Bands That Lost Their Way

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tcm1968's picture

GNR.... they were the biggest band on the planet, drank gallons of the success kool-aid and pretty much vanished.. 

Go Bucks!

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

Some of GNR had major drug and alcohol issues by the time they originally broke up in the mid 90s so who knows how long they would have gone on but Axl Rose was the main reason the band stopped at that point. His lateness to shows at the end of the 93' tour started sparking riots at shows and a year or so later they went to Chicago to record a new album together and he just wouldn't show up to recording sessions. Then he made behind the scene power plays to own the GNR name all by himself, which succeeded when the rest of the band stupidly signed it over because he was effectively holding their careers hostage.

Was glad to see them on tour a couple years ago when they reunited but Axl really made himself impossible to work with for a long time. It seemed he thought he alone was GNR and eventually came to the conclusion after 20 years the whole band together was bigger than he was.

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Jobu's picture

Saw them in Cleveland. 3/5 of the original band was good enough for me. 30+ tracks with no openers and basically played Appetite from front to back

"Success: It's What You Do With What You've Got"- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

GNR definitely always sounded slightly different depending on the drummer, and not having Izzy Stradlin alters their sound now too. Having Axl, Slash, Duff, and Dizzy is enough to make them retain the sound they are known for though. The variants of the band that only included Axl sounded like a completely different band playing GNR covers. Some of those songs sounded great but you could easily tell it was not the same band.

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Elks' comb over's picture

Axl Rose is/was an asshole and wanted to start adding horns and shit to their music which was the last straw for Slash.

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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The Rill Dill's picture

I’ve seen a lot of concerts, and very high on my list us the AC/DC tour with Axl Rose on vocals. 

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TeddyKGB's picture

The last straw for Slash was signing away his rights to GNR, and Axl always being late.

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Elks' comb over's picture

Been a while since I read Slash’s autobiography (which was good by the way), but I believe he mentioned the horns was what finally set him off to call it quits. Axl wanted to take the band in that direction and Slash didn’t want anything to do with it. Axl being late and difficult to work with didn’t help. 

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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TeddyKGB's picture

Probably a combination of all of the above.  I read Slash's and Duff's books (Duff's was better).  I remember them telling a story of being side stage waiting to go on, and hour or so after the show was supposed to start.  The crowd is chanting "Guns N' Roses" over and over, and Axl refused to go on until both of them (the only remaining original members) signed over their rights to him.

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Northern Nevada Buck's picture

AIR SUPPLY...first two albums were as sweet as cotton candy...bitter saccharin after that.

:)

"Give your dream an aspiration date."

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

MGMT-After oracular spectacular, pretty much downhill

Incubus--Love their old stuff last 2 or 3 albums not very strong

The Killers--first 2 albums were good...then the last 2 or 3 just seems like they are being done for a paycheck. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I am with you on these.  Once the fame is achieved, it seems to be less about the music and more about album sales.  

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lljjgg's picture

Incubus is the painful one for me. My favorite band from Fungus Amongus through A Crow Left of the Murder. Their last few albums have been nearly unlistenable. I can't believe the writing has gotten so bland, Mike's guitar work has gotten really boring. Not to mention they never really recovered from the loss of Dirk's bass, outside of the ACLOTM album.

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Zonabuck's picture

MGMT made a deliberate decision to back off the elements of their music that were the most popular, which in their case meant their best stuff. I guess if you don’t really feel it, then you can walk away, but they certainly could’ve written more in the vein of Electric Feel, Kids and Time to Pretend and sell them to others. Great stuff. 

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KBonay's picture

Great live though. 

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BuckeyeChief's picture

They are on my list. I don’t think they are coming here anytime soon though.

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flipsaari2's picture

> MGMT

you couldnt be more off base about them. they didnt like their hit songs. they're a psych rock band at the core and were never there to please the masses, which is why they went away from the direction of their early singles. they made music for themselves more than anyone, which is the opposite of selling out. Congratulations was leaps more creative than Oracular and more in tune with the music they wanted to make. their subsequent self titled was incredible unmarketable and inaccessible to anyone who liked MGMT for 'kids' or 'electric feel'. then last year they dropped one of the best albums of 2018 but not enough people pay attention to them outside of wanting them to go back to their "original" sound which is hilarious because the rest of OS outside of those three songs is way more in tune with the rest of their catalog than those hits.

MGMT didnt lose their way, they FOUND it in a time where too many bands would have truly lost it while chasing more money.

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BuckeyeSki's picture

Bring Me the Horizon

All That Remains

Asking Alexandria (or Danny Warsnop in general)

Five Finger Death Punch

A Perfect Circle (super disappointing)

Leave one wolf alive....and the sheep are never safe

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

I enjoyed the newest A Perfect Circle album. Can't stand FFDP new or old anymore, I used to really dig them though in my early teens so I think that is just more my musical tastes maturing.

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buckeyeCWRU's picture

Agree on all that remains, although their newest album was much better than the previous and more a return to form for them.

For BMTH, I actually like Amo so far. I am cool with them evolving provided they still play songs off sempiternal when performing.

#PoppyStrong

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Hovenaut's picture

*Puts on protective gear*

Agree with your included list, BiNY...solid choices for reasons included. 

My first thought was (is) U2 - their older stuff is phenomenal, and while I appreciate Bono's passion for various humanitarian efforts, their music has taken a back seat to their image. 

KISS - A glorified tribute band now, just making as much money as they can anymore. 

(Tightens up protective gear)

Metallica - Maybe not sell out per se, but they've lost their way...as in they haven't seemed to know who they want to be anymore. May he RIP, but I can't see Cliff Burton being on board with "Load" or "Death Magnetic". 

Green Day - Hard to believe they were once the underground punk icons once upon a time, now they sound like U2 in training.

(Paging BvsTW) - Taylor Swift. What is it girlfriend? Pop? Country? Music with a message? I get it, and respect for her talent, but she's swinging for the fences...without being sure which direction to face.

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elitesmithie's picture

I just saw Metallica on Monday. They were great however I do agree the MTV phase about 13 years ago was bad. I think the main reason they changed is age. Its hard to do Shred metal in your 50's.

Agreed on APC. Got the last album and it was ok but their first two were some of my favorite music of all time.

Underoath for reasons I can't say on this forum. 

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TeddyKGB's picture

I saw them this week and they raged it.  I don't know what you were looking for.  They don't headbang but they still play heavy stuff.

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elitesmithie's picture

I am in agreement with you. I loved it. I am just saying its not realistic to think they will sound like 1985 for a full 2 hours.

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stubbzzz's picture

What don't you like about Underoath?   Do you mean the lyrics?  or when they changed drummers?

I'm pals with them a little bit.  A few of them anyway.  they used to sleep in my apartment, when they would come through on tour, back in the day, and my band played shows with them every once in a while, and my roommate was their tour manager for a good while.  we don't really keep in touch though, so your complaints are safe with me, haha.   

but my point was, Aaron is my dude, and a lot of people complained when they changed drummers on that one album... but I actually thought it was their best stuff.  I thought the Norma Jean guy's approach was great, and the emphasis on groove over flash was just what the Doctor ordered for them.  

If it's the lyrics, or spiritual content in some way, It wouldn't bother me, personally, but I understand why you don't want to talk about it, with the rules of the site and all.   it makes sense.  

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elitesmithie's picture

50/50 On the Drummer and corresponding style change and the other 50 being the site unfriendly stuff. People can do whatever they want but when its part of your selling point and vibe and then you back track it leaves a taste in my mouth.

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

Damn I used to jam some Underoath, they were my jam growing up. Not what they once were for many reasons unfortunately.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

Solid list.  

Like you, after putting on protective gear, would suggest Bob Dylan in the group of monster names.   

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logamaniac's picture

after which album? because the guy has almost 40.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I'd put Dylan more in the sellout group.  Used to sing for a cause, not to sell a Chrysler.  

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logamaniac's picture

The guy doesn't have a voice anymore.  If you listen to his most recent album, 2017's Triplicate the content is fine but the singing is just yikes.  from what he was that is, he's way too Tom Waits-y now.

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stubbzzz's picture

yeah man, Bob Dylans voice is unrecognizable these days.   I walked up on an outdoor Bob Dylan concert a few years ago, in Nashville, and I saw there were tons and tons of people in the crowd,  but the singing sounded so bad.  I was confused, and asked somebody, who is this?    they look at me funny and go "Bob Dylan, maaaan!"   and all I could say was  yeesh!!   I was shocked how bad it was, and it's not like Bob Dylan was ever known for having a good voice to begin with.   He's famous because of his lyrics mostly, almost in spite of his voice.   but this was so bad it was awkward.   

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stxbuck's picture

I disagree-Dylan does his thing and doesn't give a fuck............his back catalogue has more great songs that never got radio play than most bands ever got a whiff of. I saw him about 10 years ago and he was great-if you are the type of person who demands a Freddy Mercury/David Bowie type stage presence and voice, of course you will slag on him-but he played a great set and gave the audience it's $$$$s worth. Dylan is a true artist/musician-he doesn't give a shit about bs theatrics or sing along anthems. His best advice for any music fan was something that I try to follow-and doubt most younger fans do-partly due to the lack of liner notes on albums, namely "Find out what artists your favorite artists were influenced by and listen to them. Then find out what artists those artists were influenced by and listen to them!!!!"

There are Dylan "fans" who cream over "The Times They Are a Changin'" or "Like A Rolling Stone" b/c they have had them shoved down their throats by the baby boomer nostalgia machine, but wouldn't recognize "Visions of Johanna" or "Serve Someone" if they were smacked upside the head with them.

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Zimmy07's picture

Wait until people find out he wrote a song called Isis.  (Bet that doesn’t get done live anymore, which sucks ‘cause I like that song.)

Visions Of Johanna kept me up past the dawn.

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

Ugh. I loathe Green Day. So commercial it is ridiculous. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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KBonay's picture

And they let politics get in the way of their music.  Being political has always been a part of rock, but don't make it more important that the music.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

Agreed, but to be fair, they did that years ago, when the Dixie Chicks did it. (They still haven’t recovered).

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poop's picture

Billy has his own eye shadow line with Kat Von D. I hate the cliche "selling out" but there it is. 

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

Fair criticisms but I'd also add every band has to evolve while also at some point becoming a bit of a nostalgia act if they're going to stay together for 40 years. There aren't many bands that can do that, and while it's easy to say they should stop when at their peak, this is their career and passion. Not easy to just stop doing something you enjoy and make a lot of money at.

The Stones, U2, Springsteen, Dylan, Metallica, Kiss, Green Day, etc. will never be what they were when the bands were cutting edge and all 20 somethings. Making money and becoming famous tends to make the music less interesting. But I still think it's cool when bands can stay together for 20-40 years because it's a rare thing.

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TeddyKGB's picture

Metallica and Dylan don't belong on that list.

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

Metallica may still be great in concert but some of their music from the late 90s early 2000s was not great IMO - especially compared with their 80s and early 90s stuff. I admittedly have no clue what their new music is these days. GNR is surprisingly great in concert. I went in thinking it would just be a nostalgia act. They can still play. Pearl Jam is great in concert but I don't think their recent music releases stack up to their early stuff. I just don't know many or any examples of bands that came out with their best work after the age of 35-40. Doesn't mean they can't still put on a good show, but the best original music they put out is almost never after that point.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

 I just don't know many or any examples of bands that came out with their best work after the age of 35-40

Johnny Cash.  Man, he just got better with age.  

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

Good call. Cash had a great comeback late in life but he was in the music wilderness for years with nobody paying attention to him. His best original music was still before the age of 35-40 but his comeback in the last 10 years of his life was impressive, although much of the music he recorded were adaptations of others work and not completely original.

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TeddyKGB's picture

I heartily disagree with this.  His covers of Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, etc got him a lot of press and a renaissance, but "I Walk The Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Give My Love To Rose, Big River, etc. his classics were earlier in his career.

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Hovenaut's picture

Solid comment, BB. 

The "sellout" brush can be tough to use - it can be a tough label for a band/artist that's made it, and they lose their edge. 

On the other hand, artists should evolve - the Beatles are fine example of that. I prefer older Kings of Leon material, but they've grown...grown well. 

I didn't mind Metallica cutting their hair and finding melody, and realize they had such a presence earlier in their career they'd be just chasing a legend at some point had they not evolved. 

But some bands/artists just become a parody of themselves (again, I offer KISS), but I also respect the longetivity...it's not a given.

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

I agree with you on Kiss. I'm not sure they ever had the musical chops (something they admitted) to evolve the way other acts have. As far as the Beatles go they evolved quickly but they weren't together that long. They basically were a band for 9-10 years. This would be like if U2 broke up in 1989 or 1990. I have no doubt the Beatles would have continued putting out cutting edge music, as most of the members did on their own for quite some time.

But where would the Beatles have been in 1990 had they all lived or 2000 or 2010? Sadly, probably the same as most bands that get older. They'd be a nostalgia act. That's what McCartney became on his own. It's inevitable. Part of the Beatles greatness was they stopped when on top and never reunited. Not many bands can say that. It adds to their greatness. 

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NoVAsmitty's picture

Hovenaut, I strongly ....... agree with you on U2.  Saw them last Spring and what a disappointment.  Just seemed to go through the motions.  Very produced show.  Their new stuff is very underwhelming.  Just a shell of themselves from the Unforgettable Fire, Joshua Tree, and even the Vertigo tours.  They struck me as just some aging rock stars, and then I recalled seeing the Rolling Stones in the summer of 2015 and those old geezers rocked hard for three hours.  I don't think the Stones have put out any good music since 1978's Some Girls (and even that wasn't up to their standards), but a concert featuring music from the four greatest back to back to back to back albums in history (Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street), plus their 1965 American tour, was amazing. Probably the best concert I had been to since U2's Unforgettable Fire tour stopped at the old Cleveland Coliseum in Richfield.  

Saw a bland Morrissey at Nashville's Ryman a couple years ago.  Wife and I left half way through the show.  All that remains of him is he's still full of himself (a warning to Bono).  Red Hot Chili Peppers are another band that I think has gotten stale since Californication.  I'd still see them in concert though.  

January 30 was the 50th anniversary of the Beatles Apple Music building roof top concert.  Talk about a band that just became a production after they stopped touring in 1966.  Read an article about it yesterday.  They almost didn't do the rooftop gig because they were too afraid they couldn't pull it off.  They had forgotten how to be musicians who could rock in a band and instead had become just a studio production of George Martin.  

“I intend to make Georgia howl.” General William Tecumseh Sherman

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Hovenaut's picture

I saw newsclips of the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four's roof top show...the Beatles were before my time, but I remain in awe at how much they were able to accomplish in less than a decade's time.

Great read on on this via Rolling Stone a couple days ago, a good look behind the story. They were worried, yet at some point they started playing...John looked at Paul...and the rest, as they say, is history.

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NoVAsmitty's picture

Good article.  I don't mean that the Beatles music after 1966 went down hill.  It most certainly didn't.  Some of my favorites from Sgt Pepper to Abbey Road were after they stopped touring.  I just think they turned into session musicians relying on cutting edge production (much of which I think is still done today).  

“I intend to make Georgia howl.” General William Tecumseh Sherman

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stxbuck's picture

The Beatles pre-Rubber Soul were godawful cheese-pop. They were The Monkees that got born again hard in the studio.

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

That's too bad. I saw U2 maybe 15 times between about 1998-2006 (PopMart, Elevation, Vertigo tours) but haven't seen them since then. They put on a great show in that timeframe and would go through a lot of their catalog if you caught them multiple times on one tour. 

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Jobu's picture

I think The last two Kiss albums are really good. Sonic  Boom and Hell or Halelujah both have material that stands up to their 70s stuff 

"Success: It's What You Do With What You've Got"- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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Hovenaut's picture

Yeah, and that's the thing...they (Monster and Sonic Boom) were actually great from a production standpoint. I prefer the original band, but Singer and Thayer are solid performers in their own right.

People want to hear the older stuff, the original band, etc...change is inevitable.

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The Rill Dill's picture

I could easily put ZZ Top on the list.

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mr.green's picture

Revolution Radio (Green Day) is a fantastic inspired album. Give it another listen. And turn the volume up to full blast. 

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KBonay's picture

Metallica's latest, Hardwired, has gotten back to old school metal, IMO.  While I agree they've changed since the early days, I don't think they have lost their way.  Just blazing a path they've created for themselves, trying out new things and sounds.  But Hardwired brings it back full circle.  Takes more than one listen, but it's there.

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GoFor3's picture

Metallica’s new album is fire. Spit out the bone is up there with every great song they have ever made. 

Go Buckeyes!

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logamaniac's picture

all bands that don't have anything to say fade away.  its hard to have something to say when you've attained everything you wanted.  the drive just isn't there.

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BuckeyeSki's picture

This is a great point. That's why MOST bands first albums are their best work, they are hungry. Literally AND figuratively 

Leave one wolf alive....and the sheep are never safe

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moxywoxy's picture

While for some that may be true, in my opinion the bigger reason why debut albums are the best is because most often those are songs the artist/band has been working on for years. Sometimes their entire life up to that point, without record label influence. I've read more than one interview where that was said in so many words.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I think you bring up a good point of the record labels influence.  Add that to a producer, and the whole soul of a band can change.  

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Netbuck's picture

Kind of like when Linkin Park got with Rick Rubin and decided to be a 'serious rock band'.

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logamaniac's picture

I can attest that the demo before the debut strokes album was better than the studio release.  if you can find some of the tracks, listen to Last Night demo vs the album version.  album is drained of passion and you can get an idea for the slower tempo and almost hear the boredom in the voice of Julian.

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stubbzzz's picture

I was just going to say the same thing.   Also after spending years writing that first album, the labels usually want them to put a new album out every two years.   And not every one can keep up the quality, working at that pace.   Some can, but not everyone.  Especially when you consider that half that time is spent on the road touring.   

when you think about it, a lot of legendary bands, have enough clout that they can take 4 or 5 years between albums if they want, and I’m sure that is a factor in why the albums turn out so good.   Less rushed, less forced, less stressed, and more time to be thoughtful and detailed.   

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KBonay's picture

And we were the suckers for all those years buying shit albums for one hit. That’s why I have zero sympathy for record labels and their crying about shared music. 

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Wargor's picture

"Now a life of leisure and a pirate's treasure, don't make much for tragedy."

- Some guy from Jersey.

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irish-buckeye's picture

I'm the biggest u2 fan on the planet - but will happily admit their last few albums don't come within a country mile of the Joshua tree and achtung baby eras
I'd also add smashing pumpkins to this as well

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logamaniac's picture

remember when they had apple put their album on everyones iDevices without their choosing to download it?

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Hovenaut's picture

Love Achtung Baby, fantastic effort from U2.

You're spot on to mention Smashing Pumpkins here...Corgan has his business model intact.

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Zonabuck's picture

When they were recording Achtung Baby, there was a point where they didn’t like the stuff they had, and were openly asking whether they had anything left. Supposedly, Bono played “One” for them, and that got the ball rolling and they turned out a very good record. From there on out, though, it always felt like they had to find some way to inspire themselves to come up with a new album worth of material. This either led them on tangents that weren’t representative of who they are, or led to paint by numbers U2 records. I think their first album still holds up like it could be released today, but they’re like The Rolling Stones to me - a decent new song here or there, but a lot of very forgettable music. 

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Hovenaut's picture

I remember reading that (how 'One' rejuvenated them).

I should say I appreciate these bands lasting, especially U2, it just seems like the early music is best.

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Zimmy07's picture

When you say early stuff do you mean Boy, War, The Unforgettable Fire, and October (Under a blood red sky)?  I like those albums just as much or even more than The Joshua Tree.  I think I didn’t like the change in sound after Rattle & Hum though I do like a few of the songs that came later.

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Hovenaut's picture

Yep - their first few albums resonate best with me. There's a ton of in-grown emotion (hardships in growing up, personal loss, religion) in the music and lyrics.

I understand how great an album The Joshua Tree is, but they started to lose me around that time, and Rattle & Hum just seemed like the big cash-in for the band.

Again, U2 and many of the bands listed here deserve all the respect they've earned - they wouldn't have lasted without it. I guess it's just difficult to evolve along with the artist...and maybe that's the beauty of it all.

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

I will piggy back on Hove...I love U2...seen them in concert 6 or 7 times. But the last 2 albums just were so boring and bland. I appreciate the effort being a band that has been in the mainstream so long and still making new music. 

But I feel like they make new music now just to have massive stadium tours to support it. So Bono can pontificate and strut and be in the spotlight. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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analyticalguy's picture

So long as TBDBITL can find it's way into the 'Shoe, I'm good.

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logamaniac's picture

You reference a specific song from an album as evidence they've "died" and ill point out a song on every mainstream artists album released by a record label with a commercial pop hit on it.

Hey Ya was a successful pop song, if you were young enough to be the target demo at the time and went out EVERYONE loved it.  it was successful for what it was, it was no Roses which was also on the album you reference.

If Outkast made another album it would also be filled with great party music along with some deep songs.

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

I miss Outkast. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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logamaniac's picture

I read somewhere that there's talk we might see some Atlanta artists at the super bowl half time show, I have to imagine that would include outkast in some form.

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TeddyKGB's picture

Big Boi and Travis Scott have already been announced.

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BuckeyeChief's picture

So the thing with that is, that was a concept album where they each did their own thing. 

Some crazy contract crap happened where theyvwere on two different labels, and Andre’s company wouldn’t let him record with Big Boi. Not sure where thst stands now.

Big Boi’s last album was decent.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I still contend everything after Stankonia was far inferior.  To each their own, which is what is great about music.  

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logamaniac's picture

Dark humor given the first line in the post to reference The Wind by Warren Zevon?

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aboynamedtracy's picture

Arcade Fire
Radiohead
Bright Eyes / Conor Oberst
Bat for Lashes
Modest Mouse
The Antlers

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TeddyKGB's picture

I don't know what you're expecting from Radiohead. They still bring it.

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KBonay's picture

100%.  I would say they are the least likely band to sellout. 

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aboynamedtracy's picture

I don't believe they sold out, but I am less fond of their material ever since Thom decided acoustic instruments were anathema and moved towards electro spazz-pop. They used to be more melodic and rocking and I miss that.

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KBonay's picture

I can agree with that.
 

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stubbzzz's picture

yeah....  I was going to say, Radiohead has a classically trained composer in the band.  They will never suffer for depth and quality.  

but, now that you've clarified your point....  I agree with you.   I much prefer The Bends and Ok Computer Era.   personally.   I still like their other stuff...  but I LOVE The Bends and OK Computer.   but that's just preference.   I like it more because, they used more regular song structures, and the melodies were much stronger, than they are now.    They switched from being interested in crafting a strong song, to being interested in crafting a "vibe".    each of their songs these days, is just an exploration on a certain vibe.   It's much easier to write a strong melody over a more typical chord progression.  

On the albums I like, it was less of an aimless jam session.  It used to be, that Thom Yorke, would write a good song, with typical chords and a great melody, and then Johnny Greenwood would keep the melody and reharmonize it with cooler chords and everything, and it would come out sounding like a masterpiece.   I'm sure they still do that to some extent (like Burn The Witch is an obvious example),  but I get the feeling that they write more now, with the whole band just jamming on a vibe, and calling it a day.   Don't know that for a fact though.  

there are legitimate reasons for this though.  it's not like they got worse, they just shifted their focus a little bit.  their harmonies got a little more modal and avant garde,  and as a composer myself, I can tell you, when you get into the more avante garde chord progressions like that, it actually limits which note choices you can use in your melodies, that still sound like a natural flow.   I think that's a part of why the melodies got a lot less melodic.   Because the music demanded it.   Could also be that the more successful you  are, the more comfortable you get, and you are less desperate for a masterpiece, so even if you put in 10% less effort,  you end up with 20% less quality in the end?   But everyone goes through that, at some point.  when it becomes easy,  you lose your edge a little bit.    I think that could be said of every band mentioned in this entire thread.

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actionstanleyjackson's picture

Yes they do. Saw them twice last summer and they were great. Always cutting edge. 

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

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KBonay's picture

Damn, hard enough to see them once, let alone twice.

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TeddyKGB's picture

I saw two shows as well last summer.  Both were amazing. Best sound crew ever.

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stxbuck's picture

Yup-whatever they do is always interesting. I love "Burn the Witch". They put on a great show at US Bank last summer.

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DuckBuck's picture

Arcade Fire, what a shame. Up through 'The Suburbs' they were fantastic but their last two albums have been awful.

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flipsaari2's picture

Reflektor has its moments. the second half i way better than the first half, but 'here comes the nighttime' is great as well. 'everything now' i really couldnt get into though.

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kjonesATX's picture

Offseason topic for sure. In a good way, though.

I don't necessarily have my own list or add to the list, but I will comment on a few you mentioned:

- Outkast: Since the song you mention was not the band (both of them) but the album where they both kind of did their own thing, I don't know if it qualifies as the "band" losing their way. Andre was always a bit more eclectic than Big Boi, so I think that's all that was. Overall, I'm not sure the band lost it's way as much as it hasn't put out much of anything new since Stankonia (damn, that was my high school senior year).

-Jay Z: Agreed.

- Shakey Graves: Surprised you mentioned him! I saw him in Austin at a place called "Hole in the wall" about 8 years ago. He was awesome! Kept seeing him playing bigger and bigger events, but haven't really followed him since. Super talented. Guess I need to see what he's been up to. 

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

Shakey Graves really changed things up.  He has gone from folk, blues, country.... to pop.  Very strange.  

I really miss his one man band stuff.  His duets with Esme Patterson were so good.  

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AnotherBuckeyefan's picture

I'll add two:

Eminem -- Marshal Mathers2 is the only CD in a decade that is any good

Mumford & Sons -- the new CD is okay, but not what I was expecting

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silverbullet71's picture

I take it you havent listened to Kamikaze?

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HOLYbucknut's picture

I thought that Kamikaze was Em getting back to his older ways of going after everyone minus the drug-abuse. Revival and the couple before that were hot garbage though.

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Chic'sGhost's picture

Every.  Band.  Ever.  Except the Beatles.  They quit before they could screw it up.  

Maybe Dobbins will get tired. Michigan Man, 11-30-2019

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jpfbucks01's picture

So being a bit older I will offer a few from days of yore

Queen - from solid to great albums from their debut thru The Game, then came Hot Space and Jazz and they never really recovered

Kiss - a couple times - I was Made for Living you?? Shandy, Music From The Elder?? huh

U2 - as others have mentioned. They were the most dynamic band in the world and live they still bring it, but after Achtung Baby they have simply lost their way

Rush - in the late 80's and early 90's. Thru Grace Under Pressure they were great, but from Power Windows thru at least Presto they were tough to listen to. But they made a nice comeback later in their career

The Who - After Who Are You and certainly after Moonie's death and although Kenny Jones is a solid drummer, they simply had no spark left

Deep Purple - twice - both time Ritchie Blackmore left

Van Halen - after Sammy Left

Black Sabbath - After Dio Left in the early 80's, they have frankly a nostalgia act ever since

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Jobu's picture

The Elder I will give you. But I was Made For Lovin You and Shandi were two huge hits off of Dynasty. Gene and Paul have stated over and over I Was Made For Lovin You was always written to be performed live (and every live recording of it cooks) and Shandi was a huge hit in Australia 

"Success: It's What You Do With What You've Got"- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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jpfbucks01's picture

1) Dynasty and I was made for Loving You ware big hits but confused their original core audience. Also technically the album charted lower than its predecessor Love Gun had

2) Shandi was from the Unmasked album not Dynasty and although it may have sold well in a few overseas markets, it was dismal failure in the US which like it or not was the biggest market in the world - Shandi peaked at 47 in the US and Kiss had string of 8 top 40 singles prior to that including 5 in the top 16 including 2 Gold singles

3) overall the Unmasked album was the start of the fall - for 4 straight studio albums they had sold at least 1-2 million copies (from Destroyer thru Dynasty), but Unmasked barely cracked Gold ie 500K or half to 1/4 what their typically sales had been for the previous 4 years and 4 albums. The previous 4 albums charted at least as high as #11, where Unmasked topped out at #35 which was even below what Dressed to Kill had charted at which was before Alive I, and Elder would not even sell Gold level

I was a massive Kiss fan back then. But in retrospect, starting with the 4 solo albums, then the Disco Lovin You, followed by Unmasked and Elder, they saw chart success and sales plummet and lost a great deal of their core audience

I thought Creatures of the Night was a great album and Lick it Up was solid, but I lost interest after that and have never bought anything newer than Lick It Up

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silverbullet71's picture

Jay Z was never good
Outkast didnt do Hey Ya, Andre 3000 did

Linkin Park turned from nu metal to a wanna be U2

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Mastro16's picture

Jay Z was never good

blasphemy

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logamaniac's picture

jay z was never good?  did you ever listen to reasonable doubt?  d'evils holds up today and even with that mid 90s production its a killer album.

that was rhetorical, you've obviously never listened to the album.  so here you go.

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silverbullet71's picture

I have never been a Jay Z fan, he does nothing for me. The Blueprint was decent but even that I feel is over rated

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cdub4's picture

I am a not a huge fan of Jay-Z recent work...but I was a fan of is earlier work. I still remember the friend I had at OSU who would not stop talking about how great Reasonable Doubt was, and he ess right. His first 8-10 of music was really good IMO.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

Outkast didnt do Hey Ya, Andre 3000 did

I see your point, but Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was still released under the Outkast name, even though it was pretty much 2 solo albums combined in one.  

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BuckeyeSki's picture

I'm a heavy metal enthusiast but feel compelled to say that Reasonable Doubt is a masterpiece of an album by Jay-Z

Leave one wolf alive....and the sheep are never safe

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Elks' comb over's picture

Huge Dave Matthews Band fan and when they released Busted Stuff that was rather disappointing. Dave busted out an electric baritone on that album and left his signature acoustic sound by the wayside. There are some good songs on there but it is the weirdest and most un-DMB album there is. I also quit listening to the new stuff after that although I did hear Why I Am and it worked well, but I still haven’t listened to that album or the latest one.

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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BuckeyeIn NY's picture

I was all in on DMB through Before These Crowded Streets, then pretty much lost interest from that point on.  

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Elks' comb over's picture

Actually I’m with you. The album between that and Busted Stuff was Everyday. The music changed from that album on. I do need to check out Groovrux King and see if that was any good. 

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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stxbuck's picture

I stopped giving a damn about DMB after The Lillywhite Sessions album. I recently heard DMB and Warren Hayes cover "Cortez the Killer" which was awesome-mainly b/c DMB got the hell out of the way and let Warren tear shit up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mastro16's picture

The Avett Brothers last several releases have been disappointing. They’re still amazing live, though, so it’s not all over.

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Sobchak34's picture

I didn't like them either, but they've grown on me and I'm a fan now.

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Mastro16's picture

Yeah, I won’t turn their newer songs if they come on. And some of them are very good when they’re live and more acoustic, so I have mixed feelings. Satan Pulls the Strings is now of my favorite songs I’ve seen them do live, but I despise the studio release of it.

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SuomiBuckeye's picture

Justified: good
Future Sex / Love Sounds: excellent
20/20 Experience: good
Man in the Woods: WTH happened here, Timberlake??? Go back to what you are good at please!!!

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Il_Padrino's picture

KISS has been in the news lately - apparently been fighting with each other since the 80s.  Shame actually. 

Living the life!  Go Buckeyes!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

CPO and CDR, USN (ret)

1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002, 2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!

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Run_Fido_Run's picture

Pink Floyd, when they reformed in the mid 1980s under the leadership of David Gilmour.  

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Floyd under Gilmour was still immensely better than most bands out there at that time

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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Elks' comb over's picture

I loved the Gilmour stuff personally. It was no Echoes but it was still damn good.

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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jpfbucks01's picture

The 2 albums with Gilmour in the lead were much better than The Final Cut under Waters

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Seattle Linga's picture

Love this thread NY - lots of great memories reading through these bands.

See you in Indy !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

Seattle Sounders 2019 MLS Champions

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Aerosmith put out some good music in the 80s and early 90s. Permanent Vacation is one of my all-time favorite albums.

STYX really lost its way with Dennis DeYoung. Mr. Roboto? Seriously?

What became of Jefferson Airplane still remains No. 1 as the band that lost itself the most. As Jefferson Airplane they were legendary. White Rabbit. Woodstock. Grace Slick. Then came along Jefferson Starship which was...mehhhhh...then...Starship which was about as close to a musical abomination as one could get aside from Milli Vanilli actually singing a song.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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Hovenaut's picture

Jefferson Airplane is a good call. Grace Slick walked away, but not before participating in some horrendous Starship projects (We Built This City on Schlock and Roll).

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Hovenaut's picture

My wife sent me back in to upvote this.

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logamaniac's picture

you know, ill add Jack White to this.  

Would love to have heard some of the material that didn't make the albums from TWS sessions

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KBonay's picture

Man, I miss me some Jack & Meg. 

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Hovenaut's picture

I'm at dinner, on my phone, but look up The Raconteurs LM.

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logamaniac's picture

raconteurs arent my cup of tea.  too sanitized, I preferred the grit of his garage sound.  one of my favorite albums ever is the live tour release of UTGWNL

exhibit A

Exhibit B

Maybe its because JW has to share expression with the rest of the band instead of just being a dirty loud 2 piece, thats fair.

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Hovenaut's picture

Copy that. 

He's making music with the Raconteurs again (believe they have a couple new tunes out), but I understand the appeal of TWS - and they left a good legacy.

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KBonay's picture

Coldplay
Imagine Dragons

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youra6's picture

Impossible for Imagine Dragons to lose their way considering they were selling out pretty much from day 1. 

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flipsaari2's picture

Imagine Dragons are 'Ad-Rock'...the illegitimate child of Dad-Rock

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silverbullet71's picture

Here are some others

Metallica
Kid Rock

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Jobu's picture

Kid Rock knew he was going to have to re-invent himself sooner rather than later. Sweet Southern Sugar is a pretty solid album. I saw him open for the Stones and in Cleveland and he’s great on stage

"Success: It's What You Do With What You've Got"- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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DuckBuck's picture

Great thread. I'll toss some out there.

Portugal. The Man: Such a great band but their new album is garbage. On one hand I'm thankful they can make a living making music, and I'll always have "In the mountain in the cloud"...but hot shit they are about to spiral down.

MUSE: It hurts saying this, but what are they doing?! The 2nd Law and Drones were painful, save for maybe three songs total. Same with this new album. Please MUSE, come back.

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stubbzzz's picture

I agree with you on Muse.   and the worst part is, they have no excuse.  Matt Bellamy is a classically trained composer.  He knows how notes work together on a level that most other rock musicians have no idea about.   They don't need to write songs, by messing around until they accidentally stumble onto a good idea.   Dude could write an entire song in his mind before he even picks up an instrument, if he wanted to.    with composers like that, your only limitation is your own imagination, and you actually get better with age and experience.   No excuse.   My only guess is that either they stopped taking themselves seriously,  or they just honestly ran out of good ideas?    This one bums me out....    but the good news is, they can get their mojo back at any time.  I'm sure they'll come around again someday.  

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osu78's picture

Boston. After the first album everything sounded like a remix of the first, IMHO.  Which is a shame, cause Sholtz is from Ohio...

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

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hthe620110's picture

Boston is awesome, they always make me feel good when I am listening to them in the morning with the sun shining on my face.

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osu78's picture

Don’t get me wrong I like Boston and they have their own sound; it’s just thier songs tend to all sound similar across their albums. 

Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.

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stubbzzz's picture

I didn’t know he was from Ohio!   That makes me even prouder.   

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Belliott's picture

Weezer. Everything after Pinkerton was trash. 

Saves the day post Stay What you are. Through being cool and can’t slow down are classics. 

Death Cab for Cutie between plans and this new album. 

Lucero after nobody’s darlings

Lykke li

kanye

the shins

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stubbzzz's picture

Saves the Day!   Hell yes!   

Through being cool is a classic.   And I remember when Stay What You Are came out, people acted like it was terrible, just because it’s slightly different than through being cool.   But “at your funeral “. Was always a great song, and revisiting it now, the whole album is way better than it got credit for.  The criticism was silly.   

Same with Weezer and Pinkerton.  People crapped on that album when it came out, but in hindsight, it’s like their best album.   Some great melodies on that album.   I think the old bass player that used to do all the goofy high background vocals was their secret weapon.   It added so much quirky, fun, energy to their songs.   They got a lot more sterile sounding after he left.   Him and Rivers had a great thing going.   

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rotsbu's picture

Weezer came into my mind as well.  I love, love, love the Blue Album.  OTOH, I change the station if "Island in the Sun" comes on.

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

In Flames is a shell of what they used to be. They were a genre defining band early on but their last 3-4 albums are completely forgettable music. I still jam some Clayman and Whoracle though, they had some good stuff back then.

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stubbzzz's picture

In Flames!   The intro to Clayman, I get excited just thinking about it.   

I always really loved the song “Jester Race”, I think was, off of Colony.   

Did you like Soilwork back then too?  Like Natural Born Chaos and around then?   

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

Hell yeah, Soilwork was pretty legit

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TPMBuck's picture

Nickelback - pretty much anytime after the first 5 minutes they got together - all downhill from there

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Dirty419Boy's picture

Most bands lose their way at some point. I could make this list go on and on.

The Clash. Combat Rock album was made for teenage girls.

REM. IRS years are phenomenal. Warner Bros years blech.

Genesis. Once Peter Gabriel left it was over,

Aerosmith. 70s were great. The 80s rebuild version was only great for making them lots of money.

The Knack. What the hell were they thinking with that second album? 

Wolfmother. Nothing else needs said.

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Zimmy07's picture

“The Clash. Combat Rock album was made for teenage girls.”

Holy Crap.  That hurts me.  I actually don’t know a lot of the Clash besides that album.

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stxbuck's picture

WTF on "Combat Rock"!?!?

Cut The Crap was just that, w/ the notable exception of "This Is England"..............

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Kinghellvis's picture

There are plenty of great Genesis records post Gabriel. Though there are plenty in the late 90’s that are not my cup of tea. 

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saintstephen11's picture

Nailed it with Genesis. Went from one of the greatest bands to pop shit.

Trick of the Tail was decent, but once Hackett left it was over. 

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jpfbucks01's picture

For bands like Genesis, Aerosmith and Heart, ie classic bands that changed their style, although i may not have enjoyed the changes in each case, it is hard to say they lost their way when their sales jumped thru the roof

Genesis as great as those older albums had a hard time breaking the American market, even today the best any of those albums did was Gold status and many cases that happened only after their later success

Starting with "and then their were 3" their sales jumped into Platinum level, peaking with "Invisible Touch" going 6X platinum

Aerosmith had a ton of success early with Toys and Rocks etc, but their sales had peaked with Toys at 8X Platinum, but by Rock and Hard Place and Done With Mirrors they were again barely cracking Gold status or 1/16th the sales of Toys

Permanent Vacation sold 5X Platinum or 10 times what Done with mirrors had sold and they sold tons of albums in the new style for years

Heart had several platinum albums to start their career but both Private Audition and Passionworks failed to go even Gold

Then "Heart", "Brigade" and "Bad Animals" all went multi-platinum. In fact "Heart" album with These Dreams etc was their only #1 and still biggest selling album having sold nearly double what the "Little Queen" album had sold almost 8 years earlier

As much as I dont care for those records, it is hard to say the band lost its way or made bad choices when their sales and career were dramatically extended due to the change

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saintstephen11's picture

selling lots of records does not equal good music.

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stxbuck's picture

Too many people don't understand this basic truth.

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jpfbucks01's picture

Saint i agree with you and did not personally care for the changes, but given that in some of those cases those bands simply would not have existed any longer then I can blame them for making the change

As I noted Aerosmith had seen album sales lip so badly in the last 70's into the mid 80's that they were in danger of disappearing

Toys sold 8 million, Rocks 4 million, Draw the Line 2 million, Night in the Ruts 1 milions, Rock and a Hard Place 500K,

By the time Hard Place was done both Joe Perry and Brad Whitford had quit the band. It was their last album on Columbia and took 7 years to reach that 500K sales mark and only due to people getting re-interested in them after Permanent Vacation was released.

They were back to playing clubs instead on arena's and Columbia wanted to dump them

Geffen then took a chance on them and they reformed the classic lineup, but the next album failed to ignite their old audience as sales were weak.

The came the combo with RUN-DMC and Permanent Vacation which included outside writers like Desmond Child, Jim Vallance among others which made a more "mainstream sound". That album and the next 2 combined to sell over 5-7 million copies each or between 10-12 times what Rock and Hard Place had sold

And had it failed then they likely would have been dropped by Geffen and become like Foghat is in our memories.

Besides for all the grief they get for those albums songs like Dude and Janie's although not at Sweet Emotion level were very solid rock songs

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osu992's picture

Can't believe no one's mentioned Greta Van Fleet yet ;-{}

New Day for OSU. Same noon for TTUN.

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hthe620110's picture

I hate to say this and I love this band, but Metallica and Death Magnetic, what the fuck was that shit?

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NOLABuckeye's picture

The Mooney Suzuki
Wilco
Blackberry Smoke

Nothing cleanses the soul like a no call pass interference.

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stubbzzz's picture

I’m gonna throw out one, and just hope someone else knows what I’m talking about?  

Does anybody else listen to Mew?  They’re a Danish band so I know it’s not as well known as it should be, over here, but they were pretty huge in Europe.  Back in like the late 2000’s.     Their first couple albums “And The Glass Handed Kites” and “Frengers”  were like masterpieces.   (After you get used to the singers voice.).   

They really went in the wrong direction for the past decade or so, but their newest album has some pretty great songs on it so it gives me hope that they’re back on track.   

Like how Stella Got Ger Groove Back.   

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TeddyKGB's picture

I had tickets to one of their canceled shows in November.  It annoys me that they continue to tour without doing any attempt to make up the canceled shows.

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BIGTIMEBUCKS's picture

For me it's Incubus. They were once one of the best bands out and their last couple projects have been a slap in the face to their fans. I go back and listen to Make Yourself, Morning View, A Crow Left of Murder, Science... and wonder what the hell happened.

"The Edge is where average stops and elite begins"

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stxbuck's picture

Interesting question. Most bands don't have a long shelf life creatively, and make big $$$ playing their hits years after doing anything new-I'm looking at you Def Leppard. Aerosmith had a great 20 year run-early 70s-mid 90s. Same thing w/ the Rolling Stones-early 60s-early 80s. Other bands/rappers make it, and lose their creative juice/have enough $$$ that they just don't have the same spark as in the early days-Outkast,Jay-Z. I saw Dokken this past summer and it was obvious that Don's voice was completely shot-which may explain why the classic lineup of Bokken-Including George Lynch-are recording a new album w/out Don Dokken!

Some bands are lead-singer/member driven and obviously aren't the same after the untimely departure-Sublime, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Type O Negative, Joy Division-despite the remaining members continuing to pursue other musical projects(Krist Novoselic and the boys from Sublime did an album)-sometimes very successfully-Dave Grohl, Robert Plant, New Order.

IMO, true greatness-in music or in sports-often has a shelf life and a lot of fans have a hard time accepting that the thrill is gone, to quote BB King.

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Mantis's picture

Imagine Dragons is def the first one to pop in my head, in a very big way. 

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Zonabuck's picture

I’ve always thought of Imagine Dragons as a jingles band. They started by putting songs together for the Spider-Man broadway show with Bono and The Edge, and it never got off the ground. Ever since, it just seems like they want to write the song that gets played a zillion times on some TV commercial.  My kids took me to see them live in a bus a few years back, and even then it seemed like each song was doing its own thing, played in a vacuum. Halsey opened about a year and a half before her album came out, and she was a much more polished stage presence that connected with the crowd. 

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stxbuck's picture

This thread illustrates why AC/DC is one of the greatest and most beloved bands ever-they have a killer formula and have never deviated! They know what their fans know, love, and demand and deliver it with precision.

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stubbzzz's picture

Yep.

I said this to some of my guitar students.   Like sure they've gone in and out of style over the years, but instead of trying to change with the trends, and incorporate new elements that they suck at,  they just kept doing their thing, for so long that they always end up back in style eventually.   And you can always count on them to sound like AC/DC.

Good Old, Reliable, Ass Kicking, AC/DC.

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poop's picture

I'm sick and tired of people saying that we put out 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we've put out 12 albums that sound exactly the same.

- Angus Young

God I love this band.

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Netbuck's picture

There have been a few bands on this list that lost their way despite having 'classically trained composers'. I think those guys feel like they have to change their sound, structure, instruments, etc. to prove themselves. Bands like ACDC know when they have something great and are comfortable with what they are.

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stubbzzz's picture

Yeah, you’re probably right.  for me, it’s getting bored with one style.  I like a wide variety of genres, and I want to play them all.  Is the saying, “Jack of all trades, but master of none.”?  I can’t imagine being satisfied playing only one style my whole life.   But boy, am I glad that AC/DC has no problem with it.   Because it seems like bands like that, end up reaching iconic status and keeping their integrity.   Like ZZ Top, also...  it’s 2019 and I can guarantee you ZZ Top hasn’t changed a bit.   

Here’s what I think bands who want to change styles should do...  start a new band.   Keep each band pure in their original style, instead of mixing and mashing them into something that doesn’t work.   like how movie directors can do any genre they want and no one complains, just not within the same franchise.   Jack White is the only guy I can think of who does this, but it works.   New Sound = New Band. The band is like a movie franchise, and the albums are like the movies.  That way,  fans of one band can always get what they’re expecting.   And as long as Jack White’s already famous name is on it, his fans will at least check out his new band,(I.e. give him money...) out of curiosity, and if they don’t like it, well at least it’s not attached to the other stuff they did like, so nobody’s upset about it.   

I know this thread is about bands just getting worse and not necessarily by changing styles, sorry,  if I’m rambling.  Haha.  This is just something I think about quite a lot.   

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stxbuck's picture

Good post-and you are absolutely correct about starting a new band. Corey Taylor, vocalist of Slipknot and Stone Sour did exactly that-the bands are different in style-both good for their genre, but Taylor isn't annoying the fanbase by radically changing Slipknot's sound(by actually singing w/ Stone Sour instead of incoherent raging). Last year was a Stone Sour year-released some stuff, toured w/ Ozzy-they sounded good at Blossom, this year is a Slipknot year-new single/album, on the road.

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Elks' comb over's picture

A Perfect Circle is another that branched off with a different sound compared to the bands they came from. It’s not as drastic of a change compared to Slipknot and Stone Sour but it was different.

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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Elks' comb over's picture

AC/DC never grew old. Malcolm was a master of keeping it simple and it worked album after album. 

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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buckbornbred's picture

Anybody on here who said Metallica is a downright idiot. You need to go back and listen to everything from Black onward. If you can't hear the brilliance, you have no ear for music.

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Pastor Of Muppets's picture

St. Anger just sounds awful.  The snare sounds like someone is hitting a metal chair with a screwdriver.

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TeddyKGB's picture

Some good songs on it but yes, the drums in the mix sound horrid. Like garbage can lids.

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stxbuck's picture

Maybe that's why Lou Reed collaborated w/ Metallica for that awful album Lulu a few years back-he recognized the kind of crap that his sound had fallen into!

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TeddyKGB's picture

From Wikipedia - veracity unknown:

"According to several who knew him, David Bowie claimed Lulu was among Reed's best work or even his very best."

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Knarcisi's picture

Interesting topic. 

Common threads for bands that this tends to happen to, which is a lot of them:

1) many were young and hungry. Didn’t care about the mainstream and first albums always had an edge to it, made a statement, and likely were a multi year build up of music after struggling for many years. Then, produce your next album within 18 months after you’ve bled it dry. Now with record producers doing more of the steering.

2) the drugs - sad but true, but many of these bands were more creative and edgy when the drugs were flowing heavy. Take The Black Crowes after Amorica, when Chris Robinson laid off the heroin and started dating miss blondie pants. 

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stxbuck's picture

I don't think the drugs actually make musicians better-they just give them something interesting to write about. Face it-most dudes don't want to hear a bunch of "I love you babe' songs constantly.

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LCT's picture

FWIW, I'd say John Mayer has gone the opposite direction. The early stuff was too commercial & radio friendly (lame) but I'd say he's transformed himself into one of the most soulful musicmakers around.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 9-1, C 8-0, T 5-0
Ohio State University President Jim Tressel

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LCT's picture

As I think on it, this coincides timeline-wise with when he started hanging out with Bob Weir.

Lifetime vs. UM: L 9-1, C 8-0, T 5-0
Ohio State University President Jim Tressel

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Gratefulbuck's picture

You got that right. Though JM has always been a great guitar player, he has found himself. Gonna be the torch carrier, too. He’s still learning the nuances of improv, his words not mine, but man he is good. And, yes, Weir is absolutely mentoring him. 

Was going to mention this if/when another thread came out about bands/musicians finding their way, not losing it. 

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stubbzzz's picture

Yeah, it took me a long time to give John Mayer a fair second chance, just because I hated that first album so much.   But it did get him on the radio and give him some name recognition, and once you have that, you never really lose it, so he was able to do whatever he wanted after that.   And it turns out he’s actually really good.    

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Elks' comb over's picture

That’s first album if you are talking Room for Squares. The best songs are those that weren’t even played on the radio. I don’t even know how many guitar chords he used in St. Patricks Day but it was an impressive feat. Seriously squeezed as many as he could in there.

“Megadeth >>> Metallica” - Alum 2019. I couldn’t agree more.

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Dillon G's picture

I don't know that Motley Crue and Van Halen got worse at making music, but they sure as hell screwed up from my perspective.

#walkaway

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stxbuck's picture

Crue kinda fell apart when Vince Neil got kicked out of the band and Tommy Lee went to jail/rehab in the mid 90s..........their album/single from a couple of years ago-Saints of Los Angeles was kind of a return to classic form, but no one cares about new stuff from them-they just want to hear the classics-and I don't blame them

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logamaniac's picture

Vince neil sounds like he looks now, fat and exhausted. 

The old crue was fast and energized 

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stxbuck's picture

People change when the lay off the yayo and smack. Everyone in the Crue is in their late 50s-or 60s-Mick Mars. People want to talk about bands "losing it"-guess what-musicians get old too!

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TeddyKGB's picture

Their last tour had backtracking.  I love the Crue but what a horrible decision.  If you can't sing without backing tracks, hang it up.

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Jobu's picture

SOLA was a solid album but I don’t think they ever played the right songs live on the last couple of tours from it. Saints of Los Angeles sounds good live, but they kept insisting on MotherF***er of the Year. Down at the Whiskey, This Ain’t a Love Song, Chicks Equal Trouble are all better songs that would’ve resonated live

"Success: It's What You Do With What You've Got"- Wayne Woodrow Hayes

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bigc's picture

On the OPs original post, I actually loved Aerosmith songs Cryin' and Crazy. Alicia Silverstone in the vids made them very memorable for me as a kid in the early 90's.

For me a band that I used to love but was sorely disappointed in later was The Offspring. To go from Self Esteem to a song like Pretty Fly was a letdown.

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Kyson12's picture

Brittany Spears, just couldn’t do it again. 

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RocketDan's picture

Meatloaf.  Just hasn't been the same since the Original Bat Out of Hell.

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Buckeyeinsc's picture

Unpopular opinion but I think every genre of music fits in this category. It seems to me that music has gotten lazy. Most of the really successful performers are just that, performers. They rarely write their own material (if you can even call it material) and rip other songs for their own albums.

Rap used to have poetry. Rock used to have feeling. Country used to have twang. R&B used to have soul.

Rap and country have definitely fallen the furthest. 

Fighting the good fight in SEC country. "Our honor defend"

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stxbuck's picture

This is true. Rap and country have entered the mainstream pop universe, and the quality has declined accordingly, over the last 20 years or so. Music that is true to the genre's roots will always get overshadowed by pop knockoffs. $$$ talks-and most radio/"average" consumers don't care enough to demand otherwise.

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flipsaari2's picture

you arent looking hard enough beyond whats on the radio it seems

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TeddyKGB's picture

KISS - backtracking on this tour - embarrassing. Video says lip syncing but in reality he just missed the cue.  I guess his voice is shot.

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Mr. Bungle's picture

Metallica.  When Cliff died, it was over. 

SLAYER.  Stayed demonic.  Never sold out. 

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Wilkins78's picture

Jimmy Eat World - Clarity was an amazing album.  After that it was downhill fast IMHO.

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flipsaari2's picture

Futures was their last good one IMO.

they had a couple of overplayed hits on Bleed American but outside of those, the good music was still there.

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