8 Albums That Almost Killed a Band’s Career
Rock musicians, much like professional athletes and romantic partners, are constantly in danger of being asked: “What have you done for me lately?” Even the biggest bands and solo stars can find themselves suddenly out of favor and plummeting down the charts if their latest album doesn’t live up to either their own legacies or fan expectations.
The above gallery examines everything from Van Halen‘s ill-fated attempt to prove lightning can strike not just twice, but with three different lead singers, to Kiss‘s mind-boggling attempt at creating a critic-pleasing concept album.
“It was just folly,” Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley later admitted. “I’m not ashamed of it, but that and the movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park stand out as us getting off at the wrong exit.” Keith Richards was similarly frank, when talking about the Rolling Stones‘ psychedelic detour on 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request – which he simply dubbed “crap.”
As you’ll see, in nearly every case the “offending” artists were able to regroup – though, it took a while with acts like Bob Dylan, whose 1990 dud Under the Red Sky led to a seven-year hiatus between original albums. Still, these legends all managed to learn from their mistakes, re-connect with the magic that made us fall in love with them in the first place and resurrect their careers.
Click through to see exactly how and where they went wrong in the first place …