Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die

All about the music played on the Spirit
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Great Satan

Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die

Post by Great Satan »

FYI It's the title of a Jethro Tull song that the CFNY DJ played, upon request, around the time of Lennon's death.

Around their 20th birthdays, Elvis was doing Heartbreak Hotel, McCartney was about to be world famous, Peter Gabriel was in very early Genesis, Sting did Roxanne, and Bono's U2 were working on the War album.

Around their 32nd birthdays, Elvis was about to do a decent TV special, McCartney did Band on the Run, Peter did his 4th (and my favourite) album, Sting could still do a song that wasn't crappy, and U2 did Zooropa.

Around their 42nd birthdays, Elvis died, McCartney was doing crappy soundtracks and duets, Peter did one last good album, Sting could no longer do jack---t, and I expect U2 to start losing it--even now I see the pretty girl on the video isn't with Bono but with a younger guy--like that Rod Stewart voyeur video.

I can't think of any artist that does good music at the age of 50. Neil Young can sort of, but his best were with Eddie Vedder. I suppose Johnny Rotten and Henry Rollins do their seminars and "spoken word" sets because Rotten hasn't done a good song since Seattle and I doubt Rollins could any more ape a U2 song than some anti-rapper could do a rap song in demonstration of its alleged not-taking-much-talent.

Why is this? Am I missing something? Are the Rolling Stones doing stuff way too cool for commercial radio, or should I take a hint from their poorly rendered rip-off from k.d.lang?

These men (most important stars are men--the "10 bands that mattered the most" were men--save Tina) will remain healthy for decades. Ditto mentally alert. They are rich, which means they might be apathetic, but surely not all and they now have lots of clout and resources to produce masterpieces--no record company butt-kissing--or less of it at least. Consider Sergeant Pepper's or the White Album.

Does anyone know of any good songs from those past 50?

Again comments are appreciated.
Bill Yetman

Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die

Post by Bill Yetman »

My theory (it's a fairly obvious one) about younger artists producing better work is the "hunger" factor. They start out with nothing, and try desperately to find an interesting/innovative sound. Usually they would have feedback relating to the music, not to their cult of personality, so if they play a song that a crowd doesn't like, they get an immediate impression if they're doing something good. Older, established bands, especially stars, tend to stick to their style and beat it to death in the name of making money off their brand. Add in the factor of fans who praise anything they do, and being surrounded mostly by other rich, famous artists, and they lose all touch with innovation... paving the way for the next wave of stars. Notable exceptions are Bowie and to a lesser extent Madonna, who have tried to do new and different things by surrounding themselves with fresh talent (like Bowie's ever-changing cast of bandmates and producers, or Madonna scooping up William Orbit). Long story short, you don't get much out of an established Music Business Star except the same, safe stuff nearly guaranteed to make some money- barring big swings in popular taste (see ya later, Level 42).

Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die

Post by kenf »

. Who's had the top selling albums recently: Beatles, Rolling Stones, & Elvis. What's the overlooked common factor? The songs are SHORT; typically 2-3 minutes only. And everyone can hum the tunes.
. Pop music used to be single oriented, then albums came. A catchy single(s), a followup(?), and most records still had lots of room for filler. A few artists did whole album sides (groovy man), but that's still only 20 minutes played at a stretch. To hear an entire album: pause, get up, flip vinyl, whatever else, then resume listening, whew.

. But for 15+ years; the more demanding, nobreak, one-sided hour-long and more Disc has been used instead. Are current bands as over-skilled over yesterday's as their athletic counterparts claim to be? ,Really?
. (If I could - ha) I'd love to hack down many older artists' modern efforts from CD and back into a disciplined splitted output <43 minute product - not neccessarily as 'old vinyl'. Spare the club/remix/intro'd/ext treatment for the hits & weekends. If the basic song doesn't 'hook' within 5-15 seconds, it likely won't after 5-6 minutes.
. Writers still have editors to heavily reduce & refine their manuscripts, and when I buy jazz reisuues, many remain at 35 minutes length. Age and fame regardless: seems no one is allowed to produce a finished catchy SINGLE anymore.

note: (this doesn't espouse listening to the same 10 major hits repeatedly.)
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