Saturday, February 11, 2012

Atlantic Rejects-Bands of the 90s who was on Atlantic

Sorry folks I haven't been around to post much here.  I've been doing double duty over at my regular site and basically took a year off between posts it seems.

This month's view takes a peak at some of the bands who recorded for Atlantic in the 1990s.  Atlantic which used to be the best rhythm and blues label of the 50 and 60s became a known label for the rock and roll of Led Zeppelin, Yes,  J.Geils Band, Crosby Stills & Nash  and ATCO home of Cream, Bee Gees, Iron Butterfly, and Buffalo Springfield in the 60's and 70s but by the 1990s they were signing bands left and right and not really giving them the promtional push of the earlier bands that did make it big.  But even back then Atlantic pick and choose who got more promo.  For every Zep, there was Mott The Hoople who toiled for 4 albums. For every Ratt, there was Big Mouth and so on.  For every Rush, there was Blue Rodeo.  Sometimes fame happens for a select few and for the Atlantic/Atco artists of the 1990s it wasn't the glory days.  For most most were one and done with the exception of a handful that recorded two. 

The Gufs:

Made Two albums, the first album got some airplay here in the midwest as their type of emo shoegazer rock came from Milwaukee I think.  Originally called Collide, it was renamed simply The Gufs and they had a minor hit with Crash Into Me and Let Her Go.  Sold enough for Atlantic to commission another album, Holiday From You but The Gufs momentum was stopped by a certain band called Matchbox 20, whose debut  surprised everybody and the PR department went with them and left The Gufs hanging.  And the album bombed.

The Gufs 1993  B+
Holiday From You 1995 C+

The Uninvited 1998
A band from California that made one album which sounded a lot like The Rainmakers taking on Weezer.  In fact their song Talked To God has been playing in my head for 10 straight hours, potent earworm if you have heard the song but if you haven't you don't know what I'm talking about.  In some ways a power pop album that was too jokey for the masses to get but it remains one of the more listenable albums that nobody ever heard of.  Not to be confused with another band called The Uninvited that made a CD called Our Two Cents Worth.

The Melvins

Atlantic's grunge signing and I'm sure they didn't know what the hell they got when they signed these legendary grunge rockers from Washington State.  Combined between 2 minute punk metal rockers and slow 6 minute sludgefests Houdini is silly fun, with some of the more dubious numbers produced by Kurt Cobain although the 10 minute album closer puts everybody to sleep just about.  Shirley Temple Black's daughter played bass on Houdini but she was kicked out on the next album Stoner Witch which continues the mayhem although Joe Barresi's adds more balance to the so called songs.  Not as fun as Houdini.  Stag, the 3rd album shows Atlantic moving The Melvins over to Mammoth for those dudes to deal with The Melvins, not much to recommend off that album.  The Melvins would return back to their own label and continue to play it their way.

Houdini 1992 B+
Stoner Witch 1993 B-
Stag 1996  C+

Mighty Joe Plum-The Happiest Dogs  1997

I guess you can call them alternative although they had more in common with The Spin Doctors or Sister Hazel.  Lead singer sounded a bit like John Popper and they did get a hit with Live Through This (15 Stories). Follow up singles failed and they were never heard from again.

Blameless-The Signs Are All There 1995

Atlantic signed a lotta band via satellite labels and this band came from via China Records, home of Dogs A'mour and Art Of Noise.  Not much is known about Blameless although they did get a minor hit with Town Clowns which sounds like metal Outfield, another song has them sounding a bit like Pearl Jam and others sounding like Sting or the Beach Boys but Blameless although could adapt to any type of sound that they wanted they never forged a identity of themselves of a band.  In the end, a good imitation of other bands but lacking their own originality.

Smile-Maquee 1995
This band came from Headhunter Records and their sound was desert metal pop.  They owed a sound to Fu Manchu or Kyuss but never as heavy as either one.  Best title of the 90s, Rock Anthem for the Retarded Teenage Hipster Population which should have been a hit.  Rest of album sounds like Mudhoney meeting The Foo Fighters head on at a mudfest.  Never heard their album Girl Crushes Boy.