10 Musicians Whose Careers Were Destroyed By Just One Song

2. National Express — The Divine Comedy

Neil Hannon’s baroque pop outfit The Divine Comedy were always on the outside of major mainstream success.

With a softer, classical-influenced sound and drier wit than the likes of Damon Albarn of the Gallaghers, the Northern Irish singer song writer never quite fit the mould of his more rock influenced Brit Pop contemporaries.

Nonetheless, Hannon’s pleasing ear for composition and witty lyrics won him critical acclaim and comparisons to the likes of Prefab Sprout. This early success even netted him the job of composing the iconic Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted’s opening credits.

It all came crashing down with one of the singer’s biggest hits, though.

The sardonic National Express was read by critics (not unfairly) as a sneering condemnation of working class people, and whilst the aristocratic Hannon argued the lyrics mocked his equally well-to-do brother, the damage was well and truly done and his outfit never shook the image of “posh toff smugly looking down on pop music and the riff raff who listen to it.”

Now, let that be the last time anyone on the Father Ted creative team lets ill-judged tastelessness totally derail their career…

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Robin Thicke
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