Albums are never an easy process for any band. Once you're put into a studio, you have to really hunker down your sound and deliver some of the best tunes you can so that A) your fans will stand behind you OR B) you aren't dropped by your record label. If the pressures in the studio weren't bad enough, these bands had to deal with some of the worst obstacles imaginable to get their music on tape.
Across the decades, a lot of these records have come out under unbelievable pain and strife. Whether it was an A&R breathing down their neck or the imminent danger of the band members, a lot more than time and effort went into these tunes than you may realize. Many of these frustrations could sometimes lead to either rough performances and even outward hostility towards the other band members.
However, like every good underdog story, these bands persevered and were still able to deliver some of the most captivating hard rock music to every come through a set of speakers. It may seem easy on the surface, but the inner workings of these records have put many musicians through Hell. So next time you throw these records on, just remember that it may have taken a great deal of effort to do so much as mic the kick drum.
10. No Code - Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam really had everything a band could want in the mid 90's. After conquering the world with their debut Ten and selling even more records off the strength of Vs. and Vitalogy, the band were being heralded as the grunge band which would pick up the mantel left by Kurt Cobain in 1994. However, behind the scenes, things were looking a bit grim.
Based on 3 successful albums in a row, Eddie Vedder was getting more and more uncomfortable with his own celebrity and wanted to minimize the band's exposure as much as possible. While trying to put together No Code, the band were also in an ongoing battle with Ticketmaster, where they were still fighting tooth and nail to make sure ticket prices weren't out of reach for their fans.
No Code does have some gems on it, put the rough and tumble nature of the record seems to come from the push and pull dynamic, with the band trying to build off momentum and Vedder trying to actively stifle it. The atmosphere was allegedly so uncomfortable that bassist Jeff Ament wasn't even told about recording until 2 weeks into the project. Though not many Pearl Jam records would be considered bad, this is the one album where you can hear the tension in every single note.