Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 May '10 08:18
    Has there ever been a clearer example of consciously reducing the quality of one's music in order to make it more lucrative than David Bowie's artistic and financial direction of the 1980s and beyond?

    Space Oddity > Man Who Sold The World > Hunky Dory > Ziggy Stardust > Aladdin Sane > Pin Ups > Diamond Dogs > David Live > Young Americans > Station To Station > Low > Heroes > Stage > Lodger > Scary Monsters.

    In my estimation, not one of Bowie's contemporaries produced a string of albums as consistently good as this and as long as this.

    Then there were these...

    Let's Dance > Tonight > Never Let Me Down

    Which - I gather - made Bowie far far richer than his 70s sequence of albums did. And yet, not a single one of those commercially successful albums measures up against the 70s stuff ( surely? ).

    Personally, I'm not sure what to think about the titles that followed

    Black Tie White Noise > Outside > Eart hl i ng > 'hour...' > Heathen > Reality

    ( Also: Tin Machine > Tin Machine II )

    I'd say Tin Machine II, Outside, and Reality were fairly worthy Bowie albums but there has been no return to the Space Oddity >> Scary Monsters plane. Not to my ears (and heart).

    Can anybody think of any other artists who had a similar artistic/financial career curve. Wes Montgomery and George Benson come to mind. But what about in the world of rock/pop?
  2. 01 May '10 09:18
    Genesis are an obvious example that went much more commercial as they went on. Compare, for instance, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with Genesis and Invisible Touch. Basically, everything after Peter Gabriel left was a lot less arty.
  3. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 May '10 09:28
    Originally posted by mtthw
    Genesis are an obvious example that went much more commercial as they went on. Compare, for instance, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway with Genesis and Invisible Touch. Basically, everything after Peter Gabriel left was a lot less arty.
    Are there fans who stuck with them?

    What do the people who bought post-Invisible Touch Genesis stuff think of the Peter Gabriel era stuff?
  4. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    01 May '10 11:07
    I just listened to Heathen and it passed through me, sorry to say. After that I listened to Reality and I'd say it might be almost as good as Lodger - without Lodger's understandable sentimental value to me. New Killer Star could have been on Heroes. Pablo Picasso could have been on Low. The Loneliest Guy could have been an outtake from Young Americans. She'll Drive The Big Car and Looking For Water could have been on Scary Monsters. Try Some, Buy Some could have been on Aladdin Sane. Bring Me the Disco King could have been an outtake from Station To Station or Young Americans.
  5. 01 May '10 15:39
    Hate to say it but Led Zeppelin took for them was a very "poppish" turn before they ended their inital run.

    I find it rather typical, though, for artists to move away from the edge to a more centered sound as they grow on.
  6. 01 May '10 17:13
    Metallica.
  7. Standard member avalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
    01 May '10 17:54
    Being an artist is a hard habit to break I'd guess, even after the muse has departed.
  8. 01 May '10 20:49
    Originally posted by FMF
    Are there fans who stuck with them?

    What do the people who bought post-Invisible Touch Genesis stuff think of the Peter Gabriel era stuff?
    Not really sure. I'm too young to remember their early stuff first time round. I don't think the critics liked their more popular stuff as much, but I can't say about the fans.
  9. 03 May '10 12:11
    Bands are signed up for record deals which can include 3-4 future albums.

    They are under contract to produce an album. If, as someone else mentioned,
    the muse ha gone and the original spark has died then to avoid getting sued
    they produce middle of the road standard stuff to meet an obligation.

    A favourite trick here is the 'Live Album' or their 'Greatest Hits' which is often
    just a contract filler.
  10. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    04 May '10 09:49
    Originally posted by FMF
    I just listened to Heathen and it passed through me, sorry to say. After that I listened to Reality and I'd say it might be almost as good as Lodger - without Lodger's understandable sentimental value to me. [b]New Killer Star could have been on Heroes. Pablo Picasso could have been on Low. The Loneliest Guy could have been an outtake from Youn ...[text shortened]... Me the Disco King[/b] could have been an outtake from Station To Station or Young Americans.[/b]
    Much the same response.

    Can't add much to your comments about his 80s decline (Day In, Day Out -- worst video ever?) -- except I've still got a soft spot for Tin Machine I. Well, I was 15 when it came out, in the throes of Bowie love.

    I gather Dame David's dancing days are done after that heart attack a couple years back. So Reality is probably the last thing he'll have done.
  11. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    04 May '10 10:51
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Much the same response.

    Can't add much to your comments about his 80s decline (Day In, Day Out -- worst video ever?) -- except I've still got a soft spot for Tin Machine I. Well, I was 15 when it came out, in the throes of Bowie love.

    I gather Dame David's dancing days are done after that heart attack a couple years back. So Reality is probably the last thing he'll have done.
    I thoroughly enjoyed a spin of Outside earlier today. That is a fine Bowie album in my book, the er... spoken word bits aside.
  12. 14 May '10 06:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Has there ever been a clearer example of consciously reducing the quality of one's music in order to make it more lucrative than David Bowie's artistic and financial direction of the 1980s and beyond?

    [b]Space Oddity > Man Who Sold The World > Hunky Dory > Ziggy Stardust > Aladdin Sane > Pin Ups > Diamond Dogs > David Live > Young Americans > Station To Stati Wes Montgomery and George Benson come to mind. But what about in the world of rock/pop?
    [/b]
    AC/DC. All went downhill badly after Back in Black and this accelerated after FTATR. They are not everyones taste, but imo they represent a massive achievement in the history of hard rock. Absolutley brilliant live too, and apparently they still are.

    Their commercial decline was for the the opposite reason to Bowie though, as they got stuck in a moment, and he moved on, too far and too quickly.
  13. 14 May '10 06:38
    Originally posted by badmoon
    Hate to say it but Led Zeppelin took for them was a very "poppish" turn before they ended their inital run.

    I find it rather typical, though, for artists to move away from the edge to a more centered sound as they grow on.
    Yep, In through the out door is very poor. I don't think it was produced by Page as he had lost interest.
  14. 14 May '10 22:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    AC/DC. All went downhill badly after Back in Black and this accelerated after FTATR. They are not everyones taste, but imo they represent a massive achievement in the history of hard rock. Absolutley brilliant live too, and apparently they still are.

    Their commercial decline was for the the opposite reason to Bowie though, as they got stuck in a moment, and he moved on, too far and too quickly.
    AC/DC hasn't necessarily been stuck in a moment, they've just doggedly stuck to their vision of hard rock. Back in Black and after has to be taken on their own merits, though - Bon Scott had a gift for lyrics that the lads haven't been able to match since his death. Musically, however, I'd say their current material holds up well. Either you like them or you don't.
  15. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    19 May '10 05:59
    Originally posted by badmoon
    Hate to say it but Led Zeppelin took for them was a very "poppish" turn before they ended their inital run.

    I find it rather typical, though, for artists to move away from the edge to a more centered sound as they grow on.
    Just like Sting after he left The Police.