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brokentulsa
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:33 pm

one of the few bands that went with a grunge sound and pulled it off was Kings x....When I first heard Dogman I thought it was the best grungey album I had heard up to that point.. That being said the 80s bands were trying to stay relevant and grunge was such a departure from hair metal...Interestingly enough the bands that stayed true to their sound in the 90s (Rush, Dio, Van Halen, AC/DC, Accept, Deep Purple for example) did sell some records, did tour (Van halen and AC/DC still sold more records in the 90s than most grunge bands were and sold out arenas) did okay and many of them have come back today. Grunge drew heavily from 70s hard rock and I remember some of those70s bands coming back in the 90s.... plus the 90s was also the decade for thrash and death metal bands to go mainstream...
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:24 pm

Good point, brother. "Dogman" was the first King's X album I heard in it's entirety and I still love it to this day. It was the very first cassette I ever played in my then first brand new car back in 1995. The title track, Pillow, Pretend, and Cigarettes make it onto a lot of my comps. Ahh, memories.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:37 pm

Temple of Blood wrote:
Fat Freddy wrote:
Troublezone wrote:
Not too many bands can pull off a drastic style change. Pantera is probably the most famous band that reinvented their sound and image almost overnight and were successful.

...and they were able to pull it off because outside of their home area (the Southwestern US), they were pretty much unknowns. So when they released "Cowboys" most people thought they were a "new" band.

Exactly.  Not to mention that there was a gradual style shift on all the albums:

pre-Phil albums -> PM -> CFH -> VDoP -> FBD (#1 on Billboard)

Each continuing to get more aggressive.  No overnight change at all IMHO.

They did get progressively heavier with every album they did, but they didn't really achieve the thrash sound until CFH (although a few songs on Power Metal came close). And their look/image was still glam before CFH... so when I say they changed "overnight", I exaggerated a little bit... they actually started to change in '89. That's when they ditched the Motley Crue look for everyday street clothes.
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TheGreatDuck
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:27 am

Required Fields wrote:
TheGreatDuck wrote:
Well, Def Leppard actually did play some of the early songs on their later tours, and they also sound pretty out of place among the later, more commercial stuff (i.e. compare Rock Brigade or Mirror Mirror to Hysteria, Love Bites and Pour Some Sugar on Me).

I remembered looking at concert set lists.

On the tour for Pyromania, they would typically play three or four songs from On Through the Night, and at least half of High 'n' Dry. On the tour for Hysteria, there was not a single show they played anything from On Through the Night, and the only regular song from High 'n' Dry was the ballad, Bringin' on the Heartbreak. They were clearly trying to pander to the newer fans, the whole "out with the old, in with the new" regime.

They actually played Let it Go as well - and Mirror, Mirror appeared on their setlist in 2007, and there's also footage of later performances of the early songs. Might not really be comparable with Warrant's case given the context and all, though.

Temple of Blood wrote:
Hadley wrote:
Were Brother Cane even hair metal in the first place? Most of what i've heard of their music sounds more like Southern rock to me.

It was still a big shift in style from Collective Soul-ish/Black Crowes-ish stuff to move into the grunge era.

Weren't Collective Soul a grunge-influenced alternative band themselves?
Temple of Blood wrote:
TheGreatDuck wrote:
In the '90s, glam metal began losing popularity, with grunge and alternative music becoming mainstream. Thus, in the mid-'late 90s we witnessed a number of attempts at alternative from bands such as Warrant, Bulletboys, Dokken, Danger Danger, Scorpions, Dangerous Toys, Slik Toxik, Motley Crue - and all of these albums seem to be heavily disliked and maligned, alienating the old fans, while failing to attract any new audiences.

Why is that?

I think it would be better to say "this song should've been a hit" and then we could've analyzed why it wasn't.

AFAIK none of those releases had any good songs on them, so it's clear why they didn't break through.


Quote :
I know most of us here will agree the music sucked - but then, some would probably say AOR and glam also sucked, yet a lot of bands managed to stay successfull with these genres.  

Nah.  It's no mystery why Jefferson Starship / Starship caught on, for one example.  Or why glammed-out Whitesnake found a huge audience in America.

Quote :
Just like there were many new shitty post-grunge acts with similar sound that came during this era, yet managed to score hits.

Like who?  Are we talking about Candlebox, Life of Agony, etc.?


Again, good song doesn't equal a hit, or vice versa. Many people would say Don't Stop Believin' or Pour Some Sugar on Me are crap (not me, though), yet those songs were some of the biggest hits of the '80s.
Then there's also the whole phenomenon of crappy post-grunge acts I mentioned (haven't heard Candlebox, and I don't consider Life of Agony to be post-grunge, nor crappy - what I had in mind were mostly bands such as Creed, Nickelback, Godsmack, Seven Mary Three etc.).

Temple of Blood wrote:
Fat Freddy wrote:
The kids listening to grunge weren't interested in "old" bands.

True.  But I bet the old songwriters could've left, gotten a makeover, and formed a new band and fooled them.

A lot of hair metal guys were undercover in those grunge bands.

Any examples you can think of? Only Mother Love Bone (who actually seem to have been more influenced by 70s glam rockers as opposed to 80s hair metal) and early incarnations of Alice in Chains come to mind.
I think Butch Walker of Southgang is actually a good example of a glambanger who reinvented himself. Today he seems to be more known for his alternative rock/power pop/singer-songwriter works he did after the demise of SG (although I personally first heard of them, probably because I tend to be more interested in hair metal than alternative, heh). AFAIK, he was never really grungy, though.

BTW, not grunge, but I always found it funny how James LoMenzo of White Lion ended up playing in Megadeth. Very Happy
Temple of Blood wrote:
TheGreatDuck wrote:

Don't you think a fan of the early, proggy and heavy Journey albums would have been heavily disappointed upon hearing the Steve Perry songs?

I'm not sure those albums really had a ton of die-hard fans TBH.  A lot of bands were just coasting in the 70s.

Quote :
Or a fan of Rainbow's early, proggy epic hard rock and heavy metal after hearing stuff like All Night Long or Stone Cold? Yet those songs were hits for the band.

True, but pretty minor hits.  

Quote :
Or, hell, just look at Def Leppard and read Ult's reviews of their albums - I imagine a fan of the early DL albums must have been really alienated by Pyro and especially Hysteria.

I don't think so.  Most everyone loved that stuff at the time as I recall.

Quote :
Besides, I read a lot of posts on various forums, Youtube and Facebook from people who were around in the late '80s/early '90s saying they were originally into pop metal, but then suddenly that style stopped being cool, so they just went with the flow and got into grunge and alternative.

True.  Music as a fashion statement is still very much in effect today.

glassprison wrote:
I agree with RF. I like some of the material that the bands you mentioned put out, but it really didn't have a chance at the time given the fan base the bands had already built. If they really wanted to pursue the grunge sound and have any shot at success with it they likely would have had to change their name and try to reinvent themselves from scratch, not just assume that the success they already established in the glam genre would follow them seamlessly.

Great point.  I'm sure no one who's worked that hard for years to build up a recognizable brand wants to through it out the window.  They were probably in denial that they could just pivot and not have to start over.

Quote :
So would you guys say the 80s mainstream audiences who were into arena rock and pop metal were generally more accepting of older bands adopting newer, more mainstream sounds?

I think this is a valid observation.  80s mainstream audiences are into the sound/fashion and the grunge ones were more into "the cause, man".

Quote :
Would that be the reason why there were no alternative "Pyromanias", but mostly just alternative "Cold Lakes"?

You lost me here.

So you'd say Journey's case was in a way not too different from Pantera's, i.e. not many people knew about them before Perry joined, so most just assumed they were a new band?

As for Def Leppard, well, just read Ult's reviews of Pyro and later albums. He's clearly dissatisfied with the direction the band took after High 'n' Dry, and even goes as far as saying Slang is not as bad as Hysteria and Adrenalize.
OTOH, another mystery here is why did Lepp had so much success with these albums, that are still regarded as '80s classics, while Saxon's Destiny, which was a pretty good album IMO, tends to be viewed as the lowest point in their entire career.

How did I lose you, exactly? Very Happy

Troublezone wrote:
Temple of Blood wrote:
Fat Freddy wrote:
Troublezone wrote:
Not too many bands can pull off a drastic style change. Pantera is probably the most famous band that reinvented their sound and image almost overnight and were successful.

...and they were able to pull it off because outside of their home area (the Southwestern US), they were pretty much unknowns. So when they released "Cowboys" most people thought they were a "new" band.

Exactly.  Not to mention that there was a gradual style shift on all the albums:

pre-Phil albums -> PM -> CFH -> VDoP -> FBD (#1 on Billboard)

Each continuing to get more aggressive.  No overnight change at all IMHO.

They did get progressively heavier with every album they did, but they didn't really achieve the thrash sound until CFH (although a few songs on Power Metal came close). And their look/image was still glam before CFH... so when I say they changed "overnight", I exaggerated a little bit... they actually started to change in '89. That's when they ditched the Motley Crue look for everyday street clothes.

To be fair, the last Terry Glaze album was already heavier and sounded more like Judas Priest than the Van Halen/Kiss worship of the first two albums.

brokentulsa wrote:
one of the few bands that went with a grunge sound and pulled it off was Kings x....When I first heard Dogman I thought it was the best grungey album I had heard up to that point.. That being said the 80s bands were trying to stay relevant and grunge was such a departure from hair metal...Interestingly enough the bands that stayed true to their sound in the 90s (Rush, Dio, Van Halen, AC/DC, Accept, Deep Purple for example) did sell some records, did tour (Van halen and AC/DC still sold more records in the 90s than most grunge bands were and sold out arenas) did okay and many of them have come back today. Grunge drew heavily from 70s hard rock and I remember some of those70s bands coming back in the 90s.... plus the 90s was also the decade for thrash and death metal bands to go mainstream...

Well, King's X are one of the first alternative metal bands themselves. I read somewhere they were a big influence on AiC. Although Dogman is indeed somewhat different from the previous albums, which I tend to view as somewhat of a bridge between more traditional hard rock/heavy metal and bands that were more strictly alternative metal.

Now, as for the bands that "stuck to their guns"...Well, a lot of thrash bands who continued to play during the '90s adopted a certain groove metal influence to their sound. OTOH, there was also a notable departure from the classic '80s sound of traditional bands such as Saxon, Judas Priest or Accept - just compare the stuff they played in the '80s to their albums from the '90s and on, and you can notice that all of them used to have a certain hard rock element in their sound that is mostly lost now. Today, JP actually seem to be mostly defined by Painkiller, an album whose style seems to be also present on their later albums, in one degree or another, with the band never really returning to the more hard rocking sound that was a significant part of their 80s output.
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Shawn Of Fire
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:13 am

Temple of Blood wrote:
Brother Cane adopted grunge and it spawned a popular single.

"Load" and "Reload" sold a ton of copies.

Brother Cane wasn't anywhere close to Hair Metal to begin with and Load/Reload weren't anything close to grunge.

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Hadley
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:50 pm

On a side note, this reminds me of this great line from Jackyl's "My Life":

"I once played a party where some college dudes lived
I guess that means my music can be called alternative"
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:10 am

The reason it failed is simple: Their hearts where not into it. The music they played and loved was no longer selling albums or filling arenas so they jumped on the trends in an attempt to regain their former glory. It wasn't for the love of the music. Not really sure about alternative bands (never cared much for that genre), but grunge bands, like them or not, were playing the music they loved. They never really cared about getting big, rich, and selling out arenas. As a matter of fact, it was the antithesis of what they were all about. That's my thinking on it anyways.
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James B.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:15 am

Temple of Blood wrote:


Exactly.  Not to mention that there was a gradual style shift on all the albums:

pre-Phil albums -> PM -> CFH -> VDoP -> FBD (#1 on Billboard)

Each continuing to get more aggressive.  No overnight change at all IMHO.

If you break it down further, you get to the real meal deal. Back in 1984, if you happened to have seen Pantera on their home turf (DFW)
They did three sets usually. The first set was covers of what you'd hear on the local hard rock radio, the second set was originals, and the third set was covers of stuff like Metallica. So they were playing thrash in 1984, just not their own stuff.

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Lari
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:13 am

DallasBlack wrote:
The reason it failed is simple: Their hearts where not into it.
A bunch of musicians put out overproduced trite with zero heart and make lots of money doing it. Just watch what's on MTV.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:25 am

Lari wrote:
DallasBlack wrote:
The reason it failed is simple: Their hearts where not into it.
A bunch of musicians put out overproduced trite with zero heart and make lots of money doing it. Just watch what's on MTV.

Exactly. Musicians pander to the market all the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:26 am

brokentulsa wrote:
one of the few bands that went with a grunge sound and pulled it off was Kings x....

I thought they influenced AiC in the first place and were thus proto-grunge.

What was their style before they went grunge?
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:52 am

TheGreatDuck wrote:
Weren't Collective Soul a grunge-influenced alternative band themselves?

I guess that's debatable. I thought of them more as pop hard-rock but I can see the "grunge" label I guess as well.


Quote :
Again, good song doesn't equal a hit, or vice versa. Many people would say Don't Stop Believin' or Pour Some Sugar on Me are crap (not me, though), yet those songs were some of the biggest hits of the '80s.

Not me either, at least not in the sense of "Gee, I wonder why this was a hit?"

Quote :

Then there's also the whole phenomenon of crappy post-grunge acts I mentioned (haven't heard Candlebox, and I don't consider Life of Agony to be post-grunge, nor crappy - what I had in mind were mostly bands such as Creed, Nickelback, Godsmack, Seven Mary Three etc.).

Godsmack has members from Meliah Rage and Wrathchild America, so those are great examples of ex-80s guys hiding out in grunge bands. Tony Friedanelli played for years in Third Eye Blind too. Rivers Cumo from Weezer has also in a (great) metal band called Avant Garde too that were very Fates Warning-ish.

There are tons of examples of 80s musicians who "made it" during the post-hair metal years.

Quote :
early incarnations of Alice in Chains come to mind.

AiC were total metalheads. Cantrell unquestionably. Mike Inez played with Ozzy. Staley sang metal songs (including Armored Saint) at his high school talent show and was a big Fates Warning fan, according to Brian Slagel.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:00 pm

1. It was embarrassing, the whole grunge thing was a reaction against those bands, it doesn't work if those bands join in.

2. The music was mostly terrible.

3. It seemed so horribly desperate and that is not sexy.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:10 pm

Boris2008 wrote:
3. It seemed so horribly desperate and that is not sexy.

Great point.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:40 pm

I stand by my original post. Yes, many band in the 80s were just doing it for money but many of them genuinely loved the music (which is why many of them are still around playing music very similar to what they used to play) however, that is not what I meant about their hearts not being in it. As has been said, the grunge movement was a reaction to the excess of the 80s. Grunge bands and their fans were tired of commercialism and phoniness of those bands. However, that didn't stop the movement from becoming successful.

Those bands were selling albums and filling arenas. The older bands found themselves out of the loop and decided to cash in on the grunge movement in a sad attempt to regain their former glory. However, there is a difference between being part of a movement and jumping on the bandwagon. It was obvious to the fans of grunge that these bands were not being genuine and they rejected them.
On the other side of the coin, the people that still loved the music of the 80s bands didn't like grunge and didn't want the bands they liked playing that style and they rejected them too.

The result: failure.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:05 am

It wasnt just the glam/pop-metal stuff either. Here's Circus of Power circa 1989:



And here they are in 1993:

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:52 pm

I think the reason that some of these bands went in this style was due to production. Bands like Warrant and LA Guns and Wildside were on smaller labels at that time and the budget wasnt as high to make an overproduced hair metal album, so they went with a sound that could be made on a smaller budget. Personally though, I think the bands should have stuck with their old style and rode out the 90s and waited to capitalize on the 80s nostalgia craze.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:26 am

Hadley wrote:
I think the bands should have stuck with their old style and rode out the 90s and waited to capitalize on the 80s nostalgia craze.

Noble idea, but you start to think different when you have bills to pay.

Sometimes it's a choice between staying true and having to sell your home, or trying to cash in on the latest trend. Especially if you weren't saving any money from the high sales years.
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 am

Temple of Blood wrote:
brokentulsa wrote:
one of the few bands that went with a grunge sound and pulled it off was Kings x....

I thought they influenced AiC in the first place and were thus proto-grunge.

What was their style before they went grunge?

King's X never, ever "went grunge". King's X was drop-D tuning and using the riffs/harmony vocals combo right smack in the middle of hair metal in 1988. They were a big influence on Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. King's X has always been King's X. To say they "went grunge" is laughable.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:50 am

Collective Soul was only "grunge" in look. They came out with the long hair and the flannel, but were essentially a pop rock band. Way too many happy hooks to be grunge. Alternative pop maybe...but not grunge.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:08 pm

Since I'm late to the discussion, I won't repeat some of the sentiments already expressed, but my 2 cents is that the alt/grunge movement was the very antithesis of everything that the 80's was about.

The sound, the attitude and yes, the look of grunge was all geared to be the direct opposite. So when an 80's band tried to adopt the look and sound, it just came off as phony and disingenuous to both the old fans and the grunge generation.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:00 pm

I'd also like to add that although I thought many of "grunge/alt" albums released by 80's bands did indeed suck at the time of their release, some of the have aged rather well.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:58 pm

MetalGuy71 wrote:
I'd also like to add that although I thought many of "grunge/alt" albums released by 80's bands did indeed suck at the time of their release, some of the have aged rather well.

I need examples, because this seems interesting.

I'm a casual fan of glam metal, so I've probably missed out on a lot of bands' "less beloved" material. But if there's some good records out there...
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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:34 pm

Just off the top of my head:

Motley Crue - Motley Crue (w/John Corabi)
Warrant - Dog Eat Dog and Ultraphobic
Pink Cream 69 - Change
KISS - Carnival of Souls
Slik Toxik - Irrelevant*

Your mileage may vary on how good these albums may or may not be, but they all represent a stylistic shift to the "new sound of the 90's" and they're all albums that I listen to fairly regularly.

*I just got this one a few months ago, so the jury is still out on how much I will or won't enjoy it.

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PostSubject: Re: Why did all attempts at grunge/alternative by older bands end up being such a failure?   Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:16 pm

MetalGuy71 wrote:
Just off the top of my head:

Motley Crue - Motley Crue (w/John Corabi)
Warrant - Dog Eat Dog and Ultraphobic
Pink Cream 69 - Change
KISS - Carnival of Souls
Slik Toxik - Irrelevant*

Your mileage may vary on how good these albums may or may not be, but they all represent a stylistic shift to the "new sound of the 90's" and they're all albums that I listen to fairly regularly.

*I just got this one a few months ago, so the jury is still out on how much I will or won't enjoy it.
Out of these I only own PC69 - Change, and it's not good. It's by far their worst.

I was interested in the good stuff. Where the change (pun intended) worked well artistically, even if it didn't work out commercially.
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