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Old 04-01-09, 05:55 PM   #1
nothingfails
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Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

There has been a lot of controversy around PSB forums over a journalist who wrote an article saying that "80's relics" such as them and Depeche Mode should hang it up since they're not as popular as they were 20 years ago and just tour the oldies circuit and nothing more. I am a moderate fan of both and this really ticked me off because I think they both are putting out good material to this day and I'm glad they're still doing their thing and caring about new material. If someone only wants to hear West End Girls or Personal Jesus, isn't that what a Greatest Hits album is for? To me, nothing is more sad than a veteran artist who ignores recent music when touring just so they can play the same tired songs they've been playing for 20 years. A good example of this is The Rolling Stones. I agree with the consensus that their peak was the 60's and 70's, but there have been more than enough good tracks from the past 20 years that they could've done instead of ignoring all tracks post 1981 besides a few obligitory "new tracks". Mixed Emotions, You Got Me Rocking, Rock And A Hard Place, Saint Of Me, etc... all went over well and they could've added to their sets when I saw them.

I know all artists have their commercial heyday but they shouldn't hang up and concede that it's over just because they aren't scoring hits anymore. When I saw The B-52's last year, I could sense they were more excited to play the Funplex tracks (and they did about half the album) than they were doing Love Shack, Planet Claire and other songs they've done so many times they could perform it in their sleep. Maybe a lot of the audience was bored with the new stuff, but I was up front singing along to the new music just like I sang along with the classics. Joan Jett was the same way when I saw her, I admittedly haven't followed her newer music but gave the new songs a chance and liked them when I heard her do it, enough to where I bought "Sinner" afterwards.

What do you guys think about this? Should older artists just concede defeat and decide it's not worth it anymore if they're not having commercial success like they once had and become an oldies touring act, or should they be like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, B-52's and others and find that perfect mixture of classics that casual Greatest Hits fans love as well as new material that the true fans enjoy as well?
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Old 04-01-09, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

I have little use for artists who are now essentially nostalgia acts, but there are plenty of ones I like who still put out great stuff and are as viable as "new" acts. A guy like Paul Weller has been able to reinvent himself a couple of times (at least) and the music he's released over the last decade and a half is on par, if not superior to, the music he did with The Jam.
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Old 04-01-09, 06:49 PM   #3
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

Black Sabbath / Heaven & Hell ... nuff said
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Old 04-01-09, 07:27 PM   #4
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

I saw Alice Cooper a few years back and it was excellent. Certainly he performed lots of his classics along with the new album, but when someone has that large a discography and that long a history, you'd expect that--hell, his "greatest hits" album is as old as I am. They are still awesome songs.
He put out an album last year and toured for that as well, I would have gone if he came to my area.
Some artists milk it and only play the 'classics' that made them famous, and I don't necessarily even see anything wrong with that, they can still be classic songs. The only thing I don't like about the legacy artists playing new material is if I am not familiar with it yet.
I don't think commercial success of their new material should be the deciding factor...the top 10 of the billboard 200 are all artists I wouldn't pay a dime to listen to, and the oldest one is U2. Nostalgia sells, good music will always be good music. What exactly is the "oldies circuit"? If that means smaller, cheaper venues, I'm all for that, I like those better than the huge ampitheaters anyway.
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Old 04-01-09, 08:05 PM   #5
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

Steely Dan still put on a helluva show.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:00 PM   #6
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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Should older artists just concede defeat and decide it's not worth it anymore if they're not having commercial success like they once had and become an oldies touring act...
I feel this way about most bands whose earlier material I've liked. The only band I can think of that I still care about the current output is Nine Inch Nails.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:19 PM   #7
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

Prince still kicks much ass, esp. Live
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Old 04-01-09, 10:42 PM   #8
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

Musicians should play concerts for money as long as tickets sell.

Some of the 'golden oldie' stuff with one original member and bunch of strangers doing classic hits can be lame as hell. Like 'Chicago' still doing stuff from the first album with a bunch of strange guys and one actual member can be weird.

Back in the ~mid 90's I got to see the original lineup of 'Foreigner' on a reunion tour and they kicked ass. Huge outdoor show and it rocked.
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Old 04-01-09, 10:46 PM   #9
cactusoly
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

as mentioned earlier Alice Cooper still puts on an incredible show and releases great albums. I've seen Alice live on every tour since "Trash" in 88
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Old 04-01-09, 11:09 PM   #10
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

I think the artists needs to remember why people are still coming along to the shows (essentially to hear the old stuff in most cases) with nods to new music as well. Most of my musical purchases these days are older artists still doing it but I hope generally that they remain faithful ot the vibe that tunrned me on to them in the first place. Mostly that is the case. Thankfully it's much easier for older and forgotten artists to get their music out today via web pages and the like.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:23 PM   #11
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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What exactly is the "oldies circuit"? If that means smaller, cheaper venues, I'm all for that, I like those better than the huge ampitheaters anyway.

When I think "oldies circuit", I think of someone like Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive. They never record new music anymore, but he seems to constantly rerecord You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) every couple of years and lives off the glory that song gave him, not even attempting to make new music. Gloria Gaynor comes to mind as well with her 200 rerecordings of I Will Survive, but at least she did put one new album out in 2002 or so, but of course that album still had a new remix of IWS tagged on as a bonus track. To me, those two artists are good examples of older artists who know they're never going to have huge commercial success again, but instead of trying to put new music out, they're living off the past and nothing more and instead of giving us new material, tend to just remix their proven hits over and over and over again.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:29 PM   #12
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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I feel this way about most bands whose earlier material I've liked. The only band I can think of that I still care about the current output is Nine Inch Nails.
oh, I think artists should at least play some oldies. I'm talking about older artists who still tour and they don't even attempt to play new songs and play nothing but the old hits, as if they're saying there's nothing left to say. Bryan Adams is a perfect example, I've never seen him, but know someone who did, and said the most recent song he performed on his current tour was 1995-1996... and he had a new album out last year. True his commercial success ended around that period, but by completely avoiding his newest album and the few preceding it, he's basically saying "I don't care about this new stuff, I'm just fulfilling a contract and I have nothing left to say.... here's Summer Of '69 for ya!!!". IMO, that's just sad and I lose respect for older artists who don't even bother playing newer music that didn't hit #1 on the charts. If you're still putting out albums, you should still have something to say and care about the material IMO.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:59 PM   #13
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

I'm gonna put a third shout out for Alice Cooper. He's never stopped putting out (mostly) great albums and touring since the late 60's.

I saw his most recent tour, and the show is still as awesome as it ever was. True, most of the set was older material - but when your catalog is that full of classic songs, people expect to hear them.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:06 AM   #14
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

Bob Dylan's career has had it's major ups and downs, but he is still extremely solid today. I've seen him live twice, and he definitely knows how to put on a show.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:12 AM   #15
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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I'm gonna put a third shout out for Alice Cooper. He's never stopped putting out (mostly) great albums and touring since the late 60's.

I saw his most recent tour, and the show is still as awesome as it ever was. True, most of the set was older material - but when your catalog is that full of classic songs, people expect to hear them.
I saw Alice opening for Rolling Stones in 2006 and thought he did a pretty fair mixture, lots of early 70's classics, plenty of tracks off his Dirty Diamonds album, and some of his late 80's/early 90's comeback hits like Poison and Lost In America. He knew how to please casual fans who love the 70's hits as well as hardcore fans who are probably beyond bored to death of No More Mr. Nice Guy by now.
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Old 04-02-09, 01:03 AM   #16
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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When I think "oldies circuit", I think of someone like Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive. They never record new music anymore, but he seems to constantly rerecord You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) every couple of years and lives off the glory that song gave him, not even attempting to make new music. Gloria Gaynor comes to mind as well with her 200 rerecordings of I Will Survive, but at least she did put one new album out in 2002 or so, but of course that album still had a new remix of IWS tagged on as a bonus track. To me, those two artists are good examples of older artists who know they're never going to have huge commercial success again, but instead of trying to put new music out, they're living off the past and nothing more and instead of giving us new material, tend to just remix their proven hits over and over and over again.
Whilst what you have said is very true, I also think you've probably picked one of the guiltiest partes (Burns) as an example but having read his autobiography it's clear he is his own worst enemy - even he knows this. He has had at least three albums since the original Spin version but there are so many re-recorded versions that it takes away from his other stuff which is very good.

I think the majority of the successful 80's artists are still creating new music, but radio and MTV is largely disinterested.
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Old 04-02-09, 01:08 AM   #17
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

I seriously thought your thread title was asking about people who are:
1. fans of musicians over 15 years old
2. who also still fornicate.
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Old 04-02-09, 01:59 AM   #18
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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Whilst what you have said is very true, I also think you've probably picked one of the guiltiest partes (Burns) as an example but having read his autobiography it's clear he is his own worst enemy - even he knows this. He has had at least three albums since the original Spin version but there are so many re-recorded versions that it takes away from his other stuff which is very good.

I think the majority of the successful 80's artists are still creating new music, but radio and MTV is largely disinterested.
yea, it's a shame about what you said in the last sentence but true. This writer's article said that since PSB and Depeche Mode are now basically playing just to their loyal cult followings (which is true, but hey, if they're still eating out of your hands, why not?) and not as widely successful as they were in the late 1980's/early 1990's, that it's time to hang it up and just rehash endless GH packages and play the oldies until the sun rises. Don't like his reasoning, as long as PSB and DM continue to make good music, I'll still be interested in what new they have to offer. I'm the first to admit DM haven't given us a Black Celebration or Violator in eons, but the newer material isn't awful either.

What's funny about Dead Or Alive is that I'd take Brand New Lover (their other major hit) over You Spin Me Round any day of the week. Shannon's another one that I thought of, she's redone Let The Music Play a good five times and she's even redone Give Me Tonight a few times as well. She'll keep living off those two songs until she's ready to retire.
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Old 04-02-09, 02:37 AM   #19
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

For me, it depends on the artist. I saw Elton John the other night, and he has been making good music lately (since Songs From The West Coast came out it seems he's really been interested in exploring his craft again, instead of storming the charts), but frankly, he has so many massive hits that I love to death that I didn't want him to play the new stuff. And I like the new stuff! As it was, he still didn't play anything from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, my favorite album of his, so if he had played new stuff, it would have taken time away from another beloved song. He plays those old songs like they were recorded yesterday and are his new songs. He's never lost his passion for them.

On the other hand, when I see Depeche Mode, I want to hear the new stuff. It's clear they're still interested in making new music (and clearly the writer of that article hasn't heard their last few albums, or he wouldn't be complaining), and that brings out a passion in them that a greatest hits set might not.

Then you've got an artist like David Bowie, who did a greatest hits tour in support of a greatest hits release specifically so he could play all the old songs for people who wanted to hear them, and now litters his shows with songs from his entire catalog, from 1969 to 2009, solely based on the songs he's interested in playing.
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Old 04-02-09, 04:05 AM   #20
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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What's funny about Dead Or Alive is that I'd take Brand New Lover (their other major hit) over You Spin Me Round any day of the week. Shannon's another one that I thought of, she's redone Let The Music Play a good five times and she's even redone Give Me Tonight a few times as well. She'll keep living off those two songs until she's ready to retire.
The whole Mad, Bad...etc album was very good, as was most of Nude. I have no idea why they never really sold well outside of Japan. Sigh - so cliched.

Sorry, I have no idea who Shannon is.
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Old 04-02-09, 12:17 PM   #21
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

When I think of "oldies circuit", bands like REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey come to mind. I remember back to when their albums were hot and seeing them in packed NFL stadiums and it really makes me feel like an "oldie"
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Old 04-02-09, 01:12 PM   #22
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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When I think of "oldies circuit", bands like REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey come to mind. I remember back to when their albums were hot and seeing them in packed NFL stadiums and it really makes me feel like an "oldie"
Don't they still play major venues? I know whenever they come through DC, they play at Nissan or Merriweather.

To me the "oldies circuit" means Jefferson Airplane/Starship or the surviving members of The Doors playing at a state fair.
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Old 04-02-09, 02:55 PM   #23
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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I seriously thought your thread title was asking about people who are:
1. fans of musicians over 15 years old
2. who also still fornicate.

I almost spit water all over my screen when I read this. But I thought the same thing upon first glimpse of the subject line.

But more on the actual question... I'd rather have a band play stuff that represents their entire catalog when I see them in concert. A lot of bands will play a few of their new songs, and a ton of their old songs... but skip everything in between.

As for not playing anything new... I just don't get that. Don't they WANT people to buy the new albums? Somebody used Bryan Adams as an example. Most people going to a Bryan Adams show probably haven't bought anything from him since "So Far, So Good" (a greatest hits). The claim to be "big fans", but probably haven't bought the 5 or 6 albums since that release. If Bryan doesn't play anything from these albums, what incentive do these people have to buy them in the first place. They probably think "if he's not playing the new stuff, it must not be very good." Come on, man! Play everything!
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Old 04-02-09, 04:03 PM   #24
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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I almost spit water all over my screen when I read this. But I thought the same thing upon first glimpse of the subject line.

But more on the actual question... I'd rather have a band play stuff that represents their entire catalog when I see them in concert. A lot of bands will play a few of their new songs, and a ton of their old songs... but skip everything in between.

As for not playing anything new... I just don't get that. Don't they WANT people to buy the new albums? Somebody used Bryan Adams as an example. Most people going to a Bryan Adams show probably haven't bought anything from him since "So Far, So Good" (a greatest hits). The claim to be "big fans", but probably haven't bought the 5 or 6 albums since that release. If Bryan doesn't play anything from these albums, what incentive do these people have to buy them in the first place. They probably think "if he's not playing the new stuff, it must not be very good." Come on, man! Play everything!
I agree with all of that. Of course it makes sense Bryan would give the fans what they want and give them Heaven, Summer Of 69, Cuts Like A Knife, etc.... but by avoiding the new stuff, he's basically feeding into "the new stuff's not worth listening to" mentality. I've been to many concerts by vet acts who play new stuff and you'd be surprised how many people are lined up at the vendors buying the latest albums from them after hearing the material live. It's the perfect way to let the people hear the new music that radio and MTV aren't going to play.
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Old 04-02-09, 05:52 PM   #25
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Re: Question for fans of older artists (say 15+ years) who are still doing it

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But more on the actual question... I'd rather have a band play stuff that represents their entire catalog when I see them in concert. A lot of bands will play a few of their new songs, and a ton of their old songs... but skip everything in between.

As for not playing anything new... I just don't get that. Don't they WANT people to buy the new albums?
Me too....not to keep harping on the Coop, but I was impressed with the set list. It seemed to run the gamut from the real old classics that you know were going to be there (Eighteen, Schools Out, Nice Guy, etc), maybe 4-6 from the new album (Dirty Diamonds at the time), and lots of stuff in between..Brutal Planet, Trash (one of my least favorite albums) and a track or two from From the Inside (one of my favorite albums). I had already bought the new album, so he didn't have to sell me on it, but I really liked the variety.
On the flipside, if a tour is advertised as the "Greatest Hits" tour or "This Album Revisited" or whatever, I think that's fair game as well.
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