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Random Music Thoughts IV


Mike
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isn't there a point (25 years or something) when things become public... I'm saying this really really badly... I mean, rights of usage on stuff becomes public, such as copyrights on photos and books, etc., and is it the same with music? My point being, maybe some of these artists don't sell out, but their stuff gets used because it's older and they don't have any choice about it. I'm probably making this up...
Shawna I don't know, I know some artists back in the day didn't get the copyrights to a lot of their songs, Billy Joel I think was one. I know they get big bucks for the songs, but I still feel they are selling out. I produce commercials every day at work and I have a production library for my music. Just music that we have bought through companies that make music for commercials. Now granted we are small town radio, but commercials are just a business selling themselves, and when I hear a great classic rock song in some lame car commercial, and the song doesn't relate in any way to the product being sold, I cringe. I admire Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty for not giving in, they feel it's their music and not some car companies or whatever. And does hearing Barracuda by Heart really make you buy that car?

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It's 15 years since any of my songs were last released on album. I've no idea what the worlwide sales of our two albums were, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say about 5000. Realistically, it's quite unlikely that a company would choose one of our tracks on the basis of its "familiarity value" or for "product-placement" reasons. It's a very long shot, but I suppose it's just about possible, that a one-time fan of my band might subsequently work in a media/advertising position and recognise something about one of our songs that would somehow enhance his commercial, we might benefit from a posthumous plug, leading to renewed interest in the band.

Now I know that "fame and money" aren't the be-all-and-end-all, guarantee no happiness, etc, and, as an idealistic, "anti-commercialism" punk-rocker, I never formed a band with "making a living" in mind. But on the other hand, never having made a penny from my band, and as someone who gets pretty excited whenever some unfortunate individual shows an interest in hearing our stuff, I can't help thinking that "fame and money", however belated, must be preferable to the mundanely soul-destroying alternative I have ended up with. Does that make me a sell-out? :blush: :( :crazy: :P

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Interesting thoughts there b-f, and I see your point, but you also state you are a "anti-commercialism" punk-rocker,so if given the chance to have one of your songs in a commercial, you would sell the rights? Knowing the commericial is to sell a car or something along those lines and nothing to do with your song? I'm asking because I'm trying to understand why an artist could part with a song, and yes I know big bucks are involved, so does that mean these artists that I admire and love care for nothing more than money?

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Well, exactly. That's why I can't really understand your suggestion that some of your own songs (about the ones you love) are just too personal to sell for a profit. They're either good songs that you'd like people to hear, or not. Right?

S-J: yes, I was an idealistic "anti-commercial" type at the time- played benefit gigs for expenses only, put out non-profit-making albums, etc.- and where did it get me?. Respected, perhaps, within a very limited circle, but otherwise ignored. Nowadays, I can't help wondering about the missed opportunities...There might be an element of discomfort in "prostituting myself to the Man" if I were asked permission for a song to be used to advertise product, but then if that generated an interest in the rest of my back catalogue, that might just be a compromise worth making. And I suppose that's how these "already-reasonably wealthy-and-established" artists justify it.

Sometimes the pairing of song & product are so incongruous it's annoying, and I certainly understand the disappointment of hearing an artist I respect being used to peddle products, but I guess it's just a fact of life nowadays. I do respect artists who refuse to participate in this kind of prostitution of their art, but only because artistic integrity is such a rarity these days.

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That's why I can't really understand your suggestion that some of your own songs (about the ones you love) are just too personal to sell for a profit.

Didn't you say somewhat of the same thing earlier? I'm not talking about putting them on an album that I may profit from; I'm more talking about putting them in a commercial selling diapers.

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b-f thanks for you insight on this matter. Since I am not in a band or a songwriter I guess I don't know the need for the fame or the money...but once again will that money bring total happiness? You would never be a sell-out in my eyes, just don't sell anything to some lame car commercial. ;)

Now if you want to sell a song for a condom ad or something like that, I could understand! :grin:

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