Creed
Too soon, Creed. Too soon.

Like a snake swallowing its own tail along with a few pounds of bad Mexican food and exploding in a moist shower of dysentery, the “playing well-known albums in their entirety” trend has finally gotten big enough for Creed.

The critical punching bags will hold “special intimate two-night events” next year to celebrate some damn anniversary or other, playing “their classic, multi-platinum selling albums My Own Prison and Human Clay in their entirety.” (Press release’s words, not ours.)

This is the kind of thing that’s very easy to get snarky about (see first two paragraphs), but rather than taking the easy way out, we decided to skim our long, long, long mental list of albums that would be more deserving of the “complete in concert” treatment. Here’s a very brief sampling.

Bell Biv DeVoe, Poison

Back in 1990, just about anything that came out of the New Edition axis turned to platinum — hell, even Ralph Tresvant had a solo hit — and these guys were right on the cutting edge between hip-hop and R&B. By the time they got around to releasing a follow-up with the ludicrously titled Hootie Mack in 1993, the moment had passed, but they’re still out on the touring circuit. Can’t you just hear the thousands of graying thirtysomethings who’d show up to scream “never trust a big butt and a smile” while reliving one of the most well-worn cassettes of their youth?
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Janet Jackson, janet.

Captured at the golden moment when Janet was figuring out how to assert her sexuality without rubbing her audience’s noses in it, janet. continued her amazing streak of radio dominance with a smartly crafted record of pop hits (“That’s the Way Love Goes,” “Again”) balanced against harder-edged R&B (“If,” “You Want This”). Jackson has flailed over the last decade as she’s sought to recapture her Top 40 magic, and she’d do well to relearn the lessons of this overlong, yet still incredibly potent, album. What better way than performing it in its entirety before thousands of appreciative fans?
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The Sundays, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

Mainly just because we’d really like to hear Harriet Wheeler back in action again. Seriously, guys, we think your kids might be able to handle a few nights with a babysitter at this point. Come back, please — even if it means running through your debut album a few dozen times.

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Depeche Mode, Violator

Yeah, they’re still making music, but to a large degree, they’re still running off the fumes of this 15-times-platinum monster hit, which opened their sound and altered their path considerably as a band. There will never be another “Enjoy the Silence” — especially not for the millions of black-jeans-wearing kids who wore out their copies of Violator — so why fight fate? A Violator tour would be huge.

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Jewel, Pieces of You

Without giving this wispy little folk record more analysis than it deserves, Jewel is kind of like America itself — in the ’90s, it seemed like she was full of promise and headed for better things, but while we got ourselves wrapped up in economic bubbles, enraged political gridlock, and increased national malaise, Jewel fiddled with silly poetry, high-gloss pop, crappy dance music, and finally country and kids’ records. We desperately need a rebirth, and so does Jewel. Perhaps putting on some jeans and taking out the acoustic guitar for a few weeks might help.

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