Titling an album is tricky, but some artists have worked out just how to provoke the requisite level of either intrigue or outrage to make sure their record will be talked about in all the right places. When former pop sweetheart Miley Cyrus tweeted: “If you don’t know why my record is called BANGERZ you’ll know as soon as you hear it. Nothin but #BANGERZ” she was daring critics to question her.
When Johnny Borrell decided to call his debut solo album ‘Borrell 1’, he seemed to be referencing legendary Scott Walker albums like ‘Scott 2’ and ‘Scott 3’. What he’d apparently forgotten, in his infinite hubris, is that even Walker hadn’t tempted fate by calling his debut ‘Scott 1’. It was simply ‘Scott’.
Announcing his album, ‘Hip-Hop Is Dead’, Nas made Kendrick Lamar’s recent outburst look tame, saying: “When I say ‘hip-hop is dead’, basically America is dead. There is no political voice. Music is dead … Our way of thinking is dead, our commerce is dead. Everything in this society has been done.”
Madonna’s 2008 album ‘Hard Candy’ was almost called ‘Black Madonna’. In the end, Madge had second thoughts: “I painted my face black, except for red lips and white eyes. I thought it would be a fun title, but then I thought ‘25% of the world might get this, probably less. It’s not worth it.’”