Top 10 Best (and Worst) Comeback Albums of All Time
Guitar World picks the best (and a few of the worst) comeback albums of all time.
"Don't call it a comeback / I've been here for years."
So said LL Cool J in the title track from 1990's Mama Said Knock You Out, which came out when many fans and critics thought his career was just barely limping along.
The album turned out to be a massive critical and commercial success. So, with our apologies to Mr. Cool J, we are calling it comeback. Because a comeback — as defined here at Guitar World — is any critically and/or commercially successful or significant album that follows a career-altering absence (breakup, retirement) or low point (death of band members, "dead" careers, being dropped by your label, critical uber-flops, telling a London audience that you're ashamed that George W. Bush is from Texas ...).
So, with that in mind, here's our list of the 10 best (and worst) comeback albums of all time.
10. U2 — All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
The Set-Up: Sitting-on-top-of-the-world stadium rockers U2 took some chances in the '90s, releasing three adventurous, occasionally bizarre albums. The last of the bunch, 1997's Pop, the techno-, dance- and electronica-influenced culmination of their self-inflicted reinvention, was harshly panned and widely misunderstood. It was as if fans and critics collectively said, "Enough already, guys."
The Comeback: All That You Can't Leave Behind was, in every respect, a homecoming. With producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno back at the helm, the band returned to its classic sound (although brilliantly updated) with an emphasis on grand melodies and a renewed reliance on guitar, bass and drums. Rolling Stone called it U2's third masterpiece, next to The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby.
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