaise and their hotel really poor, not to mention the "bad vibe" of recording in what had formerly been an SS ballroom, and their producers being forced to import recording equipment due to the studio being long neglected. Cue lots of arguments, fruitless jamming and little tangible progress despite the aid of producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and Mullen admitted that the band came close to breaking up in the process. The turning point came as the band was jamming on an early version of "Mysterious Ways" and The Edge tried various chord progressions for the bridge. At Lanois' suggestion, the jam stopped and The Edge instead played the various attempts sequentially on an acoustic guitar. The result was something of an epiphany for the band, and they ended up writing "One". They decamped back to Ireland with the tapes in February 1991, and realised that the sessions had gone better than they'd imagined, and continued recording in a mansion in Elsinore nicknamed "Dog Town", which provided a more relaxed environment. Despite speedbumps like the band's confidence being affected by the Berlin sessions being stolen and bootlegged in April, and Eno intervening at one point to strip away excessive overdubbing (something the band credit with saving the album) and convincing them to take a two-week holiday a month before the deadline to regain focus, the band sorted everything out eventually, continuing to record and mix at a hectic pace until the label-imposed deadline of 21 September (including last-minute changes to "The Fly", "One" and "Mysterious Ways"; The Edge said he believes half of the work was done in the last three weeks to finalise the songs). The result? Only one of the most critically and commercially successful New Sound Albums that revitalised the band's career and still remains one of their most beloved albums.
    • Pop was meant to further the band's explorations into electronic and dance music, recorded with the help of more producers. They were so confident they allowed their manager Paul McGuinness to schedule a tour for the summer of 1997. Then Larry had to sit out a lot of the sessions due to back surgery, the band hit some walls creatively and ended up in a mad rush to finish recording the album in time for the PopMart tour: Bono's vocals for "Last Night on Earth" were, funnily enough, recorded on the last day of mixing and mastering, and the whole band basically worked like mad (without even an Achtung-style two-week holiday) until the CD was finally released in March 1997, then just went straight into touring. This left them no time to practice for the tour, resulting in some pretty poor early shows, including a disastrous start in Las Vegas on 28 April where they had to stop and re-start "Staring at the Sun" because they lost timing. Bono has since gone on record that he believes that allowing McGuinness to schedule the tour before anything was recorded is the worst decision that the band has ever made.
  • Velvet Underground suffered from this during production of both of their "last" albums.
    • Their last official album, Loaded was the victim of record label politics: the Velvets and Frank Zappa had been thrown off Verve by famed executive asshole Mike Curb because of their Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll image, and the Velvets had ended up on Atlantic Records. As a result, the album was faced with a lot of pressure of producing hit singles (something the Velvets weren't too terribly fond of) - the album's title comes directly from Ahmet Ertegün's request that they write an album "loaded with hits". Doug Yule (John Cale's replacement in the band) had much more musical power on the album than Lou Reed did and therefore created much conflict in the recording and composition of some songs, while Maureen Tucker sat out the sessions for pregnancy reasons and had to be replaced by a series of session drummers, including Doug's brother Billy Yule, album engineer Adrian Barber, and Tommy Castanaro, though she was still credited in the inner sleeve. The recording process left Reed so stressed as a result of the Creative Differences and Executive Meddling that he quit the band after the sessions were finished but shortly before it was released. When the album finally came out, Reed accused the label of meddling further by shortening several songs, such as how "Sweet Jane" lost the entire "heavenly wine and roses" verse.
    • The final Velvet album, Squeeze, which is In Name Only, had even more pressure from the company and was basically a Doug Yule solo album. The rest of the band had quit by this point and was rushed to release in order to cash in on VU's supposedly marketable name. The album is hated by VU fans and is usually left out of any mentions of discography. Vinyl pressings stopped by the mid-70s and the album is now only attainable by fans who Keep Circulating the Tapes.
  • Rufus Wainwright's Self-Titled Album served as an introduction to the singer-songwriter about all the things his father warned him about recording. Due to his wealth, he was able to spend a lot of money on recording, which ended up costing an estimated $700,000 to $1 million. He also had a whopping 56 songs to choose from, which is a lot even by recording musician standards. He and producer Jon Brion fought over compositions. At times keyboard parts would be written so elaborately that Rufus' parts were barely audible. By the time it was over, he was more stressed than expected. Years in hindsight, however, revealed satisfaction and gratitude towards it for him. It is also his most acclaimed work.
  • Whiskeytown's final album Pneumonia was this in spades. After two highly-critically-acclaimed albums, the band had a lot hype surrounding them. The band always had problems getting along, but by the time they reached this album things had gotten so bad that even the band's revolving roster of musicians all but disappeared, leaving Ryan Adams, Caitlin Cary, and Mike Daly to figure things out. They had to rely on session musicians (some from famous bands) in order to get all the parts for the complex compositions. A whopping 100 songs were recorded, leaving song selection to be very very painstaking. Producer Scott Litt mixed the album to the band's displeasure. After the merging of record labels in 1998 (something that affected Red House Painters above) the album was shelved. It got Old Ramon status, and didn't get released until three years later. By the time it reached shelves in 2001, it had been bootlegged to death (to the point where it already had many reviews), the band had broken up over the drama the album caused, and Adams had already released one solo album with another on the way in four months. The album is often called one of the best Alt-Country albums, is the band's best-reviewed effort, and has had many of its songs performed by Adams himself in his solo career. The drama, however, has caused it difficult to make a Whiskeytown reunion and the people involved remember it as a mess. You can actually hear the frustration in Adams' voice in a strange case of Throw It In! on the final track (just before the silence that segues into the hidden track). He broke a string mid-performance. It was the last take the producer would allow so that's all he was allowed to do for the song. He says "Can you believe it? I had one more line to go and then I broke a string. Fuck it, I'm going to the bar."
  • The Who's Pete Townshend, after Tommy's immense success, intended to create another rock opera, this time with a sci-fi bent, called Lifehouse. Its plot would involve a dystopian heavily polluted virtual reality-based future (virtual reality before the term was even coined), where a Scottish farmer family go to the Lifehouse concert in London, the perfect note rings out and the concertgoers disappear after having achieved musical Nirvana (no, not that kind). The Who would take over the Young Vic theatre, develop new material with influence from the audience and a story would evolve. It would be a movie. Pete would modify his new synths to pick up information from audience members to create musical portraits (something basically impossible then and still pretty complicated now). Unsurprisingly, this was a recipe for disaster. Pete's inability to figure out what he wanted caused him to have a nervous breakdown, and after spending four months of live concerts at the Young Vic and unproductive studio sessions that ultimately led the band to ditch long-time producer Kit Lambert, he finally junked the whole Rock Opera concept. The Who gathered up their best songs, and entered Olympic Studios with producer Glyn Johns. The result was Who's Next, widely considered the band's best album.
  • Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has been dubbed by many as the Apocalypse Now of album recordings.
    • In 2000 after several successful shows showcasing new music, the band was excited to enter the studio for a new album. They recorded enough songs by the end of the year to release a new studio album, but Jeff Tweedy (the band's vocalist and guitarist) was so unsatisfied with the results of Ken Coomer's drumming style, that days' worth of arguments ensued afterwards. Ultimately, the band unanimously replaced Coomer with Glenn Kotche, which delivered much better results. Then there were issues with communication in album track transitions, which Tweedy was at first indifferent about, but band member Jay Bennett was trying to bring it to attention as a lot of them sounded out of place. When Tweedy finally heard them, he'd spark arguments with Bennett, which resulted in more time being wasted and Bennett being kicked out of the band. The band finally produced a satisfactory project by mid-2001 and were ready to get the album released by September 2001.
    • Then Reprise Records, concerned with the band's lack of commercial success, decided to dismiss the band after the merging of AOL with Time Warner. The album almost ended up getting Old Ramon status until Wilco's lawyer was able to negotiate a buy-out for the album's tracks. Tweedy did not want a changing of record labels to result in a delay in the album's release, so he started planning on releasing the album's tracks onto file sharing sites. Then September 11, 2001, the album's original release date, came and Tweedy had to hold off. The lyrics on the album would have proved to be tasteless in the wake of the attacks ("Tall buildings shake, Voices escape singing sad sad songs", anyone?). He finally released some of the tracks by September 18, and after that the band put the recordings up on their official website, which quadrupled the site's web traffic. The album was finally picked up by Nonesuch Records, after they offered to distribute it if the band paid them $50,000 which the band had a huge struggle accumulating the money. By the time the album was released, it had already been met with critical acclaim and most Wilco fans had already heard it and had their own digital copies on their computers. The resulting tour turned in Wilco's largest outcome of their career, the album is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of the 2000s, and it proved that leaking music for free online can actually help a band's publicity. All of the struggles the band faced were featured in a black-and-white documentary titled I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Documentary About Wilco.
  • Wings' 1973 Band on the Run album. On the eve of the recording of the album, guitarist Henry McCullough and drummer Denny Seiwell leave the band, reducing the group to Paul McCartney, wife Linda, and guitarist/bassist/singer Denny Laine. The three of them decided to record in Lagos, Nigeria, helped by a recommendation from Ginger Baker and feeling that the change in atmosphere and sunny weather would do them good. Except it turned out that Nigeria was in the middle of monsoon season, and was going through violent revolution. The studio, owned by EMI, was a seriously under-equipped 8-track facility with limited microphones and unexperienced engineers. The hotel arrangements were miserable, and engineer Geoff Emerick (an associate from the Beatles days) was freaked out by the Nigerian creepy-crawly and reptilian population (Paul and Linda pranked Geoff by dumping dead spiders in Geoff's studio bed). Moreover, as Paul and Linda were out for a stroll, they were robbed at knife-point, and (among other possessions) the demos of the songs Paul wrote for the album were stolen from them, meaning Paul had to work from memory and/or write new material in the studio. They only got out with their lives as they were white, and the black thieves felt Paul and Linda would not be able to identify their muggers due to their skin color. On top of that, Paul suffered a bout of sunstroke while going outside for a break, and the band were cornered by a visiting Fela Kuti, who was convinced that Paul had come only to steal African beats and profit from them (Paul had to play back what Wings had recorded to Kuti to prove it untrue). The album was finished in England by transferring the Lagos recordings to 16-track for horns, strings and overdubs.
  • Yes have had a number of pretty troubled productions, but none are as immense as the notorious Tales From Topographic Oceans:
    • Yes were near the end of their 1973 Close to the Edge tour when Jon Anderson came up with the concept, which was an interpretation of a lengthy footnote in the book Autobiography of a Yogi, which was four paragraphs that described the "Shastas", known in Western culture as the four bodies of Hindu text. Anderson later admitted, some years after the album came out, that he didn't truly understand this and regretted it. Anderson pitched this idea to Steve Howe, and he was on board with it, with the two spending nights in their hotel rooms devising vocal guitar melodies, and one final seven-hour session completing their ideas for the album, which to the two of them, was "magical". This was where the album began to take shape as a double album of four side-length tracks.
    • The other band members, on the other hand, hated the idea but still agreed to it, mainly due to Anderson and Howe's persuasion powers. Despite that, Chris Squire thought there was some substance to the music, but not enough, and Rick Wakeman's comments that the band had "ventured into avant-garde jazz-rock, and I had nothing to offer there" had ended what Howe described as a period of "elusive harmony" within the band. Despite this, Anderson wrote in the liner notes that the band members "made a contribution of their own to the music".
    • Then when they went to record, nobody could agree on a location - Anderson and Wakeman wanted to record in the countryside, Squire and Howe decided to continue recording in London, and Alan White didn't seem to mind either - but even he couldn't help but side with the band when Anderson pitched the idea of recording in a forest, under a tent at night. The band eventually agreed on recording in London at Morgan Studios, mainly because it had the country's first ever 24-track tape machine.
    • Recording sessions were, to say the least, a farce. Brian Lane, the band's then-manager, persuaded Anderson to help decorate the studio with plants and toy farm animals; Squire, until his death, believed that this was a joke on Anderson who wanted to record in the country. This went to hell in a handbasket, as the plants died halfway through production and the cows were covered in graffiti.
    • Anderson started growing an ego, which irritated Wakeman. His requests became increasingly bizarre and nonsensical; i.e. during rehearsals, he had vacationed to India with his wife, leaving the band to work 16 hour days in the studio, up to seven days a week at a time, with little to no contact. And then he wanted a "bathroom sound effect" on his voice (whatever that is), asking Michael Tait, their lighting engineer, to build him a plywood box with ceramic tiles stuck to it to filter his voice through. The tiles often fell off while they recorded, leaving him to junk it completely.
    • Wakeman, at this point, stopped caring. During recording, he often wandered off to the studio bar to play darts, skipped a whole session to record Moog and piano for Black Sabbath's "Sabbra Cadabra" in the neighboring studio, and ordered and ate a curry on stage during a show on the supporting tour.
    • In one particular incident, Anderson left the studio one morning with producer Eddy Offord, who had the master tapes with him, and left them on top of their car—the tapes slid off the roof, into traffic, and Anderson had to narrowly stop a city bus from crushing the tapes.
    • The result got heavily mixed reviews, bombed on the charts and was hated by critics. Even die-hard Yes fans believe it dragged down Progressive Rock's reputation as a whole, with its contrived format of a double LP full of 20-minute songs. While the album has been somewhat Vindicated by History, it's still seen as a symbol of excess in progressive rock.
  • Apparently a long series of these is what caused Dwight Yoakam to stop recording studio albums of original material for over seven years after 2005. In 2012, he produced 3 Pears independently and faced a slight Career Resurrection. Details on these troubles are few and far between.
  • Frank Zappa himself also had his fair share of Troubled Production problems.
    • 200 Motels was a low-budget film where only one third of the script could be filmed. Several actors left halfway the shooting. Zappa's performance in the Royal Albert Hall to promote the film was legally halted because of the questionable content in the lyrics. The film also flopped tremendously, but was seen as a Cult Classic years later. Later that same year (1971) all of Zappa's equipment burned up during a show in Montreux, where an idiot with a flare gun in the audience burned the place to the ground. (If that sounds familiar, it's because it's what "Smoke on the Water" is about - look at the Deep Purple entry above.) The very next show Zappa was in the UK, where another lunatic pushed him off the stage, causing him to fall several metres below. He had to spent several months in the hospital as a result.
    • Zappa's recordings London Symphony Orchestra and The Perfect Stranger were collaborations with a huge classical orchestra, but Zappa had a Creator Backlash over them, as he felt that the musicians weren't really into the project and made a lot of mistakes. He also complained over the fact that there weren't enough rehearsals to do the music justice and that he couldn't spent overtime with the musicians because of the unions protecting them. Zappa felt particularly angry over the fact that between breaks the musicians spent time in a pub and came in 20 minutes late, causing a "drunk performance" of "Strictly Genteel" on London Symphony Orchestra.

    Individual Songs 
  • Ozzy Osbourne suggested in a 1983 interview that "S.A.T.O.", from Diary of a Madman, fit this trope. Late in the sessions, he and his band were given, he says, two weeks to get that song in shape, "or else it's going out as is", implying that it was in no condition for release at that time. "We did what we could to fix it," he says, and judging from the lack of negative reaction to it he believed that they had succeeded, "although there's a point about halfway through where the track level drops noticeably. Nobody else seems to notice, but I always cringe every time I hear it."
  • Due to friction between the band members, The Police's Grammy-winning instrumental, "Behind My Camel", was this trope. Sting thought Andy Summers' Middle Eastern-influenced composition was so silly—its repetitive, easy bass part in particular—that he absolutely refused to have anything to do with it, so Summers played bass on it himself. Stewart Copeland's opinion of it wasn't much better, and he played the drums on it only because they couldn't find anyone else to do it (he later said that for all the time he felt he had been screwed over in his years with the Police, Summers got it even worse with this song). Producer Nigel Gray has joked that Summers knew how awful the song was and titled as an in-joke because behind a camel you'd usually find "a monumental pile of shit". Sting's antipathy to the track was so great that one day at the studio, seeing the master for the finished song sitting around, he grabbed it, took it home and buried it in his yard. Somehow, though, it was recovered and made it to the album, winning the band a Grammy that Sting nevertheless joined his bandmates in accepting, even though he had absolutely nothing to do with its creation.
  • The sheer personal tension surrounding "Humans Being", from the soundtrack to Twister, nearly destroyed Van Halen. The first half of 1996 was meant to put the band on a break, with the Van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex needing surgery and Sammy Hagar about to have his third child. However, manager Ray Danniels convinced them that contributing to the Twister soundtrack would pay them enough to get through the rest of that year. Originally, Sammy and Eddie wrote two songs, "The Silent Extreme" and "Between Us Two". According to Sammy, the two songs were recorded, and he was about to head back home in Maui to his wife until Eddie informed him that "Between Us Two" wasn’t going to be used. Hagar and the Van Halen brothers clashed over lyrics, with Alex renaming "The Silent Extreme" to "Humans Being", Sammy flying back and forth between home and work so much that he moved to San Francisco to have the baby there (against his wife's wishes). At one point, the lack of compromise angered Sammy so badly that he and producer Bruce Fairbairn rewrote their lyrics in 15 minutes on the hood of a car, recorded his vocals in less than 2 hours, and stormed out. Ultimately, Sammy quit Van Halen due to the Van Halen brothers's prima-donna tendencies. All of this is detailed in a particularly ugly interview from the April 1997 edition of Guitar World, which suggests the issues went as far back as 1994 with problems rising up from a greatest hits package of Sammy's solo work.
  • A forerunner of the production problems on Steely Dan's Gaucho had come three years earlier when the band was recording "Peg", which went on to be the biggest hit single from their album Aja. Recording the backing tracks and vocals went pretty routinely. It was when they went to add the guitar solo that things went haywire. Walter Becker wasn't satisfied with his attempts, so as they often did they went looking for the best studio musicians available. But none of them, reportedly including some big names like Robben Ford and Rick Derringer, could quite handle the sneaky variations on the standard I-IV-V blues progression underneath the solo. Eight guitarists tried and failed until Jay Graydon, later famous for the Night Court theme, nailed it. Becker and Donald Fagen played the master tapes of some of those rejected solos in the Classic Albums documentary on the album.

    Music Videos 
  • "Rock Me Tonite", the music video that killed Billy Squier's career, fits this trope. According to the Wikipedia article, he had come up on his own with a concept whereby he and some fans would be shown, in grainy film and subdued colors like American Gigolo, getting ready for a concert and then going to it. The first director he approached, the guy who'd done "Beat It", was willing to do it but only if he got a bigger budget, and as he knew Squier's label, Capitol, would likely not give him that much money, he turned it down. The second director had his own concept which Squier didn't like. So, with two weeks to go till the World Premiere Video date they promised MTV, and his tour coming up, they were receptive when Kenny Ortega offered to do it. Squier was too nice a guy to refuse to do the video when he saw the set, or tell MTV to wait, or reject the whole thing and do another video. But if he had been, we'd have been spared the spectacle of him prancing around the bedroom set, rolling around on the satin sheets and tearing off a pink tank top. Everyone thought he was gay, and he stopped selling out shows.
  • The videos for the first two singles from Fleetwood Mac's Mirage album both suffered from this, due in large part to the band's ongoing interpersonal issues:
    • Simon Fields, who produced the "Hold Me" video, recalls it as "a fucking nightmare." "Four of them—I can't recall which four—couldn't be together in the same room for very long," says Steve Barron, the director. So, then, what better circumstances to spend two days in a sweltering corner of the Mojave Desert shooting a video where you have to play archeologists and painters in a complicated setup based on René Magritte paintings? Stevie Nicks, who threw a fit about wearing the red chiffon dress and having to drag a painting across the sand in matching platforms, recalls that Lindsey Buckingham was still pissed at her not only for the usual reasons but because of her more recent affair with Mick Fleetwood, which Mick had gone and told Lindsey about. Because Mick had then left Stevie for her best friend, the whole band was mad at him. Christine McVie was so upset with everyone else that she spent ten hours in her trailer, ostensibly putting her makeup on. Mick, in turn, "thought she was being a bitch; he wouldn't talk to her." John McVie was drunk, says Fields, and tried to punch him out at one point. It's no surprise that in the final video, most of the band members appear only in single close-ups; Fleetwood and John McVie are the only two who are seen together, and McVie is the only one seen smiling.
    • When he was directing "Gypsy", at the time the most expensive video ever made, Russell Mulcahy, who wasn't familiar with the band's history, says he was constantly being taken aside and told not to pair certain people off because of their past and present romantic entanglements. "I got very confused, who was sleeping with whom." At one point, in the cafe scene, Stevie Nicks, who had to take time off from rehab to do the video, got paired off with Lindsey Buckingham, who she didn't want to be in the same room with at the time. "And he wasn't a very good dancer." It's pretty obvious, about two minutes in, how uncomfortable she is.
  • Journey's video for "Separate Ways", one of the most widely derided music videos ever, had some difficulty on location in New Orleans that contributes to its poor reputation. The producer admits the concept, in which the young woman is revealed to be dreaming the video at the end, was "inane." It was Journey's first pure concept video, and the band was nervous enough about making it work. They were told not to bring wives or girlfriends with them to the two-day shoot (where they shot the "Chain Reaction" video the next day in a theater). Lead singer Steve Perry, who for some inexplicable reason had just gotten his signature long hair cut short, apparently missed the memo and showed up on set with his girlfriend, Sherrie Swafford, who was very unpopular with the other guys in the band, and for the same reasons. She absolutely did not want the model, Tulane University student Margaret Olmsted, in the video, and kept calling her a slut and a whore in her frequent fights with Perry in their trailer between takes.note  Then there was the unseasonably cool (for spring in New Orleans) breeze blowing in off the river. While none of this can excuse taking a band like Journey and having them play imaginary instruments (most infamously, Jonathan Cain playing air keyboard in the intro and drummer Steve Smith playing air guitar in several group shots), it's no surprise that they took several years off before their next album and, pointedly calling it Raised on Radio, refused to do any videos for it.
  • Everyone involved in making The Jacksons' "Torture" video recalls it lived up to the title. "The crew motto used to be 'Death or victory'", says director Jeff Stein. "I think that was the only time we prayed for death." The stress was so bad one of his crew lost control over her bodily functions.
    • At the concept meeting, Michael Jackson sketched out a lot of things he wanted in the video. However, Stein had a feeling he wouldn't actually show up, so he arranged for a wax dummy from Madame Tussaud's in Nashville to play him. Indeed, Michael cited a prior commitment as a reason for ducking out of the shoot when it actually came time to roll the cameras. Then Jermaine backed out as well, basically because it was Jackie's song.
    • Perri Lister, Billy Idol's girlfriend and choreographer in several of his videos (she's the bride in "White Wedding") was originally hired to do that for "Torture". But Jackie eventually had her replaced with his then-girlfriend, a Laker Girl named Paula Abdul.
    • Filming went on for so long (almost a week, long for a video at the time (and even now)) that even Jackie, Marlon, and Tito stopped showing up. The head of the wax dummy ended up in the salad bowl at lunch at one point. The production company went bankrupt as a result of the cost overruns, about the last thing they had expected would happen as a result of hitching their wagon to the Jacksons' star. (See also the Victory Tour.)
  • Janet Jackson's video for "Control" (long version) was difficult—the producer, Sharon Oreck, says it was her "worst nightmare."
    • First, the crowd was lured to the auditorium with the promise that they'd see Janet perform. That led them to believe they were getting a free concert when all they got was Janet lipsynching the song over and over. And they started late.
    • Ironically enough given the song's theme, Janet was in the process of firing Joe Jackson as her manager at the time, and he took it out on everyone around him. He told Oreck that he wasn't letting Janet sit on the trapeze she descends to the stage in unless the production took out a million dollars of insurance on her. Of course, that was way beyond the budget, but the record company told her to stonewall him ("we don't say no to Joe Jackson"). He was chasing down Oreck and physically threatening her until the director, Mary Lambert, threatened that she and Oreck would quit unless the record company told Joe it was getting the insurance.
    • The record company told Lambert they wanted more white people in the audience. So she tried to innocuously move the white people in the crowd up front ... but then the audience, already ornery from the late start, caught on. There was nearly a race riot until someone from the record company managed to calm the crowd down after Lambert broke down in tears and said she couldn't do it.
  • The only reason nobody singles out any particular Guns N' Roses video as one of these is that a nightmarish experience for almost any other band was pretty much the norm for them. Axl never showed up on time, and had issues when he got there (after the onstage closeup in "Sweet Child o' Mine", he was so freaked out by the lights he locked himself in his dressing room for two hours). And, believe it or not, he was a piece of cake compared to Stephanie Seymour whenever she was involved. Oh, the other guys in the band had their drug problems to deal with ... Izzy's presence in "Patience" is almost minimal because the effects of his coke addiction were so apparent, and he spent most of the shoot just hiding in a dark corner, according to the director (to his credit, that was the trigger for him going into rehab).
  • Albanian-British pop star Dua Lipa's video for "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" was hit with several problems, notably finding the vintage outfits for the models cameoing in the video (who were friends of Dua Lipa), finding the right filming location, and discussion over the "right" filming technique, though there was never (according to Word of God) any Prima Donna behavior.
  • Ariana Grande's video for "Into You" had troubles with quality of film and finding the right cars as props for the video.
  • Young Thug's "Wyclef Jean" music video was this for the director: There was some Executive Meddling over content and an attempt by police to shut down the video shoot, but the main problem was the lack of Young Thug's direct participation - he only showed up when the shoot was practically over, even then refusing to get out of his car because his Instagram account was supposedly hacked, eventually driving off without ever stepping in front of the cameras. In order to have something to show for his efforts, the director combined the completed shots he did have (mainly of cars, dancers, and extras) with behind the scenes footage and some captions explaining the background, ending up with a music video about unsuccessfully making a music video.
  • Oddities behind the video for Dexys Midnight Runners' only American hit, "Come on Eileen", including the drummer being fired mid-shoot for not being willing to rub dirt on himself (creating a visible gap in the line-up in later scenes), were celebrated in a famous Pop Up Video.
  • "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics had a few complications. The label hated when Annie Lennox arrived with her hair short and she refused to wear a dress. A cow was also brought on set and was allowed to run amok. The part where the cow walks up to keyboardist Dave Stewart? It was completely unexpected and they were expecting the cow to harass Stewart and ruin the shot.
  • "Synchronicity II" by The Police was a dangerous production. Sting was insistent on getting all the time in the spotlight, which caused director Lol Crème to grow to dislike him. Drummer Stewart Copeland and bassist Andy Summers were performing atop giant scaffolds. The height itself proved to be a danger, but there was also a lot of dry ice being blown around the studio. The air became so dry that something ignited, which caused the scaffolds to catch fire. Despite urges from safety personnel, Crème demanded filming to continue. Sting also spent a majority of the video swinging from a rope; at one point he fell.
  • "Jump" by Van Halen was badly affected by David Lee Roth's ego and his clash with the rest of the band. The other three members didn't want to be around him and asked director Robert Lombard if they could be filmed separately. Lombard hated the idea but buckled down with the exception of a few shots. Cameraman Pete Angelus didn't know how to operate a 16 mm camera properly, resulting in all footage he shot being unusable. Roth demanded that he be filmed doing a bunch of crazy stunts. Lombard wanted to cut out Roth's stunts and make the video a performance video to keep it personal, claiming it would make the video more successful. The other three members agreed to this, resulting in Lombard changing the video's format. Roth got word of this and demanded Lombard be fired. Lombard never again worked with Van Halen, Roth's stunt footage would surface in a future video, and "Jump" won the award for Best Performance Video at the first MTV Video Music Awards. It's also seen as one of the most memorable music videos ever made and helped cement the band's already monumental popularity even further.
  • Billy Idol's had two notable examples:
    • "Eyes Without a Face" was three days straight of Billy staring straight into a camera. He was given brand new contacts, but dry ice was being sprayed at his face, causing the lenses to become infused into his face. The day after shooting, he had a show in Arizona. He fell asleep in the grass outside the stadium, and the contacts caused his eyes to look so bloodshot, police thought he was doing drugs. He woke up with a gun pointed in his face and had to depend on his crew to prove that he was innocent.
    • "Flesh for Fantasy" fared even worse. Billy and his girlfriend Perri Lister had a screaming match complete with a door slam, leading to the dancers gossiping, causing drama. Producer John Diaz's production company was behind on a prior shoot, causing them to have to push production back several hours and fly the crew in via Learjet to work on the new one. Filming lasted hours on end, with one day of shooting going well over 36 hours. There was a long dolly shot for the final set up and one of the camera-men couldn't do it because he had gone blind due to six days of constant work. Director Howie Deutch stayed awake all six days of production, causing his contacts to get stuck into his dry eyes.
  • Bruce Springsteen has a couple of examples:
    • "Dancing in the Dark" was plagued by Bruce being uncomfortable doing a music video to begin with, as he had no faith in them as an art form. An initial attempt had a crane flying by him shooting him, which malfunctioned. Bruce also demanded to be lit a certain way, which the directors refused saying they wanted to light him in a way that complemented his masculine features. After hours of failed takes, he fled the scene without telling anyone, causing mass panic on set. This first concept was scrapped and a second one was created. The second try went much more successfully, but it still had some issues. For one, nobody besides a few select people knew that Courtney Cox was a plant in the audience and some of the E-Street Band members were concerned when Bruce picked a seemingly random audience member to dance on stage with him. On top of that, this was done during an actual concert, confusing the audience when the same song was played three times when they had two failed takes. It remains Springsteen's most famous music video and helped him expand his audience to younger crowds.
    • "Brilliant Disguise" doesn't seem like a music video that would be troubled, but somehow one little thing going wrong turned the production into a nightmare. The video is a single take shot in a kitchen. The original kitchen selected by director Meiert Avis was a private kitchen owned by a banker who was always away on business, but the banker's wife then called Avis stating that he didn't want anyone filming in the kitchen just as Avis had already sent the filming trucks to the location. Scrambling and panicking, they ended up contacting the National Guard. They had an officer's house with a nice kitchen they were allowed to use, but changing the filming location caused everything to have to be re-staged, causing stress for the crew. They also had issues getting the single shot to sync up with the music.
  • Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" suffered from being shot in a desert near Los Angeles, which combined intense heat with navigation difficulties for the band and filming crew, who constantly felt like they were lost. Roland Orzabal was in tears on the second day of filming. The band members had to constantly lug their equipment around. At one point one of the 4-wheel off road vehicles got involved in an accident, seriously injuring one of the stunt riders. Another crew member then hovered over the injured rider screaming a Buddhist chant while the rest of the crew scrambled to get a hold of an ambulance.
  • Tom Petty recalled the nightmare of the production for "Don't Come Around Here No More". Actress Hope Wish stood in freezing cold water for over 24 hours and didn't say anything throughout the shoot. When they pulled her out, she had hypothermia and had to be given an emergency shower. The complex set with the various large objects presented a challenge for both set designers and actors, making a mess out of staging the video. A pig got loose and escaped the set. The long shoots exhausted Petty and his band members. The final shot in which Alice, played by Wish, turns into a cake was incredibly tricky to pull off as they only had the one cake and had to get the first take perfectly. Wish stood underneath the table for 3 to 4 hours with her head bent at an uncomfortable angle. Upon release, the video was broadcasted via satellite and sent MTV into a moral panic as it allegedly promoted violence against women. It was also considered one of the "Filthy 15" by the PMRC. In spite of this, it continues to be seen as a technically brilliant music video that pulled off a lot with its limited budget and time constraints.
  • MC Hammer has had a couple of examples of this with his music videos:
    • According to director Ric Minello, an unspecified MC Hammer video involved being filmed in a club late at night. Allegedly, some gang members were out to kill Hammer that night, and someone spotted some people outside carrying uzis and alerted the crew. Police were notified and the club was evacuated. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but it was a terrifying experience for everyone involved and certainly a surprise that it was MC Hammer of all people that was targeted.
    • The videos "2 Legit 2 Quit" and "Addam's Groove" were shot simultaneously. Hammer, high on his recent rise to fame, had huge ambitions for both.
      • The crew had to rebuild the sets for "Addam's Groove" because they weren't big enough the first time. Anjelica Huston decided she wanted to be in the video, but she had a vacation coming up so they had to rush her appearance. The widow of Charles Addams, who created the Addams Family, had complete creative control over the video and was constantly at odds with director Rupert Wainwright.
      • "2 Legit" in particular had a complicated storyline involving a parody of The Hero's Journey, with a sequence where Hammer wanted James Brown to appear. There was a problem, though: James Brown was in jail at the time, so Wainwright had to work with the Georgia Department of Corrections to make sure he would be let out on time. Hammer also insisted that Brown was transported only via private jet, which Hammer was paying for out of his own pocket. Hammer's notorious rivalry with Michael Jackson was getting on crew members' nerves. There were also multiple versions of the video with different lengths, causing confusion for viewers and networks. On top of that, the massive amount of cameos and celebrity appearances proved to be a headache for Wainwright to keep track of.
      • Wainwright recalled the experience as "lasting for 30 days, but feeling like 60". Both videos were made fun of and were the beginning of the end for Hammer as his public image started deteriorating. While they both have their fans, they're frequently cited as two of the worst music videos ever made.
  • Aerosmith worked for 35 hours straight on the video for "Love in an Elevator", and then were advised that they had to wait three days for the director, Marty Callner, to prep the final shot, which went on for several hours and required special location filming permits. Callner made a mistake when filing the paperwork, saying they'd be done at 10 PM when he meant to put 1 AM, so when he tried to continue the shoot past 10, the police stopped him and told him they'd arrest him if he didn't shut down the shoot.
  • Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" had to have a drive-in movie theater built from scratch in the middle of the Utah desert. Getting the screens and cars all lifted onto the butte was a complicated process that proved to be obscenely expensive, so much so that nobody who worked on the video can tell you exactly how much it cost. Jon Bon Jovi had to perform on the edge of a cliff, which proved to be a dangerous shot. The crew had to cope by drinking margaritas on set.
  • The crew for Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" didn't have a set to film in, so Ice and company invaded an abandoned building in downtown Dallas. They had to climb the fire escape to get up there, lugging the heavy camera equipment up with them. Because they technically weren't allowed in the building, they had to rush the filming process. The vehicle that Ice was driving also had no gas, so in the scene where he's driving off, it had to be pushed by two of his friends on set with him.
  • R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was a frustrating experience for both the band and its director, Tarsem Singh. Since English was his second language, he didn't fully understand the concept of the lyrics, so he was mostly winging his ideas for the video. He staged for vocalist Michael Stipe to show various poses related to Indian religions, but it didn't look right. Singh also had a stomach bug and was rushing back and forth to the bathroom. That's when Stipe said "Just let me do my thing," which resulted in the random choreography of the video. Despite its lack of structure, it's a beloved video of its era and turned the song into R.E.M.'s biggest hit ever.
  • Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" suffered from a clash between lead vocalist Kurt Cobain and the video's director Samuel Bayer. Bayer wanted to have a video full of attractive women and a high glossy production, Cobain demanded the women in the video look more average and the video have a dirty, gritty tinge to it. If you've ever asked yourself why the riot in the video looked so realistic, it's because the audience really was rioting. Despite efforts from the director and crew to settle them down, they started tearing the set apart. This ended up doing the video a favor, as it made everything look authentic, but it was a nightmare for the crew and the band. Drummer Dave Grohl recalled the situation as a giant headache. Once filming was done, Bayer insisted on showing more footage of the janitor than of Cobain. Cobain had a record executive force control out of Bayer's hands. The video proved to be massively popular and almost single-handedly ushered in the alternative age of popular music.
  • Thomas Dolby's '80s classic "She Blinded Me With Science" was troubled due to its backwards process. The entire video was storyboarded before the song was even written, creating a headache for Dolby. He also took on the production process almost entirely by himself with a barebones crew. Actor Magnus Pyke barely took the shoot seriously, intentionally flubbing lines and being a jerk to everyone on set. The song turned Dolby into a star and the song became one of the biggest hits of The '80s, especially due to the video.

    Concerts, Tours, and Festivals 
  • An awesome example is The Rolling Stones' 1969 tour, which was being documented by a film crew. The crew just happened to be on hand to capture the planning for and performance of the infamous free concert at the Altamont Speedway. This was intended to be the Stones' Moment of Awesome, but things started to go wrong very early, giving the whole proceedings an aura of doom. The event just barely got pulled together, and was marked by fighting in the crowd. The cameras were able to capture the whole fiasco, including an attendee pulling a gun on a Hells Angels guard and getting fatally stabbed. The production was intended to be a standard concert film, but became Gimme Shelter, a dark documentary that shows how what was intended to be an answer to Woodstock became seen by some as the event that marked the end of the hippie era.
    • One of the biggest reasons for Altamont's failure was that, since it was in the Oakland area, that chapter of the Hells' Angels had to do security rather than the San Francisco chapter, who had already successfully done so at the large festivals and Grateful Dead concerts there and had a reputation of being quite mellow and easy to work with. The Oakland chapter, by comparison, was known to be more violent and were not as in to the music being performed as their San Francisco counterparts usually were. They were promised that all they would need to do was sit back on the edge of the stage and drink the free beer they were paid with while making sure no serious incidents occurred.
    • The show had been the Grateful Dead's idea, intended as a sort of West Coast Woodstock. It was supposed to have been in Golden Gate Park, but increasing animosity between the SFPD and the Haight-Ashbury hippie community led the city to drag its feet issuing permits, so they looked elsewhere. Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma County, north of the city, was willing, but they wanted the Rolling Stones to put up a $100,000 bond, which was a stumbling block. At the last minute, Dick Carter, the owner of Altamont Speedway, offered to host the concert. However, the short time to prepare meant it was impossible to set up proper support facilities like portable toilets and medical tents to the necessary extent.
    • The Stones were most adversely affected by the venue change. They had decided to do the free concert because they had been taking criticism for their whole tour over the high price of tickets. Their stage, however, had been designed with Sears Point in mind, where it was to have been at the top of a rise; thus it was only four feet high. At Altamont, it was instead to be in a dip in the terrain, similar to the natural amphitheater that had surrounded the Woodstock stage; there was no time to rejig it for the new surroundings. This led to the Angels being instructed to stand in front of the stage to secure it, a factor in the tragic events that later unfolded.
    • The Angels became angrier and more aggressive towards the audience and the musicians as the show went on, foretelling the tragedy that happened during the Stones' set. Ace of Cups singer Denise Kaufman, who was pregnant at the time, was hit in the head by an emoty beer thrown from the crowd; that fractured her skull and required emergency surgery. After the crowd (perhaps accidentally) toppled one of their motorcycles, the Angels became even more aggressive, including toward the performers. During Jefferson Airplane's set, singer and guitarist Marty Balin jumped off the stage to try to sort out the problem, only to be punched in the head and knocked unconscious by an Angel. After hearing about that from Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, The Grateful Dead were so angered by what happened to their friends, as well as the increasing levels of violence and bad organization, that they packed up and left before their set, effectively leaving the Stones as the only remaining big name on the bill.
  • David Bowie's most elaborate tours in The '70s and The '80s were both troubled.
    • The first leg of the Diamond Dogs Tour in 1974 was rough going for him. It was an early example of Scenery Porn in rock tours with its colossal, skyscraper-dominated "Hunger City" set — which obscured his band and backup singers, who were not happy at being marginalized for most of the show and would sneak out from behind the buildings as he performed. Beyond the big budget the show required, those backing performers weren't getting their checks on time, a symptom of larger problems Bowie was having with his spendthrift management, whom he would soon part ways with, but not without litigation that lasted him the rest of The '70s. All the while, Bowie's problems with illicit substances firmly took hold of him. A memorable incident at one show had the cherry picker arm that carried him in a chair over the audience for "Space Oddity" get stuck, leaving him to crawl down it to get back to the stage while audience members grabbed at him (according to producer Tony Visconti, who witnessed it firsthand). Tellingly, the second leg of the tour dropped the set altogether, and his next two tours took minimalistic approaches to staging. The BBC documentary Cracked Actor followed him on this tour, and is legendary for capturing Bowie's state of mind during this period.
    • Bowie was in much better shape mentally and financially come 1987, thanks to the huge success of the mainstream-appealing Let's Dance and the Serious Moonlight Tour of '83. But according to Paolo Hewitt's retrospective Album by Album, EMI Records wanted the money train to keep rolling (1985-86 had him focus on film work) and in 1987 pressured him into recording and touring again. For the Glass Spider Tour, Bowie took another shot at Spectacle with Scenery Porn and a small troupe of dancers who interacted with him throughout in colorful vignettes. The giant set turned out to be problematic at outdoor venues, particularly in Europe: unusually rainy weather hurt the English and Spanish shows, and venues that decreed that the show was obligated to start before sundown made the lighting effects hard to appreciate. Among the many incidents on the tour:
      • A lighting engineer fell to his death from the scaffolding before the Florence, Italy show.
      • At Ireland's Slane Castle, a fan died trying to swim the River Boyne to get backstage.
      • Fans who couldn't get into the stadium in Milan, Italy rioted, though this was resolved peacefully.
      • In Dallas, Texas, Bowie was accused of sexually assaulting a fan at his hotel; while he was cleared of the charges, an ad he did for tour sponsor Pepsi was pulled.
      • All along, audiences in seats further out from the stage could hardly see what Bowie and his troupe were doing. The tour was his most highly-attended yet, but he put up with bad reviews (especially in his native England) that called it overblown, as if the poor response to the album Never Let Me Down weren't enough for him. And he was frustrated that the audience he was trying to appeal to didn't understand/appreciate his artistic flourishes and older/less-popular songs closer to his heart. (Tellingly, over the course of the tour several of the new songs were cut.) Exhausted by the end, he considered giving up on music altogether. But guitarist Reeves Gabrels convinced him to create only for himself again — leading to Bowie's Hard Rock period with the group Tin Machine.
      • The Glass Spider Tour is still joked about by fans who regard the bulk of The '80s as a colossal Dork Age for him, though (thanks in part to the official video of the Sydney, Australia shows, which shows his work in the best light) there are those who regard it fondly. It was rumored for years that Bowie and his crew destroyed the Glass Spider set by lighting it on fire in a field after the final show in New Zealand (as a means to relieve to the stress the tour had provided). It took until 2016 for that rumor to be refuted: the set was just placed in storage in an Auckland warehouse.
  • The Jacksons' 1984 Victory Tour was infamously anything but, as recounted in J. Randy Taraborelli's The Magic and the Madness. Michael Jackson was riding the wave of Thriller's super-popularity when his brothers, who were financially struggling, approached him in 1983 to record and tour with them again. Having established himself as a solo act who no longer had to answer to his abusive father Joe, he only agreed to it when his mom pressured him to do so. From there...
    • The original tour promoter had apparently just backed out when Chuck Sullivan, son of New England Patriots' then-owner Billy Sullivan, met with an executive at Epic Records. His goal was to get a date at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, where the Pats were not just the home team but the owners. He'd earned a lot of respect in the NFL for his role in helping his father regain control of the team after a mid-'70s boardroom coup (which led to a class-action suit the elder Sullivan ultimately lost). Since he'd promoted concerts in college and Bob Hope USO tours in the Army, he knew a little about the business and had started promoting shows at Sullivan to make extra money. When he learned the Jacksons were seeking a tour promoter, he put together a bid.
    • His original partner, 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., backed out. He won the gig by promising the Jacksons 83.4% of the grosses — way over the usual rate for touring artists at the time. And not only that, it was for "gross potential ticket sales", i.e. the Jacksons would be paid as if every show sold out regardless of whether or not it actually did. He promised them a $36 million advance, and paid for the first installment by borrowing $12 million against the team and stadium. But while he was able to get some of the other NFL owners' stadiums to agree to sweetheart deals (notice how many—26 of 55, in fact—of the dates were in stadiums that were at the time the home venues of NFL teams), and got a lot of freebies from other stadiums because, after all, this was the Jacksons, the overhead was way more than he anticipated. He had to renegotiate the deal two weeks into the tour because he couldn't deliver the balance of the advance.
    • The stage Michael had designed was so large (it took 30 trucks to move it between stadia) that inevitably some of the seats had to be sacrificed. At some venues as many as a quarter of the available seats were lost this way.
    • Ironically, given how Sullivan had gotten involved, the town selectmen in Foxboro refused to allow a Jacksons concert there for reasons that remain unclear. (They cited "the unknown element", which everyone took to mean the rowdiness that constantly plagued both games and concerts at the stadium but had never been cited to stop any of those events.)
    • Sullivan was clearly out of his league with a tour of this magnitude. Those more familiar with the business laughed at his requests for discounts on hotel rooms and free advertising. He fought with the Jacksons regularly and renegotiated the contract several times — at one point near the end leaving his hospital bed to do so after a mild heart attack. At Washington's RFK Stadium, he forgot his pass and was not allowed in. The Jacksons were so embarrassed that they brought back Don King as their primary promoter. King knew little about promoting concerts, but lots about promoting himself. At the press conference announcing the tour, he hogged the spotlight, so the brothers allowed Michael to bring in his own people to share his responsibilities!
    • King inked a deal with Pepsi to sponsor the tour, forcing the Jacksons to pass on an even more lucrative offer from Quaker Oats. As a condition of it, Michael had to participate in two TV ads for a product he didn't use. This led to the on-set disaster in which Michael suffered third-degree burns to his scalp when a pyrotechnic effect went awry. He negotiated a huge financial settlement with Pepsi and they enjoyed a professional relationship for years afterward.

      The sponsorship created other problems: Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, where the tour opened, serves Coke drinks at its concession stands by contract. The contract was interpreted to forbid the Jacksons from having the Pepsi logo flash on the screen behind them during the show, so Pepsi had to have helicopters fly over the stadium towing banners. It was a good thing the sponsorship worked out, since Roger Enrico, then the company's director of North American operations (later its CEO), signed the deal without even letting upper management know.
    • Initially, would-be concertgoers had to mail in a newspaper coupon and money order for tickets that cost $30 — significantly higher than what rival superstars (i.e., David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen) were charging at the time. Worse, the tickets were only sold in lots of four in a lottery system. (The money would be deposited in a bank account, where it would immediately start accumulating heavy interest. When the price of the tickets was refunded to those who didn't win, The Jacksons would pocket the interest.) The public outcry over the Jacksons shutting out their lower-class black fanbase moved Michael, who hated the idea anyway, to protect his image by implementing a conventional ticket-selling system as soon as possible and making sure that free tickets were set aside for poor children at each stop.
    • Then there were health issues. Jackie hurt his leg in rehearsals (supposedly — his second wife says what really happened was his first wife caught him with another woman and tried to run him over with her car!) and missed the first half of the tour. Michael, stressed out from family tension, was put under a doctor's care at one point. Jermaine's flu resulted in the cancellation of the Phoenix-area shows (the second-to-last stop), although that may have been a convenient excuse to cancel them because of slow ticket sales.
    • Michael kept away from the rest of his family as often as he could offstage. James Brown turned down his offer to perform with them in New York City, as he too objected to the ticket lottery. And an offer to have one of the shows filmed for TV/video release was one the brothers were willing to take, but Michael nixed it...and then had his own crew film a show with the same intent. It was never released.
    • The brothers all stayed on separate floors of their hotels while Michael usually stayed in a separate hotel entirely. Meetings often broke down into side meetings among the factions: two lawyers representing Michael, one representing Jermaine, and the other four by themselves with or without lawyers. Travel arrangements? The brothers agreed among themselves that only they would ride in the van to shows, but early on Michael started letting Emmanuel Lewis ride along. The others didn't show their annoyance as they didn't want to spoil the boy's experience (none of them were talking to each other anyway), but when Michael let Julian Lennon ride along with them in their helicopter to Giants Stadium despite a similar agreement, they glared at him silently for the entire flight. Before the tour was even half over they were all getting their own rides, further increasing the expenses.
    • Despite Michael's fame, ticket sales got worse as the tour approached its end. By the Toronto shows in September, 50,000 tickets had gone unsold. Pittsburgh shows were canceled in favor of more dates in Chicago. After the Vancouver shows two months later, Sullivan had to stop his $1.9 million check to the Jacksons before it bounced. At last, too many dates were pencilled in for the final stop in Los Angeles. Knowing how bad half-empty houses would look for Michael, his handlers arranged for free tickets to be given to everyone they could think of. Even then, at the rain-soaked final show at Dodger Stadium large blocks of empty seats were evident.

      And the brothers and Joe intended to take the tour overseas, but Michael hated the idea — so he announced at the end that this was their very last show. It's been estimated that Chuck Sullivan lost $13–22 million on the tour (Joe and his sons, particularly [surprise] Michael, made what they expected to). He and his father had to sell the Patriots and the stadium as a result. Supposedly he wrote several letters to Michael begging him to bail the team out. Eventually the team was bought by Bob Kraft, under whose management it finally won multiple Super Bowls. Kraft keeps a Victory Tour poster in his office as a reminder of how the chain of events that put him in charge of the Patriots began.
    • By the way, the Victory album, released in the summer of 1984 just as the tour launched, was only able to reach #4 on the Billboard charts and scored only one Top 10 single (the Michael Jackson / Mick Jagger duet "State of Shock"). And in hindsight, the damage the whole experience did to Michael's reputation and health can be seen as the beginning of the ugly downward spiral of his career and life.
  • Michael Jackson's solo tours had their own issues:
    • The 3rd leg of the Dangerous World Tour of 1992-93 proved catastrophic due to timing. He and his handlers knew that child molestation accusations were about to be brought against him in the wake of unsuccessful negotiations with the accuser and his family, but he decided to head to Bangkok, Thailand anyway. The accusations hit the press the day of his first concert there, and what followed was a mess of postponements and cancellations due to health issues (dehydration, collapsing right before he was to take the stage, dental surgery, etc.) while his problems with prescription drugs, which dated back to The '80s and the Pepsi commercial accident, worsened. Eventually the tour ended in Mexico City, with 19 shows of the planned 43 never performed, allowing him to go to rehab in Europe for several weeks.
    • The fact that the never-performed This Is It concert engagement at London's O2 arena was the subject of lawsuits for years after Jackson's death is telling. Different sides tell different stories, but what is clear is that Jackson was desperate for money, not in his right mind, hopelessly addicted to prescription drugs, and advised by an inner circle of opportunistic yes men. While not toning down on spectacle, as the documentary This Is It shows. He signed off on what was announced as a ten-show engagement but quickly upped to fifty shows. Many of those shows were postponed to 2010 due to problems in pulling the production together — even though much of the show would have simply restaged numbers from previous tours — not least among them constant missed rehearsals on his part.
  • Of the two big post-September 11th benefit concerts, "The Concert for New York City" proved a sensation, while "United We Stand: What More Can I Give" in Washington, D.C. proved a debacle. The Daily Show brutally mocked it with the correspondent sent to cover it hoping that the proceeds were going to a charity that could get him several hours of his life back. This Salon article (calling it "The Worst Benefit Concert Ever!") and this kinder MTV article provide the details; among the "highlights" noted:
    • Several billed performers didn't show up, such as Mick Jagger, KISS and Ricky Martin.
    • The venue ran out of food long before the show was over, angering many in the crowd.
    • Technical difficulties not only interfered with performances but put the show over three hours behind schedule, resulting in shorter later sets. Unlike its N.Y.C. counterpart it wasn't broadcast live but taped for later, but time-consuming taping of intros and outros for sets made matters worse. Much of the crowd and even some of the performers who'd already gone on were filing out of the stadium long before the show was over. The Salon article predicts there was maybe four hours of performances out of a twelve-hour "concert."
    • Mariah Carey's set came in the wake of her public breakdown and the flop of Glitter — which her appearance, tactlessly, still tried to promote.
    • Backstreet Boys recycled pretty much their entire set from the Concert for New York City earlier in the week, showing their lack of enthusiasm for the DC outing.
    • Technical difficulties continued throughout the show, with James Brown and Carole King both having microphone malfunctions during their performances.
    • A few sets were marred by performers' careless use of the American flag as a prop. One example of this was by top-billed, show-climaxing Michael Jackson — the concert's organizer. He lip-synched his way through one solo number before a grand finale with the remaining performers.
    • Trouble continued after the concert. Jackson recorded the Charity Motivation Song from the finale, "What More Can I Give", as an All-Star Cast single. According to the biography Untouchable, Sony wouldn't release it since they were trying to get him to finish/promote Invincible (see Albums above) and feared it would cannibalize the album's sales. An attempt to distribute it through McDonald's restaurants collapsed when parents complained about the chain associating itself with a man accused of child abuse, and the whole project went into Development Hell when the producer's work in gay porn came out. It became legally available in Fall 2003 but, with its cultural moment having long since passed and Jackson's reputation only deeper in the mire, flopped.
  • The Spice Girls and their first tour had the great misfortune of coinciding with band member Geri Halliwell's Creator Breakdown. She abruptly left the group right before they were about to go on tour. The rest were forced to lie at first and say she was too ill to perform but eventually her manager read a statement announcing her departure from the group. All right before the group was supposed to go on tour for the first time. Meaning they had to re-choreograph their whole dance routines which had been done for five girls and now only had four. And the girls had to share Geri's vocals in all the songs. They had to do all this in the space of a few hours. Victoria said in her autobiography that there were times when they forgot who was meant to be singing Geri's line in the song while on stage.
  • System of a Down's show for the release of their second album Toxicity was a complete disaster. The band was slated to perform at 7 PM on September 4, 2001. It was expected for only a couple of thousand fans to show up. Unfortunately, about 7,000 fans ended up coming, more than triple the expected amount. Fearing a riot, the NYPD shut down the performance, causing many disgruntled fans to cause a riot anyways. Property got damaged and vandalized, equipment got stolen, and some fights broke out. Had the show not been shut down, it would have been overcrowded, but at least there wouldn't have been violence. Serj Tankian commented on the whole fiasco, saying he was disappointed his fans would do such a thing and was also disappointed in the NYPD's poor handling of the situation.
  • Atomic Kitten and their 2004 Greatest Hits Tour had one very troublesome performance. There had been constant tensions in the group for several months - Natasha Hamilton had been causing lots of bother by no-showing several public appearances and caused a small scandal when she turned up for a photo shoot with a new haircut identical to bandmember Jenny Frost (unannounced). She had apparently been suffering from post-natal depression and her lack of dedication was one of the reasons the group had decided to take a break in the first place. Tensions came to a head for the Dublin show. Jenny Frost and Liz McClarnon arrived in Ireland as scheduled. Natasha was set to arrive on a different flight and would meet them there. However the previous day she had a row over the phone with Jenny and Liz, and reportedly had her driver take her home and switched off her phone so they couldn't contact her. She apparently didn't inform them until 7pm that she wouldn't be showing up. In addition to this, the venue had to be changed last minute from The Point Theatre to the smaller Vicar Streetnote . The official line was that Natasha had fallen ill. But then just before the show, Jenny became ill as well with food poisoning. So the Dublin crowd saw two Kittens performing instead of three and Jenny had to rush off stage at intervals to vomit into a bucket. In spite of all the trouble, by all accounts, fans enjoyed the show anyway. For three different songs, the Kittens picked fans out of the crowd to come on stage and sing in Natasha's place - and Big Brother winner Brian Dowling made an appearance and performed with them as well.
  • In April 2010, a free concert was staged by a national breakfast programme for Justin Bieber during a promotional appearance in Sydney, Australia. Though security was aware thousands would show up, what they were not expecting were the fans to break through barriers security had set up to separate performer and fans. Many also had to be hospitalized due to crowd crush. Though the concert - taking place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay after several changes of venue - was initially scrapped, Bieber was instead taken to the Sunrise studio in Martin Place later that morning to perform his hit "Baby". The fans who had caught wind of this gathered there instead, this time with no dire consequences.
  • ABBA's 1977 tour of Australia was marred by problems.
    • Their earliest concerts in the country took place at Sydney Showgrounds, at a time when heavy rainstorms plagued the city - putting everyone involved with the concerts and some 20,000 concertgoers at risk. Rather than scrap the concerts, assistants were sent out with mops to dry the stage every so often. Still, that did not stop Frida taking a nasty fall (though not sustaining any harm) during one gig's performance of "I'm a Marionette". The weather also resulted in technical difficulties - mics and speakers frequently cut out, and this in combination with the crowd noise made the concerts sometimes impossible to hear.
    • Water frequently got inside film canisters used for the concert film being made at the time, plus the members of the band had to deal with actors they believed were real people trying to pry on their offstage antics due to the flimsy "narrative" being used for the film.
    • At the first concert in Perth, there was an anonymous phone call from someone who claimed that a bomb had been placed inside Perth Entertainment Centre, resulting in a complete evacuation of the venue (though the concert did resume 15 minutes later).
    • The concerts, despite the massive turnouts, still received negative reviews (Benny's thumb obscures the word "dull" when reading an article about Agnetha's bottom during the hotel scene in ABBA: The Movie) and many fans were confused about the ambitious pseudo-musical The Girl With the Golden Hair that closed the show each night.
    • On top of this, Agnetha and Bjorn's marriage was beginning to show its cracks despite Agnetha being pregnant with their second child (her pregnancy had to be hidden during the film) and her desire for a life of normality made her develop an intense dislike for touring during this time.
    • Though their 1979-80 world tour mainly went off without a hitch, the band disliked the conditions of touring so much that it marked the end of any more tours. A bad experience with a flight from New York to Boston during a thunderstorm also cemented Agnetha's fear of flying, which she wouldn't fully overcome until promotion for her English-language solo album, A, 34 years later. (She had previously - albeit reluctantly - flown to America to record her album I Stand Alone in 1987, though a long-distance relationship with the record producer was a factor in this.)
  • The European leg of The Residents' Mole Show tour in 1983. It was their first tour, and the band hadn't realized that large touring productions are highly subject to Finagle's Law. The band traveled in two buses, one for the crew and one for the band themselves. The road crew was hostile to both the band and Penn Jillette, who was the emcee of the show. The backdrops could only fit in a 747, which added to the cost. Jillette also became seriously ill during the band's stop in Madrid. The band ended up so deep in debt that their gear was impounded just before they were due for another show back in the States, though they got it back just in time. The experience caused the band to abandon plans to complete the rest of "The Mole Trilogy", save for the Big Bubble album and swear off touring entirely for a while.
  • Continuing on with the theme of bad luck fucking with their career, Broken Hope had a lot of shit go down on the "Best in Brutality" tour that they embarked upon in the spring of 2014 with Oceano, Fallujah, Kublai Khan, and Rivers of Nihil. The latter was the only band that didn't get fucked. Bad routing that resulted in lots of poorly-attended shows was a common theme; in addition to this, Oceano and Kublai Khan both got turned away from the Canadian border, resulting in the former having to throw a bunch of emergency US dates together before dropping off and the latter just dropping off altogether, while Fallujah and Broken Hope both had their respective tour vehicles shit the bed on them (the former dropped off, the latter tried to soldier on). With three bands gone, the promoters and agents alike opted to just cancel it and call it a day before anything else went wrong.
  • Lord Mantis's last tour before the large-scale lineup shift was the logical culmination of years of tension between Charlie Fell and Andrew Markuszewski (and Bill Bumgardner, to a much lesser degree); Fell hated Markuszewski's cold, humorless, unemotional nature and apathy towards the band (he apparently had to practically beg Markuszewski to do his part to get Death Mask written and recorded), while Markuszewski hated Fell's drug problems and trusted him very little due to his association with Blake Judd and Nachtmystium (despite the fact that Fell actually despised Judd and wanted nothing to do with him). After Death Mask hit and was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews, the band had a reason to tour. After a reasonably uneventful tour with Hell Militia, they were preparing to embark on another one, this time supporting Today Is the Day. This was where everything fell apart.

    Fell, already unhappy with Markuszewski and now without the one person in the band whom he got along with (Ken Sorceron; in his place was a live fill-in), dealt with it in an admittedly very unhealthy way: he began drinking heavily and spent most of the tour in a haze. Fans noticed that Fell was sloppy and inconsistent and was frequently slurring his words, and it all came to a head at the Providence date. Fell had apparently been particularly wild onstage that night, and Markuszewski had apparently requested that he tone it down; Fell, already in a bad mood, reacted in a less-than-accommodating manner, and when Markuszewski grew more insistent, Fell insulted him and told him that he had no right to tell him what to do, which resulted in Markuszewski striking him. Shortly after, Fell attacked Markuszewski and the fight was stopped by someone (most likely Steve Austin of Today Is the Day); in turn, Markuszewski deliberately spilled Fell's painkillers, which enraged Fell enough that he tried to club Markuszewski with a beer bottle. The attack failed and Fell was thrown to the floor, where he was beaten to a pulp by Markuszewski and a bouncer before he got up and retired to the van; not long after that, Markuszewski and Bumgardner angrily informed him that the tour was over. What ensued was a bunch of legal gymnastics that ruined any chance of Fell and Markuszewski ever being on speaking terms again, turned Lord Mantis into an In Name Only act after it merged with most of Indian, and caused Fell and Sorceron to form a new band with various other musicians to carry on where they left off with Lord Mantis.
  • Igor Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring is probably one of the earliest examples of this. The ballet was expected to display many of the composer's Romantic influences, however Stravinsky was going through a phase of experimentation. Having gained a great interest in Russian folk music, he decided to implement elements from it, causing the music become even more complex than the average Romantic composition. As the music started to take a life of its own, performers started arguing with Stravinsky about whether or not he knew what he was doing. Planning choreography also proved to be quite a challenge, leaving Vaslav Nijinsky confused as to where to take it. Dancers would struggle to keep the awkward rhythm just as much as the orchestra did. After Nijinsky finished his first version of the choreography, Stravinsky was displeased with it and forced him to start from scratch. This caused friction between the two collaborators. The ballet turned out to be massively behind schedule, leading many to fear that it wouldn't meet its May 1913 deadline. The struggles were somehow overcome in time and both Stravinsky and Nijinsky started to become optimistic about the show...
    ... Then the first performance took place. Right from the get-go the audience was not pleased with the strange direction the music was taking and the overtly sexual gestures caused by the dancers. When the famous oboe solo started, an audience member shouted an obscenity and a riot broke out that could put the average rock concert riot to shame. The performers struggled to finish the work, audience members who weren't rioting couldn't hear or see anything, and the theater ended up so badly trashed that it took weeks to fix all the damage. The work nearly ruined Stravinsky's career, with the media calling it one of the worst pieces of music ever composed. Eventually it turned into one of the most analyzed pieces of western music ever and is now lauded as having started the 20th Century movement in classical music.
  • In a lesser example compared to most here: U2 frequently showed live footage of war-torn Sarajevo during the Zoo TV Tour, while promising someday they would perform there. Once things had calmed down in Bosnia and they decided to keep their promise (during the tour of Pop, listed in the Albums folder above), it was enough for a detailed article on The Other Wiki. Sponsors tried to cancel the concert, border control kept the road crew off Bosnia for hours, the band had to rehearse in a damaged theater and sleep in a bullet-ridden Holiday Inn, and during the concert Bono started losing his voice (forcing him to request for crowd help, and The Edge to take over lead vocals in a few tracks).
  • The original Woodstock festival was actually very meticulously planned, but that didn't prevent some things from going legendarily wrong anyway:
    • Michael Lang, who with his partners at Woodstock Ventures wasn't trying to create the defining experience of a generation, just make enough money to build a recording studio, got the idea from some of the small folk-rock concerts held in fields around Woodstock, NY, where he was living at the time. The original plan was to hold a modest, one-day event in them with about 25,000 fans expected in those fields. Lang had helped organize and promote the Miami Pop Festival, one of many that led up to Woodstock and had for the most part pleasantly surprised observers for the low amount of violence and general tidiness kept by attendees.
    • However, the owner of the farm outside Woodstock that Lang had hoped to site the festival at made it clear he had no intention of renting the land to Woodstock Ventures. The promoters began booking acts anyway, as they needed to do so months in advance. A new site was tentatively secured at a former farm in the town of Wallkill, NY, outside Middletown, but vociferous local opposition, including death threats against the landowners, ended those plans. But by this point they were expecting at least 100,000 attendees over a multi-day event, so canceling wasn't an option.
    • With just three months to go before the festival, Max Yasgur agreed to lease the promoters some of his dairy farmlands near Bethel, NY, some distance from Woodstock. They had to plan the site and set it up in much less time than they had expected to. Due to unclear jurisdiction, they didn't receive formal approval from the Bethel town planning boardnote  until just a month before the festival date.
    • Only one caterer, Food for Love, was willing to provide food. They insisted on keeping all their profits, threatened to pull out the week of the festival, and served up offerings so unappetizing and overpriced that the generally peaceful hippies who attended the festival actually tried to burn some of their stands down. If it had not been for the Hog Farm, the Wavy Gravy-led New Mexico commune that had arrived a few weeks earlier to help prepare the site and run a kitchen, the food shortages at the festival would have been much worse.
    • That week was when things really did start to go haywire. Attendees, about 25,000, not all of them with tickets, started arriving and setting up tents six or seven days beforehand ... before the spaces designed for them had been finished, or the festival site fenced off as originally intended. Thus, on the first day, with all those people there literally tearing down the fences that had been set up to get in, the promoters basically kissed their likelihood of any profit goodbye by declaring the concert free ... thus attracting even more people to it, up to 300,000.
    • That larger-than-expected crowd was the source of many of the festival's problems. Abandoned/parked cars effectively blocked the roads to the site, and the traffic even forced New York State to close a few Thruway exits. Sanitation also became problematic as not only had no one expected so many people and thus not planned for them in that department, no one had had any good idea how many portable toilets to provide, and even if they had it was hard to get a hold of even the ones they did decide to have.
    • Water, at least, was not a problem as one of the nearby ponds had been tapped for it and provided abundantly during the festival. However, they got more than they bargained for as the last two days of the festival were beset by torrential storms that aggravated the existing issues and forced the promoters to shuffle the lineup around almost constantly. The Grateful Dead especially suffered from the effects of the rain as their lighting and sound were subpar; some of the band also got electric shocks.note  A turntable underneath the main stage, meant to allow one act to play while the next one was setting up, also failed, exacerbating these issues. (Richie Havens wasn't supposed to open the show, but since he was there and Sweetwater was not, he was asked to; after he'd run out of his planned material he improvised "Freedom" right there on stage; it became one of his signature songs.)
    • Several acts that were supposed to perform dropped out of the show shortly before the festival: The Moody Blues were listed on the poster, but backed out at the last minute to play in France. The Jeff Beck Group were also signed up to play, but then Beck broke up the band a few weeks before. Iron Butterfly were all ready to play...but got stuck at the airport because of the traffic and their manager made an unreasonable demand to get them to the festival by helicopter (interestingly, they were going to be paid more than the Grateful Dead, Santana and Joe Cocker combined!). As a result, there were several holes in the schedule. One was filled by Havens' long set. Another by moving British folk group The Incredible String Band from Friday to Saturday. John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful was only at the festival as an attendee, but was coaxed to play in order to fill an empty space following Santana's set.
    • Legal wrangling over the film and recording rights also ensured that those records of the event are incomplete. Creedence Clearwater Revival gave what many people present considered to be one of the best sets of the festival, but since John Fogerty didn't think so, he refused to allow them to be filmed or recorded. Neil Young had just joined forces with Crosby, Stills & Nash, but refused to give permission for filming. Pete Townshend had no issues with the film or the album, but was horribly cynical about the whole "peace, love and music" thing; at one point, he chased activist and writer Abbie Hoffman off the stage when he came on to berate the crowd about its perceived political detachment. The Band also did well by the crowd, but didn't let their performance be used in the album or movie because their manager thought they weren't getting paid enough.
  • Woodstock '99, which had the worst production problems of any of the festivals. A bit of background: the 25th Anniversary of the festival had been criticized in the days leading up to it, but was highly successful (over 350,000 people attended), so plans were made for a follow-up festival that would celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the original. However, those logistical problems all came to a head and ended in disaster.
    • The tickets cost about $150. This may not seem like much today, but that was a pretty significant cost at the time. Subsequently, lots of people were sneaking in with fake passes - or at least trying, as a report had 50 counterfeits being confiscated hourly in one gate!
    • Unlike the previous two installments, held in farms, Woodstock '99 was in an air base, an environment which does not dissipate the July heat very well. And given was scheduled in the same weekend of the Baseball Hall of Fame's yearly introduction, basically all rooms in Upstate New York were taken; even artists had problems getting where to stay.
    • What really broke the crowd was the vendor costs. Water cost $4 a bottle and single-serving pizzas cost $12. There were bus routes to the city where people could presumably go to get supplies, but that didn't work because shops quickly became overcrowded and ran out of food.
    • There also were not enough toilets to accommodate the large crowd. What was there quickly became unusable. Water fountains were also vandalized by people who became frustrated by the long lines.
    • The lineup was also not as strong. Woodstock '94 had a variety of performers from old classics (Aerosmith; Bob Dylan; Joe Cocker; Crosby, Stills, & Nash) to established modern acts (Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day) to rising stars (Nine Inch Nails, The Cranberries, Melissa Etheridge). Woodstock '99 tried to do the same but it didn't have near the same effect. Apart from a solo set by The Who's John Entwistle and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's new world music project, no performers from the original Woodstock showed up, and the organizers were stuck with returning performers from the '94 festival (like Sheryl Crow and RHCP) as well as critically maligned newer acts (like Creed, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, and Insane Clown Posse). Limp Bizkit's set was particularly singled out for criticism. There were a few bright spots (mostly non-hard rock acts like Alanis Morrisette, Elvis Costello, G. Love and Special Sauce, The Roots, James Brown, The Tragically Hip and Jamiroquai), though those were few and far between.
    • Several of the bands did not capture the "peace & love" theme of the festival. Limp Bizkit in particular was criticized for playing songs like "Break Stuff" which actually started some of the violence in the crowd. It probably didn’t help that Fred Durst began encouraging the crowd to become angry partway through "Break Stuff".
    • The bad mood eventually spilled over into all-out violence when people began lighting bonfires using material from the (supposedly indestructible) security fence. People began destroying the ATMs and looting the vendor booths. MTV removed their entire crew and ceased coverage of the event. Finally, there were multiple accusations of rape at the festival. New York State Troopers eventually cleared the site, bringing the festival to an end.
    • With bad press and a lower attendance (only 200,000 or so showed up), the organizers retired the Woodstock brand until 2019, when they announced the festival would return for its 50th anniversary year. However, that event has also been a troubled production itself, including a disputed cancellation and several legal, permitting and financial difficulties.
  • In 1974, George Harrison, promoting his then-current album Dark Horse, embarked on what would be his first and only solo tour (save for a brief Japanese tour in 1992 to raise funds for a campaigning political party that endorsed Transcendental Meditation). Unfortunately, the tour had been booked in advance, and Harrison, fresh from his recent divorce from Patti Boyd and fighting laryngitis, a condition which had plagued the recording of the Dark Horse albumnote , and the album was critically and commercially unsuccessful. The very religious Harrison booked Ravi Shankar and a selection of gurus as opening acts, which alienated his audience, and Harrison's singing and decision to change some Beatles lyrics to suit his Krishna faith led to much criticism; the shows suffered from poor attendance as a result. Harrison once claimed that after one show, he had decided to stay onstage instead of returning to his hotel room. After observing the sea of stray heroin needles, beer cans and garbage left over on the seats waiting to be disposed of, George felt repulsed and swore off of touring as a result.
  • The 2015 Metal Alliance Tour was such a disaster that it very nearly killed off all future Metal Alliance tours and the sponsoring body itself. There was nothing wrong with the lineup - Deicide, Entombed A.D., Hate Eternal, Lorna Shore, Black Crown Initiate, and Svart Crown made for a very solid bill (though Lorna Shore was a bit of a point of contention). The problems were with everything else. Early on, financial troubles with the sponsor forced Entombed A.D. to drop off; since Svart Crown was riding with them, they had to drop off as well but found a way to continue because it was their first major US tour and they wanted to make it worth it. As time went on, bad routing and poor promotion led to lots of badly-attended shows, and the continued financial difficulties on the sponsor's part made life even harder for the bands; after the Metal Alliance itself folded, the tour was rebranded as a standard Deicide tour. Near the end, Hate Eternal and Lorna Shore had to bail (the former left after Erik Rutan smashed his hand, the latter left due to family emergencies with several members), and with only two bands left on the bill, the members of Deicide and Black Crown Initiate opted to put the tour out of its misery. Deicide announced in anger that it would be their last US tour for a long while and put the organizers on blast for completely ruining the tour, and it very nearly killed off the Metal Alliance Tour itself.
  • The 2015 Summer Slaughter Tour was an absolute disaster. A weak lineup (headlined by Arch-Enemy, who simply were not big enough to headline it) was the first sign of trouble, and the abnormally long amount of time that it took to announce the lineup coupled with the amount of smaller-than-usual venues on the list of dates suggested that the lineup was cobbled together from whatever was available after all better options had been ruled out, ergo Ash Avildsen had no faith in that iteration of the tour. Things got worse when After the Burial dropped off before the tour started due to Justin Lowe's very public psychotic break, disappearance, and death, and yet another blow was dealt when Obscura had to drop off as well right at the start of the tour due to visa issues. The tour wound up going out with only six bands, most of which had wildly different and often incompatible fanbases, and the result was a tour that was deep in the red for virtually the entire run due to a combination of terrible attendances (as low as 300 or less in certain markets) and bands that were too expensive for what they were drawing (particularly Arch Enemy); the incompatible fanbases also meant massive walkouts after Born of Osiris, who were direct support (it wasn't unheard of for Arch Enemy to hit the stage to a hundred people or fewer), and fights broke out almost every night during The Acacia Strain's set, as their often-violent fans did not get along with the fans of any of the other bands. While it didn't kill off the tour, it was a disastrous year that cost all parties with a financial stake in it a fairly significant amount of money.
  • The 1959 Winter Dance Party tour, in which Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper traveled through the upper Midwest. The tour organizers scheduled dates with no regard whatsoever to geography — see this link for a map of the schedule of the tour's first 11 days. To make matters worse, the musicians traveled on a series of poorly maintained buses with heating systems that were inadequate at best even in ordinary winter weather, much less one of the worst winters the Midwest had seen in decades. After the January 31 show — which was notable for being attended by some teenager named Bobby Zimmerman — the bus carrying the musicians broke down, and one of Holly's backing band suffered frostbite by the time help arrived. February 2 was supposed to be an off day, but organizers added a date in Clear Lake, Iowa, more than 350 miles from the previous day's show in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Tired of cramped and inadequate buses, Holly decided to charter a plane to take him and his band from Clear Lake to Fargo, North Dakota, near the next tour stop of Moorhead, Minnesota. Holly's band ultimately didn't get on the plane—Tom Allsup and Valens flipped a coin for his seat, with Valens winning, and Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to the flu-ridden Bopper. And now you know the lead-up to The Day the Music Died. (In a bizarre footnote, Jennings and Holly were joking around before the plane took off, and Holly quipped to Jennings "Well I hope that ol' bus of yours freezes up", to which Jennings replied back "Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes." To the day he died, Jennings was haunted by the belief that he had been somehow responsible for the disaster.)
  • The Smiths have had two tours affected by this trope:
    • The first one was the short Italian-Spanish tour in mid-1985 to support Meat is Murder.
      • As they got on the plane for Rome at Heathrow, Rough Trade executives were there to personally implore them to do an Italian TV show they had been booked on. When they arrived, the band decided to change hotels because they preferred the airport Sheraton to the Mediterranean-styled one that had been reserved for them. The first gig turned out to be a large tent, not the theater everyone thought they were supposed to be playing, but otherwise it went well.
      • However, when the band saw the TV show and its extravagant Italian set, Morrissey refused to do it, followed in short order by the rest of the band. This caused Rough Trade a huge loss of face, and the label's European licensing representative transferred to the label's production department as a result. Morrissey, who a year before had canceled the band's first European tour at the airport, almost canceled this one as well.
      • Marr persuaded him to stick it out and play the dates in Spain. The first shows in Barcelona and Madrid, went well; the Barcelona show was taped and is probably the best video footage of the entire tour. However, in the process their then-manager, Scott Piering, learned from a lawyer the band had hired in London before leaving that he had been fired. He went to Madrid to try to persuade them to take him back; when the Smiths arrived at their hotel they found him asleep in the lobby and quickly changed hotels.
      • At the last gig in San Sebastian, they found that someone had sent the venue the wrong equipment rider. They refused to play, causing a near riot outside their hotel, and flew back to England from Bilbao the next day.
    • A year later came the mammoth North American tour to support The Queen is Dead.
      • Everyone was aware that this could potentially take the Smiths over the top in the U.S. Dates at Pier 34 and Radio City Music Hall in New York had sold out well in advance, along with major venues on the West Coast. Yet that didn't stop Andy Rourkenote  from getting arrested for heroin possession a month or so before. Session bassist Guy Pratt was hired to replace him as it was believed unlikely Rourke's visa applications would be approved, joining rhythm guitarist Craig Gannon as an additional member of the band for the tour. However, after he'd spent two weeks with Rourke learning the bass parts, Rourke's visas came through anyway, days before departure. While he didn't get to play with the Smiths, the whole thing worked out for Pratt in the long run, as he was then available to join Pink Floyd as Roger Waters' replacement a year later.
      • Unfortunately, that wasn't the only cloud hanging over the tour. The band had at that point no manager, a task Johnny Marr picked up when he could, and inexperienced Sophie Ridley as their tour manager. She was primarily preoccupied with handling Rourke's prescription medicines, causing friction between her and the band. Near the end of the tour she was fired after the band missed one too many soundchecks.
      • When the band and crew arrived in London, Ontario, for the last rehearsals before the first show, they found that there was neither money to pay the crew nor the right equipment. Marr had to get on the phone with Warner, their American distributor, and threaten not to play unless that situation was rectified.
      • That night happened to be Gannon's 20th birthday. Joyce and Rourke decided he had to celebrate with one shot of cognac for every year. Rourke recalls finding Gannon on his bed in his vomit-covered room the next morning. This set a pattern of heavy drinking that continued among the three for the rest of the tour, where they often closed hotel bars. Marr for his part was drinking heavily and partaking of much of the cocaine on offer, making his playing — lead, since Gannon was competently playing rhythm — become gradually more self-indulgent as the tour progressed.
      • Nonetheless, the tour went on as scheduled and went as hoped, expanding the band's fan base in the U.S. outside the small cult following they had had. However, things started to snag in California, when there was a week break between shows. The band flew in their wives/girlfriends, rather against the wishes of the label's management, since that makes everyone more demanding. Also coming over from Britain was Rough Trade head Geoff Travis, to confront the band about mounting rumors that they were prepared to jump ship to EMI, a move Rough Trade would later file suit to block. Sire, the band's American label, with whom they also had issues, almost followed along until they reread the contract and realized the Smiths owed them one more album than they owed Rough Trade.
      • All this began to catch up with everybody as the tour worked its way across the Southwest and South, areas where the band had less of an established fan base to begin with. Gannon, who disliked flying, took to traveling between gigs on the bus instead, isolating him from the rest of the band (but also allowing him to sneak steaks, something not found on the tour's vegetarian menus). This resulted in him getting left behind in New Orleans accidentally. The drinking and drugs were catching up with him and his bandmates, and even the straight-edged Morrissey showed some signs of it getting to him as well, with crew often having to ask over a dozen times for him to come down and get ready every night.
      • Finally, in St. Petersburg, Florida, with four shows remaining, including the all-important climactic Radio City gig, Morrissey and Marr sat down on the beach to have a serious talk about whether they should just cancel the rest of them right there, since everyone was so burnt out at that point. They were torn over this ... until a fortuitous accident gave them a good excuse. Rourke had gone for a late-night swim ... and stepped on a stingray. He had to have part of it removed surgically; without that intervention he might have died. The remaining dates were thus canceled. But the stress and issues kicked up by the tour remained, and had a lot to do with the band's breakup after completing their next (and last) album, Strangeways, Here We Come.
  • Diana Ross was the subject of a rather infamous concert tour in 2000.
    • Amid much fanfare, Ross claimed she was going back on tour with "The Supremes." However, this would not be the much-anticipated reunion of the original trio of Ross, Cindy Birdsong, and Mary Wilson. Instead, Ross toured with Scherrie Payne and Linda Laurence, two singers who had replaced the originals back in the 70s, and were essentially Ross' old backup singers.
    • The show was plagued with criticisms, especially from the extremely high ticket prices (as much as $250 per seat) and the fact that while Ross never explicitly said it, promotional materials treated the tour as a Supremes Reunion (dubbing it, the "Return to Love" tour).
    • The show was a financial flop and a critical disaster (critic Mark Armstrong gave the infamous review "Stop! For the Love of God!") Another issue was putting the show in large 15-20,000 seat arenas, as opposed to the theaters that Ross was playing at the time. The writing was well on the wall when, the show only filled 10,000 seats at the 19,000-seat Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, MI (AKA the birthplace of Motown) After this, the remaining dates were cancelled, and Ross blamed the promoters for the failure.
  • The Fyre Festival in 2017, organized by rapper Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, became the music festival equivalent of Dashcon before it even ended, and undoubtedly a far higher-profile debacle given the massive amounts of money and big-name celebrities involved. This article in The Washington Post gives a rundown of what happened at the festival itself, this article in New York magazine provides a behind-the-scenes look, and this piece from The New York Times examines the messy aftermath that lasted for months. Internet Historian also has an in-depth analysis of the festival and its aftermath, and Swindled has an episode examining Billy McFarland's dodgy practices up to and during the festival. In 2019, Netflix and Hulu both premiered competing documentaries about the debacle within days of each other, which ended up just adding to the nastiness.
    • The festival was supposed to be held in Norman's Cay, a private island in the Bahamas supposedly owned by Pablo Escobarnote . This would serve as the lush paradise backdrop for two weekends of luxury living and live music by artists that included blink-182, Major Lazer, Disclosure, Rae Sremmurd, and more, with the goal of promoting McFarland's company Fyre Media, which was working on an app that would allow people to book major musical talent. Advertisements featured supermodels and fun in the sun. Tickets started at $450 and went up to $250,000 for the most elite packages. In truth, anybody familiar with the background of the festival's organizers could've detected trouble out of the gate. McFarland had a history of flashy projects aimed at upwardly-mobile young people that failed to deliver on their promises, with his Magnises "black card" elite membership program subjected to BBB complaints and refunds, while Ja Rule, a one-time rap star, hadn't had a hit single in over a decade by that point.
    • Planning for the festival was merely theoretical less than two months before it kicked off. Trouble started when the owner of Norman's Cay cancelled his agreements with Fyre after he saw the advertisements pointing out the island's connections to Escobar, which he explicitly told Fyre not to do. After looking at several other islands, they eventually got permission to hold the festival in Great Exuma, an island with a population of over 7000 people. The site was even within walking distance of a Sandals Resort, a far cry from the promised "private island".
    • While money was being spent on hiring models and social media influencers to promote the event, the Exuma site for it was little more than a gravel field in mid-March (it was scheduled to begin on April 28), and many of the featured artists and their tour managers, as well as vendors, were asking when they'd be paid. An anonymous Twitter account with the handle name @FyreFraud, created by an insider who could see the writing on the wall, accused the festival of being perilously mismanaged. Two days before it began, a number of staff members were wondering if they should just cancel the 2017 festival outright and reschedule for the next year, offering refunds and free tickets to everybody. An event planner, who had quit in disgust a few weeks before the festival was to take place, would later reveal that the organizers had never hired a technical director, and fired much of the production staff six weeks beforehand. The show went on anyway, based on promises that a wealthy socialite would be paying for everything; said socialite never materialized.
    • The Fyre Festival opened its doors on Friday, April 28, and everything went to hell. Guests arrived to discover that their "luxury cabanas" were in fact disaster relief tents, half of which had been destroyed by bad weather the night before, and that their "gourmet catering" amounted to cheese sandwiches and dry salads served in Styrofoam containers.
    • Then, headlining act blink-182 pulled out of the festival over a lack of payment and particularly after their crew discovered substandard and unsafe production conditions. Shortly after the band put out a public statement, every other musician that was scheduled to perform backed out too.
    • Almost immediately, the Fyre Festival went viral in the worst possible way, with many guests comparing it to The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and refugee camps, while the thought of rich yuppies getting screwed over provoked schadenfreude from all over the internet. The government of the Bahamas had to cancel all flights to the island, with the Ministry of Tourism apologizing to everybody who had come for the festival. Canceling flights wound up having the side effect of leaving thousands of people literally stranded without food or shelter, necessitating chartered flights to bring people back to Miami.
    • Prior to the festival, Fyre Media had also informed festival guests that the Festival would be entirely "cashless" and aggressively pushed them into dumping thousands of dollars into RFID bracelets that would then be used to purchase things in the festival site. Naturally, there was no place to use the bracelets, thus adding "no money" to the stranded guests' problems. It later transpired that all of the bracelet funds went directly into the Festival's draining funds.
    • By the end of Saturday, the Fyre Festival was officially canceled, its website bearing simply a statement offering full refunds and apologizing to festivalgoers. Some social media influencers who had been involved in promotion for the festival, such as Bella Hadid, likewise apologized for ever being a part of it, while Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island said that the whole affair was practically lifted from a movie that they were working on at the time. Ja Rule denied all responsibility for the disaster, while McFarland hoped to be able to put on a proper festival in 2018. Well, see below.
    • As it turns out, the social media influencers had been paid big money by the festival's promoters to entice people to come but didn't say they were sponsored. This is a violation of FTC regulations, which say that a paid promotion must be clearly marked as such. Those who didn't step forward to apologize for their involvement just quietly deleted all social media posts about the festival and continued on as if nothing happened. Whether the FTC are going to act on this is anybody's guess, as they have yet to actually start enforcing their regulations on social media. Meanwhile, the organizers were hit with a whopping $100 million class-action lawsuit for fraud.
    • And then audio leaked of a conference call in which McFarland told Fyre Media's employees that they would not be paid for work. Two weeks after the festival. And he wouldn't be firing them, which means they couldn't collect unemployment.
    • In May 2017, a criminal investigation was launched by the FBI, who are looking into possible mail, wire and securities fraud by McFarland and Ja Rule. The festival also continues to be a huge headache for everyone who was duped by it, including catering companies that are still owed thousands of dollars and Blink-182, who were unable to get their equipment out of customs for months due to the legal mess around the festival. McFarland was arrested two months later. After a couple more months, Fyre Festival LLC was sued into chapter seven bankruptcy.
    • In 2018, McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, agreed to forfeit over $26 million, and was eventually sentenced to six years in prison. Meanwhile, two North Carolina attendees were awarded $5.5 million in damages. One, a journalist who had some of the most widespread tweets of the disaster, purchased the abandoned Fyre Festival trademark and hopes to actually make a version that isn't a scam someday.
    • In January 2019 came the aforementioned documentaries, Netflix's Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and Hulu's Fyre Fraud. The battle between them soon got quite messy in its own right as the creators exposed some shady ethical compromises from both: Fyre was made in partnership with the same companies that promoted the festival itself which naturally led to downplaying their culpability, while Fraud shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to McFarland prior to his sentencing for an exclusive interview (of very questionable use, given the film itself openly calls him a pathological liar).
  • As recounted in their famous Behind The Music documentary, Styx had an infamous tour in 1983 to support their album Kilroy Was Here.
    • Dennis DeYoung envisioned the tour as something akin to a Broadway musical in keeping with the concept album format of Kilroy. Thus, the tour began with a long mini-movie to help set the scene of the dystopian setting of the album. Also, once the band took the stage, it was ten minutes before the first song was played. Instead, the band members were expected to play roles, perform dialogue, and act (despite the fact that with the possible exception of DeYoung, none of the band members had any experience with stage acting).
    • Lead guitarist Tommy Shaw recounted on VH1 that Styx shared a double-bill on some shows with Ted Nugent and, during a show at the Houston Astrodome: "He's going out there in a loincloth, shooting flaming arrows at guitars, and I've got to go out there, in front of that rowdy-ass crowd and say 'But Kilroy, what about the young people of the world?' I'm thinking...I'M GONNA DIE! I'm, gonna get killed in Texas!"
    • The failure of this tour was seen as the deciding reason why the band broke up in 1984, and didn't tour again (without DeYoung) until 1991.
  • Dutch heavy metal festival Dynamo Open Air went through many problems, partly due to its massive success in the 1990s.
    • Once the festival became a multiple-day event, the Eindhoven area, where the festival was held, started suffering serious traffic problems, particularly for the 1994 and 1995 editions. The former was featured in a Dutch record book for causing the longest traffic jam in the history of the Netherlands, while the latter, which featured Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Biohazard and Machine Head as headliners, became overcrowded, with 118,000 people attending. This caused local authorities to set a strict 60,000 people limit for future editions of the festival.
    • Despite the attendance restriction, the editions from 1996 to 1998 went smoothly. However, the original festival site, an airport, was sold off for housing redevelopment in 1998, forcing the festival to relocate. The 1999 edition was held on a former garbage dump in Mierlo, near Eindhoven. It had the misfortune to occur during a particularly hot spring, which caused sanitary problems and water shortages, and the traffic problems returned.
    • In the end, the festival was shrunk down to only one day, and had different locations for each edition following. A permanent site was found in Lichtenvoorde, where the 2001 edition was supposed to be held. However, the 2001 European foot-and-mouth disease epidemic invaded the area a few weeks before the festival was due to begin, forcing its cancellation.
    • By the time the festival resumed in 2002, it was completely overshadowed by other festivals like Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Wacken Open Air in Germany or Tuska Open Air in Finland. However, the organizers found hope in 2003 when they found another possible permanent hosting site in a leisure park in Neunen... only to find out the nesting season occurred during the festival, and that the high level of noise would chase the birds away from their maternal homes, thus violating a then-recent law about animal protection. The festival was scrapped for yet another year.
    • The last Dynamo Open Air was held in Hellendoorn, on the Dauwpop site, in 2005. The festival only drew a crowd of around 1000 people, despite featuring Anthrax as the main headliner, thus ending the original version of the festival for good.
    • However, a new version of the festival, named Dynamo Metalfest, has been held in Eindhoven without incident since 2015.
  • Perhaps it isn't a huge surprise, given long it's run, how many countries are involved, and how great its scope has become, but suffice to say some editions of the Eurovision Song Contest have gone smoother than others.
    • The first edition with any significant hiccups was the 1969 contest, held in Madrid, Spain. The circumstances surrounding '68 champion Massiel's win had already been seen as sketchy (some claiming that the Spanish had paid off the juries in order to win), but the fact that Spain was still a dictatorship made other countries uneasy about competing there and, by extension, promoting it, prompting Austria to outright withdraw (in spite of being one of the countries that voted for Spain the year before). The show itself went off relatively without a hitch...until the voting. By the end of the voting, four different countries - The United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, and Spain themselves - were tied for the highest score, each having earned eighteen points. Seeing as there was no tie-break procedure in place back then, the only solution offered was to declare all four countries the winner. To date, it is the only joint victory in Eurovision history, and it meant - as per tradition - all four winning songs would be offered a chance to perform again, dragging the show out even longer. This result prompted four countries (Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden) to withdraw and Austria refusing to return to the following year's contest out of protest, leading to significant changes in the voting for '71. They would eventually figure out a solution to the tie-break problem as well, but more on that later.
    • In 1973, the contest came to Luxembourg. The event itself went smoothly, save for one debutant that had the other delegations a bit on-edge. The European Broadcasting Area had just been expanded, and now countries just outside of Europe were eligible to compete. The first to jump onboard? Israel. Given the tragic murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics the year before, security was extra high for 1973, to the point where (according to Terry Wogan) audience members were told not to award any song a standing ovation, or else they may be shot as a possible terrorist threat. Nevertheless, the show went off smoothly, with Israel even finishing fourth. Israel would solidify their presence in the contest over the next few years, even walking away with back-to-back wins in 1978 and '79. This presented its own problems...
    • Israel won the 1979 contest on home ground, thereby earning the right to host the following year's contest as well. However, public broadcaster IBA (who had organized the '79 contest) simply didn't have the money to host twice in a row, having just barely managed to find resources to host the year before. Given that, the EBU turned to runner-up Spain as a substitute...but they also refused. They similarly had no luck with France or usual pinch-hit host United Kingdom, and after working their way through the other competitors, the Netherlands finally agreed to stage the 1980 contest, being able to reuse both the venue and parts of the set from when they had previously hosted four years prior in The Hague. The trouble now was that in all the confusion surrounding the host country, the EBU hadn't picked out a date yet, and the final date turned out to be the same as Yom HaZikaron: the Israeli day of remembrance. When the EBU refused to change the date given how long it took to figure everything out, Israel became the first and only country who didn't return to defend their title the following year.
    • Things proceeded fine until 1990, when the contest came to Zagreb (at the time, still a part of Yugoslavia, soon to be the capital of Croatia). Yugoslavia was elated at bringing the contest outside of Western Europe, but organizational issues soon arose. Disparaging comments were made about the age of the two hosts, which prompted them to briefly quit and be replaced by younger presenters. It also transpired that the broadcaster was planning to cut the customary conductor's bow prior to the beginning of each song, which led the participating conductors to protest (they compromised by allowing a shot of the conductors counting their respective songs in). Then, come the actual live show, a major technical hitch played havoc right from the start: Spain, opening the show, had a song with prerecorded elements (such as guitar and congas, which were mimed onstage). The sound engineer missed his cue, starting the tape further into the song and confusing the performers, who walked offstage (they soon resolved the issue and the song proceeded as if nothing had happened). The voting then ran into an unusual stumbling block when they reached the jury of Italy: for some bizarre reason, they initially stated that they were the jury of Spain! (It later turned out that the jury voting on Italy's behalf were, in fact, a bunch of Croats, who forgot which country's jury they were voting for.) In spite of this, Italy won, with hosting duties passed on to them. Which led to...
    • ...the catastrophe that was the 1991 contest. Italy had initially planned on hosting the contest in Sanremo, home of the famous national Sanremo Song Festival (whose format had inspired Eurovision itself and was/is often used to select Italy's competitors). However, safety concerns owing to the Gulf War and Yugoslav Wars led to the contest being moved to the capital city, Rome. There, a set was hastily constructed in a movie studio to create the venue.
      • The next problem came with the two hosts. In theory, getting the two singers who won Eurovision for Italy (Gigliola Cinquetti from '64 and the previous year's Toto Cutugno) to co-host was a cute idea. However, they didn't speak a word of English or French, the two main languages the contest is meant to be conducted in, and spent most of the show rambling away to each other in Italian. This wasn't too big a deal as long as nothing complicated happened. Hopefully.
      • The orchestra was often late and ill-prepared, to the consternation of the performers. They mostly put in fine work, with some notable exceptions. The biggest was that the saxophone player was replaced right before the show, and the replacement was an elderly man who hadn't had a chance to rehearse. The result was a now-legendary butchering of the sax solo in Greece's entry, which some say kept the otherwise warmly-received song from achieving a spot in the top ten.
      • The ceremony felt longer than labor, often due to the show's many breaks to self-congratulate Italy's musical and cultural legacy (the video postcards, used as a break between acts, featured each of the competing acts performing a classic Italian song - these alone took up about an hour, cumulatively). The voting took longer than usual, largely due to Cutugno and Cinquetti double- and triple-checking each vote and translating them into English, French, and Italian. But then, as the icing on the cake, the voting ended with France and Sweden tied for first place, the first tie since '69. Cutugno pleaded with "Meestair Naef" (Frank Naef, the then-executive supervisor) for a solution, and it turns out there now was one. First, it was determined that the song with the most 12's was the winner. They each had four, so that didn't work. The second solution was to determine which song had more 10's. As it turned out, Sweden did, allowing them to officially bump France to second place in spite of having the same score. A confusing end to a confusing year. note 
    • The 2001 contest saw the show return to Copenhagen, Denmark for the first time since 1964. Inspired by their neighbor Sweden's super-sizing the contest to an arena-filling event the year before, Denmark went a step further and put a roof over the massive Parken Stadium, which has a capacity for almost 40,000 spectators. This turned out to be a disadvantage: the songs got swallowed up by the overly-huge venue, and not helping matters was that the crop of entries was unusually weak that year. Then there were some questionable decisions made on the creative side: for some reason, the two presenters gave most of their remarks in rhyming couplets, which grew quite tiresome after the first few minutes. (His annoyance led Terry Wogan to dub them "Dr. Death and the Tooth Fairy," which earned him a temporary ban from Denmark.) Then, Aqua, the interval act (yes, of "Barbie Girl" fame), let several curse words fly within their performance. note 
    • 2012 saw Azerbaijan hosting the contest in their recently-constructed Baku Crystal Hall. While the country is often seen as one of the most liberal Muslim-majority countries in upper Asia, their still-Draconian anti-LGBTQ laws were seen as counterintuitive for the contest's egalitarian image. Conversely, nearby countries such as Iran objected to their hosting a "pride parade" such as Eurovision. To top it all off, while feuding neighbor and frequent Eurovision competitor Armenia had initially been willing to put their differences aside to compete in the spirit of the contest, anti-Armenian remarks made by the Azerbaijani president led them to withdraw out of fear for their safety. The political implications beneath Azerbaijan's hosting grew less and less subtle note  , and the previous year's host Anke Engelke, who returned to give the German votes, even found a way to subtly call them out for it.
    • The 2017 contest took a minute to get on its feet. The show returned to Ukraine for the first time in twelve years following Jamala's win in Stockholm, but the question about which venue would host the contest took months upon months to answer. The Ukrainian public broadcaster also wasn't swimming in dough, which made the question of financing the contest difficult to answer. While both of these issues were eventually sorted out, a bigger problem soon arose: between 2005 and 2017, tensions had built between Ukraine and Russia, largely due to the civil war in Crimea. Russia had selected Julia Samoylova, a singer in a wheelchair, as their 2017 hopeful, seen by many as a bit of a sympathy move. It was then discovered that Samoylova had visited Crimea in 2015, thereby preventing her from entering Ukraine. The two broadcasters and the EBU attempted to work out a deal that would've allowed Samoylova to perform (one idea was to lift the ban temporarily, another was to have her perform remotely, a Eurovision first), but no negotiation was settled on. Therefore, Russia withdrew, and Ukraine's preventing their performance was greeted with consternation from the other broadcasters. There was also the fact that the hosts barely spoke English, but that was the least of their problems.
    • The 2019 contest was hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel. While the show ultimately went off (pretty much) without a hitch, the run-up was the stuff of nightmares.
      • For starters, based on 2018 winner Netta's cheer of "Next year in Jerusalem!" as she took the trophy (meant mostly as a tongue-in-cheek reference to a Jewish saying spoken at the end of the Passover seder), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his loyalists immediately declared the 2019 contest would be held in Jerusalem, just as the previous two Eurovisions held in Israel were. This posed some immediate problems: Jerusalem didn't have a large enough indoor arena to host the contest, and contest rules forbade hosting outside for fear of inclement weather. The city isn't known for being particularly liberal, and concerns about observing the Jewish Sabbath when rehearsals needed to be held on Saturdays made rabbis immediately condemn hosting it there. But the biggest hiccup was Jerusalem's disputed status as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, which raised concerns for both tourists and broadcasters and made members of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement immediately condemn the event should it be held in Jerusalem. It was clear that hosting in Jerusalem would be seen as a power move to have it recognized as solely a part of Israel, and while we aren't gonna get into that, the political and logistical implications made it seem like a poor choice of host city. Tel Aviv, who initially hadn't even planned on bidding due to Jerusalem's ambitions seeming a done deal, readily took up the challenge, having a more suitable venue and liberal environment. Nevertheless...
      • ...by the time the host city situation had been sorted out, Israeli broadcaster Kan, who had to organize the contest, was dealing with their own problems. The channel had been at odds with Netanyahu since their inception, and while the PR goldmine that was Eurovision helped give them the upper hand, the government's stubborn initial refusal to provide funding assistance or pay the required down payment to the EBU on time led to tensions that nearly cost Israel the gig. They were eventually sorted out. Now, on to the show itself.
      • Tickets were priced extraordinarily high for all the shows, making initial attendance low until details were sorted out and prices were lowered. Delegations had a difficult time ironing out camera and technical issues until the last minute. And then, to top it all off: Madonna. Jewish-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams promised to foot the bill for the international pop star to perform as an interval act, and while that was settled, the fact that she didn't sign a contract with the EBU until she was in Israel (and once the live shows had begun!) complicated things. The performance then proved to be a letdown, with misguided political gestures and off-key singing.
      • While most of the contestants were just happy to be there and protests on-ground were minimal, Iceland's provocative electro-punk anti-capitalist BDSM group Hatari (y'know, like the millions of other such bands) had already been threatening to stir up trouble. This came to a head when they received their points in the final, at which point the group's two singers unfurled scarves with the Palestinian flag on them. This could result in the Icelandic broadcaster being fined, but time will tell.
      • Finally, Belarus' jury was dismissed prior to the final after revealing how they voted in the first semi-final, which goes against the rules. The EBU announced that their jury result would be from a combined aggregate vote from their fellow Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Russia). Somehow, these votes seemed to benefit several of the more poorly-scoring songs, including a 12 to host country Israel, who otherwise didn't score at all with the other juries. Belarus' organizer planned to sue the EBU, worried about the ramifications of not voting for near neighbor Russia as usual. As it turned out, the votes had been given backwards. The countries announced as scoring were, in fact, the aggregate vote's bottom ten. A corrected result was then released by the EBU, which resulted in North Macedonia winning the jury vote over Sweden, who had been announced as doing so in the live show. (It did not, however, affect the overall winner, who remained the Netherlands.)
  • Live Aid, the 1985 concert held in both Philadelphia and London simultaneously to raise awareness about poverty and hunger in Africa, was allegedly a living hell for all parties involved. Concert orchestrator Bob Geldof put many artists names on the program without even asking them. This lead to many artists who were busy to shift around their plans or else they would look like a terrible person for not showing up. Equipment issues were abound on both sets, with wiring and microphones going out left and right. Broadcasters struggled bouncing between the two concerts, with the complicated logistics leading to many popular artists not being aired on both MTV and other TV stations. MTV's own VJs also got a lot of flack for their lack of professionalism and were blamed for Paul McCartney's performance of "Hey Jude" getting cut short due to a broadcasting error. On top of that, the money that was raised was used by the rulers of the oppressed countries to further oppress the people in poverty. It's no surprise that its sequel concert in 2005, Live 8, focused more on not raising money, but instead, raising awareness and encouraging actual aid.
  • The 2018 European tour of the US indie rock band Threatin, fronted by one-time Abigail Williams bass player Jered "Threatin" Eames, has become almost as infamous as the Fyre Festival. The tour became known for concerts which had almost zero attendance, despite Jered assuring venues that the band had sold hundreds of tickets. As the story went viral, it was quickly revealed that Jered and his wife had set up phony record labels, production studios, management agencies, and booking companies; paid overseas click farms to give Jered thousands of "likes" on social media; and had failed to cover the living expenses for other members of the band (with a $300 food stipend quickly running out). Two members quit half-way through the tour when they realized what was going on, while a third was unable to afford a plane ticket home from the UK. Jered initially tried to pass off the disastrous tour as a piece of performance art before half-heartedly owning up to the fact it was a hoax. The former members of Threatin have tried to sue Jered and his wife, but the couple have seemingly gone on the run to avoid being served. Swindled has an episode dedicated to Threatin's catastrophic tour.
  • Patti Smith once opened for Bob Seger in 1977 in Tampa, Florida. What would have been an ordinary show for her was turned into a disaster due to an oversight from the crew. The band was not allowed to use Seger's lighting rigs, meaning Patti was not able to see where she was dancing. They also had very little room, leaving everything feeling cramped. Patti did a twirl and stepped onto a monitor that she couldn't see because it was painted black. She fell about 15 feet off the stage and broke her neck. She was rushed to the hospital via stretcher. Luckily she survived, but it left the already-volatile singer-songwriter even more so than before.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's concerts sometimes end up troublesome, partly due to his way of thinking big.
    • In 1981, after the fall of Mao Tse Tung, the People's Republic of China carefully began to open itself to the West after about two and a half decades of isolation. This included the first imports of Western music since The ’50s, but Chinese authorities found most genres too decadent and feared that music with lyrics (in whichever language) would give the people bad ideas, so the music had to be instrumental and no rock, disco etc. The British Embassy recommended Jarre to them and even imported and distributed several thousand copies of Oxygène and Equinoxe. Eventually, after introducing pre-recorded contemporary Western music to the Chinese, they should also behold such music being performed live. Easier said than done in a country where nothing even remotely like this had ever been done before.
      • Jarre had only played one single electronic concert so far, a show on the Place de la Concorde in Paris on Bastille Day 1979 which attracted more than a million spectators. These shows had to be carried out quite differently, however. Jarre didn't want to repeat the hassle he had with the complex remote-controlling of his instruments that was necessary for him to play everything himself as a solo artist, but he also didn't have any experience with fully electronic bands, and he needed one of these.
      • Jarre had to haul every last piece of technical equipment for these concerts from France to China where nothing like it was available at the time, including quite a number of electronic instruments and the entire PA system.
      • Never before had live music been electronically amplified in China. Even Rock And Roll hadn't appeared there. The Chinese had never heard music that loud, and Jarre and his team feared that they wouldn't take it kindly. These fears turned out unnecessary: The audiences went completely wild.
      • The two concerts in Beijing had some trouble with electricity. The concert venue was surrounded by residential areas, and the electric grid simply wasn't as powerful as necessary. This hadn't mattered before because nothing had ever been performed there that had required significant amounts of electricity, but now came Jarre with dozens of synths and amplifiers and speakers and a massive light show and Frickin' Laser Beams and whatnot. In order to prevent brownouts during the shows, the city quarters around the venue were cut from electricity before the concerts. Maybe Jarre didn't know that until much later, because he also told a story not too long after the concerts about a missing power supply cable that wasn't found until two hours before the first show.
      • The audience at the first Beijing concert consisted only of political and military officials who didn't do more than take notice of the show and clap because they had to out of politeness. Why was the working class absent? Jarre and his team found out the next day: The tickets were more than dirt cheap for European standards, but they were still unobtainable for the Chinese people. So they spent what amounted to a few hundred dollars, bought up all the tickets for the second Beijing show and gave them away for free.
      • The concerts were recorded for the eventual release of a live album. However, the sound quality wasn't quite satisfying in parts. So Jarre had to "remix" the recordings using the original album recordings and material re-recorded in the studio for this purpose since he already wanted to add another song to the album tracklist, "Souvenir Of China". For example, Dominique Perrier's famous synth solo on "Magnetic Fields 2" is a studio recording.
      • The live recordings of Roger Rizzitelli's massive Simmons SDS V kit must have been good enough for the album; the mic'd hi-hat and cymbals—not so much. This might explain why the album lacks both hi-hat and cymbals whenever no drum machine was involved: The drums weren't redone in the studio.
    • Rendez-vous Houston, April 5th, 1986, celebrating the 150th anniversaries of Houston and Texas and the 25th anniversary of NASA. It became the biggest concert in the history of music in several regards, also to the sheer size of its light show, and Jarre broke his own record for the biggest live concert audience ever with it, but it was troublesome. Okay, where to start?
      • First of all, nobody had ever attempted to do anything like this at this size ever before, not only illuminating almost entire skyscrapers, but also projecting images and films on them.
      • Jarre wanted fireworks. He had them at his debut concert in Paris already. Now, fireworks were banned in Texas, but Jarre insisted in having them. So he needed firefighters on standby for a threat that they weren't trained for. It made matters even more difficult that the fireworks were launched from skyscraper roofs.
      • In late January, the Challenger disaster happened. At first, it seemed like early April, a good two months later, would be Too Soon for NASA to celebrate anything, and Jarre was on the brink of cancelling the show. But NASA people and the family of Ron McNair, who was planned to play his saxophone aboard Challenger transmitted live to the concert, convinced Jarre that his concert may as well serve as a memorial.
      • Speaking of Ron McNair, he should have recorded the same piece of music earlier for Jarre's new album Rendez-vous, thereby playing the first piece of music ever recorded in space. Neither were possible anymore. On the album, he was replaced with Pierre Gossez, and his concert replacement was Kirk Whalum.
      • As with all of Jarre's large-scale outdoor concerts, traffic became troublesome around the event. Nobody could even estimate how large an audience Jarre would attract. By and by, over 1.5 million people came to find places from where to see the show, even if they were so far away that they could only hear the actual audio on the radio instead of from the PA system. Hours before the concert, several freeways had to be closed by the police because they were clogged. Many people actually watched the concert from their cars still standing on the freeways or from atop freeway signs. The situation worsened after the concert was over: Everybody wanted to go home at the same time, causing all road traffic in Houston to collapse.
    • After the experiences with Rendez-vous Houston and Rendez-vous Lyon in 1986, Destination Docklands was planned as the be-all, end-all mega-concert with a live audience of up to four million people, including several ten thousand seated with paid tickets, and scheduled to happen at London's Queen Victoria Docks on September 24th, 1988. Mind you, that was before the Docklands were converted into a new city quarter—or rather when the first phase of this transformation had just started, namely the demolition of the old harbor buildings.
      Now, that wasn't the main problem Destination Docklands had. It was the weather. Heavy rain and storm were announced for that 24th of September, so the show had to be delayed, and the plans regarding the audience were changed. The concert was eventually played twice, on October 8th and 9th. But even these two days brought lots of rain with them which wasn't exactly kind to all those electronic instruments on the floating stage. It was a good thing that the gig was backed with the studio recordings again because there wasn't much that the musicians could do with most of the electronic instruments out cold (and wet).
      The floating stage was mounted on top of a number of barges that had been transferred to London from Oop North and welded together. Originally, this stage construction was to span the entire width of the Thames like a floating bridge. But the severe English autumn weather made this plan too hazardous to carry out. Even the 120-piece choir, otherwise fully dressed in white like at earlier and later Jarre concerts, left their orange life jackets on while on stage and exposed to the weather.
    • And then there was (or rather wasn't) the 1991 concert in Teotihuacan during the solar eclipse, the first one which Jarre had to cancel altogether on short notice. A custom-made stage would have been part of the show, brought over to Mexico all the way from Europe. The show had to be cancelled because the ship with the stage aboard sank in the Atlantic, and Jarre couldn't get a local-made replacement.
    • The 1993 Europe In Concert tour had its own shares of trouble.
      • The first gig was at Mont St. Michel, itself a gorgeous location for a Jarre-style outdoor concert. However, it's a rather remote place, connected only via rural streets and a rather narrow bridge. Even though tickets were needed for the tour concerts, the sheer number of spectators was too much for the traffic infrastructure, and especially the bridge was a bottleneck. Not few people who had tickets couldn't get to the show at all.
      • The concert in Madrid fell victim to the weather on the very day that it should have happened. Rain had soaked and softened the ground at the concert location so much that the gigantic and heavy stage with its enormous projection screens mounted at the back had already begun to sink into the mud.
    • Oxygen In Moscow, Jarre's 1997 concert for the 850th anniversary of the Russian capital in front of the gigantic Moscow State University, did go ahead, and Jarre broke his own audience record for the third time in a row, a record that he still holds. But staging such a concert in Russia less than six years after the end of the Soviet Union, during the Yeltsin era, and when the city was so busy preparing the anniversary celebrations that it was difficult to get anything that you hadn't brought along yourself, turned out so difficult that it bordered on impossible. For example, the illumination of the Moscow State University and the skytrackers had to be lifted onto the building, and the best way of doing that was with a helicopter. But trying to get one on that weekend was hit-and-miss to say the least. At least the over 3.5 million spectators didn't cause traffic congestions. The show could be viewed live from most of the city due to its site being on top of Vorobiovy Hills, and everyone was either out on the streets anyway, celebrating the anniversary and continuing to do so after the show, or simply watched the concert from at home.
    • For the alleged turn-of-the-millennium night, Jarre got offers from big cities around the world who wanted to outshine each other with bigger and more spectacular lightshows and fireworks than all other places, and the sure-fire way to achieve that was a Jarre concert. The man turned them all down and opted for the Pyramids of Giza instead. Now, you can probably imagine that playing a large-scale electronic concert in such a place is everything but easy.
      • Jarre's set-list included his audience favorite "Revolution, Revolutions", but he had to change both the lyrics and the title because the word "revolution" was banned in Egypt. A couple years later, it became clear why.
      • The set-list itself had to be changed spontaneously because the record player on which Jarre wanted to play a record by the very famous Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum (whom Jarre wanted to marry when he was a kid) didn't work at first.
      • Worse yet: Not long after the three-hour main concert had started, the venue was covered in increasingly thick fog. Even for those in the front row (whatever that meant at a Jarre concert), the pyramids were invisible, and nobody could watch the projections on the ancient structure and the fireworks anymore. It's supposed that the masses of electronic machinery, especially the PA amplification, heated up the desert ground so much that it was the concert itself that caused the fog.
      • All this makes clear how overambitious earlier plans were to place a gold cap on top of the Cheops pyramid with a helicopter during the concert.
    • Jarre's major concert of 2002 was Aero, a one-off gig in a Danish windmill park. The location was very remote, and between the venue itself and the nearest local road, nothing was paved, so apart from a few paths, all ground from the audience area to the "parking lot" was agricultural soil. And it rained again. Both the day before and the day after were sunny and dry, but on this very day, it had to rain. This time, the stage was prepared for rain, it was significantly smaller and more lightweight than that at the Europe In Concert tour, and there were transparent tents that kept the rain away from the instruments. Everything else—wasn't. The rainiest Roskilde Festival was harmless in comparison to the mud that the Aero audience was standing in. Lots of cars got stuck in the mud when people wanted to leave after the show, and that was in rural Denmark in the middle of the night, so getting help (farmers with tractors to pull everyone's cars out of the mud) was difficult. At least, this stretched people's departures enough to keep the small roads from clogging entirely.
  • Continuing a trend, Woodstock 50, scheduled for August 2019, had a lot of issues, and it never even happened. A complete post-mortem can be found here, but some of the finer details:
    • To start, there was trouble with their selected location of the Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York. Permits were not filed on schedule, and there was some doubt about whether the space even could hold as many people as they were hoping to attract. (In fact, multiple attempts were made to convince Woodstock Ventures partner Michael Lang to choose a different place or at least cut max attendance, but he was set.) End result: ticket sales were postponed indefinitely.
    • Then Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the investors, announced that the festival was canceled—a statement which was contradicted by festival management. To say this left things in a state of extreme confusion is a massive understatement, because Dentsu Aegis pulling out might actually have voided the contracts of every artist slated to appear. Agencies ended up making the choices individually.
    • Festival management accused Dentsu Aegis of misappropriating funds and sued them. Dentsu Aegis accused them of doing the same thing and sued back. Oh, and Woodstock 50 almost lost the legal rights to call itself Woodstock anything. In the end the festival got to keep the name and the money, but...
    • Watkins Glen withdrew approval for all of their permits due to Woodstock 50's failure to pay up. The festival attempted to move to Vernon, NY, but local officials had grave concerns about the event, not least because to work around the limitations of the new venue (no campgrounds), they'd have to significantly change the structure of the festival, and there wasn't enough time to do it correctly. Eventually it was decided that Woodstock 50 could only proceed in Vernon if they were willing to postpone a year to prepare. When festival management said they weren't willing to delay, Vernon decided Woodstock couldn't be held there ever.
    • The festival was then moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion, a popular concert venue in Maryland. For a few days, it looked like the event would happen after all, but then it all fell apart. First, the festival was turned into a free event intended to raise donations for charities. Then, because The Smashing Pumpkins had already scheduled a concert at the pavilion for that weekend, the festival was reduced from three days to just one.
    • The artists on the lineup became annoyed about the move to Maryland; Some of them had already planned concerts in that area around that weekend, and the festival now violated the radius clause for those shows. Other artists had planned shows in upstate New York before and after Woodstock 50, and would have to fly to Maryland between shows to appear at the fesitval. The festival released all the artists from their contracts, but encouraged them to show up anyway. Several headliners, including Jay-Z, Dead & Company, John Fogerty and Miley Cyrus, canceled their appearances in the days following the move. Only The Zombies publicly confirmed they would still perform.
    • Finally, just a few days after the move to Merriweather Post, and with artists bailing on the festival, Woodstock 50 was canceled on July 31. That was just three weeks before the festival was supposed to take place. In all the time that Woodstock was tangled in production trouble, no tickets were ever sold and no preparations had been made at any of the venues.
  • Black Flag was notorious for troubled shows all throughout their career. Fights frequently broke out in the audience, they found themselves frequently banned for the aggressiveness of their music, and police always showed up and harassed the band and audience. Towards the end, the band started getting irritated by vocalist Henry Rollins' big headedness and guitarist Gregg Ginn's workaholism. However, two particular tours make those ordeals seem like jokes in comparison.
    • First was their December 1981 UK Tour. Shows were constantly interrupted by massive fights started by rival punk bands. During one show, guitarist Greg Ginn had a bullet thrown at his head, which caused him retaliate by throwing a folding chair into the audience. The freezing cold weather caused the under-prepared band to struggle through their shows. As if that wasn't bad enough, they even missed their flight home. The tour proved to be a massive success, though, as it increased the band's influence onto a national scale.
    • Then we have their 1983 European Tour with Minutemen. Vocalist Henry Rollins started getting irritated with Minutemen vocalist/ bassist Mike Watts, causing arguments between the two in and outside of the van. At a German show, Rollins bit an audience member in the mouth by accident, getting blood all over his face. Another show in Vienna involved Rollins sustaining several injuries. He got burned in the leg by a cigar, spat on by several fans, and bashed in the jaw with a microphone. The bouncers were also getting rowdy, harassing a stage diver. Rollins tried to stop the harassment and got punched in the jaw by the stage diver. The police were called, and the audience killed the police dog on duty. In one show in England, Rollins beat a fan who was pestering the band, causing Ginn to give Rollins grief for it for years. In another Italian show, they pulled up to the club and a bunch of Italian fans surrounded the truck and started trying to tip it. The band escaped the van, but were bombarded by the punks, who hugged and kissed them and shoved presents in their faces.
  • Speaking of Minutemen, their 1984 tour with R.E.M. was described as "rough" by bassist/ vocalist Mike Watts. According to Watts, anyone outside of R.E.M. was hostile towards them. Most of the tour crew didn't understand what the band was doing. They were also put off by D. Boon's odd decision to dress like Fidel Castro for some of the shows. R.E.M.'s label I.R.S. refused to advertise Minutemen on the posters for the tour, leaving many fans to be unaware that they were even touring. In a few shows, one of the crew members put a line of gaffing tape and wrote "geek line" on it, forbidding the band to cross. Watt got an extremely bad case of food poisoning, leaving him sick for days and soiling his pants. Despite these problems, it was one of Minutemen's most successful tours, helping gain them an audience they never had.
  • Minor Threat, as mild mannered as the band was, faced extremely troubled shows. They faced the usual problem of rowdy punk fans starting fights, but they also had to deal with the difficulty of dedicating themselves to all ages venues and being mocked for vocalist Ian Mac Kaye's straight edge lifestyle. On the road to Canada they were once stopped by border patrol, thinking they were smuggling drugs, only find boxes of over 800 packages of bubblegum. They also struggled to feed themselves. It was one of the many factors that led to the band's demise.
  • Fugazi's first European Tour was extremely stressful. Frontman Ian Mac Kaye decided to tour the band without recording an album first as to avoid bouncing off of his old band, Minor Threat's fame. This lead to many venues being apprehensive to book them due to them having full length releases. The band was unprepared for the constantly changing cultures, food, and currency. The most stressful part was the places they had to sleep. In many cases, they would be sleeping in the dressing room just feet away from the stage they just played. Most of the time these places were unclean and didn't have any comfortable arrangements for the band to do anything as simple as use the restroom. Rats were rampant and the beds were dirty to the point where even their sleeping bags would get filthy just touching them. Luckily, it helped make the band even more famous when they finally did make their debut album and it helped Mac Kaye separate himself from Minor Threat.
  • Grunge originators, Green River went on a tour in October of 1985 that was rife with drama:
    • The band became known for their rock star antics even though they hadn't earned the right to act as such. They engaged in reckless behavior, making bafoons of themselves.
    • The band's "bus", which consisted of a truck cheaply rigged up to a trailer, proved to be uncomfortable and dangerous to drive.
    • At one show in Newport, Kentucky, where they opened for Big Black the power cut out before they even started. Even though it was just a fuse that went out, vocalist Mark Arm thought it was an attempt to sabotage their shows set up by the club because they were not able to draw as big of a crowd as Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were just playing across town. Arm then violently threw the microphone into the audience, prompting Big Black's vocalist Steve Albini to tell them to leave.
    • When they played in Detroit, bassist Jeff Ament wore a pink shirt that caught the negative attention of a female audience member who kept spitting at him. Ament put his foot at her face in an attempt to get her to stop. This caused her boyfriend to yank Ament by the leg into the audience and the boyfriend beat Ament. Arm then jumped in to get Ament out, which caused Arm to get beaten himself.
    • They were supposed to open for famed British punk band The U.K. Subs in Boston to close out the tour. When they arrived, though, they discovered that the Subs didn't make it into the country, meaning the show was cancelled. Luckily their bookie successfully booked them to play at CBGB's in New York City the next night.
    • On their way back to Seattle, the band's "bus" ended up veering into a ditch. Allegedly, guitarist Stone Gossard was talking about lighting his own farts on fire, he attempted it and the sudden ignition of fire startled Arm, who was behind the wheel. Arm denies this happened. Luckily the band survived, but it shook them up.
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    Record labels 
  • The short-lived Nashville branch of Polydor Records was an example. When Mercury Records decided to establish Polydor Nashville in 1994, they moved Toby Keith, Davis Daniel, and the Moffatts over from Mercury's Nashville division, with Keith serving as the flagship artist. Rounding out the roster were 4 Runner, Chely Wright, Amie Comeaux, Mark Luna, Shane Sutton, Tasha Harris, and Clinton Gregory.
    The only other Polydor act besides Keith to ever crack Top 40 was 4 Runner with their debut single "Cain's Blood". In addition, Daniel's second album was delayed from a 1993 release and renamed so that it could be issued on Polydor instead, which drained the momentum that he had from the albums he had issued while still on Mercury proper. Due to its weak performance in 1995, the label was reflagged as A&M Nashville in early 1996. This didn't work either, as label head Harold Shedd (also Keith's producer at the time) and vice president/general manager Steve Miller (not the same person from the Steve Miller Band) stepped down, leaving A&M Nashville without any guidance before it abruptly closed in mid-1996. Due to the abrupt closure, 4 Runner's second album was never released despite having a single on the charts at the time (not helping matters was the fact that one of their members had just quit), while neither Luna nor Harris even got so far as releasing a single. Surprisingly, Keith's third album Blue Moon was unaffected: despite being split among three labels (Polydor issued the first single, A&M handled the second single and album itself, and Mercury took back over for the third), the album still sold platinum and all three singles hit Top 10 on the country charts.
    Besides Keith, the only other Polydor/A&M Nashville acts who didn't disappear entirely were Wright (who went on to have a few hits on MCA later in the decade) and the Moffatts (who had a few pop hits on Capitol Records in their native Canada), while Comeaux died in a car accident before she could sign to another label. A 1996 article in Billboard pointed out that the failure of Polydor/A&M Nashville was due to Keith not yet being strong enough to serve as a flagship artist, combined with a surplus of new upstart labels that left too few people qualified for executive and promotional roles.

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