Bands and the law of diminshing returns. Who’s the worst offender?

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  • Bands and the law of diminshing returns. Who’s the worst offender?
  • Premier Icon stevomcd

    The OP was asking about bands who never surpassed their DEBUT album.. Joshua Tree was the 5th album!

    Um, no. He wasn’t. Did you even read the first post? He was talking about bands pumping out pap well past their peak.


    votchy – Member
    Agree with comments about Pearl Jam, Stone Roses, RATM. Other bands for nomination include Soul II Soul, Alice in Chains


    For all the people saying Pearl Jam, have any of you actually listened to some of their recent albums? I think they’ve done some cracking stuff since vitalogy.

    Alice in Chains? Seriously ? Although they didnt deliver as solid an overall “album feel” as facelift they did some brilliant work. One of the most under-appreciated bands ever imo.

    binners – Member
    Most bands seem to have a creative peak, normally the first album
    Then they seem to go downhill fast with subsequent releases. Very few maintain a decent standard.

    Who represents the worst case scenario here?

    ourmaninthenorth – Member

    AC/DC – anything after Back in Black.

    Aye…just never mind the five immense albums before that and then the death of the lead singer 🙄
    Also Razors Edge, Ballbreaker, and Stiff Upper Lip all have great tracks, even Black Ice does. But then again Im a fan so my opinion probably doesnt count.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Yes, Stevo, I read it: Most bands seem to have a creative peak, normally the first album
    Did you?


    King Crimson.

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Yeah Stereophonics springs to mind – WGA is a grea album, up until Pull the Pin its been average at best
    One band who constantly improve are the Proclaimers ! 😀


    Not sure if it was the debut album, but ‘Primal Scream’ peaked with screamadelica…………………..

    Premier Icon DezB

    They sure did, but it definitely wasn’t!

    Premier Icon Gee-Jay

    King Crimson, damn, I havent heard of them for a while … time to listen to 21st century schizoid man & not the April Wine follow on version either.


    Someone mentioned Snow Patrol. I have to disagree there. Final Straw, their third album, was really their breakout, and the two subsequent albums have been great.

    Coldplay: One of my favorites (not ashamed of it, either). X&Y had some great tracks, but the overall wasn’t their best. Viva La Vida seems to have put them back on track.

    As much as it pains me to say it, I’m not all that jazzed by Keane’s new album. The previous two were great, and the sound seems to have completely changed on the new one. I’m not even sure who’s singing on most of the tracks.

    All just my opinion, of course.

    Funny, listened to screamadelica today on the ipod at work.

    To be fair the OP did say, a creative peak normally the first album, so the joshua tree comments do stand.

    The Second Coming is under-rated IMO, it’s just that The Stone Roses, like Psychocandy, was just so sublime that it was always going to be a hard act to follow. And it has to be said it wasn’t the Roses first attempt at a first album (I Wanna be Adored and This is the One had been previously recorded with another label)If any other band had made the Second Coming it would, rightly, be hailed as a classic.
    Given the frequent early ’90’s nostalgia on here surprised not to see The Eight Legged Groove Machine or Liquidiser mentioned. Both fine first albums wich subsequent offerings failed to build on.

    Perhaps a more difficult question would be, are there any bands who consistently put out albums as good as the last (Goldfrapp maybe?)

    Oasis, Coldplay, manic street preachers and many more deserve their own thread entitled “Bands that constantly churn out the same old cr@p (but still sell by the shedload)” 😉


    not sure I agree with Primal Scream. I like Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR a lot – more than screamadelica, possibly as the latter was the soundtrack to my stoodent daze.


    Dead Kennedys
    Flux of Pink Indians
    Iggy (without the Stooges he was atrocious).
    Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci (downhill fast after Bwyd Time, still they’d laster at a peak for longer than most bands by then).

    A different thread maybe but: Band(s) who never quite lived up to their potential/your perception of them.
    Without a doubt: Magic Mushroom Band.


    Foo fighters, offspring, totally disagree with eels tho


    I’m feeling pretty lonely here. I can’t be the only one to think the Foo Fighters were generic **** from day one? (Mind you I was never that bothered by Nirvana – after being heavily into the Walkingseeds mammoth Skullfuck and even better Upwind of Disaster, Downwind of Atonement the Seattle bands sounded a bit flat. With the exception of the Melvins, who never quite fitted in to the whole grunge thing anyway having been around a bit before that i guess)

    Premier Icon matthewjb

    Never really got the Foo Fighters.

    Suggesting the Eels just shows a lack of awareness of their work.


    Not agreeing with Sonic Youth. They may be past their best, but they are still releasing quality albums. I’d vote for David Bowie, Mercury Rev and Low. Shame really, as I love those 3, keep on buying the albums hoping for returns to form.

    Completely unrelated, but just got tickets to see M Ward next month. YES! Got in too late on the last pre sale, but just about managed to get in this time. I’d recommend any of you who like Americana to check him out

    Minish Man

    As I was reading your intro I was thinking The Killers. Their first album is one of my favourites, but second is awful. With thier third they’ve got better, but still a long, long way from the might of Hot Fuss!



    FWIW, I agree with the Portishead comment. Dummy – sublime. Everything else, a pale imitation.

    The Wonderstuff
    8 legged=great
    Hup=even more greaterer
    Never loved Elvis= great with a couple of duff songs
    Construction FTMI= OK some great songs some guff
    The album released a couple of years ago= absolute shite.


    the biggest hugest worstest example of this – a fantastic fabulous first album and then utter garbage……..
    Well it just has to be Alanis Morissette. First album was the best thing for years, but then, all I can say is ‘Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie’ anyone?

    And I think in some cases it might just be that your early love affair with a band simply goes slightly off the boil maybe. I’ve done that so many times. Even bought the whole back catalogue and then by the time a gig comes round and I’ve got tickets and a tee shirt all that, I’m just not that bothered…..fickle eh?

    anagallis, we’re all different thats the spice of life but,
    8 Legged=Fantastic
    Hup=Great (cant shape up their VERY best song), but with a couple of duff tunes (golden green?)
    The rest cr@p.
    Maybe the bass thing (who died) had more influence than 1st meets the eye.

    BTW possibly best live act I ever saw (so far) supported, believe it or not by REM (exeter uni 1989)

    Golden Green is a great song IMO as is Mission Drive from Never loved Elvis still I dont think they fells as far or as consistently as the chilli peppers mind.

    Meanwhile Pop will eat itself got better and changed and adapted. Clint Mansells solo work on Pi and Reqiem for a dream are stunning too.


    [an aside] I saw the Stuffies last gig with Bob Jones & first one with whatever the new guy was called[/an aside]

    …but to sum up.

    You are all wrong about everything. Unless I agree with you. Then you’re right.


    Spear of Destiny-really went downhill fast with Outlands.

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