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Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Stoneage ()
Date: December 18, 2021 22:30

There is much talk about longevity. But what about hit making longevity? It's 40 years since Start Me Up now. Maybe their last big hit. From 1964 to 1981 they produced hit songs on a yearly basis (maybe with a little dip between 72 and 80). Since then, almost nothing in that department. Which, of course, is very evident in their latter day setlists. Why do you think the well ran dry? Why has it been impossible for them to come up with a big hit single during four decades?

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: MILKYWAY ()
Date: December 18, 2021 22:55

My two cents — Keith’s sobriety in the late 1970s. They had enough songs left over to compile Tattoo You for a last hurrah. After that the well was dry.


Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Rocknroll1969 ()
Date: December 18, 2021 23:01

This has happened to other artists like The Who, Billy Joel for example.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Send It To me ()
Date: December 18, 2021 23:16

They wrote everything that they're known for between 1965 and 1977, 12 years out of 60. It's typical that songwriters have careers like that. Paul Simon did Graceland when he was 45 years old, but most of the music consisted of tracks he lifted out of South African records. I can't think of anyone that really wrote hits after their mid-30's or so.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: slewan ()
Date: December 18, 2021 23:30

I think the question is wrong. In makes more sense to turn it around and ask why in very rare cases some artist's well hasn't run dry after ten or fiveteen years after the started. In other word: that the well runs dry is a normal process. The case that the well doesn't run dry is an exception.

Having said this I guess one of the Stones' problems is too much self repetition as well as having to compromise (between Mick and Keith). And – last but not least – their strict orientation towards commercial success with it's main consequences: pleasing the audience and sacrifying artistical develeopment.
The Stones have always been commercial and inovative but after the late 1980 the are mainly commercial and inovative only when I comes to maxize profit (there's nothing wrong with this but it surely help to make the creative well run dry)

From this point of view one can see at least one reason why Dylan is an excaption – he could have gone on with what he did in 1974, 1984 and especially in 1978 but he was heading for a different dicrection.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: musickorsar ()
Date: December 19, 2021 00:09

Honestly, I don't like when they say "the well is dry" and refer to the fact that they haven't been producing "hits" since 1981 or so. Yes, sadly we haven't seen a brand new album since 2005. Yes, we can't imagine a gig without Satisfaction or Paint It Black, but it's just because they have rooted in times. To me, Laugh I Nearly Died, Streets Of Love, Biggest Mistake, Already Over Me, Out Of Control, Love Is Strong or Brand New Car belong to the greatest songs they ever wrote. Just show business laws and audience demands didn't let them fly high enough...

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Taylor1 ()
Date: December 19, 2021 00:19

She Was Hot extended version is a classic

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: georgie48 ()
Date: December 19, 2021 00:24

Did the well run dry? Off course not. You talk about hit songs, Stoneage, but that's not what life is all about. Mick and Keith wrote many great songs after Start Me Up. And you know that. We have been blessed with quite a bunch of very good albums, each of them carrying diamonds. But the Stones have always thought of themselves as a live band and with the changing record business they focussed more and more on that. With great success.
Having said that, I think they should (very fast) put out a new album to make sure that diehards like us don't run dry in the sounds of the past.
With my country once again into a lockdown as if tomorrow, I restarted singing Living In A Ghost Town when passing through the tunnel on my way to the nearby park. Didn't think I would be doing that now a year ago.
Lovely song, branding the times we're living in today. Many gosttown moments will happen in the near and further future, whether we like it or not and then it's good to have "Living In A Ghost Town" around.

smileys with beer

I'm a GHOST living in a ghost town

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Dan ()
Date: December 19, 2021 00:30

Quote
Stoneage
There is much talk about longevity. But what about hit making longevity? It's 40 years since Start Me Up now. Maybe their last big hit. From 1964 to 1981 they produced hit songs on a yearly basis (maybe with a little dip between 72 and 80). Since then, almost nothing in that department. Which, of course, is very evident in their latter day setlists. Why do you think the well ran dry? Why has it been impossible for them to come up with a big hit single during four decades?

It runs dry for almost everyone.

Mick also has notoriously shitty taste in music so I doubt whatever he listens to can provide much influence in what would make a great Stones song.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: dmay ()
Date: December 19, 2021 01:04

The snow pack hasn't released enough melt to feed the river because of drought, big agribusiness is sipping up what's available as fast as it can. Oh, wait, I'm talking about the issue with the Colorado River here in the American southwest. Regarding the question here, look at Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Both keep putting out new material, hit or miss, but they keep doing, keep going, following "their muse". This is what the Stones need to do now, follow their muse. They have no need of top 40 records, number 1 records, though this would be nice for them, to show that old pluckers can still cut it. I'd rather hear new, different, good music from them , than material following what they consider the Stones formula to please the ears of the masses. Of course, I hold this same thought regarding many performers and bands: Give me something new to entice my ears, not sh*t I've heard before.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: ProfessorWolf ()
Date: December 19, 2021 02:48

Quote
dmay
The snow pack hasn't released enough melt to feed the river because of drought, big agribusiness is sipping up what's available as fast as it can. Oh, wait, I'm talking about the issue with the Colorado River here in the American southwest. Regarding the question here, look at Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Both keep putting out new material, hit or miss, but they keep doing, keep going, following "their muse". This is what the Stones need to do now, follow their muse. They have no need of top 40 records, number 1 records, though this would be nice for them, to show that old pluckers can still cut it. I'd rather hear new, different, good music from them , than material following what they consider the Stones formula to please the ears of the masses. Of course, I hold this same thought regarding many performers and bands: Give me something new to entice my ears, not sh*t I've heard before.

yes please this sounds wonderful for whatever time they have left be productive

even if its just covers with a few originals a year that be great

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: terraplane ()
Date: December 19, 2021 03:04

No more inspiration

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: December 19, 2021 03:09

The well may not have run completely dry but seemingly turned into a trickle - at least in one half of the basin. Absence of chemical support?

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: bitusa2012 ()
Date: December 19, 2021 03:26

They went from young and “hungry” to older and sated.

Rod

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: CBII ()
Date: December 19, 2021 04:32

Every artist has their moment of maximum creativity, some longer than others.

CBII
[www.facebook.com] < Chuck Berry on Facebook

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: December 19, 2021 04:46

The well didn't run dry... it just lost its deepness.

Bit hit singles aside, the last being Mixed Emotions, chart wise, as I recall, they've had plenty of excellent and great songs since 1981.

Just as with some of the experimentation that either is befuddling or awesome, as well as the tepid and lame rockers and ballads, there is a decent spine running the post-1981 songs regarding experimentation, rockers and ballads just as usual prior to 1983 of excellent/great/good songwriting.

It's just less, although spread out over the 1983-2020 timeline it could seem like a lot in comparison to the 1960s-1981.

Regarding the thread title, this is a killer song, and I still find it amazing it didn't make their 2005 LP A BLESSING AND A CURSE for some reason.

[youtu.be]

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: doitywoik ()
Date: December 19, 2021 05:25

Quote
GasLightStreet
... there is a decent spine running the post-1981 songs...

I thinks it's not so much about that spine, it's just the intervals between albums part of which this spine is are just growing larger, last album with originals one and a half decades ago, and only three new songs since 2005's ABB and its singles.

I feels it's safe to say they still *could* come up with proper new stuff, as LIAGT has shown, they just don't for so long.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: jahisnotdead ()
Date: December 19, 2021 05:45

A few reasons, I think.

The Jagger/Richards songwriting credit is a big part. My gut says Keith wants a final Rolling Stones album with nothing but Jagger/Richards compositions. Who can blame him? Trouble is that Mick and Keith can't sit around and write together like they used to, Keith can't write much other than ballads alone, and Keith doesn't want to just give his stamp of approval to Mick's songs.

So, it's an impasse.

If they could only let go of the archaic dual songwriting credit, we might have had more albums in the last 20 years. Imagine letting in outside songwriters. Just letting Ronnie in would be awesome, but they won't do it.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: stargroover ()
Date: December 19, 2021 11:12

The well hasn’t run dry.Individually they are Still creative.Occasionally we get a collaboration like the excellent “Doom and gloom”.Keef’s solo stuff is top notch and so is Mick’s.Unfortunately they don’t sit down and compose.
Bring back the bed sit and mouldy kitchen and lock the glimmers in for a month and let the creativity rise from the ashes once again.
Failing that bring in Mr Wood.
But let’s all remember the key focus for the boys are dollars .Touring =dosh.They compromise their creativity for lucrativity.Sad but true.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: December 19, 2021 11:39

The Stones have been losing much of the incentives to create new music. It started maybe with the reception to UNDERCOVER. In the following, they almost disbanded. When they started anew, the thread of development from SOME GIRLS until UNDERCOVER, with DIRTY WORK as a kind of breakdown, that thread had been broken. Since then the Stones have from time to time recorded and released a few albums of some quality, still not at the high level of their former albums. But ever again, the large public are more interested in their releases from the past. It has functionned as a vicious circle, less inspiration to create great music with the reaction it is met with. The consequence is not a down hill development though, but rather the number of years between each release.

They would have had it in them to make more music than they have, if they had been rewarded with lively and genuine interest like in the past. And its quality would have been heightened thereby.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Date: December 19, 2021 12:06

I think Keith did okay w/o the drugs. He never really needed them anyway. It's Jagger who could've used a bit more. When I look at why most of latter era Stones song don't hook me, it is because of inane lyrics, and overblown singing.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: bakersfield ()
Date: December 19, 2021 12:17

Mick lost patience. They used to jam for hours and hours until a song like 'Shattered' or 'Beast of Burden' would emerge from the murk. Now Mick arrives in the studio with demos ready prepared, and there's no chance for the magic to happen.

Most artists do their best work in their youth. Springsteen still puts out decent material but 'Letter to You' is no 'Born to Run'. 'Who' is a really good album, but it isn't 'Quadrephenia'.....I could go on.

There's a time in your life when your music is everything, and then life gets in the way. Marriage, kids, grandkids, a sense that there must be more to like than music, and the law of diminishing returns, all contribute to a waning commitment to making new music. Can't blame the Stones for that.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: matxil ()
Date: December 19, 2021 12:22

Keith made a number of very good solo albums, on which especially the soul ballads are very good songs. No big hits, but with his voice that would be impossible.
Mick and Keith have gone too far apart with their tastes, they don't write together anymore. Same happened with the Beatles, much earlier.
In any case, pop music has changed. It isn't that important anymore in society or for younger people. Singing "satisfaction" in the 60s was shocking. Nowadays you can sing about your private parts in full detail and it will only cause a few shrugs. Musically too, there's nothing as spectacular going on compared to the 60s and 70s.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: December 19, 2021 12:44

Quote
Dan

It runs dry for almost everyone.

Yup and ironically that's often the moment when one artist gets really big and famous (and luckily rich). Or they get "legendary" status, that is struggling to meet both ends at 50 or so, but getting large media attention.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: RaahenTiikeri ()
Date: December 19, 2021 13:04

Compilation 1981-2020 would be great mix of 80's,90's and 2000 rock.
Better than any other artist(Or bands) could.
Rolling stones is best rock and roll band of 1981-2021 era, But not that good it used To be before 1981/Start Me up

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: December 19, 2021 14:37

Quote
matxil

Mick and Keith have gone too far apart with their tastes, they don't write together anymore.

I don't think it's just a matter of work. During the golden 68-72 era some kind of creative magic happened to them, it fell on their head.
If you ask Mick and Keith what happened during these blessed years they wouldn't be able to give a clear answer.
The "planet aligned" cliche comes to mind immediately. After 72 the alignment started to go off.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: December 19, 2021 14:40

Not writing together and the public's change of musical tastes.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Bashlets ()
Date: December 19, 2021 14:46

IMHO I think a lot of the best stuff was used on solo projects since mid eighties. Some really good songs that if one or the other tweaked a bit would have been great. I think the creativity is still there but not the drive to spend weeks in the studio to collaborate.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: December 19, 2021 15:11

Quote
dcba
Quote
matxil

Mick and Keith have gone too far apart with their tastes, they don't write together anymore.

I don't think it's just a matter of work. During the golden 68-72 era some kind of creative magic happened to them, it fell on their head.
If you ask Mick and Keith what happened during these blessed years they wouldn't be able to give a clear answer.
The "planet aligned" cliche comes to mind immediately. After 72 the alignment started to go off.

If '68 - '72 may be seen as their great artistic era, still there are other great eras, especially before, but also after. I would call the sequence of SOME GIRLS, EMOTIONAL RESCUE and UNDERCOVER simply a highly inspired era. Apparently most other posters outside me would include TATTOO YOU as well in that sequence.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2021-12-19 15:12 by Witness.

Re: Why did the well run dry?
Posted by: Witness ()
Date: December 19, 2021 15:15

Quote
Bashlets
IMHO I think a lot of the best stuff was used on solo projects since mid eighties. Some really good songs that if one or the other tweaked a bit would have been great. I think the creativity is still there but not the drive to spend weeks in the studio to collaborate.

Yes, it is part of the big picture.

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