10 Disappointing Facts About Popular Music

Warning: this could be the saddest post this year. We round up the most disappointing facts about popular music.

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Rock music has had plenty of major hits over modern history, and a good set of artists have made their mark on culture with albums that sold millions of copies.

Even pop can generate music with integrity and talent - after all, The Beatles were huge influences in both rock and pop, and artists like Michael Jackson will always be remembered for their work.

But sadly, the world is not a fair place. Buzz Feed collected some truly disappointing facts about popular music, which we've shared below.

Make sure you're sitting down, because your indignation is about to shoot through the roof. Are you ready?

01. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix remains one of the most influential guitarists of all time, but he's no match for Creed's 28 million US record sales. Maybe all that crazy panning on Hendrix albums is too much for some people. And sorry to the UG reading Creed fans, but Hendrix really deserves better.

02. Led Zeppelin, REM, and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has 10

If the world were a perfect place, the great songwriters would sit atop the charts. Instead, Rihanna probably sells an extra 10k units every time she pulls another creepy back-bending pose. Seriously, are her arms fitted backwards?

03. Ke$ha's "Tik-Tok" sold more copies than ANY Beatles single

Ke$ha's debut single broke the record for the biggest single-week sales of all time for a female artist, selling 610,000 digital downloads in one week. John Lennon and George Harrison turned in their graves at 45rpm.

04. Flo Rida's "Low" has sold 8 million copies the same as The Beatles' "Hey Jude"

How can the lyrics "She hit da flo', next thing you know, shawty got low low low low" be as good as the wordless singalong ending on "Hey Jude"? Answer: they aren't as good - the world is simply unjust.

05. The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song

At least Garfunkel can rest easy, knowing that his name doesn't seem quite as silly next to Will.I.Am or apl.de.ap. Seriously, that's what two people from the Black Eyed Peas have named themselves.

06. Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record

The same applies to Shania Twain's "Come On Over", proving that there's big money in making boring music. Hey, why did Celine Dion cross the road? To get to the middle.

07. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album

Both artists had five number one singles from one album, but only one artist could moonwalk. And since moonwalks trump dressing up like bubblegum, MJ wins.

08. Barbra Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, and Tom Petty combined

140 million? Are you kidding? Is Barbra Streisand responsible for global warming, with all that CD production? Maybe Streisan's real job is to help pad out the gaps on shelves between Celine Dion and Shania Twain records.

09. The cast of "Glee" has had more songs chart than The Beatles

But The Beatles don't care, because they didn't need to resort to extreme social engineering and produce advertisements that last a full hour every week. And wrote their own songs. In fact, The Beatles pretty much invented the concept of artists writing their own songs.

10. This guy exists.

No comment. Though on a side note, can you believe cardigans came back into fashion?

Well, that was upsetting. Join us in mourning and post your disappointment in the comments.

383 comments sorted by best / new / date

    threedaysgrace9
    Look at all these sales figures, and then still have the balls to tell me that the record industry is failing? Shame on you, record companies.
    THE BULGE
    This is the first opinionated article which I deem acceptable on UG not because I agree with every point (which I do) or because I find it hilarious (which I also do) but because it's written so with the tongue so firmly in cheek that nobody could really get upset by this? Could they?
    Krieger91
    I just know that people are going to be b*tching about how you should leave Justin Bieber alone.. Anyway, quite a funny article. Altough, I don't really agree with the "Beatles invented the concept of artists writing their own songs"
    Pagan_Poetry
    Funny how there is a picture that shows the exact same facts in pretty much the exact same order floating around the internet, especially on meme sites. Ah well. The point is it's true and it's really sad, so if UG decides to open more minds about it, then so be it.
    Pagan_Poetry
    SumFX wrote: And people are still bashing Justin Beiber? I thought that got old over a year ago.
    At this point, I'm hearing more of the little runt from "haters" than I am from the fans. You'd think it'd be over with now, but nope. There's no better way to ignore a guy and let his fame fizzle out than to keep bringing up why we hate him, amirite?
    Kakatara
    Also, MJ's moonwalks may beat Katy Perry's outfits but nothing can beat Katy Perry's tits.
    TJ1991
    I can't remember where I've seen this, but I have quite recently. At least credit whoever you stole it from, UG.
    Raven_Flight
    Not surprising at all. It's not "disappointing", it's just how the market works. "Regular" people want to listen to easy/punchy/danceable music and not Hendrix's licks or Zeppelin rocking, so it's damn obvious they are going to sell more and it's not related to the quality of the music at all. However I couldn't help myself laughing when Justin Bieber showed up lol. Oh, and I FRIGGIN HATE that "I gotta feeling" song!!! I really don't get why it is so popular.
    Eirien
    Nothing dissapointing here whatsoever. Most people like crap music, I stopped caring a long time ago. BTW, Led Zep only released 2 singles in the US and none in the UK, so that partly explains why they had no number 1s. They are an album band. I also like more Katy Perry songs than Michael Jackson songs. And Creed have sold more records in the US than Hendrix because they are a massively Christian band in a massively Christian country.
    crucifiedead
    I like Mark Tremonti, Scott Philips, and Brian Marshall (Idk if I spelt them right), but I don't like Creed, Alter Bridge is more my thing. Which is perfectly okay. This whole artical saddens me, must go listen to some good music to lift my spirits.
    nailsarecruel
    I'm going to go against #8. I actually like babs. She came from the time before autotune and like performers from that time has put in the work to get where she's at. At the very least, she's given a lot of middle-aged ladies and senior citizens the joy of puttin' on the glitz and dressing like a character from an 80's soap opera cause tonight they have Streisand tickets. Other than that, here's a couple more at leasts: #1: Despite the sales, they're still a bunch of competent musicians greatly overshadowed by the frontman's pious B.S #2: Appears like more of a hollow record company ventriloquist's dummy with each release #3: Is Kesha #4: Has gone on record stating he's bummed that Low sold well as a single and digital download, but not his albums. Feels destined to be the guy that sang Low. #5: "Look, it's Fergie, Will.I.Am and those two guys" #6: Ain't gonna lie. That's tragic. #7: She's tolerable, but MJ worked his ass off and was messed up for life because of his missed childhood and having Joe Jackson for a father. Being beat by a chick with nice boobs that looks great in full makeup is rather sad. #9: Glee's an accurately sad sign of the times. #10: I won't lie, if I had the opportunity to make a ton of money signing stuff targeted to little girls and desperate cougars, and get to tap a slightly older chick that looks like a 15 year old, I'd do the same goddamn thing.
    ShockHazard
    Pop sells, but whos buying? Well, crappy joke... But as somebody said already, they're just numbers. I don't care about them, or the artist who sell the most!
    TheThesTony
    TJ1991 wrote: I can't remember where I've seen this, but I have quite recently. At least credit whoever you stole it from, UG.
    This was floating around Facebook a few weeks back. UG totally stole this article.
    iommi600
    just pop icons of the past and pop icons of today. obviously the pop icons of today will sell singles and all that shit like water... the same thing happened to Beatles and Hendrix back in the 60's. unfortunately, that's the way that pop music goes on. Personally, I don't give a single f*ck about these kind of numbers. but yes, this is still f*kin' disgusting, especially the last one.
    Joe-Floyd-lover
    Just throwing this out there, but lots of the facts from this article were taken from Ultimate Classic Rock's "Jimi Hendrix Has Sold Fewer Records Than Creed and Other Depressing Rock Facts" Article from 4 weeks ago, without credit...
    kerguitar08
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: SumFX wrote: And people are still bashing Justin Beiber? I thought that got old over a year ago. At this point, I'm hearing more of the little runt from "haters" than I am from the fans. You'd think it'd be over with now, but nope. There's no better way to ignore a guy and let his fame fizzle out than to keep bringing up why we hate him, amirite?
    This times infinity, especially since the first time I've heard of him was from a hater.
    jinsu2301
    SumFX wrote: Crappy article, 'pop' means popular, popular means it sells, get over it..... And people are still bashing Justin Beiber? I thought that got old over a year ago.
    the problem is: how come this shit sells? why do people enjoy listening to garbage? and that is the dissappointment the article is all about. and nope, bashing the bieber will never get old.
    SumFX
    Crappy article, 'pop' means popular, popular means it sells, get over it. Why on Earth do any of you 'Rock/metal/alternative/whatever' fans care about whats in the charts or what sells well? Pop music will always be around and in most cases, you're not going to be forced to listen to it unless it's on the radio at work, so what the hell is the problem? And people are still bashing Justin Beiber? I thought that got old over a year ago.
    gvfcfred
    Makes me lol that UG didn't even write this article. They just copied it from another website. Don't put your faith back in them just yet.
    raconteur141
    This article makes me want to throw up. Not because of the whole "pop sells more" bullshit, but because some people actually care. Why does UG pretend that rock and metal are the only two genres that matter in the world in the world? Is it really that hard to imagine that maybe some people listen to other music? Or would that make the UG servers explode? For instance, sure, Barbara Streisand is a bitch, but give her credit. She is a fantastic singer, one of the best within musical theater. She has also released SHITLOADS of albums and therefore has sold a lot. Why do we need to hate other genres of music? Why can't we just not listen to it cause it's not our thing? I don't like Justin Beiber, doe that make him a terrible person? No, so why do you ****ing care?!?!?! I listen to slayer, regina spektor, disney music, glee, BTBAM, metallica, alter bridge, and sondheim musicals because I refuse to be labeled as a genre, there's too much good music outside of rock for me to be that close minded. I wish for once UG would just write an honest article that doesn't have to rely on the bullying of other artists that don't fit in to your cookie cutter image of music. All this is is sensationalized bullshit.
    TextOnTheScreen
    SumFX wrote: Crappy article, 'pop' means popular, popular means it sells, get over it. Why on Earth do any of you 'Rock/metal/alternative/whatever' fans care about whats in the charts or what sells well? Pop music will always be around and in most cases, you're not going to be forced to listen to it unless it's on the radio at work, so what the hell is the problem? And people are still bashing Justin Beiber? I thought that got old over a year ago.
    "Pop" doesn't mean "popular" anymore, it means it was written to sell. But other than that, you're entirely right. It shouldn't matter to people. The artists that really care about their music should just make the best music they can, and leave pop to be the empty, unsatisfying industry that it will always be.
    \m/(-_-)\m/
    this list is dumb. of course all these artists have sold more. it's called the internet, mass media, and digital downloading.
    mustaine42
    I'm going on a limb as well. Have you heard Creed's guitarist play? Seriously? Tremonti is a badass. So are the rest of the musicians in the band. Scott may be a dickhead but you can't deny that he can't write or sing. You morons have lost all sense of what music is. Music is what you feel. You don't play what some 14 year old on a forum says to play. You play what you feel. That's what Creed does. I love that band and am not scared to admit it in front of x amount of metal guitarists. They haven't gone anywhere. They still charted with Full Circle in 2009, and have a new CD coming out in 2012. People hate on them like they do Nickelback: Just because it's the cool thing to do. Btw, they picked the worst possible picture of Creed for that article.
    Idiot Pineapple
    I will continue this list. 11. Fans still think mainstream opinion matters when it comes to art 12. The music industry is so narrow that it can control which genre is popular 13. You're comparing different genres all together. This might as well be apples and oranges: the article 14. Music fans are exactly as close minded as the spectrum of music the industry promotes 15. There is no longer any distinction between quantity and quality
    i_am_metalhead
    Way to steal this from Buzzfeed and try to pass it off as your own. You're pathetic, UG. Also, there's nothing disappointed about the fact that popular artists today have outsold popular artists in the past. Music is much more accessible and obtainable in today's world.
    SomebodySomeone
    JimBonJovi wrote: I'm going to go out on a limb on www.ultimate-metallica.com. Give me a break. Ultimate guitar chooses the worst photo of Creed and then blasts them and now the whole site will blast them. Creed are an introspective rock band. There's nothing commercial about the band. The two songs closed minded people know are With arms wide open and Higher. Listen beyond those introspective songs and you'll find deeply melodic, crunching hard rock songs with stories of nature, finding peace which is rather unique in today's music world. I digress.
    i'll go out in a limb here too. creed (minus stapp) is a decent band. stapp just gets shit for being a drunken idiot. but even stapp had decent songs. ppl just shit on creed cuz its koo too.
    ds24601
    Typical close-minded, elitist comments. Maybe pop music is popular because it's what the majority of casual music listeners like? It doesn't make you stupid or in anyway inferior to other music lovers. I like pop music (some of it). It's the same with metal--I don't instantly like all metal music because I'm ****ing br00tal, I like the music if it's good and if I don't I don't listen to it. Queen, who are my favourite band and one of the bands mentioned on the right, wrote songs in pretty much every style imaginable, including a number of great pop songs which became incredibly successful. And aren't The Beatles essentially a pop act? Do I like most modern pop acts? Not really, but that's not because I'm better than those who do; it's because I have a different (read: not better) taste in music than them. It also must be said that people are saying about how no one will remember these pop acts in years to come, which may be true, but will people remember a lot of the new metal acts in years to come? Probably not and rightfully so: most of them are as generic as the acts being criticised here. J
    Dethonator
    We live in exponential times. Of course Pop artists of today sell more than pop artist of yesterday. 50 years from now, people are going to be bitching that some new pop diva sold more records than Gaga. Besides, imagine how jazz/fusion artists feel when "pop" bands like Metallica sell more than them. Oh wait...
    strat0blaster
    Pop has always been more popular and higher selling than other genres. It's tailor made to advertise, push, and sell. This shouldn't be a surprise. It really does nothing to discredit valid musicians, though. I don't see why it's presented that way.
    Nirvana_RATM2
    This article has been around for at least a year? I come to this site to stay informed about current guitar and guitar-related artists. Not stupid "top 10" lists of stuff that has nothing to do with guitar.
    edgeyyz
    I really agree about the Glee one. Some of the other ones annoy me, but on Led Zeppelin: they didn't release singles.