Music history holds some memorable ‘hot streaks’
Musicians and professional athletes are similar in many ways. One of those similarities is the “hot streak.”
This would be a time when an athlete or musician would be considered by their peers to be at the top of their game.
If you want to make a hall of fame or receive “immortality” within in your profession, you have to have at least one “hot streak” or years of production that are way above the norm.
I would like to consider artists who have stood the test of time (at least 30 years) and their creative or “hot streaks.”
Bob Dylan, in my opinion, has been relevant with his music for 49 years now and has had more than one creative streak.
From 1963’s “Freewheeling Bob Dylan” to 1969’s “Nashville Skyline,” Dylan released nine classic albums including “Blonde on Blonde,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”
From 1974–1976, he released five great albums: “Planet Waves,” “Before the Flood,” the classic “Blood on the Tracks,” “The Basement Tapes” and “Desire.”
Dylan has since had a pair of smaller hot streaks. One in the late ‘80s and another that started in the late 1990s.
And Dylan still is writing and recording songs of relevance.
Van Morrison is another musician with an incredible body of quality work going on since 1968’s “Astral Weeks” followed up by “Moondance,” “His Band and the Street Choir,” “Tupelo Honey” and “Saint Dominic’s Preview” in 1972.
From 1978 through 1991, Morrison released a dozen quality records with the best being “Wavelength” in 1978, “Into the Music” in 1979 followed by “Inarticulate Speech of the Heart” in 1982 and “Poetic Champions Compose” in 1987.
Neil Young has covered almost every musical genre that is somehow related to rock ‘n’ roll during his solo recording career that officially started in 1969 after he left Buffalo Springfield.
In my opinion, Young’s solo career is second to Dylan in terms of consistent quality. From 1970–1972, Young released “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere,” “After the Gold Rush” and “Harvest.”
After “Time Fades Away” in 1973, Young released “On the Beach,” one of my very favorites, followed by “Tonight’s the Night,” “Zuma” American Stars and Bars,” “Comes a Time” and “Rust Never Sleeps.”
Young, who can also deliver a “stinker” of a recording, has had a similar, if not as long, creative streak in each decade since the 1970s.
There are way too many musicians to mention in one column, but others of note include Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Knopfler, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Ellton John and a number of others who I can think of right now.
Bands that deserve mention include The Band, the Allman Brothers, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Traffic, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, the Beach Boys and, of course, the band that started all of this, the Beatles.
The four lads from Liverpool, Great Britain, released the most amazing body of work in the history of rock music with 14 albums of superior music that I don’t think will ever be equaled either by the quality of the music or its impact on society.