Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by frimleygreener, Mar 13, 2018.
Jesse Winchester. I love his first album, and thought he was going to be huge. To me, the rest of his recorded output is good, and pleasant, but he never reached the heights I had predicted for him.
William Hill. After composing a really good original song, which was very successful in front of the Memphis live audiences which heard it, he suddenly moved to Pittsburgh to take care of his ill mother, fell in love with a woman on his first day in Pittsburgh, and became a hard drug addict. His early promise was never fulfilled.
So everybody and their mama?
Starting her recording career as a soloist in 1964, she issued a blistering Ike & Tina Turner-style début 45 before moving in an orchestrated soft pop direction in an attempt to get a hit.
She then joined Dada, which issued one interesting album that pulled in all kinds of different directions, with bits of prog, blues, folk and jazz and even some showtune influences. Dada then mutated into Vinegar Joe, which issued three decent but also quite patchy albums.
When Vinegar Joe broke up, she started writing songs in earnest and gained a solo contract on the basis of four of her own songs. However, her solo début Rich Man's Woman, whilst beautifully recorded and featuring some good material, was quite anonymous, with every track being in a slightly different style. Album number two, Two Days Away, was her only solo LP to play to her strengths, being a lovely, languid bluesy set. However, it was also a short and rather slight collection, with only one self-written song.
Her third solo LP Shooting Star offered plasticky funky rock and her fourth Live And Learn, whilst focusing on her bluesy strengths, was a bit too overblown for its own good. She subsequently focused on MOR cover versions, never returning to raw, stripped-down rock, rarely used her amazing voice to full effect and neglected her composing and keyboard skills.
In short, she could have been Britain's answer to Janis Joplin, but ultimately she wasn't.
Any artist that got so lost in drugs that it hampered their ability to continue on their trajectory.
Kevin Ayers. Fantastic voice, stunningly original songwriter, just gave up, then came back with a fabulous album 15 years after his last, then clammed up for the last five years of his life.
Jake Thackray-Just four albums, none between 1977 and his premature death.
Scott Walker-I’ve no doubt he’s happy with the work he’s doing but I just want an album of proper songs or, failing that, more stuff like Farmer In The City.
Amanda Palmer-2 great albums with the Dresden Dolls, one flawless solo album, one patchily excellent solo album followed by six years of sporadic self-indulgent cash ins.
Luke Haines-He’s found a niche that works for him but from 1993-2009, he was writing songs that should’ve been anthems.
David Westlake-Haines’ mucker In The Servants. Deserved to be massive. Became a solicitor instead.
Not a "he or she" but as a band, Gungs & Roses. They put out some great stuff but don't have much of a catalog compared to other classic bands like Sabbath, Zeppelin, Floyd, The Who, Thin Lizzy, etc. I could go on and on giving examples of great bands with huge and great catalogs. Guns & Roses were great but they fizzled out quickly.
I remember Kurt Cobain quoted saying that her poetry would "change the world". Well, that didn't happen.
Kevin Ayers is a great shout..to many a complete mystery let alone an enigma.....and as an extra bonus the wonderful Ollie Halsall guests on some cuts..
IINM, Jeff Beck was/is a real pain-in-the-a$$ kinda guy, so I don't think a lot of talented people were lining up to work with him.
Same thing's been said of the greatest guitarist I've ever seen live -- Shuggie Otis.
Apparently pissed off everyone... bandmates, label execs, on and on.
I'll add, Milton Brown.
Ryan Adams? Messed about? Gold? 29? Cold Roses? Easy Tiger? Cardinology? Prisoner?
Messed about, he did not
He moved on... you didn't
Oh, I'd have to disagree. Elvis put out a bunch of true classic albums - I mean, that 1977-1982 run was just phenomenal, and he's done some very good work since then.
I get your point about lost focus and an "Elvis of all trades" approach for the last 20 years or so, but he still definitely lived up to his potential - he just didn't maintain that level.
But who does?
While I agree his death was tragic, I think it's hard to claim Lennon didn't live up to his potential.
Being in the Beatles means you lived up to your potential - unless you honestly think that a post-1980 John was going to release material superior to the work he'd done from 1962-1980...
Seems like some people are confusing "making classics forever" with "living up to their potential".
I mean, Prince didn't live up to his potential? Yes, he was extremely erratic after 1988 or so, but good God, the run of albums before that defines "living up to potential".
Again, unless you think he could've/should've done better than "Purple Rain" and "Sign" and the rest.
Every artist peaks and then declines - it's just not possible to stay at an "A+" level forever...
Emitt Rhodes-never lived up to early promise; Sandy Denny, Roger McGuinn & Ben Folds all had very frustrating post band careers and special merit to Roy Wood who has been promising a new album for 30 years.
Alex was just a hard guy to figure out. Had success at a very young age with the Box Tops but felt burned by the business. Put a lot into Big Star but also seemed ambivalent about that & just about everything else. Just a misfit maybe, but I sure miss him.
First one I thought of.
I disagree here. Yes, there is an apparent patchiness to his material. If you listen to a new Adams album you are probably going to like 1-5 tracks straight up... the rest meh. But if you listen 5 times you will like 8 (or some will drop out and you will still like 5). At that level he is really consistent and there is no way the good stuff would fit on 2 cdrs. I am glad he is releasing stuff and not just letting it sit. When he is done it will be an awesome discography and he will be recognised as an underappreciated artist.
Liz Phair-sold out with the Hillary Duff sounding "Why Can't I"and has never recovered.
The Strokes-debut album was huge-but they've been pretty spotty ever since
Emitt Rhodes and Mike Brown (Left Banke) are two good examples of incredibly gifted individuals who peaked early and never reached the levels they should have.
And of course you have those who died before their time. Nick Drake would be my top pick in this area.
And then you have Syd Barrett. His work on PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN is among the most amazing and original work ever created, but sadly chemical, personality, and mental issues kept him from ever surpassing that high point.
Hard for me not to confuse "not living up to potential" with "not achieving appropriate level of success".
For the former, I'd submit Ambrosia, who had one of the finest debut LPs of the '70s imho. Their 2nd is quite good, and then....MOR hell.
(For the latter, so therefore not really relevant to the thread, I'd say 10cc.)
Trouble is, I don't know that she is much of a songwriter. Her brother Mike is a brilliant songwriter -- virtually a poet. The combination of her voice and his words is what has always made the CJs so brilliant.
Separate names with a comma.