Bands That Used To Be Great Before They Sold Out Part 1

Growing up in the 1990s I was often drawn to Angst filled music and bands. Some I felt really had something to say others were just following a trend. Some bands made a career and had made a career to that point filling their music with depth and inspiration. Still at a point, often when they became much larger in mainstream music they began to show their true colors. Many rock bands began sing bouncy pop influenced ditties that the mainstream seems to want to hear these days. They had sent years creating guitar layered rock with deep lyrics but now quickly changed to create things that they themselves would have been horribly ashamed of in their younger days. So what happened to that underground credibility? It became all about the money.

The following are a list of bands which in the 1990s or early in their respective careers that I recognized as genuinely great but now are only hollow uninspired versions of what they once were. Take a look.

Goo Goo Dolls
Goo Goo Dolls | Source

Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls started back in the 1980s and began as a few guys and their guitars eventually progressing through the ranks of rockers to become a huge rock band by mid 90's. They had created riff upon rock riff, guitar melody after guitar melody. They truly rocked but the last album that was really Rock was "A Boy Named Goo," and it was on this album when the Goo Goo Dolls decided to change. Why? They released a song on that album called "Name." The song wasn't really a horrible song but it was a ballad and bereft of any real hard rock guitar. This soft number became a hit and the band knew it.

One their next album they seemed to waffle between rock and Pop again pushing a Ballad, "Iris," as their first single, video and again become a huge hit. Also again it wasn't a bad song but this was a rock band and we expect the ballads to be the lesser tracks on a rock album. Most of the rest of the rock tracks on this album seemed to be shined so smooth you could barely hear a truly distorted guitar in sight.

By their next album they were just releasing watered down pop "rock" and I had stopped listening. I remember seeing a new video from the Goo Goo Dolls a few years ago and seeing the guitarist rocking out on his guitar. But there was no guitar in the song it was all soft layered pianos with no hard rocking in sight. It was just ridiculous. Maybe he forgot to plug in to his amp?

Chad Kroeger
Chad Kroeger | Source

Nickelback

Nickelback is a Canadian and being Canadian myself I heard a lot about them before they became big in the States and abroad. When they released their first album I was listening to "Leader of Men." They were a true rock band and I respected that. Initially when they released their album containing the song, "How You Remind Me," I liked it but in the course of hearing it over and over and over and over and over again on the radio I went from liking the song to absolutely hating it. This song became their biggest hit and went straight to front man Chad Kroeger's head.

Although they have continued to keep their music hard they have become completely full of themselves in interviews. After all Chad Kroeger coined the phrase, "8 million fans can't be wrong," because of course all rock bands only think about how many copies they sell and how much money they make right? Wrong. Kroeger also makes fun of other such acts from his home country like Matthew Good, and while they do not sell as many records as Nickelback have continued to be much more inspiring to me than Nickelback ever could be. Mark my words when I say Matthew Good's music will be remembered long after people have forgotten the name Nickelback. There's only so much the public wants to hear songs about hookers, getting drunk, and how great Nickelback is.

This article will be continued. It is rather long at this point but I have more bands to speak about. So stay tuned.

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Comments 36 comments

hawkdad73 profile image

hawkdad73 4 years ago from Riverside, Iowa

Wow! I couldn't agree more. Love the Nickleback pic...kind of fits.


VeronicaFarkas profile image

VeronicaFarkas 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

I actually synched two Nickleback songs (3 or 4 years ago), and the music was literally the same in both. Not a single note was different. Hmm... i wish I could remember which two. lol I've honestly never been a fan of the band.

Anyway, great hub! Can't wait for #2!


icountthetimes 4 years ago

I love some of the early Goo Goo Dolls stuff. As for Nickelback, I do think they got a bit full of themselves. They had some good tracks, so it's a bit of a shame how it panned out for them. No likeability factor.


toys-everywhere profile image

toys-everywhere 4 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

I do think Nickelback was good in its early days, but so were a lot of rock bands in the 90's. This was the wave of modern rock washing over us, and a lot of artists and bands have stood the test of time. I don't think Nickelback was one of them. They just went too quickly with the trends, getting popular-- "pop"ish. The Goo Goo Dolls just realized, "Hey! This formula works, let's go with it." Nickelback, though, is like the mean girl in high school that limps around in 6 inch heels because she got told it looked good. They're a wee bit lousy now.

Awesome hub, great topic, voted up.


albertovich profile image

albertovich 4 years ago

What exactly is selling out?


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Unfortunately genuine rock music has been driven underground by the overpowering mediocre generic music that is pumped out by the commercial music industry. There's just no room for real rock bands in the mainstream these days.

I did used to think of Nickelback as mainstream grunge who were in it for the money, they were commercialized. What you say here is true, their songs are about sex, money, being so awesome, etc but I've actually grown to like their last two albums quite a lot (Here And Now & Dark Horse).


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

hawkdad73 - lol, I know right, it's kind of like Chad Kroeger is saying, "Who's awesome? I'm Awesome!"


hpedneau profile image

hpedneau 4 years ago from Princeton, West Virginia

I went to a Goo Goo Dolls concert about two years ago. It was really strange, they were screaming "this is what real rock music is" and then you see all these people selling their autographs for like 30 bucks. I've been to quite a few concerts and that's the first time I've ever seen anything like that. To me, that's a perfect example of "selling out."


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

VeronicaFarkas - I think I know what you mean I heard a dual mix on youtube of How you remind me and a track from their following album. Seems maybe like they were trying to rewrite that track.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

icountthetimes - I really liked Goo Goo Dolls early stuff, but just can't swallow what they put out now. You are right Nickelback did have some good tracks in the early days. Maybe if they were at least a little humble about it and wrote lyrics from that standpoint with depth I could deal with it but I just can't respect them as they are unfortunately.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

toys-everywhere - I suppose bands get big because they are good I just wish they would plummet into obscurity when they try to sell us garbage, but it just seems like they stay around.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

Cool topic. I agree about these groups even though I don't like them in general. Nickelback is just irritating to most people and with good reason, their songs are all too similar like Veronica said. And the Goo Goo Dolls had Iris and then they went for the sales. Both to me are examples of how you should do what you feel musically instead of being corralled by the mainstream market because they'll chew you up and spit you out like that.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

albertovich - Well in this case it's really about bands that chose to make deep hard rocking music but when faced with the choice of conforming and creating bubble gum pop and making loads of money or continuing to be true to themselves and make the music that they love and makes them relevant they choose the former. To make music that conforms and make lots of money.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

sparkster - Well like I've said before in my comments everyone is entitled to their opinion. Personally I wouldn't listen to Nickelback anymore is the band paid me to do it.


Elani-Lee profile image

Elani-Lee 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Good Charolette: How can you talk about clicks, and cool kids, and all that about not fitting in, then go and marry the biggest fake non-celebrity that ever existed?


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Alecia Murphy - Exactly my thinking, one should be true to themselves and not just completely change and do it for the money. Why make music you yourself hate just for money.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Elani-Lee - lol, I know what you mean. I never really understood Good Charlotte, some of their songs song happy and upbeat but their made up all goth like their in such dispair?


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

hpedneau - I agree, it is all about money for them now, it should be about the music. It should be the art that drives the artist not the almighty dollar.


barry1001 profile image

barry1001 4 years ago from North Wales

Totally agree; I hate it when bands sell out. I used to really like Goo Goo Dolls, but they're later stuff was unrecognisable as that of the same band. Nickelback though, were never any good anyway!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

barry1001 - Glad to know were on the same page, I guess I mostly got into Nickelback at first because they were a Canadian band. I read one interview that made me sick when the interviewer called Nickelback the new Nirvana on the 2000s. Kurt would have been turning over in his grave to hear that. I was horrified.


toys-everywhere profile image

toys-everywhere 4 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that at some point, Kurt's gonna come back and haunt the crap out of Chad Kroeger. Grrr.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

toys-everywhere - One can only hope. Maybe it would scare some sense in Chad Kroeger.


toys-everywhere profile image

toys-everywhere 4 years ago from That little rambunctious spot in the back of your mind :)

Yeah, it'd be nice.


ShawnB2011 profile image

ShawnB2011 4 years ago from Arizona

Not a fan of either of those bands. Never was. What pissed me off was when green day got big. I was listening to them WAY before they got big. Damn shame. But, still dig their music so its cool. Lol. Good hub!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

For sure :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

ShawnB2011 - I enjoyed Green Day too, it was unusual. They originally were big on Dookie and then slowly began fading until they put out American Idiot and became big again. There sound has kind of changed but like you said not too bad at all :)


looniestlove profile image

looniestlove 4 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

so this is just part one ah...I also love the songs of the GOGO DOLLS especially IRIS this is one of their big hits back in the days...I also wonder what happened to them...thanks for sharing to us this very informative hub..


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

looniestlove - yes it seems there isn't a lot to say about Goo Goo Dolls these days. Maybe they'll one day get back to their rock roots!


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

I guess that I am dating myself, I really stop following much of the popular music scene after about 1990. This is still most interesting noting and acknowledging the change in the genre.


Mark Pitts profile image

Mark Pitts 4 years ago from United States

I grew up in the early 70's, and concerts and the music were so central that I can relate to what you mean. I liked Nickleback at first, too. I agree with your take on the Goo Goo's. Rock rules!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I grew up in the 60's and I can say with all certainty that the "sell out" was alive and well then as well. The lure of the big bucks, playing to the mainstream, has affected many a good group. Good, interesting hub and I look forward to many more.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Credence2 - It's ok if you haven't followed music in awhile I think the general idea of this article is just my identifying those groups that do it for the money and not the art. I'm sure even pre-90s it happened to some good groups :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Mark Pitts - I totally agree, rock does rule, thanks for commenting!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

billybuc - I guess every era has them. Those who stick to their principals and are all about the art and those who do whatever they can just to make the money. Thanks for commenting :)


carolyn a. ridge profile image

carolyn a. ridge 4 years ago

This is a great narrative; but I have never heard of these people. Keep up the good work. I may actually recognize one of your bands -- one day !!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for reading anyway :)

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