Remember them this way – Roxy Music on the gatefold sleeve to For Your Pleasure.

Rock bands are like TV sit-coms, they usually go on for too long and become tired or formularic.

Roxy Music are a prime example.

In a review of the 10 cd box set of the band’s complete studio recordings in this month’s Wire magazine, Mark Fisher sagely notes that  “if they had stopped after the first two albums, their career would have been immaculate”.

Their self titled debut and For Your Pleasure were and are amazing records which they never bettered in their post-Eno years.

I got to thinking which other long running bands would have benefited from quitting while they were ahead.

For instance, REM should have called it a day after Automatic For The People and wouldn’t it have been better if the Stones had parted company after Exile On Main Street or if The Who had ended on a genuine high with Quadrophenia.

Did punk bands like The Ramones, The Damned and Gang Of Four really need to make any more records after their trailblazing debuts?

I’m sure you can think of your own examples.

There is of course another category of bands such as The Cranberries and Coldplay that ought to have been strangled at birth, but that’s another story!

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