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What If...One Album Edition

During the week of Christmas, it seems like the world slows way down. Everyone - musicians included - goes on holiday and ceases work. To that end, there doesn't seem to be much music news right now. That's ok - we'll make our own! To that end, let's do a fun "What if" post. Today, let's speculate how our fave bands would be regarded if they were only allowed to issue one album each.

Consider that for a minute: a recording industry where bands are only allowed to release one album.

I wonder what one album Motley would have released? Too Fast for Love, or Shout at the Devil? What if it was Theatre of Pain? If that was the case, would we care as much? If Def Leppard had never released Hysteria and had only put out, say,  On Through the Night, would we still love them? What if Michael Jackson had never launched a solo career? It's all a little nutty to consider.

The great thing about the arts - music, writing, painting - is that the artist can create as much (or as little) as she wants. So what if the output...was on the little side?

Think about Guns n' Roses. There's not much output by the "classic" lineup. Many say that has hurt the band's legacy. Other fans say it doesn't matter. I still think we're too close time-wise to Appetite for Destruction to really assess the GnR legacy on popular music as a whole.

I think you have to take a collective discography into account to judge a band on their impact to culture. Of course, limiting to one album each changes all that. Then again, I suppose there are bands that have only done one amazing work and have made an impact - I just can't think of any Glam acts off the top of my head.

What say you?

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Reader Comments (10)

I always felt that bands like G'n'R would have fucked it up by putting out more albums. In my mind, there is no way they could have matched what they had already done. They really only had two proper albums (one a double) but, for me, they are both on my list of top-10 albums of all time.

Too much awesomeness, it simply has to explode or it would tear a rift in time-space or something. There is just no way they could have stayed together and churned out another half dozen Appetites.

Another fave band that comes to mind is New York Dolls... Those guys could barely hold it together for two albums but they kick ass.

Some of these guys cranking out albums for 20+ years, it's not the same, IMHO. Some good music, yes, but give me the bands that expend all their ammo on 1-2 good albums.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony
IMO GnR are the only band I can think of who were their most awesome with their first album. B/c lets face it, if we want to limit them to one album, it would HAVE to be their first, the experience of making albums to date always has an effect on what they do next. Imagine if Metallica had only done Kill em all. Their influence would be a lot less, I reckon. What about AC/DC and High Voltage ? It's just too horrible to contemplate....
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Well Allyson, I think Guns N Roses only made one amazing album (Appetite).
Use Your Illusion had some great songs but it was waaaay to long. If they'd released it as a double album (I'm talking vinyl now) it could have matched the debut but alas....
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSnoot
It's impossible to judge GnR over their entire 20+ year existence, because each album was basically done by a different band. After Appetite, they lost a lot of the hunger & gang-like-mentality that allowed them to write such an amazing album. As a result, Use Your Illusion is good, but it's bloated and with Axl as the dominating song-writer, the danger & dirt of Appetite was lost. And Chinese Democracy may as well have be done by a completely different band as there is no relation between Axl's songs and the ones that they wrote for Appetite.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
It's not that hard, I mean Shout At The Devils is one of a kind. Appetite is one of a kind, these are album that inspire.

For me the definitive albums is Oasis - What's the story morning glory, Beatles - Revoler, Mötley - Shout at the devil, Guns N Roses - Appetite, Cinderella - Heartbreak Station
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiam
I believe we are all dumber for this one.
December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Insider
Wow, The Insider is a prick! It's been my understanding that those who claim to know and be "on the inside" are usually just nobodies trying to feel important.


December 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Crue = Shout GnR = Appetite Van Halen = Van Halen Scorpions = Love at first sting Whitesnake = Whitesnake
AC/DC = Back in black all classics and defined a generation.(in my opinion)
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlooksthatkill
I agree with many of the posts above regarding "Appetite..." being the one definitive GnR record, as well as one of the best rock records of all time.

Now, I love Illusion 1 & 2 and GnR Lies also, but for me, "Appetite" is the best. I recently listened to Illusion 1 for the first time in years, and although there are some great songs on there (Right Next Door to Hell, The Garden, Double Talkin' Jive), it is filled with WAY too many of Axl's paranoid "everybody hates me and/or wants to screw me over" lyrics.
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGator
Guyz, for real! What a great topik generated by our Metalfab Allyson...

Here goes, including a recap on various comments here...

>"Appetite", G'n'R - I agree wholeheartedly with all who regard it as the definitive Gunz album.

>"Illusion 1 & 2", yeah, a couple of ya got it right, boil it down to one CD or two rekkidz like our Snoot sez. Bryon and Gator are also right, however, Gator a couple of Axl's paranoid everybody hates me things on it are cool, IMHO ("H" for humble, hahaha!!!), like "Don't You Cry", etc. That said, you guyz are right and some of the Axl crap like cheezerock filler, "November Rain" (tho, I do have it on my Powerballad "C" Playlist), and "Live & Let Die". Okay, it's good but wouldn't go on the single CD concept, which is also a very interesting subject... which songs would make up the single Use Your Illusion, so interesting, I think I'll take a stab at a cut down like I did when it first came out with a mixtape, hahaha!!!... but my self deprecation wanes, as I actually spent days on it and tho I don't remember the exact track list I wound up with clocking in at a mere 70 or so minutes or whatever the average max of a two-sided single rekkid is. When I do, I'll sneak it in the comments section of something that has anything barely to do with the subject but will at least get it out there, if Al duzn't mind... but onward as, to be perfectly honest, I fried this cassette tape in two weeks from the day it was released and caught 'em at the Bayou in Georgetown, D.C. in their last official club date before they went on tour opening for Motley and blowing their as*es off the stage. The rest was merely history peppered in with a few memorable moments, the most of which was seein' 'em much later in 2 nights of warm ups for the Use Your Illusion Tour at the Roxy in NYC with Soren replacing Adler, which were also the last two dates Izzy played along (no pun intended) and then with Gilby at Madison Square Garden. To be perfectly honest, I woulda slept through both consecutive showz there, too, had it not been for the two different amply figured brunettes I took along tryin' to claw me to death during the performances. Between Slash's sufficient but proficient, generically by the numberz Page/Perry knock-off guitar work and Axl's ever weirder delayed arrivals and bizarro outfits consisting of white spandex shorts, Reebok High Tops and Red Armani cashmere jacket with the sleeves rolled up, it all got really all quite boring, if you ask me. To be blunt, seein' 'em five times is three times too many in my book, if you wanna talk choppin' stuff down to it's essence. But, then again, maybe there is something to Gator assessed Axl paranoia, as I recall during that Bayou show, Axl kept rambling on and on between songs about "...the problem with Poison..." being inauthentic. I actually like Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In" much better than "Appetite" even, and certainly a lot better than my "Use Your Illusion" edit-down. Whoa! I wonder if that will p*ss off the sanctimonious "Legit Metal" purists on here, just kiddin'... I luv u all, as Ozzy would chant... Seriously, I like my Glam dumb and pretty like Poison's first, not like G'n'R, "Appetite" which is way too good, hahaha!!! Hey, I mean it!

> "Look What The Cat Dragged In" by Poison. As much as I like a lot of "Open Up...", they really shoulda called it quits for our sakes right after touring off "Look...". Michael's can't sing his way out of a paper bag live and never could. Brutal to watch live. Wish they'd just spare us all the rehash of the rehash routine. Still, if they put out a new record of all original material, I might listen. I bet it would be a h*lluva lot better than Crue's "Saints..."

> "Leather Boyz", Pretty Boy Floyd. Hey, pr*ck, "The Insider" (thanx, Jen, I've been tryin' to figure out what the freak parade-pisser-onner should be called), here we go again, f*cker. This is the best Glam Metal Album of all time, bar none.

> "Permission to Land", The Darkness. Let's hand it to these guyz. I will claim that without them, there would be no Steel Panther or is it the other way around? Somebody gimme a timeline. Hey, this has to be one of the most classic cases of "Quit While You're Ahead", as they imploded on "One Way Ticket to Hell", tho I like the title trak. Everyone pretty much knowz what happened to Justin, but I gotta say, I think he somewhat redeemed himself with Hot Leg but his brother did not, as I feel like Stone Gods is good but a lot more boring. Justin is the genius of those two characterz. Read the Wikipedia on these guyz and their recent and very brief reunion. Quite funny, tho cannot be repeated in the mixed company of this, the classiest and most intelligent of Rock & Roll web sites (tho I do absolutely love Sleazegrinder's "Flash Metal Suicide" section quite a lot... could come in handy here with this fantastic Allyson penned subject of "What if our faves only had one album...", as you will see if you go.

>"Too Fast For Love" by Motley. C'mon guyz, this record winz it on "Livewire" alone! As much as I love the rest, it's overproduced bubblegum by comparison. I mean, they almost seem legit with this one, too, Gawd forbid!, hahaha!!!

> "New York Dolls" by New York Dolls. This is the t*ts!... as they would say in NYC (and I suppose L.A. or anywhere else where Rock matters, for that matter, hahaha!!!). Absolute classic, chopped and channeled into at least a listenable stage by one of the greatest geniuses of our time, Todd Rundgren, of all people. Take a look at this guy'z production credits, let alone songwriting and recording career, including a performance you'll find on YouTube of him doin' "Hello It's Me" on Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special, to see one of the most off the wall Glam outfits of all time. But I digress. H*ll, check out the New York Dolls on the same show (diff date, tho), also on YouTube... and check out that Bob Gruen dock on 'em. He filmed 'em in black and white video back in the day that is so tack sharp, you feel like a lost junkyard dog watchin' it (cuz dogs supposedly can only see in black and white, hahaha!!! as the myth goes) as you are almost the camera following 'em around. Now as for the rekkid, refer back to my first sentence. That's the truth from beginning to end. And listen to how the Pistols and Poison blatantly copped all of Thunder's classic riffs, to very successful effect, I might add. Yeah, as cool as it is, ixnay on the second albumay...

>"Long Cold Winter" by Cinderella. Now that's what I call a Christmas album, hahaha!!! But really, I mean, c'mon. It's got one of the top five powerballadz of all time and the rest of it is ballz out killer no filler. Yeah, I hear ya on Night Songz and all that other sh*t but trust me, this is it for them. Sorry, Lame, just kiddin', I'm sure you get that one a lot, but remember the filet job so many on here have done to Metalboy!, if you take any of my smart a*s remarks at all serioiusly. And really, what the hell do you have Oasis on here, ya bloody poofter?! Just kiddin' again! Yeah, well, look, as much as I love Okaysis, it don't belong here cuz this site's about Glam Metal, primarily and let's face it, that Okaysis album is pretty cool but ain't Glam, no matter how you slice it. I do the dig the Bacharach poster in the cool band portrait shot on the cover. I guess that meanz they're payin' homage to him, tho I don't hear any musical influences that might have come from him on it. And as much as Britpop hit us in the late 80's thru the mid nineties, there is another little movement called "Bring Back Glam" and I don't really see how Okaysis fits in.

>"Let There Be Rock" by AC/DC. Look, got it all and seen 'em like 8 times at least (I know this keeps changin' but so duz my mind, hahaha!!!), including twice with Bon. Okay, Back In Black is killer, too, but maybe they can have two greats cuz of the whole singer replacement thing. On the other hand, if I had to pick one it would still be "Let There Be Rock". Yeah, okay, it's a repackage of a combo of their first Australian release and some other stuff, but this is it for me. I mean, hello, just on the combo of "Problem Child" and "Let There Be Rock" alone. Beyond killer, this may be the finest record discussed here, if I may be so humble. I would even dare say that this is actually the most intelligent album discussed here today!

I could go on and will if we start bustin' on each other over this. Gentlemen, should we call a Counsel of the Cauldron? Which brings up Lizzy Borden... "Visual Lies" is all they needed...

To the singular experience of Rock and Roll... Cheerz'n'Geerz!

Ready, Aim, Rock!!!
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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