There have been fresh claims that a Michael Jackson impersonator supplied the vocals on Jackson’s last album ‘Michael’. While we wonder if the vocalist in question was Leon Kompowsky (who did such a convincing impersonation on that ‘Simpsons’ episode), here are our top ten musical fakes.
10Marilyn Manson – ‘Dreams of Amputation’
Manson’s had many tracks wrongly attributed to him, but ‘Dreams of Amputation’ manages to score on all fronts. Not only is it not a Marilyn Manson track, it’s also part of a film that never existed (Suicide Is Beautiful).
9The Decemberists – ‘Hampshirefields’
This track appeared on Cracked.com in 2009, titled ‘an unreleased track called ‘Hampshirefields’ by the Decemberists off their album ‘Musket Sea Family’. It’s a clear parody, mocking the group’s gothic Americana, but remains tagged as The Decemberists on YouTube- leading to some puzzled fans.
8Van Halen – ‘Late Term’
Fans of the hair metal group were delighted to see that David lee Roth had rejoined in August 2011. Except he hadn’t. A track turned up on YouTube that was purportedly the first snippet of Van Halens’ new work with DLR. In fact it was a clip from DLR’s 1998 ‘DLR Band’ album. Sadface.
7Radiohead – ‘Putting Ketchup in the Fridge’
This oddly-named track turned up on troll-central – 4chan’s message boards. Apparently a user had been given it by a ‘friend who worked at EMI’. The hoax fooled pretty much everyone. Turns out it was a recording by an artist named Christopher Stoba. The Toronto singer was unaware that his track had been touted as Yorke’s.
6Joy Division – ‘Aerial’
Since the discovery of Joy Division tapes in a Manchester basememt by Jamie Oliver (now there’s a sentence) various ‘lost recordings’ have surfaced. Though ‘Aerial’ opens on a Division-esque guitar line, the lyrics about tellys not working quickly reveal it to be a fake.
5Salem – ‘Nite Daze’
This hoax left many blogs with egg on their faces. A ‘leaked Salem demo’ went viral before it was revealed to be a ‘cultural experiment’ by a student at NYU. The student wrote in an email that ‘it was meant to be a demonstration of internet hype and the speed of the blogosphere’. The student created the track by slowing down a song by her own band, adding snare drums and making up some lyrics using Witch House Name Generator. Funnily enough, the track’s still streaming at Official FM.
4Opening Ceremony, Beijing Olympics
A darling 9 year old girl lip-synced the Chinese national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Of course – the pressue must have been intense for someone that young to perform live. Except the reason she was lipsyncing was that the original singer – a 7 year old girl – was not deemed pretty enough to be on TV. Epic. Fail.
Everyone’s familiar with the tale of Milli Vanilli. Two male models hired to front a pop group and mime. They even won a Grammy! Which they lost, once it was revealed that neither frontman had sung anything.
This time the artist is in on the joke. NY rapper MF Doom has repeatedly been accused of passing over his mask to an imposter and allowing the imposter to take his slot. Though MF has denied missing the shows, he stressed that the music was the most important thing, telling Wax Poetics: “Looking at it has nothing to do with what it sounds like. A blind person could be at the show and feel it clearly, but don’t see nothing of it. Don’t matter what the sh** look like. Look, was n****s rockin’ or was n****s rockin’?“
1Fleet Foxes Sing
This unknown musician managed to fool everyone into thinking he was the Fleet Foxes by doing impeccable versions of pop songs in the style of the beardy sextet. He’s since been rumbled (but remains anonymous) and will do requests if you ask nicely.