NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I have a cousin for whom there are no irrelevant music acts, just artists and bands most people don't pay attention to anymore.Edwin McCain hasn't had a hit single since 1999's "I Could Not Ask For More" (which country singer Sara Evans made a hit of her own in 2001) and hasn't been signed to a major label since his 2001 release Far From Over. Yet my cousin still attends his shows regularly and speaks highly of the five original albums McCain has produced since.
Yet the world doesn't stop for the release of a John Fogerty album the way it does when Bruce Springsteen puts out a new album or when David Bowie's The Next Day -- his first album of new material in a decade -- becomes a cultural event and a reflection on the zeitgeist. That doesn't stop faded music stars' worlds from turning, though. The discussion board of an A.V. Club story reviewing the documentary Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey about current Journey frontman Ariel Pineda recently lit up with a discussion about what happens to bands after their initial burst of fame. A commenter with the handle El Sabor Asiatico noted that Journey has produced four albums since their longest-tenured and most famous frontman Steve Perry left the band for health reasons in 1998. In fact, Steve Perry sound-alikes Pineda and Steve Augeri's 15-year tenure with Journey is more than twice as long as the span in the late-'70s and early '80s when Journey produced the overwhelming majority of its hits.