43 episodes

Beatles vs. Stones. Biggie vs. Tupac. Kanye vs. Taylor. Who do you choose? And what does that say about you? Actually, what do these endlessly argued-about pop music rivalries say about us? Music opinions bring out passionate debate in people, and music journalists/critics Steven Hyden and Jordan Runtagh know this firsthand. They’re both obsessed with the biggest (as well as the most obscure) rivalries in music history. Each week, they’ll break down the details of a different colorful feud, and attempt to figure out why many of our favorite pop and rock stars can’t seem to get along.

Rivals: Music's Greatest Feuds iHeartRadio

    • Music Commentary
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Beatles vs. Stones. Biggie vs. Tupac. Kanye vs. Taylor. Who do you choose? And what does that say about you? Actually, what do these endlessly argued-about pop music rivalries say about us? Music opinions bring out passionate debate in people, and music journalists/critics Steven Hyden and Jordan Runtagh know this firsthand. They’re both obsessed with the biggest (as well as the most obscure) rivalries in music history. Each week, they’ll break down the details of a different colorful feud, and attempt to figure out why many of our favorite pop and rock stars can’t seem to get along.

    Antichrist Superstars: Trent Reznor vs. Marilyn Manson

    Antichrist Superstars: Trent Reznor vs. Marilyn Manson

    In the mid-'90s, no two rock stars struck more fear into the hearts of parents than Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson. These toxic twins started out having a teacher-student dynamic, with Reznor guiding Manson musically to stardom. But Manson's shock-rock antics soon overshadowed his mentor, who was hard at work for years trying to finish his masterwork "The Fragile." In time, Reznor would come to see Manson as a "dopey clown" while Manson seethed about Reznor literally losing the master recording to his early albums. 
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Toxic Tango: Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera

    Toxic Tango: Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera

    For ‘80s babies, Britney and Christina represent the ultimate fan face-off. Originally friends and co-stars on The Mickey Mouse Club reboot in the early ‘90s, by the decade’s end they were pitted against one another in the press and in the charts. On the surface, the comparisons were obvious. They were two blonde, ex-Disney stars turned pop upstarts, barnstorming Billboard with suggestive ear-candy like “…Baby One More Time” and “Genie in a Bottle.” But a close listen to their discographies reveals a stark contrast between Britney’s bubble-gum electro-pop and Christina’s R&B leanings. As they grew older, their individual expressions of sexuality made them lightning rods for controversy. Soon they were forced into a troubling cultural dichotomy. The Southern-born Britney was portrayed in the media as the “Good Girl” who publicly renounced sex before marriage. The NYC-raised Christina Aguilera made no such proclamations. Her public “Bad Girl” reputation was enhanced by songs like “Dirrty” that celebrated her sexual agency. For a time, the cultural firestorm threatened to overshadow their massive talent. Now both are recognized as beloved entertainment icons.
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    • 59 min
    Charming Men: The Smiths vs. The Cure

    Charming Men: The Smiths vs. The Cure

    If you were an alienated teenager in the 1980s — or an alienated teenager during any era who loves the music of the 1980s — then you have probably spent a lot of time listening to The Smiths and The Cure. But the lead singers of those bands, Morrissey and Robert Smith, hated listening to each other. Starting with an interview in 1984 in which Morrisey expressed his desire to shoot Smith, the rivalry between these two mope-rock kings has been vicious and often extremely hilarious. When it comes to crafting insults about overly sensitive individuals, Don Rickles has nothing on these guys.
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    • 53 min
    Eruptions Part 2: Sammy Hagar vs. Van Halen

    Eruptions Part 2: Sammy Hagar vs. Van Halen

    Our special two-part series on the battles between Van Halen and their two most famous singers concludes with this exploration of the Van Hagar years. Before he joined Van Halen, Sammy Hagar was a journeyman rock howler with a love of fast cars and mind-controlling aliens. In retrospect, most fans prefer the Roth years, but Hagar was at the head of four consecutive no. 1 albums for Van Halen in the late 1980s and early '90s. And he had a true friendship with Eddie Van Halen, until various factors — including the Twister soundtrack — conspired against them. But in their prime, Van Hagar sold millions of albums to listeners hungry for synth-heavy power ballads with excellent guitar solos.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Eruptions Part 1: David Lee Roth vs. Van Halen

    Eruptions Part 1: David Lee Roth vs. Van Halen

    In tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen, we’re devoting a pair of episodes to the two distinct eras of his namesake band. The first installment explores the guitar virtuoso’s relationship with the group’s original frontman, a karate kicking, spandex wearing, hyperactive rock ’n’ roll peacock named David Lee Roth. More a musical marriage of convenience than genuine friendship, the sparks between the pair both onstage and in the studio helped make Van Halen the biggest band in the world. But fame inflated their egos, and soon the bandmates were at each other’s throats. Diamond Dave loathed Eddie’s use of synthesizers on the album 1984. The global success of the record — and the pop crossover smash “Jump” — wasn’t enough to repair their creative rift, and Roth departed Van Halen in 1985 in pursuit of solo stardom and a film career. The band carried on without him, first enlisting Sammy Hagar and (briefly) Gary Cherone, before finally welcoming him back into the fold in 2007 for a series of reunion tours and a new album. Fans rejoiced, but the old tensions were never far from the surface.
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Territorial Pissings: Courtney Love vs. Dave Grohl

    Territorial Pissings: Courtney Love vs. Dave Grohl

    In the early '90s, no couple in rock was more notorious than Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. The tabloid circus that followed them wearied Cobain's bandmates in Nirvana, and that tension only grew worse after Cobain's untimely death in 1994. For the next 20 years, Courtney and Nirvana's former drummer and current Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl, engaged in a war of words in songs and Howard Stern interviews. In the process, cultural institutions like Guitar Hero and The Muppets were dragged into the melee.
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    • 58 min

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