Why your favourite band should split up (2)

Guardian brings more context:

But there was a time when band break-ups didn’t mean very much at all, largely because no one thought of “rock musician” as a career choice the way we do now. The public forgets how the lives of groups have changed since the 1960s, when the record industry was in its infancy, and the idea of a being in a band for life was unheard of. Pop music was seen as a youthful pursuit, and, as Colin Blunstone of the Zombies remembers, “splitting up is just what happened”. His band broke up after their third album, Odessey and Oracle, which is now seen as the pinnacle of their career and provided them, posthumously, with a huge US hit in Time of the Season. He believes their reputation is probably augmented by the brevity of their existence, although their split was never considered in those terms back then. “No one thought pop would be a long-term business for anyone. Management really thought of careers in rock’n’roll in terms of two- or three-year periods, so from the very beginning, that was a factor in how long we lasted.” There were people who very astute, he adds – the likes of Mick Jagger – but he was in the minority. “We were so young – we tended to react to what people told us rather than the other way round. If we’d looked to Mick, we could’ve realised we did have a choice.”

Rock started becoming a long-term career choice in the 1970s – it’s notable how many of the biggest rock stars of that business had been knocking around since the early 60s, even if they didn’t achieve success for another decade. Punk, though, provided another boost for the idea that a band could achieve all it wanted to or needed to in a very brief timespan. The Sex Pistols were the ultimate example, a group who made one influential album before falling apart. The attitude of punk and the bands it inspired was summed up by Steve Albini in his sleevenotes for Songs About Fucking, the second and final album by his band Big Black: “Breaking up is an idea that has occurred to far too few groups.” (Albini did not respond to an interview request for this article.)

via Why your favourite band should split up | Music | The Guardian.

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