commercially disappointing major label rock/alternative albums of 1996

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (706 of them)

He is awesome as Varys on Game of Thrones though.

Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:38 (five years ago) Permalink

Corgan's like seven feet tall--that's why he was put in the back.

Leslie Mann: Boner Machine (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

hahaha nicole

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:48 (five years ago) Permalink

he was also good in the Addams Family movies

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 17:50 (five years ago) Permalink

http://i.imm.io/odjY.png

Philip Nunez, Friday, 4 May 2012 17:51 (five years ago) Permalink

voted for 'new adventures...' without that much doubt, even tho i listened a lot to 'tiny music...' when it came out - and have fond memories of it.

also, 'no code' is prob my fav pearl jam album - not that it matters that much since i was never never a huge fan to begin with - but i don't listen to 'vitalogy' in a very long time...

rusty_allen, Friday, 4 May 2012 17:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Philip wins the thread. It's all about Thayil's "Whatfuckingever, man."

Matt M., Friday, 4 May 2012 17:56 (five years ago) Permalink

Down on the Upside is not great. Ty Cobb is okay, and Blow Up The Outside World. But def pale compared to Superunknown...you could kinda tell they were pretty much done

― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, May 4, 2012 4:16 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes, and 'Pretty Noose', 'Rhinosaur', 'Burden In My Hand', 'Never Named', 'Never The Machine Forever', 'Switch Opens', 'Overfloater' and 'An Unkind'.

― The Jupiter 8 (Turrican), Friday, May 4, 2012 12:27 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

and "Dusty" and "Zero Chance" and "No Attention"!

some dude, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:13 (five years ago) Permalink

btw guys i finally thought of a major label follow-up with a serious sales dropoff from '96 that i totally overlooked for the thread options:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/CrackerTheGoldenAge.jpg

some dude, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:14 (five years ago) Permalink

I actually just listened to "I'm A Little Rocket Ship" the other day

da croupier, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:20 (five years ago) Permalink

i hate my generation!!

call all destroyer, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:20 (five years ago) Permalink

fight this generation

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 4 May 2012 18:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Philip wins the thread.

10. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Tom Cruise (contenderizer), Friday, 4 May 2012 18:29 (five years ago) Permalink

I always thought Cracker was pretty lame and trying way too hard.

You Don't Throw Oranges On An Escalator (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 4 May 2012 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

oh god yes

call all destroyer, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:35 (five years ago) Permalink

lol anthony when you added that song to your spotify 'used bins' playlist at first i thought the playlist was called "I'm A Little Rocket Ship to Used Bins"

some dude, Friday, 4 May 2012 18:38 (five years ago) Permalink

which is p otm when you think about it

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 4 May 2012 18:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Voted "Amazing Disgrace" in spite of it probably being The Posies' weakest album.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Friday, 4 May 2012 20:11 (five years ago) Permalink

lol i'm glad that even you didn't want to vote for Wild Mood Swings

some dude, Friday, 4 May 2012 20:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Amazing Disgrace is definitely better than Success, Every Kind of Light and Blood/Candy, though, even if you prefer the earlier stuff.

some dude, Friday, 4 May 2012 20:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Oops. Didn't see that one. Would have went for "Wild Mood Swings" instead, but thought this was all American alternative and didn't notice it.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Friday, 4 May 2012 20:59 (five years ago) Permalink

bullet = dodged

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 21:01 (five years ago) Permalink

although I'm surprised you didn't give any consideration to the esteemed America musical acts Bush, The Cranberries or Elvis Costello

I'M THAT POSTA, AAAAAAAAAH (DJP), Friday, 4 May 2012 21:03 (five years ago) Permalink

Dan so funny.

Though really, Bush is more an American act than British. By like eleventy jillion.

Matt M., Friday, 4 May 2012 21:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Though really, Bush is more an American act than British. By like eleventy jillion.

OTM!

As for Elvis Costello, "All This Useless Beauty" was maybe his last album worthy of much attention at all, and all the same sooo much less worthy of attention than the one before it.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Friday, 4 May 2012 22:57 (five years ago) Permalink

This thread seems like it was MADE for me, because 95/96 is when I started listening to the radio and catching up on all the stuff, so my musical world was really heavily flooded with these albums and their rather long runs of singles. The soundtrack to countless hours spent designing Duke Nukem levels after school!

Better Than Ezra - Friction, Baby - Only know the singles ("King of New Orleans," "Desperately Wanting") - those are pretty solid though

Bush - Razorblade Suitcase - Owned this. It's horrible.

Counting Crows - Recovering The Sattelites - Again, decent singles - I have no beef whatsoever with "Long December" although a coworker of mine once declared "Trying to sing like that guy just makes me feel... dumpy."

The Cranberries - To The Faithful Departed - Shark-jumping moment IMO.

Hootie & The Blowfish - Fairweather Johnson - Did anyone buy this? I always had the sense they had this ENORMOUS hit record and then this one barely made any impact at all, to the point where I don't recall it even getting a second single pushed after "Old Man & Me." Which is a perfectly good Hootie song, really. You wonder if everyone who bought the first one spent the following couple of years listening to it exclusively and just got sick of their whole thing. I actually put it on recently and it's not a bad album really - but moronically sequenced with all the singles up front and the filler in the back.

Metallica - Load - I have a fondness for all the singles off this. Again, Duke Nukem time. I think "Until It Sleeps" is the first video that I remember just seeing on CONSTANTLY and wishing they would play something else.

Pearl Jam - No Code - This is a good record. It's not as good as its champions want to make out - I find a lot of it just a little TOO jammy and open-ended - but the strong songs are really strong and it has a great sound overall.

The Presidents of the United States of America - II - This is also okay! Consistent, anyway. "Ladies and Gentlemen" I like, also "Tiki God." Did what they do pretty competently. Hard to say it's somehow measurably worse than the first one.

R.E.M. - New Adventures In Hi-Fi - My vote for best here, easily. It's another overlong late-90s CD, but there's no out-and-out duds (the instrumental could go, okay) and it has a wonderfully earthy, recorded-live quality that totally fits where the band was and the kind of songs they were writing and themes they were addressing. Would have been their perfect final album had they quit at this point, and I think there's a substantial REM fan contingent that would rate this their career best. Basically this was killed by a) terrible choice of lead single and b) their fanbase had always been too big for the kind of band they were and it was sort of inevitable that that bubble would burst. I think I got that take from someone on ILX though...

Soundgarden - Down On The Upside - This is also very good, also terribly over-long and badly in need of an edit. Did we do a thread about this one? I like it a lot but there's easily four or five songs you could chop and not miss. But great material - and "commercially disappointing" only relative to the previous record going 5x platinum, right?

Stone Temple Pilots - Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop - Great glammy singles and lazy, "creative" filler. "Art School Girlfriend"? Jesus Christ.

They Might Be Giants - Factory Showroom - A weird record for them, honestly - clearly an attempt to step back a little from John Henry and get back some of the quirk to their sound after being so excited about sounding like a "real band," ie, a boring alt-rock band. Oddly enough, this one always felt too short to me and this is where I got off the TMBG bus (well, I did buy the live album after this). Some great songs on it though - "Spiraling Shape," "Your Own Worst Enemy," "Til My Head Falls Off"... Anyway, while I'm not sure this belongs here (how well did John Henry sell exactly? Surely Flood has to be their highest-profile record?), it still belongs among this company because it easily has THE worst cover art of any of these records.

Weezer - Pinkerton - It's okay. I tried hard to like it more than I did, because of all the cult praise - that would have been a few years later I think. Just a kind of dreary, unexciting record, and I don't think that's because of its "serious themes" or "darkness," or whatever, because in fact the songwriting is still generally pretty solid - it's just that the hooks sort of sit there on the disc instead of leaping out the speaker, seems like a production issue or maybe just not spending enough time adding the special little touches. This might be the biggest creative drop of any of these IMO - the best stuff here still doesn't measure up to the pure brilliance of the album cuts on the blue one.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 4 May 2012 23:51 (five years ago) Permalink

Did we do a thread about this one?

Linked two posts up: POLL it to hell and gone: DOWN ON THE UPSIDE

all yoga attacks are fire based (rogermexico.), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:19 (five years ago) Permalink

The Cranberries - To The Faithful Departed - Shark-jumping moment IMO.

the Cranberries were born on the wrong side of the shark

all yoga attacks are fire based (rogermexico.), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:21 (five years ago) Permalink

i don't think this album was ever looked at as a "big flop"

I think that perception comes from received wisdom that '96 was the year of big rock "flops" (Load, New Adventures In Hi-Fi, No Code etc)* which paved the way for the late 90s rapcore/techno/ska movement.

*All of which sold in #s labels would kill for today.

― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, March 24, 2009 3:31 PM (3 years ago) Bookmark

ha prescient post on that DOTU thread

some dude, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:23 (five years ago) Permalink

my friend Joel always sings "Asshole Son" for "Black Hole Sun" - try it, it's really much funnier

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:26 (five years ago) Permalink

unless he's your dad

mookieproof, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:27 (five years ago) Permalink

Casino otm about New Adventures in Hi-Fi, particularly wrt the lead single. I always suspected they led off with "E-Bow" with the intention of deflating the very bubble you speak of.

You Don't Throw Oranges On An Escalator (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:34 (five years ago) Permalink

E-Bow is easily favorite REM single and one of the main reasons why I would vote for it

the endless white snow has never felt more textile (loves laboured breathing), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:46 (five years ago) Permalink

Would have been their perfect final album had they quit at this point, and I think there's a substantial REM fan contingent that would rate this their career best.

for a while Brit critics DID consider it REM's best album.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:46 (five years ago) Permalink

Anyway, while I'm not sure this belongs here (how well did John Henry sell exactly? Surely Flood has to be their highest-profile record?)

well, the idea isn't that these albums all necessarily followed the band's biggest album (about a third of them didn't). but yeah i may be exaggerating the dropoff just because Factory Showroom's Billboard peak was lower, it didn't even have a moderate hit on the level of "Snail Shell," and they got dropped by Elektra immediately afterwards.

some dude, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:50 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't dislike "E-Bow", it's just an objectively insane lead single for a mainstream, major label album.

You Don't Throw Oranges On An Escalator (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:53 (five years ago) Permalink

In this context, "insane" = "expected to entice anyone but fans to buy the album".

You Don't Throw Oranges On An Escalator (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:54 (five years ago) Permalink

r.e.m. and PJ are my faves here. i sort of like the neil young one in parts. 'big time' is a jam, 'scattered' and 'music arcade' are pretty excellent, the rest seems sloppy even by neil standards of slop.

omar little, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:55 (five years ago) Permalink

it's funny because compare that to "What's The Frequency, Kenneth" doing such a great job of tricking millions into thinking Monster would be awesome (xpost)

some dude, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:55 (five years ago) Permalink

'monster' is pretty awesome imo!

omar little, Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:57 (five years ago) Permalink

my friend Joel always sings "Asshole Son" for "Black Hole Sun" - try it, it's really much funnier

― cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, May 4, 2012 8:26 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

This was a "thing" actually, or at least I remember hearing a radio DJ type parody with this. "Asshole son, mow the lawn.." etc. Not exactly Yankovic level.

Yeah, I stan for Monster too, see for example You Wore Your ExPOLLtations Like An Armored Suit: REM's "Monster"

well, the idea isn't that these albums all necessarily followed the band's biggest album (about a third of them didn't). but yeah i may be exaggerating the dropoff just because Factory Showroom's Billboard peak was lower, it didn't even have a moderate hit on the level of "Snail Shell," and they got dropped by Elektra immediately afterwards.

Okay, yeah, that makes sense. I think i had my wires crossed with the "career-killing followups" thread!

In hindsight some of this is just radio listeners and record companies shedding themselves of acts that were ill-conceivedly signed in a rush of post-Nevermind and Ten enthusiasm, right? Like in what universe did REM's bazillon-dollar contract ever look like a long-term Good Idea? Or the idea that They Might Be Giants were the kind of band that clearly was going to just knock out hit record after hit record? Of course they put out a trio of moderate and/or lukewarm-selling things and went back to a cult.

What it meant though is that, as much as some of these records are indeed bloated crap, it was a really fun time to listen to the radio because everything seemed really in flux and you could get exposed to MUCH weirder music than you'd expect for mainstream rock radio. Not just "alternative breaking through" but the idea that some of these records got even a halfhearted push by major labels is pretty cool to me. And the fallout from this is the really vibrant radio landscape of 96-98 when seemingly just any damn thing would be played on the alternative station. It was a lot of fun and made a good gateway drug for getting into indie rock once I hit college.

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:06 (five years ago) Permalink

none of these records sounds particularly weird to me, Doctor

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:09 (five years ago) Permalink

now if you argue that Kurt Cobain referring to the Raincoats and such, then, yeah

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:09 (five years ago) Permalink

to my ears the mid nineties college radio charts really sucked compared to the diverse programming of the 1988-1991 period.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:10 (five years ago) Permalink

i dunno, i don't think REM's popularity was on such shaky ground. i mean, it makes sense in retrospect that they went back to being a cult band while U2 stayed in stadiums, but they were neck-and-neck for years and years, i can easily picture an alternate reality in which REM held onto much more of their peak era audience for much longer.

but yeah obviously this whole list is just a testament to the hubris of the majors at that point and the inevitable bubble burst of that 91-95 signing frenzy.

some dude, Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:14 (five years ago) Permalink

xpost

some dude, Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:14 (five years ago) Permalink

i dunno it was pretty weird that anyone thought cowboy-hats-and-megaphones ers ministry might be a commercial proposition

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:15 (five years ago) Permalink

xp to alfred there

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 5 May 2012 01:15 (five years ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.