Were Pop-Metal bands more to blame for their own demise, then Grunge?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Captain Leo, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Captain Leo

    Captain Leo Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Queens, New York
    The entire 80s had rock of some kind at the forefront. Even the softer stuff - I mean, like Genesis' 80s output - was really cool. Stuff like Depeche Mode and whatnot. The New Wave style of Rock (think "Don't Forget About Me" from the Breakfast Club) is my favorite subgenre of rock from the 80s.
    Purple likes this.
  2. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    Whoever was on it, by 1994, it just felt like an Axl Rose led band from what we heard in the media at the time and looking back in hindsight now. But hey, Guns N' Roses covering the Stones is a pretty fun combo to have for a track and I couldn't resist at the time. Now I did resist the Spaghetti Incident, but years later when I got it, I didn't think it was too bad but maybe that was cause so many people thought G n' R could do better and expected more originals so my expectations were lowered.

    I do think some 80's metal bands had a bit of success, but it was obvious that they were no longer the leaders of the scene. That always happens like back in the late 60's when there were still traditional pop hits on the charts. There's always those fans that resist the new and then there are those fans that have dedicated themselves to certain bands and will support them despite some new bands coming out.

    When post grunge was fading for awhile, I got into the new era of post punk in the early 00's but supported the 90's acts into that decade as well. So while I got into Jet and The Strokes, how could I turn my back on STP when they had Shangri - La-Dee-Da? By then glam metal and pop metal felt long gone yet were still getting criticisms.
  3. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    A lot of people here are more into 70's Genesis but I totally get what you mean and I like both types of Genesis - 70's and 80's. The Cure, Depeche Mode, some 80's singles from Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds also were still hanging around MTV (even VH1 depending on the artist) and on various rock stations.

    When looking back at those early 90's modern rock charts it felt like a more diverse set of bands than what was to come.

    Looking back at the #1's for the 1991 modern rock chart, you see how there was still room for various sounds...
    January 5 "More" The Sisters of Mercy [1]
    January 19 "Kinky Afro" Happy Mondays [3]
    January 26 "All This Time" Sting [4]
    February 9 "Right Here, Right Now" Jesus Jones [6]
    March 16 "Losing My Religion" R.E.M. [11]
    May 11 "See the Lights" Simple Minds [19]
    May 25 "The Other Side of Summer" Elvis Costello [21]
    June 22 "Get the Message" Electronic [25]
    July 6 "Kiss Them for Me" Siouxsie and the Banshees [27]
    August 10 "Rush" Big Audio Dynamite II [32]
    September 7 "Until She Comes" The Psychedelic Furs [36]
    September 21 "So You Think You're in Love" Robyn Hitchcock [38]
    October 26 "Give It Away" Red Hot Chili Peppers [43]
    November 9 "The Fly" U2 [45]
    November 23 "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana [47]
    November 30 "Mysterious Ways" U2
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  4. Captain Leo

    Captain Leo Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Queens, New York

    circa 1989/1990
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  5. Nice Marmot

    Nice Marmot Forum Resident

    Charlotte Area
    I used to like Ratt.
    Bingo Bongo likes this.
  6. mikedifr0923

    mikedifr0923 Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    And they, like Europe, have had some killer rock albums in the last decade or so....
    Purple likes this.
  7. mikedifr0923

    mikedifr0923 Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    They weren't relevant as a "pop-metal" act when that style was popular. The timeframe of this discussion is after they had already made their shift
    tkl7 likes this.
  8. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    New York, NY, USA
    If you look at the original audience for the music that came to be known as grunge, it is easy to see why they would reject Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses, because the rejection of the "rockstar" archetype was one of the defining characteristics, and Axl was pretty much the last rockstar in the classic sense. GNR survived into 1993, because they had already sold a lot of concert tickets, maintained popularity in Europe and Latin America, were releasing ballads that appealed to younger female listeners, and toured with Metallica, who had a lot more in common with grunge than GNR did. Aerosmith and Van Halen briefly maintained popularity through a similar formula.
  9. tkl7

    tkl7 Agent Provocateur

    New York, NY, USA
    Nobody outside of their local area listened to Pantera when they were a pop metal band.
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  10. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    One thing we haven't really touch on yet is the fact that alternative rock displaced also displaced new romantic synth-pop from its perch. Hey, I loved Roxy Music every bit as much I loved the NY Dolls. "Dude, it's not a rip-off; it's an homage."

    Even more interesting when compared to Billboard mainstream chart number ones. REM and U2 crossed-over and topped both.

    List of Billboard Mainstream Rock number-one songs of the 1990s - Wikipedia

    Or when matched up with the UK indie chart. Happy Mondays, Jesus Jones, Electronic...

    List of UK Independent Singles Chart number ones of 1991 - Wikipedia
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  11. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    Disco took over gradually. Grunge breaking led to an immediate sea-change. And your analogy doesn't hold because those you listed didn't have a string of multi-platinum US number ones during the original glam era.

    We're talking about events from nearly 30 years ago. They were complaining then.
  12. Shem the Penman

    Shem the Penman Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Definitely true and I'd add that GnR was still making great music - even the Use Your Illusions were miles above pop metal dreck to me. But they weren't as "cool" as the grunge stuff which is an important factor in the 15-30 age market that decides these things.

    And as mentioned earlier, just like pop metal was a 2nd generation copy of glam rock & 70s hard rock, alternative rock of the 90s was heavily indebted to indie rock in the 80s. Nirvana was the Pixies and the Melvins mixed with Cobain's talent for songcraft. No one to "blame" for any of this, just a natural progression.
  13. EddieVanHalen

    EddieVanHalen Forum Resident

    My point of view then (teen years on early 90's) and now (43) is the same, new decade, new sound. I'll talk of an example I know very well, Van Halen's 1991 For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Same band, totally different sound next to their 80's albums, even different song writting despite Haggar being in the band, result, excellent sales but still undoubtfully Van Halen. The secret? The 90's want it raw, let's make it raw, we are pros so we know how. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, some songs from Balance (The Seventh Seal, Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do) and an overlooked song from the album and in my opinion the best on it, Aftershock. You want it even better? 1996's Humans Being from the Twister soundtrack.
    But Eddie's drinking and ego problems made everything go South, if it wouldn't have happened Van Halen could have made it to the 2000's making NÂș1 albums, I'm sure of that.
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  14. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    An example of where that business was in the mid to late 80's.
    Just listen to the first 2 Def Leppard albums, (early 80's) On Thru The Night and High & Dry.
    They sound hungry, they have an intensity to their music, it sounds like real rock and Roll, even if it was contrived and unoriginal.
    Now go listen to 1987's Hysteria...compare.....the music is now a slick, glossy, soulless pile of cold crap.
    Sterile, mechanical, sounds like it could have been written by a microsoft program.
    Corporate,boardroom, pepsi-co product.
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  15. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Well-Known Member

    San Francisco
  16. Scopitone

    Scopitone I wanna be Archtop when I grow up

    Denver, CO

    I lived yourrrrrrrrrrrrrrr wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
    Wassssssssssssssssssssnot gooooooooooooooooood enough!
  17. Scopitone

    Scopitone I wanna be Archtop when I grow up

    Denver, CO
    And they grew up to become Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. :laugh:
  18. This is a great post. You can only use the same Corporate-cloned-music-model so many times until you get sick of it. By the very early 1990's that old poofy-haired-rock-ballad nonsense had to go & be replaced. It wasn't ego or bad records that killed hair-metal, it was just so ####ing tired, un-new & boring that it had run it's course.
    And even though many in my Gen-X had been listening to 'alternative' music for years, it took awhile to punch through to the masses. Thankfully. My 2 cents...
  19. gitters

    gitters Well-Known Member

    The record labels stopped supporting the "hair bands". Groups like Poison and Warrant, got no support from the record labels, MTV, or radio.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  20. Meyer

    Meyer Forum Resident

    Napa, CA, USA
    I don't think it's easy to place the blame on any one factor. Certainly, grunge was a major reason, as it was a new alternative that wasn't previously available for people who wanted to listen to accessible hard rock music. The labels, always wanting to jump on the Next Big Thing, certainly had their share of the blame. And the bands themselves, many who really only had one album's worth of material that they had honed for years on the strip, could shoulder the blame as well when they tried to break out of the sophomore (or junior) slump.

    What was also troubling for these bands, is that if they tried to evolve their sound or images, they were immediately called out on it. They were branded as hair metal, and that was that, no matter how great of a songwriter/performer somebody like Tom Kiefer is.

    Combine all of that, along with the unstoppable momentum/influence of MTV, the tranistory nature of "pop" music, plus Hollywood embracing grunge culture (e.g. Singles), and it was a perfect storm for this type of music falling out of favor. It took nearly a decade until the film Rock Star was produced that the whole late 80s-early 90s metal scene was presented somewhat nostalgically and many of these bands hit the road again on package tours.

    Oh, and anything Brett Michaels did after 1994 probably didn't help ;-)
    blueslover99 likes this.
  21. I've always held that grunge rock lobbed a pretty strong blow to college rock/smart pop too.

    Robyn Hitchcock was becoming popular in 1991, but where was he in the conversation by 1994? The Church? Midnight Oil?? Cocteau Twins.

    "See The Lights" by Simple Minds? What a great, slow-burn tune.
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  22. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    The smart pop yes, I'd probably agree took a blow, but the rock side of things just changed the genre name. From college rock to indie rock, there was still a resistance to the mainstream so in the U.S., rock really took over the underground led by a new bunch of acts like Pavement, Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo, Ween, Superchunk, the Riot Grrl era like Babes in Toyland, L7-some of which were grunge anyway. In the U.K. Brit pop was growing gradually bigger but it had a big element of rock in it. Most of these acts didn't care much about mainstream success.

    I think the bands you mention like The Church and Midnight Oil always felt to me that they were coming out of their prime which was the 80's primarily anyway having been around since the start of that decade. They were already veterans in the early alt rock scene that had some mainstream success but were not in it for total commercial success anyway.
  23. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I was in high school and college during the 80s. Hair bands from LA (not really metal, definitely not glam) were on the decline mostly dead by 1990. I really think Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet killed them off in 1986. Bon Jovi paved the ground for Guns 'N Roses. While a lot people consider both Hair bands, they were different and their music has endured. The LA Hair bands, outside of GnR, just haven't. Bon Jovi was more traditional Rock with few extended solos with more traditional melodies and harmonies. And girls loved Bon Jovi. While GnR was closer to AC/DC or Aerosmith and a band the guys could rock out with. Bon Jovi is going into the Rock Hall of Fame next year and GnR got in 1st ballot.

    College Radio was taking over in the late 80 with the rise of U2 and REM. On the fringes, Metallica a real Metal band was making a presence in the late 80s. Grunge only happened because LA was dead. A&R guys kept looking for more bands like GnR in LA and nobody was as good. Every band in LA outside of GnR still sounded like every other Hair band. So they started looking elsewhere in ended up in the Seattle area after Nirvana hit big, then Grunge became a thing.

    I think there were a notable event happened during the 80s. KISS wiped off their make up to become a Hair band. KISS's would continue to decline until they put their makeup back on in 1996.
  24. blueslover99

    blueslover99 Well-Known Member

    I think the sound of pop music changes every few years, simple as that. The most popular artists of the era usually endure.
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  25. Rawkdude

    Rawkdude Member

    The bands and record labels just got lazy. I remember a point in 1987 where these hard rock bands released first single on MTV that was a fake performance video on a ridiculous metal type stage, then 2nd release was the hit single maybe this would be the story video, depending on the success of second video might be a sequel video or same video chick from the last videos, then their would be the power ballad and if the record company wanted to milk it the final video would be a compilation of clips of live shots synced to a studio recording...it got so formulaic that the band's became a joke. Plus some of the band members were just dumb and the infighting was silly.

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