Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wrong Turn At Albuquerque



And then there are the Blossom Toes, a brilliant psychedelic band from the 60s, featuring a name you might be familiar with, Jim Cregan on guitar. Their debut "We Are Ever So Clean"is a long-lost gem, something like "Something Else By The Kinks" after a tab or two of acid. But then something happened.

In a little over a year later, their 1969 follow-up "If Only For A Moment" was released and man, what a downer, something like Iron Butterfly on 'ludes.

According to my pal and my go-to for all things psychedelic Sal Maida, the band hated the first record and simply wanted to change direction.


Bad move, if you ask me.

Check out these two tracks, the first from the debut and the next, a single from that period, "Postcard," which was also covered by Nilsson, by the way.






And then listen to this track and the band's new direction.



How does this happen? (And don't say drugs. Too easy.)

Is there any other night and day examples of brilliant debut to awful follow-up?
More specifically, a debut with a follow-up that barely resembles the band on the first record. 

19 comments:

Jeff Matthews said...

Boston?
Liz Phair?

Sal Nunziato said...

I like Boston's "Don't Look Back." At least 4 songs as good as anything on the debut. But that is besides the point. Both Boston records sound like Boston, to my ears anyway. I should have specified that detail in the original post: a debut with a follow-up that barely resembles the band on the first record. (gonna update it)

Anonymous said...

The rebooted Blossom Toes sounds like Spinal Tap doing Black Sabbath. Does it predate the first Sabbath album?

Captian Al

buzzbabyjesus said...

There are plenty of hated second albums over here, but I'm not sure any qualify, as they don't sound like different bands.

Television "Adventure"
The Clash "Give'em Enough Rope"*
Cheap Trick "In Color"
Elvis Costello "This Year's Model"
The Dream Syndicate "The Medicine Show"*
Split Enz "Dizrythmia"
The Libertines "The Libertines"
Be Bop Deluxe "Sunburst Finish"
Pink Floyd "A Saucerful Of Secrets"
*Produced by Sandy Pearlman

Sal Nunziato said...

@BBJ

The Clash "Give'em Enough Rope"*
Cheap Trick "In Color"
Elvis Costello "This Year's Model"
Be Bop Deluxe "Sunburst Finish"

Some of my fave records of all time.

Capt. Al, Blossom Toes second is 1969, Sabbath's debut is 1970, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,


It's generally agreed among civilized people that the 2nd album by The Knack sucked. But did it still sound like the Knack? I can't and won't go back to re-listen....hive mind?

regards,
RichD

Anonymous said...

I can think of lots of bands that changed their sound arguably for the worse after 2 albums - Atomic Rooster, Steamhammer, Return to Forever (just joking, but I prefer the first two albums), but it's hard to come up with debut album wonders. I have to think about it more. The closest I come is The Telescopes who were kinda big with their first album, a grungy screamer, but saw diminishing returns with a trip-hoppy 2nd self-titled album and an experimental 3d album. I like all the incarnations, however.

NY Rock & Roll Ensemble seemed to change their sound with every album, even after they seemed to get it right with Roll Over. Freedomburger had none of its hooks.

This reminds me of a former topic of bands who, over time, changed their sound. What do you make of Manfred Mann, going from pop band to the jazzy doomy Chapter III to the Earth Band?

vanwoert said...

Re: It's generally agreed among civilized people that the 2nd album by The Knack sucked. But did it still sound like the Knack? I think it did RichD, and I think it was Glenn Frey who famously said; “you have your whole life to write your first album and only six months to write your second,” I think that explains it for me better than anything.

Shriner said...

The 2nd album by the Knack gets way too much hate. According to the band, all the songs for the first two records were written at the same time. Obviously, the *better* songs made the debut, but the 2nd album is very listenable.

Stretching this out to the *third* album, I'd say "Third/Sister Lovers" qualifies as Chris Bell had nothing to do with it and it shows.

I skimmed through my iTunes collection which is full of disappointing 2nd albums to me, but nothing that fit's Sal's criteria...

The closest I can probably come up with is Meat Loaf's "Dead Ringer" because he's not being backed by Utopia (or produced by Todd), but the *resemblance" to Bat Out Of Hell is still there because of Steinman's songs.

OOH, I know (as I work down the alphabet) -- the second album by The Pipettes. "Earth vs. The Pipettes" sounds very little like the debut (which is awesome) and is pretty terrible. That followup broke my heart as I loved the debut *so much*.

DONE AND DONE!

Though I'll be curious what Lorde's follow-up sounds like...

William Repsher said...

The Fabulous Poodles! I thought that first album that came out in America was new wave perfection ("Mirror Star" being the one track that garnered attention). The second I recall getting for Christmas the following year, after they toured America, and America had ruined them. "Bionic Man" was the big track from that one ... youtube them to see what I mean. Of course, their style didn't change drastically, the level of their songwriting plummeted.

It's hard to pin down a debut album followed by an awful second album in a different style. Plenty of bands changed styles after a few albums with varying results. You'd probably have to focus on the 60s, where styles changed so consistently every few years, or maybe 70s disco to find something along these lines.

Re: Jim Cregan. It's interesting how all those 70's solo rock stars had backing bands that were filled with talented guys like Cregan who were in 60s pop/rock bands that never quite made it and broke up. Stewart surrounded himself with some great players at that time -- when you hear his lives shows from mid/late 70's, they could easily replicate the sound of The Faces and sound good at it, too. Probably not a bad way of life. Live and tour like a rock star, get paid a healthy stipend, avoid all the hassles and pressure of being famous, and in Stewart's case get a nice songwriting royalty that probably pays to this day.

WHT said...

Soup Dragons first compared to the rest. "Hang Ten!" to "I'm Free"

Anonymous said...

Vanilla Fudge never really capitalized on their first album, following it up with battle of the bands-ish Beat Goes On, and then fancying themselves a heavier progressive band.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

My comparatively puny record collection prohibits me from yay-ing/nay-ing many of the thoughful comments above. So, I'll take a different tack...

If we stretch the premise of our host's original question and view it in just the right light while squinting hard, maybe we could identify the following candidate:

To the extent that Frampton Comes Alive was, for all intents and purposes, the first PF album for millions of folks, then I'm In You represents a pretty big musical change in direction. From a big, classic-rock, tight four piece sound to a...well, no need to re-hash this old ground, right? For all I know, PF is a perfectly lovely guy.

regards,
RichD

Sal Nunziato said...

Hello, my name is Sal and I am here to defend Peter Frampton's "I'm In You" with one sentence: There are nine other songs on the record.

Anonymous said...

As far as defending Peter Frampton's "I'm In You" with one sentence: There are nine other songs on the record ,two of those 9 are really lame covers.

Sal Nunziato said...

I like both of those covers especially signed sealed and delivered. And Tried To Love with Mick Jagger is a gem.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I never even heard the first Knack album. The only song I know is "My Sharona".

I like the Albini version of Cheap Trick's "In Color". It wasn't the songs so much as the production.

Anything Should Happen said...

I agree with all Sal says, unusual I know.

@BBJ The same four albums as Sal mentions are great to these ears, I didn't have any problem with In Color's production then and I don't now.

@Shriner. It's true that the second Knack album was leftover (and worse) songs from the first, but it's still ok.

Rod Stewart live in the late 70's became all about Rod and less about the music. Fine if you wanted that, I didn't. However, the outcry about The First Cut Is The Deepest was ridiculous.

The real Bat Out Of Hell follow up was Jim Steinman's Bad For Good and it sounds like it. Meatload got the rest of the songs for Dead Ringer, mainly older ones.

Anonymous said...

Meatload? I love it. He'll always be Meatload to me from now on!

Captian Al