Classic Rock

4 Rock Albums Created By Bands That Are Fighting Internally

todayMarch 13, 2024 1

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It’s no secret that working in a toxic environment can hinder productivity. However, some bands managed to defy the odds and create exceptional music despite being plagued by internal conflicts. Let’s explore four instances where bands on the verge of disintegration produced albums that are considered gems in their respective discographies.

The Police – Synchronicity (1983)

Even though tensions were running high among Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland during the making of their fifth and final album, Synchronicity, they managed to deliver a masterpiece. Copeland reflected on the strained dynamics within the band, admitting that he knew The Police were done after their previous album, Ghost in the Machine. Nevertheless, they reunited one last time and crafted an album that soared both commercially and critically

Synchronicity became their biggest commercial hit, selling over 8 million copies worldwide. The album featured three chart-topping singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including the iconic “Every Breath You Take.” Tracks like “Walking in Your Footsteps” and “Tea in the Sahara” showcased the band’s willingness to explore new soundscapes. In the end, Synchronicity proved that even amidst turmoil, The Police could create music that resonated with millions.

Van Halen – 1984 (1984)

The creative differences between Edward Van Halen and David Lee Roth were becoming increasingly evident during the making of Van Halen’s sixth album. Despite the brewing tension, the band managed to produce a record that perfectly blended Van Halen’s virtuosity with Roth’s charismatic swagger.
1984 became a landmark album for Van Halen, featuring hits like “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot for Teacher.” These tracks seamlessly combined infectious party vibes with impressive musicianship. Even when they enlisted the help of another songwriter, Michael McDonald, on “I’ll Wait,” the result was still a resounding success. Little did fans know that this would be the last collaboration between Roth and Van Halen for nearly three decades.

Cream – Wheels of Fire (1968)

Cream’s three-year existence in the ’60s was marred by the tumultuous relationship between Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. By the time they recorded Wheels of Fire, the band was on the verge of breaking up due to escalating tensions. However, they managed to produce an album that showcased their brilliance.

Wheels of Fire featured iconic tracks like “White Room” and Eric Clapton’s rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues.” Despite the internal conflicts, Cream still managed to captivate listeners with their musical prowess. Deeper cuts like “Passing the Time,” “As You Said,” and the energetic “Traintime” from the live portion of the album further demonstrated their artistry. Although they disbanded shortly after the album’s release, Cream left behind a legacy of exceptional music.

The Tubes – Love Bomb (1985)

The Tubes’ final album before a long hiatus, Love Bomb, faced numerous challenges during its creation. Internal tensions came to a head when singer Fee Waybill clashed with band members over the choice of producer. Waybill desired to work with David Foster, while others favored Todd Rundgren. Despite the obstacles, Love Bomb emerged as a highly underrated rock album.

Waybill’s minimal involvement didn’t hinder the album’s quality. His performances on tracks like “Piece by Piece,” “Stella,” “Come As You Are,” and “For a Song” showcased The Tubes at their power-pop best. The rest of the album, although quirkier in nature, remained catchy and enjoyable. The “Night People” suite, which includes the standout track “For a Song,” displayed the band’s creativity. While Love Bomb may not have achieved commercial success or critical acclaim, it stands as a testament to The Tubes’ resilience during a challenging period.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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