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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The A.V. Club Lists 20 Artists that Jumped the Shark

posted by on April 15 at 11:38 AM

Their top five artists/albums on “Too much, too soon: 20 respectable rock and rap acts that peaked with debut albums”:

1. Rage Against The Machine, Rage Against The Machine (1992)
2. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2003)
3. Richard Hell And The Voidoids, Blank Generation (1977)
4. The Strokes, Is This It (2001)
5. The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers (1976)

They also included Nas, Kanye, Television, Taking Back Sunday, Black Flag, Sunny Day, Snoop, and Wu-Tang.

See the whole list (and their reasons for including them) here.

RSS icon Comments


Has anybody even seen that episode of Happy Days? Can't we find some cultural reference to mean the same thing that isn't from like the Civil War era?

Posted by Eric Grandy | April 15, 2008 11:50 AM

i don't think i agree with some of these picks. the modern lovers? of course you've peaked artistically if you only release one album.

Posted by cosby | April 15, 2008 12:13 PM


Winkler also did it in an episode of Arrested Development (sort of).

Posted by Jason Josephes | April 15, 2008 12:58 PM

I don't think the term works for this:

The term jumping the shark alludes to a specific scene in a 1977 episode of the TV series Happy Days when the popular character Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli literally jumps over a shark while water skiing. The scene was so preposterous that many believed it to be an ill-conceived attempt at reviving the declining ratings of the flagging show. The phrase has become a colloquialism used by U.S. TV critics and fans to denote the point at which the characters or plot of a TV series veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Such a show is typically deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark" fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original appeal.

Posted by wikiwiki | April 15, 2008 1:25 PM

— Add Quicksand, Far and Helmet to the list.

Posted by Aaron Edge | April 15, 2008 2:29 PM

nas, yes

kanye, no

but it's a singles game now anywayz

Posted by ndrwmtsn | April 15, 2008 2:31 PM

Agree with #4 - "Jumped the Shark" doesn't apply to most of this. There's also a strong argument to be made for 95% of all hip-hop artist that make great debuts never following up.

As for that Modern Lovers debut, that's a special category of album that was shelved so long before it's release (I think 3 or 4 years passed from recording to release), they weren't even playing that style of music by the time they were called on to promote it, so, like the Sidewinders brilliant 1972 debut (but rarely heard until Andy Paley was on to other things), will live as an unfortunate footnote in history.

Posted by Dougsf | April 15, 2008 2:38 PM

...and Sunny Day Real Estate? That's kinda a bizarre inclusion. I don't think anyone is crazy for liking them, but they weren't Too Much, Too Soon. IMO, they were good also-rans, making a style of music close to the tail end of its shelf-life.

Posted by Dougsf | April 15, 2008 2:55 PM

Maybe it's just me, but I would've included Pearl Jam.

Posted by Mike of Renton | April 15, 2008 3:12 PM

Weezer, anyone?

Contrary to popular opinion, I believe the Blue Album is better than Pinkerton.

However, if you wanna argue that they're not respectable anymore, I can't really argue with that.

Still, I think they'd be a good addition.

Posted by mike not of Renton | April 15, 2008 7:50 PM

It really is too bad, but Television truly does belong in this list. As a dumbass midwestern kid, I bought Marquee Moon in '77 mostly due to the eerie cover photo and was completely floored by a sound that wasn't like anything else I was listening to at the time. It wasn't rock, it wasn't jazz, it wasn't punk - what the hell was it? Those unique guitar riffs and Verlaine's tortured vocals created a surreal dark musical world that I wasn't sure what to make of at first but had to keep coming back to again and again. And none of my friends got it at all.

Posted by rk | April 15, 2008 8:43 PM

Black Flag? Give me a fucking break! Anyone who thinks the early stuff is better than My War can get lost.

Posted by bunnypuncher | April 15, 2008 9:08 PM

@9 Then you sir, are a moron.

Posted by MK | April 15, 2008 10:01 PM

Aaron, which Far album are you considering their first?

Posted by Josh | April 16, 2008 9:59 PM

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