This may seem like an odd thing to write about, but which pop artists go to work reluctantly with a long sigh and trot out what they consider to be claptrap because it pays the bills?
We assume, don’t we, that a person going to the trouble of writing, arranging, recording and performing a song is doing something that they really like – but that’s not always true. John and Paul used to say “let’s write a swimming pool” but you got the feeling that they sort of liked the stuff they were coming up with.
So which artists have painted themselves into a corner? Adele can’t now change to another gear – perhaps belting out John Otway B-sides or hosting dance parties at the O2 with the Venga Boys. She must carry on in the same long-frock-warbly-ballad vein, and she’s not even 30 yet.
I think the obvious answer is Van Morrison. He has obvious musical ability and has written several really good songs. But he hates it – you can tell. You will never see him smile and say “now this song has been very good to me…” and graciously accept applause as he launches with gusto into Brown Eyed Girl for the 10,000th time. He views his talent as a curse and he’d rather be doing something else. But he can’t because he needs to earn a living.