Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Mick Jones, Carbon/Silicon, BAD and cetera.
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Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by RockNRollWhore »

Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by bazarboy75 »

Good question mate
Bad timing ? A bit to experimental ? And most of people wanted Clash stuff and Mick didn t want to play the Clash card at all. He was right in term of intégrity etc but not commercially.
Album always différent from the previous one at surely an impact too.
Bottom line didn t rocked the chart but e =mc2 had it moment haven't it ?

As Mick said in a very early days of bad that "created a super punk band was the gold cash way. But he choose to all started again, with mini van etc"
A good example of how integrety struggles to coexist with commercial success

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Heston »

I think they often chose the wrong singles. V13 should have been the first release from 10 Upping St before the album was released. By the time it came out and just missed the top 40 everybody had bought the album. I think a second big hit could have gave them a bit more traction with the general public.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by bazarboy75 »

Heston wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 6:52am
I think they often chose the wrong singles. V13 should have been the first release from 10 Upping St before the album was released. By the time it came out and just missed the top 40 everybody had bought the album. I think a second big hit could have gave them a bit more traction with the general public.
yep I think you're right, V13 surely could have worked. This is proof that when I tried to introduce BAD to people, it was often this song that appealed to them the first time they heard.
Illness of Mick may be interrupted something in the process too ?
In 1988 BAD worked live and Rock'n roll Mick was in some way in return...

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Kory »

bazarboy75 wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 8:29am
Heston wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 6:52am
I think they often chose the wrong singles. V13 should have been the first release from 10 Upping St before the album was released. By the time it came out and just missed the top 40 everybody had bought the album. I think a second big hit could have gave them a bit more traction with the general public.
yep I think you're right, V13 surely could have worked. This is proof that when I tried to introduce BAD to people, it was often this song that appealed to them the first time they heard.
Illness of Mick may be interrupted something in the process too ?
In 1988 BAD worked live and Rock'n roll Mick was in some way in return...
Mick's illness might have been an impediment at the time, but Rush was a pretty big hit after that, wasn't it? They could have pulled themselves back up if he hadn't lost interest in writing songs after The Globe album.
WWK: I feel confident we haven't heard the last from Dr. Harvey Camel.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by RockNRollWhore »

Kory wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 2:09pm
bazarboy75 wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 8:29am
Heston wrote:
26 Apr 2021, 6:52am
I think they often chose the wrong singles. V13 should have been the first release from 10 Upping St before the album was released. By the time it came out and just missed the top 40 everybody had bought the album. I think a second big hit could have gave them a bit more traction with the general public.
yep I think you're right, V13 surely could have worked. This is proof that when I tried to introduce BAD to people, it was often this song that appealed to them the first time they heard.
Illness of Mick may be interrupted something in the process too ?
In 1988 BAD worked live and Rock'n roll Mick was in some way in return...
Mick's illness might have been an impediment at the time, but Rush was a pretty big hit after that, wasn't it? They could have pulled themselves back up if he hadn't lost interest in writing songs after The Globe album.
Well yeah Rush was huge but then he almost took like a mini hiatus

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by drowninghere »

RockNRollWhore wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 8:06pm
Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.
Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Heston »

drowninghere wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:41pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 8:06pm
Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.
Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.
Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by RockNRollWhore »

Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:44pm
drowninghere wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:41pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 8:06pm
Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.
Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.
Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
So they almost self sabotaged themselves in a way. The Clash were ironically more successful in the US, whereas in their native UK received plenty of backlash. I feel like the success of Combat Rock combined with extensive US touring/promotion would have broke the band eventually tbh.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Heston »

RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:54pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:44pm
drowninghere wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:41pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 8:06pm
Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.
Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.
Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
So they almost self sabotaged themselves in a way. The Clash were ironically more successful in the US, whereas in their native UK received plenty of backlash. I feel like the success of Combat Rock combined with extensive US touring/promotion would have broke the band eventually tbh.
Wogan had a bigger viewing audience than TOTP and I have no doubt E=mc2 would have went top 5 if they'd gone on.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by RockNRollWhore »

Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:02pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:54pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:44pm
drowninghere wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:41pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 8:06pm
Honestly don’t understand. I went through the chart history and The Bottom Line barely cracked the Top 100?!?!? The songs are perfectly suited for 80s radio and obviously Mick wrote fantastic hooks.
Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.
Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
So they almost self sabotaged themselves in a way. The Clash were ironically more successful in the US, whereas in their native UK received plenty of backlash. I feel like the success of Combat Rock combined with extensive US touring/promotion would have broke the band eventually tbh.
Wogan had a bigger viewing audience than TOTP and I have no doubt E=mc2 would have went top 5 if they'd gone on.
They should have done YO! MTV RAPS

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Heston »

RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:07pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:02pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:54pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:44pm
drowninghere wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:41pm

Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.

Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.

Finally, lets no forget that the Clash themselves were not exactly chart heavy weights in the UK - Rock the Casbah 30, Radio Clash 47, Mag 7 34. No top 10 singles, etc.
Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
So they almost self sabotaged themselves in a way. The Clash were ironically more successful in the US, whereas in their native UK received plenty of backlash. I feel like the success of Combat Rock combined with extensive US touring/promotion would have broke the band eventually tbh.
Wogan had a bigger viewing audience than TOTP and I have no doubt E=mc2 would have went top 5 if they'd gone on.
They should have done YO! MTV RAPS
Seriously though, I'm forever miffed that the Clash never went on TOTP. I have no doubt I would have gotten into them earlier and would have caught them live in 82. I still don't fully understand the rationale behind it. They didn't want to mime but mimed in their videos. Those videos that hardly anyone saw because they wouldn't allow them to be shown on the only real outlet for videos in the early 80s in the UK.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by RockNRollWhore »

Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:12pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:07pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 2:02pm
RockNRollWhore wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:54pm
Heston wrote:
29 Apr 2021, 1:44pm


Not going on Top of the Pops or allowing their videos to be shown on the show did for them on your last point. BAD were happy to go on but interesting to find out they knocked Wogan back.
So they almost self sabotaged themselves in a way. The Clash were ironically more successful in the US, whereas in their native UK received plenty of backlash. I feel like the success of Combat Rock combined with extensive US touring/promotion would have broke the band eventually tbh.
Wogan had a bigger viewing audience than TOTP and I have no doubt E=mc2 would have went top 5 if they'd gone on.
They should have done YO! MTV RAPS
Seriously though, I'm forever miffed that the Clash never went on TOTP. I have no doubt I would have gotten into them earlier and would have caught them live in 82. I still don't fully understand the rationale behind it. They didn't want to mime but mimed in their videos. Those videos that hardly anyone saw because they wouldn't allow them to be shown on the only real outlet for videos in the early 80s in the UK.
Yeah I feel like that hardline stance was one of the dividing conflicts between Joe and Mick. Idk if its ever been discussed officially. I could see Mick wanting to be a little less idealistic if it meant for success. Honestly beats being in constant debt to the record company.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by Chairman Ralph »

Sorry to be late to this but I think you have to put it in context. Not too many examples of second bands formed by the lead guitar player of a successful band have ever gone anywhere or had any particular staying power (obviously there are exceptions). In that context, BAD did very well compared to a lot of MIck's punk and post-punk peers.

This is BAD and E=MC2 were surprise hits. Can't imagine many who expected they would be hits or imagined they would have done any better. In terms of second album fall-off and third album obscurity, welcome to the UK music press, always on the search for the next big thing and having no interest in something they lauded 3 - 4 years earlier.
I'd agree that Mick and company did about as well as could be expected, considering how much he was measured against his past.

My feeling is that the second or bite at the apple is bound to be a little more difficult, because you won't have the same factors from the first go-round working in your favor (like novelty, youth, and having essentially a lifetime's worth of preparation to refine material for that all-important first album).

Success often comes down to trends, and timing -- I remember BAD getting a lot of negative nods when they started, until E=MC2 and Medicine Show hit, and suddenly, the conventional wisdom that the weeklies espoused seemed to change. At least, until Upping Street, anyway, though much of the coverage focused more on his work with Joe, and less so on the actual contents.

I saw BAD several times in '89-'90, when I was in London, and my impression was it had become a cult following, because you tended to see a lot of the same faces at the gigs. It was ironic, in that Acid House was the big thing, and he'd embraced it so wholeheartedly, yet it didn't seem to show up at the box office during that era.
Also, not sure about elsewhere, but the original BAD had no interest in touring or cracking North America. Promotion virtually non-existent.
They definitely had a profile here in the early '90s, at least, in the wake of Rush's success, and the new lineup. There was a brief window of time, it seemed, when Brit bands could come over here, and get their day in the sun, at least until they all felt "the chill of a post-Nirvana world" (to coin a phrase from the Creation Records book, Magpie Eyes), and all that evaporated seemingly vernight.

Despite all these issues, I also remember BAD scoring in some surprising places -- notably, Australia, where they also toured, and Japan. Of course, it takes a lot of coordination and footwork to line up all those dominoes, and I seem to remember Mick complaining that he wasn't a priority for his record company (though every artist says something that, don't they?). Still, I'd say that Mick's formidable abilities got him a lot farther than most of his peers in these situations.

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Re: Why were BAD not commercially successful?

Post by MarkyJacobs »

I don't know if anyone saw the Adam Curtis 'Can't Get You out of My Head' series on the BBC, but one of the episodes was called 'What If the People Are Stupid?'

A lot (most) of the best music isn't commercially successful. But then BAD had the backing of a major label and were fronted by a 'name'? Maybe that actually worked against them, as some have already noted.

I liked BAD being a cult thing. The gigs in London were nearly always sold out.

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