In the world of show business, no one can stay at the top forever. It's a dog eat dog world, and most of the biggest stars end their careers the minute that their style isn't clicking with their audience anymore. Only few of them manage to keep things going at the top, but these artists ended their careers on their own terms.
In each of these cases, it was the choice of the band or artist to not continue on, looking to go in different directions instead of just chasing their paycheck for the rest of their lives. For the fans, some of these are the stuff of nightmares, as these musicians had so much potential only to throw it all away. In some of these cases though, they ended up closing things off on the best possible note they could have asked for.
Although some of them may have gotten back together for a handful of reunion shows, this is the way that it ends for their creative output, as each musician slowly drifted apart or passed away before the band started to wane. Then again, it might be for the best that they cut things off when they did, leaving a golden legacy without getting too overexposed. While so many other bands stall out, it's nice to have the opportunity to write your own final chapter.
10. Grace - Jeff Buckley
As the next phase of the '90s was starting up, there was no one really willing to be the next leader of rock and roll. For everyone who was waiting for the next Nirvana to spring up, these things don't happen overnight, and the most interesting musicians come where you least expect it a lot of the time. And it looked like Jeff Buckley was going to be the next leader of rock, only for his debut to become his unintended epitaph.
During the touring cycle for Grace, Jeff passed away after accidentally drowning in the South, where his body would never be recovered. If you listen to what he was working on around this time though, you would have sworn that he would have been the next great rock star, having the same kind of stage presence of someone like Robert Plant filtered through songs that were much more sophisticated like Lover You Should've Come Over. It's almost hard to really categorize what this album is stylistically, flirting with bluesy styles and adding in jazzy textures while Jeff's wail soars above everything else.
While Jeff's label released the album Sketches to My Sweetheart the Drunk out of the bits and pieces that he had lying around, this remains the only complete album that Jeff gave the seal of approval to. All we're left with are these ten songs, containing a magic that we all can reach for but will never be able to grasp.