Thursday, September 21, 2006

Failure to reach potential

In thinking about Krokus the other day, I couldn't help but think of bands that seemed on the right track yet they didn't seem to reach their full potential. Krokus were heading there, but took a more commercial approach. Another band I will write about this week is Death Angel. I think around 1990 they were heading towards doing something great, but they broke up before being able to follow up on it.
I thought of Metallica of course and the changes in direction they took. Yet I think they reached their peak with Ride the lightning and Master of puppets. So perhaps they hit their potential, it just didn't last for as many albums as fans wanted it to.

So what bands do you think were heading towards a peak, but failed to reach it for one reason or another?


Blogger Mike said...

Cinderella and Skid Row. I think that their first albums were a commecial success, but their second releases were better works. Cinderella's was more blues rock and Skid Row's was heavier. I think the Grunge scene killed their careers before they could get established.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black'n Blue - 1st 2 albums were great, enter producer Gene Simmons and he killed the band's career.

Keel - same story as Black'n Blue

Riot - the first 3 albums are excellent, then they change singers. Restless Breed and Born In America are great as well, the another singer change. The band got lost in the shuffle by '88.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starz - the s/t debut (1976) and Violation (1977) are great albums. They had good mgmt with Bill Aucoin and they were financed by the '70s KISS gravy train. They tries to go for "hits" on Attention Shoppers! (1978) and were all done by the end of 1978 with the Coliseum Rock album.

Accept - They peaked with Balls To The Wall (1984) & Metal Heart (1985), then personalities got in the way. Russian Roulette (1986) is just OK, you can tell the band was breaking up. Eat The Heat (1989) sealed Accept's career with David Reece taking the mic. Too much of a departure from Udo's growl and Accept's trademark sound. They could have been huge, maybe in the same breath as Maiden and Priest.

Ratt - The E.P. is damn good, so is Out Of The Cellar. Invasion Of Your Privacy is good but no growth. Keep going on and on thru to Detonator and you just about get the same album each time. They exploded out of the gate and fizzled down with each release.

I could keep going.....

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Overkill - Their commercial peak was Under the Influence, but I think the best of their early days was The Years of Decay. I expected them to follow it up with something even more monster, but they parted ways with guitarist Bobby Gustafson and really lost their focus.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Mike-I think Cinderella had problems being taken serious once they were lumped in with the glam bands just because of how they looked during the first album.

Steve-I actually think Nasty, Nasty was Black -n- Blue's best album.

I agree about Accept although I think Udo's vocals kept them from being as accesible as other bands. I like him a lot, but I always heard that complaint.
Ratt were consistant in putting out good albums, but their poularity dwindled because they didn't try to grow at all.

I have never heard Starz, but was wondering about them I heard such varying things about them. I know Black -n- Blue liked them a lot.

Theo-Actually Horrorscope is my favorite Overkill album. Although I was sad when Gustafson left after Under the influence.

9:43 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I'm totally with Mike on this -- Cinderella was getting better with the 2nd and 3rd albums (I never heard Still Climbing), and Skid Row's second album was phenomenal.

Ratt's a good one, too. Although, like Cindy and Skid Row, I think these bands DID reach their potential.

For bands that really never quite got to be as good as we all know they could have been, I'd say Whitesnake in several of its iterations--David Coverdale split up the members before they could really grow musically together as a unit--and (related to this) Blue Murder, which had a solid first lbum but went a different direction with the next one and never reached its full potential.

-- david

12:29 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I thnik Celtic Frost took a wrong turn with Cold Lake in 1988. Betweeh say 84-86 they were progressing and doing some truly heavy stuff. In 87 they did Into the pandemonium which combined heavy music with some off the wall stuff, but it was good. The next album should have been a better combination of the heavy material and the experimental sounds. Instead Cold Lake was a piece of crap. The window closed on them, but their new album is most of what I ever could have hoped from them. It's just I had to wait a long time for it to come out.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theo - Overkill is a great band and you are right, they never met their potential. They were always heralded as speed kings and a great band but they always seemed to fall somewhere down the line after Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. I'd say they were always inthe 2nd or 3rd tier of the Thrash Metal hierarchy. great band though.

Mike - Cinderella's best was Long Cold Winter, better than the debut, IMO. I think Heartbreak Station is great as well but they were subject to the time (1990) and they were considered as just another Hard Rock band. With the right promotion and a little more effort into Heartbreak Station, I think they could have really survived the '90s. Still Climbing (1994) is good, I like it but they were an afterthought by then. Definitely a band that was better than what the got.

I guess bands that reached the highest heights right out of the gate (Cinderella, Ratt, Skid Row) did reach their potential compared to a band like Keel or Overkill that had success but not as big as their contemporaries. With bands like Ratt, etc., I guess I'm looking for longevity and sustained success.

I wonder if Guns'n Roses could be considered in this? They pretty much blew the doors off with Appetite For Destruction and went downhill, IMO, with the Use Your Illusions. Decent albums but too pompous and overdone, not as raw and dirty as Appetite. They had a career under 10 years and could have really been put in the Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath/Deep Purple category if they continued on and stayed innovative and focused.

Great topic Mark!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Let's see...

Cinderella actually became a better band with Long Cold Winter and Heartbreak Station. It took me until my thirties to realize that when I used to give the finger to those albums. Now I give it to Night Songs, though that album is still a must-play every so often.

Skid Row - I have the brand new album and amazingly it's a fun barely resembles anything you've heard because I think they're trying for an identity without Sebastian, which is pointless, actually, but for what it's worth, the new album is just fun with some faux-country twists, some Flogging Molly twists and a few rowdy and silly lyrical songs... I am still to this day a big fan of Subhuman one else except for the guy who turned me onto it from an old job...that and Slave to the Grind are damn fine can hear the internal anger and separation factors on Subhuman Race but it's the ballsiest album they ever did...highly recommended!

Ratt - I still love, they didn't grow much, but after talking with Stephen Pearcy a few months ago, they never WERE going to change...I have his acoustic CD where he retools a lot of the Ratt jams since he wrote them all in the early days....I don't ever shit on Ratt...

Accept I will always love and it's funny that the latest UDO albums are getting closer to Accept, particularly with the flash reunion

Overkill - I have talked with both Gustafson and Blitz in separate interviews and different time periods of about two years between...Gustafson seems to be the more "real" of the two, though Blitz was really nice and made me laugh repeatedly... Horrorscope and The Years of Decay are my favorite Overkill albums...yeah, they've kind beat around the bush since then, but I think they've put out some pretty wicked shit lately like Killbox 13 and Relix IV

Frost, I've mentioned what Tom told me he thought about it...I remember how excited I was when I got that tape since it took me awhile to let Mark convince me Frost was a great band and then THAT happened...oi....Monotheist more than makes up for it

I agree with Keel, though Ron is a super, super cool guy and he gave me the lowdown on the downfall of Keel and how his disgust with the business side of metal made him eventually turn to country with a few stops in-between....he has a damn fine acoustic CD of him doing Keel songs and his country stuff

My votes for not reaching potential, and they all had brief moments of greatness or at least goodness:

Lita Ford
Suicidal Tendencies
24-7 Spyz
Sacred Reich
Kane Roberts

9:30 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Steve-I think Overkill hit their creative peak. They just were a second tier speed metal band along with Testament, Exodus and Nuclear Assault. I think all of those bands had peaks, they just didn't do as well commercially as Megadeth and those others.

Now G-n-R might be a good example. Appetite was a very important album and I think most people thought there was plenty more to come. Instead we got the Use your illusions which should have been one 10-12 song album and then it would have been very good. Instead we got two decent albums with too much filler.

Ray-Suicidal Tendencies did a great first album and that's about it.

Kane Roberts is a good possibility. He was a great guitarist on the two albums he did with Alice Cooper. I never heard either of his solo albums. Although I know his first one came out about the same time as Alice Cooper's Raise your fist and yell which he means he couldn't tour to promote his own album. His second solo album is supposed to be way more commercial.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Bobs B & B said...

I agree with Ratt, killer EP and first two albums then literally fizzled out, Cinderella too, good debut, great follow up then not much after.
Mind funk for me are the band that promised so much but ultmately failed to deliver, barnestorming debut album back in 1991, the follow up 'Dropped' was a disappointment and by the time of 1995's 'People Who Fell From The Sky' the metal world (including me) had all but forgotten about them.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raven is one band that came to mind. After All for One, they should have followed up with a killer album. They had everything going for them. I don't know what happened. It has been indicated that the drummer pushed them into a more commercial direction. I think they expected to hit big in the US. They took to wearing those over the top outfits. It's a shame. They were a great band.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred - Good call with Raven, they released great material and then signed to Atlantic. I thought with a major label behind them that they would really hit the big time.
Didn't happen.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Raven, Savatage and Loudness all signed to Atlantic around the same and all initially toned down their earlier material and they all struggled. Savatage got turned around by Hall of the mountain king.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Metal Church were on the brink of going to another level right after the Dark in 1986. Internal problems lead to singer David Wayne leaving or getting kicked out. Blessing in disguise was a good album, but it didn't come out until 1989. I think they waited too long and the window of opportunity closed on them.

7:11 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I would argue that GnR did reach their potential with Appetite. I can't imagine them matching it again ... they just hit the top of their game right out of the gate.

I love mixed metaphors.

-- david

7:57 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Metal Church is a good one because even the last two albums are pretty good, but hardly indicative of what they should've rightly become. Ironically, as much as Blessing in Disguise is their best album, it's David Wayne that gave them an identity and when he left, the identity left too.

Raven is an excellent example! I still love them, and I was happy at least that the Mad EP and Life's a Bitch restored them to glory at least soundwise, if not much else at all. I have an email interview with Mike Gallagher and I think you might be right about "Wacko" Hunter undermining the whole thing. Shame.

I wish I could remember who I came up was a goodie!

With Suicidal, for me it's the first one plus How Will I Laugh and the Feel Like Shit EP and not much else.

5:18 AM  

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