Veteran rock bands don’t really have to rely on their new gear anymore. Since they’ve already made millions, chances are they can rest on their laurels and make music in their spare time while getting along with the nostalgia of their old hits. That’s not to say that every legendary band has strengths from album to album.
Between hit singles here and there, some of the biggest bands in the world have turned their fair share of sophomore albums, left to be forgotten among the pack. Granted, not all Crisis sophomore albums are created equal, and each one didn’t miss the mark in their own way. Maybe it was just the songwriting, the band not being able to capture the magic like they did on their debut album. Maybe it was just the time, they were working hard until they caved under the pressure and came out with a bad case.
Worst-case scenario though, it was the records that made you wonder if these bands were any good to begin with. There again, the continuation of their career proved to us that they had not yet begun to show what they were capable of. After albums like these, they were at least ready for an uphill battle next time.
There are bound to be thousands of Weezer fans out there preparing to burn me at the stake for putting an album like Pinkerton on a sophomore list. Going through the rest of Weezer’s discography, Pinkerton is probably one of their all-time classic records next to the blue album, as Rivers Cuomo shows us another side of what he’s capable of. You say it now, but people weren’t saying the same thing in 1996.
When first released, most members of the rock world were appalled at what they heard here, thinking that their bright and sunny rock band had completely missed their strengths. Since they leaned into a heavier sound, it was the record that got a beating when it was first released, as fans were either turned off and wanted another version of Buddy Holly or were disgusted to see these morons writing songs that sounded less charming and scarier than you. Listen.
Over time, this developed a cult following and became one of the band’s true catalog masterpieces, standing either a cut above or on par with their debut. It’s a second crisis in the purest sense of the word… it broke the group. After being poorly received, Rivers walked away from music and did not return until half a decade later when their sound became much more pop again. For a band that had just found its footing, it was a major mistake that made them want to hide in shame for years.