Earlier this month, “Egypt Station,” a new solo album by Paul McCartney, made its debut at the top of the Billboard album chart. Mr. McCartney is 76 and shows no apparent signs of slowing down — on this album, he worked with Greg Kurstin and Ryan Tedder, and recently he collaborated with Kanye West, a sign of an artist who’s as curious as ever.
Sometimes vibrant musicians begin to take steps away from public life, however. Take Paul Simon and Joan Baez, children of the folk generation who are currently on farewell tours. They may continue their performing lives in more modest ways, but their times of grand nationwide tours have come to a close.
Why do some artists stick around and others choose retreat? How do those calculations differ across genres? What are the advantages of walking away?
On this week’s Popcast: