I was very sad to hear last week that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth had split up. They were the cool alternative rock couple that seemingly made marriage seem like a great idea. You could make strange music and tour together and later even have a kid and it all seemed to make sense. They were just a normal couple. This article in Slate nicely reflects my feelings regarding the break up.
The good news is that Sonic Youth will go on and that might make for some compelling new music.
Here are three albums that I love where recently broken up couples created works of art.
Richard and Linda Thompson “Shoot Out the Lights”
I think there may be a reason the cover features Richard sitting slouched in the corner of room with black markings on the walls, a picture of Linda and a maniacal look on his face. By all accounts this was not a happy break up.
Sample lyric: Remember when we were hand in hand
Remember we sealed it with a golden band
Now your eyes don’t meet mine, you’ve got a pulse like fever
Do I take you for a lover or just a deceiver?
Abba “The Visitors”
This was Abba’s last and most fully realized album. Both couples in the band had broken up by the time this album came out in 1981. This was not a one note Dancing Queen album, the title track covers the Cold War but it still retains the sound of Abba while musically covering more sophisticated territory. Of course there are a number of songs that take on their relationships.
Sample lyric: They passed me by, all of those great romances
You were, I felt, robbing me of my rightful chances
My picture clear, everything seemed so easy
And so I dealt you the blow
One of us had to go
Now it’s different, I want you to know
Fleetwood Mac “Rumors”
The most brilliant of all albums. Two couples breaking up, while the drummer is trying to seduce the lead singer makes for a wonderful soap opera that enraptured a nation in 1977 and still we keep coming back to hear more of this amazing work.
Sample lyric: Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?
It’s only right that you should
Play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had
And what you lost…
And what you had…
And what you lost
Click on the album covers to hear them in all their glory.