Author Topic: The creative drop-off  (Read 10805 times)

uhurit

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2008, 07:29:38 PM »
I have to agree with some of  the previous posts:

1. Eno (very good in his time as an ambient composer, but is horrendous in his later attempts to add vocals...WTF?)
2. Duran Duran
3. Sharon Stone...(or was she a one-hit wonder in Basic Instinct?)


But the biggest drop-off ever prize with a a trophy from the Hall of Infamy goes to Michael Jackson!

Dave Michuda

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2008, 08:14:50 PM »
I remember seeing a similar post elsewhere called "the biggest wastes of rock 'n roll talent".  There were about ten big names on the list, the ones I can remember are...Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney.  Hard to disagree with any of those.

For me, one the biggest disappointments has been Robert Fripp.  Some of his frippertronics recordings are occasionally interesting but not essential.  King Crimson hasn't done anything really good since the first eighties trilogy.

I agree on the David Byrne drop off but not on Eno drop off.  I pretty much like everything he's done.  Obviously some more than others and none of it quite reaches the heights of his early ambient work.  But his last vocal record I like very much, right up there with Green World & Before & After Science.

deepspace

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2008, 10:39:46 PM »
I wasn't too sorry to see the Talking Heads go.  They had some terrific albums, but thought they started to sound very tired towards the end.  Haven't followed David Byrne's solo career that closely, but he seems like one of those artists who cannot resist the temptation to over extend himself, like, say, Peter Gabriel.  Though I wasn't a big fan of Byrne's pseudoclassical work on the Knee Plays, I thought the Catherine Wheel was pretty good (had that 'Remain in Light' vibe), and I'm even starting to warm up to his new one with Brian Eno.  I like the fact that Byrne's new lyrics, like recent Eno's recent ones, do not seem locked in a timewarp and start to reflect things that you would expect person approaching the age of sixty to be thinking about, like mortality.  In fact, I would have thought, "What's the point?" if Byrne & Eno had given their fans what they (the fans) wanted and delivered "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts II."

Forrest

I agree entirely.  In fact "Road to Nowhere" was the perfect title for the sound of the band at the point in their career.
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deepspace

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2008, 10:43:22 PM »
It must be a very very difficult thing to be in the shoes of someone like McCartney.  Everything he would write, he would probably think..."it's good, but it's not Yesterday/Blackbird/Hey Jude/Let it Be/insert a hundred other songs here"

I do feel for him-  it's not as if he's awful now, but it's hard to shift culture's viewpoint if they think your best work is behind you.  In fact, possibly thanks to Nigel Godrich, he seems to be doing better stuff recently. 

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Wayne Higgins

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2008, 05:58:21 AM »
Quote
For me, one the biggest disappointments has been Robert Fripp.  Some of his frippertronics recordings are occasionally interesting but not essential.

Well, if your disappointed with Frippertronics, you should buy some Oenyaw! ;D
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Seren

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2008, 06:44:04 AM »
many years ago when i was a hawkwind fanatic I was at a gig and got speaking with an old guy who said - You'll love them for 5 years and then just keep going because of the 'old days' - I vehemently disagreed with him at the time, they would be my favourite band forever, but I send him my belated apologies as he was at least half right, 5 years was spot on but keep going I did not. Learning about all the infights between ex members only added to the disillusion.

I have tried to listening to stuff after 1981 but it just remains stuff for me and no amount of remembering the golden age of my youth has made any difference to that.

Peter Gabriel - I remember watching a documnetary where he was using the latest technology to create a whole album out of samples such as breaking glass, it was inventive and cutting edge- a big up in my respect and appreciation of his creativity. Unfortunately at the end of the documnetary he scrapped the plans and did the album with session musicians - instant deflation, so less than an hour of admiration!!!!!

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2008, 07:17:25 AM »
I remember seeing a similar post elsewhere called "the biggest wastes of rock 'n roll talent".  There were about ten big names on the list, the ones I can remember are...Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney.  Hard to disagree with any of those.


Well, I can't agree on Eric Clapton. Except for that one period when he released lots of middle of the road crap (mid to late 70s to early 80s), he has done very well getting back to his blues roots. I think both Unplugged and From the Cradle are fantastic blues albums. Also, I think he's a great example of kicking a heroin habit and getting back to being healthy (god, compare how good he looks now to some of his peers - what a contrast!). As for the others, well, yeah, Rod Stewart basically became a man-whore, Paul McCartney should've given it up aeons ago, Stevie Wonder hasn't recorded a memorable song in decades, and Elton John...well, the less said the better. But Eric Clapton, nope, I think he's doin' jes fine.

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2008, 09:13:57 AM »
I think it's common when an "artist" becomes so big that they have a huge entourage, attorneys and agents and managers and assistants, that they start to think of themselves as a business, and act accordingly.

I wonder if guys like Paul McCartney, Elton John, or Rod Stewart, are still enjoying themselves when they go out on another tour, or if they're thinking "well, my net worth is only 700 million now, and if this tour goes well I can nudge that up to 750 million."
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2008, 08:07:37 AM »
The most interesting thing about the "creative drop-off" is just that.  An artist cannot be expected to be creative forever, and when their creative efforts take a turn in to the realm of exploration, we tend to think they've "lost it".  It is interesting over the years how I will see a musician perform that hasn't released anything in years and they are better than I ever imagined.  Actors take bad parts because they need the money and aren't getting the good parts anymore (a million dollar home in Hollywood has hefty mortgage payments.)  Movie directors burn out, writers grow tired of the formulas that make them a hit, painters decide to do something new, and musicians sometimes just don't want to deal with yet another contract.  Emerson, Lake and Palmers most self-defeating album was "Love Beach".  It was so bland an uninspiring when it came out, when compared to all their other albums.  20 years later, I loved it.

As for the Talking Heads discussion, I have read so many different views on what happened, it's hard to say.  One thing I will mention to add to the banter is that I read an interview with Tina once that stated the "Remain In Light" thing was David and Brian going off on their own, and the rest of the band really didn't feel like arguing (besides, it sounded really good).  She also added that during the "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" sessions, there was a falling out between Byrne and Eno.  That Eno departed and Byrne  was being nice to include his name in the title.

But then again, I wasn't there.
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mgriffin

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2008, 08:37:18 AM »
The most interesting thing about the "creative drop-off" is just that.  An artist cannot be expected to be creative forever, and when their creative efforts take a turn in to the realm of exploration, we tend to think they've "lost it".  It is interesting over the years how I will see a musician perform that hasn't released anything in years and they are better than I ever imagined. 

Most of the cases people are mentioning here are not artists taking "a turn into the realm of exploration."  In most cases, the artist has totally lost it, and is just cashing in.  More like "taking a turn into the realm of suck-age."  I haven't seen one artist mentioned here who actually became more experimental, though I'd agree that some artists do that... just that most people recognize it's not a creative drop-off.

(actually, check that - I mentioned Autechre and they could be considered to be trying experimentation, rather than just run out of ideas... I might knock them off the list)

And some artists can be expected to be creative forever.
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drone on

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2008, 09:55:56 AM »
David Sylvian--gee I've run out of ideas so I'm gonna put my wife on my album.  When he got mixed up with his spiritual "guru" he got even more pretentious.  The glitchy, experimental computer-dominated music he has been doing has got to go...

The Cure
Brian Eno
Peter Gabriel
U2
Sting
Ridley Scott
Pete Namlook

Wayne Higgins

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2008, 02:32:54 PM »
Quote
And some artists can be expected to be creative forever.

Well, yeah.  If you're an artist.
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ffcal

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2008, 07:34:12 PM »
Quote
And some artists can be expected to be creative forever.

Well, yeah.  If you're an artist.

Maybe the problem is that there are too many artists out there that think this, but don't take a hard enough look at their results.

Forrest
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 08:35:32 PM by ffcal »

MarkM

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2008, 08:38:24 PM »
The Stones haven't produced any great body of music in years. Maybe VooDoo Lounge, but that is nothing when compared to the Jimmy Miller produced albums.

I agree about Stevie Wonder.  Some classic stuff and then nothing.


Scott M2

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2008, 08:53:28 PM »
I wonder if guys like Paul McCartney, Elton John, or Rod Stewart, are still enjoying themselves when they go out on another tour, or if they're thinking "well, my net worth is only 700 million now, and if this tour goes well I can nudge that up to 750 million."

That's my plan too.   8)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 04:20:06 AM by Scott M2 »

deepspace

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2008, 02:45:24 AM »
I agree with your thoughts there Mike.

I feel sorry for some of the big guys though, like McCartney, Stevie Wonder, maybe not so much Rod Stewart because I could never stand him in the first place.
They make all of their mistakes in public, and there are massive expectations on them- some of the expectations are to sell a lot of albums, and some of the expectations are to 'lose it' as an artist.  So you're sort of damned if you do, and damned if you don't.  So, McCartney releases a more 'experimental' album "Memory almost Full" and it's considered hopelessly out of touch with contemporary music.  So Bowie goes all noise and industrial with Tin Machine.   He gets roasted, because he can't attain the same level of brilliance as Low and his German period of the late 70's.  And then if they try to go all out Hit parade, they get roasted for doing that.  If they get charitable, they are seen as trying to do it as a publicity stunt.  We can be thankful for our relative obscurity I think.


One of the artists who has coped best I think, is Sting.  Even though he is considered past his prime, he diversified enough, and in a credible enough way, to maintain some semblance of respect from the general music listener in a way that doesn't seem overly artificial.  And of course, I haven't even mentioned Elvis Costello, who, like a fine wine, has outlasted most of these suckers with absolute style, and with a massive audience that still waits on his every release.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 02:47:04 AM by deepspace »
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Wayne Higgins

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2008, 10:55:38 AM »
I liked "Bridges to Babylon" but not too many other people did.  Kinda like when I really got into "BlahBlahBlah"  only to be told by an Iggy Pop fan that it was his worst album and that if I liked it, I wasn't a true Iggy Pop fan.  Jsehhhs!
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Joe R

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2008, 04:40:57 PM »
  Kinda like when I really got into "BlahBlahBlah"  only to be told by an Iggy Pop fan that it was his worst album and that if I liked it, I wasn't a true Iggy Pop fan.  Jsehhhs!

Hey, I liked Blah blah blah too! So tell that "fan" that he can kiss my bippy.

I also liked Naughty Little Doggy and Brick By Brick. But for the most part, Iggy's career has been blah blah blah since The Stooges broke up, so there's another creative drop-off for you.
I still listen to those old Stooges albums form time to time. Pure energy, nasty & malevolent! Drives my wife out of the room every time. :)

Mark Mushet

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2008, 05:45:30 PM »
David Sylvian--gee I've run out of ideas so I'm gonna put my wife on my album.  When he got mixed up with his spiritual "guru" he got even more pretentious. The glitchy, experimental computer-dominated music he has been doing has got to go...

Well...yes and no. I think the Nine Horses stuff is excellent, a real return to form. Besides, he was always about taking on the flavour of his surrounding players. Early on he used Jon Hassell on trumpet...now it's Arve Henriksen. On bass, Danny Thompson...now Keith Lowe etc. So there's consistency throughout his career as he usually makes great "tasteful" choices of sidemen.

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Re: The creative drop-off
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2008, 09:34:53 AM »
The "RIP David Foster Wallace" topic reminded me of this topic, and how many artists have disappointed their followers by leaving this world early.

I have so much regret about the missed opportunities of those like F. Scott Fitzgerald (not suicide, but died at 44, having trashed himself with alcoholism), Bill Hicks, Andy Kaufman, people like that.  There are the obvious widely-lamented names like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison.  Kurt Cobain, even.

You have to wonder what people like that might have done.
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