The best bands call it quits when they’re supposed to. They record all of the music they want to and reach a natural end to their run. Some end too early, and even worse, some stay together making music far longer than they should. I don’t begrudge them: it’s their career, their life. However, there aren’t many things sadder than seeing a formerly great band come out with a turd of a new song and think it’s great. (Go watch the music video for Van Halen’s “Tattoo” to see what I mean.) On the other hand, it’s a beautiful moment when an old band that you might have counted out releases a new song that actually blows some fire up your shorts. Here are a few in recent memory.
I confessed to a friend who adores all things classic rock recently that I wasn’t a big Stones fan overall. Needless to say, my friend didn’t take it well. Look, I like most of the band’s big songs, and I appreciate their place in the progression of rock music, but overall, their place in the debate of “Greatest Rock Band Ever” just baffles me. However, that didn’t prevent me from enjoying their first new song in almost a decade when it dropped out of nowhere.
Did I discover this song from Perry Farrell’s tequila commercial? You better believe it. I heard the song in the background and my first thought was, “That tune’s pretty dope. Is there a Jane’s Addiction song I didn’t know about?” Turns out there was a whole ALBUM I didn’t know about. I love Jane’s Addiction, but the fact that they were still making new music somehow completely passed me by. This song isn’t an old band trying to sound both old school and relevant. This is a legitimately awesome song. As in, if I hadn’t ever heard of Jane’s Addiction before, this song would get me into them.
Am I crazy and little questionable for including Madonna on this list? Maybe. Do I give a fuck? Unlikely. I’ve always had a special, glittery place in my heart for Madonna, and this song is fucking catchy as hell. I also like her teaming up with Nicki Minaj, because I much prefer Nicki’s version of Madonna-theft to Lady GaGa’s.
A lot of people don’t like the last 15 years of Aerosmith’s resurgence, starting with “Armageddon.” I liked “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,” and hell, “Jaded,” too, for that matter. After that it was a little flimsy, but “Legendary Child” is a legit barn burner. Sure, the song was for “G.I. Joe” and Steven Tyler is a satirical marionette of his former self, but this song rocks pretty hard.
I know what most of you are thinking–who the fuck is Johnny Marr? Well, friends, Johnny Marr was the guitarist for a little band known as The Smiths. Obviously, Morrissey has gone on to far more noticeable success since the band broke up, but Johnny is subtly killing it in his own right. This song is catchy as hell, and I would argue that it’s better than any one Morrissey solo song. Bold, I know.