Whether or not the music is any good on a particular album, it's never a job that you should have to risk your life to accomplish.
If you have a good enough tune to back things up, you're pretty much halfway towards making something brilliant on principle alone. Of all the things that can set you back, though, you'd never think that actual pain would factor into things.
Aside from getting into a certain mindset for songs, these artists really put their physical and emotional state on the line when recording these tunes, oftentimes stopping in the middle of things to make sure they could perform everything properly.
The song itself might not even be that difficult from a raw performance standpoint, only it ends up being lauded over time and time again just so that an artist can get the right performance and energy in one go.
Hell, there were even some moments where artists went past the point of no return on record, making for songs that were a lot more revealing about what was going on in the studio than you might expect. It seemed to pay off though, considering most of these songs are among the greatest in the artists' respective canons.
Was it worth it? Sure. But my god, at what cost?
10. 10,000 Days - Tool
Even for a band as adventurous as Tool, not many people were quite ready for something like 10,000 Days when it first came out. Though Lateralus already showed these metal juggernauts reaching into psychedelic songs and trippy as hell musical landscapes, the more mature themes taking place on here were not really customary from the same guys who wrote Hooker With a Penis. What made it even more heartwrenching is when we got to the title track.
Written after the loss of his mother, this entire track shows Maynard James Keenan pouring his heart out to the woman who made him who is today, both commending her determination through life while also displaying the struggles they had with each other along the way.
The very tone of Maynard pretty much says it all across this song, with a shakiness that isn't so much mournful but accepting of what happened. You can really tell that he's is using this song as much as therapy for himself as for actually writing a song.
It's at this point that I remind you that these are the same people who were behind songs like Stinkfist. While there have been a lot of bands who have gone the sappy ballad route, this is the kind of epic song that stomps on your heart from the minute it starts playing.