Album Misfires (and more)

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Album Misfires (and more)

    Rock album misfires may fall into two primary categories: the album might have been ahead of its time (or at least, fans weren't ready for it), or the album was simply awful.    

    In many, if not most cases, the major bands recover.  In fact, you can't have a long-standing career without making a few blunders.  Even though the artist might be forgiven for the album, no one forgets -- you know it, we all know it.  =)   In some cases, however, they don't truly recover:  the album actually killed 'em.  

    Here's a list of notable misfires, with annotations as to the damage:

    Aerosmith: Rock in a Hard Place (proof of life after death)

    Black Sabbath: Never Say Die (killed Ozzy / Sabbath)

    Blue Oyster Cult: The Revolution by Night (killed 'em dead)

    Cheap Trick: The Doctor (killed 'em dead - some subsequent twitching of the corpse emitted "The Flame")

    Creedence Clearwater Revival: Mardi Gras (killed 'em dead)

    CSN: American Dream (killed 'em dead)

    The Cult: The Cult (not all bad, but killed 'em bad)

    Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs (seemed to end a run)

    ELP: Love Beach (deep chest wound)

    Genesis: Calling All Stations (not so much 'killed 'em dead' as pulled the plug)

    Pink Floyd: The Final Cut (killed the band despite being, with the inclusion of "When the Tigers Broke Free," the best depressing album ever)

    Queen: Hot Space ("Under Pressure" was the defibrillator that saved them to fight another day)

    Rolling Stones: Their Satanic Majesty's Request (wounded, recovered)

    Rolling Stones: Emotional Rescue (badly wounded, crippled)

    Rolling Stones: Dirty Work (kill shot)

    Rush: Signals (a masterpiece that was initially derided)

    Rush: Power Windows (a near-mortal wound that shunted the band into the wildnerness for years with only their fanatical cult-like followers to keep them company)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thoughts?   Agreement or disagreement on any of these albums?    
    Please feel free to ADD to the list.    

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    Nice list, Yoga.

    As posted here recently, Let It Be really sounded like the death knell for Beatles, The.

    Tormato was bad, but Drama was terrible for Yes; it took Trevor Rabin (!) and original keys Tony Kaye to bring them back from the dead (with varying results).

    Aerosmith may have survived, but those guys die hard (relevance, natch).

    I think every major and minor band has had album misfires.  Very, very few can do it consistently every time.

    Faith No More was mortally wounded when Jim Martin left, IMO, but Album Of The Year really sealed their coffin.  Considering the music landscape in 1997, there were many worse choices, but many better ones, too.

     

    Funny, but I started to think about bands' final albums as opposed to misfires, but I suppose there is some overlap there.

     

     

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    Ten Years After - Alvin Lee & Co.

    I was a huge fan of the band at the time and I was shocked at how awful this album was.  I found out later it was one of those dreaded 'contractual obligation' albums.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    . . .

      the album actually killed 'em.  

    . . .

    Rolling Stones: Dirty Work (kill shot)

     



     

    I definitely agree that "Dirty Work" was a god-awful album, and the Stones haven't put out any studio albums I like since (I didn't even like Tattoo You or Black & Blue, before that, particularly much either).

    BUT I don't think we can say it killed the band. The Stones kept on intermittently touring, and as youtube videos and the live album "Stripped" demonstrate, they can still put on a great show on occasion.

    [/QUOTE]

    Good distinction re: recording (studio albums) vs. the continued success of touring, and other signs of "life". =)    Of course nothing has killed the band (they continue to amaze, whether the detractors want to admit it or not),  but many would agree that recording output has been killed off -- and in your opinion, the album misfires started a long time ago, and merely include "Dirty Work".    :D

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

    Ten Years After - Alvin Lee & Co.

    I was a huge fan of the band at the time and I was shocked at how awful this album was.  I found out later it was one of those dreaded 'contractual obligation' albums.



    Any opinion on the BOC, CCR, or ELP albums on the list? 

     
  6. This post has been removed.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    Any opinion on the BOC, CCR, or ELP albums on the list? 



    I can only concur.  IRT 'Revolution by Night', there were two great songs on it, 'Take Me Away' and 'Shooting Shark'.  But all in all it wasn't great.  Unfortunately the followup 'Club Ninja' was even weaker, with many of the songs written by other people.  Again it did have one great track, 'Perfect Water'.

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    BOC and ELP did manage to resurrect themselves to a degree after those major floppos.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from SonicsMonksLyresVicars. Show SonicsMonksLyresVicars's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    I think the biggest nightmare for musicians is that they have roughly the age 0 to 25 to create their first album...and if it does well, they are pressured to do it again by age 26.  

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to SonicsMonksLyresVicars' comment:

    I think the biggest nightmare for musicians is that they have roughly the age 0 to 25 to create their first album...and if it does well, they are pressured to do it again by age 26.  



    That's why it so often comes down to a band's songwriting talents as much or more than their musicianship. 

     

     
  11. This post has been removed.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)


    I couldn't agree more with "Hot Space" - total crap!

    Had it not been for "Under Pressure", the album would have been dead before it hit the stores.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    It's all a matter of opinion.

    And what you expect.

    I never expected Black Sabbath to make 'Paranoid' over and over again. I can appreciatte 'Never Say Die' for what it is. I happen to like many of the albums listed in the O.P...although none are my favorites by the band that made them, but are better than the best Disco ever made or the best Boy Band music ever made.

    I'll take ELPs 'Love Beach' over the best Village People album ever made, but it is no doubt my least favorite ELP album.

    McCartney made two terrible Wings albums, 'Wildlife' and 'At The Speed Of Sound', one early and one later....yet ( in my opinion) they rebounded nicely with 'London Town' ( perhaps my favorite Wings offering) and 'Back To The Egg' ( not great, but not half bad , either).

    Genesis' , 'Calling All Stations' suffered from something that most people couldn't get past , NO Phil Collins. The album was not even given a chance by most people, because of this. ( I actually like this album ,and specifically the title song). I also like 'Never Say Die (Junior's Eyes, is a real favorite song).

    I would say, Aerosmith died right after Live Bootleg and before the putrid 'Night In The Ruts.' , at least for me.

    I love every Rush LP and have no problem with the two mentioned. Pink Floyd's 'The Final Cut' is a masterpiece that only a few of cynical types among us can appreciate. I lfind I am never disappointed by the Stones or Creedence...equally Neil Young could package a CD of his worst songs ( on a two disc set) and I would've bought it at full retail price.

    So, when you say "killed 'em....none of these acts is dead, or ever died for the devotees who pray at the altar of Rock'nRoll....except maybe Aerosmith ,who had a nice run in the 70s but have lived on their reputation since....kind of like Led Zeppelin, except Led Zeppelin didn't try to limp into the future or embrace a younger audience to enhance their sales, they were legendary and influencial. Led Zeppelin were contenders, Aerosmith are pretenders to the throne.

    Rant over.

    "Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."- George Orwell

     
  15. This post has been removed.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to NedNiederlander's comment:

    In response to polar123's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     



    It's also a cover.  Yeah, I agree. I thought Yield was their last strong album.  No Code was one of those 4th albums that they were trying to do some different things.  

     

    Riot Act has a great B Side called "Down", but I agree I thought the last 10 years, the've really struggled to be together a good record.

    All bands like that fall off.

    [/QUOTE]

    I have to disagree slightly.  I would take Binaural over the others mentioned here.  Even with the warts, it's a more interesting album, and the outtakes from those sessions are among my favorite tracks on Lost Dogs.

    I can respect a band trying to move beyond its comfort zone even if the results don't alwyas meet expectations.  The desire alone to experiment is a draw for me.  (But then, I listen to a lot of avant rock, too.)

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to NedNiederlander's comment:

    You're not talking to me, but I'll chime in on the CRR thing. They had already put out a handful of really good records and I think the John Dan Fogerty brotherly issues were cropping up anyway.

    That's likely a lot to do with why that band, as great as they were, fizzled out.

    Also, their sound and style of music, as great as their sound was, as underrated as it was, was pretty limited. They would have needed a re-invention period, IMO, if they were going to have one of these Rolling Stones kind of longevity.

    The Byrds were like that, too.

     



    Feel free to respond to any question, they're open to anyone.     It's hard to know if CCR had run their course, and ultimately hit the wall, but agree that's probably the case.   I love the old classics when I hear them, but another 10-years of similar output?  

    Band lifecycles are based on many elements.   Some are mysteries, some are obvious.  

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to polar123's comment:


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     



    I saw, while making this thread, that "No Code" was a noteworthy misfire; Good call.    

    What do you think re: Lush?   I read that their last album was a disasterous misfire, "Lovelife"; it was ill-received (and ill-conceived) and they never made a comeback afterwards, ergo, it killed 'em.   They never recorded another album.   

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to polar123's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     



     

    I saw, while making this thread, that "No Code" was a noteworthy misfire; Good call.    

    What do you think re: Lush?   I read that their last album was a disasterous misfire, "Lovelife"; it was ill-received (and ill-conceived) and they never made a comeback afterwards, ergo, it killed 'em.   They never recorded another album.   

    [/QUOTE]

    I like that album.  It's no surprise the trippy stuff was a purposeful limitation they needed to move beyond.

    Sadly, they still didn't get the notoreity they deserved.  The drummer killing himself likely ended the band, IMO.

     

     

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    In response to polar123's comment:

     


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     



     

    I saw, while making this thread, that "No Code" was a noteworthy misfire; Good call.    

    What do you think re: Lush?   I read that their last album was a disasterous misfire, "Lovelife"; it was ill-received (and ill-conceived) and they never made a comeback afterwards, ergo, it killed 'em.   They never recorded another album.   

     



    Lush is a good example Yoga.  Lovelife was not all that bad, yet the criitics hated it, despite it being their top selling album.  I agree with Matty, I have rarely seen a band write as many great songs, have such a devoted following, yet for some reason, larger fame remained elusive. In interviews with surviving band members you can hear the frustration in their voices, on being largly a cult band. I think when the critics started (unfairly) ripping their songwriting around the time of Spilt, and then just tearing them apart on Lovelife, the writing might have been on the wall. The drummers death made it inevtable.

     

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to polar123's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    In response to polar123's comment:

     


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     



     

    I saw, while making this thread, that "No Code" was a noteworthy misfire; Good call.    

    What do you think re: Lush?   I read that their last album was a disasterous misfire, "Lovelife"; it was ill-received (and ill-conceived) and they never made a comeback afterwards, ergo, it killed 'em.   They never recorded another album.   

     



    Lush is a good example Yoga.  Lovelife was not all that bad, yet the criitics hated it, despite it being their top selling album.  I agree with Matty, I have rarely seen a band write as many great songs, have such a devoted following, yet for some reason, larger fame remained elusive. In interviews with surviving band members you can hear the frustration in their voices, on being largly a cult band. I think when the critics started (unfairly) ripping their songwriting around the time of Spilt, and then just tearing them apart on Lovelife, the writing might have been on the wall. The drummers death made it inevtable.

     

     



    Good points.

    Shoegaze was never really critically popular, and it was kind of beside the point to compare every album of the genre to MBV's "Loveless"...just like it would be comparing every pop group to the beatles.

    The other ugly truth is that female-fronted rock bands often don't get the respect they deserve.  Period.

    I mentioned Kristin Hersh earlier...why Throwing Muses isn't recognized as one of the craftiest, original bands of the 90s and 'grunge' era is an utter mystery and an insult.  And it's not just critical acclaim, it's about avoiding the double standard of female songwriters being hailed not for the depth and intelligence of their work but only for the 'female perspective' or as only a counterpoint to traditionally male idioms.

     

    Sorry...rant over.

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    I think Elvis Costello started to lose it with Punch the Clock and especially Goodbye Cruel World. I have remained a fan through it all but for me he never recorded another album to rival any of his first six albums of original material, ending with Imperial Bedroom. I know there are many fans he picked up who thought some of his albums after that were brilliant. For me it wasn't because he tried new things but that the new things that he tried were not executed very well. I don't care if an artist explores different styles as long as he does them well. There are two other similar performers from that same time period who I think did a better job of of sticking to what they do best, with a few missteps now and then: Joe Jackson and Graham Parker.





    "Hold it fellows, that don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change."

    -Elvis Presley

     
  23. This post has been removed.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to polar123's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    In response to polar123's comment:

     


    Pearl Jam. The bands first three albums were steller, and then they kind of lost their way. No Code and Yield have some good songs (a lot of filler), but Binural and Riot Act were real misfires imo, that lacked the intensity and creativity of their earlier work. The single The Last Kiss, seemed odd and out of place.. I thought the band really got back to it's creative songwriting roots on the self titled Pearl Jam., and subsequent albums. 

     

     



     

    I saw, while making this thread, that "No Code" was a noteworthy misfire; Good call.    

    What do you think re: Lush?   I read that their last album was a disasterous misfire, "Lovelife"; it was ill-received (and ill-conceived) and they never made a comeback afterwards, ergo, it killed 'em.   They never recorded another album.   

     



    Lush is a good example Yoga.  Lovelife was not all that bad, yet the criitics hated it, despite it being their top selling album.  I agree with Matty, I have rarely seen a band write as many great songs, have such a devoted following, yet for some reason, larger fame remained elusive. In interviews with surviving band members you can hear the frustration in their voices, on being largly a cult band. I think when the critics started (unfairly) ripping their songwriting around the time of Spilt, and then just tearing them apart on Lovelife, the writing might have been on the wall. The drummers death made it inevtable.



    I can't take credit for thinking of Lush, but I thought it was an inspired example.   Some bands are just not meant to have a long run, and there may or may not be any rhyme or reason, but being torpedoed  by critics for selfish reasons is reprehensible, and if that is part of the reason for their demise, that is shameful.   This is why a thread re: a misfire has many twists and turns, b/c it may just be the actual timing of the so-called "dud" that is the nail in the proverbial coffin.    So many bands just carry on after a misfire, even though it's a blot on their overall catalog. 

    Replacing a drummer (with all due respect, as suicide is a sad ending no matter how you see it), is not insurmountable, however.   It just must have seemed futile to the band; they were discouraged as it was, and the suicide put the issue of continuing to rest.   Sad.

    I have only "Spooky" at this point, but hope to obtain at least one more of their albums. 

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Album Misfires (and more)

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Shoegaze was never really critically popular, and it was kind of beside the point to compare every album of the genre to MBV's "Loveless"...just like it would be comparing every pop group to the beatles.

    The other ugly truth is that female-fronted rock bands often don't get the respect they deserve.  Period.

    I mentioned Kristin Hersh earlier...why Throwing Muses isn't recognized as one of the craftiest, original bands of the 90s and 'grunge' era is an utter mystery and an insult.  And it's not just critical acclaim, it's about avoiding the double standard of female songwriters being hailed not for the depth and intelligence of their work but only for the 'female perspective' or as only a counterpoint to traditionally male idioms.

     

    Sorry...rant over.

     



    RE: Female fronted bands / respect and their staying power, I agree.  I think we've had a thread on this topic, but it wouldn't be a bad one to revisit.  

    RE: Kristen Hersh.   I'm sorry to say this, b/c it's not music-related criticism, but she's written 2 books, and one is a memoir and reveals her struggles with depression.  I'm not sure concisely why, but her reasoning for writing this book perplexed me, and reduced her stature for me.    If she's a writer now, that's fine, but did the world need a full book about her life?   $$$.   Again, all I can say is that it turned me off, and if that's irrational on my part, so be it.  =)

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share