By: Connor Glowacki
It may be tougher than ever to be a successful rock band in 2016.
Sales are down across the board for most genres, but rock has taken a serious hit, particularly in the last decade. And this has happened for even the most modern influential acts of the genre. According to Nielsen Soundscan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' most recent album, 'The Getaway', released in June, has only sold 173,000 copies in the United States as of August. Meanwhile, Radiohead's 'A Moon Shaped Pool' has sold around 300,000 copies in the U.S. since its release back in May, despite both records receiving favorable reviews.
Album sales have dropped because of the rise of online streaming services and digital downloads. Bands like Twenty One Pilots and Fall Out Boy have seen their latest records become certified platinum, but they are both acts that, in their music, are able to jump from Top 40 to alternative radio. Younger bands like Imagine Dragons, Foster The People, Awolnation, and even The Killers, have seen steady sales drop-offs from their most recent albums.
Even as it is tough to be a commercially successful rock band today, there are some older bands that just need to call it quits. These are bands either riding off of their previous commercial successes and phoning it in by making lower-quality music, possibly facing health concerns or a lack of continuity.
Here are five bands that need to call it quits.
*Note: These are only my opinions.
5.) Bon Jovi
The New Jersey rock band have been one of the best-selling acts in music with 130 million records sold worldwide and numerous hit singles ('Living On A Prayer', 'You Give Love A Bad Name', 'Wanted Dead Or Alive'). But let's be honest, the band hasn't put out a great album since the eighties and arguably even a good album since 2000's 'Crush'.
Their subsequent records have sounded stale with the same acoustic guitar intros, the same melodic buildups leading to the same singalong chorus with a crunchy guitar riff by guitarist Richie Sambora. They've become less commercially relevant as the decades have progressed and instead more of a punching back for rock purists.
I still think Bon Jovi deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But not everybody can be the Rolling Stones and perform 50 years into a career.
Lately, the only news I've heard about Bon Jovi is Sambora leaving the band and lead singer Jon Bon Jovi appearing in awful DirecTV commercials.
The band does have a new album coming out in October called 'This House Is Not For Sale'. But expect it to make just a small amount of noise in its first week and then disappear from the mainstream consciousness thereafter.
4.) Twisted Sister
The American heavy metal band hasn't released an album since their attempt at a Christmas album in 2006 with 'A Twisted Christmas'. Their last regular album was 2004's 'Still Hungry'.
Twisted Sister is another act that was extremely successful in the hair metal era of the eighties. Their hit songs 'I Wanna Rock', 'Leader Of The Pack' and the ubiquitous 'We're Not Gonna Take It' all helped influence other shock-rock acts that followed. They were an important band in an important time in music history. Hell, lead singer Dee Snider famously fought in Senate hearings on Capitol Hill in 1985 over the graphic nature of the band's music videos that drew criticism from conservative organizations.
That being said, Twisted Sister broke up in 1988 just months after their fifth album 'Love Is For Suckers' flopped on the charts and saw the band dropped by Atlantic Records. The 2000s and onward saw Twisted Sister get back together, but for a bunch of reissue recordings and reunion tours with a variety of different lineups.
To me, it had always felt like this was Twisted Sister's grab for the money and I can't completely fault them. Like many aging bands, they still have a small but dedicated fanbase that will attend their shows and support them by whatever means necessary. It's just that their compilation albums, reissued albums and greatest hits albums during this time have outnumbered any kind of original work.
Drummer A.J. Pero passed away in 2015 and the band has been on a farewell tour this year. Instead of hearing about their tour, all I've heard from Twisted Sister is 'We're Not Going To Take It' being used at Donald Trump rallies.
Twisted Sister had their run, but it's time to call it quits...for good this time.
3.) The Who
It kills me to put this band on the list.
The Who are one of the greatest rock bands of all time and represent the true essence of rock and roll. They have classic albums ('Tommy', 'Quadrophenia', 'Who Are You') and some of the greatest songs in the genre ('My Generation', 'Behind Blue Eyes' and 'Baba O'Riley', just to name a few). Roger Daltrey's soaring vocals, Pete Townshend seemingly inventing new tones and sounds on the electric guitar during the 1960s and 1970s and for inventing the 'art' of destroying their own instruments after every show. (Watch a band try to do that today!)
After The Who released their 1982 album 'It's Hard', the band would not release another album until 2006, and in the 30 years since have had a number of lineup changes and reunion tours that it's almost become comical. That's a shame because it's a big part of the band's fated history.
Townshend wanted The Who to stop touring and become strictly a studio band, similar to The Beatles post-1966, but Daltrey and bassist John Entwistle wanted to tour and essentially 'play the hits'. Ultimately, Daltrey and Entwistle won out and as they got older, The Who just weren't as sharp on stage as they were back in their prime. Entwistle passed away in 2002 and Daltrey struggles to hit the high notes from his classic songs.
The remnants of The Who announced another tour in 2016 to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the band, but for whatever reason, The Who haven't aged as gracefully, in terms of a live act, as a group like The Rolling Stones.
I'll wait and see, but I hope The Who call this their last tour and keep their legacy intact.
I'm going to be honest here. Outside of a few songs and maybe their 1975 album 'Toys In The Attic', I've never been a big Aerosmith fan.
I understand that's blasphemous, but their sound to me has always sounded dated and the production and lyrical content has not aged well.
'Dream On' and 'Walk This Way' are the only hit songs from the band that, for me, hold up all these years later. ('I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing' is cool for karaoke.)
I understand Aerosmith sold well for such a long time, up until 2012's 'Music From Another Dimension', but between the drug problems and constant fighting among all of the band members, the last few tours and albums have felt forced, uninspired and out to make a quick buck.
I may not be a big Aerosmith fan, but countless of other people are and that's totally fine. I'm not going to deny the influence they had on the rock genre with their endless amounts of swagger, wailing shrieks, and bluesy riffs that engulfed their songs all throughout the years. But it doesn't seem like the band members' hearts are into the band. Hell, lead singer Steven Tyler just released a country album!
Aerosmith can do whatever they want. I just won't be surprised when they do call it quits in the next five years.
The shock value is gone and Cooper doesn't have the vocals like he used to. I'd be fine with him doing a couple more gigs with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor Johnny Depp as a part of Hollywood Vampires though.
One of the greatest acts of rock and an innovator in the southern rock genre. But there's only one original member remaining from the band. Does Lynyrd Skynyrd really need to continue?
I can always hope, can't I? They've been active for over 20 years now. That's been plenty of time.
AC/DC is the greatest selling rock act of all time, outside of maybe The Beatles. The hard rock act has sold 200 million albums worldwide and approximately 71 million in the United States alone.
I don't have to say too much of AC/DC. They have some of the greatest albums and songs in rock history and are credited as being true innovators of the hard rock genre during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s.
But the time has come for the band to hang it up and it goes mainly due to health reasons.
AC/DC have had a whopping 15 former members.
Lead singer Bon Scott died in 1980. drummer Phil Rudd had to quit the band in 2015 due to legal issues in New Zealand and current lead singer Brian Johnson had to quit from touring with AC/DC because continuing would've risked total hearing loss for the singer.
It was a great ride, guys. But it's time to call it quits.
Let me know which bands you think should call it quits by leaving a comment below or letting me know on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.