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View Full Version : Has any band ever actually gone "back to their roots" successfully?



XYlophonetreeZ
05-01-2012, 01:04 PM
I was thinking about this when that idiot in GOD made that "Where's the rock?" thread. It's a real pet peeve of mine when people whine about their favorite bands moving in different directions, "selling out," or not playing straight up RAWWWWWWWWK music all the time. The reason for this is that you're the one who chose to emotionally invest in the band and become a "fan" of them. No one is holding a gun to people's heads and forcing them to listen to a band that they used to like if they don't like them anymore. Secondly, more often than not, bands don't want to go back to their roots. Which brings me to the point of this thread.

Has any band ever actually gone back to their roots and successfully appeased their bitching fanbase? I can't think of any.

Bands that made one-album departures don't count. So Bad Religion's Suffer doesn't count, and neither does RHCP's Californication. And even those both made significant progressions from anything those bands had done before anyway.

Some might say R.E.M.'s Accelerate would count, but that wasn't a return to their roots at all- they just eased up on the electronic sounds they'd used for their previous 3 albums and started playing eelektrik guitarzzzzz again. I personally can't stand that album anymore because it's very one-dimensional. It's like the whole album was a rudimentary exercise in remembering how to play "rock" again. No depth to anything at all.

Anyone??? Has this ever happened? Ever? If not, why the fuck would it start right now, with the new Offspring album or any other new record from a band you listen to?

Discuss.

jacknife737
05-01-2012, 04:46 PM
The only ones that sort of comes to mind is Bad Religion with the releases of Empire and New Maps... But then again that was more of a return to "quality song writing" rather than a return to their "roots".

I can't really think of any others.

Llamas
05-01-2012, 04:51 PM
I would put Eminem on there. He released 2 really shitty albums and people thought he was done for. Then he came back with Relapse, and sounded a lot like he used to.

I'd put Alanis Morissette, but she - like Bad Religion - just returned to writing quality songs. Her most recent album is awesome, but doesn't sound much at all like Jagged Little Pill.

So yeah, you make a good point. Bands don't really return after years and years back to their "original" sound, even when they try. Not really sure what the reason is... but I can think of dozens of bands who changed majorly, and very few who never changed.

sneedo83
05-01-2012, 05:18 PM
Listen to Guttermouths discography and look at how they rebounded from the flop called Gusto, that being said though I doubt you could label them as a success.

Sidewinder
05-01-2012, 05:24 PM
Did you ever listen to REM's last album? It actually IS the most REM-esque release in a decade or more. That being said, it really didn't do anything new, so I wasn't terribly interested in it. If I want to listen to REM's roots, I'l go back and listen to Automatic / Hi-Fi.

Jakebert
05-01-2012, 09:31 PM
You should probably read the original post.

The closest I can think of offhand is "A Thousand Leaves" by Sonic Youth. After doing a bunch of grungy albums in the 1990s, "A Thousand Leaves" goes back to the more abstract stuff from their earlier career. Although, it doesn't SOUND like the stuff in their early career, just uses a lot of the same ideas and aesthetics.

Omni
05-01-2012, 09:48 PM
It is really hard to define the difference brought up earlier about returning to quality songwriting, rather than returning to the original sound.


The only example I can think of is Scott Weiland returning to the same kind of music he wrote for the first two STP albums when Velvet Revolver formed. Does that count? VR sounded more like STP than GN'R in my opinion.

will2k
05-02-2012, 03:06 AM
It might fall along the lines of returning to quality songwriting rather than anything stylistic, but Morrissey's album You Are the Quarry always came off as a return to his roots.

frunsi
05-02-2012, 04:01 AM
NOFX went back to hardcore punk with their untitled 2011 EP. But it's only one EP with 9 songs (which are covers, maybe track 6 isn't one, but no one knows)

RageAndLov
05-02-2012, 04:52 PM
I would put Eminem on there. He released 2 really shitty albums and people thought he was done for. Then he came back with Relapse, and sounded a lot like he used to.


I must disagree with you. It kind of depends on what Eminem's root is, but his newest album doesn't sound anything like Infinite, or even Slim Shady LP. The skits he used to have before are absent as well.
I find Encore to be a good album btw.

Defender
05-03-2012, 01:16 AM
This is true. No band returns to their original sound. Some tried to return but they failed or disappeared. Some famous bands that in my opinion changed their style are:

U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Green Day, Muse, Blondie, Linkin Park and many others,so why not the Offspring?

As for The Offspring, the change of their style(period between Smash and Americana)bothered me in the beginning(not disappointed me,though. Punk rock has died years ago) but I dealt with it and I can say that I love their new style as well. The music can't remain the same as years go by.

will2k
05-03-2012, 03:44 AM
This is true. No band returns to their original sound. Some tried to return but they failed or disappeared. Some famous bands that in my opinion changed their style are:

U2

U2 stopped existing somewhere around 1993: fact.

Jojan
05-03-2012, 11:22 AM
U2 stopped existing somewhere around 1993: fact.

More like "artefact" than "fact".

manux
05-03-2012, 02:38 PM
NOFX and Metallica.

bighead384
05-03-2012, 03:27 PM
It depends how much they changed to begin with.

I mean, there's that ridiculous Bad Religion album "Into the Unknown". Then they go back to their roots with the following albums.

Was it a subsequent EP or album that was called "Back to the Known"? pretty sure it was one or the other.

Also, if a band previously worked in a style of music that was fairly minimalistic, and then they improved technically, I'm sure it's really hard to go back to the previously style. AFI improved technically. The Offspring hasn't at all since they've been a band.

XYlophonetreeZ
05-04-2012, 08:51 AM
I mean, there's that ridiculous Bad Religion album "Into the Unknown". Then they go back to their roots with the following albums.
Well, I intentionally excluded bands that made single-album departures, as you can read in my original post. I think in the case of something like "Into the Unknown," the band was well aware of what they were doing and so it was never a matter of forgetting how to play punk or anything like that, it was just an experiment. Plus it makes the thread more interesting because I'm sure it's much more rare to find examples of bands that returned to a previous style after multiple albums that were different. And anyway, "Suffer" was pretty different from their first album as well.


Also, if a band previously worked in a style of music that was fairly minimalistic, and then they improved technically, I'm sure it's really hard to go back to the previously style. AFI improved technically. The Offspring hasn't at all since they've been a band.
That's true I suppose. AFI had a personnel change as well, though. Jade is a way better guitarist than those other guys, and he's also the band's primary songwriter.

Also a big WTF to whoever said Metallica.

0r4ng3
05-04-2012, 10:30 AM
I've been considering mentioning Anti-Flag for their last two albums, but they're really another one-off album band. Aside from deviating with The Bright Lights Of America, they've been in kinda the same place since 2001-03.

Degstur Lolland
05-04-2012, 01:41 PM
If retrogoingbacktoroots gets popular, then it'll be successful.

If your fans are almost constantly dumb, then all you need to do is very similar albums all the time.

Some bands go back to their roots, partially. It happens that a band makes a progressive or experimental album, so they go back a bit on the next one.

Also, you can do sums of previous albums or pick whatever might be working again.

The Offspring wants new fans and their music heard, they can steal people from other genres. They did it with Cruising California so far.

There was a fan in GOD who complained that TO is educated. Well, their moves are calculated and it's not just a luck that they are successful for so long.

frunsi
05-04-2012, 01:57 PM
Also a big WTF to whoever said Metallica.Death Magnetic actually sounded pretty oldschool (compared to St. Anger).

jacknife737
05-04-2012, 04:35 PM
It's pretty much impossible for a punk band to do it; aside from the universal issue that a lot of musicians just run out of original good ideas, lots of punk albums from bands in the early stages of their careers have a charm about them duet the low quality/amateur aspect, and that can never be rekindled later without it sounding cynical and insincere.

Gregmau5
05-05-2012, 05:38 PM
Death Magnetic actually sounded pretty oldschool (compared to St. Anger).

Death Magnetic wasn't 'oldschool', it was just their first decent album in a long time.

yarock
05-05-2012, 07:48 PM
their first decent album in a long time.

Puhahahaha.

Also trying to not so recede from your origins might not be the best thing. The last Sigur Ros album seemed like a joke to me.

mrconeman
05-06-2012, 06:25 AM
The new Van Halen album sounds like early Van Halen. Which is unfortunate because Sammy Hagar is a million times the singer David Lee Roth ever was.

Also disagree with Eminem having gone back to his roots. His flow has completely warped from what it used to be. It used to sound awesome with real heavy emphasis on diction and lyricism. His flow now, while from a technical rap level is probably much better, just sounds like he's getting as many words in to each bar as fast as humanly possible. The music also sounds a lot more over-produced, and from a musical standpoint just no where near as good.

(disclaimer: Has only heard a select few songs from each of Eminem's newest albums, because I honestly can't take more than 2 at a time)

(disclaimer 2: I'm a big Eminem fan, I just don't like anything he's done for years)

Llamas
05-06-2012, 06:41 AM
Also disagree with Eminem having gone back to his roots. His flow has completely warped from what it used to be. It used to sound awesome with real heavy emphasis on diction and lyricism. His flow now, while from a technical rap level is probably much better, just sounds like he's getting as many words in to each bar as fast as humanly possible. The music also sounds a lot more over-produced, and from a musical standpoint just no where near as good.

(disclaimer: Has only heard a select few songs from each of Eminem's newest albums, because I honestly can't take more than 2 at a time)

(disclaimer 2: I'm a big Eminem fan, I just don't like anything he's done for years)

True that his beats are massively produced compared to the Slim Shady LP, but I don't think that counts - no rapper with success on a major label goes back to shitty production and simple/basic stuff when they have access to modern beats. I'm only talking about what Eminem does, which is rapping. I'd look at songs like Space Bound (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JByDbPn6A1o&ob=av2n) and definitely 25 to Life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2_8lHFrEMs) and So Bad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wImiwU6lsUI) (the latter more so than the former two). I agree that songs like Not Afraid and Love the Way You Lie are way different from his older stuff, but especially the latter half of Recovery has a lot of good, kinda old school sounding stuff.

Every time I listen to 25 to Life, I think Eminem is gonna be dead in the next few years.

RageAndLov
05-07-2012, 02:12 PM
Punk rock has died years ago) but I dealt with it and I can say that I love their new style as well. The music can't remain the same as years go by.

Hahahahaha!



True that his beats are massively produced compared to the Slim Shady LP, but I don't think that counts - no rapper with success on a major label goes back to shitty production and simple/basic stuff when they have access to modern beats. I'm only talking about what Eminem does, which is rapping. I'd look at songs like Space Bound (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JByDbPn6A1o&ob=av2n) and definitely 25 to Life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2_8lHFrEMs) and So Bad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wImiwU6lsUI) (the latter more so than the former two). I agree that songs like Not Afraid and Love the Way You Lie are way different from his older stuff, but especially the latter half of Recovery has a lot of good, kinda old school sounding stuff.

Every time I listen to 25 to Life, I think Eminem is gonna be dead in the next few years.

Well, even his rapping is way different than before Slim Shady LP, both in terms of flow and lyrics.

Tomo
05-07-2012, 02:41 PM
Yeah, well it's all about what you consider roots, or even better - what do you like most about someone's old stuff. Eminem really is a great example. You could say that Relapse was a continuation of The Slim Shady LP, and Recovery is a continuation of The Eminem Show.

But honestly, I personally don't think that a real return to roots is possible, because of the simple fact that people grow older and their taste in music and outlook on life changes. Sure, bands could just copy what they did in their early years, but do you think they would feel good about it? Evolution is a natural thing. All of my favourite bands evolved over time. And whenever they said that they would return to their original sound on next album, it never became true because it's simply impossible.

Sidewinder
05-08-2012, 08:24 AM
I actually think some of Better Than Ezra's better songs on their last couple albums were the ones which called back to Closer and earlier. But no one here really listens to them, so yeah.

Sidewinder
05-10-2012, 04:13 PM
http://www.theonion.com/articles/ahmadinejad-kind-of-getting-back-into-old-rem-agai,28139/

mrconeman
05-10-2012, 04:20 PM
True that his beats are massively produced compared to the Slim Shady LP, but I don't think that counts - no rapper with success on a major label goes back to shitty production and simple/basic stuff when they have access to modern beats.

I didn't mean the production quality improved, I meant exactly the opposite. The production on The Slim Shady LP obviously isn't that great, some of those songs were carried over from Infinite (beats intact) which of course Dr.Dre and none of the other major label producers he's worked with since had anything to do with. However the Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show both have perfectly acceptable/great production and beats. Eminem's sound now is *over* produced. Not meaning production of a better quality, but way too mechanical sounding.

His flow has completely warped too. Like I said before from a technical rapping perspective it's probably a lot better than it was before, but his word play and lyricism has suffered greatly in it's place. If you ask me. I don't like his new flow at all, he sounds like he's yelling constantly, and the melodies are just annoying sometimes. Like I don't know the proper way to describe this thing he does a lot now, but I mean, I'd compare it do a musician using eastern scales into the end of their phrases, it sounds like he's doing that a lot. It sounds awful. :(

I mean, listen to Infinite in itself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEV-VHaJ0_g
His flow is pretty amature on a sheer technical level compared to what it's become now, but it still sounds WAY better to my ear, and the word play and lyricism is fucking awesome.

RageAndLov
05-10-2012, 04:32 PM
I mean, listen to Infinite in itself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEV-VHaJ0_g
His flow is pretty amature on a sheer technical level compared to what it's become now, but it still sounds WAY better to my ear, and the word play and lyricism is fucking awesome.

I really like that album. Infinite, 313, It's OK and Backstabber are great tracks.

mrconeman
05-10-2012, 04:34 PM
Yeah, it's a pretty great tracklist. If I was to list my favourite Eminem songs Infinite's title track would probably be in the top 5.

AllIn All It's Not So Bad
05-20-2012, 07:16 PM
If you ask me. I don't like his new flow at all, he sounds like he's yelling constantly


he sounds like he's yelling constantly


he's yelling constantly


constantly


This

I was listening to the radio some months ago(I mean, I have to catch up on the shitty music everyone listens to or otherwise I would be socially awkward) and I realized this.

One of my favs by eminem is this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmb4d4TasXM


I set a fucking girl on fire with a curling iron AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Best. Line.