Career-defining albums are both a blessing and a curse.
No artist would turn down the opportunity to put out a mega hit. But there is no denying many long-lived careers have come to be characterized by one recording. Nothing that follows will ever be as good, as important, or as meaningful to as many as "the big one" was. That can damn your inspiration, even as the money keeps rolling in, particularly if you peak on album No. 1. We look at other albums that reached the same pinnacle -- studiously avoiding the whole boring "our music was better in the 1960s" routine. Leave that to the next "Bestest Albums Ever" issue from Rolling Stone. In order of year released.
10. Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002): How many bands wound up sounding just like Chris Martin and Co., after its second CD? If Parachutes presented a band with a complete sound, this was the one that made its music stadium-ready. And its was the disc that the singer wasn't sure he could complete. While many hardly remember X&Y, they're still spinning In My Place. The Clocks" keep ticking as to whether the group can ever come close to this again.
of course, if it happens to be a release that is both a career-high and also of such significance that it becomes a turning Ooint in popular music history, deal with it. Spending the rest of your life performing songs that actually matter and that people want to hear isn't so bad. Perhaps you'll get enough mileage out of it to put out a few more important gems, as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and those classic-rock types were able to do.
Doubtless, that's what U2 thinks about The Joshua Tree. When the 1987 album arrived, it was heralded as one of the greatest albums of all time right out of the box. While the band has gone on to produce other works of genius, it will never be able to skip over songs such as "Where The Streets Have No Name" or "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The 20th anniversary deluxe re-issue of the group's seminal and highly influential CD arrives on Dec. 11. Today, the remastered version of the original release is on sale.
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