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Thread: Worst follow up to a great album

  1. #1
    Senior Member EricABQ's Avatar
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    Default Worst follow up to a great album

    One that comes to mind is Def Leppard's Hysteria following up Pyromania. It can be argued that Pyromania wasn't any kind of great album, but it was undeniably a classic of the genre, and Hysteria was just painfully boring (yet somehow sold a bajillion copies.)

    And since I am referencing rock albums from my distant youth, I will mention that Empire was a huge disappointment following Queensryche's Operation:Mindcrime*. The best description I came up with for Empire was "steaming pile of monkey dung."


    *I'm pretty sure I just outed myself as a lover of cheesy rock back in the day. Whatever, don't judge me.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Peter Frampton-I'm In You, released on the heels of the massively successful live album.

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    Senior Member Cnote11's Avatar
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    Operation: Mindcrime is the only Queensryche I cared for that I heard.
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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Loose - Crazy Horse's follow-up to their great sans-Neil Young debut. I suppose with principal writers Danny Whitten beyond the pale with drug addiction and Jack Nitzsche and Nils Lofgren no longer involved it was always going to run the risk of being somewhat less than amazing. It's not that it's bad as such, just lacking any real kind of creative spark that made the first album a real peach.

    Motorhead critically and commercially peaked with Ace of Spades. In terms of quality follow-up Iron Fist was almost like an Ace of Spades outtakes album and effectively showed that the group had painted itself into a corner.

    And an evergreen contender - the very long and very dull Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes. They'd stretched out on the album before (Close to the Edge) but there was still sufficient cohesion and variety on its three tracks to make it a really good listen. Yes obviously thought this wasn't ambitious enough as TfTO gave us a total of four largely tedious and meandering tracks spread out over four sides and proceeded to bore even a lot of their most diehard fans to death in the process. The first real rumblings of an anti-progessive rock backlash probably started here.
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    And an evergreen contender - the very long and very dull Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes. They'd stretched out on the album before (Close to the Edge) but there was still sufficient cohesion and variety on its three tracks to make it a really good listen. Yes obviously thought this wasn't ambitious enough as TfTO gave us a total of four largely tedious and meandering tracks spread out over four sides and proceeded to bore even a lot of their most diehard fans to death in the process. The first real rumblings of an anti-progessive rock backlash probably started here.
    TfTO always gets a 'bad press', more likely because it was this album that prompted Rick Wakeman to leave the band - that's what really caused the backlash sparked by the music press of the time (MM and NME). Just as many Yes fans loved TfTO as disliked it.
    At the time Wakeman didn't understand what Anderson/Howe were trying to say musically - he found it tedious and boring - and was also struggling big time with his own demons (alcohol in particular). It didn't stop Yes from putting down a side-long track on their next album 'Relayer' which, though 'rockier' in style, followed exactly the same pattern musically as 'Ritual' (side 4 of TfTO).
    As far as disappointing follow-ups are concerned, staying with Yes I'd suggest that 'Big Generator' was a dire follow-up to '90210' in Trevor Rabin-era Yes. At the time of course, Phil Collins had turned Genesis into his own pop backing band and was having huge success in the singles chart, and one gets the impression that Yes thought 'we can have some of this', but their own attempts at shorter popier tunes was a complete flop after the initial success of 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' from 90210.
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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techniquest View Post
    TfTO always gets a 'bad press'...It didn't stop Yes from putting down a side-long track on their next album 'Relayer' which, though 'rockier' in style, followed exactly the same pattern musically as 'Ritual' (side 4 of TfTO).

    True, techniquest, but back in the day Relayer was slated quite a lot as well (for supposedly hopping onto the jazz fusion bandwagon with Sound Chaser amongst other things), although hindsight has treated it a little better. You referred to The side-long Gates of Delirium but To Be Over always struck me as being the one Relayer track that is nearest to TfTO in terms of light and shade.

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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    Most people think Talking Heads peaked with Remain in Light (I disagree, I prefer Fear of Music, but hey). With Speaking in Tongues, they lost the rhythmic complexity, their drums became plasticy, their melodic ideas got samey and cloying, and they generally started seeming much more like some tacky 80s new wave band than post-punk innovators.

    I'm sure Eno leaving the production cockpit had something to do with it.
    Last edited by regressivetransphobe; Sep-13-2012 at 17:04.
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    True, techniquest, but back in the day Relayer was slated quite a lot as well (for supposedly hopping onto the jazz fusion bandwagon with Sound Chaser amongst other things), although hindsight has treated it a little better.
    I understand what you're saying about the jazz-fusion bandwagon, but back in the day a far more important factor was the mainstream emergence of Punk: Yes had become a 'dinosaur' along with the likes of ELP (whose 'Works Volume 1' was also panned far more than it would have been had it been released a couple of years earlier). It became hip and fashionable to rubbish prog.

    You referred to The side-long Gates of Delirium but To Be Over always struck me as being the one Relayer track that is nearest to TfTO in terms of light and shade.
    I can't agree here though. 'Gates of Delirium' follows the same structure as 'Ritual': opening section introducing main themes/song; rocky second section (in Ritual it's led by the bass, in GoD it's the lead guitar); 3rd section change of rhythm and lead (in Ritual led by the drums, in GoD led by keyboards), then a quiet, calm and gentle ending song (in Ritual 'Nous Sommes du Soleil', in GoD 'Soon')

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Worst follow up to a great album

    Edie Brickell & New Bohemians:

    Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars,

    followed by-


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    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    This is an interesting but maybe difficult topic, because I feel like artistic declines are usually gradual. There are absolute catastrophes like Saint Anger in the music world, but they're usually preceded by a directionless/mediocre album or two. Rarely does someone "have it", then by the next album they don't.

    I'm cheating a bit here because Discharge wasn't really a band that was about putting out a lot of albums, but after their recognized classic Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, they put out this glam metal trash:
    People who hide are afraid!

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    Senior Member MJongo's Avatar
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    This may be controversial to some, but IMO there is a huge decline in quality from The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat to The Velvet Underground. They went from two masterpieces in a row of groundbreaking, challenging, and engaging music to an album that I can barely get through without skipping tracks because of how boring it is.

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    Since I was into the hair rock thing in the 80s I'd say the follow up albums to GnR's Appetite and Metallica's Master of Puppets were big disappointments to me. Not that, in retrospect, any of it was that good to begin with.
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    Senior Member neoshredder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricABQ View Post
    One that comes to mind is Def Leppard's Hysteria following up Pyromania. It can be argued that Pyromania wasn't any kind of great album, but it was undeniably a classic of the genre, and Hysteria was just painfully boring (yet somehow sold a bajillion copies.)

    And since I am referencing rock albums from my distant youth, I will mention that Empire was a huge disappointment following Queensryche's Operation:Mindcrime*. The best description I came up with for Empire was "steaming pile of monkey dung."


    *I'm pretty sure I just outed myself as a lover of cheesy rock back in the day. Whatever, don't judge me.
    I'm a lover of 'cheesy' rock as you call it. And Hysteria is amazing for me. Much better than Pyromania. I also like High 'n' Dry better than Pyromania. The followup to Hysteria is pretty bad though. That album being Adrenalize. Also Load is bad followup to the Black Album from Metallica. The Final Cut is a bad followup to The Wall. Savage Amusement is a bad followup to Love at First Sting from the Scorpions.

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    Steely Dan's Gaucho was a big let down for me. Aja is brilliant, but Gaucho is a pale imitation, and much too slick and sterile sounding.

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    Senior Member Cnote11's Avatar
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    Every Yanni album after his debut. He sold out, man.
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