Artists At Their Peak | The Popjustice Forum

Artists At Their Peak

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by EnsnareTheSenses, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. It can be just one song, an album, a tour, a performance - anything, really.
    Sometimes you just know when an artist is, as Britney deftly put it, 'in the zone'.

    So, what are your examples of singers/groups that have just shown that little extra spark in what they've done, and have taken things to the next level? I don't believe that a singer/group can only ever have just one peak - some, in fact, prove time and time again that they can astound and marvel, just when you thought you'd seen it all!

    Going in the vein of performances (as they combine a huge number of factors), here are three very well known performances of pop's elite that (off the top of my head) I believe to have taken these famous singers to another level.

    Britney Spears - 2001 VMA Performance:


    Over 10 years on, and the resonance of this performance still lingers within the world of pop. Performing her new single, 'I'm a Slave 4 U' for the very first time, and launching a fairly radical change in both sound and public image, Britney (and her team) knocked this one out of the park.

    The combination of the choreography, the styling, and the raw, unbridled energy further cemented Spears as one of the greatest performers of her time. And hey, why not throw in a little controversy with exotic animals to boot? (Not literally, 'to kick'. Britney's a crazy gal, but she ain't sick.)

    Quite simply, iconic.

    Lady GaGa - 2009 VMA Performance:


    Although she'd been on the scene for a while, 2009 was the year that Lady GaGa tore her way into the public's consciousness in a way that hadn't been seen since a certain Ms. Spears had done so exactly a decade before. 'Just Dance' and 'Poker Face' had seen her extremely well commercially, but it was 'Paparazzi' that made people really stop and notice her - firstly with the video, and secondly with this performance.

    What to say, really? Perhaps the proof of this performance's impact was that GaGa still managed to keep people talking about her even after a certain other controversial event that took place during the same ceremony. The battering of the piano, the blood, the hanging, and that drop of the microphone - goosebumps.

    Beyoncé - 2011 Billboard Music Awards Performance:

    (The tribute and aftermath are included here - skip to 2:56 if you just want the performance.)

    What do you do after nearly 3 minutes of solid, consistent praise from some of the music industry's top stars (Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder to name a few), and before accepting Billboard's Millennium Award? Prove that you're deserving of it!

    And that's exactly what Ms. Knowles did. While the song itself polarised fans and critics alike, and didn't exactly set the charts alight, there was no denying that Beyoncé absolutely floored everyone here - that's really saying something when you rarely ever drop the ball in performance. The vocals and choreography left little room for improvement, and when combined with the mind-blowing visuals, effects, and overall grandeur of the moment, Beyoncé was absolutely unstoppable here.

    * * *

    So, whilst I'm desperately praying that this thread won't have been a pointless exercise for me in creating, why not think of anything you can add to this list? There are more out there than Beyoncé can shake her Grammys at!
  2. Leona Lewis' performance of Run on the X Factor was has peak.

    Obviously Bleeding Love was huge but at the time of that performance she was coming off the back of Spirit's extraordinary success and she turned what was essentially comparable to another contestant performing into a real showcase as to why she won and the immense talent she had. Syco have tried to recreate it twice now and failed.
  3. Great start, Mushroom3!

    Here's a link to that performance:
    (skip to about 1:25 for the beginning of the performance).

    If there's a link to said video/song/clip of tour etc., pop it in for everyone to see and marvel at.
  4. Christina Aguilera - the entire Stripped era was a creative wonder.
  5. Was "Girls" really Beyoncé's peak? At least commercially her debut was her peak, or "Survivor" era.
  6. Yes. It's clearly the best thing she's done/will ever do.
  7. JadeFan

    JadeFan Guest

    I think Single Ladies was Beyonce's peak.
  8. Britney's peak "all rounder" era was In The Zone.
  9. In some cases it's hard to we're not judging sales alone I guess.

    Nelly Furtado - Loose
    Anastacia - Anastacia
    Janet Jackson - All For You (or The Velvet Rope, not sure)
    Robbie Williams - Escaplogy
    Jennifer Lopez - Jenny From The Block (if it had been anyone else from the block, it would have flopped hard. It was all about JLo, the song itself is rather awful)
  10. No, I purely just meant performance wise, and sort of recognition within the industry. I'm talking more about 'giving you chills' moments etc., but I'm extending the scope of this thread pretty far here.

    Commercially, it could be argued that her singles run from 'Dangerously in Love' holds the most weight.

    Video-wise, and breaking into the public's consciousness, I think JadeFan is right with 'Single Ladies'. That was quite the phenomenon. A pop Zeitgeist, if you like, alongside Rihanna's 'Umbrella', for example.
  11. I suppose Mariah peaked around Rainbow. Music Box, Daydream and Butterfly were bigger sellers but she was still getting hits (I suppose by that you could say her debut was her biggest peak...), even Lover Boy reached number two, and then it all tumbled down from there only for her career to re-peak with Emancipation through to Touch My Body.

    We Belong Together Live At The MTV Movie Awards Amazing moment!

    It's a shame the following single campaigns were so terrible she could have easily kept momentum going if it wasn't for Bye Bye. She had another shot with Obsessed but messed that up as well.
  12. Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl

    Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry

    The Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. was their end.
  13. Aaah, gotcha. For me personally it would have been "Dangerously In Love" at the Grammys, and "Independent Women" and "Survivor" in my opinion are on level with "Single Ladies" in terms of capturing the public's consciousness ("I nicked a fiver, thought it was funny, kept all his money, I'm a survivor, still got the fiver" and ofc "question?" were popular playground fare back in the day).
  14. My Mariah peaks are "My All" (fucking class), "Boy" (trashtastic) and "It's Like That" (the huge comeback).

    You're right on "Bye Bye" killing all momentum, such a huge shame.
  15. Kate Bush 1985 - Hounds Of Love
    Adam Ant 1981 - Prince Charming
    Human League 1981/82 - Dare/Mirror Man
    Beatles 1966 - Revolver
    George Michael 1985 - Everything She Wants (controversial opinion)
    Robbie Williams 1998 - No Regrets
    Depeche Mode 1990 - Violator
    PSB 1987/88 - Actually/I'm Not Scared
    Madonna 1989/90 - Like A Prayer/Immaculate Collection

    ..for starters.
  16. Ray


    Just came here to post the same about Pet Shop Boys, Eric!

    Annie Lennox - Diva
    The Smiths - Meat is murder
    Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light (which they criminally wasted as a "teaser" for Nightwork)
    Mylene Farmer - Ainsi Soit Je... and L'Autre

    For me, Depeche Mode's peak was Songs of Faith and Devotion. Violator, while great, still only hinted at the darkness and amazingness to come. And GM-wise, I'd say Older.
  17. JadeFan

    JadeFan Guest

    Weren't Scissor Sisters at their peak with I Don't Feel Like Dancing?
  18. The thread isn't just about success JadeFan.
  19. JadeFan

    JadeFan Guest

    Yeah but success still comes into it at some point. I don't see how a random song that didn't chart anywhere was their peak, when they were at their actual peak with I Don't Feel Like Dancing?
  20. Someboy

    Someboy Staff Member

    I'm a bit confused. Peak as in best song, best performance, success, most public awareness, or just from an artistic standpoint? Or just when everything 'clicks' together?
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.