Many rockers tend to slow down as they get older, some more notably than others. While we don’t still expect them to walk around in the tightest leather pants, supporting greasy hair (which weren’t the greatest fashion ideas in the first place), we expect them to still rock us. After all, the whole point of rock and roll is that you don’t grow up and you don’t grow old. Kiss, Poison and Sebastian Bach are not suffering from what can be called the middle age syndrome while Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Roxette are losing that rockin’ touch and failing to create fast and addictive riffs.
Granted, Bryan Adams and Roxette were pop-rockers to begin with, but that is not to say they didn’t compose some of the most fun rock riffs ever. Let me refresh your memory if you have trouble remembering (and I’d not blame you as it has been a long time since they last came up with one)
Swedish duo Roxette (singer Marie Fredriksson and singer/guitarist Per Gessle) produced these hits in the 80s and the 90s:
- The Look, Dangerous
- Joyride, Dressed for Success
- Sleeping in My Car
As for Canadian musician Bryan Adams, the list for remarkable fast numbers is much longer:
- Another Day
- Only the Strong Survive
- She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin
- Summer of 69
- It’s Only Love
- The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me
- I Wanna Be Your Underwear
- 18 Til I die
The last five songs are from the 1996 album 18 Til I Die.
And hasn’t Bon Jovi been all about rocking, partying and rocking some more? And didn’t they mark 80s and 90s with great sound and addictive rock?
- You Give Love a Bad Name
- Living On A Prayer
- Lay Your Hands On Me
- Bad Medicine
- Keep The Faith
- I’ll Sleep When I Am Dead
- Hey God
And while they came up with very catchy rock songs in 2000s as well, their slow to fast song ratio was 1 to 1 and slow songs were mostly pop or pop-rock art best. An exception is their 2005-dated Have A Nice Day album.
And then there is the Def Leppard condition where the band started as a hard-rock band (the first few albums), turned glam (Hysteria, Adrenalize albums), then mixed classic rock and glam, then turned to alternative and pop (Slang album) then modern rock/slow rock (Euphoria) and then a total slow rock/pop album X, later followed by the cover album Yeah (collection of the band’s favorite rock classics) . . .
OK, we know musicians change and grow and mature but that shouldn’t slow them down. Look at Metallica. I don’t necessary like everything they do but they are not slowing down. Maybe it was a good idea starting out as a metal band. Even if you slow down, you will probably retire at rock or hard rock and not pop. Thank goodness.
Remember the chorus Bon Jovi song Blame it on the love of Rock & Roll (from Keep the Faith) “I’ll never grow up and I’ll never grow old, Blame it on the love of rock & roll”.
My point, exactly!
What do you think of the rockers/musicians turning middle age and the music slowing down? Do you see a correlation? Do you like it?