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Thread: Band loyalty vs. diminishing returns

  1. #1
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    Band loyalty vs. diminishing returns

    Randomly scrolling through facebook, I recently saw a post wherein the new Yes album was under discussion and somebody basically said that he was "guilty" of continuing to buy Yes albums, even though he knows they aren't that good, but he does it anyways. He just can't stop himself.

    This got me to thinking about something. How many people stick with a band and continue to buy their output, even though their best stuff may be long behind them. Or perhaps they just made a radical change in direction, that is not to a listener's taste. Do you still support a band in this case and if so, for what reason? Love of the musicians that made so much great music you feel obliged to continue buying their albums? Maybe you loved the band's music so much, that even a release half as good as their 'classic period' say, is still enough? Maybe it just feels like a comfortable pair of shoes?

    What's the verdict?

    Neil

  2. #2
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I have a cousin who was mostly a fan of the prog era of Genesis who kept buying their albums well into the eighties. I know he eventually bought Invisible Touch but I don't know if he bought anything later than that. It certainly happens and I'm guilty of this myself. As for Yes, I am guilty of buying the latest album but never bought Heaven and Earth.
    When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.

  3. #3
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    I have been 'guilty' (for want of a better term) of this in the past, and am probably still to a degree with some musicians. But in recent years I've learned to put the brakes on and take some people off my Auto-buy list. There's no point in me buying The Quest or The Future Bites if I'm literally never going to listen to them. So I didn't. And as a result of their recent trajectories, both artists are off my list until they earn the position back (doubtful in the case of Yes). On the other hand, someone like Peter Hammill is still on my list as he has never let me down - and I have 'em all. Sure, some aren't as good as others, but I'm always interested in hearing them and have revisited them all from time to time. Bent Knee has recently come off my list, and are probably the youngest band to do so, but I have no need for their latest album. However, I could easily see them rebounding (for my tastes) and being back on there. So I understand this compulsion, but unlike the guy you mention who can't help himself, I've learned to, and I'm all the better for it.

    I see people on social media who spend all their music dollars on the same ten bands and their solo offshoots. They have huge collections, but no variety. Who's to say, maybe they really will get a lot of mileage out of that latest live ELP disc of dubious quality, instead of trying something new. But I wouldn't. When I scan the shelves, I go from Zappa to The Cure to Jethro Tull to Miles Davis to Arch Enemy... that's how I like it!

    Oh, and I also learned to prune the collection by selling off stuff I never should have bought, like all those latter-day live Yes albums with the pretty Roger Dean covers but listened to once each and shelved. It's a joyous moment when new shelf space is suddenly created!
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

  4. #4
    There was a time that I at least tried with the bands I grew up loving... Yes, ELP, Tull, and a host of others. Even bands I came to later, like PFM and Banco, I'd often try the "iffy" releases at the end of their golden periods.

    I've come to the conclusion that, for me, this is a fools game. I have only so much time to listen to music, and I don't need to waste it listening to music I don't really like, even if it was produced by artists that I once loved. I did a huge purge 20 years ago, and really never looked back. Now I have about 1,300 CDs in my collection, but every album is one I like, or at least find some merit to warrant holding onto it.

    I have 100% given up on many artists that were once on my auto-buy list. Gosta Berlings Saga is one. They simply went a direction I don't enjoy at all. I'll sample their new stuff, but if I don't like it, I won't buy it. Yes has been dead to me since 1980, as have most of the other big name bands (KC being the notable exception).

    Basically, I have zero loyalty. I evaluate each release on its merits, and if an artist who I've given up on does something worthwhile, I'll consider it. The new Tull album might fall into that category. I need to hear more samples to say for sure, but I haven't liked anything they've done since Crest of a Knave, so liking one of their new releases would surprise me. But I'm open to being surprised.

    Bill
    Last edited by Sputnik; 1 Week Ago at 08:59 PM.

  5. #5
    I'm a completest for Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, and plenty of others.. sure I listen to the "core" for each of these bands more than the later stuff. I will admit that once Steve Howe leaves Yes I won't have any interest in an album from the rest of the line up. There is a breaking point for me when the founding members leave and it turns into a tribute band.

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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    I will admit that once Steve Howe leaves Yes I won't have any interest in an album from the rest of the line up. There is a breaking point for me when the founding members leave and it turns into a tribute band.
    In that case, you've already reached and passed that point.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk

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    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    I usually give them 1 pass, but do not blind buy their next album.

    In the case of Dream Theater, I have not bought an album from them since A Dramatic Turn of Events, and even that I ended up buying later at a used price.

    Transatlantic I've pretty much given up on

    Between the Buried and Me, more or less the same.

    I don't see a reason to buy an album from a band whose recent previous albums did nothing for me. There are examples of comebacks of course (Biffy Clyro and Mastodon in 2021 I feel have done this), where I checked out their new album and enjoyed it enough, I likely will buy it, after not buying many of their previous albums.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    I usually give them 1 pass, but do not blind buy their next album.

    In the case of Dream Theater, I have not bought an album from them since A Dramatic Turn of Events, and even that I ended up buying later at a used price.

    Transatlantic I've pretty much given up on

    Between the Buried and Me, more or less the same.

    I don't see a reason to buy an album from a band whose recent previous albums did nothing for me. There are examples of comebacks of course (Biffy Clyro and Mastodon in 2021 I feel have done this), where I checked out their new album and enjoyed it enough, I likely will buy it, after not buying many of their previous albums.
    This^
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  9. #9
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    The last Yes album I bothered buying new was Drama. I picked up ABWH, and then The Ladder as a cutout. Meh. Nothing since. My last Genesis was Abacab, and my last Pink Floyd was Animals, though I got The Wall as a present when it first came out and my wife picked up Invisible Touch at a yard sale. There's a large gap in my TD collection in the 90s and 2000s, though I've picked up several compilations that cover portions of those decades, and they've become interesting again in the past 10 years or so and I've resumed buying their releases, but not everything.

  10. #10
    I have band loyalty except when they put out a bad album! I try not to buy CDs without sampling first.
    As far as Yes is concerned, I think the last album I bought was Union, on cassette, which isn't very good.
    I enjoyed the tour show though. I've never been a Yes fanatic, which will probably get me kicked off
    Progressive Ears.

  11. #11
    Member IMWeasel's Avatar
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    One thing that just kind of grinds on me about Yes specifcially, and prog in general, is the amount of gatekeeping that goes on with the older fans vs newer releases/versions of the bands.
    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

  12. #12
    Member Mascodagama's Avatar
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    I don’t have that kind of band loyalty or really understand it. If a record is mediocre or bad to my ears I don’t want or need to own it. There are certainly a few artists where their records are autobuy for me without prior listening, but that’s because I’ve consistently enjoyed their work. Deliver a clunker and you’re off the list…
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  13. #13
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    I used to be one of the loyal, but my perspective now is that life is too short, and as someone who is a few weeks short of 61, if my long-cherished faves from days of yore aren't still delivering the goods in a way that resonates with me, they simply don't get my time or dime. For that reason, I did not buy the new Yes album (not enough excitement or energy) or the new Steve Hackett album (love the man but heard it all before, many times).

    So what have I bought recently? For one, the new Accordo dei Contrari album UR-. This was because I could sample it on Bandcamp, and I genuinely loved what I heard. So far, this most excellent band has not disappointed me yet - the very definition of "auto-buy"! Also, the excellent new Monarch Trail album Wither Down is getting lots of rotation here.

  14. #14
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    There are just a few bands and artists that I feel i have to buy on cd, just to keep the collection complete.

    I will buy the new Marillion just because of that even though I do not really care much about their latest few. Marillion was the first prog band I ever got into as a teen and I still feel I need to buy their studio output.

  15. #15
    I'm like this with Yes and the Flower Kings - but it has to be new music. I don't want compilations or yet one more live album unless it is some historical artifact (in the case of Yes).
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  16. #16
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    There was some study I came across a few months back which was really about the political realm, but it pointed to the largest/strongest source of bias being of the team/tribe sort. This is the bias that triggers the sort of strong cognitive dissonance where information contrary to our beliefs is simply ignored and, for those of us firmly entrenched in our bias, might as well not even exist. I assume this same thing happens with bands we've long been fans of. They can "do no wrong". Yeah, maybe we can see the quality is dropping off or the artist's tastes are diverging from our own, but for some we can minimize those details. And I mean we're still gonna buy that album anyway, right? More recent discoveries won't have this built up loyalty and can more easily come and go and we can move on to one of the myriad other bands out there.
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  17. #17
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    I'm definitely "guilty" of being a completist, though I never did buy Heaven & Earth. Probably the only time I abstained. But otherwise, that part of me that wants everything to be "just so" just feels better when there's no gap in the collection.

    I know that it's not OCD, but it's definitely some sort of mental compulsion.
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  18. #18
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Never been a complete-ist but I was loyal to Chicago in the 70s until album 8. Got off that bus after that album. Just didn't care for the direction they were headed in.

  19. #19
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    Guilty as charged.

  20. #20
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    Someone on SoQ recently said that people would buy a dead cat if it had a Yes logo on it which made me LOL and I totally sympathise. The new Yes album is a good case in point, it sounded dull as dish water on the first few listens but I persevered and now I really love (most of) the album. The thing is if that was some other band I hadn't heard of before I would probably have listened once and thought it was boring and moved on. On the other hand whilst I love 70's Yes & Genesis I hate what they became in the 80's, I'm not going to like it just because of the name and I'll say it's crap if that's what I think. Likewise I do not like SW's last couple of albums very much but I'll always listen because there could be some good stuff there which indeed there is. I get all sides of this debate.

  21. #21
    The only band I can honestly "accuse" myself of with this is The Who. The two albums since the death of John Entwistle have been, shall we say, disappointing. Both of them have moments, but I really shouldn't have bought WHO...and if they release another I will doubtless buy it too.
    National Flat Earth Society: The only thing we have to fear, is sphere itself.

  22. #22
    I am guilty of that. Although I finally with Steve Hacketts latest release decided enough was enough. I felt like I was buying the same album over and over again. I listened to his latest on Amazon Music and thought to myself how cliched his music has become. I knew I would never listen again. Sad, his first few albums were wonderful.
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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    I would trade thousands of my CDs for a new Cardiacs album. That's sort of on-topic right?

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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Glass Hammer used to be autobuy for me. That changed when Dreaming City was a little too metal for my tastes. After they went full on prog metal on their latest, I said "I'll pass, thank you very much."
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I would trade thousands of my CDs for a new Cardiacs album. That's sort of on-topic right?


    Neil

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