The other day a friend of mine wrote an interesting article on artists who were better off in their early career than what they became as the so-called matured. It is an alternate take on my updated classics post, which took a look at metal artists who’s careers seemed over and made varying attempts at redeeming themselves.
Both got me to thinking, what bands do I miss, particular from the classic rock era who lost their way through their subsequent careers. I’m trying not to be repetitive to either list and keep this really “classic” orientated so it is a compilation of foundation artists for modern day. It’s not without missing works, I’m sure, but I also didn’t drop in bands that were good who’s members went on to disheartening solo careers (the Police, Genesis, the Yardbirds, the Beatles, etc. I’m looking at you!) or bands I just never saw much value in in the first place (add them to the comments if you so chose)
Black Sabbath “Black Sabbath” from Black Sabbath – to think, this band put records out after Ozzy left should have been a travesty but Dio resuscitated them at least through Mob Rules, somehow they kept going to the embarrassment of all, save a few reunions
Jethro Tull “Locomotive Breath” – Look, a flute in a rock band isn’t the oddest thing that’s ever happened, but how Ian Anderson kept making records that were relevant after a certain point is curious, how he won a metal Grammy in the 90s is an atrocity
Deep Purple “Highway Star” from Machinehead – Honestly, there’s always been an identity crisis in DP, but once they perfected the Machinehead sound in the 70s they should have quit, the 80s-present is a wash of who’s-who in WTF careers
Heart “Barracuda” from Little Queen – Did you know they were still making records? No! Me neither, but apparently they turned their post-Zep rock into some kind of cliched career that should have burned in the wind
Jefferson Airplane “White Rabbit” from Surrealistic Pillow – Love Grace Slick and Co, wish they would have left it there rather than tarnishing themselves through the Starship and who knows how many revival records
Chicago “Introduction” from Chicago Transit Authority – Fusion from the rock aesthetic when the genre had no identity left and somehow they became the ballad driven Cetera crap that dominated them for decades. Nothing like cashing in (fyi. I might make the same arguement for Incubus in the modern era)
Kansas “Carry on My Wayward Son” from Leftoverature – (prog)-Rock in the modern era owes a lot to Kansas including its ability to throw its talents out the window for il-fated attempts at cashing in and it started in the 80s with talents cock rockers that lost their roots
Yes “Siberian Khatru” from Close to the Edge – Somehow Yes took their bright and futuristic elements and turned them into owners of a loney career for a long time. True, after a lot of revamps they finally refound themselves as musicians, albeit somewhat irrelevant sonically at times.
Pink Floyd “Run Like Hell” from the Wall – It was the infighting that made the band so dynamic and progressive through the 60-70s era, but the crisis ultimate led to a confused mis-mash beginning with Waters implosion in 81 and the subsequent shuffling that occurred, not that the records are bad, esp comparred to everyone else on the list!
Rush 2112 – this is gonna be super contravercial considering it covers some huge albums in the 80s for them, but once Rush discovered how to manipulate keyboards as a foundation of their sound it became a huge disservice to who they were, even if they kind of did it well on occasion