"Hits" added to an album by Record Company Request

After reading the obscure songs that could be hits thread today, I started thinking about the stories you hear of record companies rejecting albums and asking for a hit or single. So this thread is to discuss those situations , if the song was a hit ,did the song add or take away from the album.

I’ll start , Mr E’s Beautiful Blues , E battled against this so much, the compromise was to add it as a hidden track at the end of the album. I’m kinda on team Record Execs here, this just has such a commercial sound, was a pretty big hit by Eels standards. I’d even say the upbeat feel of the song fits in pretty nice with Daiseys of the Galaxy.


Added to Angel Dust.

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I can’t find anything online but I definitely read an article stating Elbow’s ‘One Day Like This’ was a deliberate attempt to write a single at the record company’s insistence.

90’s indie band kingmaker were told to go and write 6 new, more commercial, songs for their 2nd album ‘Sleepwalking’ after the record company knocked it back in its original form. This was one of them…

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Deftones’ Back to School (Mini Maggit) was added at the start of White Pony.

From Wikipedia:

Vocalist Chino Moreno has said, “This album right here [the White Pony re-release] is not the album that we turned in to the label. As far as we’re concerned, the first edition was the record. Done. Then, they talked us into re-releasing it with another song on it, and it’s not like I’m against the song or whatever, but I liked the sequence we had when we first turned it in. When this version came out, a little part inside all of us felt like: ‘Fuck! We just totally compromised.’ And I know that a lot of our fans felt bad about it too.”[5]

The band also specifically regretted the presence of “Back to School” on the re-release of the album, as Moreno stated in an interview with German rock magazine Visions : “‘Back to School’ was a mistake. A calculated song, that had been built up with only one aim in mind: It should be a single. … ‘Back to School’ was released because I was an idiot. I wanted to prove something [to the record company]. Months later, after White Pony was released, they wanted us to do a new version of “Pink Maggit”. They said we lost our heaviness, and there were no more singles on the album. First, I wanted to stick this idea up my ass, but then I thought: ‘I’m gonna show those fuckers how easy it is to create a hit-single.’ And so I rapped a hip hop part on that song, we shortened it and half an hour later, the hit-single was ready to roll on.”[6]


If I’m remembering correctly from Jeff Tweedy’s book, Can’t Stand It was added as the opener to Summerteeth at the request of the label.


I’m one of the rare people on the fence about Back to School. Lyrically it absolutely does not fit, and the rap-rock is completely out of place too. Musically though I think it’s great and a more effective album opener than Feiticeira, both due to the atmosphere it establishes and because it bookends the album with Pink Maggit.

Somewhat similarly, I think Can’t Stand It is a better album opener than She’s a Jar. The latter feels like it would start things off too abruptly.


Remember reading that after Springsteen had written and recorded dozens of tracks for what would become Born in The USA and sequenced a tracklist, Jon Landau told him it was missing a single. Bruce replied with words to the affect of “You want a hit, you f****** write one!” Springsteen went away that night and wrote Dancing In The Dark. Rest is history.


Works well as a kind of bridge between Around the Fur and White Pony (even though it came out after WP)

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Just started reading his book ,I’ll see if he talks about this. As for go away and write a hit and he comes back next day with dancing in the dark. Dam that’s writing a hit.

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Here’s an interesting one. Let Me Give the World to You was added to The Smashing Pumpkins’ Adore by the record company against the wishes of Billy Corgan. Then they pushed to make it the lead single, so he pulled it entirely from the album at the last second in order to stop that from happening.

Here’s the version that would have been on Adore:

It’s a great song that would have been an excellent single for a different album, but Billy was 100% right. It wouldn’t have fit in with Adore whatsoever, and as the album closer it would have completely undone everything that the Shame - Behold! The Nightmare - For Martha - Blank Page sequence had established.


Wasn’t “Sit Down” added to the James album that was already out without it on?

I may be paraphrasing slightly but there was certainly a quick turnaround. If it’s his autobiography you’re reading then :+1:

Never heard that before! Really nice.

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This wasn’t on the original version of It’s A Shame About Ray.


Yes,the Gold Mother album, ,lose control was added later as well .

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This Charming Man added to The Smiths, How Soon is Now? added to Meat is Murder. Shudder.

How Soon Is Now isn’t on Meat Is Murder.