How can we make sure the Rolling Stones never make another album again?
At lunch today, Chris G. and I were discussing the pity we feel for the Rolling Stones every time they come out with a new album; it really is sad to see these shrivled old men are pretending to be something they're not, something they once were....long, long ago. We both agreed that it would be fine if the Stones wanted to still tour and play their old songs, but trying to come up with new stuff, especially songs about the sex, drugs and rock life, just struck us as wrong. It's not just the Mick and Kieth and the gang either, there are lots of great bands that have well overstayed their welcome. For example, I love REM, but they probably should have gracefully floated away into shiny happy people-land after their "Up" album.
On the other hand, there are a few performers who can still make great music despite their decrepitude.....Bob Dylan is indisputable. I also think U2's most recent albums have been some of their best (though we can debate this). Chris G. suggested that one reason for this could be that Dylan and U2 both have at least some "substance" to their lyrics beyond the usual (ahem..."start me up") fare. But I'm not sure that's it either b/c other great lyricists's new stuff, like Paul Simon's or Van Morrison's, hasn't been well-recieved.
Obviously a lot of this depends on personal preference. A non-U2 fan may say that they should've stopped with Achtung Baby, while I strongly disagree. So what is it? What is the statute of limitations on middle/old-aged rockers. When should they stop? Can you guys think of any other people who should've stopped long ago, but haven't? Also, I'd be interested to hear who you think should still be making albums?