When good bands go bad...

I was discussing music with a friend of mine last night, and we started talking about the actual song where a band sells out. I can pinpoint a few, such as:
Jewel - “Intuition.” Jewel had always had my respect as an artist in her older stuff. I thought that Pieces of You was a brilliant album, but when she veered away from the acoustic guitar for a techno track, I tuned out.

Metallica - “Enter Sandman.” They caught a lot of flack for selling out with the release of the “Black” album, as it featured shorter, more radio-friendly songs.

Liz Phair - “Why Can’t I?” Phair had always been a rocker. A mess-with-me-and-I’ll-hurt-you kinda girl. When she released a simple “love” song (albeit about two people who are involved with other people), it sorta went against everything she’d already established.

Aerosmith - “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.” Some will say that they sold out before this song, but when they recorded a love song for Steven Tyler’s daughter’s movie (which, from what I understand, was written about his daughter, but sounds more like a song from one lover to another), they jumped the over-cliched shark.[/ul]

Any others? I’m trying to pinpoint the exact song, if at all possible.

Aerosmith did not write “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” (known to us hardcore Aero-heads as “I Don’t Want To Kiss her Thing.”) Diane Warren did. So it ain’t about Liv.

Pisses me off unbelievable that this piece o’ poo is their sole number one.

And they redeemed themselves with last year’s Honkin’ On Bobo - at least in my book.

Young MC: “That’s the Way Love Goes.” His first album had a huge variety of styles for the time. But I decided not to pick up the second when he tried to do a carbon copy of “Bust a Move”.

I can’t think of another example of a band I once liked going down the craphole, they usually break up before that can happen.

Goo Goo Dolls. Before Iris started them on the road to Movie Soundtrack Hell, they were quite the kick-ass hard rock/punk band.

Pick up a copy of Hold Me Up too see just how incredible they were just before beginning to tip over to the lame side. For added fun, give a listen to their debut album, especially Don’t Beat My Ass With A Baseball Bat.

I’ll withdraw that comment about their writing it, but not my basic disdain for the song. And they should’ve fuckin’ better known better.

Korn: “Got the Life.” About that time they started releasing posters of their bad selves with manly dogs and spikes and stuff. Very silly, I haven’t bought an album since.

Styx, around the time of “Cornerstone.” The single “Babe” made me never want to hear anything they ever did after it, because they’d lost it. Dennis DeYoung was determined to do mush and theatrical concept albums… it wrecked the band. Tommy Shaw, their guiding light, quit. Then later DeYoung quit. And one of the Panozzo brothers passed away. No more Styx.

I was surprised as hell to learn that Larry Gowan, a Canadian star in his own right, has been the lead singer for a number of years, of a band still calling itself Styx. They recently put out an album of covers, apparently to widespread apathy.

Yes: “Owner of a Lonely Heart”–Yes had already dropped the ball three years earlier by making an album without Jon Anderson, whose voice defines the Yes sound. But then they got him back, only to release this…thing. Ugh.

Genesis: “Follow You, Follow Me”–the rest of the And Then There Were Three album was merely turgid. This dreadful ditty topped off the album by removing the “gi” from that description. The band never recovered.

[slight hijack]
Hey, Biffy, are you a student of Frank Zappa records? I’ve been reading a website for a couple of days now, where somebody with your username has gone into excruciating detail on the differences between LPs and CDs and the like. I just wondered if it was you.
[/slight hijack]

That’s probably the Zappa Patio, which I contributed a little bit to via the Zappa usenet newsgroup. Yeah, I’m a pretty big Zappa fan. There are a few articles concerning random points of ultra-nerdy Zappa minutiae at my own site.

Yep, that’s the place. I admire others who are as into recording minutiae as I am. I’ll be visiting your site, too. Thanks for the link.

Didn’t they pretty much invent the heavy metal ballad with ‘Dream On’? The insipid ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’ is just their latest crime. Their worst was creating the genre to begin with.

Well, Revtim, I did say that there may be disagreements as to when they sold-out. I don’t mind “Dream On.” But I’m sure that some MMV.

No Doubt with Hella Good. Though, that might have just been Gwen Stefani going bad…

Aerosmith’s clear point of jumping the shark came with the release of Get a Grip, which featured the horrible tracks with Alicia Silverstone in the videos. (I maintain that “Cryin’” and “Crazy” are the same song.) Pump was still a pretty good album. I was a huge Aerosmith fan at the time, and Get a Grip just made me wonder why they had suddenly decided to suck.

Reasonable people can disagree on when exactly Metallica jumped, but after Some Kind of Monster, it’s really hard to make a case that they haven’t.

Gwen herself went bad when she decided to sing a Fiddler On the Roof song as a pop release.

I’m gonna have to call Shenanigans on Liz Phair. Her first two albums, while rocking quite hard in parts, were very tender and vulnerable at times - “Fuck and Run” is about the saddest song I’ve ever heard…


Ha! People don’t frickin’ believe me when I tell them that the Goo Goo Dolls were fantastic in the early 90’s. When I heard Iris and some of their other songs, I didn’t think it was the same band.


I’m gonna have to go with The Ramones, right around End of the Century. Phil Spector produced that album, and I just don’t care for the sound. The songs were not as solid - on their first 3 or 4 albums, I was hard pressed to find a bad track, but on this and subsequent albums, the great songs, and thereare some great songs, are spread a bit too thin.


I was at the concert in Orlando were they filmed the A&E Rockumentary for them and Honkin’ On Bobo. As a life-long fan and lover of Aerosmith I have to admit this concert (my third Aerosmith over the years) was a big disappointment to me. They were so clearly playing to the cameras it was a drag. At the end of each song it was like you could imagine hearing “Cut!” and everyone stopped and milled about till the intro to the neaxt song.
I would add though I have always loved Dream On. This and Walk this Way were a major part of my post-high school party years.
Thanks guys