Musicians of the world, we appreciate you. We thank you for everything you’ve done for us and all the moments in our lives that you have soundtracked. Blimey, though, some of them get an easy ride. Like, the Avalanches just released their first album in 16 years. It’s bloody “>agony being a fan of theirs, you know. But they’re not the only ones who took their sweet time and loafed about when all we wanted from them was new album. Behold, the world’s laziest bands.
The Stone Roses
It was bad enough when the Madchester group kept us waiting for five years for ‘The Second Coming‘, the follow-up to their perfect 1989 debut. And yet we’ve had only one single since 1994. The three-day extravaganza that Ian and the lads played at Manchester’s Heaton Park in 2012 – 150,000 tickets sold in 14 minutes – introduced them to a younger audience and set the full-blown comeback in motion. The hype was carried by Shane Meadows’ biopic Made of Stone, which caught with a newly tight band who’d fallen into disarray and in-fighting some 15 years earlier. Recent single ‘All For One’ is, thankfully, an anthemic banger and we’re hopeful for a new album, having chatted to Ian Brown about it outside their north London studio.
The abrasive indie rockers’ most recent album, 2015’s ‘Strangers To Ourselves‘ was a bit of a mixed bag, but we’d take it over the absence of a full-length album they subjected us to for the preceding eight years, as there’s only been one EP (2009’s odds’n’sods compilation ‘Nobody’s First And You’re Next’) since 2007’s barnstorming full-length ‘We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank’). In an interview with Buzzfeed, frontman Isaac Brock put the wait down to his perfectionism: “Every little fuckin’ freckle on this thing I would look at with a magnifying glass, and then decided I needed to look at it from the top of a fucking mountain.”
So, 1997’s ‘Urban Hymns’ was a majestic Britpop masterpiece. Why oh why, then, were we forced to wait 11 years for their fourth album, which is fittingly called ‘Forth’? Well, it’s because The Verve split from 2000 to 2006, citing infighting within the band. Upon their return, they turned down a multi-album deal to avoid the pressures that caused them to split in the first place – and it worked: ‘Forth’ went to UK Number One and, in our 8/10 review, we said: “Richard Ashcroft’s anthemic instincts meld beautifully with guitarist Nick McCabe’s experimental streak“. It was the last Verve album but at least frontman Richard Ashcroft is currently releasing boss solo material.
Eight years Daft Punk kept us waiting for ‘Random Access Memories‘. Was it bloody worth it? Readers, it was bloody worth it – as our 10/10 review attested when we proclaimed it “an ambitious masterpiece”. During their time away from releasing albums, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter recorded the soundtrack to 2010 sci-fi movie remake ‘Tron’ and made friends with synth and disco legend Giorgio Moroder, who worked on ‘Random Access Memories’. The time off paid dividends: the album became the fastest selling record in the UK in 2013.
Guns N’ Roses
The ultimate lazy band. Axl and co. kept us waiting for 14 agonising years for 2008’s ‘Chinese Democracy‘, which was kind of crushed by the weight of expectation upon release, but is actually a lot better in retrospect. Axl was 31 when worked began on the album and 46-years-old at the time of its release. ‘Chinese Democracy’ cost $13m (£9m) to make, with countless musicians and technicians kept on the G’N’R pay roll during its creation. There was also a spiritual therapist hired to keep the creativity flowing. Axl Rose is currently AC/DC. This man does not conform to your expectations.
The Bristol trip-hoppers threw a hand grenade into the UK dance scene with debut album ‘Dummy’ in 1994. The self-titled 1997 follow-up was swift, but their third, named, erm, ‘Third’, album didn’t come until 2008. Remember: it took them 11 years to come up with that title. Like Modest Mouse’s ‘Strangers to Ourselves’, it was the attention to detail that kept the work in progress for so long. Portishead would discuss the technicalities of each arrangement endlessly. Band member Adrian Utley told The Guardian: “There’s not a single area that we don’t discuss. Nothing is light. There’s nothing throwaway. From these hours, days, years of discussion, you’re building your life together. It’s like a marriage, isn’t it? It’s compromise and respect for each other and a deep knowledge of someone else’s brain.”
My Bloody Valentine
22 years we waited for ‘mbv‘, the Dublin shoegazers’ 2013 follow-up to ‘Loveless’. Thank goodness, then, that it was a beautiful, complex continuation of their heady sound. The band kept a low profile in the interim, though they did perform at Bestival in 2008. Promoting the new record in 2012, singer Kevin Shields told us: “Based on the very, very few people who’ve heard stuff – some engineers, the band, and that’s about it – some people think it’s stranger than ‘Loveless’. I don’t. I feel like it really frees us up, and in the bigger picture it’s 100 per cent necessary.”
The Rolling Stones
It’s also been 11 years since Mick and Keef and that lot released their last album, 2005’s ‘A Bigger Bang’. That was preceded by an eight year wait, as it followed 1997’s ‘Bridges To Babylon’. The Stones kept on the road between 1997 and 2005, touring their career-spanning ’40 Licks’ compilation around the world. Once that was rounded off with the Live Licks, they were ready to return to new material. Of course, ‘A Bigger Bang’ didn’t even attempt to reinvent the Stones’ sound – why would you – but instead offered a reliably hard rocking combo of Jagger’s lounge lizard vocal delivery and Richards’ grooving riffs. According to concert DVD Luckily, they’re working on a new album, reportedly featuring a collaboration with Eric Clapton.
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New York Dolls
Landing on the New York pre-punk scene like they’d just arrived from space (presumably the sexiest, most androgynous planet out there), the ‘Dolls embodied the hard-living rock’n’roll lifestyle. Maybe that’s why we had to wait 32 years between 1974’s ‘Too Much Too Soon’ and 2006’s ‘One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This’. Only two members of the original Dolls line-up remained living – guitarist Sylvain Sylvain and vocalist David Johansen – and with notorious guitarist Johnny Thunders having died years earlier, it would have been a miracle if this were to be a return to their original form. Sure enough, ‘One Day…’ lacked much the Dolls’ trademark spark and verve, but it was still good to see them refusing to grown up.
Iggy Pop is everywhere right now, taking his first lead role in a film, Blood Orange, and touring his staggeringly great new album, ‘Post Pop Depression’, with Matt Helders, Josh Homme and that other bloke from Queens of the Stone Age. But his band The Stooges were out of the picture for a sprawling 34 years, as 1973’s ‘Raw Power’ was followed by 2007’s ‘The Weirdness’. Of course, Iggy had released 14 solo studio albums in that time, so he it would perhaps be a tad unfair to brand him lazy, but he and The Stooges were certainly tardy in getting it together. We called ‘The Weirdness’ “a brash, modern-sounding rock record that also sounds more vital than most bands 40 years The Stooges’ junior.”