First things first: I had a lot of questions about this article, about why I didn’t include one thing or another, or why I didn’t choose this song for the modern comparison instead of this other one. The truth is, a lot goes on behind the scenes of a Cracked article that you don’t see. The editorial team and the writer(s) involved (in this case, myself) spend a lot of time picking and choosing what does and doesn’t make it into the articles, and the final decision lies with the editors at all times. They’re the guys who know what works and what doesn’t because their job depends on it. Cracked didn’t get where it is now by making arbitrary decisions about what will and won’t work on the front page. Everything is carefully crafted to be funny, informative, and interesting. Keeping people’s interest is one of the most important things an article needs to do.
So, if I could have used Throbbing Gristle or Einsturzende Neubauten for my comparison on Caledonia, I would have. (I actually really wanted to use Skinny Puppy’s Dig It.) In the end, though, the editors wanted me to stick to popular bands so that the majority of readers had a hook to get them interested, and truth be told, Nine Inch Nails is just far more familiar to most people than any of those other bands. It’s not a perfect match, but I think most people got the point. I hope so, anyway.
That said, these are the songs that didn’t make the cut. I’m not going to do the whole comparison thing here. I’ll just show them off for the folks who are interested in seeing what got left in the editing process.
(Also, I turned on the option for people to ask me questions because I just figured out where it was. Hooray!)
Los Saicos – El entierro de los gatos (1965)
This was my favorite of the ones we cut. Peruvian punk rock from 1965. Yeah, it’s not fantastic or anything, but still pretty cool to see where garage rock started to turn into punk.
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup – That’s All Right (1946)
This one came from an article I found where a music historian declared it to be the first true rock ‘n’ roll song. The thing I thought was interesting was that Elvis’s first single was a cover of this song recorded eight years later, and he barely changed a thing.
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell On You (1956)
Hawkins really had his own thing going on in the 50s and 60s, and he was amazing to watch. Long before there was even such a thing as shock rock, this guy was doing faux-voodoo rituals and wearing insane costumes. (Arthur Brown had a really theatrical flair, as well. Check out this song of his from 1968.)
Stevie Wonder – Close To You (1972)
It’s 1972, and Stevie Wonder just pulled out some motherfucking autotune on The David Frost Show. I thought this one was funny, but it just wasn’t strong enough to stand as its own entry.
Jacula – Triumphatus Sad (1969)
This was the song that inspired me to do the article. Someone linked it in a thread on Cracked’s forums and set me off finding others like it. This one had a few problems with authenticity, though. There’s some controversy over whether or not it’s real or a re-recording with modern instruments. Some people have said that you couldn’t get that sound out of a guitar in 1969. Originally, this song was going to be used to illustrate that loud, crunchy guitars weren’t necessarily out of the question for the 60s, but the editors weren’t happy with the possibility of it being a hoax. So, when it died on the vine, Francoise Hardy took its place.
I hope everyone enjoyed the article and these leftovers. I’ve got two more collaborations with Max Yezpitelok in the pipeline (And, as always, we have plans for more in the near future.)
I also have a collaboration with Pauli Poisuo on the way that I suspect my long-term readers will really love. (That should be a big hint regarding the subject matter.)