Johann Sebastian Bach was well-regarded as an organist in his time (with his compositions being seen as something of a side-note), and after his death in 1750, the only people who took his work seriously were a small number of German composers (although some great ones, such as Mozart and Beethoven). Even then, those composers focused on his keyboard work, mostly ignoring his other pieces. However, a biography of Bach in 1803, then Felix Mendelssohn's 1823 performance of the St. Matthew Passion led to a renewed interest in Bach's work, and then his acceptance as one of the greatest composers of Classical Music (broad sense) to have ever lived.
Today, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor is one of his most famous pieces - you know it as THEOminous Pipe Organ. It was once so obscure that the first known performance was 80 years after his death, and we don't even know exactly when it was written. We only even know of it from a random entry in a book of Bach's music - it was almost literally forgotten.
Gioachino Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville got off to a thoroughly rocky start. The libretto had been set earlier by a rival composer, Giovanni Paisiello, who took offense to Rossini composing his own version and sent a cabal of supporters to disrupt the opening night. Reportedly, they did so and then some, complete with hooting, laughter, and jeers. The performance also suffered from bad luck during staging, with one singer tripping and falling just before his big aria, being forced to sing it with a bloody nose. In addition, a wayward cat wandered onstage and refused to leave, finally being flung off by a cast member. Barber has since become Rossini's most famous and best-loved opera.
One of Ludwig van Beethoven's last works, the "Große Fuge" ("Great Fugue") in B♭ major, features the sort of complexity and dissonance that might still have been considered radical in the early 20th century. At the time of its premiere in 1826, it was dismissed by critics and audiences as being completely unlistenable; fellow composer Louis Spohr (who was, at the time, as famous and well-regarded as Beethoven, and is an example of this himself) described it as "indecipherable, uncorrected horror." It took more than a century for it to become widely regarded as a work of genius, though it is still quite challenging for some listeners.
At its premiere in 1805, Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major (Eroica), received mixed reviews for being too noisy and modern-sounding. To listeners of the time, modern music was still Haydn and Mozart; Beethoven's innovations and dissonances completely confused them. Fast forward a century or so, it is now one of his most celebrated works for the exact same reasons it was divisive back then.
The Violin Concerto from 1806 was unsuccessful at its premiere and languished in obscurity until 1844 when the legendary Joseph Joachim took it up and proved it was a masterpiece. It has since become one of the most popular Violin Concertos in the repertoire.
The finale of Symphony No. 9 in D minor, the "Ode to Joy", was despised by critics when first performed in 1824 and for a long time afterwards. Giuseppe Verdi called the symphony "marvelous in its first three movements, very badly set in the last. No one will ever surpass the sublimity of the first movement, but it will be an easy task to write as badly for voices as is done in the last movement." The finale became beloved during the late 20th century and is now considered one of his finest works and one of the greatest pieces of music ever written.
Hector Berlioz was a French composer who produced some of the most striking and memorable works of the early Romantic Period. Yet critics and audiences alike, especially in his native country, frequently dismissed him as a talentless hack whose compositional techniques left much to be desired. His melodic writing was seen as irregularly constructed, and his use of harmony and counterpoint was considered awkward and eccentric by several contemporaries accustomed to the stringent standards of more academically-oriented composers back then. Symphonie Fantastique, for example, was seen as shocking, even incomprehensible by many listeners at the time, though a few critics (most notably Robert Schumann) and a few notable composers such as Giacomo Meyerbeer and Franz Liszt, were impressed. It proved very influential on later music of the century, thanks to its clever orchestration, vivid use of programmatic elements, and pioneering use of idée fixe which foreshadowed Richard Wagner's use of Leitmotifs — and the work has been a cornerstone of the standard repertoire since the mid-19th century. Several other works, including his songs, three completed operas, church music for large forces (such as the Requiem), and lesser-known symphonic works such as the Symphonie funebre et triomphale remain performance rarities to this day despite being held in high regard by Classical musicians.
Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring caused a scandal (complete with yelling and fisticuffs between audience members) at its 1913 premiere because of its dissonant sonic palette and the primitive rawness of its choreography, though the piece entered the standard concert repertoire immediately afterward. Today, it is one of the most popular, important, influential and famous classical works of the 20th century.
The opera Carmen was not a great success when it premiered in Paris, France on 3 March 1875. Although the first act was well received as was the beginning of the second, the third and fourth acts were greeted with stunned silence. Fortunately, it was well received at the second premiere (this time in Germany) just seven months later; however, by that time Georges Bizet had already died (his death had nothing to do with the opera's failure). Today, Carmen is considered not only one of the world's greatest operas, but also one of the most popular operas ever written.
Scott Joplin, one of the greatest Ragtime composers. While he got some praise in the first decade of the 1900s, it would be in The '70s when Joplin's work hit the big time (thanks to the movie The Sting) with his greatest tune, "The Entertainer" becoming a Top 10 pop hit and himself getting a posthumous Pulitzer prize in 1976, among other major kudos. "The Entertainer" is now a Standard Snippet.
A particularly good example was his opera, Treemonisha. It was written in 1911 and partially performed in 1915; it wouldn't be performed in its entirety until 1972.
A major drawback for Joplin was that, while his songwriting talent cannot be denied, he never learned to play the piano on anything above a mediocre level. note (According to second-hand accounts, at least. He did record a few piano rolls near the end of his life, but these are not representative of his actual skills due to them being heavily edited and his syphilis-induced tremors and discoordination affecting his playing abilities.) Certainly, when a composer can't perform his own music very well, it becomes difficult for his genius to shine through.
Except for his songs and piano four-hands works, Franz Schubert's music was virtually unknown outside his immediate circle of friends during his lifetime. His piano sonatas were considered to be completely outclassed by Beethoven's, and his symphonies and chamber music were virtually unknown (the famous Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished") was only premiered 37 years after his death, the score being discovered posthumously). He is now regarded as one of the great composers of the 19th century; his Lieder and compositions are beloved by many listeners worldwide. His piano sonatas have slowly gained attention over the years, and his symphonies are performed and recorded regularly nowadays.
Bluebeard's Castle, Béla Bartók's sole opera, was rejected by the Hungarian Fine Arts Commission as unstageworthy when Bartok submitted it for an award. It wasn't performed until 5 years later, but is now considered one of Bartok's most important works, and, despite its unusually small cast causing some difficulty - it only has two main characters, and three silent roles, which is a little awkward if you have a large group of performers on retainer - it receives regular performance.
Erik Satie was seen as a musically lightweight artist during his lifetime. His minimalist approach was only reassessed as being well ahead of his time many decades later.
When Edward Elgar went to premiere his Cello Concerto in E minor in 1919, he and the performers were given little to no rehearsing time, due to Albert Coates overrunning his rehearsal time at Elgar's expense. The fact that World War I had just happened and brought about huge social changes didn't help at all. People wanted to forget the past and look to the future, so Elgar was now seen as old-fashioned. Due to its under-rehearsal, the premiere went as well as you'd expect. The concerto then fell into obscurity until Jacqueline du Pré recorded it in 1965 and brought it worldwide recognition; it is now one of the most popular Cello Concertos of all time.
Charles Camille Saint-Saens is somewhat of a downplayed inversion. While he remained a popular composer for most of his lifetime, ending with a state funeral upon his death, he was increasingly seen as an arch-conservative by many of the later French composers, while Saint-Saens increasingly grew hostile to the modernists like Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky. Nowadays, while he retains the acclaim shared by many of his peers, his music is still considered overlooked compared to other composers.
The 1897 premiere of Symphony No. 1 in D minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff was a total disaster; the orchestra was under-rehearsed and conductor Alexander Glazunov was reportedly drunk. Nonetheless, Rachmaninoff got the blame.invoked Critical opinion was so negative that he fell into a two-year depression where he wrote virtually nothing. Like all of Rachmaninoff's work, the symphony was re-evaluated after his death in 1943. Although Symphony No. 2 in E minor is still more popular, his First is now considered a significant achievement and a milestone in the history of Russian music.
Reception to Symphony No. 4 in F minor and Symphony No. 5 in E minor was initially very negative, particularly in the United States, whose critics at the time dismissed Russian music in general as barbaric. They have since become very popular and are now staples of the orchestral repertoire alongside Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Pathétique).
Gustav Mahler was known as a great conductor during his lifetime and did achieve a little success with his compositions (his Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Resurrection) and Symphony No. 8 in E♭ major (Symphony of a Thousand) were two of those few successes), but being a Jew meant he had to contend with fierce anti-Semitism that eventually pressured him into resigning from his job as director of New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Nazis labeling him as a creator of "degenerate music" obviously didn't help matters; by the end of World War II, his music was usually either disliked or ignored. Then highly-renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Leopold Stokowski began championing his works. He is now seen as an influential, innovative composer whose pieces are performed and recorded regularly.
Anton Bruckner was a highly polarizing composer in his lifetime; his critics, such as Johannes Brahms, pointed to the large size and extensive use of repetition in his symphonies. He was also widely maligned in Vienna as well, with only a few of his symphonies actually being performed while he was still alive. On the flip-side, he also had many a celebrity fan, such as Gustav Mahler, who was friends with Bruckner and called him his "forerunner", and Richard Wagner, whom Bruckner respected highly.note Symphony No. 3 in D minor is dedicated to Wagner; furthermore, the second movement Adagio of Symphony No. 7 in E major was written with his death and funeral in mind, since he was in poor health at the time. Advances in recording technology and the introduction of longer-playing records have only increased his reputation as one of the best Romantic Era composers; every one of his 9 numbered symphonies are now part of the standard classical repertoire.
Francis Poulenc was known for writing funny, light-hearted works, but in 1936 had a spiritual epiphany (his friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud was killed in a violent car crash) and henceforth alternated between his famous humourous style and more serious, religious works and more austere late duo sonatas. In contrast to his light-hearted works which have always been popular, his religious music was overlooked during his lifetime and for decades after his death in 1963. It took until the 21st century for that side of his music to be recognized and become frequently performed and recorded.
Franz Liszt was very controversial and polarizing during his lifetime. He was hailed as the greatest pianist of his age but heavily criticized for his compositions, particularly by Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and their supporters in what is now known as the "War of the Romantics". For example, the Sonata in B minor, now seen as the pinnacle of Liszt's output, was dismissed by Clara Schumann, who said it was "merely a blind noise"; Brahms reportedly fell asleep listening to Liszt perform it in 1853. There are still pieces by him not in the standard repertoire, but many pieces by him, particularly his piano pieces, are much more appreciated now than they were back then, and Liszt is now recognized as one of the most important 19th-century composers after Beethoven's death.
Felix Mendelssohn is an interesting case in that the neglect (and subsequent re-evaluation) didn't happen during his lifetime but shortly after his death. During his lifetime, he was pretty successful in Germany and even more so when he traveled to other European countries. Shortly after his death, however, influential figures like Heinrich Heine began to seriously question his talents. Richard Wagner, in particular, expressed hatred for his music and, motivated by fierce anti-Semitism against Mendelssohn's Jewish origins, wrote the infamous Jewishness in Music essay making many personal attacks on him and his contemporary Giacomo Meyerbeer. Then the Nazis happened, and it seemed that his reputation was forever doomed. Since the 1960s however, his music has been re-evaluated and noted for his creative originality, and has re-entered the musical canon, with H. L. Mencken declaring that "if Mendelssohn missed true greatness, he missed it by a hair".
The première of Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor by Johannes Brahms in 1859 was greeted with booing and hissing; it was only successful in one out of five early performances (the third) before Brahms withdrew it. While Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major is still seen as the better of the two due to Brahms having more experience when he wrote it twenty years later, No. 1 has been accepted as part of the repertoire and is doing very well.
The first performance of Jean Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D minor on 8 February 1904 was an utter disaster. The composer finished the work only a short time before its scheduled first performance, giving violinist Victor Nováček (a player known more for his pedagogical skill than his performing prowess) scant time to learn its extremely difficult solo part. Sibelius revised the work immediately afterwards and saw this later version successfully presented a year later. It has since entered the standard concerto repertoire for the instrument.
Opening night of the opera Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini was a catastrophe. The performance was under-rehearsed, the work having been finished at the last minute, and thus was insecurely presented. The audience jeered, hissed, laughed, and yelled throughout the performance, at one point catcalling that the main female character was pregnant! To make matters worse, the audience had been given bird whistles to blow into, meant to accompany the dawn after Butterfly's sleepless night; these were instead used to general disruptive effect by the audience. Puccini hastily pulled the work after opening night and revised it. It subsequently met with great success and immediately entered the operatic repertoire.
Charles Ives is now considered the first significant United States composer and an early avant-garde icon, but recognition for his greatness did not come until near the end of his life. Ives spent most of his adult years as a life insurance salesman and insurance company co-owner, composing on the side during nights and weekends in his spare time — in fact, he was very well-known in the former field via the publication of the book Life Insurance with Relation to Inheritance Tax while his music languished in obscurity, almost never played. His music career breakthrough came in 1939 at age 65 (thirteen years after being forced to give up composing for health reasons) with the premiere of the Concord Sonata by pianist Ralph Kirkpatrick; his Symphony No. 3 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1947, seven years before his death. Nevertheless, several of his finest works remained unperformed until after his death — most notably his Symphony No. 4, which was not premiered in full until 1965.
Until fairly recent years, many composers from ethnic minority groups (e.g. women composers, black composers, etc.) were neglected in favour of white male composers during their lifetimes, due to a lot of Western society at the time believing that women and black people were inherently inferior by default. Even those who did manage to achieve some success like the French composer Louise Farrenc were quickly forgotten after their deaths. Starting from the late 20th century, many composers outside of the white, male field have begun to be rediscovered and re-evaluated, with many groups dedicated to making their music known to more people.
Charlie Parker: Once seen as a cacophonous musician just noodling about, he was re-evaluated after his death as a genius and an innovator, effectively paving the way for bebop and free jazz.
Thelonious Monk: Early in his career he was seen as an eccentric, but later he became respected as someone who was way ahead of his time.
Spike Jones: Very popular during the 1940s and 1950s, but most people only saw him as a musical clown, parodying hits and doing sketches and skits more typical of a circus act than a regular musician. As a result, nobody took him seriously and failed to see that his arrangements and orchestrations were actually quite complicated to pull off, especially considering that it was all done live! Only after his death did music historians finally merit him.
Norah Jones: Although her early work has gotten her some backlash, her 2009 album, The Fall was seen as a betrayal to her overall jazz sound. However, as time has gone on, it's become recognized as one of the greatest breakup albums of all time and a hell of a grower. It's seen now as more of a Blues/Jazz fusion record.
Miles Davis: His funk-influenced 1972 album On the Corner was critically panned and a commercial failure upon its release. Now it's recognized as a huge influence in the development of hip-hop, electronica, and drum and bass, as well as being one of his best albums. His 1974 album Big Fun received the same treatment as well, though it was more a case of being ignored. Four ~25-minute songs coming out at the start of the disco era will do that to you. On the Corner inspired vitriolic hatred because jazz purists saw Miles' increasing use of tape editing and rock/funk influences (including the use of electric instruments) as ruining jazz purity. His wont for On the Corner to be mastered for AM radio fidelity simply so kids would hear his new album and get back into listening to him instead of James Brown was the last straw for some fans.
Taking a broader view, the fusion era in general; at the time, Miles and Teo Macero editing performances on those records was very controversial and alienated jazz purists, but the albums are now recognized as masterpieces.
John Coltrane is now one of the most respected and even beloved figures in jazz, but during his career, he was one of the most divisive, with some critics accusing him of being an 'enemy of jazz' and suchlike.
Robert Johnson was an obscure blues artist during the 1930s who was only known in his own state. The legend and mystery surrounding his life have helped him gaining notoriety and acclaim after his death. Today he is for most people the most well-known blues singer of the interbellum.
Frank Zappa's music wasn't very successful in his lifetime. He did receive some critical attention and a loyal cult following, but since his work was such a Genre Roulette from the start, rock fans, jazz fans or classical music fans all had the idea he operated in a different genre from theirs. Thus, they mostly ignored him. Other people were put off by either his intellectualism or the bawdy sex comedy he used in his songs. The latter aspect was also the reason why some people saw him more as a kind of musical clown/novelty artist, like Spike Jones. Since Zappa's death in 1993, his reputation has only grown. His collaborations with classical orchestras, like London Symphony Orchestra, The Perfect Stranger and The Yellow Shark have gained him more respect as a classical composer too. There's no doubt that in the centuries to come, he will be regarded as one of the most important composers of his time.
Ringo Starr's work as drummer gained quite a bit of retroactive appreciation after the albums were remastered and his fills became more audible.
Pete Best greatly appreciated his inclusion on ten tracks of The Beatles Anthology 1, not only for the royalties he received, but because the tracks vindicated him as a drummer, dispelling rumours caused by his dismissal that he was a substandard musician who couldn't keep time.
During The Beatles' later years, their post-Sgt. Pepper work got mixed reviews upon their release. The Beatles (The White Album) was criticised for its satirical songs in a turbulent, political climate, as well as for its lack of coherence stemming from tensions flaring between the band-members. Abbey Road got flack for its overuse of synths, which made the album feel overproduced to many. In the years since their release, both are now considered among the greatest albums of all time for those very reasons.
When Gram Parsons died in 1973, he was only known as a former member of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers who'd released a flop solo album. Gradually, people began to realise that he'd invented country-rock.
Dusty Springfield had only one hit from 1969's Dusty in Memphis, "Son of a Preacher Man". The album itself was a flop. Today, Dusty in Memphis is recognized as one of the finest albums of the 1960s.
The Monkees' show was relatively popular and well-received in The '60s (even winning two Emmys), and their records were top-sellers, but after the group was "discovered" to have been manufactured, anyone who wanted to look remotely hip or intellectual completely disavowed them. A couple decades later, an MTV marathon of the show and Rhino's re-releases of their albums incited renewed interest in the Monkees' music. As the story of the band's successful overthrow of their musical puppet-masters became more widely known, and the legitimate innovations and influences became more apparent (Michael Nesmith, for example, should be credited alongside Gram Parsons for inventing country rock), they finally started getting some critical respect for the music they made post-overthrow.
When Alex Chilton died in early 2010, his obituary in The New York Times noted that his band Big Star "left a legacy more easily measured in artistic influence than in commercial impact."
Nick Drake. Although he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, Drake's work has grown steadily in stature, to the extent that he now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years.
The band was initially trashed by music critics, including Rolling Stone (though they actually praised Physical Graffiti when it came out, calling it "the band's Tommy, Beggars Banquet and Sgt. Pepper rolled into one.") There's also a brutal Melody Maker review of Led Zeppelin III that seemed to be Jimmy Page's Berserk Button for a while. Now, of course, both publications have "revisited" those assessments after Led Zeppelin fans grew up and began writing for them.
Presence was initially dismissed even by those who liked the band, but its stature has improved a lot in the intervening years, in no small part due to the three major works on it, "Achilles Last Stand", "Nobody's Fault but Mine", and "Tea for One". The other songs aren't bad either. It's not uncommon for people to cite "the first seven Zeppelin studio albums" as being the band's essential works these days.
As a general rule, most notable '70s hard rock/heavy metal bands get this. Aerosmith and Black Sabbath were slammed by critics when they first became popular, but in the decades since have earned respect as pioneers.
Sixto Rodriguez's two albums were well-received but bombed completely in sales in the United States in the early 1970s. However, thanks to being the most extreme example of Germans Love David Hasselhoff, he found himself a star in South Africa (and Australia and New Zealand) decades later. That bizarre story led to a well-received documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, which led to him finally getting some much-deserved media attention at last in America as a long overlooked musical star.
The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle was released in 1968 to little critical or commercial notice - it probably didn't help that the band broke up shortly before its release due to its being a bit of a Troubled Production. After several flopped singles, "Time of the Season" became a surprise hit the following year, and this was enough to get the album a re-release, but it wasn't that much more successful. Nowadays Odessey and Oracle is critically acclaimed and regularly shows up on "Greatest Albums of All Time" lists, and "Time of the Season" keeps turning up in Nothing but Hits soundtracks to films or TV shows set in The '60s.
Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica hardly sold at all in 1969 and the few who heard often found it hard to tolerate. Over the decades, the album has been re-appreciated as a milestone in music history, inspiring countless alternative rock bands ever since.
Brian Eno is said to have joked that "only about 1,000 people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every one of them formed a rock and roll band." That's especially true for the two first VU albums, The Velvet Underground & Nico and White Light/White Heat, which were widely criticized for being vulgar noise at the time. Because of their early-career penchant for lyrics with controversial subject matter (drugs, sexual deviancy) and an abrasive avant-garde influenced musical style, the group's singles and studio albums saw no commercial success whatever, and the band's work generally met with critical indifference. In the US, none of their albums charted higher than number 129, and none of the group's songs reached the Top 100. They also lost a lot of potential customers because many rock fans were under the impression that the Velvet Underground was merely Andy Warhol's backing band, which wasn't the case at all. The group is now considered to be one of the most influential in rock music history, providing a blueprint for every punk, indie, and new wave band that followed, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
The band has always been popular, but they were a bit overshadowed during the 1960s by the success of The British Invasion bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks. Plus, many people incorrectly saw them as a Surf Rock band still trying to cash in on that fad, long after it was over. As a result, much of their music has only been rediscovered and re-appreciated as magnificent songwriting and arranging in the decades afterwards.
Sunflower was a major flop in the US when it was first released (it peaked at #151). The passage of time helped heal its standing considerably. This can also be said for everysingleoneoftheirnote While Surf's Up reached #29 in the U.S. and #15 in the UK and sold better as well in contrast to Sunflower's lackluster initial reception, its two US singles, "Long Promised Road"/"'Til I Die" and "Surf's Up"/"Don't Go Near the Water", failed to chart and peaked at #89, respectively.albums that came after Smile, up to Holland.
Suicide was made up of Martin Rev on synthesizer - from which he played little more than a drum loop and a repetitive synth melody - and Alan Vega on vocals, the duo referred to their music as "punk, funk & sewer music" and, even in the thick of the emerging Punk Rock scene, got a lot of backlash in the late 70s due to their confrontational, abrasive performances, where Vega tended to tunelessly chant and scream the lyrics over Rev's sparse song structures. (One particularly infamous performance in Brussels, opening for Elvis Costello, wound up enraging the audience into a riot.) However, their cold, alienating music was so powerful that it had a major hand in giving rise to Synth-Pop, modern Electronic Music, Post-Punk and Industrial; it also ended up influencing countless musicians. Not bad for two lunatics who pissed off a lot of drunk rock fans almost nightly.
Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney wasn't kindly received by critics in 1971. Jon Landau, writing for Rolling Stone, infamously deemed it "inconsequential", "monumentally irrelevant" and "the nadir of the decomposition of Sixties rock thus far". A. J. Weberman of the Rock Liberation Front was so affronted by an album that "said nothing about what was happening on the street" that he staged a mock funeral to symbolize Paul's death as a "representative of youth culture". Ringo Starr sounded concerned for Paul's mental health when asked what he made of the album: "I feel sad with Paul's albums because I believe he's a great artist, incredibly creative, incredibly clever, but he disappoints me on his albums. I don't think there's one tune on the last one, Ram... he seems to be going strange" — John Lennon's reaction was that the whole album was a shot at him. Forty-odd years later, Ram has at least three tribute albums and is regarded as a proto-indie pop masterpiece and one of Paul's best albums, if not his best, period. It received glowing reviews when remastered and re-released in 2012 (including 4½ stars from Rolling Stone). It's unlikely to ever be considered among his best work, but after being universally reviled for many years, in The New '10s it's at last become acceptable to admit to enjoying "We All Stand Together".
Paul McCartney in general was critically reviled as a soppy, over-whimsical soft-rock artist in The '70s, especially by critics still upset at the Beatles' break-up in 1970. It didn't help that he received lots of negative press (and a very public feud with John Lennon) in the early '70s during the Beatles' legal battles (he received legal advice that he had to sue the other Beatles to indict Allen Klein, which rubbed his band-mates the wrong way) and his appearance in Let It Be made him look like a dominating Control Freak. Years later, his albums would be critically re-evaluated as they were reissued in 2009.
They were banned from touring in America from 196569. This led Ray Davies, the band's main songwriter, to start changing his writing style towards more English topics and creating albums such as The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). While both received critical acclaim upon release, they did not receive the same thing commercially; the former only sold about 100,000 copies initially worldwide (25,000 of which was in America). It has since become their best-selling album. The latter has been named on record by Mick Avory, the band's longest-serving drummer (and second longest-lasting member), as his favorite.
While obscure in their time, they are now widely acknowledged through their influence on future musicians, songwriters and independent bands. Pete Townshend called Ray Davies the greatest songwriter of his generation. It's not uncommon these days to see The Kinks placed alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who as the Big Four of the British Invasion.
At the time of Hunky Dory's release, Bowie was still known as a One-Hit Wonder for "Space Oddity"; the album's first-run sales were middling, and the one single ("Changes") was a blip in the States and failed to chart in Britain. Fast forward five months to a little album called The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars... the album is now frequently cited as his second-best or even best, often making "best album" lists, even outselling Ziggy itself by the end of the year. "Changes", "Queen Bitch" and especially "Life on Mars?" are now regarded as classics, with the first and last of those three being candidates for Bowie's Signature Song.
Bowie's minimalist, synth-heavy "Berlin Trilogy" of the late 1970s (Low, "Heroes" and Lodger), on which he collaborated with Brian Eno and Robert Fripp, were misunderstood and low-selling by his previous standards (though "Heroes" was NME's Album of the Year for 1977). Now they're noted for influencing Synth-Pop, New Wave and Ambient music. The title track of "Heroes", which didn't make waves as a single, is now one of his most recognized and beloved; it is also a candidate for his Signature Song.
Station to Station was re-evaluated, as it is an interesting transitional work with both blue-eyed soul influences lingering from the previous album (Young Americans) and some interesting experiments in the direction of Low.
While Bowie's work as part of Tin Machine was met with middling to outright hostile reviews in its time, in the years since the band has gone on to receive considerable acclaim from retrospective reviewers and has been recognized as being a significant influence on 1990s Alternative Rock and especially grunge. Nowadays, the Tin Machine era is regarded as one of Bowie's most underrated, rivaled only by the Berlin Trilogy. It helps that Bowie himself regarded the band as being crucial to his renaissance as a solo artist in the years after they disbanded.
Some of Bowie's post-Tin Machine work was reevaluated in the wake of the success and popularity of his post-retirement albums The Next Day and ★. 1. Outside in particular is now considered a classic among die-hard Bowie fans. For example, a popular Bowie blog ran a poll in 201516 for his best albums, where it came in at ninth.
My Chemical Romance were successful during the 2000s, but they had the misfortune of being the poster boy for emo culture, which was one of pop culture's go-to punching bags at the time. Only after their break-up have many review sites and magazines realized how great and important to their generation they were, with even Rolling Stone in their album guide calling The Black Parade "an instant classic".
Elton John began as a critical darling, though not without his share of harsh criticism, until his "glam period" when he decided to wear funny glasses and costumes, and dropped the orchestral, somber "singer-songwriter" style for a more radio-friendly sound. Charges of "one-handed piano-player" and "disposable" came his way as he dominated the pop charts and news headlines. The negative reviews even came as early as 1971; Elton mentioned in an interview he did for a BBC special he filmed to promote Madman Across the Water that a review mentioned an album he played on was good even though it had Elton John in it. It got very intense at the height of his can-do-no-wrong "glam" period (197276). As he fell off the pop charts, albums like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy began to be considered classics. He came under fire again in The '90s as a "soft rocker", but as the 2000s and 2010s came along, his music gained new respect and hipness.
While Linda Ronstadt has always been recognized for her singing talent and well-respected among her classic rock-era peers, she divided critics and the public during the 1970s. She was hated by country music fans who viewed her as the era's Taylor Swift and not a real country act, at the same time being a popular object of scorn among male rock music fans who viewed her as an annoying scrappy who didn't deserve to rub elbows with their favorite artists. (This also reflects the social attitudes of the time, as rock music was then-male dominated, and Ronstadt was one of the first women to assimilate into and find commercial success within the genre). She also received significant tabloid scrutiny when she dated Governor of California Jerry Brown for a good chunk of his first two terms in office. When the classic rock-era musicians fell off the charts and became legacy acts in the 1990s, Ronstadt found herself treated often as The Chew Toy, such as when she was ruthlessly mocked for her substantialweight gain or when she got evicted from the Aladdin Theatre in Las Vegas in 2004 for her anti-George W. Bush comments during a concert. However, over time Ronstadt came to be universally praised as one of the greatest singers of her generation and a trailblazer who helped paved the way for women in rock music. Her 1970s albums have received a more positive re-evaluation, with her breakthrough album Heart Like a Wheel being judged as a landmark of the era and one of the greatest albums of all time. She has been the subject of numerous tributes in the 2010s, including two Lifetime Achievement Grammy Awards in 2013 and 2016, Heart Like a Wheel being selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2013, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and being awarded the National Medal of Arts and Humanities by Barack Obama in 2014, and she is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019. As she has been in declining health after her retirement due to Progressive supranuclear palsy (originally diagnosed as Parkinson's disease), the tributes have a feel of atonement, and could be seen as a means of the public ensuring that Ronstadt receives her dues while she is still able to participate in them.
Stevie Nicks only received a mediocre reception from critics and was also treated as a Scrappy by rock fans in her time, but has since been universally praised as one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time and cited as an influence among many of the female rock singers who emerged in her wake. Most notably, she is the first woman to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist).
Lou Reed's 1973 album Berlin was torn down by critics back then, but has eventually found acclaim as a great record.
Mariya Takeuchi's single Plastic Love was merely a modest success back in 1984, selling 10,000 copies in Japan before quickly fading into obscurity. That is, until 2017, in which a user by the name of Plastic Lover, uploaded an extended version of the song onto Youtube, which saw the single recieve a massive boom in popularity and acclaim, quickly kickstarting and becoming the face of the City Pop resurgence in the mid-to-late 10s. As an example of the song's resurgance in popularity, back in 1984, the single had only mananged to obtain a #84 rank on the Japanese music charts, by contrast, when Warner Music Japan rereleased the single in 2021, it was listed as #5 on those same charts, becoming a top-ten single after 37 years.
The band was regularly panned by music critics during the 1970s, due to their pomp and general goofiness. Then-renowned music critic Dave Marsh even called them "the first truly fascist rock band." After their disco-centric 1982 album Hot Space flopped, they were more-or-less written off as relics of '70s flamboyance and excess (although they did have a hit in 1984 with "Radio Ga Ga"). However, their monumental performance at Live Aid in 1985, Freddie Mercury's early death in late 1991 and their 1975 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" from A Night at the Opera appearing in the popular 1992 comedy Wayne's World caused a major resurgence in the band's popularity, with many critics seriously reconsidering their prior dismissal of the band. They are now almost unanimously considered to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
Their final album released before Freddie Mercury's death (Made in Heaven, the final album to feature Mercury as the vocalist, was released posthumously in 1995), 1991's Innuendo, was predictably slammed by critics upon release and mostly ignored by the general public. However, once it was revealed that Mercury was dying during its recording (his diagnosis didn't go public until mere hours before he died), the album's mix of silliness/goofiness and serious life questioning made much more sense. It's now considered by many fans and critics to be one of the band's best albums.
Suede's second album, Dog Man Star, saw lukewarm reception and so-so sales upon release, but is now commonly considered to be one of their two best albums alongside their debut album.
The Ramones' first record, Ramones peaked on the Billboard charts at #111, and while subsequent releases would fare somewhat better (1980's End of the Century made it all the way to #44), none would even be remotely considered hits. Only four songs by them entered the Billboard charts; none made the Top 40. Today, they are considered one of the most important rock bands of all time for writing a huge chunk of the blueprint for punk rock.
The Stooges and Kyuss didn't sell many records, but are now acknowledged as the godfathers of punk and stoner metal.
Green Day's 2000 album Warning: was shrugged at by critics and fans due to its Lighter and Softer sound, actually getting some flak for having this sound coming from one of the mainstream's most apathetic rock bands. It also became the band's worst commercial performance, being their only major-label album to not reach multi-platinum status. However, in time, people admitted that the album really was great, but severely underrated. Some even call it the band's best effort for its songwriting.
Jean-Michel Jarre's signature albums Oxygène and Équinoxe received mostly negative reviews at the time of their release, as the contemporary music press was more interested in the developing UK punk scene and thus hostile to most electronic music; one review of Équinoxe outright called it boring. Today though, both albums are considered electronica classics.
Swiss metal band Hellhammer were generally hated when active, and brought down reception of Celtic Frost, the band that formed immediately after Hellhammer's break-up. These days, they are seen as one of the most influential metal bands in history.
While it was an immediate critical hit and minor commercial success Stateside, Kate Bush's The Dreaming was both a critical and commercial failure in its native UK when it was originally released, mostly for being simply too experimental and difficult. Today it's considered to be one of her best albums (or even THE best, depending on who you're asking) and generally one of the best and most daring albums of the '80s.
The self-titled album by folk punk trio Violent Femmes flopped upon release, but slowly gained a cult-following and quietly turned platinum about a decade after its 1983 release. Its lead single "Blister in the Sun" went being thought of as a cute novelty song to one of the most important alternative rock songs ever written in roughly the same amount of time, largely due to the Colbert Bump it got from the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack.
Dazzle Ships, the fourth album by Synth-Pop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark met with terrible reviews and poor sales upon its release in 1983 because of the weird, incomprehensible musique concrète that comprises half the record and the experimental nature of the actual songs on the album. After its failure, the band resigned to never do anything as experimental again and eventually settled into writing pop songs like "So in Love" and "If You Leave". Contrast this reception with the critical hosannas it received when re-issued in 2008.
Dwight Yoakam may have had critical acclaim and decent hits during his prime, but nobody really thought of him as anything legendary... then in the late 2000s, new country artists were popping up listing Yoakam as a key influence. He had a strong influence on Alternative Country and may very well have been the genre's first artist. Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room and This Time are now considered classics.
Electric Light Orchestra's album Balance of Power received mixed reviews in the US, and decidedly negative reviews in the UK. For two decades it was something of a black sheep among fans. It was marginalized by many ELO resources in print and online, including the liner notes for the hits collections Afterglow and Strange Magic. There were even rumours that Jeff Lynne just threw something together to fulfill his contract, which he denies (his claim is supported by ELO archivist Rob Caiger, who says the 34-minute album was condensed down from 4 hours of material). The 2006 expanded remaster caused Balance of Power to be re-evaluated by fans and critics alike.
Almost every shoegazing band is far more popular and acclaimed now than they were back then. Some notable examples:
Slowdive: Called "worse than Hitler" by Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, this band is now beloved for their more subtle approach to the genre. Souvlaki is hailed as a modern-day classic, when it was originally hated by fans and critics for still trying to be shoegazing, despite it being a dying fad.
Ride: While their first two albums, Nowhere and Going Blank Again, are widely considered their best, they're still far from being praised as much as My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Nowadays, the band is one of many gateways into shoegazing.
Lush: Although they were well-received critically throughout their original run and were the most successful shoegazing band on American alt-rock radio, they weren't considered one of the more important bands of the genre. Nowadays, a lot more people (especially in the US) have recognized just how good they were back then.
Catherine Wheel: Although they changed their sound to a more mainstream alternative rock style and kept having hits on American rock radio after the shoegazing scene ended, their final album Wishville wasn't received very well upon its original release, leaving much of their earlier work forgotten (Wishville now has a growing fanbase, though). Ferment and Chrome are now both seen as classics of not only Shoegazing, but Hard Rock as well.
Kitchens of Distinction: Originally seen as a rip-off of The Smiths because their vocalists sounded similar. Upon further evaluation in the 2000s, though, the band has seen a great improvement in critical opinion. The Death Of Cool has been getting more and more praise for its subtle drama and capturing the fear of the AIDS epidemic. Patrick Fitzgerald, the band's lead singer, even expressed that he felt cursed that nobody quite understood the album at the time.
The Boo Radleys: Originally only majorly popular in Britain, their albums Giant Steps and Wake Up! have both been seen as shoegazing and britpop classics respectively. America and several other countries have finally become much more familiar with them.
Pale Saints: Really obscure and barely even reviewed back during their existence. Nowadays, their albums and EPs get swiped up on eBay because of how much their stature has grown. They command a pretty penny because they barely sold in the day.
The Church were highly under-appreciated in their early days. Even with the hit song "Under the Milky Way", they were just considered a One-Hit Wonder. Enter into the 2010s with a new appreciation emerging from Dream Pop revivalism, The Church have been embraced by many music lovers. They are often labelled as being the band that innovated Australian Alternative Rock (like what The Smiths did for the UK, and R.E.M. for the US).
Then there's the album Heyday, which at the time was lambasted by critics for missing much of the soloing and stripped-down orchestrations of their previous work. The addition of strings and horns were not well received, and when Starfish was released, many critics embraced it as a refreshing return to form. As of right now, fans will very likely prefer Heyday to Starfish or The Blurred Crusade and has even gone on to be recognized by some critics to be the definitive Church album.
The band's debut, The Stone Roses, was given a disappointing 6/10 by NME when first released in 1989. In 2006, it was given the crown of Greatest Indie Album of All Time by the same publication.
Their second album, Second Coming, (aka "The 'I Like It' album") was panned by both critics and fans when it first came out. It didn't help that a contract dispute stalled the band from performing and recording for four years, resulting in the long wait between the albums. Subsequently, when the album was released, the British music scene changed drastically with the popularity of rave and Britpop acts, while grunge and alternative music revolutionized music in America, leading to Second Coming losing its luster. The Stone Roses broke up in the shadow of the Britpop bands that the band influenced, but both their first and second albums are hailed as British post-Beatles classics.
Jellyfish made only two unsuccessful (or moderate successful) albums and was not a precursor to a commercially successful nor critically acclaimed musical movement, but many modern acts associated with Alternative Power Pop can claim to be influenced by the band, so much so that a boxed set (Fan Club) and an all-star tribute album (Sensory Lullabyes: The Ultimate Tribute to Jellyfish) were released in the years following the band's break-up. The band's two studio albums have since been remastered and re-released on vinyl by an independent label.
The Manic Street Preachers were initially viewed as Guns N' Rosesimitators whose albums, mixing glam style with political punk fury, were viewed as out of touch with the depressing grunge scene stateside and the trendy shoegaze and Britpop scenes in the UK. Their third album, The Holy Bible, was darker and more depressing than the ones that preceded it. The album was not critically and commercially successful, since troubled lyricist Richey Edwards' self-destructive antics and lyrics were considered to be shallow attempts for attention (it didn't help that, before the band released their debut, he slashed "4REAL" on his arm in front of a sceptical journalist). It turned out that he really did have issues after all, and his disappearance/apparent suicide on the eve of the band's American tour derailed the band's ambitions for success. They have since found success by mostly toning down their act; their first three albums are regarded as posthumous classics.
Mark Kozelek spent much of his career in obscurity and commercial under-performance. While always critically acclaimed, many of his albums made by Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon went under the radar of many music listeners. However, after having his music talked about by devoted fans on /mu/ and The Lost Media Wiki, many listeners started to catch on. Then, in 2014, Sun Kil Moon's album Benji was lauded with critical praise (most notably by Pitchfork, who gave it a 9.2). People listened to it out of curiosity and realized how emotionally deep and genuine the performance was. Listeners took a listen to not just the rest of Sun Kil Moon's discography, but Red House Painters as well and found themselves captivated. While Benji is still well-loved, albums like Ghosts of the Great Highway, Songs for a Blue Guitar, and especially Rollercoaster have been seen as some of the best albums ever created. To put things into perspective, take a look at how Rollercoaster was originally ranked at around 22 or 23 in the year 1993 on Best Ever Albums.com, but has since been climbing at a rate that is faster than most albums climb on the list.
Temple of the Dog:
Their only album, Temple of the Dog. When it was first released, no one noticed it. Later in the year, the two bands which had members in Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, achieved mainstream success with Ten and Badmotorfinger respectively. Due to the popularity of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, the album eventually sold a million copies, and is now considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the greatest grunge records ever made.
Temple of the Dog was a tribute to Mother Love Bone, whose lead singer died of heroin overdose in 1990. Chris Cornell who was roommates with him for the longest time felt heartbroken over the loss of his dear friend. Mother Love Bone themselves are considered one of the greatest grunge acts in existence by those who have heard of them (rivaling Nirvana for many). Mother Love Bone, though still quite obscure, are much more acclaimed now than they were back in their heyday.
They Might Be Giants departed from their signature guitar/accordion/drum sampler sound during the mid-90s with the release of two albums: 1994's John Henry and 1996's Factory Showroom, both of which showcased the duo working with a full, conventional band lineup of guitars, bass, and drum kit. The albums were initially released to middling-to-negative reviews, and despite John Henry rendering the group's highest Billboard album charting (Until 2009's Join Us) neither album was particularly successful commercially. Cut to decades later, when both albums have rendered live staples out of tracks, ("New York City", "James K. Polk", "Meet James Ensor", "The End of the Tour", and others) entire concerts have been dedicated to performances of the albums themselves, and guitarist/vocalist John Flansburgh has since gone on record to name Factory Showroom as his favorite of the band's discography.
Despite being their lowest charting single at the time, performing so poorly that plans for a third single were scrapped the day before shooting for the video began, Duran Duran's "Serious" is now recognized by most fans as one of the best songs they've ever written.
When Keith Urban premiered, he was a radio favourite but critics found his music either boring or derivative. Come the end of the decade, he was being hailed as one of the most important Country Music artist of the 2000s.
On its original release, Toad the Wet Sprocket's 1990 album Pale was largely ignored and considered "weak and amateurish" compared to Fear and Dulcinea. As years have passed, its been re-evaluated as one of the 1990s greatest albums and has become a cherished indie classic, mainly for the introspective lyrics, Glen Phillips' mind-blowing vocal performance, and wide use of dynamic range. Its vinyl pressing, something it only has one print of, runs for a pretty penny on eBay and is said to be one of the best albums ever engineered for the format.
When Ten was released, Pearl Jam was accused of being a soulless corporate response to Nirvana, resulting in a minor feud between the two bands. It didn't help that they were actually a '70s rock revivalist act that were branded with the "grunge" label due to their geographical origin and fashion choices, which gave them two strikes of perceived commercial appeal. They proved very quickly that they were not merely "rock stars", releasing the raw, abrasiveVs. and the highlyexperimentalVitalogy to a rather perplexed music industry and growing passionate fan base, as well as risking their careers boycotting Ticketmaster. Nowadays, Ten is looked back on a lot more fondly as the honest expression Pearl Jam proved themselves as.
Michael Jackson: Despite being a colossal bestseller Jackson's artistic qualities have always been overshadowed by his private life.. Bad and Dangerous sold well, but reviewers spent more time talking about Jackson's facelifts, skin color changing and other eccentric activities than the benefits of the music. After the 1993 child abuse allegations Jackson's albums were even more ignored by the press. All his albums released after this date, like HIStory: Past, Present And Future, Book I, were dismissed as if he was past his prime and, again, spent more time to his troubled behavior and private life than the songs themselves. After being declared innocent in the child abuse trial in 2005 many youngsters who grew up with Jackson's music started to give him more serious critical attention. Sadly Jackson died in 2009, but this did start a huge revival and re-appreciation of his entire catalogue.
Megadeth's 1994 album Youthanasia. Upon release, the album garnered a fair amount of fan backlash for its slower tempos and more straightforward heavy metal sound (notice the parallel between this and the criticism lobbied at South of Heaven six years prior). Over time, however, the album's popularity with the metal community increased significantly. Many Megadeth fans now consider it to be one of the band's best albums. Similarly, Cryptic Writings was considered too alternative at the time, but is now hailed for its eclectic selection of genres.
Autopsy released their first two albums into the obscurity of the early Death Metal scene. Years later, as the movement expanded and other bands listed them as an influence the albums were rediscovered, and are now often called classics of the genre.
Slayer's South of Heaven. Upon its release, the album was criticized for its slower tempos and more melodic style, a deliberate decision as they felt they could not top the speed of Reign in Blood. Today, its regarded as one of the band's best and one of the better (if not necessarily "best") thrash albums of the 1980s.
Jawbreaker's fourth album, Dear You. It garnered significant backlash from the band's core audience at the time, mainly due to lead singer/Face of the Band Blake Schwarzenbach singing much more smoothly and producer Rob Cavallo (well-known at the time for working with Green Day) intentionally giving it much more polished production values in comparison to the first three Jawbreaker albums. The fact that it was their first album after signing to DGC Records, a major label (they had repeatedly said that they would never join a major label in the past) only helped seal its fate. After Jawbreaker broke up a few months later, fans eventually started to reexamine the album. When the band's drummer Adam Pfahler re-released it in 2004 after successfully licensing the publishing rights from Geffen Records, the response was much more positive all-around. Furthermore, after they performed the song "Accident Prone" from this album live at Riot Fest 2017 in Chicago, there was applause from everyone attending as well.
Weezer's second album, Pinkerton, was initially trashed by critics and fans and sold dismally. Rolling Stone readers named it the second worst album of 1996; Rivers Cuomo viewed it as an Old Shame for years. Today, it's regarded as one of the greatest albums of The '90s, and as one of the albums responsible for bringing emo to the mainstream. In 2002, Rolling Stone readers voted it the 16th best album of all time. Quite a reversal indeed. The only major magazines who gave Pinkerton praise at the time of release were Pitchfork and NME.
Kylie Minogue's Darker and Edgier offering, Impossible Princess, was critically and commercially reviled upon its release in 1997, as she had been previously known for her cheerful image and sound. Once she returned to the spotlight with a sleeker dance-pop sound, music critics and fans revisited Impossible Princess and found it to be much better than it was first perceived. The vindication only seems to be getting stronger as the years go on. Impossible Princess is now being seen as one of the greatest pop albums of all time by some listeners and publications. It foresaw several pop tropes that would be explored over the next 20 years (i.e. the further sinking into the EDM sound, the exploration of world music, etc.). It's only a matter of time before it's seen as the Thriller of its generation.
The Auteurs' song "Future Generations" is about this trope. Whether any of Luke Haines and the Auteurs many non-hits will actually be vindicated by future generations remains to be seen.
The Mars Volta: They were mostly popular in South America with a strong cult following in North America. Now that the band has broken up in early 2013, more and more people are discovering their music. Most videos of their performances have comments by people who claimed they discovered them, right at the time they broke up.
Beach House's third album, Teen Dream, was praised by some critics, but was called boring and meandering by many more others. The album also suffered mediocre sales (though it's the only charting release the duo had up to that point) and by the end of the year most Indie fans were decrying it as overrated. As 2010 came to a close, the album barely scraped "Best of the Year" charts and was labelled as being part of a "passing fad". One year later, people who were just discovering it started praising it and the album hit a second wave of acclaim and love. It doesn't look like it's about to fade back any-time soon.
The song "Love Gun" by Kiss. While the namesake album, released in the summer of 1977, became one of the biggest smash hits of all time (even going platinum before its release, thanks to a deluge of pre-orders), the song itself didn't even crack the Top 50 when it was released as a single - and this was during a time when it was practically impossible for anything by Kiss to not be an instant success! Certainly, "Love Gun" was the Darkest and Edgiest - and heaviest - Kiss song up to that time, and in all likelihood, it was probably just too "metal" for late Seventies audiences. But Paul Stanley (who wrote it) considers it one of his three favorite Kiss songs, it had a huge influence on the earliest Hair Metal bands such as Quiet Riot and Ratt, and it's been played at virtually every Kiss concert since. ("Rock and Roll All Nite" will always be the group's Signature Song, however.) Meanwhile, the song off that album that did become a hit in 1977 - The '50s-inspired tune "Christine Sixteen" - has fallen into obscurity and is remembered only by die-hard Kiss fans.
Simple Minds' early albums did not sell massively well in their prime, but are now viewed as seminal influences on electronic music and post-punk. For many years the public thought of them as U2 copyists, known for their mid-to-late '80s work, i.e. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and "Alive & Kicking". In particular, bands like Manic Street Preachers and The Killers have mentioned them as influences and the instrumental track "Theme for Great Cities"" became a dance hit when remixed as "The Real Life" - it was already played in Ibiza for years despite not being a single. Jim Kerr had spoken to Italian dance producers who were big fans of the band's early work which encouraged him to return to their early influences for Black and White 050505. They also released a box set of the first five albums called X5, which got rave reviews and sold out very quickly.
The Gibson Les Paul line of electric guitars, particularly the 195860 "bursts". Considered heavy and overpriced for their day, they were replaced in 1961 with the simpler, lighter, cheaper Gibson SG line. In the mid-'60s, British blues musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Peter Green rediscovered the guitar's sound through newer, more powerful high-gain amplifiers, causing Gibson to reactivate the line before the end of the decade.
In Rainbows, at first, turned off listeners due to a more mainstream sound, but quickly regained acclaim.
Their debut album Pablo Honey got the short end of the stick from everyone (including Radiohead themselves), with many believing that the album's only worth was "Creep", the band's first hit. However, other tracks started getting noticed, and the album is now considered to be one of the greatest debut albums of recent times, although most of the Radiohead fanbase wish to believe that the album never happened.
Jewel's debut album Pieces of You, upon release, garnered mostly So Okay, It's Average reviews from critics and was largely ignored by the public. A whole two years later, the album unexpectedly shot up to the top of the charts after "Who Will Save Your Soul?" became a radio staple. The album continued to sell like hotcakes, eventually reaching Diamond certification in the United States (a rare feat for any album, let alone a debut). Critics have also retrospectively looked at the album more favorably, with SputnikMusic giving it a 5 Star "Classic" rating in a 2011 review and AllMusic Guide also retrospectively reviewing the album positively.
At one point, Hilary Duff was one of the most hated Disney artists in existence, and after the release of a "best-of" compilation in 2008, vanished from the public radar. While it's probably just the Nostalgia Filter speaking, she is much more well-liked by the public than she was before, and is often praised for not only for her catchy music and personality, but also in that she chose not to take a Hotter and Sexier direction when she ended her relationship with the Mouse House, as "Reach Out" bombed almost completely.
The Doom Metal band Pentagram was ignored for most of its existence except by die-hard doom fans; a fact not helped by frontman Bobby Liebling's rather severe drug addictions and difficult personality. Come 2001, with the release of the demo compilation First Daze Here and the proliferation of the Internet, the band is now regarded as the Trope Maker for Doom Metal as well as one of the most underrated bands of all-time.
Though Billy Joel had strong sales after 1977, and respect in many quarters, he was regularly critically drubbed, especially by The '80s (his most visible period). It hadn't helped that he was well-known as a balladeer/soft rocker thanks to massive hits like "Just the Way You Are" and the very poppy, uptempo Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute, "Uptown Girl". Some time after he retired from making new music in 1994, respect for his albums and songwriting increased (though he still gets a bad remark from critics here and there), and works like The Stranger and The Nylon Curtain were reappraised.
Pantera's "missing" discography became reevaluated later on, as today's audiences have no reservations about acknowledging their existence and even listen to them along with the band's "normal" output.
The Smashing Pumpkins' fourth album, Adore, has undergone reevaluation, just as bandleader Billy Corgan predicted it would. At the time of its release it barely sold a million copies, making it a relative commercial disappointment, but over time its stature improved to the point where many fans came to regard it alongside Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness as one of the band's classics. Review site Pitchfork commented on the occasion of the album's reissue (in a review that gave it 8.5 and Best New Reissue) that it's called "underrated" so often that it can no longer be true.
Pavement's Wowee Zowee was dismissed by critics at the time of its release, but its more experimental nature has since been embraced to the point where it's now generally considered nearly as good as the band's first two albums.
For the '80s and most of the '90s, Disco music was declared dead. Then a wave of '70s nostalgia made it cool to admit to liking stuff from the '70s again, including some disco music. The genre started to gain new appreciation for its innovative production techniques and influence on later dance music styles, especially Hip-Hop. Disco songs are still dance floor staples at weddings and other events.
While a commercial success, Santana's 2002 album Shaman received lukewarm reception from critics when it was first released, largely because of the large abundance of guest artists that didn't make it feel like a Santana record. Quite a few reviews put it like this: "Supernatural felt like the other artists had a jam session with Carlos, while Shaman felt like Carlos had a jam session with the other artists." Nowadays, the album is seen in a much more positive light and is seen as a diverse, well-made record on its own merits.
Fans were initially displeased when Paul Di'Anno was fired from the band and replaced by a singer who'd only been in a few small projects. The backlash was partly because Di'Anno was then viewed as one of the aspects that shaped the feel of the first two albums, and having some nobody sing his material while on tour didn't help. Nowadays, Bruce Dickinson is considered by the overwhelming majority of Maiden fans to be the best vocalist the band has ever had, with The Number of the Beast (the first album he sang on) cited by many fans as the band Growing the Beard. By contrast, Paul Di'Anno has not been doing quite so well.
The two albums that Maiden put out during Bruce's absence from the band were originally almost universally panned, owing largely to the very different vocal style their then-singer employed.note For the sake of clarity: Bruce is a tenor, Blaze is a baritone Later on, however, these albums (and Blaze Bayley as an artist all around) gained newfound appreciation, with retrospective reviews praising the darker tone and Bayley's heavy, emotive delivery on The X Factor in particular.
Back in 1980, San Francisco group The Units released their pioneering synth-punk album Digital Stimulation. Despite initial success, the album and by extension the band was soon forgotten about in the face of California's rising hardcore scene. After three decades of being out of print, the album's since found critical acclaim in The New '10s, and was reissued in 2015 to even further acclaim. It's now hailed by many as an underrated classic.
The Black Album was hated by a lot of fans who claimed they "sold out" by abandoning their Thrash Metal roots by changing to a traditional metal sound, but over 20 years later, many metal fans regard it as one of their best albums, especially when compared to Load, Reload, St. Anger and Lulu.
Load, when it first released in 1996, dealt with a lot was hanging on Metallica's shoulders: it had been five years since the release of Black, which had itself alienated a number of fans but made them into mainstream superstars. During that waiting period, metal had (with a couple notableexceptions) taken a massive nosedive in mainstream relevance, thanks the rise of genres like grunge and hip hop. Many hoped that Load would herald the return of metal into the mainstream spotlight... only for the band to cut their hair and play a style of music that was much more akin to bluesy hard rock than heavy metal. Fans were furious! Many accused Metallica of simply following what was trendy at the time, and the term Sell-Out became almost synonymous with them. For a while, Load was one of the most hated albums in all of metal. However, the mess that was St. Anger and even the decided fan pandering of Death Magnetic led many to go back to Load with an open mind... only to discover that, despite its near complete abandonment of the classic Metallica sound, it was actually a pretty solid hard rock album with several songs that translated quite well into a live setting (such as "Bleeding Me" and "Ain't My Bitch"). Not to mention that a number of younger fans got on board with Metallica through the album, and thus, have a sense of nostalgic fondness for it. Today, while still having its share of detractors, Load is looked at a lot more favorably than before and (along with its twin ReLoad) is seen as the last time Metallica really made something unique and experimental.
Fall Out Boy's 2008 album, Folie à Deux, while being appreciated by critics, had a very divisive reaction from their fanbase that started after their 2007 album, Infinity on High was released. It's even, apparently, received something close to Old Shame status on the part of Patrick Stump, as the initial fan reaction towards the album's songs left a negative impact on him. While you'll still find fans that only like their first two albums, and nothing else, or those who don't care for it, more people have grown an appreciation for it in the years since, especially since it's more consistent with their previous works than their later releases since 2013. Their later albums have had very divisive reactions by their fans, fracturing their fanbase even more than their post-From Under the Cork Tree albums have for unabashedly going more Pop than they probably should. Thus, Folie stands out more for actually being Rock music.
All Time Low's Dirty Work was seen by most fans and critics upon its release in 2011 as their weakest album, due to a lot of Executive Meddling at the hands of the people of Interscope and poor experimentation into a more Pop sound on the part of the band, due to using too many co-writers and producers, resulting in an overall weaker album than what came before. Even the band had some Creator Backlash towards the album, since it didn't come out as they wanted. 6 years later, Last Young Renegade came out to an even more divisive reaction from their fanbase, with only the fangirls really defending it, as it's been seen by most as just a collection of terribly-done Pop songs that aren't really of their usual quality. This has prompted some fans to re-evaluate Dirty Work, as, while it's not perfect, it was still be consistent with their earlier works and has some truly inspired moments in the songwriting and musicality sprinkled throughout. The fact that they signed to Fueled by Ramen to release the album rather than stay at Hopeless doesn't help, as they repeated pretty much every mistake fromDirty Work, only without much material that's consistent with their prior albums, didn't help either, as the label has developed a growing reputation to overexpose some artists, while not giving others on the label proper exposure, and is seen as why many bands that now sign to them have watered down their sounds into some kind of weird Pop/light-Alternative sound that's not that distinct from other Pop acts.
Steve Tucker's run as Morbid Angel's lead singer was seen as lukewarm at best by fans, and by the time they started warming up to him, he left the band, and at the time, it seemed like the band's future was looking up, since David Vincent (no, not the voice actor), the lead singer on the band's first 4 albums, was his replacement. Then in 2011, the band released Illud Divinium Insanus, their first album with David Vincent since Domination, which on top of suffering from massive Hype Backlashnote probably not helped by the fact that on top of being the first MA album with David Vincent singing since 1995's Domination, it was also the first MA album in over 8 years, it was also widely derided as the band's worst work to date, due to having a sound more akin to what one would expect from a Rob Zombie or Marilyn Manson albumnote in fact, were it not for Lou Reed and Metallica releasing their much-reviled Lulu in the same year, odds are the album would've been the worst album of the year for many metal fans. This lead to the general opinion of David Vincent going south, and as a result, many fans developed a newfound appreciation for Steve Tucker, to the point that when he replaced David Vincent after the latter left a second time in 2015, the majority of the fandom was more than happy to welcome him back.
On the whole, the Post-Punk revival scene of the early-mid '00s experienced a strange case of this, being Vindicated by History in the US but running into the opposite problem in the UK.
In the UK, on the other hand, the scene enjoyed immediate critical and commercial success coming in the wake of the collapse of Britpop. Hype Backlash soon set in, however, as a growing subset of critics and listeners found the British scene that emerged in the wake of the post-punk revival's initial success to be overly derivative and backward-looking and more focused on a retraux "classic rock" image than anything — ironically, much the same reputation that post-grunge had in North America. Such criticisms were not unheard of in the US, either, but in the UK they fundamentally shaped mainstream perception of the genre in a way they never did back across the pond. It didn't help that the association of the genre with bands from northern England caused regional and class divides to bleed over. The derisive term "landfill indie" was soon used by music journalists to describe guitar-driven indie rock bands in the post-punk mold.
The Killers' album Sam's Town was panned by critics at the time of its release in 2006, though it still sold 1.3 million copies by 2008. It has since gone on to receive much better reviews in hindsight from music critics and become a Cult Classic.
For years, the 1968 novelty song "MacArthur Park", written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by Richard Harris, was considered one of the worst songs of all time. Even as late as 1992, a poll by Dave Barry selected it as such. Its nonsensical lyrics have been made fun of countless times before, but nowadays the song is more regarded in a So Bad, It's Good light. While you'd still be hard-pressed to find those who think the song is legitimately good, the general consensus is that the song isn't that terrible and that Harris managed to circumvent the silly lyrics with such a passionate performance as to still have an emotional impact, even if his singing voice isn't technically great.
Madonna's 1992 album Erotica was seen as a Creator Killer at the time, her Hotter and Sexier image (especially with her related project, the coffee table book Sex) being just too much for audiences in the early '90s to take. A string of public controversies in the ensuing years only battered her image further, such that she had to go Lighter and Softer on her follow-up, 1994's Bedtime Stories, in order to save her career. Nowadays, however, the very things that sank Erotica in the '90s have come to be seen as its best qualities, with many critics now hailing it as, if not her best album, then certainly her most influential in how it broke down taboos around female sexuality, influencing a generation of female pop musicians in the '90s and '00s.
The classic 1964 song The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel was originally recorded in an acoustic-only version for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3am, which was a commercial failure, selling only about 3,000 copies and leading to the duo temporarily disbanding. By 1965, the song had begun to attract some radio airplay, and the song's producer, Tom Wilson, overdubbed it with electric instruments and drums for a single release. In this form, the song became a huge hit and is now recognised as one of Simon & Garfunkel's greatest and Signature Songs.
Indie rock band Duster quietly released a couple of albums around the turn of the millennium which were either overlooked completely or shrugged off by critics. Within the next several years, their music found new appreciation through online communities and indie musicians, enough for them to reform and release a third album in 2019. Prominent indie artists of the 2010s such as (Sandy) Alex G and Snail Mail have cited them as an influence.
Upon its release in 1966, the song "River Deep — Mountain High" by Ike and Tina Turner flopped, peaking at number 88 in the US Billboard Hot 100 (though the release did chart well in Europe). This proved to be a significant disappointment for producer Phil Spector and was the major catalyst for his subsequent two-year retirement from the music industry. It is now universally considered to be Spector's finest work. Rolling Stone and New Music Express respectively ranked it number 33 and 37 on their Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time lists, and the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Yakety Sax was first recorded by Boots Randolph (then calling himself Randy Randolph) in 1958 as a single, but didn't generate much interest until Randolph re-recorded it for his 1963 album Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax! where it became a hit. Since then, it eventually became and remains one of the most recognisable Sketch Comedy tunes, in particular for its usage in The Benny Hill Show.
Yoko Ono's music, with and without her husband John Lennon, was dismissed as unlistenable junk when it was first released in the early 1970s. Within five years, however, artists like The B-52s began to acknowledge her as an influence. Today, her work is seen as being far ahead of its time, even if it isn't palatable to everyone.
In 1989, Tanita Tikaram's single "Twist In My Sobriety" was generally seen as a disappointing follow-up to her debut hit "Good Tradition" and failed to achieve anything close to the success of its predecessor. In the years since, it has grown in stature to the point where it has come to equal and probably overtake "Good Tradition" as her Signature Song.
Carpenters were dismissed as MOR schmaltz during their commercial heights in the 1970s. At the time of Karen Carpenter's death in 1983, they still weren't considered hip or worthy of critical respect. Since then, the band's music has been reappraised, with Sonic Youth paying tribute to them on "Tunic (Song for Karen) and a tribute album, If I Were a Carpenter, in the 1990s. Karen has been acclaimed as one of the finest pop vocalists of all time.
The Arena Rock genre. While bands such as Boston, REO Speedwagon, Toto and Journey sold millions, critics usually didn't speak too kindly of them in their heyday, and they often got the "dad rock" label during The '90s and very early 2000s. Years later, several bands in the genre began to be reappraised, with Journey's Steve Perry being among those ranked on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list.
For years, "We Built This City" by Starship topped many "worst songs of all time" lists. Criticisms were that despite its attempt at a rebellious, anti-corporate message, the song sounded as generically radio-friendly as they came, and despite claiming to be "rock and roll", not a single non-synthesized instrument was used. With the benefit of the passing of time, the song has received a much warmer reception as a cheesy guilty pleasure, and the realization that when it came to '80s schmaltz, it was far from being the worst offender. The official YouTube upload has over 18 million views with mostly positive feedback, and before the comments were taken down the general tenor was, "what was supposed to be so horrible about this song again?"
When it first began, the whole genre had a hard time being taken seriously, with artists like Jean-Michel Jarre being considered "not-music" by many and receiving negative reviews upon debut. Of course, his albums in the 70s and 80s are now beloved classics and are cited as influences by many artists.
When songs from Avicii, a popular EDM artist in Europe, came to North America, almost all his songs bombed the charts, with two exceptions: "Levels" and "Wake Me Up". When "Wake Me Up" became a top 40 hit, Americans started praising him as a popular dance influence, subverting their poor initial reception of him. By the time he died by suicide in 2018, he was widely regarded as one of the most influental EDM artists ever.
Their second album Discovery garnered mixed reviews upon release, with the general consensus being that it was a solid album but not quite as good as Homework. Over time, however, the album became a fan favorite and critical consensus improved significantlynote it probably helped that Kanye West liberally sampled it on his acclaimed 2007 album Graduation. When it was released, Pitchfork Media's review of Discovery called it "grotesque but relatively harmless" and had a dismal 6.4 score; On their "Top 100 Albums of 2000-04" list it was ranked #12; On their "Top 200 Albums of the 2000s", it was promoted to #3. More particularly, the first two paragraphs of the album review viciously mocked "One More Time"; nine years later this song ended up at #5 on their "top 500 songs of the 2000s" list.
Human After All had a lukewarm reception, but the phenomenal Alive 2007 tour has convinced the world that the songs of that album sound much better live.
Aaliyah was a popular artist in her heyday, but there was a growing Hype Backlash that felt she owed more to her beauty and overproduction - thanks to Timbaland. Years later after her death, the enduring success of her music shows that the hype around her talent was entirely justified. She's now remembered as a great artist who died way too young.
Similar criticism was initially leveled at Too $hort, who also went on to be a major influence in the sub-genre.
While Tupac Shakur was a popular rap artist among fans of the genre, he was mostly criticized and ripped apart in the public media. He was seen as too radical and a troublemaker for his strong views against racism and police brutality, which he talked about in some of his most memorable songs. His run-ins with law furthered convinced people of this image. After his murder, a flood of low-to-high budget documentaries came out, showing how Tupac was really a bright, deep-thinker, and poet. Today, he's considered one of the most influential artists in music, and music fans of other genres see him as an icon.
Nas' sophomore album It Was Written was dismissed by critics as not being Illmatic Part II. It has since grown in status over the years. To put it more succinctly: Illmatic is for fans, It Was Written is for other rappers — the AP Style guide of rap, if you will.
This sometimes happens to artists/groups who were "controversial" at the height of their fame. Eminem references this in his song "Sing for the Moment":
Eminem: "And maybe they'll admit it when we're gone. Just let our spirits live on through our lyrics that you hear in our songs and we can...(Steven Tyler:) Sing with me, sing for the year..."
Speaking of Eminem, some of his albums went through this:
While it was mocked for its heavy inspiration from Nas' style and its sales were non-existent, people who listen to Infinite nowadays find it... really not that bad at all. While Marshall himself still views it as a Old Shame, he did celebrate the album's 20th anniversary by releasing a remixed version of the title track.
While controversial, there is a growing movement of appreciation for 2004's Encore. It met mixed reviews at the time of release for its puerile content, sappy melodramas, Album Filler issues, failings in Eminem's usually world-class technical ability and general Hype Backlash against a pop star who had been so unprecedentedly huge for the last five years that everyone was tired of his shtick. However, Encore has benefited from how its Toilet Humour is still transgressive, difficult to listen to and funny without targeting minority groups, unlike the gay-bashing, woman-raping Refuge in Audacity comedy on The Marshall Mathers LP. Songs like "Mosh" and "Yellow Brick Road" have undergone Values Resonance, with the former casting Eminem as the leader of a popular working-class revolution, and the latter being a sincere and nuanced Cringe Comedy about the clueless racism of his own past as a white hip-hop fan. Its gimmick-heavy songwriting, cartoony voices, gleeful bad taste and spooky-gothic-circus production works way better in the background of a TikTok skit than the painfully sincere 4/4 Rap Rock ballads on The Eminem Show and Recovery, making it a popular source of memes. The later reveal of the serious drug addiction problems Eminem had been experiencing while making Encore also recontextualises it as a much darker album than it originally appeared. In 2010, Spin.com described the album as "a stunning portait of a meltdown - especially at some of its dumbest moments. Eminem hopscotches between different accents and personas, repeating, interrupting, and contradicting himself... a virtuoso exploration of identity slippage". Billboard rated it his third best album, putting it (as well as rap-geek-favourite The Marshall Mathers LP 2) above the generally canonised top-3 entry The Eminem Show.
Opinions on Relapse have become less negative over the years, and today many consider it better than Recovery and MMLP2. Ironic as the album was subject to Creator Backlash soon after it came out. As of 2020, however, Eminem himself changed his opinion towards the album, as he looked back positively on the album for the 11th anniversary of its release, and also emulated his Relapse rap style in Revival's "Framed!" and on Music to be Murdered By: Side B (Deluxe Edition) on the song "Discombobulated".
Recovery is an inversion. When it was first released, it was seen as a solid comeback and an improvement over both Encore and Relapse. However, it has garnered criticism overtime for its commercial-sounding production and lack of variation. It's not at all hard to find people who view it as his worst album. This holds true for a handful of people even after the release of Revival, which is generally considered to be his weakest record.
Eminem himself wrote about this in "Careful What You Wish For":
Every CD, critics gave it a three, then three years later they go back and re-rate it. Then called The Slim Shady LP the greatest, the Marshall Mathers was a classic, The Eminem Show was fantastic, but Encore just didn't have the caliber to match it. I guess enough time just ain't passed yet A couple more years, that shit'll be Illmatic
During its release, The Pharcyde's Labcabincalifornia was a critical and commercial failure, with the group getting much blame for creating a completely different release compared to their previous album. Since then, it has developed quite a cult following, both for being one of the most creative and soulful Hip Hop albums of the mid-90s (when the genre was dominated primarily by various Gangsta Rap artists), and for a landmark music video for "Drop", which is often included in various lists of the best music videos of all time.
During their initial period of activity (198995), Pete Rock & CL Smooth released one EP, All Souled Out, and two LPs, Mecca and the Soul Brother, and The Main Ingredient. None of them went gold. Nowadays, they are considered one of the greatest hip-hop duos ever. Their Signature Song, "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" from Mecca and the Soul Brother, is one of rap's most highly regarded.
808s & Heartbreak was quite divisive with fans and warmly received but not as universally loved as his other albums with professional critics when it first came out. Time has proven it to be a bold and transformative work that arguably changed the entire rap and hip-hop scenes of The New '10s. "Emotional" male R&B acts like Drake, Frank Ocean, and The Weeknd likely wouldn't be taken seriously without Kanye first laying the ground for them.
The Life of Pablo was very polarizing during its release in early 2016, partly because of its erratic roll-out after being stalled for several years, partly because — by Kanye's own admission — it was "finished" in a rush and was still incomplete to him, and partly because it's his most kaleidoscopic and experimental project to dateby design. However, following several post-release updates in the subsequent months (from improvements on the audio mixes to swapping around the tracklist), opinion has since become more favorable — the initial consensus was that as sloppy and inconsistent as it was, The Life of Pablo was at least commendable for its ambition and the risks it took, with the updates seen as having helped them reach their full potential.
Yeezus is still a bit divisive, but it's much more fondly looked at than it used to be.
For many people, T-Pain was the face of the worst trends of mainstream music in the late 2000s with his liberal use of Auto-Tune, with Usher infamously telling him he "fucked up music" and Jay-Z directly insulting him in the track "DOA (Death of Auto-Tune)." In the 2020s, he's now treated universally fondly by people who grew up during his height of fame, and has seen positive reevaluation as well, especially in the wake of the backlash against Trap Music and "mumble rap". Many factors helped with this, including showing a sense of humor by working with Taylor Swift, The Lonely Island, and Epic Rap Battles of History, demonstrating that he has a genuinely great singing voice in live performances and on The Masked Singer, heavily influencing hip-hop and R&B artists of the late 2010s, and generally being seen as a positive, friendly personality.
Eurovision Song Contest
Italy's 1958 Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Nel blu dipinto di blu" ("Volare") by Domenico Modugno, is 'the most successful Eurovision song of all time', and so well-known that it's become a standard of Italian pop and 1950s pop, covered by far too many major artists to even list here (see The Other Wiki). It was the first non-Anglosphere song to top Billboard's Hot 100 and remains one of the most commonly played pieces of Italian music. It came third in the contest, well beaten by France's "Dors, Mon Amour", which, if it is remembered at all nowadays, is for beating "Volare".
Verka Serduchka's "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" came second place in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest; it has since gone on to be recognised as one of the greatest and most influential Eurovision entries ever, totally eclipsing the winner, Serbia's "Molitva" (a fine and solid power ballad, if nowhere near as memorable as a song featuring a drag queen in tinfoil with a glittery star on her head yelling vaguely anti-Russia Foreign Sounding Gibberish). It heavily featured in Ukraine's 2017 Eurovision semifinals, won her a cameo in Spy and caused Verka to be nicknamed "Queen of Eurovision".
Israel came second in 1983 with Ofra Haza's "Chai" - and in the 35 years that have followed, it has inspired several dances, and become a staple of Jewish weddings and other events.
Gina G's "Ooh Ahh Just A Little Bit" was an instant hit in the UK, reaching number 1 in the billboard charts. However, it finished 8th in the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest, outshone by Ireland who won with Eimear Quinn's "The Voice." Nowadays the winner has faded into obscurity, whilst Gina G is fondly remembered for releasing one of the best 90s songs ever recorded.
Some Finnish people thought that having Lordi as their country's entry in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest would be a national embarrassment. They ended up winning, breaking the points record in the process.
In 2013-14, when The Netherlands, who made the final for the first time in 9 years in the previous contest, sent out country act The Common Linnets (Ilse Delange and Waylon) for the 2014 iteration, and the pair released their gentle bluegrass song "The Calm After The Storm", some fansite reviewers were scathing towards it, comparing it to the silence after a nuclear holocaust, calling it a toilet break song, and labelling it sleep inducing, and the bookmakers expected it to return the Netherlands to their old fate of failing to qualify. However, after the song was performed on stage ahead of its display to nearly 200 million people, it got acclaim from the Periphery Demographic, and rapidly became a critical favourite and genuine title contender, which went on to place 2nd out of the entire contest. 5 years later, the same fan site which gave it the negative reviews re-reviewed it, giving it praise reflecting that which it had elicited on stage in Copenhagen, and admitting they had previously got things wrong.
Whilst reviews for it were quite positive, few saw Eleni Foureira as the only rival for Netta for the title in the 2018 event in Lisbon, and she had been 20th in the bookmakers odds, and reviews, whilst decent enough, elicited a similar average to far less successful entries, which were derided in hindsight (like those of FYR (now North) Macedonia and Azerbaijan, which had got similar scores from fansite reviewers pre-contest). This was perhaps not helped by Cyprus (the nation the Albanian born Greek represented) having not placed in the top 3 ever, having not placed in the top 10 since 2004, and having made the last 3 finals only to place below 20th in each of them. However, after fans went wild over her stage performance, Foureira went on to place runner up to Israeli entry Netta, whose song was written by one of Fouerira's regular songwriting collaborators Doron Medalie, and became the most popular runner up since "Dancing Lasha Tumbai", which she infamously covered in the following year's interval act.
The original recording of "Lili Marleen" in 1937 was a complete bomb. In 1941, during the German occupation of Yugoslavia, an animator of Radio Belgrade found a record inside a trash bin, liked the song, and broadcasted it; at this time, Radio Belgrade was massively listened to by German troops, and "Lili Marleen" became a huge hit, which eventually benefitted from daily broadcasts. Then, in North Africa, British troops overheard Germans regularly listening to the song from the other side of the frontline and loved it too. Authorized English translations were eventually made in 1944 because British and American troops were still singing it in German, which was frowned upon by the Allied authorities.
Star of Indiana's 2nd-place farewell show in 1993 (using the music of Béla Bartók and Samuel Barber) was largely met by drum corps audiences with either confusion or indignation, due to the show's extensive use of body movement, choppy melodies, and harsh dissonances. Today, it's considered one of the most influential and memorable shows in drum corps history.
In 1986, Katerina and Amalia Giannikou published the vinyl "Milame gia ta Chromata" note English: Let's Talk About Colors under the LYRA label, to no success. However, after Modern Times' music subsidiary LEGEND Recordings was opened, the songs were reissued in CD and cassette form in 1998, to enough success for albums about numbers and shapes featuring Hector the Bear and Paris the Mouse (who got a book series designed toteach children to overcome their fears the previous year) to be released.
The Disco genre became a pop-culture joke in the 80's and 90's for being out of style. The genre in its heyday was urban music popular in the Black, Hispanic, and queer communities and with women of all backgrounds, while the backlash against it was largely driven by straight white men who were more into rock and country. The 2010's/early 2020's saw the world examine bigotry a lot more critically, and people have finally recognized that "Disco Sucks" was always fueled by racism, homophobia, and misogyny. Disco's Spiritual Successor, Electronic Dance Music, has enjoyed worldwide success; it helps that EDM's biggest fans are at least two generations removed from the anti-disco movement.