It’s the question that has plagued rockstars for years: is it better to burn out, or to fade away? Should we do as The Who said and die before we get old, or do as The Who did and push on long past our Best By dates?
Musicians don’t have to embarrass themselves with age, of course. There are many bands and artists who have matured as the years have ticked on, reinvented their sound, added the timbre of wisdom and experience to their bag of tricks and brought out career best work in their dotage.
The longer you go on for, though, the more likely it is that you’ll slip up, and release a song or album that proves you’ve been left behind. In worst case scenarios, you can enter into an entire period of ineptitude, from which you may or may not be able to escape.
More often than not, these musical crimes are the result of poor decision making - scrabbling too hard to keep up with changing times, taking a job that you’re just not cut out for, failing to know when to call it a day. Pity the poor artists - but judge them, too.