Friday, March 30, 2007

Bands That Used to Not Suck

Recently (ok, 5 minutes ago) I had an idea for a post (ok, Dan had an idea for a post) regarding bands that used to not suck (as hard as they do now). In this discussion (see comments on previous excellent post) bands like U2 and Joy Division were mentioned, but my wheels are turning and I can already think of several additions. This doesn't necessarily have to be just bands but songwriters, musicians, music guys, and others related to the biz -- anyone who used to rock harder (or more skillfully) in a time gone by. This isn't a top 5, but rather an extensive and expansive list.

We'll call this the "They were cooler before..." list -- The ultimate indy kid list.

Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan/Billy Corgan

Please Add.


Anonymous said...


Tooth and Nail

More Recent Band:

And this next one may offend some people but, here goes:

Jeremy Enigk...The Fire Theft was just horrid in my book.

Tim Horsman said...

Ok...that did sting a little. But, you know what, you're right. The Fire Theft wasn't great, and definitely not as good as Diary or LP2...

Phew, the first comment as a CORPSE-r and you're not pulling any punches.

Jason Heron said...

This may get a guffaw from some of you, but I'm sick of this shit with saying Weezer isn't any good any more. WHY? I mean, come on - somebody explain it to me. I can't go a month without hearing somebody say Weezer "sold out" or "sucks" or "is stupid" or "is gay." And as far as I'm concerned, no one can rest his/her critique of a band on "They're gay/stupid/etc." Somebody help me. When I listen to the blue album and when I listen to Make Believe, I think, Damn this is catchy, scathing, ironic, fun, and sad.
I don't know - I feel like Rivers continues to fleece fan after supposed fan. I think he continues to be a provocateur, and I can't see any reason to dismiss the band's work.
But maybe there's a super-sexy indie secret I don't know about, like Rivers drives a Hummer, or wears Prada, or takes guitar lessons from Steve Vai.

Tim Horsman said...

So here's a couple of thoughts about Weezer.

One: Rivers will never be able to top the Blue album in teen pop magnificence, and therefore everything else is a step down for listeners, and more importantly, for Rivers' sel-esteem.

Two: Pinkerton is the ultimate indy album and their hands down BEST (it flopped in sales and Rivers took it personally, the major flaw in his indy cred).

THREE: Rivers is our most prolific songwriter, and yet releases sub-par thrown together albums that make you think, this CANNOT be his best material.

Four: Rivers is smarter than me (stupid Harvard education) and therefore knows more about what he's doing with the music his band puts out than I do...I don't like this. This also means that he IS fleecing fans and the populace in general. I think that his self-deprecating personality lends itself to appeal to the masses (Bev-er-ly Hills! That's where I want to be!) while alienating his indy fans, though he knows secretly they will be listening too.

Summation: Weezer will never live up to their first two albums - I know that, Rivers knows that, but we both know that I'll buy Weezer's next album, and the one after that....But only so I can still make the comment, "This sucks compared to Pinkerton."

Jason Heron said...

I think I understand, Tim. You're saying Weezer sucks compared to Weezer, which is, I suppose, the root of the list of bands that used to be great and now aren't. But then again, aren't we saying they're still great, but not in the way they were great? And isn't that something different? Or do you mean that these bands, of former greatness, have to genuinely suck now? And if so, how do you decide genuine suckiness?

On a different note, I appreciate that you understand Weezer in a deeper way than I do, and you've obviously had more experience with them, and they've obviously meant a whole helluva lot to you. I appreciate that sort of dedication.

Anonymous said...

Weezer...isn't that the band that has the lead singer who wears the glasses? I think the Fonz is in the band, also.

Tim Horsman said...

That made me laugh out loud...because of course, the Fonz is the lead singer of U2.

jason shrontz said...

i thought that was sunny bono

JohnLDrury said...

Comparing bands to themselves is always tough, but must be done. Few bands break up before they start sucking. My list would be topped by OASIS, whose first two albums plus the b-sides from that period are my favorite 90s music. But since then its been pretty embarrassing, esp. b/c they think they're still good.

What band has ended before they fell? Are there any?

jason shrontz said...

first to come to mind would be the stooges. but i haven't heard the latest record. im always worried about listening to post-drug drug-music.

the beatles are an obvious one. special because they arguabley ended with their greatest record, "let it be."

i also feel this way about soundgarden, but i may be alone here since i was the grunger during those days. its been a while since I've listened to them.

in comment to the earlier question of who needs to break up since they are sucking embarrasingly hard now, there are 2 major ones:

1)the allman brothers band-some of the best stuff ever when duane was with them, sucked hard afterwards. Now that most of them are dead and the band is becoming like an heirloom--some of the members are actually children of the orgininal members--they need to give it a rest. and, before the last album, they booted dicky betts, one of the founding members, because they said he partied too hard!! dont they remember the seventies? How can you play a 34 minute instrumental with a bunch of hippies on stage and not also party too hard. Greg Allman, your brother is crying and laughing at you and partying too hard, wherever he is.

2)counting crows. used to be one of the greatest. now they are sitting in the retirement lounge drinking o'douls and smoking capris with the likes of matchbox twenty and third eye blind. you have become mediocre. spare us, please adam, SPARE US.

Anonymous said...

In response to John's question about are there bands that broke up before they sucked, the answer would be YES!

Death From Above 1979. One album, one remix album, and good-bye!

One of the top shows ever for me.

Alex Hershey said...

Don't like to be mean because i am going to be a pastor, dan. But i guess if i have to i will, wwdd. I am not doing this just because i am an American but two bands that come to my mind are Badly Drawn Boy and Coldplay. British invasion two my ass. Coldplay may be the most overrated band of our generation, and XY proved that. Badly Drawn Boy's first disc was great and then everything since has been down hill.
But there has to still be hope for these bands and all of the other bands mentioned because surely there are bands that went from great to suck back to great. However my mind cannot grasp which bands these are. Except for Mr. Johnny Cash. Great when came out sucked in the 80's(no surprise, spoken word in the middle of songs equals not cool). But then in the 90's he came back with a vengeance. He even died and is still making great music, i guess that is only possible when you have a direct line to God on earth. So anyways are there any other bands that went from great to suck to great?

jason shrontz said...

great to suck to great? hmmm. will have to think on it.

however, it is great to finally hear someone not refer to coldplay as "the new U2" or "the most important band on earth." Man, i am so sick of them. I agree with XY being proof that they are overrated and i thought that the second album was a pretty good hint as well. i heard some stupid, cliche dylan/beatles story that said after parachutes came out, chris martin's uncle said something along the lines of, "yeah, your music is great but are you really saying anything?" and that is what spurred the whole fair trade/political aspect of them. I dont believe it, but if i did, i would attribute coldplay's descent to suckiness to martin's uncle. i hate to say this, but i wish they would go back to something more like parachutes. that album was great.

i cant think of anything along the lines of great to suck to great, but i am thinking of, of course, pearl jam. they put out several great albums and i felt were headed in an exciting direction with binaural. here's the breakdown:

from great (binaural)
to worse than suckiness (riot act)
up to a little better than mediocre (self-titled).

come on guys. you can do it. you brought the grunger out in me once, do it again. all your fellow grungers are dead or making shit-rock. i'm counting on you. MAKE ME FIND MY RIPPED JEANS AND COBAIN SWEATER!!! I DARE YOU!!!


chad said...

hmmm..I am glad that U2 got mentioned pretty quick

Mutt Lange
How don't care how hot she is/ don't go from AC/DC to that.