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Remember when Fonzie Jumped the Shark in Happy Days? After that, the show had no where to go but down...

Here is my preview of bands that have run out of creative juice. Please see my blog for the full list


Stones - Tattoo You

Guns and Roses - Appetite (yes, I think they peaked then)

Rod Stewart - Blondes have more Fun (He was pretty much finished after the disco thing)

The Clash - Combat Rock



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OK Ian first off, Welcome!


Now I read your blog post and that lends a little clarity, in re my question above.

You appear to be misreading the meaning of "shark jump"

i.e. you are calling the shark jump the apex, and it can only be downhill from there.

Actually the Shark Jump means the moment at which the Sucking Started.


By your defintion, it appears the actual Fonzie Shark Jumping episode was good! and it was all downhill from there.

Actually the shark jumping episode was a joke (not the good kind) and that's why it is emblmatic of "Losing It"


e.g. Tattoo You is too good to be the moment of shark's an alright album.

For me though, Emotional Resuce (before TY) kinda sucked, so there's no real defined moment of Stones Shark Jumping.

But we can agree (I think) that post-Tattoo You is no good....

THanks for the comments Harry. Yes, the shark jumping is a gray area is it not?

If we say shark jumping is  "when the sucking started" then I suppose you could always just look at my picks and then go to the next release as the shark jump...



That's all I'm saying.

The last great album has nothing to do with the shark jumping.

It's the first one which is terrible, that's the shark-jump.


e.g.: Yes without Jon Anderson, i.e. "Drama" album with the 2 guys from the Buggles joining.

That there is a shark-jump.

Although the last "proper" (lineup-wise) album that came before it...Tormato...was certainly no masterpiece.

But it's not a gray area.

My definition is correct ;<)

I see what you are saying....

My interpretation was that it was the last great moment. The problem was, I saw the Shark Jump episode of Happy Days when I was like 10 years old, so all the episodes were great to me!

Its hard to tell what is crap when you are a kid. Case in point, I used to think Knight Rider was an awesome show. (And the Dukes of Hazard)

Elvis Costello--Spike.  Until then, pretty much great to classic pieces.  Then, Spike.  Never recovered since.  Not that there haven't been a spark of what once was.  But it is typically limited to one or two songs on a disk.

I'm not well versed in Elvis Costello music, but I'll give Spike a listen. What is your recommendation for "must have" Elvis Costello stuff?"


The first five -- My Aim is True, This Years Model, Armed Forces (my personal fave), Get Happy, Taking Liberties (which is a collection of b-sides, etc.).  There may be no finer first three disks from anybody than those.  As is well documented, Mr. Costello's first disk is with the backing band Clover; the Attractions were unveiled on the second disk.  After the stuff mentioned, probably the finest is Trust and/or Imperial Bedroom.  (The bootleg--Elvis Goes to Washington and Rockpile Don't--is to me, one of the finest live "alternative" recordings I have heard, which dates from the This Year's Girl release.  Scorching.)

Spike is after Mr. Costello broke with his band, the Attractions...and can be good, but can be quite awful, also.  Your mileage may vary.

Agree completely.  Get Happy is my favorite, but all of those are great (and kudos on the oft-overlook Taking Liberties.  it's fab)

i quite like Punch the Clock too.  And Trust is fine.  But yeah, it's a been a long dry spell every since.

Spike is an all right album. But, I think Mighty Like A Rose and especially Brutal Youth are both great albums, start to finish - I listen to those as much as Get Happy!, Liberties, Armed Forces, This Years' Model or Blood And Chocolate.

I have been mixed about his output from When I Was Cruel (which I hate!) onward. There is a later era comp (which was scheduled to come out and then pulled, but it did get released in Canada, I think) called Pomp & Pout that really does a good job of selecting highlights from the most questionable era of his career. I recommend seeking a copy - you can find it online, if you know how to find such things....*ahem*

I appreciate your comments...but what is your feeling on the pre-Spike stuff?  I could imagine someone coming into the catalog at that time and giving it a look around, but for me, with SO much great stuff behind it, it is hard for me--a die hard fan from the first spin of My Aim is True--to give much consideration to Spike and its progeny.  Inconsistency is my first and biggest bitch--for every Veronica or How to Be Dumb there is a Pad, Paws and Claws.  However, I quite agree with you on most of When I Was Cruel (although it has the fabulous Just About Glad).

As i said above, your mileage may vary.

Nope, Just About Glad is from the great (in my opinion, anyway) Brutal Youth.

Pre-Spike is the way to go with Costello. My ventures with Costello started with Armed Forces. I am not the world's biggest fan of My Aim Is True - there are no tracks I dislike on it, it's just a whole different ballgame once The Attractions are in there as his backing band. I think my comment was actually pretty clear by naming all the albums I play with the most frequency. My comment was also to defend the two albums I named Mighty and Brutal to being just as significant in my life as any other album by him regarded as a classic from 1977 - 1986.

I also think that Trust, Imperial Bedroom, King Of America, and Blood & Chocolate are just AS great as the albums you named and have spent as much time listening to those as the first 5. Almost Blue is OK and Goodbye Cruel World is so-so...I think I like maybe 3 or 4 songs on Punch The Clock.

But I have listened to Costello obsessively for years, and I love his work - my answer for jumping the shark is When I Was Cruel.

(Someday, I will get the track with correct album)....

A great summary and great defense.  

I would agree on Trust, Imperial Bedroom, and lesser so, Blood and Chocolate. (I like Goodbye Cruel World pretty well.)  Per your strong recommendations, I will now spend a few extra minutes giving that stuff a second look....because I have been wrong before....


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