The Top 10 Classic Albums That Accidentally Ruined Music
5. Van Halen - Van Halen
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We all know that Van Halen I is one of the most important and influential albums of all time and that it single-handedly helped usher in the glam metal/hair metal era that ruled the entire 1980s. Even though Halen destroys almost every single band of this genre, their undeniable influence helped create a buttload of trash that totally devolved rock.
One of biggest elements to blame in this situation is Eddie’s rapid guitar-playing chops and teeth metal attitude. His guitar-playing sent shockwaves through the world of rock ‘n’ roll and made a bazillion other guitarists/bands think they should try and follow suit. It would have been amazing if most of these acts were even half as good as Halen, but we all know now that this was very far from the truth. Hair metal/glam metal was more decadence than substance and almost ruined popular music in the process. Oh, and if anyone out there tries to say that the Bulletboys were awesome, my head might just go ahead and explode, y’all.
4. Nevermind – Nirvana
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How could something as big as Nevermind not hurt things as much as help them? It couldn’t. It became a beast that not even Kurt himself could control.
The album's overwhelming success single-handedly destroyed hair metal and ushered in a whole new musical movement known as grunge. I could've put albums by bands like Alice and Chains and Pearl Jam on this list for helping spawn s*** acts like Nickleback and Godsmack, but if it wasn’t for Nirvana breaking into the mainstream these bands never would've been promoted so heavily in the first place. Nevermind hit on so many levels that it’s very obvious now how many popular artists each took something completely different from Kurt and the record. Puddle of Mudd and Staind are great examples of a bands that totally f***ing blew it. Just because you're depressed doesn’t me you can write a great song.
3. Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A.
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This is obviously a classic and a landmark in the genre, but as CB4 pointed out a long time ago, N.W.A. unknowingly created a cartoon-like character for gangsta rap and gave every up-and-coming rapper a brand new blueprint for how to sell records in the music industry. Enter the studio gangsta.
If you don’t believe me, take look at the state of hip-hop today. MCs that have tattoos and spit raps about saying true to the streets sell millions of records and get heavy rotation on BET and MTV, while other rappers with a more intellectual outlook on things can barely get any love at all. Without NWA, Tupac never would've been able to promote his Thug Life persona to the world and we all know what that unleashed.
And don’t even get me started on what NWA did to white America. The second Eazy and his crew broke onto the scene every single white kid in Middle America wanted to be a gangster and rap. On certain levels this was a very good thing for music as well as America, but it also helped create ridiculous knockoffs, as well as fools like Fred Durst and Marky Mark. Idiots like these would have never started rapping if it wasn’t for the beast that NWA released.
2. Thriller – Michael Jackson
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Oh, Thriller. After the passing of Michael Jackson, there was endless talk about how Thriller was one of the most groundbreaking and important records of all time. But the only thing I could think about while this praise was going on was all of the horrible artists that were spawned due to Jackson’s MTV pop formula.
Yes, the record broke down doors, but it also gave kids around the world the idea that they should take a shot at the musical brass ring. From Britney Spears to the Backstreet Boys, MJ’s Thriller made everyone want to be on MTV doing synchronized dances and lip-syncing bubblegum pop hits. It unknowingly helped turn pop music into watered-down cookie-cutter garbage. The fact that MJ performed with 'N Sync and Britney Spears during a televised reunion with The Jacksons is enough proof that genre was artistically finished by the late-‘90s.
Pop stars in the ‘80s were mostly talented session musicians that were in the right place at the right time and basically got thrown into the spotlight. Take, for example, Lionel Richie. The man could do everything by himself with ease. Name one pop star now that can actually read music as well as write and produce their own s***. Pop stars nowadays seem to have little to no creative input when it comes to their music and are completely manufactured by their labels from the very beginning. Pop music could be good if done right. Too bad Thriller totally f***ed that up.
1. Frampton Comes Alive! – Peter Frampton
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Frampton Comes Alive! literally changed music overnight and turned the record industry into very big business. Think of it as the Star Wars/Jaws of the music biz. Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 Rumours is a close second in this category, but it’s Frampton Comes Alive! that officially gave the music industry its ‘blockbuster’ frame of mind.
I'm In You, Frampton’s follow-up to the 1976 smash, is a perfect example of where pop music was heading after this landmark occurrence. From label pressure to put out a record as successful as Comes Alive! to the album’s pinup boy-like cover, the music world had changed and most certainly would never be the same again.
The fact that Frampton Comes Alive! went on to become the biggest selling live album ever in such a short period of time showed that there was big money to be made in music. This made labels totally rethink everything and pushed music further away from its artistic roots and brought it face-to-face with Wall Street. It ushered in the era of pop stars and turned musicians into products and brands overnight.