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Old 10-28-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
fuzzyroes
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Default Why can't good songwriters continue to write good songs through their 40's and on?

It seems like once every good songwriter reaches about their mid 40's and on that they simply can't write a good song anymore. The examples are seemingly endless and it's a true rarity to find an odd exception to this rule.

So what is the deal? Do these guys get old and just stop caring about music? All of the older people I know in my life still love music so that can't be it. Is it just that these guys get pushed too hard and they burn out?

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
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you're talking about singer/songwriters and not songwriters.

time to start checking those song credits.

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:52 PM   #3
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there is sometimes a comeback of talent at 60 years of age

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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Touche, yes, singer songwriters. I suppose theres a bunch of old ass guys writing hits for pop artists and shit

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:56 PM   #5
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Robert Plant has never really lost it.

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:20 PM   #6
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Great thread, Fuzzyroes. My answer is going to have to be The Smashing Pumpkins

 
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by The Omega Concern View Post
Robert Plant has never really lost it.
lmao

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyroes View Post
It seems like once every good songwriter reaches about their mid 40's and on that they simply can't write a good song anymore. The examples are seemingly endless and it's a true rarity to find an odd exception to this rule.

So what is the deal? Do these guys get old and just stop caring about music? All of the older people I know in my life still love music so that can't be it. Is it just that these guys get pushed too hard and they burn out?
who the fuck are you talking about? mike ness? please start seemingly endless list.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:21 AM   #9
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Neil Young is the obvious exception that comes to mind. he puts out bad stuff as well, but every few albums he still manages to hit it out of the park

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slunken View Post
you're talking about singer/songwriters and not songwriters.
it's a dumb statement either way

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:42 AM   #11
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iirc leonard cohen was in his late fifties when i'm your man came out and early sixties when the future came out

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noyen View Post
who the fuck are you talking about? mike ness? please start seemingly endless list.
it's just dumb trolling

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:51 AM   #13
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He's talking about Rivers Cuomo

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:58 AM   #14
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michael gira

but fuzzy is scared of swans

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:58 AM   #15
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tom waits

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:58 AM   #16
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I can't think of any gen xers yet tho

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:01 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Trotskilicious View Post
I can't think of any gen xers yet tho
I think these guys all did just burn out. Thom Yorke? Mark Kozelek? Both released stuff that was really good in the 2000s, but not so much in the past five years I guess

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:13 AM   #18
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oh jesus are they 40

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:15 AM   #19
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other than swans which isn't really relevant to this discussion because that's mostly about sound and not lyrics, i can't really think of anyone old making anything good after like idk 2000 or something

but i don't care about old people because punk rock forever

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:34 AM   #20
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oh jesus are they 40
both closer to 50 I think.

one of the few astute things b0lly ever said was pointing out (in the 90s) that rock is really a young man's game, and older people for whatever reason are bad at making rock music generally. Singer songwriters, I can think of a fair number who put out good stuff later in their careers. Blues guys don't even get warmed up until they get old according to several iconic bluesmen.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:34 AM   #21
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well one, I'm thinking of something Buddy Guy said

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbreegull View Post
I think these guys all did just burn out. Thom Yorke? Mark Kozelek? Both released stuff that was really good in the 2000s, but not so much in the past five years I guess
Kozelek released Benji last year - which I'd argue is one of the best albums he ever did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyroes View Post
It seems like once every good songwriter reaches about their mid 40's and on that they simply can't write a good song anymore. The examples are seemingly endless and it's a true rarity to find an odd exception to this rule.

So what is the deal? Do these guys get old and just stop caring about music? All of the older people I know in my life still love music so that can't be it. Is it just that these guys get pushed too hard and they burn out?
it's not a true rarity, no.
the past few years had these albums - so you can't even argue only the prime examples like Leonard Cohen, Neil Young or Bob Dylan "made one good album back then when they got old."

Let England Shake - PJ Harvey age 42
Vulnicura - Björk age 49
50 Words for Snow - Kate Bush age 53
Push the Sky Away - Nick Cave age 56
Bad As me - Tom Waits age 61

Last edited by pavementtune : 10-29-2015 at 02:11 AM.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:59 AM   #23
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there might be some correlation with singer songwriters coming from uncomfortable backgrounds, getting rich and comfortable, and numbing their still present feelings with endless therapy, consumerism, short lived relationships...and have an audience willing to listen to whatever drivel they produce, so stop really pulling out all the stops to get an audience

maybe that's just crogan

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Kozelek released Benji last year - which I'd argue is one of the best albums he ever did.
it took me a LONG time to come around to Benji. I think I posted over and over about wanting so bad to get it but I just couldn't. I can't reconcile it at all with his pre-2010 material, but it is quite good. one day I was on a bus when I was traveling with my friend in asia and I just had a moment where Carissa came on and I really listened to the lyrics staring out the window and I started crying because it's so real. I'm not sure how to explain it.

but overall I think his songwriting took a dip after Admiral Fell Promises. I will say though that I think he could still put out shit that sounds like earlier SKM and it would be just as good, but he is bored and for himself needs to keep doing something different, and I respect that. I don't respect him getting all crazy and having public spats with people in recent years, or calling that journalist a bitch on stage and asking why she wants to fuck him so bad or whatever. Admittedly, she did harass him and his friends on their home phones and then after the incident she profited off it by writing an article for the Atlantic about what a misogynistic awful pig he is... but yeah, it's still not cool Mark.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:16 AM   #25
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It is often true though....i guess it depends what kind of music. But say...when your success was based on teenage angst for example, that fuel doesn't last. You have to find a different fuel. Once you're rich and successful, it gets harder i'm sure. Just the will to prove yourself when you're young for one, that's a powerful creative force and once you've proved yourself....

Musically i just think you're bound to run out of creativity, going around in circles, doing the same stuff you did except not as good, but as a parody of yourself. There's artists who try to get out of their comfort zone and try new stuff and these artists often manage to thrive, those that don't like i said just become a bad copy of their younger selves.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:19 AM   #26
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yep. I'm not really familiar enough with other mediums of art I guess to say for sure, but it seems that musical artists suffer this decline way worse than people who write books or make films or whatever

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:21 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbreegull View Post
one day I was on a bus when I was traveling with my friend in asia and I just had a moment where Carissa came on and I really listened to the lyrics staring out the window and I started crying because it's so real. I'm not sure how to explain it.
I can't explain it either but I had something similar - replace bus with train and Asia with Euro - while listening to Jim Wise.

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:00 AM   #28
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What about the The Grateful Dead, maan

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:05 AM   #29
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holy shit tom waits is only 61 I thought he was 161

 
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:19 AM   #30
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he is, he was around 61 when he did the Bad As Me album (which is good in my book.)

 
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