Originally Posted by CruelInventions
Wow, you're a tough crowd. So I guess you're not one of those fans willing or interested in growing along with the artist? Or was it just those artists that you hit a brick wall with?
With U2, I was with them to somewhere around Achtung Baby. Thereafter, it always seemed like they struggled with what to do next. Lacking in creative inspiration, resulting in retread music or trying too hard music.
I stayed with Elvis Costello a while longer, but then he lost me somewhere around Spike, I guess. Imperial Bedroom is still probably my favorite (I used to be able to recite the lyrics of that album from beginning to end). But there were still enough moments of greatness on the next few albums too.
Sometimes I think it doesn't have all that much to do with the artist or what they are presently doing, but instead, you've just reached a point where you've gotten your fill of them. You still value their music up to the point where you decide to jump ship, but then you're just ready to move on to other music.
Some good questions. I thought about the first one for a while. My first instinct was to say "of course I'm willing to grow with the artist". But I think the truth is that I'm not. I know what I like, and I like what I like, and I'm not going to waste any time "adjusting" for the sake of history with an artist. I will say that I did try
with all of them. There have been way too many albums (is that still a thing?) that took a few listening tos' and went from Meh to All Time. I forgot about Joshua Tree, that was good, but they lost me at Rattle and Hum and Achtung Baby.
I also forgot about Imperial Bedroom, Beyond Belief is one of my all time favorites, but a lot of those songs from that period were older songs that he already had in his arsenal. I don't have them anymore, but I bought a couple bootleg tapes of EC at Beatlemania in like '78. Quite a few of the songs on those tapes showed up on much later albums. The guy was a writing machine. Also way under rated as a vocalist. Listen hard to "My Funny Valentine". Incredible.
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey
For U2, "The Joshua Tree" and "Actung, Baby" are among the pillars of popular music released during my adult life. Joshua Tree in particular is just an epic album. The gotcha is that both those albums come from a place of complete sincerity and lack of cynicism. It's almost impossible for those traits to survive mega-stardom. It seems to me their view of life and the world became more cynical and more ironic, and their music reflected that.
It's got to be a weird situation. A lot of artists, who never can quite get their heads around the disparity between the adulation from the outside and the doubt and sometimes self-loathing on the inside (which was often the source of great, introspective, confessional work), become very self destructive. I think that maybe U2 just armored themselves with irony against that cognitive dissonance.
For me I'm mostly a sincerity and emotion guy when it comes to music, and the mixture of soul/gospel and rock is a powerful combination to me. So those two albums from their uber-sincere phase really speak to me. And the live album that came out shortly after that has some pretty epic performances on it.
Of course they eventually got so popular that inevitably a new generation of kids by default had to hate them, just because of who they are.
Aerosmith I mostly lost contact with after those initial great albums. Not purposefully so, but it just happened. I do find it interesting how a band like them has ultimately had so much influence generations later. "Sweet Emotion" seems to have entered the canon at some point in particular, and of course Run DMC brought them to a new rap oriented generation in the 80s and that sort of stuck as well.
Then I look at a mostly contemporary band to Aerosmith, like, say, The Police, where were enormously popular and critically acclaimed and loved by musicians, and how little of their influence has made it through to today. You still get folks who grew up on them and now make movies, getting their songs into movies now and again. But I don't hear many young folks, or the previous generation of artists they grew up on, really referencing The Police all that much.
We have different tastes in music, I've known that for a while. But what you say here mirrors my thoughts. These artists start out with nothing, and their compositions reflect the kind of true honesty that goes along with that. I used to listen to October when I jogged. Those songs (Gloria in particular) could bring me to tears and make me endure the last couple miles. Such power. I can't say that about the later stuff. As good as it could be it just wasn't as "raw". They were singing about different things. It just didn't move me.
Elvis C obviously had major problems getting girls to take him seriously. That led to IMO some of the greatest songwriting ever. Those kind of problems have a way of going away with some fame and fortune. I thinks the spark went away at the same time. It would with me.
Sorry for continuing with the massive off topic. Say the word Dude111 and we'll zip it. But I got a feelin' the Dude is takin' 'er easy for all us sinners.