I listen to a lot of music. I think my love of music started when I heard Slade’s “Keep Your Hands of My Power Supply”. I don’t know why but ever since then I’ve really enjoyed listening to, collecting and anything else you can do with music. There are a lot of bands I like but over the years some have held a special place in my heart: Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Depeche Mode, Stellastarr*, Echo And The Bunnymen, EMF, New Order, Leiahdorus, Anything Box, The Echoing Green and Jesus Jones to name a few.
Anything Box and Jesus Jones are two bands in particular that I have found disappointing. Anything Box started as a synthpop bad that most people would not even consider a one hit wonder but in actuality they put out several albums before proceeding in reverse order from a musical butterfly of luscious synthpop into a caterpillar of a band making horrible sounding neo-garage band dirges.
Many people get on the band’s site and lament this but they come across as whiny, especially since there are, apparently, people who enjoy their current sound. I’ve not bothered to try and poll people who claim to like them now and see if these are new fans or ones that have been with them since their synthpop days.
Another formoer favorite band of mine, one that has apparently decided to go from “good” music to nothing that anyone would listen to is Jesus Jones. I think about them a lot because I really liked their first four albums. Well Perverse (album #3) was my least favorite of the first four but still it was better than London. They went from a top notch band that blended samples and rock with the same skill that Dryers blends peppermint and ice cream for the holidays. Then they went from a bigger label to a smaller one (in the form of a Koch affiliated label MI-5 Records) and they started to put out sub-par garage music.
I’ve thought this for a while but it has been on my mind a lot lately because I picked up the live recording of Jesus Jones when they were in the US back in 2005 and was let down by their “modern” renditions of their “classic” hits. Then, to top it off, the album includes a bonus interview where the band proceeds to, in essence, indicate that things would have been very different had they had the time and education to do things they way they wished they had. What I really loved was essentially a “mistake”.
I suppose I should be grateful for what I got from the band but at this point but JJ and the band members have kept pretty close with their fans over time which makes it all the more painful for me.