Author Topic: "Their early stuff was better" discussion

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Dincrest

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"Their early stuff was better" discussion
« on: March 19, 2015, 06:22:59 PM »
We say this all the time, right?  About music, games, authors, and other media.  So I ask, was the early stuff truly better? 

I say yes and no.  With music, I often say a band's early stuff is better because it's more raw, gritty, heartfelt, and material written when they were struggling so it's from a place I can relate to.  Later stuff might be better musically, but it lacks that "heart."  Like when a band breaks, they start living high off the hog, partying at the Playboy mansion, get the red carpet rock star treatment, and the second album is not from a place of struggle.  That's why so many abuse drugs and alcohol to make their lives all f'd up so they can return to that place of struggle, but it's artificial. 

We can think of many game companies whose earlier works were inspired but later became insipid after they peaked and it's been a downward spiral. 

What exceptions do you see out there, where something  became better later on?  (One band I see that way is Testament.  They were an excellent thrash band in the 1980s, but were overlooked.  But when all the other 1980s thrash bands kinda wussed out, Testament went death metal and became heavier and now I think they're a million times better now than Slayer or Anthrax.) 

So, yeah, let's talk the "their early stuff was better" sentiment regarding games, music, etc. 
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Tooker

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 09:39:17 PM »
I'm gonna go full nerd and say that Weird Al is better now than he was in his really early stuff.  I've got his entire catalog, huge fan, going to see him in concert (finally) in May.  But it can be hard to go back to his early work and hear the fart noises and such.  Fart noises that, I'll admit, I probably loved when I first discovered him at age 13 or so.  Watching old interviews and such with him feel like he feels obligated to be wacky all the time, too.
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Dincrest

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 04:28:16 PM »
As much as I love Weird Al's parodies, I've laughed more at his original stuff.  "Trigger Happy" is still the song that I laughed at the most.  I think he's highly underrated as a singer.  I mean, his pitch is always on point and his voice is quite versatile.  Dude is probably one of the best singers out there.  And I hope he does more voiceover work.  He's very good at that.  
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Tooker

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 08:10:42 PM »
Trigger Happy is a great song, no question.
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Mickeymac92

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2015, 10:47:00 PM »
Tomino...just...Tomino.

Also, while I kinda just found this band, Acid Black Cherry had a fantastic first Album, with a surprising amount of variation and fun and that I'm just not getting from their later albums. Of course, time will tell whether or not the later stuff will grow on me, but I went from almost immediately loving just about every song in Black List, to...not really caring for any of the songs in L...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 10:50:34 PM by Mickeymac92 »

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mecharobot

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 05:55:44 AM »
I think people tend to forget that Tomino made as least as much illogical weird junk like Dunbine or Brain Powerd, as classics like MSG or Zeta. He's always been hit or miss.

Mickeymac92

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 10:14:33 AM »
I liked Dunbine. =( Okay, his Pre-Gundam stuff I couldn't get into, but I genuinely enjoyed everything he put out until Post-Victory Gundam...in fact, I only liked 3 of his shows after that, and the ones that weren't Turn A Gundam could've been better.

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Yoda

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 02:16:53 PM »
with NIN I could go either way. Pretty Hate Machine has a good sound, that Trent may have co-opted from Skinny Puppy, but some of the lyrics are just so young and crybaby-ish. Especially for "that's what I get"
Quote
Just when everything was making sense.
You took away all my self-confidence.
Now all that I've been hearing must be true.
I guess I'm not the only boy for you.

YEEEESH

I'll argue that Trent has gotten better with age.

Tooker

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 02:59:59 PM »
As much as I love Weird Al's parodies, I've laughed more at his original stuff.  "Trigger Happy" is still the song that I laughed at the most.

I know you weren't necessarily saying this was his early work, but I just remembered to look it up, and can you believe that song was on his 7th album, from 1992? Actually, I think I read your comment wrong the first time, and I have to agree. I think his original sounds are his best work. The lead singer of Devo said that Al basically wrote the perfect Devo song in Dare To Be Stupid, for example.
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Dincrest

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 03:10:24 PM »
And one band that I think has had excellent staying power is Rush.  Their later stuff is phenomenal.  I often prefer it to their early stuff because Geddy's voice has mellowed nicely with age. 

I'm trying to think of game developers or animation studios where their early stuff was rough but their later stuff is much better. 

I don't know, it's just I hear that phrase "their old stuff was better" that part of me wants to prove that adage wrong, ya know? 
"Golly, why can't I act right outside of a baseball game?"
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Tooker

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 03:57:42 PM »
Thing is, it's tough as a studio to make that happen. Start off making crummy games, and you probably won't have the money to make good ones. Did Blizzard make anything but really good in the beginning? Our maybe Bungie or Bioware?
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Klutz64

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 04:11:30 PM »
Thing is, it's tough as a studio to make that happen. Start off making crummy games, and you probably won't have the money to make good ones. Did Blizzard make anything but really good in the beginning? Our maybe Bungie or Bioware?

Maybe it's not by leaps and bounds, but we've discussed in several places on this site that Compile Hearts is a good example of a company who is slowly improving the quality of their games.

Rucks

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2015, 04:31:54 PM »
Thing is, it's tough as a studio to make that happen. Start off making crummy games, and you probably won't have the money to make good ones. Did Blizzard make anything but really good in the beginning? Our maybe Bungie or Bioware?

If we forget the last 10 years, NOFX is a prime example of this. They didn't really find their sound until El Hefe joined in 1991.  The difference between the two albums before (Ribbed and S&M Airlines) and the two albums after (White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, and Punk in Drublic) is really incredible.  It was such a huge leap forward musically.  Too bad everything after Wolves in Wolves Clothing has felt a bit derivative. Nowadays, anyone who says they like NOFX's "old stuff" better, is either referring to Punk in Drublic and the albums immediately before and after, OR they are just a music junkie that's into really old stripped down Minor Threat ripoffs recorded in someones garage.  Though I'd still take Coaster or Self-Entitled over anything Fat Mile wrote in the 80's.


edit: and I know I bring them up almost every chance I get, but I think that every single Brand New album has been a vast improvement from their previous efforts.  Both lyrically and musically it's pretty clear that they have learned something and gone to great lengths to add it in.  It really is too bad Jesse Lacey is such a smug prick, because for all intents and purposes he's a musical savant.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 04:36:19 PM by glassjawsh »

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Mickeymac92

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2015, 06:14:53 PM »
Most long-running game studios started out rough, actually. I think it's only in the last 15 years where you have to hit the ground running or risk losing the public. Telltale is by far a better company than when it started, for example. Square started out making crappy MSX ports. Bethesda made games like Where's Waldo? and Home Alone for the NES. If a modern company was to make games like those, they could kiss their careers and/or self-respect good-bye.

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Dincrest

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Re: "Their early stuff was better" discussion
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2015, 08:20:21 PM »
Very true, especially about Idea Factory and Compile Heart.  Their games are steadily improving.  But it doesn't stop people from talking about a brand's "good ol' days."  Like people talk about how Disney, Square-Enix, Metallica, etc. were all better "back in the good ol' days."  And even then, everyone has different ideas of when they jumped the shark.

"Golly, why can't I act right outside of a baseball game?"
     -Peppermint Patty