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Bon Jovi’s New Jersey was released 30 years ago today (September 19), and in its own right, it’s a huge album, but it certainly had a lot to live up to considering it was the follow-up to the monster album Slippery When Wet.  

Naturally, this got us thinking about other instances where bands were faced with the daunting question of, “Well, how do we top this?”  In honor of the anniversary of New Jersey, here are five classic rock albums that had hard acts to follow.

 

Bon Jovi – New Jersey (1988)

When you think about the success of 1986’s Slippery When Wet, it’s amazing just how strong New Jersey is.  From “Bad Medicine” to “I’ll Be There For You” to “Lay Your Hands On Me” and “Born To Be My Baby,” Bon Jovi really had no business releasing a follow-up this good with such little turn-around.

Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine

Music video by Bon Jovi performing Bad Medicine. (C) 1988 The Island Def Jam Music Group

 

Aerosmith – Rocks (1976)

Considering the breakout success of 1975’s Toys in the Attic, pressure had to be high on Aerosmith to deliver, but they did that and then some with Rocks, which yielded classics like “Back in the Saddle” and “Last Child.”

Aerosmith - Back In The Saddle (Audio)

Aerosmith's official audio for 'Back In The Saddle'. Click to listen to Aerosmith on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/AerosmithSpot?IQid=AeroBITSaudio As featured on The Very Best Of Aerosmith.

AC/DC – For Those About To Rock We Salute You (1981)

When an album sells four million copies, you’d think it would be a big deal.  But when it follows an album that has gone on to sell 22 million copies like Back in Black, it’s a different story altogether.  Regardless, we salute this AC/DC LP with all cannons in existence.

AC/DC - For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) (from Live at River Plate)

Music video by AC/DC performing For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). (Live At River Plate 2009) (C) 2011 Leidseplein Presse B.V. #ACDC #ForThoseAboutToRock #vevo #rockandroll #vevoofficial #live

 

Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)

Similar to For Those About To Rock…, Tusk had a nearly impossible task in following Rumours.  Sure, reception was mixed back in 1979, but history has been a little kinder to Tusk than most were when it was first released.

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk (Official Music Video)

Why dont you ask him if hes going to stay? Why dont you ask him if hes going away? Why dont you tell me whats going on? Why dont you tell me whos on the phone? Why dont you ask him whats going on? Why dont you ask him whos the latest on his throne?

 

 

Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987)

Pyromania was a massive hit and breakthrough for Def Leppard.  So, how does a band top it, especially after their drummer gets into a car accident that resulted in the loss of his left arm?  Write an album so good it pretty much reads as a greatest hits album.

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me (version 1: UK concept)

"From Def Leppard's Hysteria album, the first version of the music video for Pour Some Sugar On Me was released in 1987. Order the Volume 1 boxset: https://defleppard.lnk.to/VolumeOne Full catalogue now available to stream and download: https://UMe.lnk.to/DefLeppardDigital Follow Def Leppard Official website: http://www.defleppard.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/defleppard/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DefLeppard Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/defleppard/" Music video by Def Leppard performing Pour Some Sugar On Me.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.