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