%%All artists are organized alphabetically and by genre. Please list new entries accordingly.


[[folder:Country and folk]]
* John Anderson hit one that lasted most of TheEighties. After spending the first half of the decade garnering hits such as "Swingin'", "Black Sheep", and "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal", his career began a slow decline. His 1985 album ''Tokyo, Oklahoma'' fared poorly thanks to bad choices of singles: a cover of Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now", and the very un-PC "Tokyo, Oklahoma", packed with Asian clichés that were tacky even in the 1980s. Another single, "You Can't Keep a Good Memory Down", never made it onto an album, and Creator/WarnerBrosRecords dropped him once his next album ''Countrified'' also bombed. He signed to MCA Records for two discs, ''Blue Skies Again'' and ''10'', which were equally unsuccessful -- the closest to a hit off either was the ill-conceived Music/WaylonJennings duet "Somewhere Between Ragged and Right", which only got to #23. Creator/CapitolRecords then picked him up for one album which performed so poorly that neither the album itself nor any of its singles charted. One of the few publications that even noticed the album's release was ''Entertainment Weekly'', whose review of it noted that Anderson spent most of the eighties battling mismanagement and "formulaic records". Thankfully, the then-new BNA Records picked him up in 1992, and he had a CareerResurrection that lasted until 1995, bringing him such career-defining songs as "Straight Tequila Night", "Money in the Bank", and "Seminole Wind".
* Music/GarthBrooks' ''Music/InTheLifeOfChrisGaines'', an experimental alt-rock album and pre-release soundtrack for a movie that never was, did not go over well with his fandom. Not only was the OutOfGenreExperience unwelcome to his country fans, but taking on a new look and the identity of the title character just made it worse. Even still, while the album bombed, failure is relative. The album itself peaked at #2 on the U.S. charts, went double platinum, and most bizarrely of all, produced Garth's ''only'' trip to the Top 40 of the Hot 100.[[note]]This is because Garth rarely issued physical singles, and during his peak in TheNineties, this made his songs ineligible for the Hot 100.[[/note]]
* Music/BrooksAndDunn have their 1999 ''Tight Rope'' album. Their last album, ''If You See Her'', had ended with a whimper thanks to its last single "South of Santa Fe" being withdrawn after only a few weeks, supposedly because radio programmers were expressing disdain toward a single [[StepUpToTheMicrophone sung by Kix Brooks instead of Ronnie Dunn]] (Kix had sung lead on five previous singles, but every single afterwards was sung by Ronnie, despite the albums retaining a nearly-equal split). They led off ''Tight Rope'' with a lukewarm cover of John Waite's "Missing You" (obviously trying to re-capture the magic of their extremely successful cover of B. W. Stevenson's "My Maria"), which barely squeaked into the Top 20 before plummeting. The same fate befell the next single "Beer Thirty", while third and final single "You'll Always Be Loved by Me" crawled into the Top 5 by the end of 2000. The album was their worst-selling, and was critically panned for sounding tired and weak overall. It was their last album under original producer Don Cook (and one of his last production gigs period), although he only produced half of it; the other half, including all three singles, was produced by Music/TimMcGraw's producer Byron Gallimore, with whom the duo never worked again. The fall was so great that Montgomery Gentry snagged the Duo of the Year awards in 1999 (breaking an eight-year streak where B & D won that award) despite being only two singles into their career at the time. Even the members themselves admitted they were close to breaking up because they felt they had run their course. Fortunately, their label pitched them "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You" in 2001, which became their biggest hit to date and revitalized them enough to keep going for another decade until a voluntary retirement in 2011. ''Tight Rope'' quickly became CanonDiscontinuity, as none of its singles were put on their second GreatestHitsAlbum in 2004 -- even though that album ''did'' include "South of Santa Fe"!
* Music/JohnnyCash went through one in TheEighties, with a series of mostly unmemorable albums and diminishing returns on the country music charts. There was at least one MissingEpisode (''Out Among the Stars'', not released until 2014), and several poorly received singles such as "Chicken in Black". His only #1 hit in the entire decade was as one fourth of the supergroup The Highwaymen. He was also battling addiction around this point, further hampering his music career. The decline culminated in a short stint with Mercury Records, led off by a cheap and haphazard album with re-recordings of his biggest hits. He finally underwent CareerResurrection starting in 1994 with the Music/RickRubin-produced "American Recordings" series of albums, which largely consisted of sparse acoustic covers of rock and pop songs, netting him sales successes even beyond his own 2003 death and introducing him to a new generation of fans despite minimal radio support.
* Music/BobDylan grew tired of being viewed as "the spokesman of a generation", and decided to record the country music album ''Nashville Skyline'' specifically to alienate people who viewed him as such. This continued with ''Self Portrait'' and ''Dylan'', which were popular with critics but sold very poorly. Then Dylan recorded some albums that his original audience liked (including ''Blood on the Tracks''), and then he converted to Christianity and changed his style ''again'', losing most of his original fans over a quarter of a century (and gaining a few back after 1997's ''Time Out of Mind''.)
* Music/TheKentuckyHeadhunters went through this in most of TheNineties. Although their second album ''Electric Barnyard'' was fairly well-received by critics, its singles underperformed. Also, lead singer Ricky Lee Phelps was dissatisfied with singing Southern rock, and wanted to form a new LighterAndSofter duo with his brother, bassist Doug Phelps. Taking their respective places were new lead singer Mark S. Orr and bassist Anthony Kenney (who had played in a prior incarnation of the band in TheSeventies). The first album with Orr, ''Rave On!'', was trashed by critics and fans alike due to Orr's style not fitting the band at all. After a collaborative album with pianist Jimmie Johnson, Orr quit and Doug rejoined to take his brother's former role as lead singer. The first album with him on lead vocals, ''Stompin' Grounds'' in 1997, was also panned for its strangely subdued and mainstream sound relative to their more boisterous prior albums. However, they finally got back on track stylistically with ''Songs from the Grass String Ranch'' in 2000 and, despite radio having long since left them behind, they've been mostly on track ever since.
* Music/LadyAntebellum went through this with their third through fifth albums, ''Own the Night'', ''Golden'', and ''747''. ''Own the Night'' started off strong due to the buzz of lead single "Just a Kiss", but that buzz failed to last -- the album was largely seen as sleepy and monotone especially compared to the more rock-influenced first two albums, to the point that the final single "Wanted You More" became their worst-peaking single on the country charts at the time. ''Golden'' was launched by the more perky sounding "Downtown", which topped the country charts and was certified platinum, but followup "Goodbye Town" (another sleepy ballad similar to most of ''Own the Night'') completely bombed. Creator/CapitolRecords attempted an AuthorsSavingThrow by having Lady A record a batch of new songs with producer Nathan Chapman, thus ending the association with producer Paul Worley that they had going all the way back to their debut. One of those new songs, "Compass", was tacked onto a reissue of ''Own the Night'', and while the song was a #1 hit as well, it was only barely able to push the album to gold. They kept Chapman for ''747'' and once again had a #1 with the lead single ("Bartender"), but followups "Freestyle" and "Long Stretch of Love" were largely panned for feeling as if they were trying too hard to re-establish the "edge" of their earlier works. Both songs barely scraped Top 20 on the airplay charts and sold so abysmally that they became the band's first singles not to enter the Hot 100 at all. As a result, ''747'' didn't even get halfway to gold status, and became their first album not to reach #1 on Top Country Albums. After that, the band went on hiatus, with Charles Kelley releasing a SoloSideProject, and Hillary Scott doing a Christian album with her parents and sister (her mother is Linda Davis, best known as Music/RebaMcEntire's duet partner on her 1993 hit "Does He Love You"). They reunited in 2017 for a new album titled ''Heart Break'', which also saw another new producer in busbee[[note]]who really does spell his name in AllLowercaseLetters[[/note]]. Despite the hiatus and change in producers, it seems that ''Heart Break'' is a continuation of the Dork Age, given the tepid reception to its first two singles.
* Music/{{Lonestar}} went into one around the first decade of the 21st century. After their 1999 smash hit "Amazed" became the first song since 1983 to top both the country and Hot 100 charts, the label pushed for more bombastic pop ballads of its ilk, and added more sentimental fare to the mix after 2001's "I'm Already There" was almost as big a hit. This resulted in what had formerly been a hot honky-tonk influenced country band getting pushed into a combination of TastesLikeDiabetes "soccer mom" fare and bombastic, poppy, string-drenched {{power ballad}}s. The dork age is widely considered to have started anywhere between the release of "Amazed" and the release of their 2003 GreatestHitsAlbum, after which their singles started to perform worse and worse on the charts, with most of said songs also getting critically derided (except for a spirited cover of "Walking in Memphis"). The nadir was ''Party Heard Around the World'', an independently released album which found the band doing the same mushy fare as before, only with the much weaker-voiced Cody Collins taking Richie's place. Although Richie came back in 2011, the next two albums were quietly released on small independent labels and made absolutely no noise at radio.
* Music/RascalFlatts entered one lasting from about 2005 to 2010, covering the albums ''Me and My Gang'', ''Still Feels Good'', and ''Unstoppable''. While ''Me and My Gang'' lead single "What Hurts the Most" is one of their [[SignatureSong most famous]] and beloved songs, most of the other singles off these albums were heavily panned as either [[LoudnessWar bombastic and hideously overproduced]] {{power ballad}}s (much like Huff had done with Lonestar a few years prior) or extremely forced up-tempos like "Me and My Gang", "Summer Nights", or "Bob That Head" (their first single not to hit top 10, and widely considered their worst overall due to both AccidentalInnuendo and an ear-splitting CarefulWithThatAxe intro). Making matters worse was the fact that the bloated production forced lead singer Gary [=LeVox=] to undergo a particularly nasty VocalEvolution into a ridiculously high-pitched nasal screech with hideous amounts of {{melisma|ticvocals}}. After Lyric Street closed in 2010, they moved to Big Machine Records, where an interesting pattern started to form. ''Nothing Like This'' and ''Changed'' were seen as generally stronger albums despite Huff staying behind the boards, and they finally abandoned him in favor of self-production on ''Rewind'' and ''Back to Us''. While the Big Machine albums are generally seen as stronger overall, the band has seen diminishing returns at radio due to newer acts overtaking them in popularity (ironically including Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band, both of whom are on this page as well). This culminated in the second single from ''Back to Us'' being their first song to miss the country Top 40 entirely.
* Sawyer Brown seemed to go through this at the end of the 1980s during their tenure on Creator/CapitolRecords. After scoring a few country hits with the likes of "Step That Step", "Betty's Bein' Bad", and "This Missin' You Heart of Mine", their momentum tapered off around the release of ''Wide Open'' in 1988. The next few albums they put out were largely derided by critics and fans for containing lightweight fluffy songs with dated production, with only a couple exceptions (most prominently a cover of Music/GeorgeJones' "The Race Is On" and the Christmas single "It Wasn't His Child"). The nadir was 1991's ''Buick'', their first album not to contain a top 40 hit on the country charts. Some critics completely tore the album apart for being slick pop-rock with no country influence, and shallow lyrics about cars and girls. Their contract with Capitol ended one disc later with ''The Dirt Road'', which signaled a shift to stronger and more traditional country material, as exemplified by "The Walk" (a carryover from ''Buick''). Only seven months later, they moved to Curb Records and began working with songwriter/producer Mac [=McAnally=], who continued to refine them with [[GrowingTheBeard much stronger, more mature songs]] and impeccable production work that not only brought them out of their Dork Age, but also produced some of the most popular and enduring songs of their career such as "All These Years" and "Cafe on the Corner".
* Music/RandyTravis had a couple minor examples. First was his 1990 disc ''Heroes & Friends'', an album composed almost entirely of duets with a wide variety of artists, ranging from country stalwarts like Music/DollyParton and Music/GeorgeJones, to some very oddball picks like Music/BBKing and Creator/ClintEastwood. The album was largely panned for weak performances and songwriting, and while it sold platinum, it became his first album not to have a #1 country single. After getting back to form with ''High Lonesome'' and three new songs off a pair of {{greatest hits album}}s, he did ''Wind in the Wire'' in 1993. This album was a Western-themed one-off for a short lived TV series of the same name, and his first album not to be produced by Kyle Lehning. The singles completely bombed at radio (at least in the US "Cowboy Boogie" went to #10 on the Canadian country music charts), and reviews were generally worse than of the duets album. A label exec at Creator/WarnerBrosRecords even referred to that particular album as an "angst period". Travis would get back on track for the most part with ''Full Circle'' a year later.
* Music/KeithUrban seems to have been in a minor one that's lasted most of TheNewTens. Starting with 2009's ''Defying Gravity'', it seemed that he was letting his 2006 marriage to Creator/NicoleKidman inform his material, as both that album and ''Get Closer'' a year later were dominated by LighterAndSofter SillyLoveSongs such as "Kiss a Girl" and the ClicheStorm "Without You"; ''Get Closer'' was also derided by some for only having eight average-length songs on it. He seemed to mostly return to favor with ''Fuse'' which, despite being a NewSoundAlbum with a stronger pop influence, still curried favor with most thanks to strong songs such as "We Were Us", "Cop Car", and "Raise 'em Up". While critical reception was more split on followup ''Ripcord'' due to the pop influences being turned UpToEleven, all five singles performed fantastically on the country charts and sold gold or higher (in particular, "Blue Ain't Your Color" became his longest-lasting #1 hit and best-selling single to date), creating a degree of CriticalDissonance. ''Then'' came 2018's ''Graffiti U'', which started off completely on the wrong foot. The lead single "Female" was almost instantly hit with a negative reaction from fans and critics alike, as many felt that its timely message of female empowerment in a post-Harvey Weinstein Scandal world was [[DontShootTheMessage undercut]] by extremely lazy, unfocused lyrics that felt more like "mansplaining" than actually respecting women. As a result, "Female" [[BrokenWinLossStreak ended a streak of 37 straight Top 10 hits for Urban]]. The project's second single, "Coming Home", was met with equal derision for its ClicheStorm lyrics of escaping the city to move back to the country; its overbearingly synthpop production style that makes ''Ripcord'' sound downright traditional in comparison; a poorly-executed sample of Music/MerleHaggard's "Mama Tried" which in no way fits the song's context; and its unnecessary addition of obscure female pop singer Julia Michaels (not helping matters was the fact that, at the time of the single's release, the only other females in the upper half of the country music charts were ''also'' pop stars carpetbagging on country-pop males' songs[[note]]Bebe Rexha and Music/FloridaGeorgiaLine's "Meant to Be", and Tori Kelly on Chris Lane's "Take Back Home Girl[[/note]]).
* Music/NeilYoung's early-mid '80s output, especially the album ''Trans''. He was fed up with David Geffen and wanted out of his contract. Geffen in return sued for those albums being "not commercial" and "musically uncharacteristic of previous recordings."
* Music/ZacBrownBand seemed to fall into one starting in 2016. While their ''Jekyll + Hyde'' album started off successfully -- lead singles "Homegrown" and "Loving You Easy" were both #1 hits on the Country Airplay charts, and they also topped the Mainstream Rock charts with the Music/ChrisCornell collab "Heavy Is the Head" -- the album was somewhat divisive among critics and fans due to its GenreRoulette nature. The catalyst was "Beautiful Drug", which was met with initial resistance at country radio due to its electronica-influenced sound, to the point that the band sent out a [[RearrangeTheSong more country-sounding remix]]. While the song eventually got to #1 anyway, it seemed to kill the band's momentum and increase ire over the markedly non-country influences, particularly since Zac Brown was featured on an Avicii song around the same time and had announced plans to start an electronica side project called Sir Rosevelt. The final single from ''Jekyll + Hyde'' was "Castaway", which was also polarizing as many felt that it was an overdone rehash of their OnceAnEpisode "beachy" songs with annoying background vocals. But the Dork Age really set in with ''Welcome Home'', for which they enlisted producer Dave Cobb (best known for producing alternative-country acts such as Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Music/ChrisStapleton). The lead single "My Old Man", while generally well-received by fans and critics for its heatfelt lyrics, met resistance with radio programmers due to its slow, somber nature. Although ''Welcome Home'' topped the Country Albums chart, sales were overall anemic and tapered off quickly. Fans and critics generally panned the album as sleepy and monotonous, with some even calling it a backhanded apology for those who hated the previous album -- not only in the more muted sound but also in the lyrics, which seemed to go out of their way to emphasize that the ZBB is still the same bunch of good ol' boys they've always been. Even worse, the second single "Roots" inexplicably had nearly half the lyrics gutted from the radio edit (which wasn't even an issue of length, as the uncut song is a perfectly reasonable 3:51), stripping the song of most of its meaning. As a result, it became their worst-performing single to date on Country Airplay, stalling out at #36. In addition, the Sir Rosevelt album was released in late 2017 to very poor commercial sales and negative reception from both critics and fans.

[[folder:Heavy metal]]
* Hoo boy. On the whole, exactly what constitutes a Dork Age for HeavyMetal as a genre is the subject of some of the most bitter {{flame war}}s in music fandom. While it's generally agreed that metal from TheSeventies and the early '80s is near-untouchable, after that one is wading into dangerous territory, with each period of metal having both its diehard fans and its furious haters.
** For a long time, the late '80s HairMetal boom was seen as this. Remembered as the time when metal "went pop", bands from this era were seen as sacrificing depth and complexity for [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll empty hedonism]] and radio[=/=]Creator/{{MTV}}[=-=]friendly {{power ballad}}s. More recently, however, the [[NostalgiaFilter '80s nostalgia wave]] has caused [[PopularityPolynomial a reappraisal of the genre]], with numerous rock stars from the era recognized as better musicians than many people gave them credit for. It's still generally agreed that [[EightiesHair the fashions]] were ridiculous, though, even if they have developed some {{camp}} appeal since then.
** The first half of the '90s is arguably the most generally agreed-upon Dork Age, at least in terms of metal's mainstream success, particularly in the United States. The genre was neck-deep in the hangover from the collapse of HairMetal, and many of the biggest bands from TheEighties were either breaking up or falling into their own Dork Ages, several of which are described below. While there were still plenty of great metal bands if one knew where to look, not many actually broke through and had crossover hits. Otherwise, for much of the early-mid '90s the genre practically vanished from the attention of mainstream rock fans, outside of AlternativeMetal bands that were linked to the booming {{grunge}} scene.
** The late '90s and early '00s, meanwhile, saw the rise of NuMetal. At the time, nu metal catapulted the genre back into the spotlight with a far more aggressive style than either grunge or hair metal had, but before long, it came to be seen as a mess of adolescent {{wangst}}, [[TheNewRockAndRoll shock tactics]], and [[TestosteronePoisoning phony machismo]], to the point where even many musicians and bands that played in or were otherwise associated with the genre (an admittedly nebulous one) came to reject any association with it. It didn't help that many bands [[NewSoundAlbum changed their style]] in order to jump onto the popular new sound, leading to many accusations of [[{{Sellout}} selling out]]. That said, some bands from this time have seen their reputations improve with age, though nu metal as a genre hasn't ''quite'' recovered the same way that hair metal has.
** After that, you will find fans arguing for any subgenre, sound, or period of time as a Dork Age, from the rise of {{metalcore}} and {{deathcore}} to the widespread use of synthesizers. Get a group of metal fans in a room, and a third will tell you that the genre is in a Dork Age right now, another third will tell you that it's in a GoldenAge, and the last third will tell everybody to just shut up and enjoy whatever they listen to.
* Music/{{Aborted}} went through a major one of these from 2005 to 2010. It started with ''The Archaic Abattoir'', which, due to its prominent metalcore influences, was fairly polarizing overall; some fans saw it as a unique new twist on their established sound and applauded them for not trying to make ''Goremageddon'' 2.0, while others ''hated'' it and saw it as a sign of worse things to come. It was around this time that the band also started experiencing a truly jawdropping amount of lineup changes, and 2007's ''Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture'', which was even more polarizing, failed to win back the fans alienated by the previous album. 2008's ''Strychnine.213'' wound up being the nadir of their career, with its deathcore overtones, anemic riffing, overblown and out-of-place Dimebag/Wylde-aping guitar solos, and Sven's bored-sounding and phoned-in vocal performances leading to a universally despised final product (the band [[OldShame hated it just as much]]). They didn't really emerge from this slump until Sven fired the entire band, hired back Dirk Verbeuren, welcomed in an all-new string section, and released the ''Coronary Reconstruction'' EP in 2010, and even then, lingering bits of the band's notorious proclivity towards unstable lineups remained when Ken Sorceron was fired in 2011 after a falling-out with Sven, followed by the firing of Eran Segal (the other new guitarist) and Mike Wilson (Sorceron's replacement) in 2012 for similar reasons.
* Music/{{Anthrax}} during the '90s. On the one hand, some of the band's most critically acclaimed material and mainstream success occurred during the period, including their famous collaborative version of "Bring The Noise" with Music/PublicEnemy, which is frequently credited for inventing RapMetal. On the other hand, many fans still look poorly on the band's more grunge-influenced material, and on John Bush of Music/ArmoredSaint, who replaced longtime singer Joey Belladonna during this period.
* Music/BlackSabbath went through a DorkAge in the last half of TheSeventies, with their two last albums with Ozzy being mediocre after a run of six mind-blowingly awesome albums. Music/RonnieJamesDio saved them from that, but he left after two albums. Ian Gillan hopped onboard for a decent album, then various more lineups got assembled, that nobody can agree which one is good and which one's a dork age.
* Music/AliceCooper has a few eras that could qualify, having played in many styles to many audiences, but none are as reviled as the transition he made in 1980: he completed his long transition from hard rock and switched to new wave. Worse, he abandoned his [[LooksLikeCesare famous eye makeup]], cut his hair, and developed a more androgynous image inspired by ''Film/AClockworkOrange''. The new style alienated his remaining fanbase and the four albums he made in this period performed poorly. It took six years (three of them spent in retirement sobering up) before he went back to his hard rock roots and image to great success.
* Many have come to regard ''Cold Lake'', Music/CelticFrost's one-off shot at glam rock, to be synonymous with "total fucking disaster", though it does have its defenders.
* Listening to ''Digimortal'' can be a very, very weird experience, especially to one familiar with Music/FearFactory's classic body of work. It's another thing when a band like Music/{{Megadeth}} attempts to incorporate pop music into their sound; when a band that has built themselves purely on amelodically brutal TestosteronePoisoning tries it, well, "forced" doesn't even begin to describe the end result. Unsurprisingly, the band were thrown into a TenMinuteRetirement, and while their work since their reunion has been [[WinBackTheCrowd well received]], many fans still feel that their best days are behind them.
* For Music/{{Helloween}}, it was the period between Kai Hansen's departure (after ''Keeper of the Seven Keys Pt. 2'') and Andi Deris's arrival (before ''Master of the Rings''). This period comprises the Michael Kiske-fronted albums ''Pink Bubbles Go Ape'' and ''Chameleon'', which left the band near dissolution.
* During the mid-late '90s, Music/InFlames were seen as the definitive melodic death metal band, successfully mixing growled death metal vocals with melodic guitar riffs and even Middle Eastern-styled acoustic melodies. While the band was gradually moving away from their traditional melo-death style since 1999's ''Colony'', it was 2002's ''Reroute To Remain'' that officially marked the beginning of their DorkAge, thanks to its NuMetal influence, simplified songwriting, and greater reliance on clean singing. The album even went so far as to include a ''folksy country rock song'' that bore little resemblance to anything the band had ever done up to that point. The band was believed to have dropped the ultimate bomb, however, with 2004's ''The Soundtrack To Your Escape'', an album that continued the nu-metal sound of ''Reroute to Remain'', contained even more clean singing than the last, relied heavily on synth leads, and was notably devoid of guitar solos. Fortunately, the band regained a fair amount of credibility with 2006's harder and more traditional-sounding ''Come Clarity'' and remained pretty consistent until 2014's ''Siren Charms'', which many consider to be an even worse album than ''Soundtrack to Your Escape''.
* Music/IronMaiden helmed by Blaze Bayley. The band continued to write good material during this time (some songs from those albums remained in the setlist after he left), and Blaze is a fine singer on his own. But, because of the difference in vocal range (Blaze is a baritone, whereas Bruce Dickinson is a tenor, which is more usual for metal vocalists), he had a hard time performing the band's earlier material live. A few fans add the two albums before as well, as they lacked guitarist Adrian Smith and had some subpar material and attempts on DarkerAndEdgier (such as raspier vocals) that didn't sit well with them.
* Similarly, Music/JudasPriest with [[ReplacementScrappy Tim Owens]] on vocals. Their 1997 album ''Jugulator'' was largely panned by fans for having [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks downtuned guitars]] and subpar vocals (although it did contain the Grammy-nominated song "Bullet Train"). 2001's ''Demolition'', meanwhile, was criticized for pandering to the NuMetal trend of the era. The band at least partially regained credibility in 2003 with the return of Rob Halford and the release of ''Angel Of Retribution'' two years later.
* Who knew that Music/{{KISS}}, the hottest band in the world, could be so plagued by a long history of bad career decisions?
** It's often ignored that KISS was pretty obscure in their first year or so. [[DeaderThanDisco Glam rock was on its way out in the United States]] by 1974 (even Music/AliceCooper was moving away from it), and KISS's debut album was [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff more popular in Japan than in the US.]] They only broke out with ''Dressed to Kill', the point where they refined the live theatrics they've become so famous for.
** By ''Love Gun'', the band realized their [[CashCowFranchise merchandising potential]] and promptly became overexposed, with a comic book series, a pinball machine and a [[SoBadItsGood hilariously bad]] [[Film/KISSMeetsThePhantomOfThePark TV movie]], culminating in ''Dynasty'', their own failed attempt at cashing in on the disco craze of the late 1970s.
** In 1981, they tried, of all things, to make a ProgressiveRock ConceptAlbum in ''Music from "The Elder"'', created as the soundtrack to a movie that never came to light. ''That'' album was forgotten soon enough.[[note]][[VindicatedByHistory However,]] "A World Without Heroes" is in their MTV Unplugged live album, and in 2004 they tried to perform "I" but had forgotten the lyrics.[[/note]]
* Music/{{KMFDM}} tried to break away from its long history by switching record labels and changing their name to MDFMK. While the "new" band's album was well received, fans were incensed that they refused to play any of their old songs in concert. The band relented, going back to their old name and playing selections from their entire catalog.
* Music/LinkinPark:
** In the late '00s, the band almost fully abandoned [[RapMetal their use of rapping and turntables]] on the albums ''Minutes to Midnight'' in 2007, which incorporated more ArenaRock influences in the vein of Music/{{U2}}, and ''A Thousand Suns'' in 2010, an electronic-infused ConceptAlbum about nuclear war. To be fair, the band probably needed to change their style to stay in the spotlight after the collapse of NuMetal in the mid-'00s, and their new sound helped them score a pair of soundtrack hits with "What I've Done" and "New Divide" for the first two ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' films. However, these two albums proved highly polarizing with the experimental direction they took with their sound and themes; while some fans saw them as a welcome evolution, others derided it as a {{sellout}}. The band returned to familiar territory with ''Living Things'' in 2012 and ''The Hunting Party'' in 2014, which, despite their incorporation of mainstream EDM influences, helped WinBackTheCrowd for many disillusioned fans...
** ...at least, until ''One More Light'' in 2017 saw the band jump fully into electronic pop-rock. Whereas ''Minutes to Midnight'' and ''A Thousand Suns'' both had their supporters among critics, ''One More Light'' received a scathing reception right out of the gate, with many fans declaring it a new Dork Age from the moment they heard the lead-off single "Heavy" featuring pop singer Music/{{Kiiara}}. Sadly, the negative response to ''One More Light'', which frontman Chester Bennington [[DearNegativeReader did not take well]], may have played a role in [[DrivenToSuicide his suicide]] in July of that year. Ironically, said suicide has caused something of a reappraisal of the album, particularly its title track, which, despite not being about suicide (it was a tribute to a longtime friend of theirs at Creator/WarnerBrosRecords who had died of cancer), was widely reinterpreted by both fans and the band itself due to its HarsherInHindsight lyrics.
* Music/{{Loudness}} has accomplished the feat of having several of these, at least to some fans (other fans will see them as some of the best periods ever in the band's history), as a result of being a LongRunner, and while very successfully averting WereStillRelevantDammit, at the same time being so in tune with the current trend in metal that people who hated that trend will hate that era. Pretty much the only era that ''no one'' considers a DorkAge is the 1991-1992 era, because it is solid ThrashMetal regardless of time or culture.
* Poor, poor Music/MachineHead. In the mid '90s, they were one of the pioneers of the "post-thrash" sound that defined underground American metal during the decade along with Music/{{Pantera}}, Fear Factory, Music/{{Sepultura}}, Music/{{Biohazard}}, ''Life of Agony,'' and many others. While other bands were emphasizing influences such as {{Industrial}}, {{Funk|Metal}}, {{Hardcore}}, and {{Grunge}}, Machine Head's sound was planted ''firmly'' in {{Thrash|Metal}}, yet still sounding both modern ''and'' timeless. Until 1999's ''The Burning Red'', which showcased a ''drastic'' shift into NuMetal on both an aural and [[ImportantHaircut visual]] level, and the quality of songwiting suffered greatly from the creative dissonance involved. [[FromBadToWorse To make matters even worse]], they/[[IAmTheBand Rob Flynn]] put out a followup up called ''Supercharger'' that was ''even worse'' on these accounts.\\\
Thankfully, they/he [[WinBackTheCrowd dug themselves out of the hole]] by reintroducing their classic Thrash sound on subsequent albums ''Through the Ashes of Empires'' and ''The Blackening'', though a bit too late as their particular DorkAge left a scorching black mark on their/Flynn's reputation that they/he have yet to fully recover from, especially as the band still looms in the shadows of both it and [[ToughActToFollow their classic]] album ''[[FirstInstallmentWins Burn My Eyes]]''.
* Music/MarilynManson fell into one some time after ''Music/HolyWoodInTheShadowOfTheValleyOfDeath'', which [[AcclaimedFlop won critical acclaim but was a sales disappointment]] in the wake of the UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} massacre.
** ''The Golden Age of Grotesque'' in 2003 met mixed reviews from professional critics, and while it debuted at #1, it won [[MedalOfDishonor the dubious distinction]] of having the lowest opening week total for a number one-debuting studio album in the [=SoundScan=] era, selling only 118,000 copies -- and dropping fast after that. (For comparison, ''Holy Wood'', which debuted at #13, sold 11''7'',000 copies in its first week.) [[CriticalDissonance Fans liked it well enough]], however, and by and large they see it as the last good album of his before the Dork Age ''really'' set in.
** That would come with ''Eat Me, Drink Me'' in 2007. Recorded in the wake of his divorce from Dita Von Teese, its more personal themes were seen by many fans as a {{wangst}}y mid-life crisis that effectively destroyed his "most evil man in America" image. ''The High End of Low'' in 2009 and ''Born Villain'' in 2012 saw him return to more familiar territory, but were often seen as SoOkayItsAverage and not comparing well to the albums from his GloryDays. A true comeback wouldn't come until the success of ''The Pale Emperor'' in 2015.
* Both ''Risk'' (LighterAndSofter done horribly wrong; also one of the only non-country albums ever produced by Dann Huff) and ''The World Needs a Hero'' (DarkerAndEdgier done horribly wrong) are considered to be the nadir of Music/{{Megadeth}}/[[IAmTheBand Dave Mustaine]]'s career. One could also throw the "SellOut" album ''Cryptic Writings'' in the mix as well, and go as far as declaring everything between ''[[NewSoundAlbum Youthanasia]]'' and ''[[WinBackTheCrowd Endgame]]'' as this trope. You can argue the band are still stuck in a DorkAge, and go as far back as ''Countdown to Extinction'' for its beginning. What's less arguable, though, is the fact that the disastrous ''Super Collider'' very strongly suggests a DorkAge in and of itself.
* The post-''Black Album'' period of Music/{{Metallica}} (''Load'', ''Reload'', ''St. Anger'') doesn't exist for [[BrokenBase many fans]]. Well, maybe ''Death Magnetic'' can be RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap (if you pirate the ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' rip instead of getting the [[LoudnessWar atrociously-mastered]] CD), but anyways...
** The [[DeadArtistsAreBetter death of Cliff Burton]]/[[ReplacementScrappy introduction of]] Music/JasonNewsted is often cited as the cause of these problems. Whilst unfair on Newsted (his first album with Metallica, ''...And Justice for All'', ''is'' really good after all), since replacing him with Rob Trujillo, they have improved, though that may simply be coincidence.
** The Napster suit in 2000 perpetuated this for many, as even the people Metallica was (supposedly) pandering to were disgusted with the band afterwards.
** Many fans include ''The Black Album'' as well, particularly for ItsPopularNowItSucks.
** There's often a tendency among fans to want ''every album'' by that band to sound the same, and when somebody like Kirk Hammett has an adventurous streak and wants to experiment with sound, it alienates part of the fan base. This also happened to Music/{{Motorhead}} when Brian Robertson of Music/ThinLizzy joined them for ''Another Perfect Day''. Robertson's insistence on wearing disco shorts and refusal to play older Motorhead songs didn't help his case any, but the songwriting on that album pretty much defines well-written metal of the early 1980s.
* Music/MotleyCrue. Having to contend with the newfound popularity of {{grunge}}, which pushed glam and hair metal off the charts, as well as internal affairs with [[FaceOfTheBand Vince Neil]] leaving the band, they signed a deal with Creator/ElektraRecords and seemed to be coming out on top. Unfortunately, their first release, their 1994 SelfTitledAlbum, was underpromoted (their tour was scaled back from stadiums to smaller venues) and largely unknown due to MTV placing them on a blacklist because of interview mishaps, not to mention the loss of Vince Neil which led to fans [[FanonDiscontinuity disregarding]] the album (no one even knew who [[TheOtherDarrin John Corabi]] was). Which is a damn shame, because it really [[SugarWiki/NeedsMoreLove deserves more praise]]. After this, they were able to bring back Vince Neil, but this led to 1997's ''Generation Swine'', which was the result of a [[ExecutiveMeddling tumultuous struggle]] between the band and their producers, and ended up with a very different sound from their previous work, including the grunge-inspired '94 album. This album was far more experimental and spacey, which the fans couldn't really get behind, since they were expecting the original lineup to return to their sleazy, fast-paced metal roots. To make matters worse, shortly after the release of 2000's ''New Tattoo'', their new drummer Randy Castillo [[AuthorExistenceFailure died of cancer]]. From [[http://www.allmusic.com/album/saints-of-los-angeles-mw0000789098 what's been said]] of 2008's ''Saints of Los Angeles'', it seems they've left this period behind them.
* Funnily, while a lot of metal bands and musicians were entering a Dork Age in the '90s, Music/OzzyOsbourne was slowly coming out of one. While his first two solo albums (''Blizzard Of Ozz'' and ''Diary Of A Madman'') were hugely successful, things took a major turn for the worse when famed lead guitarist Randy Rhoads was unexpectedly killed in a plane crash. His first replacement, Jake E. Lee, was actually a pretty capable guitarist. But the two albums made with him in the band, ''Bark At The Moon'' and ''The Ultimate Sin'', were not as good. The latter album, especially, was criticized by some for pandering to the then-emerging glam metal scene (though it did contain one of Ozzy's most popular songs, "Shot In The Dark"). To make matters worse, Ozzy's problems with substance abuse were spiraling out of control, as was his relationship with wife Sharon Osbourne. Fortunately, Ozzy slowly began to pick himself back up in the late-80's, beginning by hiring guitarist Zakk Wylde for 1988's underrated ''No Rest For The Wicked''. After that, he cleaned up most of his personal issues and released the album ''No More Tears'' in 1991, which was and still is widely regarded as one of his best ever solo albums.
* In the mid-'00s, Music/{{Powerman 5000}} decided to abandon their IndustrialMetal sound and their sci-fi fashion sense and image with the punk-influenced albums ''Transform'' in 2003 and ''Destroy What You Enjoy'' in 2006. While ''Transform'' has its fans, few will defend ''Destroy What You Enjoy'', which, tellingly, is the only one of their albums that is not carried on iTunes. That thankfully short-lived period ended with ''Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere'' in 2009.
* Music/SixFeetUnder went through one of these in the early 2000s. Their first three albums are regarded as solid '90s death metal records, with their debut ''Haunted'' in particular being considered a classic by fans. In 2000, however, they released the phoned-in cover album ''Graveyard Classics'', which polarized people; some fans liked it for their death metal take on classic rock songs, while others felt it was unnecessary and SoBadItsGood at best. But the band's fourth original album ''True Carnage'' is when they started to go downhill. To date, it's their lowest-rated record, being trashed for its sludgy production values, experimentation with NuMetal, sluggish performances, and a pretty clear lack of effort. As if that weren't bad enough, their very next record ''Bringer of Blood'' dialed up the nu-metal considerably, and featured even more vapid songwriting along with shallow lyrics that would make even [[Music/LimpBizkit Fred Durst]] cringe. Fans hoping for improvement ended up getting the final nail in the coffin; a second ''Graveyard Classics'' album that was a cover of Music/{{ACDC}}'s entire ''Back in Black'' album, which is universally despised even by the band's most diehard fans, and the standalone song "Dead and Buried", which featured Chris Barnes' worst vocal performance of all time. They managed to win some people back with three solid records in a row, but it wasn't until 2012's ''Undead'' that they managed to get themselves out of their rut entirely.
* Even ''Music/{{Slayer}}'' wasn't immune to the crippling power that TheNineties had on metal. They lost [[TheAce their drummer Dave Lombardo]], and experimented with NuMetal for a while (something [[OldShame Kerry King himself openly wishes to forget]]). However, since the mid-[[TheNoughties Noughties]], Lombardo is back, and Slayer is making straight ThrashMetal again. Then, Jeff Hanneman (who was regarded as the best songwriter in the band) passed away and Lombardo's replacement, Paul Bostaph (who is a very good drummer himself, the hatred just comes from [[ToughActToFollow being compared to the man who pretty much wrote the metaphorical book on that style of drumming]]) has returned once again. The alleged circumstances behind Lombardo's departure have not helped matters.
* When irreplaceable guitarist Michael Schenker left UFO in the 1970s, a sizable portion of the fan base considered them to have ceased existing, despite a resultant run of albums that were more consistent than the ones during Schenker's difficult tenure.
* Music/VanHalen:
** The "Van Hagar" period from 1986 to 1996, when Sammy Hagar took over as lead singer after David Lee Roth quit the band, is a [[BrokenBase bitterly contentious one]] among fans. While the band reached the peak of its popularity during this time, releasing four albums that all went to #1 (the only chart-topping albums the band ever had, in fact) and producing seventeen hit singles, there are many fans who see Roth as [[FirstInstallmentWins the band's only 'real' frontman]] and Hagar as having led the band into sellout territory with a watered-down sound. Debating "Van Halen vs. Van Hagar" is an easy way to start a FlameWar on any music forum with a sizable contingent of classic rock fans.
** Less debatable as a Dork Age is their recruitment of Gary Cherone (formerly of Music/{{Extreme}}) from 1996 to 1999 after Hagar's departure, which is currently regarded as [[CanonDiscontinuity "never happened"]] by the band. It was excluded completely from a two-disc greatest hits collection put out years after the release of ''Van Halen III'', the only album featuring that singer, and the second album they had planned to release with him was scrapped after they realized how unpopular he was. Ironically, he's also the only singer of the band who doesn't hate Eddie Van Halen.

* For HipHop as a whole, mention the late '90s to a fan at your own risk. After the murder of Music/TupacShakur in 1996 and Music/TheNotoriousBIG in 1997, GangstaRap found itself quickly displaced by the LighterAndSofter genre of GlamRap, which reigned over the hip-hop world until the rise of {{crunk}}[[note]]Itself a [[BrokenBase polarizing genre]], but one that has its fans[[/note]] and SouthernRap in the early-mid '00s. While rap music rose to new heights of commercial success and mainstream respectability, shedding many of the associations with [[GangBangers street violence]] that made it a [[MurderSimulators media lightning rod]] at the height of the gangsta wave, for many fans this came at the expense of the grit, edge, and lyrical depth that characterized hip-hop up to that point, turning what had once been the hardest and most dangerous music in the world into vapid pop. While there were genuine talents (such as Music/JayZ, Music/MissyElliott, and Music/{{Eminem}}, among others) to emerge from this time period, by and large the "Jiggy Era" or "Shiny Suit Era" is remembered as a cautionary tale, a time when mediocre [=MCs=] could become stars by rapping about being decadent millionaires while wearing flashy clothes in over-produced music videos.
* Music/{{Eminem}}'s career peaked around 2002-03 with his fourth album ''Music/TheEminemShow'' and his film debut in ''Film/EightMile'' (a [[BasedOnATrueStory loose biopic]] of his upbringing), but after that, his track record gets spotty.
** The 2004 album ''Encore'', written and recorded as his drug problems began to overwhelm him, was his first real failure. It was widely seen as an utter misfire, filled with juvenile lyrics, shallow (and [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece quickly dated]]) pop-culture references, and a {{Flanderization}} of [[ADarkerMe his "Slim Shady" persona]]. His follow-up ''Relapse'' in 2009 was intended as a comeback, but most critics thought it was just dull, going too far in the opposite direction and losing the sense of humor that set his best material apart. Eminem's actual comeback would come with ''Recovery'' in 2010 and ''The Marshall Mathers LP 2'' in 2013, which were seen as a return to form, even if not quite a return to his GloryDays.
** However, the mixed-to-negative reception for the 2017 album ''Revival'' may indicate another Dork Age in the cards. The pop ballads that propelled him up the charts during his comeback were seen as increasingly formulaic, the humor was seen as having gotten stale, and the attempts at more {{political|Rap}} and [[ConsciousHipHop socially conscious]] songs rang {{hypocritical|Humor}} for many critics given his own [[UnfortunateImplications long history of problematic material]]. The general consensus was that he came across as a relic, one who was [[WereStillRelevantDammit confounded by the changing cultural landscape]] and was unwilling or unable to confront his role in those changes.
* Music/JayZ's output after 2003's ''The Black Album'' ([[TenMinuteRetirement initially promoted as his final release]]) was always commercially successful, but many fans and critics felt that, even on his better albums, he'd lost some of the fire that characterized his earlier material. 2006's ''Kingdom Come'' and 2013's ''Magna Carta... Holy Grail'' are often pointed to as low points for Jay in his "record mogul" era, written largely on autopilot by a man more concerned with his brand and his businesses than his music. Ironically, personal scandal wound up ending the Dork Age, as his 2017 album ''4:44'', written after he cheated on his wife Music/{{Beyonce}} and largely influenced by the affair and its aftermath, won widespread acclaim.
* Music/MCHammer's 1994 album ''The Funky Headhunter'' -- with the possible exception of the single "Pumps and A Bump" (as long as you [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZqG3f-jhqg ignore the video]]). While the song was a platinum-selling success at the time, his attempt to jump on the GangstaRap bandwagon destroyed the clean-cut, churchgoing image he'd built in the early '90s. His fans turned against him, and fans of gangsta rap saw him as a poser.

* Music/ToriAmos' eighth album, ''The Beekeeper'', qualifies according to some critics and even a sizable number of fans, especially since it followed the widely popular ''Scarlet's Walk''. It has gotten a bit more appreciation, if only from fans, for how the songs delve into some complex and unlikely themes, including Gnostic Christianity.
* Music/{{B2ST}} was considered to have gone through this after their megahit "Fiction". Neither of their next two mini albums did well in comparison, and the single "Shadow" was particularly underwhelming. They turned this around with the release of "Good Luck", which was composed by rapper Junhyung and fit the group much better, resulting in a return to popularity.
* Pat Boone, icon of whitebread, mocked this trope once by appearing at an event with Music/OzzyOsbourne's family in leather and with pierced nipples and temporary tattoos. He even released an album of metal covers, called ''In a Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy'', performed in his signature whitebread style. His take of "Crazy Train" was used as the theme for ''Series/TheOsbournes'' (He and Ozzy were next door neighbors for many years until Ozzy and company moved shortly before the series' run). He's since claimed that his fanbase views that album as not just a DorkAge, but a ''Devil'' Age, and it actually resulted in him getting kicked out of his church for a while.
* Music/JustinBieber had this from 2013 to 2015 to the point that his career became seemed effectively over during that time. These included: Bieber hitting adulthood and many of his oldest fans starting to grow out of him, he explosive breakout of boy band Music/OneDirection, taking away almost all of Bieber's youngest fans and quite a chunk of the older ones as well, his attempt to retool himself as a [[DarkerAndEdgier "bad boy"]] to try and stay relevant and his hatedom continuing to grow rapidly and them doing everything in their power to wipe Bieber Fever off the face of the Earth in addition to being tabloid fodder, with even ''mainstream media'' joining in on the fight against him. However, this ended in 2015 as Bieber staged a massive comeback with his album ''Purpose'', which was well received by critics and fans and won back many of his former fans, in addition to three consecutive #1 singles and ended Music/OneDirection's streak of #1 albums.
* Music/MariahCarey had this from 2001 to 2005, which also doubles as a CreatorBreakdown. In 2000, she left Columbia on bad terms after her acrimonious divorce with Tommy Mottola and signed with Virgin to work on her pet project ''Film/{{Glitter}}''. After production of ''Glitter'' wrapped, her three-year relationship with Luis Miguel ended. Due to the pressure of losing her relationship, being on a new record label, filming a movie, and recording an album, Carey began to suffer a nervous breakdown and began a series of disturbing messages on her official website, and displayed erratic behaviour while on several promotional outings including her infamous ''TRL'' appearance and as a result of her being checked into a hospital, ''Glitter'''s release date was postponed from August to September 2001. Unfortunately, the ''Glitter'' soundtrack was released on September 11 and became a critical and commercial dud. The film was also a BoxOfficeBomb. The failure resulted in Virgin releasing her contract and then she began writing songs for her next album, which became ''Charmbracelet''. The album was intended to be her CareerResurrection but unfortunately, it wasn't well-received by critics (though most critics felt it was better than ''Glitter'') and didn't do well at the charts (despite being a Top 10 album in the United States, Switzerland and Japan and "I Know What You Want", her duet with Music/BustaRhymes, became her sole Top 5 hit worldwide during that time and was later included in the re-release of ''Charmbracelet''). The failure of ''Charmbracelet'' led to Carey questioning about her future and then began recording ''The Emancipation of Mimi'', which ultimately became her CareerResurrection and was lauded by fans and critics alike.
* Music/DuranDuran, contrary to myth, did continue its popularity in the wake of its "Fab Five" lineup being whittled down to Simon, Nick, and John, but the one album where their future was in serious jeopardy was with 1990's ''Liberty'', which, while containing such fan-beloved songs as "Serious" and "My Antarctica", was the one moment when the band were at the brink of falling apart. Then they came back with 1993's ''The Wedding Album''. Later on, the period after the short-lived "Fab Five" reunion period brought forth a ''loathed'' element of Dork Age with ''Red Carpet Massacre'', which not only contained no songs of any musical merit but had Timbaland and Music/JustinTimberlake getting involved with the production of the album, which many die-hard fans simply could not stomach. Thankfully, they've gotten back their mojo with 2010's ''All You Need is Now'', produced by the much more appropriate Mark Ronson.
* Music/JanetJackson's WardrobeMalfunction at the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl XXXVIII halftime show in 2004 marked the beginning of one that lasted for the rest of the '00s. While Music/JustinTimberlake, her co-performer at the show, walked away with minimal career damage and soon came back in 2006 with the album ''[=FutureSex/LoveSounds=]'', Janet was all but blacklisted from radio afterwards, which affected the reception of her album ''Damita Jo'' a few months later. While it still went platinum in a month, it only debuted at #2, breaking a 20-year streak of chart-topping albums that went back to ''Control'' in 1986, and more importantly, it received only mixed reviews, many of which were colored by the controversy. Janet's follow-ups ''20 Y.O.'' in 2006 and ''Discipline'' in 2008 were seen as similar disappointments, and afterwards, she took a seven-year break from recording music to focus on acting. A return to form finally came with her comeback album ''Unbreakable'' in 2015.
* For a thankfully brief period with the 2003 album ''0304'', Music/{{Jewel}} abandoned her trademark sensitive, folksy, Lilith Fair poet persona in order to become... a clone of every sexy pop princess of the early '00s. She ''claimed'' that her violently-impossible-to-like lead-off single "Intuition" was [[ParodyRetcon meant as a satire]] of interchangeable, pretty, blonde pop singers, but fans had trouble believing that, considering that she made a bunch of money off that song being used to launch a [[ProductPlacement women's razor line called "Intuition"]]. She very quickly went back to her folk-pop sound, with her departures into CountryMusic on ''Perfectly Clear'' in 2008 and ''Sweet and Wild'' in 2010 raising far fewer eyebrows given that they weren't far removed from her usual style.
* Jewelry was this ever since Seo In Young's departure from the group, with release few and far between and lacklustre.
* The period in between 1986's ''The Bridge'' and his 1993 pop music swan song ''River Of Dreams'' is not often considered an artistic high point in the career of Music/BillyJoel, at least compared with his previous albums. ''The Bridge'' was somewhat marred by an overabundance of '80s synthesizers (only slightly tempered on 1989's ''Storm Front'') and an overall cynical flavor to many of his lyrics (written during his CreatorBreakdown due to financial litigation and the breakup of his marriage to Christie Brinkley), while there's a general dropoff in songwriting quality. While this era produced many good songs ("River Of Dreams", "Leningrad"; "The Downeaster 'Alexa'", "I Go To Extremes", "A Matter Of Trust", "Shameless", "This Is The Time"), and the polarizing "We Didn't Start The Fire", Joel's last number one single, the post-''An Innocent Man'' studio albums received mixed reviews by the Joel-faithful critics (and sites like the [=AllMusic=] Guide).
* Two come to mind with Music/EltonJohn.
** The first is 1977-1982, when his lyricist Bernie Taupin had little or no influence on the albums of that period, his sales slowed, he dabbled in {{disco}} for an album just as the style [[DeaderThanDisco grew out of fashion]], and his albums in general were of an inconsistent quality.
** The second is 1985-1990, where Taupin was more involved, but Elton's music became overly produced and synth-heavy, much of the classic '70s Elton John Band who backed him in his 1983-84 period were fired and replaced by session musicians, and Elton's [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll drug and alcohol habits]], bulimia, and [[AnythingThatMoves reckless love life]] were taking a toll on him.
* Music/LadyGaga's 2013 album ''Artpop'' was criticized as a case of her coasting on her success. With the SynthPop sound she pioneered having blown up into the mainstream since her debut, sticking to her old formula and resting on the tropes of ''The Fame'' and ''Born This Way'' was seen as a case of SeinfeldIsUnfunny at best and a creative rut at worst. The mixed response caused Gaga to fade from the limelight in the mid-'10s, working on smaller projects such as a collaboration with Tony Bennett and stabs at an acting career, before making a comeback in 2016-17 with her NewSoundAlbum ''Joanne'' and a well-received UsefulNotes/SuperBowl halftime performance.
* One example of a band that tried for a new, DarkerAndEdgier image and just... shouldn't have is demonstrated in the video and song, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5OY_H2_rQ8 "Dirty Dawg"]]. Let's just say, it ''really'' didn't go over well with Music/NewKidsOnTheBlock's established fandom.
* Music/{{Madonna}} had this during the early Nineties when she went into a HotterAndSexier phase that began with the controversial "Justify My Love" single in late 1990, in which the X-rated video got banned by Creator/{{MTV}}. [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity Due to the controversy, the single became a number-one hit in the US]]. Two years later, she released the song "Erotica", which was also controversial and the music video got restricted to nighttime and [[Music/{{Erotica}} the following album]] (along with the coffee table book ''Sex'') got [[BannedInChina banned in several countries for its content]] (in Lebanon, it was banned due to the titular track using an unauthorised sample from a song by Lebanese singer Fairuz) and soon, she faced backlash from MoralGuardians and several critics hinted her career was over after she starred in the BoxOfficeBomb ''Film/BodyOfEvidence'' (which served as a StarDerailingRole for her as an actress) a year later. It seemed that her career was over by late 1993 as she underwent a CreatorBreakdown during this time until she released the LighterAndSofter album ''Music/BedtimeStories'', which along her infamous appearance on ''Series/TheLateShowWithDavidLetterman'', revived her career and culminated with her critically acclaimed and Golden Globe winning role as Eva Peron in the film adaptation of the musical ''Music/{{Evita}}'', along with two more well-received albums ''Music/RayOfLight'' (which became her most successful album since ''Music/TrueBlue'' and is considered to be her best album by critics) and ''Music/{{Music}}''. Fortunately, ''Erotica'' has since been VindicatedByHistory with most critics agreeing that aside from being OvershadowedByControversy, it is actually one of her most adventurous albums and praised her comments in taboos and AIDS in addition to the music video for "Rain" nowadays considered to be one of the greatest music videos ever made.
** Her 2003 album ''Music/AmericanLife'' is considered a major Dork Age by fans to the point that the controversial titular track is what resulted in her getting blacklisted from US radio stations during that time, especially being released during the [[TheWarOnTerror US invasion of Iraq]]. It divided critics and fans for its {{Anvilicious}} message and unlike ''Erotica'', it hasn't been VindicatedByHistory yet, plus the music video for the titular track was so controversial that it was banned at her request a day after its network premiere and replaced by a new video. Said Dork Age ended with the well-received disco-influenced album ''Music/ConfessionsOnADanceFloor''.
** Her 2008 and 2012 albums ''Hard Candy'' and ''MDNA'' are considered to be this due to her being accused of WereStillRelevantDammit, while her 2015 album ''Rebel Heart'' was well-received by critics and praised as a return to form for her, which ended the Dork Age.
* Music/KatyPerry's fourth[[note]]Not counting her 2001 SelfTitledAlbum recorded under her birth name Katy Hudson, an album of [[ChristianRock Christian pop]] that, while not usually counted as part of her career, is a cult item among her fans.[[/note]] album ''Witness'' in 2017 snapped her mainstream success, being roundly criticized for overproduction, scattershot writing, lacking the catchiness of her best work (which many blamed on the lack of her longtime collaborator, the disgraced RecordProducer Dr. Luke), and sounding like everything else on the radio in the mid-late '10s. Perry's promise that the album would be taking a more political direction towards "purposeful pop" also left her open to criticism of her own problematic career choices, while a four-day Website/YouTube live stream to promote the album was filled with all manner of bizarre non-sequiturs that had people buzzing for all the wrong reasons. While ''Witness'' debuted at #1, it crashed hard with an 89% dropoff in sales during its second week, while the accompanying concert tour struggled to sell out the arenas that she was able to pack during her ''Teenage Dream'' and ''Prism'' days.
* Music/{{Prince}}'s phase of replacing his name with a symbol and insistence on being called "[[TheTropeFormerlyKnownAsX the artist formerly known as Prince]]" resulted in his being labeled as a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}. The era following his split from long-time record label Warner Bros. (1996-2003) definitely counts. To recap, Prince started to release his album on his own "NPG Records" imprint with various distributors, his tours mainly catered to a small but dedicated hardcore crowd, and he started to experiment with different styles of music, mainly Jazz in the latter half. To top it all off, Prince converted to Jehovah's Witnesses near the end of the 90s and decided to stray away from the vulgar, sexual image he initially became known for. The age ended in 2004, first with a high profile appearance Opening the 2004 Grammys with Music/{{Beyonce}}, and second with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His 2004 album ''Musicology'' and its corresponding tour marked his return to the main stream and becoming an in-demand live act.
* Creator/KenjiSawada has had two. First, his 1969 debut album ''Julie'' has been essentially disowned by him, having come out during a brief lineup hiatus for his band The Tigers and sounding vaguely easy-listening, with a simple studio orchestra and little to no live potential. Second, there was his second "self produced" period of 1995-1999 due to taking on increasingly avant garde musical direction (1995's ''Sur<-'' was stated to be IndiePop by Sawada himself) and frequently changing membership in his live band JAZZMASTER.
* [[Music/GirlsGeneration SNSD]]' "I got a Boy" is best described an erratic song without focus, and their subsequent song "Galaxy Supernova" was considered underwhelming at best.
* Music/BritneySpears' infamous CreatorBreakdown period in the mid-'00s counts as a personal Dork Age, if not a creative one. Her 2007 album ''Blackout'' received mixed reviews from critics but good ones from her fans (something that was [[CriticProof never unusual for her]]), and has since been VindicatedByHistory for the influence that its SynthPop sound had on late '00s/early '10s pop music. However, it was her first album to not go to #1 on the charts, as by that point in time, Britney was [[OvershadowedByControversy better known for her tabloid antics]] than for her music, which culminated in her losing custody of her children and being placed under the conservatorship of her father. This seemed to have done the trick in getting her life back on track; her following albums ''Circus'' and ''Femme Fatale'' were both smash hits that put her name back in the spotlight for the right reasons.
* Music/ScottWalker entered into such a phase in the early '70s. After the entirely self-penned ''Scott 4'' failed to chart, his following five albums consisted almost entirely of covers and outside compositions. These days, most fans just pretend that Walker's solo career [[FanonDiscontinuity stopped entirely]] until ''Climate of Hunter'' in 1984.

[[folder:Rock (non-metal)]]
* By the end of TheFifties, RockAndRoll in general had all but died, in part because of a form of AuthorExistenceFailure as the genre's stars all saw their careers come to a halt in one way or another. Music/ElvisPresley was drafted into the army, popular performers like Music/BuddyHolly and Music/EddieCochran died in accidents, Music/LittleRichard became born again and abandoned the genre, Music/JerryLeeLewis was ostracized for marrying a teenage cousin, Bill Haley moved to middle-of-the-road instrumental and {{country music}}, and Music/ChuckBerry went to prison. In the early '60s, Elvis was entering his own Dork Age (see below), and the rest of rock 'n' roll had been reduced to one novelty tune after another (such as The Twist). It took [[TheBritishInvasion the Brits]], previously alien towards rock but inspired by Haley, Elvis, Berry, and the others, to revive it and refine its form. One of these bands, rather obviously, was Music/TheBeatles.
* Music/{{Aerosmith}}:
** After becoming one of America's most successful bands in the '70s, Aerosmith went through one of music's most famous examples in the '80s after Joe Perry and Brad Whitford's departures in 1979 and 1981 respectively. Their two albums released during this period, ''Night In The Ruts'' and ''Rock In A Hard Place'', don't exist in any greatest hits compilations. When Joe and Brad returned, they had fallen so far it took a hip-hop collaboration with Music/RunDMC and 1987's ''Permanent Vacation'' to return them back to the spotlight. Their success since then has managed to be greater than their '70s heyday, and is considered the greatest comeback story in popular music history.
** Their stuff post ''Nine Lives'' is looked upon by many (even the band themselves) as a second Dork Age which continues today, depending on how you feel about "Legendary Child".
** In a way, the early '80s were a personal Dork Age for Joe Perry himself, as he tried going at it solo and went nowhere until rejoining Music/{{Aerosmith}}.
* There's argument over whether Music/{{AFI}} entered this or left it by switching their sound from hardcore punk to new wave glam rock.
* Music/TheBeachBoys:
** By 1966, the Beach Boys were regarded as one of the top innovators of pop music [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff (albeit mostly in the UK)]] with the release of their revolutionary album ''Music/PetSounds''. Brian Wilson, the band's leader (and the member most creatively involved in the making of ''Pet Sounds''), intended to follow up with an album called ''Music/{{SMiLE}}'', intended to be Brian's MagnumOpus. [[TroubledProduction Long story short,]] the project fell apart due to a multitude of factors (a few of which include Brian's rapidly declining mental health at the time and, depending on who you ask, [[TheScrappy Mike Love]]) and a stripped-down version called ''Music/SmileySmile'' was released in its place, to the disappointment of many (although the album has since been VindicatedByHistory), and [[CreatorBreakdown it all went downhill from there.]]
** Brian Wilson rapidly withdrew from the band from that point on, and his brothers, Carl and Dennis Wilson, rapidly took over leading the band for him as their songwriting abilities grew. This led to some cult-classics like ''Wild Honey'' and ''Sunflower'' [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic (the latter being considered to be one of the Boys' greatest albums)]]. Unfortunately, they were never able to achieve the same commercial success as their 1960s hits, nor did their albums come close to being as critically revered as ''Pet Sounds''.
** By 1973, Carl and Dennis's leadership diminished due to substance abuse and Dennis's struggling battle with his own inner demons, and in 1976, an attempt was made to bring Brian back to the band's forefront, which included making him tour with the Beach Boys again (he previously quit touring with them in 1965 due to mental health issues) and produce several more albums. The result was the underwhelming ''15 Big Ones'' and the [[BrokenBase love-it-or-hate-it]] ''The Beach Boys Love You''. Brian quickly receded back into the background as it quickly became clear that he was in no shape to continue touring or produce anymore Beach Boys albums, and spent the remainder of the 70s and most of the 80s undergoing therapy by the [[ControlFreak infamous]] [[PsychoPsychologist Eugene Landy]].
** At this point, Mike Love has taken role of the leader, and many fans agree that the band quickly went downhill under his leadership. Throughout this period, the Boys released a series of increasingly hated and poorly selling albums [[WereStillRelevantDammit (including a thinly-veiled attempt at catering to the disco crowd during the disco backlash)]], while their 1960s chart-toppers (in addition to Heroes and Villains and songs from Pet Sounds) dominated their live set to attract the nostalgic crowd. The death of Dennis Wilson in 1983 also served to be a serious blow to the band. Their reputation rapidly declined further, and by the end of the 70s, the Beach Boys were looked down upon by the mainstream as a [[AccidentalPun washed-up]] oldies band.
** However, in the mid-to-late-80s, the band managed to briefly propel themselves back into relevancy with their 1988 hit single "Kokomo", which was famously featured in the Creator/TomCruise movie ''Film/{{Cocktail}}''. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, although these days it's considered to be one of their worst songs. Mike Love, in an attempt to make lightning strike twice, spearheaded production for their 1992 album ''Summer in Paradise'' (their first and only album without ''any'' involvement from Brian Wilson whatsoever), intended by Love to be "the quintessential soundtrack of summer". It was promoted with the band guest-appearing on the popular sitcom ''Series/FullHouse'' (with one of the actors from the show, John Stamos, singing a reworked version of "Forever" on the album) and performing the album's lead single, "Summer of Love", on the action drama series ''Series/{{Baywatch}}''. Despite the band's best efforts, the album bombed spectacularly (selling only around 10,000 copies ever) and is considered to be the band's absolute worst album.
** The band attempted to follow up with a cover album of old Beach Boys songs sung by country singers, this time with Brian Wilson's (who was recently separated from Landy and administered proper treatment for his mental illnesses) involvement, albeit with little input from him. The result was ''Stars and Stripes Vol. 1'', which was a critical and commercial failure, failing to break the Billboard 200. [[FranchiseKiller Any further Beach Boys projects were shelved indefinitely]], and Carl Wilson died two years after the release of the album. The band limped through the 2000s as a live band while Brian Wilson distanced himself from the Beach Boys and went on to have a successful solo career ([[SavedFromDevelopmentHell including the completion and release of the long awaited]] ''[[SavedFromDevelopmentHell SMiLE]]''.)
** In short, the Beach Boys slowly went from one of the most critically acclaimed rock acts of all time to the industry laughing stock and back, and is presumed to be the reason why so many Beach Boys fans ''deeply'' resent Mike Love. While the albums that came after ''Pet Sounds'' and before ''15 Big Ones'' went on to become cult classics ([[BrokenBase again, YMMV on]] ''[[BrokenBase Love You]]''), people prefer to forget about anything they did after that. However, they finally climbed out of the dork age with the well-recieved 2012 reunion album ''That's Why God Made the Radio''.
* 2010's ''Neighborhoods'', the first album that Music/Blink182 recorded after ending their hiatus, endured a TroubledProduction, with all of the band's members choosing to record their parts separately due to both their schedules and lingering friction between them, communicating primarily through emails and their managers and only rarely recording together. It shows, with many fans deriding the album as stale, bland, too similar-sounding to Tom [=DeLonge=]'s side project Music/AngelsAndAirwaves, and feeling as though [[CreatorsApathy nobody involved was all that interested in making it]], an accusation that Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus themselves [[https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/blink-182s-hoppus-barker-blast-ungrateful-disingenuous-tom-delonge-20150126 later lodged at DeLonge]]. The album's failure led to blink-182 getting dropped from Interscope and [=DeLonge=] leaving the band, to be replaced by Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio. Their subsequent album with Skiba, 2016's ''California'', produced a BrokenBase; while many fans praised it as a return to form and felt that Skiba was a great replacement for [=DeLonge=], others missed [=DeLonge=]'s presence and thought that the band was just [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks coasting on their old formula]]. Regardless, it was a commercial success, becoming their second number one album (after 2001's ''Take Off Your Pants and Jacket'') and being nominated for a UsefulNotes/GrammyAward for Best Rock Album (their first such nomination).
* The Music/BlueOysterCult's ''Mirrors'' album - a deliberate move into a softer more pop-rock and above all commercial style - is thought of as this by most fans. That it succeeded the hard-rocking ''Music/{{Spectres}}'', thought of as one of their greatest albums, only added to the dissappointment. The band were perceived as returning to form afterwards with ''Cultosaurus Erectus'' and ''Fire of Unkonwn Origin'', but ''Mirrors'' remains pretty much their Dork Age. And the least said about the later ''Imaginos'', the better.
* The whole of Music/DavidBowie's fandom seems to consist of various factions who love and hate different phases of his decades-long career, due to his frequent sound/image makeovers.
** His 1967 self-titled debut, which he has since disowned as OldShame. His second album, now known as ''Space Oddity'', was originally a self-titled reboot.
** In his "canon" career, the huge success of 1983's mainstream-friendly, pop-rock ''Let's Dance'' made him more popular than ever before, even as it alienated longtime fans who regarded him as a sellout. That wouldn't have been so bad had he not acted against his better instincts and stayed with that sound for the next few years, with ''Tonight'' (1984) and ''Never Let Me Down'' (1987). Even he admits that he just must not have cared when he made the latter, though "Time Will Crawl" is a great song (actually, most of the singles from this period rode high on the charts -- they were just quickly forgotten). Side projects like the Live Aid "Dancing in the Street" video with Mick Jagger, ''Film/AbsoluteBeginners'', and ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' yielded more mockery from the press. The accompanying Glass Spider concert tour for ''Never Let Me Down'' was a money-spinner but razzed as overblown (although the [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome concert video]] of it has its fans), and Bowie was so miserable with it all that he considered giving up on music. Instead, getting out of ''this'' dork age led him into...
** The Tin Machine years of 1989-1992. Initially, his choice to eschew pop for a HardRock group where he wasn't supposed to be the FaceOfTheBand was welcomed by the British music press and listeners, but the bloom swiftly faded from that rose. (However, his solo Sound+Vision tour during this period went over well.)
** After Tin Machine came to an end, his output is dotted with studio albums that small-but-vocal chunks of the fandom regard as Dork Ages. ''Black Tie White Noise'' (electronic lounge pop, some numbers doubling as [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments dedications]] to his then-new wife Iman), ''Earthling'' (intelligent drum and bass ''just'' as it was falling out of favor), ''hours...'' (softer, more introspective fare that prompted Reeves Gabrels, the guitarist who collaborated with Bowie in Tin Machine and his other '90s works, to leave), and ''Reality'' (mainstream alt-rock) all have their haters. This leaves four mostly-loved albums -- ''1. Outside'', ''Heathen'', ''The Next Day'' and [[AuthorExistenceFailure his swan song]], ''Blackstar'' -- and consistently well-received tours.
* John Cale of the Music/VelvetUnderground was a drug-addled, overweight, mentally-unwell shell of his former self for a period in the early to mid-eighties. Fortunately, he cleaned himself up, but not before filming some very embarrassing live performances.
* Music/FleetwoodMac has had two. The first one was the early-mid '70s period with Bob Welch and between Peter Green's departure and the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The second was the period between Buckingham's departure and the reformation of the ''Rumours''-era lineup in 1997.
* Those Music/GangOfFour fans who preferred their rougher, harsher, punkier edge in albums such as ''Entertainment'' feel this way about their 1984 album ''Hard'', which was funkier and poppier than anything they'd released before. Others see ''Hard'' as a catchy, logical extension of the musical themes explored in their previous album, ''Songs of the Free'' (which included their most famous song, "I Love a Man in a Uniform").
* Music/GreenDay, a band that's been going strong for well over twenty years, naturally has some albums that aren't as fondly remembered as others.
** Their 2000 album ''Music/{{Warning}}'' was considered to be this at the time of its release, its GenreShift into {{Folk|Music}}, SkaPunk, and SurfRock as opposed to the PopPunk that made them famous leaving longtime fans polarized and the band fading from mainstream popularity. However, it's since come to be VindicatedByHistory for its songwriting, with "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" seen as one of the band's signature ballads.
** Nowadays, fans generally view the ''¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!'' trilogy of albums in 2012 as Green Day's creative low point. Coming off of their CareerResurrection in the mid-late '00s with ''Music/AmericanIdiot'' and ''Music/TwentyFirstCenturyBreakdown'', the three albums marked the band's most ambitious undertaking to date, with each album a GenreThrowback to a different style of classic rock (PowerPop, GarageRock, and ArenaRock respectively) in addition to expanding the band from a trio to a quartet when touring guitarist Jason White became the [[SixthRanger fourth member]] of the band. However, critics and fans alike saw the project as a regression from the themes of their two prior {{concept album}}s back into juvenilia and adolescent angst, which came off as [[WereStillRelevantDammit far less convincing]] when [[{{Manchild}} all of the band's members were pushing forty]]. The staggered release schedule of the three albums (they were all released separately within weeks of one another, rather than as one triple-album) also prevented singles from gaining traction on the radio before a new bunch of Green Day songs came to push them off. Even Billie Joe Armstrong sees ''¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!'' as an OldShame, saying that the band was directionless and [[https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/green_days_armstrong_admits_it_uno_dos_tre_trilogy_is_crap.html "prolific for the sake of it"]] and arguing that his drug abuse at the time affected the albums' quality. Their 2016 follow-up ''Revolution Radio'' wasn't particularly acclaimed, but it was still seen as [[WinBackTheCrowd a return to form]], and they and their fans haven't looked back.
* Music/BillyIdol went through one of these in the early '90s. Faced with waning popularity and flagging album sales, he attempted to reinvent his image (and cash in on the emergent hacker[=/=]{{cyberpunk}} subculture) in 1993 by replacing his [[EightiesHair bleached-blonde spiky haircut]] with bleached-blonde dreadlocks and releasing the album ''Cyberpunk'', a fusion of glam rock and electronic dance music. With the exception of the single "Shock to the System" (which was closer in style to his earlier work), the album's songs consisted of overwrought synthesizer riffs, pretentious monologues, and lines lifted directly from Creator/WilliamGibson novels. The album flopped hard: critics universally panned it, Billy's old fans were left feeling betrayed, and real cyberpunks saw him as a hopeless poser. Even though the album has managed to acquire a cult following in the following years, it's still universally agreed that the cover of the Music/VelvetUnderground's "Heroin" that appeared on this album is the absolute ''worst'' version of the song ever recorded.
* Much of the Music/{{Japan}} fan base is divided between those who preferred their glam rock era (''Adolescent Sex'', ''Obscure Alternatives'', et. al.) and those who preferred their New Wave/New Romantic era (e.g. ''Gentlemen Take Polaroids'' and ''Tin Drum''). David Sylvian himself considers the debut album (1977's ''Adolescent Sex'') "{{old shame}}" and his whole solo career has been an extension of the musical themes first explored with ''Tin Drum'', from the Eastern musical elements to the esoteric lyrics about such things as inner pain and loneliness.
* Fans of the Music/DaveMatthewsBand generally hate the albums ''Stand Up'' and ''Everyday'' for leaning towards a mainstream pop sound.
* In a rare case of by [[OldShame the band's own admission]], Music/{{Oasis}} had at least one of these. Noel Gallagher writes off much of the late '90s output, and also chunks of the mid '00s. On a greatest hits DVD, he even went so far as to ask why somebody didn't just to tell them to "stop".
* Music/PearlJam fans usually feel that the band had two of them.
** The first one took place from 1998 to 2002 (known as the "black" era because of the album covers), give or take a couple years. For many longtime fans, ''Yield'' was rather structured and post-grungey, ''Binaural'' was spacey and samey, and ''Riot Act'' veered too far into strange genres (folk, punk, Middle Eastern music, et cetera), [[UncommonTime odd time signatures]], and the overly confrontational and mean-spirited UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush criticism piece "Bu$hleaguer". Their self-titled 2006 effort, which largely returned to the band's roots, was better received and spawned more hits.
** Many fans consider the band to have been in a second one since 2012 or so, with their song "Olé!" considered uncharacteristically derivative and their following album ''Lightning Bolt'' (on which the song did not appear) bland and forgettable.
* The period between frontman Syd Barrett's leaving Music/PinkFloyd in 1968 and the band releasing either 1971's ''Meddle'' or 1973's ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'' is sometimes considered one of these. Understandable, since Barrett was responsible for virtually all of the band's material before he left. There is also a vocal part of the fanbase that considers the two albums from after Roger Waters left to be a Dork Age, though again, opinions differ considerably (generally, somewhat more bile is spewed at ''A Momentary Lapse of Reason'' than at ''The Division Bell''). Waters himself described ''Momentary Lapse'' as a "pretty fair forgery." Then again, Waters accused pretty much anything Gilmour did with the Floyd post-1985 as a "forgery" (except ''The Division Bell'', which was instead upgraded to "rubbish" and "nonsense from beginning to end"), given the band's in-fighting and power struggles. Waters' "Radio KAOS" from 1987 was equally '80s synth-driven, and later the production values became an OldShame to him.
* Music/ElvisPresley:
** The peak of Elvis' career ended when he was drafted into the US Army in 1958, but when he completed his service in 1960, he seemed poised for a comeback. Unfortunately, his manager Colonel Tom Parker pushed him into a film career, which saw him star in a long string of StrictlyFormula musical comedies that, while mostly successful at the box office, were almost universally panned by critics. Worse, the heavy production schedule (he was making two or three movies a year for the whole of TheSixties) was cutting into his music career. Most of the hits he had in the '60s came from the soundtracks to his movies, which were met with diminishing returns starting mid-decade as UsefulNotes/TheBritishInvasion caused his style of RockAndRoll to feel increasingly old-fashioned, and until his televised comeback special in 1968, he did not perform live after 1961 and only recorded one album of non-soundtrack music after 1962. By the time his career bottomed out with the failure of the film ''Clambake'' and its soundtrack in 1967, music enthusiasts saw him as a joke and his former fans saw him as a has-been. His comeback special inspired a CareerResurrection, and while he never again enjoyed the mega-stardom he had in TheFifties, he still found success as a country and adult contemporary musician. By the time he died in 1977, he had regained his position as pop music royalty and the King of Rock & Roll.
** That said, the last few years of his life, often derisively referred to as the "Fat Elvis" period (a term [[http://www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/bbs/jl_yo.playboy/lennon4.html popularized]] by none other than Music/JohnLennon), are remembered as a pretty ignoble way for a legend to go out. Starting in 1973, Elvis' health went into decline due to both drug addiction and a very heavy touring and production schedule, and before long, he was stumbling out of limousines high on barbiturates; after Elvis' autopsy, his doctor saw his license to practice medicine suspended for three months due to all the sedatives, amphetamines, and narcotics he had prescribed the singer. His divorce from his wife Priscilla also took a steep toll on his finances, leaving him less able to afford his extravagant lifestyle. A 1976 show in [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkState Syracuse, New York]] went down in history for all the wrong reasons when the ''Syracuse Post-Dispatch'' published [[http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/08/fat_puffy_has-been_elvis_panned_in_syracuse_video.html a scathing review]] calling him a "fat, puffy has-been" who [[CreatorsApathy seemed to be going through the motions]], while numerous other shows were canceled outright due to Elvis not being in good enough health to perform. That same year, Elvis' father Vernon, by that point also his ''de facto'' manager, fired three bodyguards who had been members of Elvis' "Memphis Mafia" clique, leading them to co-write a tell-all book called ''Elvis: What Happened?'' that came out shortly before his death in 1977. As [[UndignifiedDeath the final insult]], when Elvis finally died on August 16, it was in one of the bathrooms at his Graceland estate, leading to a popular {{urban legend|s}} claiming that he had died while sitting on the toilet (and many jokes about "the King on his throne").
* Many Music/{{Queen}} fans hate the disco album ''Hot Space'' with a passion. Releasing a {{disco}} album in 1982 proved to be a very poor move, and indeed [[PopularityPolynomial they fell out of favor]] [[AmericansHateTingle in the US]] for quite some time. The only song from it that most people will defend is "Under Pressure", the famous duet with Music/DavidBowie. Both John Deacon and Roger Taylor also expressed their dislike for it several times. On the other hand, Freddie virtually wrote its sequel for his debut solo project, and Brian[[note]]who also dislikes the album but argues that "Put Out The Fire" was a great song[[/note]] still claims that without it, there'd have been no [[Music/MichaelJackson "Thriller"]] (ridiculous as it sounds). Moreover, while most people tend to acknowledge "The Cosmos Rocks", some of the other activities Taylor have been involved with (e.g. recording with Britney Spears and 5ive) are treated as if they'd never happened.
* [[Music/TheRamones Dee Dee Ramone]]'s 1989 rap album ''Standing in the Spotlight'', recorded as "Dee Dee King". The only thing of value to come from it was the song "The Crusher", which was revived for the Ramones' last studio album, ''Adios Amigos.''
* Some fans of Music/{{Rush}} look at their mid '80s output as this, due to heavy reliance on sythesizers. There are, however, still some songs from this period that are considered classics.
* Music/{{Slade}}'s Dork Age started with the 1976 album "Nobody's Fools", a calculated attempt to appeal to American tastes (inspired by soul, blues rock and folk rock) which completely backfired, not only failing to find an audience in the States, but also all but destroying their career in the UK and Europe. The next four years would see a succession of desperate and often bizarre attempts at re-engaging the mainstream audience - Elvis covers, a football record, even notoriously the "Okey Cokey" - before their set at the 1980 Reading Festival brought them to a new hard rock / metal audience and a career resurrection that lasted into the mid-80s.
* Most fans of Music/TheSmashingPumpkins, despite differences in opinion on the later material, would like to pretend that ''Zeitgeist'' [[FanonDiscontinuity never happened]]. Billy Corgan's assertion that the existing concept of a band releasing an album is a dead one leading to his current ''Teargarden by Kaleidyscope'' releases may well prove to be a Dork Age in progress.
* Music/{{Supertramp}} and former [[FaceOfTheBand co-leader]] Roger Hodgson [[WereStillRelevantDammit tried desperately to update their sound]] in the mid-to-late '80s with then-modern synthesizers, drum machines, and '80s production techniques, with not always successful results. In Hodgson's case, not long after he released his synth-heavy, L.A. session musician-laden 1987 solo album ''Hai Hai'', he sadly [[HeroicBSOD fell out of a hammock and broke both his wrists, with doctors telling him that he would not be able to play music again]]. With therapy and determination, Hodgson got better, and returned to performing and recording by 1997, more fully embracing his classic styles and sounds.
* Music/TearsForFears lived its Dork Age with one album -- 1995's ''Raoul and the Kings of Spain''. While Roland Orzabal managed to score a hit album minus Curt Smith with the preceding release, 1993's ''Elemental'', and the 1995 album contained solidly good music, ''Raoul'' was a little bit too conceptual for some people and it basically flew under the radar.
* Opinions differ on whether this applies to Music/TheyMightBeGiants and their move away from their classic backing tape sound into a full band during the mid-90s. After the critical and commercial success of the albums ''Flood'' and ''Apollo 18'' they recruited live backing musicians for the release of 94's ''John Henry'' and 96's ''Factory Showroom.'' Fan and critical opinions of the records were muted at the time of their release, and due to their label Elektra's inability to market the albums they were not commercial successes. ([[VindicatedByHistory As time has gone by both albums have gained increased respect from TMBG's fanbase]], with guitarist John Flansburgh going on record to state that ''Factory Showroom'' is his favorite band release.) By the early 00's the band had worked the kinks out of their new sound, and went on to new acclaim from critics and fans, culminating in their first Billboard Top 40-charting album, 2012's ''Join Us.''
* Music/TokioHotel with the Humanoid Album. Arguably, that is. The band both lost and gained fans with this album, though it seems to be more on the lost side.
* Ween's ''12 Golden Country Greats'' was probably a deliberate attempt to create one.
* Because of Music/{{Weezer}}'s notorious BrokenBase over their older stuff versus their newer stuff, a proper DorkAge is hard to nail down and agree on. What CAN be said is that the band themselves directly apologized for the dance rock tracks on albums like ''Raditude'' and ''Hurley'' in the single "Back to the Shack". To quote the lyrics:
-->"I'm sorry guys I didn't realize/That I needed you so much/I thought I'd get a new audience/I forgot that [[DeaderThanDisco Disco sucks.]]"
* Many fans consider everything Music/TheWho did after Keith Moon's death to be an extended Dork Age. Even more will agree that it started with John Entwistle's death in 2002.
* To most fans of the British [[PostPunk post-punk]] outfit Music/{{Wire}}, their early '90s output almost certainly qualifies.
** ''The Drill'', made up entirely of variations on the band's revolutionary 1985 track "Drill", is interesting in concept but tedious in execution; ''Manscape'', on the other hand, is a continuation of the band's explorations in MIDI technology and programmed rhythm. The latter is notable for being the album that prompted long-standing drummer Robert Gotobed to leave the group, thinking that he had been rendered obsolete, which led to the band changing their name and not releasing another album as Wire until 2000. Both [=LPs=] have their defenders, and few will say that ''Manscape'' is completely devoid of good material "Torch It!", "Children Of Groceries", and "You Hung Your Lights In The Trees" are all fairly popular among fans of the band but likewise even fewer will call them flawless or deny that they are extremely dated (a rare quality in Wire's output).
** Depending upon who you ask, Wire's post-Gotobed tenure as Wir (roughly 1991-1996) may qualify, although most agree that ''The First Letter'' was a massive step up from ''Manscape''. (It even got them a minor hit with "So and Slow It Grows"). More controversially, some fans of the band's earlier and later work will dismiss their entire '80s/'90s output as this, citing the excess of digital synths and slicker production.
* Music/XJapan has been in one since 2008 according to the part of the fandom that believes they stopped being good in 1992 or 1996. Other fans think they were in a short one that ended around the 2010 Yokohama show or Lollapalooza, and others don't think they were ever in one.

* Whether Music/WeirdAlYankovic has ever had one of these is up to the individual fan (many fans like to joke that his losing the glasses, growing out his hair, and shaving his mustache is the closest he's come), but there are a sizable number who are seriously willing to dismiss everything from between ''Poodle Hat'' to ''Mandatory Fun'', when the parody songs became increasingly built around flash-in-the-pan singles ("Another Tattoo", for example, is a parody of the almost-unknown B.O.B./Bruno Mars "Nothing on You"). Not that this wasn't a problem before, but by ''MFT'', Al himself admitted he couldn't keep up with modern music on an album-recording schedule and abandoned albums entirely.