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Old 01-20-2010, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question The Average Shelf-Life Of A Band

Okay, shelf-life is a bad term to describe what I'm talking about. But how many albums does it take before a band or an artist starts to fall off artistically?

IMO, I feel an artist usually says everything they had to say with their first 3 albums. After that the quality of their music starts to drop by either repeating themselves, or experimenting for the sake of experimenting and failing at it. But this doesn't really apply to any band before 1975, because back then the top bands used to put out albums every 6 months, so its hard to say..
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most hyped bands rarely last 2 albums but then there are tons of bands that can still pump out consistently interesting music over 3 albums easily. Got some examples of bands who fit your criteria?
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i don't think there is a standard. it depends on the type of music, style of the artist, talent of the artist, and general public interest in what the artist is doing.

i can think of a band for any situation.

first album was all they needed: stone roses
two albums was all they needed: korn (weird example...but hey first two albums are actually pretty solid)
released a ton of albums and then hit their stride: yo la tengo, rush
every release was solid no matter what: the beatles, led zeppelin

point is you can never tell...it really all depends.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Led Zeppelin, really? Every album?
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adidasss View Post
Led Zeppelin, really? Every album?
i'm not saying every album is a classic, but i am saying that every album is listenable and offers something to music in general (to me anyway...)
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duga View Post
i'm not saying every album is a classic, but i am saying that every album is listenable and offers something to music in general (to me anyway...)
In Through the Out Door was shit. And the Beatles certainly weren't perfect either. With the Beatles, Beatles for Sale, and Yellow Submarine were all shit. Nobody is holy.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In Through the Out Door was shit. And the Beatles certainly weren't perfect either. With the Beatles, Beatles for Sale, and Yellow Submarine were all shit. Nobody is holy.
yet i know people that would live and die by all those albums. i was talking in a general sense...there are bands where it can be generally agreed by all their fans that they should have ended after a certain number of albums.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd say three or four years. By then a band will either break up, hit mainstream, or go down the toilet altogether, and in the process alienate most of their original fans. Bands outlive their welcome all the time, they're what the music industry hangs onto.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogey_j View Post
IMO, I feel an artist usually says everything they had to say with their first 3 albums. After that the quality of their music starts to drop by either repeating themselves, or experimenting for the sake of experimenting and failing at it.
I'm not so sure I agree with this. It's certainly true of some artists, but there are also a lot of artists who take a couple albums before they really find their voice. Tom Waits, Faith No More, Ministry and Ween are all examples that come to mind.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A lot of jazz artists seem to release huge amounts of albums with classics sort of scattered randomly throughout. Miles Davis for example:

Miles Davis discography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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