Underwhelming Follow-Ups: II

Continuing my journey through rock’s great disappointments, I give you . . .

Guns N’ Roses: The Spaghetti Incident

Now this would have been fine as a stop-gap; it has some fun moments and, had they delivered a proper follow-up to the Use Your Illusion albums in 1995 or 1996, it would have been a perfectly acceptable move, and a nice way of maintaining momentum. However, as we all know, the only way was down from here, with the band spectacularly imploding over the next few years. Considering there would be a fifteen year wait between this and Axl and his hired Guns delivering the (actually rather good) Chinese Democracy, this uneven selection of punk covers and oddities stuck out like a rather silly sore thumb (and what were you thinking with the Manson cover, Axl?! Not cool.).

Black Sabbath: Forbidden

This album is not quite the turkey that some would have you believe; to my mind, Classic Rock were being more than a little harsh when they dumped it in the ‘Avoid’ category of their Black Sabbath Buyer’s Guide feature, describing it as the band’s ’embarrassing nadir’. To be sure, Ernie C’s production didn’t do the band any favours, and as for Ice T’s rap on one of its weakest tracks, ‘The Illusion of Power’ – talk about phoning it in! Still, brooding tracks like ‘I Won’t Cry for You’ and ‘Guilty as Hell’ are fine by me, and the album’s real saving grace, the epic closing cut Kiss of Death ranks as a modern Sabbath classic, to my mind. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Forbidden would be near or in the relegation zone for most fans ranking the albums, and what made it especially disappointing was that it followed so quickly on the heels of the outstanding and shockingly underrated Cross Purposes. Given more time, and not having the issue of possible impending reunions hanging over them, I think that a Tony Martin fronted Sabbath could have delivered a lot more.

That’s all for now. Y’all come back real soon!

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