Established Artists Putting Out New CDs
So here’s something that’s been a frustrating thing for me and music fans everywhere - There’s a band you‘re really into, they’ve put out a bunch of CDs that you LOVE. They announce plans to release the next one. You’re psyched. Awesome! More great music from my favorite! You read an interview in Rolling Stone with the artist in question, who says that without a doubt, it’s their best work yet. Even better! you think as you eagerly await the release of this masterpiece. FINALLY, the day arrives, and you get the recording you’ve been looking forward to. You listen… and… it’s different. This isn’t like the other CDs they put out. What happened? What is this? Best work yet? REALLY??
“OK, I’ll keep giving it a shot,” you think to yourself. “Maybe I just have to give it a chance to grow on me.” I’ll keep listening, wanting to like it more, but inevitably it just doesn’t measure up to the classics they put out in years past.
Time and again, it seems like a band has their heyday 20, 30, 40 years ago, when they released their best music. They continue to put out CDs , but they’re just not as good as they once were. I think the artists realize that as well. I saw Paul McCartney a few years ago, and aside from a handful of songs from his most recent CD, the other 90% of the remaining were either Beatles or Wings songs from 1975 or before. Does anyone even know one song from his Flaming Pie CD?
I thought it didn’t make any sense. Why is it that the same artist I liked so much would suddenly start to put out crappy music? First I thought that it was because they just weren’t as inspired as they once were. After they became popular and successful and started to earn millions of dollars, their inspiration dried up. Maybe they’ve used up all their good ideas. Maybe their creative drive slowed down after being in the music biz all those years. All the touring, all the sex and drugs got them distracted from what got them there in the first place. It’s possible, for sure. I think there are other explanations though. Maybe they’re just evolving as musicians. To be sure, it’s a little tricky - is it because of, or in spite of, all those life changing experiences, that the music went that direction? Maybe it’s a function of growing older - when we’re teenagers we identify more with the spirit of the music created by musicians who are younger and closer to our own age, and we just can’t relate as well to them when they’re older.
Is it us or is it them? It’s hard to say. Music is so subjective. Styles change, peoples taste in music change, and everyone has a different opinion on what’s “good”. Whatever the case may be, it’s like magic when a song strikes a chord with us all.