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Are there any bands today who are as popular as GNR was in the 80/90's or has this kind of adulation a thing of the past?


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2 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

 

Not being 'as mainstream' as GNR in 1991-92 doesn't mean they weren't mainstream, though. We agree that they weren't as big as GNR, but their album sales, along with playing award shows and big venues, proves they were a popular, relatively mainstream band.

Metallica became more mainstream during the Load era. And as Downzy stated there is a difference between mainstream rock and mainstream music. 

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1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

 

Not being 'as mainstream' as GNR in 1991-92 doesn't mean they weren't mainstream, though. We agree that they weren't as big as GNR, but their album sales, along with playing award shows and big venues, proves they were a popular, relatively mainstream band.

Well, we’ll have to disagree.

My standard by which a music act is a cross-over mainstream sensation is solely based on how well they chart and the notoriety of those involved outside of their target audience. A mainstream rock act doesn’t guarantee you widespread radio play on top 40 formatted stations. There are far more top 40 stations in the country than rock stations (at the time and I believe still today). A rock artist’s ability to break into the top 10 of the Billboard 100 required airplay outside of traditional rock formatted stations. Outside of Enter Sandman, Metallica didn’t have much of a presence in top 40 radio.

I do agree that they have become much more mainstream as years went on. But if we’re talking about which band actually achieved cross-over success to a much broader listenership, then GNR really only satisfies the requirements between the two bands.  

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Starting with the Black album, Metallica has had 6 straight number 1 albums of original studio material in the US. All those albums were Number 1 in the majority of countries wikipedia shows.

If you take the comparable releases in that time frame : 1991 - Black album outsells UYI more than 2:1 ; 2008 - Death Magnetic outsells ChiDem 2:1.

I think it is hard to mount the argument that GNR achieved more cross over than Metallica - I can't see how you can sell that many albums and achieve so much ongoing success without that cross over - the only thing that puts GNR close to Metallica is Appetite, take that away and they aren't in the same league.

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And now we’re comparing metal to hardrock.

Metallica tuned their sound down a loooooot, pretty much to appeal to a more mainstream audience (I believe). They even brought in Ja Rule for one of the worst things I ever heard.

I imagine GN’R with Shaq being even worse than that.

Both bands did stuff to appeal to a more mainstream crowd, but they are still different bands in different genres.

Nowadays lead singers either sound like they’re going to cry or as if they just cried before recording their songs. Drummers sound like they could be replaced by any 90’s drummachine and the real solo guitarists are gone.


 

It’s sad to hear so many talented musicians on Youtube or Soundcloud that would’ve been a great fit for a 80’s or 90’s band. But apparently the world needs their Maroon 5’s and their Coldplays now.

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Posted (edited)

In a lot of countries Metallica scored top ten hits with Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman and the Black album sold millions of copies. If that's not mainstream, I don't know what is.

And both of those songs are still being played on commercial radio, at least where I live.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallica_discography#Singles

11 hours ago, metallex78 said:

Coldplay fans here, keep in mind, I’m sure that while they’re probably good at what they do, and I’ve been quite harsh in my dislike of them. I just don’t consider them rock. They’re a pop band, making pop music. 

They're a rock-pop band. They use distorted guitars with often catchy melodies.

How is this not a rock song?

 

Edited by EvanG
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10 hours ago, Euchre said:

Starting with the Black album, Metallica has had 6 straight number 1 albums of original studio material in the US. All those albums were Number 1 in the majority of countries wikipedia shows.

If you take the comparable releases in that time frame : 1991 - Black album outsells UYI more than 2:1 ; 2008 - Death Magnetic outsells ChiDem 2:1.

I think it is hard to mount the argument that GNR achieved more cross over than Metallica - I can't see how you can sell that many albums and achieve so much ongoing success without that cross over - the only thing that puts GNR close to Metallica is Appetite, take that away and they aren't in the same league.

Rock was, and still is to a lesser extent, a huge market.  You’re confusing doing well within the rock audience and a general audience who may not be rock fans. 

People who only listen to top 40 music likely wouldn’t have much familiarity with Metallica. They would have with GNR.  This has nothing to do with album sales. There you’re talking about a certain market segment. So Metallica might have outsold GNR among rock fans, but they didn’t have the same reach as Guns did amongst those less inclined to listen to rock-format radio stations. 

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1 hour ago, downzy said:

Rock was, and still is to a lesser extent, a huge market.  You’re confusing doing well within the rock audience and a general audience who may not be rock fans. 

People who only listen to top 40 music likely wouldn’t have much familiarity with Metallica. They would have with GNR.  This has nothing to do with album sales. There you’re talking about a certain market segment. So Metallica might have outsold GNR among rock fans, but they didn’t have the same reach as Guns did amongst those less inclined to listen to rock-format radio stations. 

I think something that hasn't been said is Metallica is one of those bands whose merch, especially t-shirts are everywhere. People who don't listen to their music might rock a cool looking Metallica shirt. Guns n Roses are right in that boat. Some people might think that's a negative but it increases the brand awareness if you've seen the Metallica logo which is also an all time logo. To me they're like the Yankees or Manchester United of metal bands. Even the Kardashians are wearing their shirts.

Not to mention that Metallica has 2 theatrically released films in Some Kind of Monster and Through the Never. Add to that appearances on various late night shows in the past few years, the Icon special they had on MTV in 2003, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, music used in various movies and commercials, an appearance on the Simpsons, Lars with his own show on Apple, and songs like Enter Sandman being heard every Sunday during NFL games. 

They're definitely mainstream. If you want to debate if they're as popular as Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry etc., then that's a different argument. Metallica since 1991 imo firmly falls into the mainstream. 

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On 5/27/2021 at 4:11 AM, EricA said:

20210527_111050.thumb.jpg.34fbe6c62996abf565aa6afe52766d08.jpg

Love the 2000's and beyond. it's so true! lol

KISS has stayed on top with fans for over 40 years now. Every time I see KISS it's sold out and fans from the beginning bring their kids now. it's like grandparents, parents and kids now. Awesome!

That's staying power!

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5 minutes ago, dontdamnmeuyi2015 said:

Love the 2000's and beyond. it's so true! lol

KISS has stayed on top with fans for over 40 years now. Every time I see KISS it's sold out and fans from the beginning bring their kids now. it's like grandparents, parents and kids now. Awesome!

That's staying power!

I think it helps that Kiss is just an entertaining show on top of the music. I'd honestly like some answers of what bands today were GnR level in the past 10 years. I honestly don't think there are any. There's some bands that found success a bit after Guns' peak in the early 90's like Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Green Day, Coldplay etc. Rap and pop artists have really supplanted rock.

People will always say there's still good rock music being made but I'll say it's somewhat of afailing of these bands if they can't breakthrough and find at least some radio, TV, or YouTube exposure. I'll cut newer acts a bit of slack since it seems the music industry really works against rock music these days.

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2 hours ago, downzy said:

Rock was, and still is to a lesser extent, a huge market.  You’re confusing doing well within the rock audience and a general audience who may not be rock fans. 

People who only listen to top 40 music likely wouldn’t have much familiarity with Metallica. They would have with GNR.  This has nothing to do with album sales. There you’re talking about a certain market segment. So Metallica might have outsold GNR among rock fans, but they didn’t have the same reach as Guns did amongst those less inclined to listen to rock-format radio stations. 

People aren’t listening to the points you are making about what constitutes a cross-over success. And the black album took many years before it assumed the status as one of the best selling albums ever. 

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1 hour ago, mystery said:

I think something that hasn't been said is Metallica is one of those bands whose merch, especially t-shirts are everywhere. People who don't listen to their music might rock a cool looking Metallica shirt. Guns n Roses are right in that boat. Some people might think that's a negative but it increases the brand awareness if you've seen the Metallica logo which is also an all time logo. To me they're like the Yankees or Manchester United of metal bands. Even the Kardashians are wearing their shirts.

Not to mention that Metallica has 2 theatrically released films in Some Kind of Monster and Through the Never. Add to that appearances on various late night shows in the past few years, the Icon special they had on MTV in 2003, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, music used in various movies and commercials, an appearance on the Simpsons, Lars with his own show on Apple, and songs like Enter Sandman being heard every Sunday during NFL games. 

They're definitely mainstream. If you want to debate if they're as popular as Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry etc., then that's a different argument. Metallica since 1991 imo firmly falls into the mainstream. 

Metallica’s mainstream success came with Load/ReLoad era. That’s when the band became an established brand. 

54 minutes ago, mystery said:

I think it helps that Kiss is just an entertaining show on top of the music. I'd honestly like some answers of what bands today were GnR level in the past 10 years. I honestly don't think there are any. There's some bands that found success a bit after Guns' peak in the early 90's like Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Green Day, Coldplay etc. Rap and pop artists have really supplanted rock.

People will always say there's still good rock music being made but I'll say it's somewhat of afailing of these bands if they can't breakthrough and find at least some radio, TV, or YouTube exposure. I'll cut newer acts a bit of slack since it seems the music industry really works against rock music these days.

I don’t think there are any rock bands coming up anymore. Pearl Jam is one of the last great rock bands. The Killers are cool,  too.

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People I know who ain't into rock music have still heard of GNR, usually just SCOM and WTTJ, because they still get airplay on radio and have been used in movies or commercials. I don't think they would recognise a Metallica song. IIRC Enter Sandman is the only song of theirs that charted on the mainstream charts. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, janrichmond said:

IIRC Enter Sandman is the only song of theirs that charted on the mainstream charts. 

According to that link I posted earlier, they have 24 songs that charted in the UK from 1988 till 2016.

Edited by EvanG
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2 minutes ago, EvanG said:

According to that link I posted earlier, they have 24 songs that charted in the UK from 1988 till 2016.

In the top 40 ?? Fucking hell

Tbf i haven't paid attention to the top 40 in many many years

 

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1 hour ago, Ixtlan said:

Metallica’s mainstream success came with Load/ReLoad era. That’s when the band became an established brand. 

I don’t think there are any rock bands coming up anymore. Pearl Jam is one of the last great rock bands. The Killers are cool,  too.

Looking at the charts, Until it Sleeps is their only Billboard Hot 100 top 10. The Memory Remains also charted higher than most of the Black album singles besides Enter Sandman.

The Black Album is almost like the Dark Side of the Moon of metal. Like you said, it continued to sell. In fact it's total sales are more than Load/Reload and St. Anger combined.

I'd say The Black Album brought them mainstream success while Load/Reload further broadened their audience. They became a hard rock band at that point and drove away some of their earlier audience.

I'd like to see them go back to the songwriting of the 90s. It wasn't thrash Metallica but some of the songs including those on Garage Inc. are pretty good. I think they've veered to much into recapturing their thrash days. I wasn't much into Hardwired.

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6 minutes ago, mystery said:

Looking at the charts, Until it Sleeps is their only Billboard Hot 100 top 10. The Memory Remains also charted higher than most of the Black album singles besides Enter Sandman.

The Black Album is almost like the Dark Side of the Moon of metal. Like you said, it continued to sell. In fact it's total sales are more than Load/Reload and St. Anger combined.

I'd say The Black Album brought them mainstream success while Load/Reload further broadened their audience. They became a hard rock band at that point and drove away some of their earlier audience.

I'd like to see them go back to the songwriting of the 90s. It wasn't thrash Metallica but some of the songs including those on Garage Inc. are pretty good. I think they've veered to much into recapturing their thrash days. I wasn't much into Hardwired.

I loved Hardwired. But, I would love to see Metallica write music like the 90’s too. It’s my favorite music by Metallica.

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5 minutes ago, Ixtlan said:

I loved Hardwired. But, I would love to see Metallica write music like the 90’s too. It’s my favorite music by Metallica.

I just think the songs are too long and the anger/aggressiveness in James's voice is contrived. I think they took the backlash from the 90s to heart. St. Anger since has been standard metal apart from the odd slower song like the Day that Never Comes.

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9 hours ago, EvanG said:

In a lot of countries Metallica scored top ten hits with Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman and the Black album sold millions of copies. If that's not mainstream, I don't know what is.

And both of those songs are still being played on commercial radio, at least where I live.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallica_discography#Singles

They're a rock-pop band. They use distorted guitars with often catchy melodies.

How is this not a rock song?

 

Ok, I’ll admit, that sounds like a bit of a rock song. But fuck me, what a shit band. I still think they’re horrible, and a terrible example of what mainstream “rock” has turned into

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Coldplay is pop.

Just because you're a band that has drums, guitar and bass does not make you a rock band.

I have not heard a single coldplay song that sounds anything like rock to me - that includes that violet hill crap previously mentioned.

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23 hours ago, mystery said:

I think something that hasn't been said is Metallica is one of those bands whose merch, especially t-shirts are everywhere. People who don't listen to their music might rock a cool looking Metallica shirt

Now, certainly.

But no one was rocking a Metallica shirt back in 1991-1992 if they weren’t a fan. 

23 hours ago, mystery said:

Not to mention that Metallica has 2 theatrically released films in Some Kind of Monster and Through the Never. Add to that appearances on various late night shows in the past few years, the Icon special they had on MTV in 2003, being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, music used in various movies and commercials, an appearance on the Simpsons, Lars with his own show on Apple, and songs like Enter Sandman being heard every Sunday during NFL games. 

They're definitely mainstream. If you want to debate if they're as popular as Whitney Houston, Taylor Swift, Justin Beiber, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry etc., then that's a different argument. Metallica since 1991 imo firmly falls into the mainstream

Again, they are a way more of a mainstream act now.  No argument there. But back in the early 90s the only exposure they got was on MTV and rock radio. They weren’t a cross over act just yet, though the Black album certainly pushed them in that direction. 

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21 hours ago, EvanG said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallica_discography#Singles

No, not all in the top 40, but 18 out of the 24 reached the top 40, and 4 top ten hits, which is not too shabby for a metal band.

Yeah, things might be a bit different in the UK than here in North America.  Look at a band like Iron Maiden. They got next to no radio play even at their height of their creative output. Some rock radio stations, but their enormous success in North America can’t be sourced to the traditional avenues. 

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19 hours ago, metallex78 said:

Ok, I’ll admit, that sounds like a bit of a rock song. But fuck me, what a shit band. I still think they’re horrible, and a terrible example of what mainstream “rock” has turned into

The point isn’t whether you find them rock or pop, or whether you like them or not. They charted on both rock charts and on top forty charts. Not many bands achieve that level of broad listenership. Some find it later and briefly (like Metallica), while others find it very early on (GNR had three top ten hits on top 40 radio before Metallica had one). 

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9 minutes ago, downzy said:

Yeah, things might be a bit different in the UK than here in North America.  Look at a band like Iron Maiden. They got next to no radio play even at their height of their creative output. Some rock radio stations, but their enormous success in North America can’t be sourced to the traditional avenues. 

Iron Maiden should be in the rock and roll hall of fame along with a whole host of other metal bands.

14 minutes ago, downzy said:

Now, certainly.

But no one was rocking a Metallica shirt back in 1991-1992 if they weren’t a fan. 

Again, they are a way more of a mainstream act now.  No argument there. But back in the early 90s the only exposure they got was on MTV and rock radio. They weren’t a cross over act just yet, though the Black album certainly pushed them in that direction. 

I agree. You and Ixtlan make some good points on this. 96-present is probably when they became more embedded in pop culture. I think with Gun n' Roses it was a blessing and a curse to have success so quickly. I wonder if they (the old band) would've continued making albums after the UYI albums if they weren't such a massive act. 

I was reading a similar thread on another forum about this. There really aren't any newer bands (I'll say 2005-present as criteria) that are at the forefront like GnR, RHCP, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Kiss etc. I feel like rock is kind of a "boomer" thing with younger people. It's not cool to them. Pop and hip-hop and all it's various sub-genres are what's king.

But even with that, I don't think the top stars can reach quite the same heights today. I won't deny that Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran or Bruno Mars aren't popular, but with how fragmented media is I don't think they're household names with as broad a section of demographics like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Mariah, Whitney etc.

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