Divorce is hard on the average person. It's listed among the most stressful events a person can go through. Right up there with death, marriage, job hunting and driving on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But for successful musicians, divorce spells big bucks! Not just because their significant others expect big settlements but because these folks are artists who depend on screwing their lives up in order to have something worth singing about.
It's either this or they start having kids and start singing children's music! So, always root for divorce! It's better for the rest of us!
Here, My Dear--Marvin Gaye: So the judge says to Marvin: "Marvin, half the money you make from your next album is going to go to the little lady over here, Anna Gordy, who no longer wishes to be your wife." And Marvin thought about it and wrote an entire album, including "You Can Leave, But It's Going to Cost You." The album was panned when it was first released but has since been reconsidered as a classic, which it is. However, its initial lack of success sent Gaye into a self-imposed retreat. It's one thing for your ex-wife to no longer love you, but the public, too?
Blood On The Tracks--Bob Dylan: Dylan himself says he based an entire album on the plays of Anton Chekhov. We assume he means this one, which has long been associated with his divorce and considering that most of the songs seem to be about a woman who's no longer around doesn't seem like much of a leap in logic. But then there are people who go through this man's garbage to find meaning. Maybe there is no meaning. Maybe we're all just floating into a void. Maybe we should get pizza!
Heartless Moon--Brendan Gamble: Poor Brendan Gamble was married to a woman who apparently decided it wasn't working and he was so surprised and then depressed and frustrated by it that he composed 27 songs and released the first part as this album, promising at the time to release the second batch shortly thereafter. This album came out in 2005. It's now by my watch 2008. We're waiting, son!
Shoot Out The Lights--Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson: They divorced after this album. They recorded the album twice. It's considered a classic. It didn't sell. Linda eventually developed paralysis of the vocal cords and couldn't perform live or sing in a studio for years, releasing only a few well-received solo albums. Richard continued on and released another two dozen albums that received great reviews and sold very little, getting him thrown off several major labels, which these days is easy to do, but back then required a little more indifference and unsuccess.
The Battle--George Jones: Why not include "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" when you're working on an album about your failed marriage to Tammy Wynette? When it comes to George Jones, there are a few essential truths. First, he's one of country music's definitive singers. Second, he's completely out of his mind. Or has been. And has done things that make most rock stars look like pikers. If his liver could talk, he'd be a 24-hour all-talk radio station on the far end of the dial with no stops for traffic or weather.