Thursday, April 7, 2011
They Should've Stopped While They Were Ahead
Karen: I'm gonna say upfront here, that this post is pretty negative. In fact, it might be considered cruel. But the truth will out - and the truth is (in my humble opinion), some bands or artists would be better off if they had just stopped producing new albums at some point. By better off, I mean their musical legacy would have been more secure, more impressive if they had just stopped at a high point, before they drifted off into mediocrity. My example is the Rolling Stones. I feel they've become a mockery of themselves. Think of all the crap they've put out in the last few decades - Undercover, Dirty Work, Bridges to Babylon -heck, I bought Tattoo You when it came out and I thought they had pretty much hit bottom then. Have they done anything truly memorable since Some Girls? I mean, this was the band that put out classics like Let It Bleed, Exile on Main Street, and Sticky Fingers. That was incredible work. Those albums still have a power and resonance today. Now I don't expect an artist to always hit a home run, but when it's obvious that they're really not even trying any more, well, then they should just pack it up and enjoy their wealth. But not the Stones. They just keep traipsing out on stage, diluting their greatness year after year. A band that was once rebellious and considered dangerous has transformed into a nostalgia act. They haven't made any attempt to reinvent themselves like many other 60s rockers; instead, they are riding on the coat-tails of their youthful selfs. Thankfully they haven't turned out too many albums recently, but it's almost too late, the damage has been done. To a lesser extent, I feel the same way about Aerosmith. They were a great hard rock band that arose from the ashes of their own self-destruction to become an over-produced, ballad band? Ugh. Do you think I'm being too harsh? Or do you have another example you want to discuss?