Last night, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon continued its week-long celebration of Pink Floyd by having the Foo Fighters cover “In The Flesh?” with the added bonus of Roger Waters singing lead.
Fallon‘s week-long tribute to Floyd continues Wednesday, when MGMT will cover “Lucifer Sam,” off The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Country star Dierks Bentley will perform the title track from Wish You Were Here on Thursday, and Pearl Jam will close out the week Friday with The Wall‘s “Mother.” Pink Floyd kicked off a massive reissues series this week with a six-disc box set edition of The Dark Side of the Moon.
There’s been some reports that Eminem is a little pissed that he didn’t win the album of the year. He supposedly also feels slighted by the Grammy people because he feels he did them a favor by performing. He expected he would win or maybe it was implied or they hinted he would.
I really hope he doesn’t feel that way, I mean the Grammys in essence are a joke, there’s a bazillion releases a year, a bazillion genres and to have supposed unbiased “industry” people vote on the best, is well, not going to get the best or correct result anyway.
There’s politics and agendas on all fronts, including the jackass head of the Grammys (oops I guess I’ll never get to present an award or host now) with his subtle dissing of radio while praising internet radio and satellite. Hey jackass, who looks like the father on family ties, we’re all waiting close to a decade now for the artist, band or song that broke out because of a streaming site or satellite. Oh yeah there hasn’t been one, so shut up.
Back to the album of the year and Eminem, he’s had three album of the year nominations and lost all three, but did he deserve to win any of them? That’s debatable, especially this year when he lost to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, which I believe to be a better album than his Recovery.
I started thinking about this when Social Distortion’s spectacular new album, “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes” came out, it’s Social D’s 7th album in close to 30 years, which is not a lot of product across 3 decades.
In comparison here’s some of the major rock artists and their output of albums and the span of years:
Beatles 12 studio albums in 8 years, plus endless compilations
Bob Dylan 34 studio albums in 49 years, and countless live albums and outtake albums
Rolling Stones 24 Studio albums in 41 years and countless complilations and live albums
Led Zeppelin 9 studio albums in 13 years plus some compilations and live albums
Pink Floyd 14 studio albums in 27 years
Bruce Springsteen 17 studio albums in 38 years plus a handful of live and outtake albums
Tom Petty 15 studio albums in 34 years plus an outtake box set and a few live albums
John Mellencamp 21 studio albums in 34 years
U2 12 albums in 30 years, plus a handful of live albums
REM 16 studio albums in 28 years plus a handful of live and compilation albums
Smiths 4 studio albums in 3 years
Replacements 7 studio albums in 9 years
Pearl Jam 9 studio albums in 20 years and hundreds of live albums
Green Day 8 studio albums in 20 years, a few live ones, and some side projects
If you notice on this list, with the exception of 5 of these acts that are no longer together for various reasons (beatles, zep, floyd, smiths, replacements) The remaining acts are on the touring circuit; but do we as fans of these artists really get representation of the artists full catalog? Or due to sheer volume of material, coupled with setlists that may not vary that much show to show or tour to tour, are we not getting our money’s worth if we support a band on each tour?
It becomes an interesting question as record sales continue to slide and the live concert business takes a hit. Take someone like Bob Dylan, he plays 100 shows a year every year and has well over 500 songs, yet he plays 20 or so a night, but in most cases half are the same as the last tour…or the Stones, as great as Exile is as an album, are there always going to be tracks that will never be heard live?
And are the endless releases and rereleases ultimately the thing that are killing sales? Does each rerelease take away from a sale of a new artist or even that artist’s new material? And does there become a point where you just stop buying? I mean it’s almost impossible to collect Bob Dylan at this point, and don’t get me started on Elvis Costello, there’s like 8 different releases with different bonus tracks of his best albums. Does anyone have any time to absorb and enjoy all of it. And does that come into play when artists do their set lists?
Pearl Jam and Springsteen and sometimes U2 always pretty much play the new album complete within that album’s tour and then sprinkle tracks from it on later tours…other acts not so much, and there’s a few ways to look at that, while people that see Bruce and Pearl Jam might not care about the setlists in terms of hits or popular songs, (I once brought a girl to a Bruce show and afterwards she said she knew 2 songs of the 30 he played and still thought it was the best show she had ever seen) fans of other bands may want to hear the hits over and over again, or at least the artists believe that…
Could Green Day do a show without “Longview”? Based on their rabid fanbase, i believe so, but they play close to 3 hours and do 30 songs so its tough to complain if a song is always on a setlist. Can the Stones get by without “Jumpin Jack Flash”? Yes, I believe they can, but when you charge $400 a ticket, I guess they feel they need to do that every night. Petty without “Running Down a Dream”? Definitely, but Petty has become lazy, despite the wealth of material he has, he’s fallen into a predictable trap and seems like he’s going through the motions on tour. If there was ever an artist at this point to build a show around a complete album, Petty is a top candidate.
I’m not sure there’s a correct answer, but as the traditional music industry is continuing to slide, first the sales crashed down, now the concert business is struggling, can any of it be saved? Is it worth saving? And how does it get saved? Maybe next week’s blog will discuss that. Remember to listen to Anything Anything Sunday nights 9pm at www.1019rxp.com