Why I Hate Kings Of Leon: Part XXVIII

Jan 13th, 2009 // 35 Comments

While a blog post where the NME suggests rare Motown tracks isn’t generally the sort of thing I would generally find all that interesting, Luke Lewis’ missive for the magazine’s site was worthwhile for this gem, if nothing else: “For the new issue of NME, as part of our feature celebrating 50 years of Motown, we asked a panel of pop stars to name their favourite Tamla tracks. The results were mixed. Caleb Followill managed to select two artists—Sam Cooke and Otis Redding—who never recorded for Motown.” Everyone makes mistakes, but this particular one gave me a small smile of vindication for disliking the band. Apparently when their label was assembling their Southern version of the Strokes, the masterminds forgot to give the participants the crash course in music history. [NME]


  1. Audif Jackson Winters III

    The thing that actually makes this kind of inexcusable to me is that KOL are from Tennessee, and Redding recorded for Stax.

    Then again, some of the KOL dudes were born in the mid 80s, so there’s that.

  2. Anonymous

    In the Why I Hate Kings of Leon list, where are asinine lyrics? IV? II?

  3. Anonymous

    “the masterminds forgot to give the participants the crash course in music history”
    Actually, I believe that Sam Cooke and Otis Redding are both covered in Bar Band 101 (in the chapters on Rod Stewart and “Mustang Sally”, respectively).

  4. natepatrin

    their Southern version of the Strokes

    Oof. Y’know, the Strokes really do deserve better.

  5. Anonymous

    He was probably wasted. I wouldn’t hold it against him.

  6. Anonymous

    I, gulp, actually enjoy KOL’s latest release. It’s almost as if they finally stopped drinking of a second and were like “hmmm, maybe we should include some hooks in the songs so they are actually slightly enjoyable to listen to.”

    Still can’t fathom why their debut record got such acclaim, but then again, I’m the dude who find the Arcade Fire’s Funeral to be mediocre at best.

  7. iantenna

    @K-Rex: so um… yeah. rod stewart cause he did a bunch of sam cooke songs, and “mustang sally” because that was done by sir mack rice and then wilson pickett? where exactly does otis redding fit in? looks like someone else could use that crash course.

  8. the rich girls are weeping

    I find it amusing that in the UK “Brickhouse” is a lesser-known track.

    That being said, I’ve been guilty of slipping up inadvertently on the Stax vs. Motown division every now and then. I always have to stop and make sure I remember who recorded where — and I don’t think that makes me any less of an authentic soul fan. Then again, please don’t think I’m defending KOL here, I’m just pointing out that it’s kind of a dumb question.

  9. the rich girls are weeping

    @the rich girls are weeping: to spring on people and then judge them by the answer, I mean.

  10. Anonymous

    @iantenna: Ooopsy. My bad. I’m better at Motown.

  11. MayhemintheHood

    I read an interview with Ne-yo in which he named Metallica as the best Metal Blade band ever, but they were on Megaforce! What an idiot!

  12. Dan Gibson

    @MayhemintheHood: a) 60′s r&b and whatever it is that Kings of Leon play are vastly closer in style than Ne-Yo’s slick urban pop and 80′s metal.

    b) Motown’s legacy (as far as I can tell, at least) is a much larger part of the contemporary music landscape than Metal Blade’s discography, but I’m sure someone will argue the reverse.

    c) Caleb Followill still sucks.

  13. MayhemintheHood

    Good points(except the last one!!). I am definitely on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as feelings about KOL go, so I felt I should defend my man Caleb, even though I knew that it wasn’t necessarily a legit analogy.

  14. Anonymous

    Um, it’s really not that hard to tell the difference between a Motown recording and a Stax one. I’m not a musician but even I can tell on first listening, because the production and the sonic choices are SO different. For someone who actually PLAYS an instrument, it shouldn’t be hard at all.

    But that description would exempt all the Followills.

  15. Anonymous

    @slowburn: To say nothing of the vocalists and the way they had to “sound.” Jeezus, there’s no WAY Otis Redding would ever be accepted as a Motown artist during that label’s golden era.

  16. natepatrin

    @slowburn: Stax and Atlantic, now that one threw me every so often.

  17. Psicosis

    Kings Of Leon know one thing well, and that’s Kings Of Leon.

  18. janine

    @MayhemintheHood: even that “when we have sex, it’s awesome” song?

  19. fuzzyitch

    Only proves what I’ve been saying for years: The Kings of Leon guys are fucking idiots.

  20. LenaFM

    Thank you. I thought I was the only one. Now I feel better.

  21. janine

    @MayhemintheHood: Yikes, man. I have a soft spot for certain WWE entrance tunes, and I feel like that song insults my intelligence.

  22. Anonymous

    “Apparently when their label was assembling their Southern version of the Strokes…”

    Let’s see..3 brothers and a cousin. How the fuck is this an assembled by a label band?

    “Use Sombody” is a great song.

  23. ObtuseIntolerant

    @Audif Jackson Winters III: Being born in the ’80s is no excuse!! Nick Jonas would have nailed that question, and that kid was born in the freaking ’90s.

    But thank you, Dan…I was just thinking it was high time I checked KOL out, and now I have an excuse to spend my time elsewhere.

  24. Anonymous

    @Psicosis: Just don’t ask them to name their favorite KOL songs.

    I hear “Build Me Up, Buttercup” is on the list.

  25. Maura Johnston

    @juiceandgin: I can’t find the text of the Spin piece in question, but here’s the Rock-Critically correct take on it:

    “But your very own Keyboard Krybaby found it very difficult to focus on the piece. KK suspects that it has little to do with the relative merits of Peisner’s words. Nor does he believe that it’s his disinclination for the band, which he saw perpetrate a singularly dreadful showcase performance at the Mercury Lounge in 2003, and from which he’s not heard anything he liked since. KK was mildly interested to learn from the story that the band was signed to RCA before Caleb and Jared Followill learned how to play their instruments; in fact, there was no existing band before the signing, which made KK wonder if RCA thought the idea of concocting a “Southern Strokes” out of whole cloth was irresistible. (This also may explain why KK thought they sounded so shitty live back then.)”


  26. MayhemintheHood

    @janine: That’s easily my favorite one. I also like the one about the girl he didn’t have sex with but wanted to.

    @ObtuseIntolerant: Dude, if you were going to check out a band but then decided not to because they made a music trivia gaffe, then there are probably a million other acts you can cross off that list as well.

  27. the rich girls are weeping

    @Maura Johnston: I remember knowing from the beginning that they were a label construct, but I can’t remember where I could have possibly heard that. Has it just always been in the collective scuttlebutt about the band?

  28. ObtuseIntolerant

    @MayhemintheHood: Oh I know, I was half-joking. But I was looking for an excuse.
    Perhaps I will let your devotion cancel it out, then. I am a sucker for that. ;)

  29. Christopher R. Weingarten

    To be fair to the Kings. The NME is kind of dick for printing that instead of just cutting it out.

  30. Anonymous

    @natepatrin: That’s what happens when one of my “Two Minutes Hate” bands collides with one of my “Two Minutes Swoon” vocalists. The shower of sparks fries my brain.

  31. Dan Gibson

    @MayhemintheHood: You do have a point, I’ll give you that much. If Ne-Yo made a similar error, I would have likely excused it because I don’t intensely dislike him.

  32. andspark

    part 28? this could go to infinity… if they play the grammys i am going to barf. that they’re even nominated makes me cry a little.

  33. Alice

    I like Kings of Leon because they sound like U2, Coldplay, Snow Patrol and loads of other bands. That's a good reason to like them – becuase they all sound the same. It's called commercial music. Fucking sell out twats.

  34. Matt

    Dude do you have nothing better to do in your spare time than slander bands that have more talent than you could ever dream of having. Firstly, by reading some of your blog you appear to haver absolutly no actual knowledge of music other than a fools opinion, and secondly, if your so much better, where the hell are your tracks in the top 10?
    Loser, get of the couch and go do something useful in the world, maybe start with a job

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