Anniversaries

10 Albums by Famous Bands Who Were Starting to Hate Fame

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John revealed he harbored the same inferiority complex as the on-screen Ringo, and his version of "parading" is much like Ringo's: "There's nothing for me here, so I will disappear." Even chipper Paul was found complaining about his girlfriend on "What You're Doing." With no rest or time for Lennon and McCartney to come up with a full album of originals, poor Ringo and George were just given a pair of Carl Perkins songs to provide the album's comic relief.

Although no one realized it at the time, The Beatles had again invented another genre, the disaffected-pop-star-who's-just-about-had-enough album. Here are some notable examples of people following the World's Most Popular Foursome's lead.

1. Elvis for Everyone! (1965)

No despondency here, at least on the surface. Naming an album Beatles for Sale is one thing, but putting the King of Rock 'n' Roll by a cash register with the RCA mascot Nipper keeping a watchful eye on the till and its biggest cash cow seems like the most pronounced answer to human servitude ever expressed on an album cover. And that includes any Ohio Players album where they shackle that bald chick in chains. Only the King's crooked manager Colonel Tom Parker could have dreamed up such a morally bankrupt premise for an album as this and then install his smiling robot of a client on the cover to make it look like it's Elvis' idea.

Like the Beatles, Elvis' schedule was incredibly busy, but in this case he was occupied with making horrific movies with even worse soundtracks. With little time to go into a recording studio and produce a brand new studio album to commemorate his 10th year with RCA Victor, this long player was cobbled together with, among other things, rejected songs from Flaming Star, Follow that Dream and Viva Las Vegas. The Beatles had changed the world of popular music by 1965, but Elvis people weren't listening, were they? Surely they wanted to hear Elvis tackling "Santa Lucia," didn't they? Elvis For Everyone marked the rot setting in on the Colonel's punishing release schedule, resulting in the first Elvis album of his career not to go gold during its decade of issue.

2. The Rolling Stones - Between the Buttons (1967)

In direct opposition to Lennon's claim that anything the Beatles did, the Stones did three months later, it was almost three years before they parked their weary faces into a park-lined still-life photo shoot. To make them look even more tired, photographer Gered Mankowitz scheduled the shoot at 5:30 in the morning following an all-night recording session to capture them looking, well, "stoned." He succeeded beautifully. In Brian Jones' case, he succeeded in getting that death-warmed-over look people attributed to Keith Richards at least two years before Keith's skin came in contact with a needle tip. There isn't a still from this entire shoot where Brian doesn't look like an insomniac troll gone to seed. Or as Rolling Stones biographer David Dalton put it, "a doomed Albino raccoon."

And while the group had been cynical about fame and its trappings since "Satisfaction," this album captures them just at the point where drug busts and annoying rich people infiltrating the discoteque crowd were becoming major annoyances. And Keith, on his first prominent lead vocal for "Connection," complained "The bags, they get a very close inspection." He was of course referring to the luggage in customs and not the bags under Brian Jones' eyes.

3. The Monkees - Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. (1967)

The band that outsold both the Beatles and The Stones combined in 1967 began to show the strain of being for sale around the clock by the Summer of Love. Too busy to even pose in a park, a faceless cartoon of the foursome was featured here, with the familiar logo buried inside a field of water colored flowers, as if to prove they too are getting sick of Monkee'ing around. Like the big boys, the Monkees first let on here that they too were in close contact with drug peddlers ("Salesman," "Daily Nightly") and groupies ("Star Collector"). The flower power partnership hinted at in the album's title will fracture within a year of this album's release with the cancellation of the show, the box office bomb their feature film Head turned out to be and the departure of Peter Tork, the one guy who wanted them to be a real band. That of course meant breaking up. And breaking down.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic