Legacy: making music with a sense of legacy. What does it mean for us fans and for ALL musicians?
I recently heard one of my fave long time musician on a phone call to the fan Community saying they’re recording their “… new studio album with a sense of legacy”. Given his band have spent every minute of their lives working on records that eventually and luckily became milestone albums, why did he said that right now? I’m going to discuss on it with the help of the following passages.
Feeling of legacy because maybe it’s the end of a long time career? When long time music stars claim they’re working “…with a sense of legacy… ” it means they maybe they realized that after years of fighting to be a commercial no.1, now they’re seeing themselves older and are thinking to leave a sign, a footprint on the sand. It is my first thought. It makes me a proud fan, if this is the truth behind. “The sense of legacy” might be referred also to something artistically important to pass to their kids: it gives me the sensation of an end of an age and the beginning of another. No necessarily, both the “footprint” and the passing along to the kids mean their retirement.
Feeling of legacy because the studio albums have collaborations with big names? Collaborations, duets are tentatively made throughout their career, planning a duet is no surprise and it’s always an appreciated move. If it deals with big names I am somehow pushed to think it’s like the “final act” and they want to appeal on everyone by using stars that are well-known and well appreciated by the masses, i.e. my heroes could have thought of this to regain some of their credibility lost recently. It can be true only for my heroes, as I see other artists spending time with “big names” at whatever phase of their career, or on tour, or inviting big appealing names on a special concert. I think big names are used as tools for legacy, but whenever.
Feeling of legacy because the today music industry isn’t a chance to grow sales? It’s a bit like thinking again it is your hero’s final act or tour, but the reasons for thinking so is economical: long time musicians are no longer motivated to carry on. The internet is getting to them more an enemy than a friend, as links and demos are leaked, you have piracy and what else …; web seems to be an excellent tool, at least, to keep in contact with friends and fans. Press is ok to help the promotion of tours and records, but when it deals with spreading news that shouldn’t be spread, also press goes on the opposite tide. Radio and now web radio stations maybe have managed to retain their old role to really support and stand by the artists. The music industry I know from the past years and the one thanks to which most of my heroes grew up successful, today it looks fragmented and scared of its (digital r) evolution. For the above mentioned weak points of the music business, I’d agree, with deep regret though, if any of my long time heroes would work for one last good time with a sense of legacy!!!
No musician can really never know when his career dies, even when he plans for retirement: I’m seeing amazing decisions a bit from everywhere.
Musicians are pushed to do well their job because of the people who love them and they feel they have a legacy to build, to defend every day they spend in the studio. Performing arts are immortal, by definition.
DD TV xx