A lot of bands and that generally hit their creative peak within a couple of albums, and it’s ever-diminishing returns afterwards. However, some hit that commercial sweet-spot later on where they attract the attentions of everybody, or simply just attract your own attentions despite them having a wealth of earlier material which has been completely out of your purview.
This probably doesn’t happen quite so much in the information age - but I’ll go first with stuff I’ve jumped onto during mid-career or late career. Thread has probably been done before.
For me, it’s:
Depeche Mode - Ultra (Remember watching them on TOTP doing “Barrel of a Gun” and thinking they were cool as fuck.)
Mercury Rev - All is Dream (Used to get a friend to tape MTV2 for me as we didn’t have Sky, and “Nite and Fog” was just this lush, blissful track.)
Ryan Adams - S/T (Had never listened to him but loved this album during a bit of a difficult time.)
Manics - Everything Must Go (Similar to my experience with Depeche Mode, in the charts when I was a nipper.)
David Bowie - Hours (He was in some video game round about the time it was released and in gaming mags, and was embracing MP3 and that. Fucking blew my mind by the time I got round to Ziggy Stardust.)
Opeth reminded me of Cave In - became a fan during the ‘Antenna’ era, but on the contrary loved their hardcore stuff when I delved into the early output.
Maybe the Flaming Lips would count for this? Aside from hearing “She Don’t Use Jelly” on Beavis and Butthead before I knew who they were, I discovered them through Yoshimi and love all of the proper albums starting from Transmissions. But I still haven’t explored the back catalog.
Also I just discovered The Ex a few days ago from their really good new album, and apparently they’ve been going for 39 years.
And near the end of last year I discovered Underground Lovers from their really good new album, after missing out on 30 years of their work.
I haven’t had a chance to go through their back catalogs yet, but given how much I’ve missed out on so far I figure they’re worth a mention here.
Definitely worth going back through underground Lovers’ back catalogue. Give “Leaves Me Blind” a spin, if nothing else.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Guided by Voices for me, I’d never listen to them until I gave ‘Let’s go Eat The Factory’ a spin, which was their first reunion album. It’s actually great to get into a band later in their careers as you then have a wealth of albums to listen to. If you get into a band at the start, you have to wait 2-3 years for a new album, where’s in these situations, you chose when you want a new album to listen to. i usually avoid binge listening and instead drip feed myself their back catalog, when ever I’m in the mood for a new album.
Think I’d checked out Alien Lanes once on Spotify at some point before that but Factory was the first one I bought and spent any proper time with when it came out and is definitely the one that made me a fan
Aye, got into the Abattoir Blues - Dig Lazarus Dig - Push the Sky Away run of albums a few years ago before getting the late 90s best-of and starting to explore the earlier stuff from there
It’s finally up on Spotify in the US! I’ve actually been working through it the past few days, off the top of my head I already love Eastern Promises, Promenade (the way that riff kicks in during the second half), and how hypnotic Ladies Choice is (those moments where the bass come in are so good). Thanks for recommending them, finding a band like this was a huge and pleasant surprise.
I got into Unwound through Leaves Turn Inside You a few years ago. “December” got me immediately.
I’ve said it before but I really wish I had known about them from the start so I could have been blown away (in a different way) by the leap that album took.
Have you made your way through their whole back catalog yet? I’ve listened to most the reunion albums, the three new ones and I’m slowly delving into the classics. Just got UTBUTS the other day. That 3 year run of Bee- UTBUTS is so good, he was just cranking out so many songs, 3 great albums plus there’s a ton of EP’s and B sides form that era too, with some songs it’s hard to see why they didn’t make an album.
I’m going to see the this Saturday for the first time. I’ve heard they playing most new stuff with a mix of the “hits”. That suits me, as I haven’t really heard anything between UTBUTS and Factory.
Oh here are some weird ones:
And some more common ones probably:
- A few years ago I finally discovered Blonde Redhead through 23.
Everything & Nothing by Hammock
Floating Coffin was my introduction to Thee Oh Sees
Illegals in Heaven by Blank Realm (I feel like this album went under the radar - if you liked the Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever album but wish it were a bit more energetic, heavier, and prettier, give this a shot.)
Yeah I made my way through the majority ages ago and i think finally finished the leftover ones last year or so (haven’t listened to all the Suitcase comps though and probably still missing some EPs). I don’t love all their albums but they’ve become one of my favourite bands.
Would love to see them live if they ever played outside the US again
got into Oxbow after the new one came out
For me the Melvins. A History of Badmen blew my mind Senile Animal is still my favourite album of theres. But they are all diffrent
Had never listened to Mount Eerie before A Crow Looked At Me.
Have subsequently gone back through most everything quite obsessively. Can’t believe I’d missed The Microphones.
Also, really shit circumstance to become aware of a an incredible artist.