August 19, 2009
10 Artists of the 1990s Who Could Use a Comeback
Let’s face it: there are a lot of bands we would like to see come out of oblivion, either because we are huge fans or just to laugh at them once they make it back. It would be really entertaining to see some of these artists reunite and get their acts together! Here’s a list of ten artists from the 1990s who could use a comeback, for better or for worse:
10. Barenaked Ladies
In the late 1990s, these guys were huge. Their song, “One Week” reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1998, helping their album, Stunt, sell over 4 million copies. After “One Week,” the Barenaked Ladies were superstars, and went on to make a few more hits on the heels of quality lyrics like “Chickity China the Chinese chicken/You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’”
In 2001, the Barenaked Ladies released a Greatest Hits album, with 17 singles and 2 new tracks. When did they ever release 17 singles? Releasing a Greatest Hits album so soon after they had reached superstardom almost guaranteed that they were finished. But in 2008, Steven Page ended things for good when he was arrested for cocaine possession and the band parted ways. If I had a million dollars, I’d put this group back together again!
Tonic is one of those bands that you would recognize by the songs instead of the band name. Do you remember who sang that song that started with the lyrics “If you could only see the way she loves me/ maybe you would understand”? Neither did we, until we looked it up.
Due to the massive success of “If you could only see” they were mega-famous from 1996-2003. In that time period they wrote songs for numerous movie soundtracks, and earned two Grammy nominations. By 2005, though, all of the members of Tonic had gone their separate fizzy ways.
Now, the band is trying to reunite and go on tour again in the United States. Let’s hope that Tonic doesn’t go flat!
Garbage was one of the biggest grunge-rock groups of the 1990s. To date they have sold upwards of 14 million albums worldwide and their first album, appropriately titled Garbage, sold 4 million copies in the United States alone. I remember watching MTV and VH1 and seeing Shirley Manson’s haunting eyes in their widely popular music videos. I wonder if now that she’s not in the spotlight anymore, she sings her lyrics back to herself (“You stupid girl/You stupid girl/All you had you wasted/All you had you wasted”). Oh, the irony.
They went off the radar after their album in 2005 and haven’t been back since. (Maybe Manson’s piercing stares gave some music execs chills, but it hit the spot for Guitar Hero!) There have been talks that the band is getting back together, which would be really exciting! Let’s just hope their new stuff wouldn’t be… well… you know.
Jewel’s progression has been a strange one. She began as a folk singer and released her first album, Pieces of You, in 1995. The album was a surprising success and sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone. She is known for her folk-country songs such as, “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant for Me,” and “Foolish Games.”
Through the years, though, something happened with Jewel: the image on which she had prided herself (not selling out to be mainstream, etc.) was tarnished when she got a “makeover” and recorded more pop-sounding tracks. She remained somewhat popular, but many people felt that she had lost her folk-singer charm when she got all done up. She continues to write songs and hopes to release more albums (when she isn’t busy pissing off Alaska), but the second you try to be more Britney Spears when you should be more Sinead O’Connor, you’re in for a long haul.
6. Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine blew up in 1992 after the release of their debut album, Rage Against the Machine. The rap-metal band is considered as one of the most inventive and original of all time, blending music and politics into intelligent and provocative songs. They have been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards and have released platinum-selling records. Their popularity came from their unique sound and political activism, which audiences really appreciated.
The band broke up in 2000 and members went their separate ways, embarking on solo projects, like the Chris Cornell-fronted band, Audioslave. (“So sick of complacence”? Apparently not!) They did get back together for a few shows in 2007, but haven’t recorded anything together in over nine years. They will always be remembered as the rap-metal, politically-involved band, though, so a comeback would be welcomed by all of the politically-involved-rap-metal fans, however many of those still exist.
5. The Wallflowers
The Wallflowers have always had a smaller following than mainstream artists, but they are very recognizable by name. They are most known for the song, “One Headlight,” but it never went to the next level: they only had one single break through the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (“Sleepwalker,” at #73), but maybe they could steer that headlight into one major comeback.
Their second studio album, Bringing Down the Horse, went 4x platinum, and their third studio album, (Breach), was gold. But since 2000 The Wallflowers haven’t been a major presence. It’s been almost a decade; it’s time for more! You’d think Jakob Dylan would have been able to stay in the spotlight longer, considering Bob Dylan (his dad) is still relevant and one of the most famous musicians of all-time.
4. Boyz II Men
Oh boy(z). Throughout the 1990s, everyone knew who Boyz II Men were: between 1991 and 2002 the group released 8 studio albums. After that, though, they began to release compilation and “Greatest Hits” albums. It’s really the kiss of death, to do that (e.g. Barenaked Ladies).
Since then they have not been too relevant in the music industry. They are recognizable by name and by their popular songs of the 1990s, such as “End of the Road” and “One Sweet Day.” Basically they are known for the ultimate cheese-factor in a song.
Boyz II Men doesn’t technically need a comeback, since they had a long run in popularity and sold so many record, but we could all use some cheesiness, along the lines of “I’ll never walk again until you come back to me/I’m down on bended knee” right? There aren’t any good harmonizing and a cappella singing groups anymore! Bring back the Boyz, Day26 just aren’t the same!
3. Ice Cube
Ice Cube’s situation is tricky (or maybe slippery… or cold… or square). He sold over 12 million albums in his prime, and then moved onto movies. That’s actually fine, and was probably a decent career move—there is a lot of money in movies. However, it is strange to see that Ice Cube, a successful rapper, is now making movies like the ultra-corny kids movie, Are We There Yet? and its sequel. He should come back from the dark side of awful movies.
2. M.C. Hammer
We all know about M.C. Hammer. We all know the Hammer dance. The Hammer pants. The money issues. “Too Legit to Quit.” Everything Hammer-related.
He is a multi-platinum musician, but when Hammer fell, he fell hard, driving the final nail into his proverbial coffin, if you will! There is no question that he could use a major comeback (Twitter fame doesn’t count!), and there is no need for explanation.
1. Vanilla Ice
His one and only hit, “Ice Ice Baby” is still referenced frequently in TV shows and movies, as well as songs and pop culture in general. That song brought hope to frat guys that maybe, on some level, they could rap. Who knows, he could have been Eminem’s inspiration!
For being such a megastar of the 1990s, Vanilla Ice has really melted quite a bit. In 2004 he was on a reality show, The Surreal Life. If that wasn’t bad enough, in 2005 he released the album, Platinum Underground, and I’m not even sure anyone knew it came out. In 2008 he was arrested on a charge of battery, allegedly hitting and kicking his wife. That was the tip of the vanilla iceberg. Right now, he is still trying to climb back onto the charts by signing with a new label (StandBy Records) and releasing an album, but is it enough? I guess we’ll find out!
- Third Eye Blind Come on, Stephan Jenkins! Quit writing songs about your breakups and give us some old school 3EB!
- Whitney Houston She is set to have a major comeback in September… but I’m not convinced it’ll be successful.
Posted by Shaane at 5:59 pm