Jump to content

Selling Out


Hardwired
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Smiths, Oasis, The Verve. there literally are loads that i've read about over the years.

the one example i use the most though is Low. i couldn't believe they allowed their version of Little Drummer Boy to be used by Gap considering the sleeve notes for the Christmas album included the words "sorry for the commerce involved, consider this our Christmas gift to you". lol

Very few bands control what their music is used for. It is usually the record company.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

e.g. Back To The Old House by The Smiths is one of my favourite songs of all time. if they used it to advertise mortgages or something (perish the thought) it would totally destroy what the song means to me. the years and emotion i have invested in that song would be ruined for the sake of a nice fat pay cheque. that's selling out.

That's...bizarre. Why does what other people think about a song (and what it's appropriate for) make any difference to you? Surely an appeciation of a song is 100% subjective in the first place? If a song moves me, then it doesn't matter whether someone else likes it or not. Or whether the person who created it was motivated by cash. Or anything.

Frequently the reason I love a song is because it's lyrics say something that I find relevant to me. I'm not labouring under the illusion that the writer actually wrote it for/about me though.

Railing against a songwriter/band for this nebulous "selling out" seems bizarre to me. I can understand railing against them for hypocrisy if they've (for example) denounced the advertising industry for years, but then take the corporate buck the moment it's offered. But equating "selling out" with "it turned out the person behind a song I loved didn't write it expressly for (and give it to) me"....very odd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're missing the point a bit Rocko. Not wanting much loved music to appear in ads isn't anything to do with what other people think. It's about not ruining the song in your own head: that very special mixture of images it evokes for you. For instance, another much loved song, Califonia Dreaming, now makes me think of Volvos and Skiing. They are stealing our memories and our thoughts, twisting them and then forcing us to watch their perverted new versions, making those versions the definitive set of associations they want you to have with that record. This doesn't have to be anything about a bands previously political stance (let's face it, in many cases the original artists no longer have any say, and if they do they may be in desperate need of the cash). It's about turning something wonderful into a billboard in your head for ever more. It's like all existing reproductions of a famous painting were burned and replaced with versions where the model wears a Macdonalds T-shirt, even in your imagination. Cultural Vandalism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if it doesn't mean anything why do it?

like i said earlier on in the thread, unless it adds worth to the song's artistic merit then what is the point?

Why does it matter what their motivation was for writing it? Who cares? "I loved this song very much.... then I found out that Morrisey/Marr wrote it to make some money, so now I can't love the song any more"?

Do you research the means and motives behind every single song before you decide on whether you like it or not? Would you suddenly burn your radiohead CDs if Thom Yorke stood up and said "Actually, we're just in it for the money"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're missing the point a bit Rocko. Not wanting much loved music to appear in ads isn't anything to do with what other people think. It's about not ruining the song in your own head: that very special mixture of images it evokes for you. For instance, another much loved song, Califonia Dreaming, now makes me think of Volvos and Skiing. They are stealing our memories and our thoughts, twisting them and then forcing us to watch their perverted new versions, making those versions the definitive set of associations they want you to have with that record. This doesn't have to be anything about a bands previously political stance (let's face it, in many cases the original artists no longer have any say, and if they do they may be in desperate need of the cash). It's about turning something wonderful into a billboard in your head for ever more. It's like all existing reproductions of a famous painting were burned and replaced with versions where the model wears a Macdonalds T-shirt, even in your imagination. Cultural Vandalism.

I think that's awesomely over-dramatic. Are we really so subject to the powers of advertising that a song like California Dreaming can have it's entire associations wiped out by a short lived ad campaign? It's an advert, not a country-wide mind-fuck.

*shrug* I dunno. IIRC Play was the first album to ever to license every single track on it for use in adverts. My overriding memory of that album isn't hearing it backing adverts repeatedly though; it's that it soundtracked some really good times in my life. I struggle to believe that anybody else thinks "oh, yes, that was that shoe shop advert" when they hear the appropriate track on that album.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

whenever I hear the steve millar band song ' the joker' I immediately think of the levi's ad. So yeah, i'd say they have that power.

Yeah, but thats a song that i) you probably wouldn't be familiar with if you'd not heard it on an advert, and ii) soundtracked an absolutely iconic advert.

I'm questioning that adverts have the power to (long term) destroy your good memories (and therefore the "power") of a song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why does it matter what their motivation was for writing it? Who cares?

well it matters that it means something to me, otherwise i wouldn't listen to it. surely the point of creating any art be it music, film ,painting, writing is to communicate with people, rather than to endorse products? if a song is written specifically for an advert then that's a different matter of course.

"I loved this song very much.... then I found out that Morrisey/Marr wrote it to make some money, so now I can't love the song any more"?
what the song means then becomes tainted by product association.
Do you research the means and motives behind every single song before you decide on whether you like it or not?
of course not. all art is subjective and the listener will always interpret what it means to them. if the artist then decides they'll use it to endorse Levi's, Renault of whatever then what it means to each individual becomes lost.
Would you suddenly burn your radiohead CDs if Thom Yorke stood up and said "Actually, we're just in it for the money"?
it would lower my opinion of them if they allowed their music to be used in adverts if that's what you mean, yes. i wouldn't go as far as burning my albums but i haven't listened to Little Drummer Boy by Low since they used it in a Gap advert, for example. same with lots of other songs.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

well it matters that it means something to me, otherwise i wouldn't listen to it.

Well, exactly. You like it, you listen to it. Why would you give two shits what the movitation of the writer was - if it has the desired effect?

surely the point of creating any art be it music, film ,painting, writing is to communicate with people, rather than to endorse products?

I suspect there are as many "points" to creating art as there are artists creating it. The "point" for you, surely, is whether you like what they've created?

what the song means then becomes tainted by product association.of course not. all art is subjective and the listener will always interpret what it means to them.

Well - again - exactly. So why are you applying an entirely objective filter to it?

if the artist then decides they'll use it to endorse Levi's, Renault of whatever then what it means to each individual becomes lost.

This I seriously don't understand. Why does it become lost? If you like a tune for whatever reason -well, you like that tune. Why would you suddenly not like it once it's been used for an ad? Why must other people being exposed to a song that means something for you somehow dilute your feeling for it?

I notice that Black Steel is being used on advert at the moment; that's a cracking tune that reminds of some great times. However, whilst it's not a particularly good advert I don't feel that my musical past has been desecrated in some way. It's just an advert that'll be forgotten in a years time, whereas I'll still remember the tune itself. The advert, the apparent motivations of the artists involved, the fact loads of people will now have heard that song and it will be nothing more than an ad-tune to them - none of that is going to change *my* history with it and what it means to me. And why would/should it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I notice that Black Steel is being used on advert at the moment; that's a cracking tune that reminds of some great times. However, whilst it's not a particularly good advert I don't feel that my musical past has been desecrated in some way. It's just an advert that'll be forgotten in a years time, whereas I'll still remember the tune itself. The advert, the apparent motivations of the artists involved, the fact loads of people will now have heard that song and it will be nothing more than an ad-tune to them - none of that is going to change *my* history with it and what it means to me. And why would/should it?

I hope you're right, and I'll forget the Black Steel ad quite soon. Right now it's that one that's pissing me off, but maybe I am being over-dramatic. Still a shame though: the last thing that song should make you think of is Ford cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we clearly appreciate music differently Rocko. i remember getting into The Velvets when i was 13/14. i thought i was the coolest person on earth. i thought i was Jesus' son! then they went and used Venus in Furs in a car advert and it forever altered my perceptions. i don't really listen to it as much now and when i do i'm reminded of cars and crappy, obvious, S&M imagery.

that's just one example but there are others. i don't want you to think i sit at home worrying about thins kind of thing all the time. i don't. there's much music to be loved and it's just disappointing when something like that happens but life goes on.

and it does matter to me what the artist's motivation is because, maybe foolishly, i believe they have something to say to me. a message that connects like minds. that stuff means something to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we clearly appreciate music differently Rocko. i remember getting into The Velvets when i was 13/14. i thought i was the coolest person on earth. i thought i was Jesus' son! then they went and used Venus in Furs in a car advert and it forever altered my perceptions. i don't really listen to it as much now and when i do i'm reminded of cars and crappy, obvious, S&M imagery.

<grin>

I don't think it's that we necessarily appreciate music differently; just that you seem to care what the artist intended when they wrote it, and I don't. Partly because what an artist intended to do is completely irrelevant to whether a piece of music induces goosebumps in me, partly because you simply can't tell what their intentions are, and partly because I think if you take that into account, you're setting yourself up for a fall. I'd guess the large majority of succesful musicians are in it *at the very least* partially for the money. If you start having to take that into account, you're going to write off massive amounts of music - for what? Big loss, no gain, to my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i don't question what their intentions are at the time, but whilst good music has the ability to make you tap your foot, sing a long or whatever, amazing music can change your whole life. as an artist with that amount of power you should accept the responsibility that goes with it.

i'm not as impressionable now as i was when i was a teenager, obviously, but it still pisses me off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i don't question what their intentions are at the time, but whilst good music has the ability to make you tap your foot, sing a long or whatever, amazing music can change your whole life. as an artist with that amount of power you should accept the responsibility that goes with it.

Mmm. In that case, we're back to square one - I still don't understand why letting your music be used on an advert represents an abdication of responsibility. And, more importantly, how it being on an advert can really damage your perception of it. If Venus in Furs came on the radio, what would your first thought be - that it's a great tune, or that it was used on a car ad?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can't really explain it any better dude, sorry. let's just say that if as a teenager Venus in Furs has been used in an advert i don't believe i'd have done a lot of things i did. discovering them was a mjor part of my growing up, and The Smiths, Scott Walker, loads of others. they helped me create my identity and affected many of the decisions i made in my life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i can't really explain it any better dude, sorry. let's just say that if as a teenager Venus in Furs has been used in an advert i don't believe i'd have done a lot of things i did. discovering them was a mjor part of my growing up, and The Smiths, Scott Walker, loads of others. they helped me create my identity and affected many of the decisions i made in my life.

I hate this musical snobbery crap. So you discovered them as a kid, and they meant something to you, I'm happy for you. But why would you want to stop other kids doing the same?

Between the dire state of radio, music television, and the music press at the moment, there is no better way for a kid to discover a band like the Velvet Underground than on something as accessable as a TV ad. At the moment I love those KFC ads with those great Northern Soul tunes, I've even gone to the trouble of tracking down some of the originals as a result of those ads.

I had a great big smile on my face when I heard a cover of one of Shuggie Otis' songs (who I mentioned in another thread here) on an ad a few months ago. Just because I know someone who had never heard that song before is going to go to the trouble of finding out who it is, and buying a Shuggie album as a result. And even if only one person does that it was worth it.

Based on your arguement I suppose you don't believe in soundtrack compilations either, because letting Hollywood use your music would be selling out too, wouldn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate this musical snobbery crap. So you discovered them as a kid, and they meant something to you, I'm happy for you. But why would you want to stop other kids doing the same?

oh, please with the liberal attitude. you want to go and discover The Velvets, go discover them.

does everything have to be spoon fed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Between the dire state of radio, music television, and the music press at the moment, there is no better way for a kid to discover a band like the Velvet Underground than on something as accessable as a TV ad. At the moment I love those KFC ads with those great Northern Soul tunes, I've even gone to the trouble of tracking down some of the originals as a result of those ads.

Although you're wrong to say that my dislike for ads stealing music is about musical snobbery you raise an interesting point. Although I was a bit distressed to have California Soul on a (I think a KFC) ad making me think of fried chicken when I hear the record, it does seem they are doing a good job of digging up old classics. Some journalist or other mentioned they are now using some record that was previously almost impossible to find, but it now getting some exposure and a re-release. So maybe it does do some good: my life is certainly a little bit better for hearing some of the music on some Guiness and Gap ads, which I would never have heard otherwise.

No, I've changed my mind back again. Ads using great music still stinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, but thats a song that i) you probably wouldn't be familiar with if you'd not heard it on an advert, and ii) soundtracked an absolutely iconic advert.

I'm questioning that adverts have the power to (long term) destroy your good memories (and therefore the "power") of a song.

I'd heard that song at least 500 times before the advert. It was one of my dads favourites.

The memory's of childhood have been overwritten by the memories of a TV ad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd heard that song at least 500 times before the advert. It was one of my dads favourites.

The memory's of childhood have been overwritten by the memories of a TV ad.

Really? Man, you're an ad exec's wet dream....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.