When do you stop buying the latest record from one of your favourite artists? I'm wondering if there's a helpful checklist or flow chart that I can follow to determine when it really is time to call it a day, remember the good times and have an amicable parting of the ways.
The question has been prompted by the news that Alice Cooper is about to release a covers album of songs by his peers from the 60s and 70s. Honestly, I don't like the sound of it. Covers albums tend to be the ignored stepchildren of artists' discographies, so why should this one be any different? To make things worse, it's got "special guests". Uh-oh.
The problem is that Alice and I go back a long way, about 30 years in fact. A long time that, one which has seen 5 Prime Ministers, 8 World Cups, 5 US Presidents and 256 Spurs managers. I've been listening to Alice longer than the guy from Smokie was living next door to him.
I must have over 30 Alice Cooper records. I've definitely got all the studio albums, this despite the fact that he's only made two really good ones since the 1970s: 1983's "Da Da" and 2003's "The Eyes of Alice Cooper". Having said that, there are surprisingly few clunkers in the catalogue: 1987's "Raise Your Fist and Yell" definitely qualifies: a shrill, Heavy Metal album which manages to contain music even worse than both its title and cover, while 2001's "Dragontown" and 2008's "Along Came a Spider" aren't much fun either. On the whole though, he's managed to keep going by constructing a discography using competent mediocrity as the primary raw material. And I've kept buying them.
|Believe it or not, the music is worse than the cover.|
What about you? I can't be alone here. How many long time Simple Minds fans found themselves in HMV staring at the cover of "Street Fighting Years" and thinking "Do I really need this?" John Peel stopped playing T. Rex records after realising that if "Hot Love" and "Get it On" had been recorded by other artists he wouldn't have been playing them. Ever changed your Facebook status with an artist?