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13 Rock Bands That Have Destroyed Their Legacies

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Loathe a good band lately? You probably have your reasons. We’ve all been there; it’s a universal feeling. The way we dust off our record collection, thinking back to a place in history when “things were oh so different.” Sometimes we experience post-nostalgic depression, no thanks to a shot of reality that confirms how far the band’s out from their glory days. And it’s once we make those realizations that we forever acknowledge the malaise that lingers over said artist, band, album, song, etc. We could think of at least a crate full, but we narrowed it down to, oh, a baker’s dozen.

Prepare to scoff. Now.

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Jeff Conner
March 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

“A savvy PR person could probably twist this into a marketing boon for Metallica”. One did.

rebecca maguire (@rebeccavcmag)
March 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

…and scoff they did. I kind of took this as tongue in cheek as a good laugh and not meant to be literal.

Jackson Herod
March 25, 2014 at 11:01 am

The fact that KISS is not on this list makes it invalid. No group has sold out more than those guys.

Fluxkit (@fluxkit)
May 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

When did Kiss ever have any sort of respect from anyone outside of their immediate fan base?

May 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm

in the beginning they did have a measure of respect musically from the mainstream press, including rolling stone for their debut album which was reviewed as “exceptional”, and the magazine predicted the band could “insure excellence” in the future if continuing on this course. Their first live album was also critically praised. no other band went from all out hard rock to destroying their fan base within several years with disco and pop songs the way Kiss did, it was a stunning self-destruction which belongs on the list.

Will Evatt
March 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm

“T. MARCH 24, 2014 AT 8:29 AM
How fitting Queen lost a fag who liked taking it in the butt and replaces him with another fag. Sounds like them. They’re just a band who decided to throw shit at the wall and some of it stuck”

This comment is only slightly more offensive than this article. Which is saying something. I have no issue with the bands chosen, but the writing is reductive and, most of all, seems to misunderstand exactly how these bands ruined their legacies. Yes, Metallica is a bit of a joke now, but it certainly isn’t only because of Napster.

March 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm

How fitting Queen lost a fag who liked taking it in the butt and replaces him with another fag. Sounds like them. They’re just a band who decided to throw shit at the wall and some of it stuck

Fluxkit (@fluxkit)
May 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Wow, are you like an 11 year old homophobe?

George F
May 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Let us know when you can write numbers like that – for example, Bohemian Rhapsody (with its 60 chords), or any of the others that are on any of their greatest hits albums (Greatest hits 1 being the best ever selling UK album).
Anyway, good luck with that homophobia, hope for your own sake you come out of the closet soon.

March 23, 2014 at 8:40 am

Their legacy is their music period. Whoever wrote this in my opinion is a chump, a negative creep. That 13 year old kid I saw last weak on a skateboard wearing an Appetite t shirt, you ask him what GnRs legacy will be. He probably at least knows what legacy means before this writer as well. That kid will say 20 years from now that GnRs legacy is Appetite For Destruction. He’ll probably then say that Axel Rose’s legacy will be GnR, if you want to turn it that way. It’ll be his opinion, that’ll disprove that their legacy is destroyed as it only takes one.

legacy[ leg-uh-see ]
noun [plural leg·a·cies.]
1. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.

Just realized It took 4 writers to write that article? Lol. What a bunch of idiots. Seems not one of them could define legacy in any of its meanings. The only thing destroyed here from what I can see is 4 peoples “writing careers in music”. Go write for Entertainment Tonight… Pffft Aerosmiths legacy destroyed, don’t get me started. Probably opened up a big can of worms with all the deadheads up in arms. Lol. Xo GG

March 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm

i get that there has been a very long lasting bad quality patch in the Pumpkins history but I genuinely think it’s getting better. He’s taking some initiative with Teargarden and Oceania wasn’t awful.

March 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I’m surprised Jane’s Addiction wasn’t on this list, or even towards the top. Also, where was Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, more significantly?

Jane’s sullied their roots and legacy of unbridled art metal. Zeppelin, arguably the greatest hard rock band of all time, had a couple of awful reunion performances before redeeming themselves some with the O2 concert. Pink Floyd never redeemed itself as a band after The Final Cut. Bastards.

May 26, 2014 at 10:22 am

LOL, Pink Floyd only released 2 albums after The Final Cut AND Waters wasn’t even with them during those two. Also if you think Division Bell sucks, listen to it again. “High Hopes” alone makes that record worth recording.

March 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

I’m kind of surprised The Doors weren’t on the list.

March 22, 2014 at 8:08 pm

2 points about this piece.
1. The fact that Metallica is bigger than ever AND still do things like perform under random band names at their own festival only to perform great albums like kill em all might not put them on this list. Sure, Lars was a douche during the napster era, but does bitching about not making a profit off of his work really hurt his legacy???.
2. Sure, billy corgan is kinda a douche and did kick jimmy chamberlain out. What is not stated is that when chamberlain was kicked out it was because he was heavy into heroin. A heroin addiction which led to him overdosing and their touring keyboardist to die. Seems like a good reason to part ways while one receives help. Also, when the pumpkins reunited all original members were asked to join and Darcy and James both declined. Sure billy is a tool but to solely place all the pumpkins fault on him is just absurd

July 6, 2014 at 6:57 am

Ok, 2 points to compliment Anonymous’ 2 points.
1. Fuck Lars Ulrich and Metallica!!!
2. “…”
No wait, that was all I wanted to say.

March 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Intresting article, but I have one issue the new lead singer of INXS ws JD Fortune, not JD Hunter

March 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Hey I love the Grateful Dead….saw them play 27 or 28 times…yes, when they were “on” they were incredible….but, when Jerry died, and the band continued on as The Other Ones, well, that was OK…when they started calling themselves “The Dead”….well, that was NOT cool…it was kinda tasteless and reeked of desperation and a strange marketing ploy….so, sadly I agree with this mostly lame article…at least on this band…but, where was YeS??? Or does prog rock not show up on your musical radar ????

March 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I disagree with this. How can you say a band destroyed their legacy when the majority of these bands had someone important die? The only bands that relate to this are Aerosmith and Metallica. Metallica still kills it live!

March 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm

This is a pretty terrible article, to be honest. Its the authors complaining about bands that they dont know a whole lot about. The Dead havent toured in 5 years. Everybody knew who everybody in the band was. You make sure to include the fact that they were together for 30 years (somehow a bad thing) and then seem to think that nobody knows who anybody but jerry is. And the 1970’s shows were easily the peak of their career and its well known by pretty much everyone.

Matt Chick
March 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

Kris lenz, are you a ‘rock journalist’? If so, you don’t even have a reputation to ruin. You sucked right out the gate. Do your homework, journalist.

Adrian C
March 22, 2014 at 4:36 am

This list is iffy at best and the explanations are downright terrible. First of all, was your source for the Metallica portion a forum post from the early 2000’s? I doubt the author has even listened to Metallica. He certainly writes like he never has. Same can be said for the description of the Pixies and Weezer. I’m not just some blind fan of these bands who refuses to hear criticism. Admittedly, I love most of the bands on this list and enjoy them in their past and present incarnations. That being said, I’m always open and interested in reading criticism and analysis provided it is well researched and argued. This “article” is neither. This buzzfeed style bullshit list hardly holds up to any kind of journalistic standard let alone musical one.

March 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

He insulted Soundgarden, too, for selling out — ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black

March 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

LOL at the Dead ruining their legacy (and I never EVER use LOL, but what else is there to use in this situation). So refreshing when music writers unabashedly show how little they know about music and legacies in their music and legacies article. Every other band on here belongs here, but even my mom could have made this list as it’s such an obvious and easy task.

March 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm

I’m not the biggest Donna Godchaux fan, but to say the shows in that era were “appalling” is total ass clownery.

Lee Price
March 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Most of these bands you list cemented their legacy without reproach and likely a decade or more prior to your graduation from preschool. Moreover, including the likes of Weezer with The Beach Boys, Smashing Pumpkins or The Grateful Dead shows your complete lack of awareness to 20th and 21st century music.

So, may I suggest you change your blog title to “The Consequences of a Hiptards Opinions: Awful Writing”, or simply “My Failed Troll Blog”.

Buddy Wheeler
March 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

The Grateful Dead’s legacy is fully intact. 19 years after Jerry’s death their music is still the backbone of an entire culture. ((( THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED )))

Ms. T
March 21, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Re Queen + Adam Lambert: Do laughs and eye-rolls count if it’s only a dozen or so old geezers? Do 19 arenas in North America selling out all or most seats within days of sales, and adding new sections due to high demand play a part in the ‘people’s reaction’? Do the adding of new dates in at least two venues (so far) count toward demand? Does the outcry from fans in Europe and South Africa to be added to the tour count? I guess the way you tell the story, if the old geezers don’t like it, it’s a done deal, but there are new people being born every day, and old geezers die every day, and yet here Queen is, selling big time in NA, a market they lost decades ago. I think you’re mis-stating what’s actually happening here in order to sell your narrative. Maybe it will work for some, especially the old geezers.

July 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Thank God someone finally wrote that! I was lucky to see them 2 years ago in Poland and I was totally delighted to listen that beautiful noise, which Brian, Roger and Adam delievered to their fans that night. And what’s more, as far as I’m concerned, Queen+AL gets better and better with every concert. I’d give a lot to see them once again. So please, dear goddamn experts – don’t bullshit.

March 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm

The bassist from the Grateful Dead has formed a band that still attracts his original followers while still drawing the younger generation to big venues and headlines major festivals (Bonnaroo, Vibes, Rothbury, Lock’n) and sounds good enough that you’ll rarely hear negative reviews.

How, exactly, is that destroying the Grateful Dead’s legacy?

March 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Did you guys dust off some 2002 criticisms of Metallica that have been lying around? When Death Magnetic leaked to the interwebz, Lars was pretty nonchalant about it.

July 6, 2014 at 7:02 am

Once again, if I could make a comment…Fuck Metallica!!!

March 21, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Agreed on the Dead not belonging on this list. Jerry dying isn’t enough justification for thinking all the other members should hang up their instruments. They are talented musicians and Phil especially continues to take the music of The Grateful Dead to new places with creative incarnations of Phil & Friends and especially at his Terrapin Crossroads venue.

March 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm

How familiar is Kris Lenz with the Grateful Dead? Because his argument is wrong on many levels.

March 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

The Dead don’t tour together year after year after year. They may have played some shows together after Jerry’s death but Bobby, Phil, Bill, and Mickey haven’t toured as the Dead or the Other Ones since 2009. You may be thinking of Furthur or Ratdog but they aren’t “The Dead”.

March 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong !!! They SURE DID start calling themselves “The Dead” after a few years/tours…look it up somewhere…it was VERY lame and tasteless when they did the name change…..

March 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm

They did. For only 3 years as The Dead and like 2 as the Other Ones. 5 years does not damage a 30-year legacy. Why should great musicians stop playing with each other after the loss of a band member?

July 6, 2014 at 11:26 am

Apparently there could be another band similar to “The Dead” soon. Or at least Bobby hopes so.

Roger Mexico (@roger_mexico)
March 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

The Dead don’t belong in this list. Not even in the same league of embarrassment as these other bands. Just way off.

Spot on with the Pumpkins and you are missing some big things. That disastrous tour where he literally yelled at the audience, the ridiculous conspiracy theory Alex Jones bullshit, it just goes on and on.

March 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Good list, but I’m confused by the sentence where you mention “Bam Thwok” by the Pixies. You make it sound like Frank Black wrote that song when it was actually Kim Deal.

Aaron (@SmoochArt)
March 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I think the remaining members of the Dead have done a decent job preserving their music rather than crapping all over it like many of the above mentioned bands. My dad is a HUGE deadhead, but Jerry had died before I was of a decent age to be attending something like a GD concert. I’ve seen “The Dead”, Bob Weir and Ratdog, and Phil and Friends (Whom put on a unreal acoustic afternoon show at Bonnaroo 2008) and was quite pleased in their continued ability to jam well. The vocals may be lacking in respect to Phil and Bobby, so hopefully they can do as they did with the last “Dead” tour and bring on Warren Haynes. That man did quite a good job filling in shoes as big as Jerry’s.

Also, as a big Pumpkins’ fan, thanks for putting them at #1. There is no redemption for Billy at this point

March 25, 2014 at 9:26 am

Aaron, I agree about the Dead. in no way has their name been destroyed, and with the shows that the guys are still doing (last one I saw was Further), they may even be strengthening it. they still jam.


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