Poll: Which Artists Got Better with Age?

The above photo, if you can’t tell, is of The Strokes. Or the best band that never was, as I like to call them. It’s an admittedly love-hate relationship; I was all in when they first came on the scene as part of the early-2000s garage rock revival, but haven’t been able to easily forgive that it’s been thirteen years since their last concert in my neck of the woods. Oh it’s not like there haven’t been tours or new material in between (two albums and an EP, as a matter of fact). Like many acts throughout rock history, the quality of output begins to decline over time. I’m confident however that when The Strokes finally do hit Budweiser Stage on May 20th, fans will be treated to familiar classics from Is This It, Room on Fire and First Impressions of Earth like “Take It or Leave It”.

But enough about those erratic New Yorkers, as they are far from the only guilty party. Yeah I’m lookin’ at YOU, Weezer! I want to know from the music-savvy readers of this site who they feel are exact opposite – Which bands or artists have actually IMPROVED as their careers have gone on?

Not looking for any particular era or even genre. If you have strong views on how Run-D.M.C.’s Back from Hell and onwards is superior to Raising Hell, Tougher Than Leather, etc., I want to hear about it in the comments below, on Twitter (@alancross / @ROCKthusiast), through Alan’s Facebook page, or you can even email me directly.

You’d of course be wrong re: Run-D.M.C., but that’s your prerogative. All opinions are welcome. There’s no set number of albums that had to be put out either. Not to lead anyone on, but I would make an argument for The Black Keys, who toiled in relative obscurity for five albums before taking a giant commercial leap forward with Brothers followed by El Camino. Surely there are many, many others, and I look forward to hearing them this Easter weekend.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

5 thoughts on “Poll: Which Artists Got Better with Age?

  • April 18, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Radiohead and The National to name a couple

  • April 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Modest Mouse, Radiohead, Strokes, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Stones, etc, etc….

  • April 20, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Gary Numan. It’s like he hears Nine Inch Nails and becomes revitalized. That might be an idea for another poll: Who is ‘heavily influenced’ by another artist but is still good/enjoyable?

  • April 21, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Peter Gabriel


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