Times changes, people change and as Exposé once said, seasons change. Depending on what era of music you're in, a passé artist has a good chance to make a comeback. Back in the '90s it wasn't uncommon to see oldies like Bonnie Raitt, Cher, Don Henley and Santana making huge comebacks and not only selling to the boomers, but to younger listeners as well; whereas in the '60s and the '00s to now, the singles charts are really run by artists under 30. Even someone like X-Tina is considered a bit long in the tooth to still be playing. Well, it's time to change that. There are a lot of great artists who've given up, stopped trying to be innovative, or are just waiting in the wings for the tides to change. So I've rounded up a few of my fantasy comebacks for your consideration.
Taylor Dayne: If only she can first admit she's a top-knotch singer (and a second-rate actress), and second, if she can stop being such a B* (in Apt 23), she could really do well with a full on soul record. Don't go the cheesy, stale Kristine W route of club tunes that died 10 years ago. See Lisa Stansfield who's working on her first album in almost a decade and going fully back to hear slinky soul sound.
Prince & Madonna: I do realize I raz on the Purple One and the Menopausal-Girl a bit much in this column, but if these two would put as much effort into their new original material as they do into their sold out live shows, they'd both be back at the top immediately. The followings are there, but neither one of them can write anymore and seem to just phone in new material in order to play something new at their shows. Both of you: Get some quality production and a few hip, young co-writers. You're both teetering on the edge of becoming an oldies act for life.
Rick Astley: You'd think the Rick-rolling phenomenon of a few years ago would have been the best platform for the "Never Gonna Give You Up" singer to work the proverbial room, but no. He put out one fantastic, but not well-promoted single, "Lights Out," with no follow-up album. It's a shame. His voice and quality of material is better than it's ever been, and the man still looks 30 years old.
Finally, George Michael: Whatever you're still on, put it down, girl. Your last single, "White Light," proclaiming you had made it out of the darkness, rang about as true as Whitney's final album where she chanted about sobriety and redemption only to fall a few years later. We're not buying it and the Cher-like autotune mangling of "White Light" covered the best thing about you, that silky smooth voice. Solution, get legit clean and get a real team behind you. Real instruments, real writers, maybe even Andrew Ridgeley, and stop making self-produced synth trash. You're better than this, George. You're all better than this. Now go prove it. We'll be waiting, and buying.
DJ Moose will be playing many of these artists at his new Old Skool House Party at Mary's Attic on the second Saturday of each month.