I think it is time to retire

Based on what my ears tell me the following should retire from putting out new material. Like great athletes (Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Jim Kelly etc.) who played long after they should have retired, these people should stop cheapening their great careers.

Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Donald Fagen, David Gilmore, Roger Waters, Elton John are some that come to mind. I would like to know what others think of these people’s efforts to keep it going. I would also like to hear of any additions to my list.

Well i just finished listening to the brand new Neil Young album "Living With War".Very good album!!

keep em coming Grandpa Neil and thanks!!
Here is a link to the free stream.It's not released yet


i love all the Stones albums to by the way too!
Donald Fagen? The latest album is all-right, not what I was hoping for but OK, but apparently you missed Everything Must Go and Two Against Nature, released within the last couple of years.

Sure glad he didn't decide to hang-them-up before he got those out.
While I accept your point, I guess I disagree with some on your list. I think Neil Young's "Prairie Wind" is a great album. Though maybe not his best, it's by far some of the best newly released music I've heard in th elast year. The Docu-movie-concert video Neil put out is also excellent. I probably will buy "Living with War" too. Same goes for David Gilmore's new one, though maybe not with the same exuberence.

I've never been a fan of Donald Fagen, and lost interest in Steely Dan after "Countdown to Ecstasy". I lost interest in Elton John after "Madman . . .", and really never much followed the Stones though I have enjoyed many of their songs, just never bought any of them.
I think we have the "egg,first vs the chicken first" Is it the love of music/love of money??
I think the topic is mean spirited.
Jjmali, I think it's time for you to retire.
I don't agree with any of your choices, although the Who really should consider hanging it up. Tour as Daltrey/Townshend or whatever but I'm sorry guys the Who is done and gone.
Maybe they should get on steroids?
Every time I see a post like this, I feel compelled to respond.
How do you benefit from their retirement? Just wondering. If you don't benefit, why is it so important to you that they retire? If you are more concerned with their 'musical legacies' than they themselves appear to be, perhaps a change of perspective and a re-direction of your energy towards pursuits that are beneficial to YOU might be just the ticket.
And if artists had listened to those that said they should hang it up, well........

Pete Townshend wouldn't have made "Empty Glass" (remember, they've been calling him too old since 1975.)
Dylan wouldn't have made "Blood on the Tracks".
Neil Young wouldn't have made "Ragged Glory".

Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and John Lee Hooker might not be familiar names to any of us.

Franz Josef Haydn wouldn't have composed "The Creation".

I'm compelled to ask you - What's the potential up-side (for us) to their retirements? I think I understand and see the very real down-side.

Would you sleep better at night if you knew that "old guys" like Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello wouldn't be "troubling you" with more of their music?

Again, just wondering...

I just got tics to see Waters do "Dark Side of the Moon" At the Hollywood Bowl. I'll just have to get back to you I guess
That's a tough one to call. I've seen bands the last few years that are a 'lite' version of what they once were, but I don't know if I'd say they should retire.

I would agree with 'the stones' they should have retired back inb the 70's when keith first died. How long has he been dead now, or does he just look like the crypt keeper???

Elton John used to be a great musician, now I'm not sure what he is doing?!?

It seems like there's a lot of bands that put out LPs/CDs just to prove they've got nothing left to say.

As reinforcement for that thought, I read an interview with Kerry Livgren (currently with Proto-Kaw) who when asked if he would ever record with Kansas again replied, "Why, what do they have left to say?" Amen Kerry!
Tvad, I think is right: this thread seems a bit nasty.

Talented people who have sold out should retire, age has nothing to do with it. I'm thinking of Stevie Wonder, my childhood hero. I just saw a commercial for diamonds that used 'Isn't she lovely.' Disgusting. The last thing a black person from any country should be endorsing is the diamond industry. His music for the last two decades is embarrassing.

Someone had a quick interview with Sheryl Crow at one of the grammies and commented on her bracelet: a diamond studded thing that spelled out PEACE in big letters. She said "Nothing says peace like diamonds." A quote to go down in infamy, if you ask me.
Kubla, I agree but it is very possible that Stevie Wonder doesn't have control over his catalog anymore.
Herman, good point, and thanks. I'll choose to believe Stevie Wonder has nothing to do with his music rights until I learn otherwise.
Tfkaudio raises some good questions. If there are still people out there who go to concerts (the Stones are always sold out) and buy cd's, why retire? Music brings joy and comfort and as long as there's an audience, it's a simple matter for everyone else to simply turn the dial or not buy the cd or concert ticket. My father retired from his trade at 65 and then continued to work it part time until he was past 75 -- I think it helped keep him young. I sure hope nobody forces me to stop working while I can still make even a small positive impact.
I'm sorry people find my thread mean spirited. To me the music coming from many of the people I named is pathetic. I just bought the new Gilmore. I would rather listen to the Chipmunk Christmas album. Like so many of these artists the Gilmore album never seems to get going. To me the last great thing out of Fagen was The Nightfly. I guess I agree to disagree with the people who found it necessary to attack me. If you enjoy the crap, well - good for you. It bores the sh** out of me.

I would love to retire - can't afford to. That aside I am sure if the quality of my work dropped by 2/3 I'm sure I would be forced to retire.

You started a controversial thread by berating musicians who are popular, more so in the past, of course. You are bound to piss fans of those artists off. So don't bear umbrage against those "who found it necessary to attack me". And don't be mean spirited and call it "crap". You know the old saying about stone throwing.

Whoa, calm down everyone! I think that many of those who responded to this post are far more "mean-spirited" than Jjmali. His point has been entirely skewed by the hand-wringers that are so worried about the artists' feelings (sniff, sniff, bottom lip-biting whimper). He's right there are some acts that are past their prime, it's obvious. Hey if you enjoy it, it's O.K. Just don't claim that some of these acts are turning out work that is of the caliber they made in their prime. I don't agree with everyone on his list, but I'd definitely add Fleedwood Mac to the list. "Say You Will," their last album, was garbage.
I didn't accuse Jjmali of being mean spirited. I said his topic was mean
spirited. There is a difference. Furthermore, if someone posts on an
internet forum, then the post is open for debate...supportive and critical.

Let me put a different light on the topic. Is this a question anyone here
would personally ask of any of these artists, let alone any person? Would
you walk up to someone and say to their face, "I no longer like
your work, and you should retire." How cold is that? How big do
your stones have to be to say that to someone who you don't know? If
you don't care for an artist's music or performance, then vote by not
buying their product. They'll get the message soon enough. There are
plenty of bands from the 60s and 70s who tour on the summer wheel
chair circuit who I don't have any desire to see, but I also respect
them for their past work, and for the entertainment they bring to their
fans who still pay to see them, and therefore I see no point in
denegrating their efforts.

I found Donald Fagen's new release "Morph the Cat" entertaining,
although it is not up to the level of "The Nightfly".

Why not instead have a thread with a theme of older artists with great
new releases, or who continue to perform at a high level? Bruce
Springsteen...Bonnie Raitt...

Surely, no one can object to that, and it's a positive theme.
No mean-spirit intended, none taken. I'm honestly fascinated by the subject. Had the Beatles made 3 or 4 more albums that weren't "Revolver" quality, how many people would be upset out there? Not me. I like the fact that there are still Stones albums out there that I might still take in, if I have an inkling to. Every now and then I hear a Stones song that I've never heard before. I like that. On the other hand, every Beatles song in existence is sunk into our DNA by now. There's no more.

Put another way - What is your preference for rock career management:

The Police - 5 albums, all great.
The Stones - 30+ albums, a dozen great.


grace slick said it best,nobody wants to see an old broad up on stage anymore.

a 80 year old mick jagger in skin tight spandex :( YUK!
WTF? The new David Gilmour album is awesome, and the the live show at the Gibson Amphitheater in L.A. was a sonic and musical masterpiece.
This post is meaningful due to the record industry's policy of NO RETURNS.
If you open and play the disk and it stinks on ice "tough s**t for you, booby! You bought it!"
In this day and age, I'd like to see new releases available for listening in low rez (for free) so you decide before buying an $18.99 turd.
In this day and age, I'd like to see new releases available for listening in low rez (for free) so you decide before buying an $18.99 turd.

Many music stores allow you to listen to exceprts of every song on every cd they sell, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Wal Mart and many others.

Amazon.com also does this on-line and allmusic.com has snippets from most albums.
I think we have every right to debate topics like these whether we'd question it to their faces or not - it's all part of being a public icon. I certainly don't kid myself that Mick Jagger cares one iota what I think - I'm sure he doesn't, and I'm sure I wouldn't if I was in his place.

No doubt, if people enjoy the music or the show, more power to them, and nothing wrong with that. Being popular and being good aren't necessarily correlated. It's always interesting to see what mix these ageless bands play of their music - I'd bet Neil Young plays a lot more of his recent stuff than many people who have been making music that long, and I'd guess that that is correlated to the quality of his recent stuff.

Here's another way I think about it - what bands am I willing to buy the next released CD immediately for? It's a non-trivial list, but it's not endless. But if The Who was in the middle of their streak of great albums in the 60's or Stevie Wonder's streak of albums in the 70's, they'd both be on the list. In 2006, they're so far off the list it's comical. Whether I am interested or not, I would see reviews of either, because they would be covered in the press, and if they got rave reviews, I'd probably try to hear some of it and be interested. My point is, as great as those two artists were at their peaks, there are so many other bands / artists that are turning out stuff that I have higher expectations for, that they're not all that relevant or compelling anymore.

I don't think there is anything mean-spirited about the topic at all.
Sometimes they don't retire, they just die (drug overdose, alcoholism, anorexia, small private airplane crash, heart attack, complications of sexually transmitted diseases, etc). Then nobody wins. "Dead men tell no tales," and it could be added: "Dead rock stars sing no songs." Others are just now getting out of drug and alcohol rehab and returning to work. Hey, everyone's got to make a living, right? I say we should enjoy these geezers while they're alive and (somewhat) well. The old biological clock's ticking for us listeners, too. Plus, most of the new guys and gals just plain suck.
I remember debating if Pink floyd should hang it up right after DSOTHM was released because "they could never top that album".

I've complained about the Stones needing to retire. Bunch of grandpa's up on stage. But if I close my eyes, they do sound good. I've never been much of a Stones fan.

I listened to some of Van Morrison's last albums. His voice doesn't sound as clear as before, but it does sound good to me when he sings the songs on these latest offerings.

I bought XM to attempt to find new, current music that I can enjoy.

Ya' know what. I'm as picky now as I was when I was 16.

Long live rock and roll!
Mdhoover - I say a bumper sticker the other day along the lines of what you said.

"When I was your age, as least I didn't suck"

I think I'll pick one up just to embarress my kids.
Whenever this topic comes up, it is applied to rock musicians. If you substitute another genre, you may see it in a different light. Jazz musicians play until they drop and why shouldn't they? Even though Sonny Rollins is way past his prime, people still want to hear him. Ditto for a lot of classical giants. Perhaps the difference is musicianship vs. composition and songwriting. Songwriters tend to peak early. There are exceptions, but most songwriters' great work is in the early to middle of their careers. So their later recordings are spotty or lame even, but should they stop performing because of it?
While I agree these artists may be past their prime, they still have superior musicianship to many contemporary artists. Talk about retiring, they should never have been working in the first place!
I'd like to add to Herman's comment there's also allmusic.com which gives you the opportunity to listen to parts of songs right there in the privacy of your home before committing to buy.

As far as mandatory retirement goes, in a free market economy one may produce as long as fans buy the product; retirement happens naturally if they don't. Many of the artists I like are so eclectic, most listeners would probably feel these artists should've never been given a tape recorder in the first place. I find it interesting when I have a negative reaction to a piece of music: Sometimes I'll listen to the end, just to analyze what it is that bugs me. As result this has opened my mind and I can enjoy tunes from a spectrum as diverse as Lawrence Welk, Mantovani on one end and the Residents, the Shaggs and Trumans Water on the other. I try not let myself be influenced by anything other than my ears. That said, I'm extremely discriminating when it comes to my favorite music, but I hold no grudge against the chaff. I just ignore it.
These artists are musicians. It's their profession and life. We don't bash old black bluesman for playing until the end. If you don't like them fine, don't listen, don't go. Neil's latest is great.
I don't have a problem with groups or musicians that are creative staying around and putting out new material. A lot of these groups like Aerosmith, The Stones, Bon Jovi, Rush, Santana, Pink Floyd and Neil Young (who I really haven't listened to since he revived his career playing with Pearl Jam) should just stop producing bad music so they can make more money. I know it's not any worse than untalented musicians that are forced down our throats on the radio, but these old groups actually were great at one time and seem to just tarnish their accomplishments. If these guys want to go and play shows here and there fine, play your old stuff let people remember who you were not who you've become.
It's sad, but I'll add James Brown. I love what he did in his heyday. I'm a huge fan of his work from the 1950's up until the mid 70's but he needed to retire years ago. I
Van Morrison's voice never sounded anything close to 'clear' but one of the great rock & roll voices.

Fagen's voice on his new one sounds awful - weak and lacking in range. Like he can't get down lower than the top of his throat (which is how Springsteen has always sounded to me and why he bores me).
I just hope KISS is still playing in their 70s. It'll be fun to see four saggy and baggy white guys in black spandex and Halloween wigs still kickin' out "Detroit Rock City".
Tvad: Eeeewwww! Ick, Ick ICK!
Why don't you think of old musicians who have got to practiceeven more and have gotten even better.
Pete Townshend is 61 today. Much too young to retire from anything, especially the age-old trade of music making.

I saw Pete a couple years ago on The Who's tour after John Entwistle passed away and Pino Palladino took over on bass, and Zach Starkey was on drums.

Pete gave a guitar clinic. He was absolutely stunning. Roger was also in very good voice and had great stage energy.
I think many Audiophiles should retire from talking about music they lost interest in it a long long time ago.
Pete Townshend said it best in 1965.

"Hope I die before I get old!"

But...He didn't so he'll just

"Pick up my guitar and play just like yesterday."

So just lay off the old geezers. Buy and enjoy what you want and let them worry about their legacy.

The only road to eternal youth and greatness is death. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Buddy Holly, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison will always be remembered as young and in their prime.

Unfortunately, the alternative is getting old and staying alive.
I think it is the ability of some of these guys to trot out some of their old work and some new stuff too, which marks them out as the true greats. If they only lived on their back catalogue, firstly they would probably go mad, but more importantly, would we be robbed of some wonderful live (if not quite as energetic) performances.

Just my 2p
The Sex Pistols were recently inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Instead of showing up they sent a letter which basically said "bugger off. rock n roll is a dead art form. what's the point?" I would tend to agree. All the artists mentioned above had their pinnacles 10-30 years ago.

I have said before that the last great rock song written was "smells like tean spirit" and that marked the end of the rock era 10+ yr ago. Let's move on to something else. Beethovean ain't coming back. Neither is Lennon or Hendrix or Elvis.

(unpacking my flameproof suit...)
I personally wouldn't take what the Sex Pistols say or do seriously. They are basically a novelty rock and roll act.
The church bell tolls 12 times in Greenwich Village and it's May 24th, which means Bob Dylan is now officially at the "retirement age" of 65.