Longevity in the Music Industry: Ageing like a fine wine.

I’ve been thinking about bands/musicians/song writers again…I know, shock! Horror!

There is a curious pre-occupation in the world of music that a great artist will forever have to live up to that record. They will never be able to surpass that moment in their career. If they are lucky they won’t spend the rest of their life being shouted at to play that song, from that album, despite the fact that, in their mind, it is old news and they are sick of playing it. Good news…this isn’t what I have been thinking about! I have been thinking about artists who continue to produce new music that their fans embrace, and in truth love as much as that record.

It all started listening to Bruce Springsteen’s new album “Wrecking Ball” (click play up there), as he seems to be the one the embodiment of this idea. He has his classic albums, yet writes new music that fans (both new and old) seem to embrace with gusto. That is truly, truly incredible. I can only see 2 things that would make this seem logical, either Bruce Springsteen’s fans aren’t ignorant to his new material or he is actually getting better with age. I think its special mix of the 2. But this got me wondering again…

Bruce Springsteen seems to get better with age/just keeps hammering out great tunes, who else is there?

After asking my little corner of the social networks, I had one I totally agreed with and a few I will accept. I couldn’t have argued with the fact that Public Enemy have only improved with time. As a fan, I think, the soundtrack to “He Got Game” (1998) and “How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?” (2007) hold up, if not show more depth than their classic “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” (1988). Chuck D has only become more educated and shown a greater skill with his flow, Flava Flav is (probably) on less drugs….its rare that 3 albums separated by 20 years stand up together.

I’ve focussed on these 2 as they are personal favourites of mine, but there are more…

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Deserve to be spoken of in the same light as the Boss and company.

Steven Tyler & Aerosmith: Still touring, still writing and more importantly, still working on being more than they were.

Foo Fighters: 15 years now…Dave Grohl doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of easing up.

Madness: Their more recent albums are truly excellent.

Iron Maiden: Seriously, they keep adding new songs to that greatest hits festival set.

Paul McCartney: Does that even need explaining?

Slipknot: YEAH! You heard me. First album came out in 1998 and they are relentless in their pursuit of being more than just a one album show. 15 years later, they are more than just the blokes in masks.

Weezer: Very personal, 1994 the Blue Album dropped, and I still get excited every time a new release is looming!

I welcome you to think about it. There can not be many bands/artists in the world who have been around a long time, enjoyed great success and are still pushing forward with well received new material. It’s an interesting thought for a Wednesday night…

04. April 2012 by Michael Partridge
Categories: Music | Leave a comment

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