Never have I seen a case like theirs : have so much cool, great songs and great ideas in one decade, and then the next decade (the 80s), completely sell out, become a self-parody, and generally suck the life out of their own act.
I found out about them when the local progressive rock station spun the entire "War Babies" on a Sunday night in '74. Never again did a track of War Babies grace the radio. But I was entranced.
"Sara Smile": I would go to the Library to look at Billboard and to just "will" Sara Smile up the charts starting from #98. I became a stalker of KSLQ, my local Top 40, by ringing their phone off the hook for a request that the song be added to rotation. When they cost me all night sitting up listening when they said they were going to play it just to get me off the phone (I was 17 and didn’t know any better) I think I threatened to bomb the radio station!
In the mid-late 70s, I would travel around the Midwest to see them (double billing with Shawn Phillips or my other hero, Eric Carmen, a lot of times).
But by 1980, I couldn’t turn the radio off fast enough when one of those bubblegum "hits" came on.
Nonetheless, I am interested in what they're doing now, just in case they go back and get a flashback of some brilliance they had in the 1970s. But I would never see them live because I couldn’t endure "Kiss on My List", etc. But I wonder how much $$ many of us 70s die-hards, who started with them when they were on Atlantic, would pay now for a weekend at Daryl's house, if they had stayed a 70s cult duo?