When I heard Ke$ha's "Your Love is My Drug" on the radio the other day, aside from making remarks about how sloppy she is, I couldn't help but mention to my friend that I thought the song was terrible.
I was thrilled that the song was nearly over until Ke$ha struck a chord with one of my old pet peeves: laughter in recorded songs.
At the end of the song during a spoken segment, she gets all giggly about some guy whose beard she likes. What the hell is so funny? I've never understood what anyone was truly laughing at when they were in the recording booth. Was someone making funny faces at them on the other side of the glass? Sure, it looks cool for an artist to be having fun in their music videos, but it must be somewhat awkward to laugh during your own song when you're in the studio. I don't mean to sound like a funsucker, but keep a straight face and get it together, guys! Ke$ha's not the only one who couldn't control her laughter. In no particular order, here are seven more instances of unnecessary recorded laughter.
Beastie Boys in "Heart Attack Man" (0:03): One of the guys completely loses it for the first 20 seconds of the song. It's amusing to an extent since he sounds like he's stoned, but it's still pretty obnoxious. I would have preferred a more clean cut version of the song. "Heart Attack Man" is the perfect example of what multiple takes in the recording process are for.
Puff Daddy in "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G. (1:21): Puffy lets out a quiet pompous laugh when Biggie says, "Girls walk to us, wanna do us, screw us. Who, us? Yeah, Poppa and Puff." No need to be arrogant about getting laid more than most other guys at the time, Puffy.
Andre 3000 in "Ain't No Thang" by Outkast (3:40): Andre 3000 is reminiscing about good times he had at a party in this verse. Andre 3000 has always been known as a smooth operator in my book, and in this song, he's laughing about the tricks he has up his sleeve.
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David Bowie in "The Laughing Gnome" (2:30): Bowie and a gnome character (a sped-up version of Bowie's voice) let out a whole lot of artificial laughter throughout the song. At one point, though, Bowie breaks out into genuine laughter, probably out of enjoying the recording process before the song becomes a flop.
Jennifer Lopez in "Jenny From the Block" (1:59): Lopez is actually singing about laughter in this instance, which makes her seem slightly less ridiculous. She sings, "I'm in control and loving it, rumors got me laughing, kid." It's another subtle case of vanity, just like Puff Daddy.
50 Cent in "In Da Club" (3:28): At this point in his career, 50 Cent was at the start of his pretentious period since he was at the start of his success. He lets out a self-important laugh and says, "Don't try to act like you don't know where we be." Sorry, Fitty, but that doesn't encourage me to take you seriously.
Joni Mitchell in "Big Yellow Taxi" (2:11): I saved the funniest laugh for the last spot on the list. Before she smoked her lungs out, she had a lovely somewhat high-pitched voice. So naturally, her laugh sounded cute. In "Big Yellow Taxi," she expresses amusement at the low voice in which she had just jokingly sang. Her laugh actually sounds like she was having fun in the recording booth, rather than trying to sound cool.