How Have Your Favorite Bands Held Up Through The Years?
One of my favorite bands ever, U2, has this theory that they never wanted to make music that wasn't relevant. It's a pretty tall order. One, in my opinion, that most bands don't aspire to because it's pretty much impossible to do unless you dissolve soon after your debut. Is it possible to have a long career and not be a joke for the last half? Well, to answer that question, let's take an objective look at a few of my favorites from the early days of Dwyer.
My first favorite band: The Beatles. They were lucky that they only lasted a short while (no chance to get stale). And they were blazing a new trail the whole time, so their music holds up. Simply look at how many other bands' list of influential artists they appear on.
Then came some bad ones: I loved Paper Lace, The Doobie Brothers (my first fan club membership), BTO, Billy Preston, The Jackson 5, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I make no apologies for loving them at the time, but other than my cranking up the songs when they come on the radio, and their being able milk their catalogue at state fairs for a living, they aren't what I would call game changers. Speaking pre-Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones.
Eagles, David Bowie, Asia, and the Sex Pistols followed. I was all over the place, and while the Eagles aren't embarrassing themselves on the road still, I would't call them trail-blazing either. But their collection of songs forged a big chunk of life for me. Rolling Stones I was late to the party on (whatever the birthday cake album was). But I still love how they are making great songs, even though radio had kind of abandoned them. But Asia? I got nothing.
My Driver License period introduced me to U2, The Police, Dead Kennedys, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and an introduction to House Music. The making of mix-tapes to drive with really lets you expand your horizons. If you search back to your best music, it will probably drop you right in Driver's Ed.
In college there was a lot of the "boo-boo nobody gets me" crap that I'm fond of privately, but will deny their existence in public. Psychedelic Furs? The Cure? The Smiths? Shudder. All had their place, but most now are placeholders in a memory. Not what anyone would call relevant after a few years on the shelf.
But those bands that were like best friends and helped you struggle through…Still today listening to them is like sinking into a big comfy chair. If that chair happened to be on an island, and the only bands I could have with me would be these: U2, Led Zep, Springsteen, and Depeche Mode. And Debbie Deb's When I hear Music.