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Friday, September 17, 2010

What Bands Have Not Gotten Worse After a Member Dies?

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 8:42 AM

R.I.P., Bonzo.
  • R.I.P., Bonzo.

Us music nerds are constantly making meaningless lists about useless rock trivia and then revising them with longwinded conversations that go nowhere, and that's why we're such a huge hit with the ladies (*puffs inhaler, stares longingly at She Hulk poster*). Yesterday we came up with this question:

What Bands Have Not Gotten Worse After a Member Dies?

That's easy, right? Turns out there are far fewer than we first thought: AC/DC is one (Brian Johnson is no Bon "Death by Misadventure" Scott, but he has kept that band's legacy intact), as are the Drifters, Boogie Down Productions, the New York Dolls (for Billy Murcia, not Arthur Kane) and um... Spinal Tap? Really, that's all we could come up with*.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones (this is debatable), The Replacements, The Grateful Dead (for Pigpen, not Jerry), Metallica, Fairport Convention, Wings (for Jimmy McCulloch, not Linda), Smashing Pumpkins, The Who, Ozzy Osbourne's solo career, Echo & the Bunnymen, Deep Purple, Manic Street Preachers, Jethro Tull, Gin Blossoms (seriously), Booker T. & the M.G.s, Badfinger, and countless others all went downhill after a member passed away.

So our question for you, can you name any other bands that didn't get worse following the death of a member?

* There are a few exceptions that fall between the cracks and/or depend on your opinion on the matter: There is plenty of debate over which era of the B-52s was better, early or late. Ricky Wilson died in '85, but if you are a "Love Shack" fan, then you can add them to "not worse" list. Same new vs. old argument goes for the Pretenders. Stuart Sutcliffe had quit the Beatles about a year before passing away, so that doesn't count. Neil Young made plenty of great records after Danny Whitten from Crazy Horse died, but he was just a backing member, right? Mother Love Bone was a bad band that produced a pair of good ones following a death, so not sure where that falls on this list. The Red Hot Chili Peppers achieved great success after Hillel Slovak went to that great big Uplift Mofo Party in the sky, but come on, it's the fucking Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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