I’ve been on a bit of a Talk Talk binge recently and whilst listening to their albums, was pondering the nature of how an artists music changes over the course of their career…..
I’m sure I am amongst many here that listen to artists that have been making music for 50+ years and so have long and varied careers. I look at some of those and they are essentially similar across their whole catalogue (The Stones, Springsteen, The Who?). I love many of these artists and will still buy new releases – I guess you know roughly what you are going to get and whilst there are some ups and downs, they are pretty safe bets.
Then there are the artists that change. Even then there are differences in the nature of the changes, of which I can think of three main categories….
i) The artist of constant change – the Bowies, the Joe Jackson’s, etc – the ones that cross all genres, sometimes following fashion, sometimes deliberately out of step. Each album could be a surprise, could be a masterpiece or a huge misstep….
ii) The artists that have changed due to changing circumstances – the ones that go in a new direction when someone leaves – Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, New Order, etc etc
iii) The “evolving” artist – the one that gradually changes over time, This is where I would put Talk Talk. If they had released “Myrrhman” (from Laughing Stock) straight after “Its My Life” it would have left everyone perplexed but over the few years and albums it feels like a natural progression.
So where am I going with this? Not sure really – as I said I was just pondering the nature of change across an artists catalogue. I guess the inevitable questions would then be…
– do you prefer an artist to change or you like to know what you are going to get ? If so, a constantly varied output or a gradual evolution ?
– which artist has seen the biggest change across their career ? (I’m going to throw in Talk Talk in the comments)
Thoughts, including working and the obligatory YouTube clip in the comments please….