Why do artists/bands lose steam as they progress?

I have noticed that the music made my most artists/bands is terrific during their first few records, but eventually gets monotonous, boring or plain dull. It's not really about their age, though. Just that the quality of music drastically reduces after they have put out a few records. There are exceptions, but very few. What could be the reason?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • This is true of many band but not all. One reason is that creativity peaks between ages 30 to 40 in most humans no matter if it be in the sciences, math, writing or music.

    Radiohead is one of the first exceptions that comes to mind. They've come a long way since The Bends. NIN is also a very sweet exception. The Fragile is my favorite piece of work by them. While Neil Young petered out a bit ago him now being in his seventies he gave us much good music for many decades.

    Of course I can't overlook David Bowie this week. His style changed drastically over the years. Frank Zappa is a god. Fiona Apple continues to churn out good music as does Adele, Modonna, Cher.

    These people are rarities. In other fields such as Physics most peak around 40. They are still great minds but by your later years most your good stuff is behind you. You may be better than most but not better than your 30 or 40 year old self. Same goes with athletes.

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    • Very detailed and well-thought-out explanation!

      I do believe that The British band Iron maiden, Australian band AC/DC, and German band Scorpions have maintained consistently good quality music over several decades, except for a few disappointing records here and there.

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    • I should really give these artists/bands a try! Can you let me know Radiohead's best record? I'll just buy it now on iTunes, and see if I like it!

    • Well the reason I used them as an example is because no two albums sound at all the same. So that said it is subjective which one a person likes the most. The Bends was their break through album and is kind of more sad music but then the follow up album OK Computer is more upbeat and completely different. These are the two albums most people really like. The song Creep is from an earlier bum but their most famous song. You'll probably recognize it.

      My favorite albums are Hail to the theif on which they broke the rock beat with 2+2= 5. and In Rainbows is my second favorite album.

      Johnny Greenwood of the band won an Academy Award for his music score on There Will Be Blood with Day-Lewis.

      I don't know they are just one of the very few artists out there who are writing music for the sake of it not for mass production but actually very successful while doing so. Even if I didn't like their music I would have mad respect for them.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Sometimes it's money... actually often times it's money. When you got the money you're no longer "hungry".

    Another reason could be that they get into other things. Maybe they have a family. Perhaps they want to get into fashion or acting.

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    • Yeah, you do make sense. But it's so sad, you know! For example, when you listen to the first album and the latest album of a particular band/artist, you notice the vast difference in quality of the material. There are very few artists/bands I can think of, who have been consistent with the quality of their music.

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    • Many artists don't rap fast.

    • Thanks for MH.

What Girls Said 1

What Guys Said 9

  • Music management encourages them to pump out songs and albums built around the same formula that got them famous, so they milk the cow until it runs dry.

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  • I feel like some just get to stuck in their sound... There's a lack of capability or unwillingness to expand their sound and make any attempt at real growth. Ideas are played out to the point where they can produce anything original anymore...

    Every musician has their own way of interpreting their instrument and how to play it. In time, I think many "hit their peak" and then just exhaust themselves.

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  • Because they're just appealing to the current market. They dont do anything new or truly original. Older bands just did their own thing without trying to be popular, so they developed a loyal fanbase who followed them over the years. People now just listen to whatever is popular that week and the bands are nearly forgoten very quickly.

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    • You mean to say, these artists/bands just sellout? Yeah, that's true in a lot of cases. And some of them just make bad changes to their musical style just for the heck of it. I mean.. why fix something which ain't broken?

    • That too, mostly what I'm saying is they aren't unique enough to have a loyal fanbase to support them for more than a short time.

  • The main reason I've seen is that they have burned through all of their ideas. It's hard to talk about how hard your life is when you are making millions and are boning the fans. What's left that they can talk about that their fans can relate to?

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  • Isn't it kinda like that after doing anything for a long-ass time.

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  • I think this is because the original motive of a band is more about the music. Once they get successful, it revolves more around success and money. Takes the creativity right our of your sails. Bands are almost better off retiring at that point.

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  • I think lack of inspiration. They sold out for quantity over quality.

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  • Unfortunately, for most people, success and comfort causes them to lose passion and drive.

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  • Whether you think an artistic production is good is a function of it leading you just the right amount. It has to be familiar enough to be accessible and new enough to be interesting. If your tastes move at a different speed than the artists you either leave them behind and they become trite or they leave you behind and they become esoteric.

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    • Maybe true in some cases, but a lot of artists/bands start putting out really low quality music later on in their career.

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