Bands That Used To Be Great Before They Sold Out Part 2

This is part two of our ongoing series pointing out bands from the past that have sold out. Either changing their music to fit the current pop music music world to get money or in many ways have put out watered down rock.

Smashing Pumpkins
Smashing Pumpkins | Source
Silverchair
Silverchair | Source

SILVERCHAIR

When Silverchair rocketed onto the scene in the mid-1990s backed by Daniel Johns powerful vocals many accused them of being young Nirvana rip-offs. I never really thought of them as Nirvana wannabes and don't think they really sound like Nirvana other than the fact that they used distorted guitars and pounding drums. Which of course is the core of any good band in my opinion.

Despite the comparisons to many bands at the time Silverchair channeled their inner most demons into their songs releasing incredibly emotional rock songs and capturing the attention of many at the time. In my opinion they channeled that same musical gift through their second album, "Freakshow," and their third album, "Neon Ballroom." Overall I liked their first album, "frogstomp," the best however their are some songs on "Neon Ballroom," I would say are more complex. After this album it seemed that Silverchair had taken leave of their senses.

Beginning with Diorama Silverchair walked away from their rock roots and began to become very experimental. They incorporated other types of instruments, orchestral, etc. and where this worked well on Neon Ballroom in such songs as "Emotion Sickness," and "Black Tangled Heart," It didn't work at all in this group of songs. It seemed as though Johns had chosen a poppish sound for the new album. Possibly to reach for the money possibly tainted buy the fact that he was with and would marry Natalie Imbruglia. Often times it seems there is a Yoko waiting in the darkness to ruin every good band.

It seemed to only get worse for Silverchair as they went on hiatus for a few years while Johns sunk further with ridiculous side projects such as the Dissociatives. Upon returning the the band Johns didn't bring anything good back to the band. He radically altered the music of their next album into soft melodies and pop songs. Gone were the raging guitars and incredible riffs. Silverchair didn't even sound like the same band.

Australia may still hail them as an incredible band, as home countries often do of their artists. But to me Silverchair have done nothing but degenerate their sound to the point where anyone who once was interested in listening now could care less.

Billy Corgan
Billy Corgan | Source

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS

Fronted by Billy Corgan the 1990s pretty much belonged to the Smashing Pumpkins. They created incredible albums until the late 1990s when they softened their sound on the album, "Adore." There were still a few good rock songs but with the replacement of Jimmy Chamberlain with a drum machine and their foray too far into electronic generated music the Pumpkins found themselves losing fans. The guitar sound had dwindled and really sounded nothing like the massive album, "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness," from a few years prior.

The pumpkins then tried to counter balance it by releasing a hard rock album, "Machina," which seemed to do better but still didn't appeal to fans. So the pumpkins broke up. Upon returning in 2007 they released, "Zeitgeist," which was in many ways a return to their old sound but not quite as well received.

But on their next release Billy began changing things. Saying albums were done with he would release EPs and one song at a time format. It became clear after a dozen or so songs that it was one horrible song at a time. The songs were watered down, soft and bad. They also released a live DVD and in it only played one song from their early days. The rest of the songs were mainly b-sides and unreleased. They were again soft and watered down. Billy seemed to stubbornly refuse to pick up his guitar and rock out. Something the Pumpkins are best known for. Whether he is on a mission to destroy the Smashing Pumpkins (or what they used to have) I suppose we'll never know.

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Comments 4 comments

Mark Pitts profile image

Mark Pitts 4 years ago from United States

I love rock, and your critiques seem on point. I'm waiting until you do one I don't agree with.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Mark Pitts - glad we still agree, I will do more no worries. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!


Cre8tor profile image

Cre8tor 4 years ago from Ohio

Ugh. I'm not big on tagging bands as sell outs. At least not as quickly as some. In this case, it breaks my heart to say you're right. SP was one of the most influential bands when I used to play and when they...well you said it. Good critique and a sad thumbs up.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Cre8tor - believe me when I say I really hate to say it about SP too. I thought Billy was a rock master back in the 90s. He created such incredible songs, I just don't know what's up with that now.

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