Classic Rock Bottom

Every band goes through phases, some hit it big and have staying power, some never quite get there or falter along the way. But every band whose career has spanned a fair amount of time has stumbled at one time or another. Take Rush, they had one more chance after misfiring on Caress of Steel and knocked it out of the park with 2112. REO on the other hand nailed it with Hi-Infidelity and then blew chunks on Good Trouble (a bit dramatic, but it was a misstep) and so with that example in mind, let’s look at a couple of missteps from bands who blazed their own trail no matter what the fans and record company exec said!



Turn Back

1 - Live For Today
2 - I Think I Could Stand You Forever

After two stellar albums this came out and I couldn't wait! Hydra was so good that this just had to be as awesome at the very least, right? RIGHT?!

Toto went from disappointment to disaster with its third album, the generic Turn Back. The group's ability to turn out highly competent studio rock was not translating into an individual sound, and since Turn Back had no memorable songs on it, one was left with nothing more than those famous chops that Toto possessed in abundance. The group would rally from this retreat, but for the moment a better title would have been Fall Back, as in, the band members always had their studio jobs to fall back on.

The Cars

3 - Gimmie Some Slack
4 - Misfit Kid

Apparently people thought Candy-O was a sellout, not me however, I dig Candy-O more than the debut album and that's saying something. But the band didn't care either way, they did their own thing, and so we got this...

For their third album, 1980's Panorama, the Cars decided to challenge their fans with an album unlike its predecessors. Whereas The Cars and Candy-O were both comprised of instantly catchy and distinctly tuneful songs, Panorama was much darker and not as obvious -- an attempt at breaking away from the expected winning formula. Still, the album was embraced by their fans and hit number five on the charts, although it was the only Cars release not to spawn a true hit single (the closest thing to a hit was "Touch and Go," which peaked at number 37). Standouts included the swirling title track that opens the album, as well as the aforementioned "Touch and Go," which merges off-time keyboard flourishes with some great textural guitar work by Elliot Easton. "Gimme Some Slack" proved to be a fierce rocker, as did the underrated album closer, "Up and Down," while their softer side was represented by "You Wear Those Eyes." Many would consider such tracks as "Down Boys," "Misfit Kid," and "Getting Through" throwaways, but others are strong, just not as well known as some of the other material ("Don't Tell Me No," "Running to You"). It may not be as instantly rewarding as other Cars albums, but Panorama improves with each listen.

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