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Do bands have expiration dates?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by kmaster, Feb 12, 2021.

In general, do bands have expiration dates?

  1. Yes

    75.0%
  2. No

    25.0%
  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Are we talking local/regional bands we play in? If that's the case, I would say one day after one member becomes an insufferable ass.

    If we're talking about big names, I think it's common that rock bands tend to decline in creativity...getting "stale" as @burntfrijoles put it. Jazz combos only get better because they learn to "read" each other. A trio that has been together for decades will create amazing music due of the highly relational nature of group improvisation. This probably applies to rock bands that go off-script as well, such as jam bands, as opposed to bands that just play the licks and parts as rehearsed and recorded...exactly the same, over and over.
     
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  2. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    & marketing & cultural expectations which shape #5:

    who'd'a thunk that Chic/Nile Rodgers would 'survive' til now? or, even more amazing, that Sister Rosetta and Fanny would be rediscovered?
     
  3. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I think Johan Sebastian Bach would be the exception to the case.
    Belief. What is it that I believe, What are things that I can not believe. What things did I believe and no longer believe?
    J.S. Bach changed my mind.
     
  4. THX1123

    THX1123 Tele-Meister

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    True that. I bet The Stooges and MC5 sell more records today. Maybe relevance can be discovered later due to today's access to older music?
     
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  5. Artimusbill

    Artimusbill NEW MEMBER!

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    I would say no in general. Sometimes the listener expires. They can't deal with "their band" growing or doing new stuff. I think Van Halen in the 90's was mostly awesome. I wasn't tired to a specific singer. Was all of their stuff in the 90's good? Probably not but neither was the 70's and 80's stuff. But the band was tight and mostly followed Eddie where ever he wanted to go. VHIII would probably have been better received as an EVH solo effort. I don't know. People change, grow up, have kids and all that. And some refuse to grow up.
     
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  6. Double Stop

    Double Stop Tele-Meister

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    Looking back over the last 25-30 years, the three bands that I really look forward to their next move are Wire, Radiohead and The Church. Always taking chances, always interesting, always good, never predictable.

    Then there’s Dylan, Springsteen, and the Stones. I like them just the way they are and I’ll always take more of the same from them.

    Then again, Jeff Buckley. What a loss. It would’ve been interesting to hear what he’d be up to today. I’ll bet it would’ve been pretty darn great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  7. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    Usually after album 4, it’s gone
     
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  8. kmaster

    kmaster Tele-Meister

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    It’s been interesting to see this conversation unfold so thank you all.

    As a point of clarification, this question is specifically about bands, not individual artists, and certainly not songwriters, performers, or composers.

    I look forward to reading more of your collective thoughts!
     
  9. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    The advent of a new generation of teens, transfering to Grunge. It was simply a casting out of the previous generation's music. It was an evil trend that Elvis started back in the 50s :rolleyes:
     
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  10. kmaster

    kmaster Tele-Meister

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    Ah, but I'm not talking about their audience, I'm talking about their albums and other output. You can't argue that Van Halen III has nearly the same focus or punch as Van Halen or even Van Halen II, for example. It meanders; the songs are too long. That would have been true whether or not grunge existed, no? Even if only 10 people bought the album, that album would have been the same album.
     
  11. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    In any time, and any musical genre, most bands indeed have an expiration date.
    Their stuff can sound dated, and they lose a certain creative spark.

    ZZ Top is an exception, surely.
    Rush, maybe, up to a point, and up until a few years before Neil passed away.
    I saw Aerosmith mentioned earlier, but I feel honestly that their creative, innovative days are far behind them.

    Growing, evolving individuals do not necessarily have an expiration date.

    Bowie was such an individual.
    He used a variety of musicians over the years to achieve a certain sound that was in his head.
    And those musicians came and went, and left their mark on this recorded creations.
    But they were employees, and even close friends (Gail Ann Dorsey for instance) but not necessarily band-mates.

    Okay, I'm gonna shut up now.

    :(
     
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  12. mcbassguitar

    mcbassguitar TDPRI Member

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    some bands get better, but the world doesn't keep up with them. XTC for one.
     
  13. johno99

    johno99 TDPRI Member

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    Some (most?) bands definately have a sell-by date. Some just accept it and fade away. Some take a specific decision to give it and some just don't know when time is up.
    I could happily have REM, Runrig and Marillion back and be even happier to see the back of Queen and U2.
     
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  14. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, but how do we know that Glenn Miller didn't do the same back in the late '30s or '40s?
     
  15. 93SuperVee

    93SuperVee TDPRI Member

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    Another perspective is the distinction between bands as artists and as performers/entertainers. Most referred to here start as artists and with very few exceptions, do run out of creative steam whether in two or three albums (Oasis) or over thirty years (REM).

    If they then continue to plug on, putting out derivative, sub-standard material I have little time for that (Liam & Noel Gallagher) and prefer REM's dignified exit, but I also recall an interview with Def Leppard's Joe Elliot talking about their Vegas residency when he essentially said their songs that people love have been a soundtrack to lives as well as giving the artists (creators) their livelihoods and that not to go out and play them as part of a proper show, with the energy and commitment that demands, to an audience that wants to hear them would be disrespectful to that audience.

    I guess Billy Joel is doing the same thing, though as many have pointed out it is different for solo performers. I have no problem with former artists becoming entertainers if they are prepared to do just that-entertain.
     
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  16. Sleepyscholar

    Sleepyscholar Tele-Meister

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    Have Marillion finally split up, then?
     
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  17. spkr4thdd

    spkr4thdd TDPRI Member

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    Oddly, I’ve just finished a run through of all the VH albums, and I make a habit of these kinds of things... Maiden, Queen, Rush, have all been done in the last year...

    Do they have an expiration date? I don’t think so?

    Are they prey to their own egos, expectations, and pressures from ‘the man’? Most definitely. And it’s how they deal with those pressures.

    VH and Rush are two great, yet different, examples...

    VH imploded with DLR’s ego causing much of the issue, and were lucky enough that Sammy Hagar (who was almost drafted in in ‘76) was there to give them a shot in the arm. Then it all went to **** with Eddie getting all truculent and taking control of what others thought were their ‘bits’, even Alex. And then there was the mess of VHIII, which worked on paper, but should have toured before making the album... and then the resurrection of the last album with DLR back in again; where both camps probably realised this was their last blast... and it was superb. Strangely, with loads of material written during their first journey together.

    Rush... they reinvented themselves over and again, absorbing the 80s, shrugging them off and embracing the 90s and then almost going full circle to simple power trio. We’re they saved by the couple of enforced brakes in their time together? Possibly, but they ended with one of their finest (musically at least) albums for over 20 years.

    A lot of it before now was probably the record, release, tour, record, release, tour cycle which broke so many bands up... they were pushed to breaking point. That’s no longer such an issue with times between releases increasing and people having time to work individually or elsewhere providing that respite needed to keep the collective going. Arguably though, that’s also the reason we no longer get those iconic albums from iconic bands...
     
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  18. gkmacdonald

    gkmacdonald TDPRI Member

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    If a band is still playing together after 3 decades they must enjoy it and my hat goes off to them surviving that long in a crazy lifestyle traditionally dominated by the young.
     
  19. Muadzin

    Muadzin Tele-Meister

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    Pretty much.

    Commercial success =/= creative success. The Stones, like Metallica or U2 these days, coast by on past success and sheer inertia of having created a massive fanbase that will take Star Wars/Star Trek/Doctor Who levels of assholery towards their fans to vaporize. If you treat your fans well you can enjoy commercial success for a long time, even though you are creatively out of steam. People enjoy seeing their musical heroes perform. Especially when they have the idea that each tour may be the last one.

    As has been said, first album is usually the best, they've been working on it for years, playing and finetuning the songs. And after that the qualitative edge declines, as they can't repeat that method any more, the labels wants the albums to come quicker then the songs can grow and mature. Maybe if they were a really big band like Metallica or U2, they can afford to take half a decade off between records and tours, but for new bands with a hit first album there's immense pressure to come up with a successor. Most cannot handle. See Nirvana.

    And then there are the slow bands, whose first album wasn't even that great, who coasted along with great live performances more then good songs at first and who have to learn how to write and record in a studio. I like to think Muse falls into that category, because their 1st album was meh as f*** but the quality of their albums took off like the stratosphere with their 2nd album. Guns 'n' Roses probably too as Appetite wasn't their first. Or Nirvana.

    Generally I think a band's expiration date is usually a decade. That is if they manage to repeat the success of their hit album. Every decade has bands that dominated that decade, and after that it declined. They managed to hook in to the zeitgeist, and when a new zeitgeist comes they get left behind to a career of playing AOR/classic rock festivals for the rest of their lives. Rarely do we get a band that manages to reinvent themselves to fit the zeitgeist of the new decade. The Rolling Stones managed to reinvent themselves for the 70's and remained relevant until the 80's. U2 survived the 80's by reinventing themselves into the 90's and 00's. But eventually entropy catches us all and even those bands are but shadows of their former creative selves, coasting on inertia, no longer able to reinvent themselves, try as they might. Take Metallica, how angry at life, it's trash metal after all, can 4 fat millionaires still be? Failure breeds success and success breeds failure.

    That is, if those bands manage to survive that other major pitfall of bands. Money, ego, drugs, women, managers and above all getting sick and tired of each other's sight. Those probably ended more successful band careers then lack of creativity ever did.
     
  20. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    When I hear the words "Van Halen" I think "oh that cover band"... I'd like to make a list of all of the "Other People's" music they did...

    Once Sammy Hagar joined the band it pushed them even further into Yuck N Roll and not Rock N Roll.

    Personally I've never really liked Eddie Van Halen nor his noisy finger-tappy stuff nor his whammy bar horsie sounds. I tuned him out in 1978 and disliked everything he ever did. It just did not and never did appeal to me. Then came the Clone Army of bands in the 1980s sucking up the Milk of Halen. Some how to mimic him they did the Inhalin' of Van Halen.

    Somehow that soon morfed into men dressed up like sissies, wearing eye liner and moosy moose hair with Spandex tight enough to cut off their testicles, and I was supposed to take this **** serious? NOT

    Somehow these days that morfed into you now gotta have tattoos of demons and skulls, piercings in all kinds of inconvenient places, and for whatever reason people equate that with "talent"... haha

    Yup, just crank the distortion and cover up all the mistakes. And if you can get a tattoo of a snake eating a demon eating a skull next to an image of the Grim Reaper... you can really play guitar...

    I am certain Disco is Dead, and I was for sure RAP would not make it another year back in 1989... to be a great RAP star you have to say "fokk" and "muthafokker" at least 50 times every song... its the RAP equivalent to heavy metal tattoos

    ...somehow heavy metal and the shredder guitar music hangs on like a death born zombie... unnnnnnhhhhhh.... brrrrrrrainssssss... BRAINSSSSSSSSSS

    Someone please just chop its head off and/or shoot it in the brain (like in the Walking Dead series)... to me metal is worse than twangy dingy-lyric country music or even opera... I think I could endure without puking about 30 seconds longer listening to opera than I could metal... as far as the perfect "Clockwork Orange" music... that would be me being forced to listen to metal... haha

    If a 12 year old can do it, and sound just like a 35 year old national act guitarist, it can't be very deep or meaningful...

    Hopefully metal doesn't make it through the 2020's.... maybe metal will get the Corona Virus and just die off slowly and for good... LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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