Recently, the All Songs Considered podcast rebroadcast an episode called Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands. It’s all about the moment when your realize that the band or artist you loved so much, you just don’t love anymore. It could be them, it could be you. You might still love the old stuff, or you might make a clean break.
So here are some of the bands that I broke up with and the reasons why.
eddie from ohio
Through the 1990s I was a huge fan of this folk-pop band who are actually from Virginia and I saw them in concert more times than any other performer. They were an energetic and fun live band with great banter between songs. Their songs were introspective and witty (some songs made me laugh every time I heard them), they alternated vocals among three singers, and everything was powered by a unique percussion of Eddie Hartness’ drumkit. Then in 2001 they released an album called Quick, the music sounded more light rock and the funny bits made me laugh once if at all. Worst of all, in concert they seemed to abandon all the old songs I loved as well as their silly personas to become more button-down. I think they’ve only released one album since our breakup and don’t tour much anymore, so maybe the time was up for them as well.
Dave Matthews Band
Another band I came to like when I went to college in Virginia. During my freshman year they were playing bars in college towns, but by my senior year they were doing national arena tours. In between that I saw them open for a concert at William & Mary for Toad the Wet Sprocket (who were actually a big deal at the time). Their sound was unique for the mid-1990s and I liked the emphasis on the virtuoso performances of the fiddler, saxophonist, and drummer. Then I went to New Year’s concert in 1997 and realized that Dave Matthews himself was a obnoxious dudebro. But what really brought an end to our affair was that after the first two albums, the sound of the band turned more into the typical bland, post-grunge sound that was common in that era. I broke up and didn’t look back.
I first became aware of Sting and The Police when their Synchronicity album came out in 1983. My sister was a big fan but I could take it or leave it. But something about Sting’s …Nothing Like the Sun album appealed to me and I went back and discovered the earlier Police albums and I became a fan. For a bit. I was excited when The Soul Cages came out and it seemed profound that it was all about the death of his father at the same time that my own father died. But the more I listened to it, the less I liked it. Ensuing Sting releases were increasingly bland and I reverted to my earlier take on Sting.
Let Love Rule came out in 1989 and I randomly selected the tape from Columbia House. While the music is deeply derivative of 60s and 70s psychedelia and soul, it also didn’t sound much like anything else released at the time. Add to the fact that I was coming out of my Klassik Rawk phase and it was nice to have a currently released album I could enjoy. Perhaps it was a bridge to more contemporary released music for me? At any rate, subsequent releases by Lenny Kravitz were cheezier and poppier, and I quietly stepped off the Kravitz bandwagon.
Speaking of the Klassik Rawk period, I suppose there’s a time when many a teenager starts listening to The Doors and thinks that Jim Morrison was a tragic poet. I didn’t get too deep, although I did read No One Here Gets Out Alive. Nevertheless, it didn’t take me long to realize that after their debut album, most of the music released by The Doors was crap, a view I still hold to this day.
Fishbone was the first band I ever saw in concert, and wow – what a first concert. Intense music, dancing, moshing, crowd-surfing (I was nearly dropped on my head, naturally). Lead singer Angelo Moore even inducted concertgoers into the Fishbone family. So it was very hard when Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe came out in 1993 and the band seemed to have abandoned their consciousness-raising ska/funk/soul for something that sounded like metal with nonsense lyrics. Apparently the band was going through a troubled stretch and maybe I shouldn’t have abandoned them at such a hard time, but I still love what we had in the good days.
They Might Be Giants
Here’s a band I broke up with but then got back together again. I was a huge fan in high school and college, and TMBG ended being the second band I saw in concert (back when it was the two Johns and a drum machine). I listened to Flood and Lincoln endlessly, and their other albums slightly less often. Then their album John Henry came out in 1994 and it left me cold. The magic was gone. Fast forward about five years and I randomly picked up their live album Severe Tire Damage, and suddenly, the magic was back. I saw them in concert again and it was awesome. They started releasing family/children’s albums and they were awesome. I went to one of their family/children’s concerts and it was awesome. We are now happily growing old together.
Probably one of the most painful breakups. I became of fan of REM in the late 80s and basically got all of their albums at once. There was a long break, it seemed, between their last album of the 1980s, Green, and their first album of the 1990s, Out of Time. When it finally came out, I was excited, but after hearing “Losing My Religion” for the umpteenth million time on the radio I was tired of it and realized I didn’t like much else on the album. I had big hopes for the next album Automatic for the People, but I liked it even less. Worse, at the time I was growing disillusioned with REM, the rest of the world was falling in love with them and making these two albums best sellers. I may have said some nasty things, like “corporate sellout.” But ultimately, we were just going in different directions. We get back together now and again – I even liked UP at the time it was released – but mostly REM is pleasant memory of my youth in the 1980s.
So what bands did you break up with? Let me know in the comments.