They were great.......... until that big hit!

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
11,059
12,843
168
53
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
Here's a thread about artists who were big (but not huge) and cool (but only to the people that knew them). But then they had that one big hit...

..and suddenly they were huge, everyone and their mother knew them, it was no longer cool to say you liked them. And they soon became has-been's, living off of their 15 minutes of fame.

I'll start with:

Mighty Mighty Bosstones

In 1994, I had a subscription to RockVideo Monthly. A VHS tape was sent to house each month. The May tape had "Simmer Down" by the Bosstones. I went out and bought their EP Ska Core, The Devil and More which had "Simmer Down" and "Someday I Suppose". They were already big here in Boston, invited by Steven Tyler to open for Aerosmith on New Years Eve. And they were making an impact outside of New England. "Someday I Suppose" was a top 20 modern rock hit. In 1995, they were in the Alicia Silverstone movie Clueless. A while later I bought their EP Where'd You Go. Its title track is great too. There was a big buzz about them and it was cool to say you liked their music. In 1996 and 1997, they were on the Warped Tour.

In 1997, they released Let's Face It, and, well, let's face it, aside from the smash hit "The Impression That I Get" the rest of the album wasn't good. "Impression" went to #1 on the modern rock chart and #23 on the airplay chart (not qualified for the Hot 100). It was also a top 30 hit in Canada, Australia and the UK. The band played that hit on SNL, then went on Sesame Street and was featured on the CD Elmopalooza. Everyone knew who they were and most people loved them (well, they loved that one song - ask them what other Bosstones they liked and it was, "Uhm... Erm...."). It was no longer "hip" to say you liked them.

Their next album tanked (I liked the lead single "So Sad To Say", but might have been the only one). Their label dropped them and they soon became another band that lived on through their past glory until breaking up in 2022.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,449
13,986
168
Toronto, ON
I have 2 slightly bigger names but same phenomenon in my opinion.

Dire Straits
Had 2 or 3 good albums, moderate commercial success. Then hit with a huge album "Brothers In Arms" which IMHO is not as good as "Love Over Gold" although I like "Walk Of Life" better than anything on "Love Over Gold". They had 1 subsequent album before breaking up and it was a relative flop. Not bad but nothing compared to their earlier work.

Bruce Springsteen
Had some commercial success in the 70s and early 80s. But more of a "its cool to like Bruce" vibe rather than raving lunatic fans. "Born In The USA" was a fantastic album and absolutely huge for him. And he has continued to churn out albums after. None as good as anything before it.
 

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
50,172
17,639
168
Toledo, Ohio
Good thread idea.

I know there are several out there.......

My first offering is Smashmouth.
Walking on the Sun hit big and they had a big first run with a couple of Shreck follow-ups, but their happy-go-lucky peppy attitude kept people from thinking they were serious music for grown-ups.
 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
23,717
18,883
168
Vacationland
I have 2 slightly bigger names but same phenomenon in my opinion.

Dire Straits
Had 2 or 3 good albums, moderate commercial success. Then hit with a huge album "Brothers In Arms" which IMHO is not as good as "Love Over Gold" although I like "Walk Of Life" better than anything on "Love Over Gold". They had 1 subsequent album before breaking up and it was a relative flop. Not bad but nothing compared to their earlier work.

Bruce Springsteen
Had some commercial success in the 70s and early 80s. But more of a "its cool to like Bruce" vibe rather than raving lunatic fans. "Born In The USA" was a fantastic album and absolutely huge for him. And he has continued to churn out albums after. None as good as anything before it.
I'll agree with Dire Straits, and I see your point about Springsteen, but I'll reserve judgment until I can look up his work.

I'll offer Squeeze. Tempted was the hit that got most people to know them, but I was bailing out by then.

And Chicago probably fits as well. Any real Chicago fan bails out after VII or so, but they had many big pop hits well after that.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,449
13,986
168
Toronto, ON
Another is Supertramp. They sucked the big one after "Breakfast In America".

A lot of people also feel David Bowie sold out with "Let's Dance". He certainly wasn't the same after.
 
  • Like
Reactions: scotchandcigar

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
11,059
12,843
168
53
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
A lot of people also feel David Bowie sold out with "Let's Dance". He certainly wasn't the same after.
He was definitely a cool outsider to listen to up until the Let's Dance/Tonight/Never Let Me Down streak of cheesy 80s pop hits. But I think he regained his coolness in the mid 90s with "Afraid Of Americans" and "Heart's Filthy Lesson"
 

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
11,059
12,843
168
53
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
Exactly, so it was cool to say you're a Bowie fan again. Unlike saying it in 1985 when his duet with Jagger of "Dancing in the Streets" was in the top 10 between Whitney and Wham.
 

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
11,059
12,843
168
53
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
Jason Mraz

He had a top 20 hit in 2003 with "The Remedy". I liked a few more songs from that album like "You And I Both" (great video too) and "Sleep All Day". His next album had a great song "Wordplay" which charted but didn't make the top 40. "Geek In The Pink" is another great song from that album that only bubbled under. His lyrics were very clever and his music was upbeat and fun, until...

In 2005 he released a promo CD with "Wordplay" on it, a live track, and a demo. That demo was "I'm Yours" - which was later released as the lead single from his third album. It was a huge hit - breaking the record for "most weeks on the Hot 100" with 76 - quite a feat for 2008 (though it happens all the time now on the BROKEN CHART!). And admittedly, I thought it was a great song and still do. But...

Since that song, everything I've heard from him has been very lame, tame and A/C. The fun is gone. The clever wordplay is gone. It wasn't until earlier this year, 15 years later, that I heard a new song from him that was..... ok-ish? It's named "Feel Good Too" and I'm still only lukewarm on it.

BEFORE THE HIT



THE HIT



AFTER THE HIT

 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
23,717
18,883
168
Vacationland
Jason Mraz

He had a top 20 hit in 2003 with "The Remedy". I liked a few more songs from that album like "You And I Both" (great video too) and "Sleep All Day". His next album had a great song "Wordplay" which charted but didn't make the top 40. "Geek In The Pink" is another great song from that album that only bubbled under. His lyrics were very clever and his music was upbeat and fun, until...

In 2005 he released a promo CD with "Wordplay" on it, a live track, and a demo. That demo was "I'm Yours" - which was later released as the lead single from his third album. It was a huge hit - breaking the record for "most weeks on the Hot 100" with 76 - quite a feat for 2008 (though it happens all the time now on the BROKEN CHART!). And admittedly, I thought it was a great song and still do. But...

Since that song, everything I've heard from him has been very lame, tame and A/C. The fun is gone. The clever wordplay is gone. It wasn't until earlier this year, 15 years later, that I heard a new song from him that was..... ok-ish? It's named "Feel Good Too" and I'm still only lukewarm on it.
Agree.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sadchild

MonoStereo

Well-Known Member
May 12, 2020
746
1,147
98
58
Kansas City
I guess I missed this one until now. The first band that comes to mind is the Goo Goo Dolls. I loved their earlier indie label records, & even their 1st couple major league releases. I even like the album their first big hit ( "Name" ) came from ( "A Boy Named Goo" ).

But man, the success of "Name" really flipped a switch. They realized "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...that's how you get popular". A big ballad for the girls & Moms out there, & hey - whaddya know - our singer's a pretty good lookin' guy, too. That's can't friggin' hurt.

And everything since has been moussed hair & bland music.

I don't even mind "Name", even if it is The Replacements, Jr. ( a common slag thru their early years ). But I dunno another band that adopted the "MORE OF WHAT WORKED" mantra like those guys did.
 

Jon

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2008
15,259
5,279
168
Sugar Ray.

They were like a funk/nu-metal band before their big hit with 'Fly', then it was a drastic change from there when they got more mainstream.
 

Kryptonite

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2008
11,772
1,862
113
What about Nirvana? Not necessarily musical, but these kids today...are they actually listening to Nirvana or just wearing their shirts because they're sold at Hot Topic or Amazon or wherever?

Now if you wear a Nirvana shirt, you're considered "preppy."
 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
23,717
18,883
168
Vacationland
What about Nirvana? Not necessarily musical, but these kids today...are they actually listening to Nirvana or just wearing their shirts because they're sold at Hot Topic or Amazon or wherever?

Now if you wear a Nirvana shirt, you're considered "preppy."
The same 18-year-olds with the Nirvana t-shirts from Wal-Mart are collecting vinyl albums without having a turntable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kryptonite

sadchild

Dude
Mar 28, 2016
11,059
12,843
168
53
NH
www.asimplecomplex.com
People may disagree with me on this one but

Red Hot Chili Peppers

In 1989, Steven Tyler was hosting a hard rock videos show on MTV and he played a song from "a band I listened to before every one of my shows to get pumped up". It was "Fight Like A Brave" by RHCP. This is one of the landmark songs in my life like "Fascination Street", "Personal Jesus" and "Epic" that got me into what would be later become the rock of the 90s, leaving hair bands behind. I bought Uplift Mofo Party Plan (which was already out for a couple years) and listened to it constantly. A few months later their next album came out it was also, as the kids says today, a banger. These guys would go out on stage wearing nothing but a tube sock and rock the fucking house. I saw them at UNH (clothed), it was my first concert ever. I went to a party and MTV played "Higher Ground" and I was rocking out while the rest of the room looked at me with raised eyebrows.

In summer 1991 a friend of mine called to say MTV was playing a new song from a band I like. It was "Give It Away". When I heard it for real (not over a 1991 telephone) I thought it's ok but very repetitive, and not as raw. Then I heard "Under The Bridge" and went HUH? What happened? I like it now but my first reaction was WTF?! I did buy Blood Sugar Sex Magick and I liked it, but not as much. And I found I was skipping songs (which I never did on the previous two albums). Then came "Soul To Squeeze" as a non-album track and even though I liked it, I liked it in the same way I like "These Dreams" from Heart. Sure it's fine but where's the good shit?!

Beginning with their next album One Hot Minute and ever since, each album has a song or two (maybe three) I like (but not love) and most of it is practically adult contemporary. I was in a friend's car and halfway through a song on the radio I said, "Wait is this the Peppers? Wow they've gotten so lame!" Turns out he was playing the CD and it wasn't a radio station. Whoops! Sorry, but I stand by my review. Lame!
 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
23,717
18,883
168
Vacationland
I agree with your description of their musical trend. But for me, the real killer was "classic alternative" radio, which would play 3 RHCP songs per hour. And then there's every other local band, playing covers of them. It's like, enough already.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sadchild

Jon

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2008
15,259
5,279
168
I agree with your description of their musical trend. But for me, the real killer was "classic alternative" radio, which would play 3 RHCP songs per hour. And then there's every other local band, playing covers of them. It's like, enough already.
It was the same deal with the Dave Matthews Band, especially if you lived in or near a college town where every nerd with an Acoustic Guitar knew 'What Would You Say' and 'Satellite'. I think they're latest stuff is pretty good, and I've always liked their stuff, but it was real hard not to get aggravated with the level of worship of that band in certain areas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sadchild