Top 10 Best (and Worst) Comeback Albums of All Time

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Jody Haskins

You almost had me there for a minute. I was almost ready to buy this album and check it out. Then you blew it with this line.....Rolling Stone called it U2's third masterpiece, next to The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. I automatically HATE anything that Rolling Stone likes.

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Jody Haskins

You almost had me there for a minute. I was almost ready to buy this album and check it out. Then you blew it with this line.....Rolling Stone called it U2's third masterpiece, next to The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. I automatically HATE anything that Rolling Stone likes.

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Tom2112

Absolutely in no way, shape or form is Chinese Democracy the worst 'comeback album' of all time... a bit all over the place for parts of the album granted, but there are at least 9/10 solid songs, 4 of which could stand up against many of GnRs back catalog (Better, street of dreams, This I love, Sorry), I'm not talking about the hits... no newer song is going to top those, due to history of the songs, members, personal memories etc.
Out of all the albums I bought in 2008, CD is one of the few that I can still listen to and not have to skip tracks, mixed and mastered excellently, some truly great songs, and the performances throughout the album are top quality.

Marks against...

*Too much needless shred, some of it works (in part) but some of it just detracts from what could be a great, tasteful song - Catcher in the rye, good song... almost ruined by too many layers, and what sounds like someone "shredding" on a grand piano after the first chorus... yikes! where was the producer.
*Some songs are layered within an inch of their lives, and underneath there really isn't much of a song "Rhiad..." "scraped" prime examples.

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saint_berzerker

Worst as far as living up to GNR's former glory and high expectations....yes, one of the worst ever. And it didn't even sound like them because, well, it wasn't them.

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dadrab

I wasn't going to comment until I read that "Seventh Star" is one of the worst comeback albums of all time.

Apparently, the writers haven't ever listened to it. And, if they have, then they're simply just full of shit.

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guitarladd

Spinal Tap "Break Like The Wind"

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guitarladd

Why is Guitar World talking about LL Cool J?

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megadethgod

Please do your research before you post. AC/DC did not sell as many albums as you think.

http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinum.php?content_selector=top-100-albums

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capnkrk

A small correction, Black Sabbath's 'sabotage' release came before 'technical ecstasy.' Even though mildly panned in the article, I consider Sabotage to be one of their best releases. MONSTER riffs, great voice.

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shopson67

Done With Mirrors is the last Aerosmith album to sound like classic Aerosmith. All those that followed tried harder and harder to fit in with modern radio, to their own failings.

Chinese Democracy is a great album, just shouldn't be called Guns & Roses. If that album had been released as an Axl Rose solo album, it would've been much better received.

While Death Magnetic was at least a step back in the right direction, it is basically a better produced version of St Anger with solos. The songs are still patched together with forced together riffs. Mastering it too loud to the point of distortion makes it difficult to listen to as well.

I liked the Vince-less Motley Crue album. Heavier, blusier, solid songwriting. It is miles better than that load of crap Theater Of Pain for sure. Even Saints Of LA was written by Nikki's side band, with only token writing credits for Mick here and there, and as a result just didn't ring true with me.

AOR is a great Priest album, not sure what the writer is reaching for there.

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irondarwin

I agree that musically, The X-Factor was pretty strong. Blaze was put in an impossible position following Bruce but Maiden could have helped him out by tuning at least a half-step down. The production certainly wasn't as strong as Birch's or Shirley's either. 5150 is a nice choice but I'd say A Different Kind of Truth is the comeback album of the decade.

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kllehman8

For Motley, depends on what you mean by a failed comeback. Motley Crue's self titled album is excellent -- one of their best -- a very under-rated album. So from a musical standpoint, GW has a big swing a miss with this one on the list. Makes me wonder if the author has even listened to the album, perhaps listing it because of its poor sales. Now if it made the worst comeback list based on poor album sales, that may be defensible. That album came out in the 90's during a time when the hair metal bands did not have a chance -- their brand of music was passe. Didn't matter how good the album was, it was not going to sell, which makes album sales a bit of an unfair measure for this album. Now if you had to pick a Crue album for failed comeback from a musical standpoint, it would be Generation Swine.

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ytse_jam

The X Factor was not that bad but definitely not the best either. The problem is that it was not Bruce Dickenson singing. Ask Motley after Vince Neil left.

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kitekrazy

This subject, everything is a reach. Bands who put a lot of stuff will have a stinker or two.

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todd6138

I like rock and roll period. So u give me a copy of these albums and for the most part I shit myself with joy compare t o the radio. I understand they are not all incredible albums I certainly agree with poison, although they are fun live ( ive seen them twice) people get old man.. their material that used to be fresh starts to sound formulaic but it really is close to the old stuff we are always just looking for the next big talent

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todd6138

I like rock and roll period. So u give me a copy of these albums and for the most part I shit myself with joy compare t o the radio. I understand they are not all incredible albums I certainly agree with poison, although they are fun live ( ive seen them twice) people get old man.. their material that used to be fresh starts to sound formulaic but it really is close to the old stuff we are always just looking for the next big talent

Gerardo Yàñez

Nowadays everybody says "Psycho Circus" is a bad album, but back then the album surely reached their purpose, bringing back the thrill of a brand new KISS album. I remember people talkin' about it like "Destroyer II" (of course exagerated) and even you guys of GW dedicated a cover of the magazine to the album release...

So the album is not even between the top 10 of KISS but back in the day it made everybody were excited about it, and that was what it was intended to, nothing more. So, in resume, mission accomplished.

"Sonic Boom" is a worse KISS comeback.

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kllehman8

Psycho Circus is a solid album, and the title track is a great song. And the album seemed to help catapult Kiss back to superstardom. Don't understand this one on the list at all. Perhaps GW felt like they had to have some big names on the list, and Kiss, a band who has historically not been critically acclaimed, made an easy (and big) target. Oh well. I'm sure Gene and Paul are not losing any sleep over it.

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Deathfuckingmetal

C'mon GW... Metallica's "Death Magnetic" a "good comeback"??? NO WAY!!! It was a pretty "average" release, at most. And JUDAS PRIEST's "Angel Of Retribution" a "worst comeback"??? It could take DM's place and move DM to the "worst comeback" list.

And where the hell is KISS' "Revenge"?? And BLACK SABBATH's "Heaven And Hell"???

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Damage Inc.

I'm a big but not a typical MetallicA-fan.
I got to know them about 10 years ago, when the Napster-thing already happened, they just about released 'I Disappear' and 'St. Anger' was in the making, with a mix of all their released work before that.
While it was of course clear to me what was still considered "old" and "new" MetallicA back then.

But if I have to be honest, first of all, 'St. Anger' was their official "comeback", but "Deaf Magnetic" was their REAL comeback.
Because when 'St. Anger' came out, quotes like "MetallicA back to their roots" and such were flying around, while it was more of a Nu-Metal album not sounding like much of what they did before.
However, it was so raw and honest and what not, that it was an awesome album to me, even if it was disappointing if you were expecting something else.
In any case, I would call this an album or project that was necessary for MetallicA to do for their own good, whether people liked it or not.

A half decade(!) later, though, they churned out "Deaf Magnetic".
And while I found it good that they're still around and do their own thing, it was more disappointing than before.
A lot of the music sounded forced, amateuristic and just patched together.
This was really a case of, sure they're being themselves, but forcing it into a "comeback" or "old school"-thing or whatever you want to call it.
With the whole style and galloping things and solos and there HAD to be an "instrumental", which I think is just horrible.
I didn't like this at all, even though there are some good things on there.
And not to forget, the quality of the audio is just terrible, and to think I blindly paid 25 Euros (35 Dollars!) for that thing.
I was not amused compared to the rawness of StAnger, which was cheaper including a DVD with a live studio performance video of the whole album.

And who cares about "the big 4"-gigs.
The only thing that's interesting to see is so many big players on one stage.
But MetallicA's live performance has been degrading for 15 years, with its ups and downs.

That's my experience with MetallicA's latest album-releases.
Now let's just see how this next project comes out, which would not be a 100% MetallicA even.
Oh, and I also love 'I Disappear', very intense song.

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zaggtroll

Judas Priest AOR was a fantastic albumm, every thing priest has done is awsome...wtf guitar world

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Deathfuckingmetal

Amen

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happydog1960

Let's be honest, U2's last gasp was "Achtung Baby," and everything after that, including "All That You Can't Leave Behind," was either a rehash of former glory or just pure self-indulgent crap. The fact that U2 is now remastering "Achtung Baby" with additional tracks, etc. (a' la' Classic Rock Bands everywhere) is proof of that. They're a band I used to love but they lost their last clue years ago.

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krshnakrunch

Agreed. "All That You Can't Leave Behind" has just one good single ("Beautiful Day") and the remainder was proof that U2 can't leave behind a bunch of filler with meandering, pointless melodies and throwaway lyrics.

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zedman

I actually like Done With Mirrors much more than the over produced, overhyped Pump & Permanent Vacation--I think it has aged much better.
And it is certainly better than anything they did since.

I know I'm in a big minority here, but that's what I think of Done With Mirrors.

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kllehman8

From that album, I love the songs "Let The Music Do The Talking" and "My Fist Your Face".

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east_the_beast

I totally agree, and it's like everyone involved with the band is trying to hide its existence since none of the tracks appear on the hundreds of Aerosmith "greatest hits" collections. Maybe that's to force people to buy "Done With Mirrors", as that is the only Aerosmith CD I own.

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micktaylorfan27

Chinese Democracy wasnt that bad of an album. If people would just give it a fair listen, they would see it has a decent amount of songs on it.

And Ozzys down to earth wasnt that bad either. It was certainly better than Ozzmosis...and black rain(which could also be considered a comeback album).

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jcDesigns

I knew this album would on here. I really dig Chinese Democracy, especially the song 'Better'. It should really be called Axl's solo album, but he retained the GnR name. Financially a flop, I'll give you that, but the standards that were set on it were stupid. Nobody could make an album to live up to the hype that this thing had on it. Worldwise, it sold under 3 million, which isn't terrible, probably considered good by today's standards.

The toured the hell out of 2012, and it looks like they are doing it again this year, so apparently someone likes the stuff.

I give Axl a ton of credit for his writing ability.

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kllehman8

Chinese Democracy is a good album overall, and the song Chinese Democracy is a great song with a sizzling guitar solo. The album didn't meet expectations, but the expectations were not realistic.

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Josh Hart

I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on 'Chinese Democracy.' I personally enjoyed the album, but I think given how long it took to come out, the disappointing sales, Axl going into hiding again and the CD now being in the bargain big at Best Buy, there's no way it couldn't top the list. Me personally? I still dig it though.

'Down To Earth' might not sound that bad, until you compare it to 'Blizzard of Ozz.' Give us credit, Ozzy still ranked really high on the best list.

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Tom2112

"disappointing sales, Axl going into hiding again and the CD now being in the bargain bin" How does any of that have anything to do with it being good musically? I'm sure some of your favourite albums panned (if we're calling 3million + disappointing) when they came out, doesn't mean the songs were bad... just means someone dropped the ball, Axl went into hiding true, he should have promoted it but instead got in a huff because the label weren't willing to promote the album the way he thought they had originally agreed to.

Very good album... not great, it doesn't deserve to be anywhere near either list - best or, worse.

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micktaylorfan27

First of all, back in black came out in '80 and I wouldn't call it a comeback, since it came out only a year after their previous album.

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dfanelli

micktaylorfan27: greetings from a fellow mick taylor fan. thanks for the 1980/1981 catch. as for calling "back in black" a comeback, it qualifies because bon scott died after "highway to hell," which left the band at a very low point, wondering if they were even going to continue. but their next album (B-in-B) wasn't only "good" -- it was awesome and it was massive -- eventually becoming the second-highest-selling album of all time. so in this case, it's a comeback because the band went from such a low point to such a high point, regardless of the time between albums. it's a similar situation with the allman brothers (No. 9 on the list).

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