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Top Ten Career Turn Arounds in Rock Music

Dec. 12 10:00 AM by De_Blenniss

10) Radiohead- The Bends

Giving Gen Xer's an anthem to scream at the top of their lungs during their fourth semester at college with their first single "Creep", Radiohead shifted their rock roots into more experimental territory with the album "The Bends". With the encouragement of their producer John Leckie to experiment with their own sound Radiohead begin their steady relationship with rock critics with numbers like "Street Spirit", "High and Dry", and "Just". This album started a snowball effect that created "OK Computer", "Kid A", and "In Rainbows".

9) U2- Achtung Baby

After making thousands of girls pregnant with the song "With or Without You" off the international hit 'The Joshua Tree", U2 came to a turning point in their career. After coming back from the critical disappointment of "Rattle and Hum" the band got together in a studio in Berlin and nearly broke up trying to conceive their next record. The outcome of that session was "Achtung Baby", a mix of classic U2 simplicity with layered music tracks that not only breathed new life into their fan base but also created new fans along the way. Not only did they create a vibrant new album but they also created a live show unlike any other and solidified their reputation of being the biggest band in the world without selling out to their label or themselves.

8) Beastie Boys- Pauls Boutique

When the Beastie Boys created the first rap album to reach number one on the Billboard music charts the music industry and a majority of the public viewed the Beastie Boys as a joke. Rap was considered a passing fad and the Beasties persona of reckless partying and machismo didn't help to solidify their reputation. But instead of rapping to songs about girls cleaning dishes and inflating a ten-foot penis live on stage the Boys went to Los Angeles stayed in a lavish house and created a masterpiece of hip hop. Sampling over 105 songs in one album the Beastie Boys became critical darlings and earned their respect within the hip hop community. From fighting for their right to party to encouraging peace in Tibet, this album was the beginning of an evolution for our favorite three MC's.

7) Johnny Cash- American Recordings

Johnny Cash was dropped from Columbia Records in the late eighties and was beginning to fade fast in the minds of country and rock fans. Rick Rubin approached Cash to record under his label "American Recordings" and revived the Man in Blacks legacy by stripping down his sound to only his acoustic guitar and his legendary voice. Cash not only wrote some of his most personal songs during this period but he also covered other artists music as well ranging from Soundgarden to Nine Inch Nails continuing a tradition of embracing new artists, something in which he has done since the 1960's. His work with Rick Rubin not only created some of Cash's most personal material but also turned a new generation onto country music.

6) Pink Floyd- Syd Barrett Goes Crazy

Pink Floyd has only written songs about three things: Money, Madness, and Syd Barrett. Their first album "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is the epitome of psychedelic music, and with Syd Barrett's demise into madness the band had to reestablish their sound and began to take larger leaps into sonic territory with "A Saucer Full of Secrets". By ridding the psychedelic element from their sound and focusing more on musical space and experimentation Pink Floyd has given fourteen-year old boys the courage to pinch weed from their older brothers secret stash. Although tragically Syd Barrett's life turned into a shattered nightmare, the group became inspired by their friend's tragedy and created some the world's most isolating yet inventive songs ever created.

5) Jimi Hendrix- Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix melted everyone's speakers with his first group "The Experience", and in his short career made three albums with the group then moving on the Band of Gypsys. With the other two members of "Experience" out of the picture Jimi began to improvise and play more inspired blues and R&B tunes with other musicians including Billy Cox and Buddy Miles who recorded "Band of Gypsys" on New Years Eve 1969. With Hendrix moving away from his psychedelic period into a blues generated experimentation Jimi created some of his best work including the legendary "Machine Gun" which many guitarists still listen to in order to maintain an erection. With a new music mentality in mind Hendrix became a member of the band instead of the centerpiece and during this period created some of the most inspired music in rock and roll.

4) David Bowie Gets into Glam

"Space Oddity" catapulted David Bowie on to the scene after being used in a BBC documentary about the US space landing, but it was after a series of successful albums including "Hunky Dory" when Bowie decided to explore space himself with Ziggy Stardust and create his own legend. With the success of the concept album "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" Bowie became a rock and sexual god making girls falls to their knees in delight and the boys check twice for the Adams Apple upon making out. Following the success of "Ziggy" Bowie recorded "Aladdin Sane" and continued to blur the lines of rock and roll with theatre causing a new generation of youngsters to dress in drag and chase the rock and roll dream.

3) Miles Davis- Bitches Brew

Recorded right after the "Woodstock Peace and Love Festival" over the course of three days, "Bitches Brew" pushed the boundaries of Jazz to its limits and divided its listeners in the process. Eleven years earlier Davis recorded "Kind of Blue" to critical and audience acclaim but in a move that many people feared would infuriate Jazz listeners David created an experimental and landmark album that establishes Duke Ellington's claim of Davis being "the Picasso of Jazz". Using long takes and improvised melodies and forming a new type of Jazz by its use of multiple rhythm tracks Davis destroyed the jazz establishment that he helped to create.

2) Dylan Goes Electric

In 1965 Bob Dylan with his back up band including guitarist Mike Bloomfield plugged in their electric guitars and made hundreds of folkies cause a riot at the Newport Music Festival. Playing an acoustic set the night before Dylan chose to play electric the next day because of the new material off his latest album "Bringing it all Back Home". This set infuriated the audience causing his fans to either love or hate him and over the next couple of years Dylan created some of his most impressive work including "Highway 61 Revisited". By refusing to stay static in folk music Dylan became a legend by not holding back his vision and wanting to be able to create the music he wanted he showed the world that he wasnt gonna work for maggies ma no more. Rock musicians are now glad that he decided not to.

1) The Beatles smoke pot

It sounds really awful when I put it like that but yes its true The Beatles best material came after meeting with Bob Dylan smoking weed and giggling for hours upon hours. Any historian can notice the musical change the Beatles took when making "Rubber Soul/Revolver" and the creation of these albums came during the period of the Beatles experimentation with drugs. Brian Wilson after hearing "Rubber Soul" was blown away by the production, which made him create "Pet Sounds", thus causing the Beatles to make "Sgt. Peppers" and the invention of the concept album was born establishing that rock music wasn't just a flash and the pan but a new musical platform to be explored for generations to come.


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