Being slapped with the label of 'sellout' is one of the more egregious accusations a band can receive. But artistic integrity isn't such an easy thing to maintain, particularly when presented with a wad of cash. It's a tough gig, slogging it out in a rundown van, with a bunch of stinking musicians; who can blame a group for cashing in when the opportunity presents itself?
It's another matter when a band is already established, though. Gathering a following is a fine accomplishment, it's often the result of a dedicated drive to creating authentic music with integrity. It can be jarring then, when a group suddenly adopts a new look and sound, seemingly out of nowhere. It's a risky business changing direction, either the gamble pays off, and bands are hailed as innovators, or they get called out. Fans and critics can smell when a change is influenced by cashing in on a new trend, from a mile away.
These groups have all released at least one record, that either marked a change in direction, that didn't sit well with folks, or was motivated by commercial and financial success. Whether you thought these albums were good or not, they've all been dubbed as sellout moments...
10. Silver Side Up - Nickelback (2001)
The dichotomy of Nickelback are that they've always been universally hated, while managing to sell an outrageous amount of records.
We must pay these Canadian rockers their due respect, though. Their appeal is not wholly unfounded. Their tracks have a certain raw energy, particularly during the early days. But there's no getting away from Chad Kroeger's smarmy frat boy face.
Their first two records, although filled with grinding guitars, were pretty uninspired takes on post-grunge rock. Leader Of Men, was the single that started garnering the group attention. It's derivative of a number of Pearl Jam tracks, with Kroeger doing his best to channel Eddie Vedder. But, it hinted at a degree of potential...
The simmering intrigue of Nickelback boiled over into full on excitement with their third album. But it was the kind of radio savvy rock that reeked of contrived marketability. The ploy worked, How You Remind me seeped its way onto every radio station and music channel. The band blew up, and we were forever torn between loathing their superfluous drivel, and resisting the urge to sing every chorus.
This marked the trajectory of the group. Forever more they would coast on cringe inducing lead singles, nestled within albums of post-grunge rock, that feigned authenticity.