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MONSTERS, INC.

Lady Gaga brought her Born This Way Ball to Toyota Center January 31.

How Bad Was It?: Pretty freakin' bad. Only a single song from October appears on The Best of 1980-1990, and even then only as a hidden track. It wasn't a strong album to begin with, and Bono having to improvise the words did it no favors.

2. Skrillex's Fourth EP: After Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, Skrillex was suddenly a household name, riding dubstep's wave of popularity. He was getting ready to make some more magic when two of his laptops were boosted out of his hotel in Milan, Italy. In April 2011 he posted:

"Just gonna set it strait. I had two laptops and both of my hard drives stolen out of my hotel in Milan, Italy last month. On those laptops and drives were all the project files of Skrillex. All gone now. Also I had a new album that is now gone too. I spent a week pulling my hair out but now I'm just focusing on the future and re-making my album."

He did eventually recover the laptops, but the hard drives had been reformatted for sale and everything was lost. A few of the works have turned up on YouTube, such as the remix of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" he was working on.

How Bad Was It?: Skrillex released his most successful commercial EP, Bangarang, less than eight months after the theft, so it obviously didn't set him back too far. He tends to take most things pretty much in stride.

1. Green Day, Cigarettes and Valentines: By 2000, Green Day had essentially become their own songs, burned-out and tired after having been on top of the pop-punk world for several years. Nonetheless, they soldiered into the studio in 2003 to record Cigarettes and Valentines. It was supposed to be a throwback to the Kerplunk days, but the point is moot as the masters were stolen and have never been recovered.

Faced with the daunting task of re-creating the entire album, the band looked at themselves and agreed that the work they had done was honestly not their best. Possibly because they were secretly recording their real masterpiece with Devo at the same time. In the end, the band decided to start again from scratch, and thank God they did.

How Bad Was It? Not at all. If no one had lifted the masters to Cigarettes and Valentines, we might never have heard American Idiot. Though the mass-media empire it spawned has become somewhat overblown, the album itself remains a brilliant punk opera that perfectly harnesses all the angst of George W. Bush's America.

It's heaps better than listening to Green Day try to reclaim their early punk roots at a time when they obviously didn't have the momentum or energy to do it right. The stolen masters have never been found, and not a soul cares.

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