When it comes to rock and roll music, fans tend to have the final say before any of the critics do. Even if an album is hated by the critics, it might be remembered as a fan favorite, and if the fans hate the last thing you put out, it might mean that your hit making days are numbered. A funny thing can happen when you stick around long enough.
Over time, each of these albums went from being some of the worst things that the artist in question ever created to some of the more revered pieces of their catalog. No one does a 180 like that overnight though, so a lot of these ended up getting their accolades as time went on.
Sometimes it just comes down to the audience not really getting it on first listen and having to sit with the record a few more times to actually make sense of what they were hearing. Other times the band might have been ahead of the curve and it took the rest of the world a bit more time to actually catch up to what they were playing. No matter how they actually got here, this is the kind of shelf life that keeps on giving. You might think that these weren’t anything that special back then, but there’s a lot more packed in here than just your average rock and roll album.
10. Grace Under Pressure - Rush
There has never been any musical idea that doesn't suit Rush’s style. Ever since they started, these Canadian icons were always looking to go down different musical avenues regardless of whether or not there was a market for it, and would often make a masterpiece out of it. That may have gone well in the ‘70s, but there’s a certain portion of their fanbase who started to jump off the bandwagon the minute that keyboards were brought into the mix.
During the ‘80s, Rush had a predominant focus on the synthesizers rather than the guitars, which meant a lot of hardcore fans leaving them as they tried to chase the new sounds of the time. Once you remove the more timely elements of their sound though, time has been much kinder to Grace Under Pressure, with some of the most emotional lyrics that have graced any Rush record.
Even with the pop friendly sound, Neil Peart had a lot to unpack on some of these songs, from the paranoia running through Distant Early Warning to painting the picture of what it’s like living in Nazi concentration camps on Red Sector A. The raw sounds of this record might seem a bit too self indulgent, but when you start to peel back the layers, these weren’t the prog rock gods that we got to know in the days of Farewell to Kings. These were real people with some major emotional baggage, and this was the first glimpse at the band being human.