Originally Posted by Mike J
I will be sure to pass this career advice on to the band. I guess I would want you to define "evolve."
my definition of "evolve" in the context of the music industry would be to "not play/create the same kind of music over and over for years"
Van Halen does what they do very well, regardless of whether or not you like the new song. So if they're not going to do hard rock anymore, what should they do? A concept album? I would make the argument that Van Halen III was an attempt by the band to evolve and look what happened there. Shit, even Balance was all serious and introspective in spots and while that sold well, it marked the last album with Hagar and when Hagar came back in 2004 for the greatest hits cash-in, the songs they recorded were nothing like Balance (and sucked. I hated the 2004 songs).
Instead of attempting to milk past success and wrangling in old fans, maybe try and cultivate a new audience.
I would love to have heard a VH-ized album of old blues covers...hell, some VH-ized covers of Hank Williams songs would have been more interesting than that boring song they released.
Now I know the idea of doing cover songs isn't a new idea, but for VH, it could have been an interesting experiment. It may not have worked but they at least tried something 'new' and different.
For reference, there are 3 albums that jump to mind: The Clash's "Sandinista", Prince's "Around the World in a Day" and Metallica's "Black Album"
All 3 albums were different from what they had done in the past and alienated alot of 'fans'...especially in the case of Prince- everyone was expecting Purple Rain 2, but it turned out to be a 60's sounding pop record. I know many Metallica fans had thought that they had gone soft and were no longer metal (they cut their hair!!)
When Sandinista came out, I was like "what the fuck is this" but I started to like it more and more after listening to it (admittedly, it doesn't ALL work)
But they were all different and new and it made me interested in seeing what they could do next.
Keep in mind Van Halen has already toured with this incarnation and it did very well. Now, granted a lot of it was nostalgia but it showed an interest by the public regardless. Van Halen can keep things interesting without "evolving" (still not entirely sure what you mean exactly). Look at Bruce Springsteen and Rush. Have they ever done anything that are really outside their comfort zones, save for Springsteen's acoustic album nobody bought and Rush's foray into synthesizers in the 80s? And all that was a LONG time ago. But they keep things interesting with their live shows by playing classic albums in their entirety and being all-around good showmen. And fuck, look at The Rolling Stones, save for that album a few years ago, that's a band that stopped "evolving" in the late 70s but they still pack them in.
So you may not like the new music but thinking the band should hang it up because of that is a little narrow-minded. The reviews for their club show were overwhelmingly positive. That's what's going to keep them alive.
The Stones are a perfect example....they should have stopped years ago. You have a great history of music, be happy with it instead of trying to wring that last $$ out of your fans.
Same goes for U2, REM, Nirvana, etc.