So you’re all probably familiar with Sick Boy’s theory. If not, here’s a clip:
But has anyone actually bucked the trend? Has any artist had it (produced some magic), lost it (produced some rubbish) and then somehow found it again, making stuff that is equal (and sometimes better) to their early stuff?
Captain Beefheart. After losing it with Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans and Moonbeams, he found it again with his last three albums, with a more muscular and focused band. Much more accessible than TMR, but still with all the Beefheart weirdness intact.
Bob Dylan. Pretty self-explanatory, really.
This thread isn’t about artists who had a little dip but still produced consistently good work. For instance, you might think End Hits or Steady Diet of Nothing are not as good as the classics around them, but they are not bad records by any means.
They must have had a period of good stuff, followed by a period of bad stuff, and then some stuff that is genuinely as good (or better) than the earlier, good stuff.
Who else has done it? How did they do it?