When Mariah Carey isn't hanging with her kids and hubby Nick Cannon or beefing…
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Before he became the patron saint of Adult Contemporary Radio, Joel made one of heavy metal's most forgettable albums as one half of the organ-and-drums duo Attila. The band's sole release from 1970, a perennial on lists of the worst records ever released, is a monstrous slab of distorted proto-metal noise that Joel himself describes as "psychedelic bulls---." Best of all, the album cover features the stoned-looking duo dressed as Huns, surrounded by meat hooks and sides of beef.
The future Mrs. Russell Brand, the woman who gave the world dirty-mouthed hits like 'UR So Gay' and 'I Kissed a Girl,' could once have been described as "wholesome." Yes, believe it or not, catty bad girl Katy Perry was once angelic Christian recording artist Katy Hudson. Released in 2001 (when she was only 16 years old), her self-titled gospel-rock debut made exactly zero references to masturbation, bi-curious make-out sessions or waking up in Las Vegas.
Little Björk Guðmundsdóttir was something of a musical prodigy, and by the age of 11 she was already embracing the unique musical stylings that would become her trademark. But "unique" music made by a prepubescent Icelandic girl in 1977 isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea; her stepfather-produced debut album, 'Björk,' is a Muppets-on-acid mix of disco, cute singing, sitars and extended flute solos (played by Björk herself). On second thought, maybe it's not that different from her recent stuff.
As co-frontmen of the Cars, Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr embodied the sunglasses-and-skinny-ties cool of the burgeoning New Wave movement. As two-thirds of the soft-folk band Milkwood, they did not. Shockingly, the trio's 1973 album 'How's the Weather,' an uninspired hash of Crosby, Stills & Nash–style harmonies and questionable mustaches, failed to resonate with even the most depressed hippies.
In the late '90s, long before the Bravery, Sam Endicott and John Conway, a pair of starry-eyed innocents at Vassar College, spent their days kicking Hacky Sacks in the quad and playing in the ska outfit Skabba the Hutt. But like so many impressionable youths, the two got pulled into a seedy world of angular haircuts and eyeliner abuse, and they soon turned their backs on horn sections and 'Star Wars'-related puns in favor of danceable New Wave revivalism.
Morissette's confessional lyrics and edgy, guitar-driven sound made her a fixture of post-grunge rock radio. So isn't it ironic that in the early 1990s this jagged little pill was the Canadian Debbie Gibson? Thanks to a pair of dance-pop albums that made a huge splash in her native Great White North, the shoulder-pad-wearing sensation known simply as "Alanis" even landed a spot opening for none other than Vanilla Ice.
Amos' music is many things -- complicated, challenging, thought- provoking -- and yet her first band, Y Kant Tori Read, is the exact opposite of those things. Her group's ill-fated 1987 self-titled debut, a hot mess where she awkwardly sports Pat Benatar's leftover pirate-sleeve blouses and some cheesy dance beats that would make Taylor Dayne blush, could have been called "Y Kant Tori Stop Wearing Leather Pants?"
Head-banging industrial-music icon Al Jourgensen likes to blame his former record company for the frilly, faux-British synth-pop of Ministry's 1983 debut album, 'With Sympathy,' but it's hard to imagine some record exec in a suit putting a gun to Jourgensen's head and forcing him to sing like a 14-year-old girl. "I just disregard that record," he says of his dark little secret. "I don't consider it part of my catalog whatsoever."
The fiery rocker who gave the world Rainbow, Dio and the devil horns salute didn't always worship at the unholy altar of metal. In fact, the heir to Ozzy's Black Sabbath throne got his start vocalizing with 1950's doo-wop group the Vegas Kings and, later, as lead singer of Ronnie and the Red Caps, who released the not-so-Satanic 1960 single 'An Angel Is Missing.'
Is it possible that the pin-up queen of the New York punk scene was once wrapped in the flowing, patchouli-scented scarves of hippiedom? Yes, years before she helped put CBGB on the map as the face and voice of Blondie, Harry was in this totally groovy band called the Wind in the Willows (and as a sign of how far removed she was from Blondie at the time, she was actually a brunette). They released one far-out self-titled album in 1968, but the world just wasn't ready for their consciousness-raising mellow vibes.
If Nine Inch Nails were an iconic '90s band, in hindsight the 1980s weren't especially kind to its leader. As lead singer of a New Wave band called Option 30, Reznor covered the Police, the Thompson Twins and 'Der Kommissar.' Then he joined synth-poppers the Exotic Birds, who opened for the Eurythmics and Culture Club. That may have been a high-water mark for the group, but for Reznor it was the end of a downward spiral.
Before becoming kings of hardcore thrash in the 1990s, the Texas-bred metal band had some of the biggest hair this side of Sideshow Bob. Raised during the heyday of glam metal, Pantera were already headed toward a heavier sound by the time of vocalist Phil Anselmo's arrival in 1987. He, too, though, was apparently taking personal grooming cues from Tina Turner at the time.