Top 10 Music Artists that are Falsely Accused of Being Sell OutsSome music artists are called sell outs. What's a sell out you might ask? A sell out is someone that only makes music for money and doesn't make it with passion. Some artists have been falsely labeled this and it can get annoying.
The Top Ten
I never got this. All that happened is that their music got more complex, melodious and well thought out. Their older style was more direct and simple. To me, that's an improvement. Stylistically, they stayed the same. And also, they stayed pretty political. - Martin_Canine
I would agree with this assessment. He had gotten more complex, and certainly more well rounded as an artist - Ned964
They never sold out to begin with they were a punk band in the beginning and they're still a punk band now.
To avoid misconceptions, here is the definition from wiki:
"There are two distinct forms of "selling out" in terms of music.
First, there is the use of term "sell out" to refer to those who sign for major labels or to those who licence their music to companies for use in advertising that contradicts their apparent values.
Secondly, the expression can refer to those who sacrifice their musical integrity through a change in their musical sound, sometimes due to pressure from major labels or in order to gain profit by making their music more appealing to a mainstream audience." - Metal_Treasure
Thrash Metal was on a big low during the 1990s, with many bands disbanding and many albums being released deemed mediocre. Metalheads also grew tired of the sub-genre, moving on to Death Metal and Black Metal instead, and newcomer rock fans being more invested in Grunge music. Furthermore, all four of the big four tried something different during the 1990s; Megadeth also went soft with some ballads, Slayer experimenting with Nu Metal in Diabolus in Musica and Anthrax paving the way for Rap Metal. Metallica actually did the best out of the four during the mid-late 90s (Early 90s had Rust in Peace, Seasons in the Abyss and Persistence of Time to argue) and managed to stay relevant during that time.
If Metallica is to be called a sellout for trying something different in the 90s, all of the Big Four would be victim to being called that anyway. The only reason why Metallica was accused was simply for being the most popular metal band around (Aside from Pantera). - CrimsonShark
They definitely did not sell out. The Black Album is great. Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, Nothing Else Matters, what else is there not to like? And so what if it's not thrash? Who has the right to tell them to play thrash all the time? - SoldierOfFortune
I actually agree here, just because they wanted to do a more "Mainstream" sound doesn't mean they sold out as long as they had passion for it and still cared about the fans (and Metallica have always cared about the fans) - christangrant
I'm a Metallica fan but I will try to be objective.
The definition of "selling out" in music is namely this: making music that is more appealing to a mainstream audience. So Metallica sold out with the Black album but they aren't the biggest sellouts in metal as many people think.
"Passion for it" isn't related to the "selling out" behavior.
Caring about the fans doesn't prove they aren't sellouts. Not saying this is the case but in general, caring too much about the fans may be actually a sign of a "selling out" strategy because trying to please more fans makes artists create more mainstream music. - Metal_Treasure
Just because he formed Foo Fighters doesn't make him a sellout.
Agreed. He freely admits to learning to write songs from Cobain. What has he done to sell out? The Foo Fighters are pretty good in my eyes - Ned964
I have heard people call this band a sell out however I don't see what makes them a "sell out" - christangrant
The people that you have heard calling this band a sellout are frankly idiots. Is it their contention that the albums following Roger Waters leaving the band are a bit more "pop" conscious? While that is certainly true, the band had zero motivation to sell out, both the Wall and the Dark side of the Moon are 2 of the largest selling albums in history and are certainly well within the artistic parameters Pink Floyd had established in their careers. There's never been any need for them to sell out, they have long since made their bones - Ned964
I have no idea if they really sold out, but what I know is I didn't like their non-rock sound. They neither managed to maintain the rough emotional component that made them one of the definite bands of their generation, nor to sound like a real pop band, lacking the infectiousness and catchiness. - Martin_Canine
Just because OML was poppy doesn't make them sellouts. With that logic every artist that tries a different sound is a sellout.
It was actually their dubstep phase which pushed people away - ProPanda
Not every artist that tries a different sound is a sellout by default.
It depends - if the different sound makes their music more appealing to a mainstream audience (poppier), this isn't good - it's the definition of selling out.
It's good if the new different sound has more music quality (more complex) and takes more talent/efforts to make. - Metal_Treasure
I would agree again. Although this band did become a bit more "pop" conscious along the way, I feel it only served to make them a more complete band. I also feel that their collaborations with other artists had an influence on their material. Maybe some songs came off as a bit pop orientated, and that is probably true, but songwriting is not as easy as many here seem to think. Sometimes even good bands have to meet a bottom line, and that's to sell their product. If I don't like it, I don't have to listen to it. Sadly we will never know where Linkin Park would have ended up, with Chester feeling the need to check out. RIP Chester. - Ned964
The fact is if any band changes sound, people call them sellouts. if they don't change their sound, people complain they don't ever change, everythings the same. - RustyNail
Yes they started out as a Metal band then switched their sound many times but in my opinion they aren't "Sellouts" the goal of Def Leppard was to be a household name just like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin so they had passion for their music and they certainly care about their fans. - christangrant
It's certainly true that Def Leppard became far more pop oriented once they had some success financially. I prefer the older stuff myself, but Def Leopard was never anything more or less than a pop metal band, there was nothing to sell out from. - Ned964
Why Anthrax? so far from sell out - heavyheavy
Self explantory at most.
They just went to pop-punk from punk-rock. They again became punk rock in 90s though. - zxm
Again, one of my favorite bands. I would contend that any self respecting Punk artist would consider selling out to pop sensibilities as abhorrent. Staying away from the whole pop thing was exactly the point of Punk. If it's your contention that they sold out for some commercial success to pay the bills, I can live with that. - Ned964
Eminem was heavily on drugs during "Encore" and "Relapse", and while the albums still were awesome, he had a more immature humor (that I personally like). He then restarted competely on "Recovery" because he felt quality was decreasing, and that's what others said as well. None of his old concepts are found there, he completely focused on lyrical quality. - Martin_Canine
Do I REALLY need to explain why for this one?
They kept their exact same style from first to last album, and have always had fairly thought out writing, performances and concepts. All of their albums had bigger ambitions than what the mainstream expects. - Martin_Canine
They were a emo band from start to finish. Never sold out at all.
It gets so damn old... and annoying.
They are just experimenting for god's sake
They pop material is pure gold compared to Coldplay or Fall Out Boy
Never heard people calling they sold out. - zxm
Kurt Cobain tried everything NOT to please the mainstream, like not playing their most popular song anymore. - Martin_Canine
Agreed. But I must admit the irony, all his efforts to avoid mainstream success were fruitless, as that's exactly where Nirvana ended up. - Ned964
Like LP just because a artist tries a different sound doesn't make them a sellout.
I hate to write this comment since Three Days Grace is one of my favourite bands, but at the same time I agree with them on the list as they are definitely still a passionate band, I also somewhat disagree. No, I'm not saying they are sell-outs, but Adam himself had pretty much admitted to a majority of "Transit of Venus" not coming from the heart. Again though, I think they're still a great band with a lot of passion for their music, so this comment was in no way intended to bash or throw hate at them.
They never sold out they're still a rock band that has passion for music like they always have.
I love Fall Out Boy and respect all of their music. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that each of their albums gets even pop-ier that the last. Especially after their hiatus. Sorry, but they sold out big time.
Guys, they make a fidget Spinner... A FIDGET SPINNER
These guys really sold out
They did sell out and they SOLD out hard.
Ugh, I can't believe people are calling them the WORST band ever just for one poppy album. I'm praying that Tyler will finally wake up and realize what he's doing is ruining his life. 🙏 - Croy987
They started off as a pop punkish alternative rock band with straightforward and often cynical lyrics (e.g. "Zeit für Optimisten") and then became soft and more introverted indie pop (e.g. "Leichtes Gepäck"), but it was actually a slow but steady evolution from album to album, and they probably just matured and lost part of their teenage energy. - Martin_Canine
After their hiatus they came back with a more electronica based sound instead of their old emo-ish anternative rock. It's mostly their American fans who say they sold out. But this was actually a result of them having moved to the US in that time and got to know the American club scene better. Almost all German music critics (who weren't too friendly to Tokio Hotel before) saw this as a major improvement and it made the group more critically accepted. - Martin_Canine
He IS a sellout. He did it in many different ways. He wrote pop songs with metal riffs, had his own reality show, stared in terrible kids' shows, I can go on and on!
He isn't falsely accused. He did. Many times. In many different ways. - Metal_Treasure
But he is a sellout... - Metarock
He is a sellout plain and simple.V 3 Comments
Trust me on this one; those who grew up with Ascendancy or Shogun keep pouting about Trivium lost their sound and become "commercialized sellouts". They constantly pander about how garbage In Waves to Silence in the Snow were, when they can't seem to realize that Trivium has really matured over the years. In addition, Matt Heafy noted that he wasn't into screaming vocals, which was a main reason for The Crusade being mostly sung on clean vocals.
For such an amazing band, a good fraction of Trivium's fanbase really is just nosy and bratty idiots who can't accept the fact that bands need to mature and change. They can't make a Shogun 2.0, that would be dumb and repetitive. - CrimsonShark
People say when he made AVA, he sold out. How? Just because he changed his style of music does not mean he is a sellout. AVA in fact is less popular than Blink-182, but Tom clearly enjoyed making music with AVA more, despite getting less fame and money, which means he is in for the music. He has said he has a constant need to make music himself. - AnimeDrawer
After the 70's, when Aerosmith put out an insane amount of great music, the band put out some real garbage. This, combined with heavy drug use, lead to the band breaking up. They reunited in the late '80's and their motivation for doing so was clearly to make money. They put out 3 albums that were huge financial successes. In interviews before, during, and after this time, every member would freely admit that they needed money and that their music became much more Pop orientated. I don't blame them for selling out, they had to if they wanted to keep living the lives they had become accustomed to... - Ned964
Related ListsTop Ten Bands Falsely Accused of Being Nu Metal/Rap Metal Bands Falsely Accused of Having a Bad Singer Music Artists that Have Been Accused of Being "Sellouts" that are Good Musicians Nonetheless. Top 10 Music Artists Accused of Being Satanic Top 10 Heavy Metal Bands Accused of Being Satanic
1 year, 20 days old
2. Pink Floyd
3. Green Day