View Full Version : Integrity in Music

09-25-2001, 11:19 AM
Does it bother anyone else how lately, it seems artists have no qualms about quickly selling their hit song to any car or long-distance commercial? I mean, I'm by no means a fan of Destiny's Child, but when I saw the 1-800 Collect commercial, all I could think was, God what a sellout. But should I expect any less, after all they're only a pop band, and not a good one at that. Ok, so a better example, though not a new song, I was disappointed to see Stone Temple Pilots sell their song to a car commercial. Although I can't stand them, I was equally disappointed to see Barenaked Ladies do the same thing. I'm sure theres countless more examples, I just can't think of another right now. It just seems to me an artist completely loses all integrity when they use their art to hawk products, and it seems more rampant today than it ever used to be. Am I crazy, do I just expect too much out of mere musicians, am I nitpicking, or all of the above?

09-25-2001, 11:47 AM
Not only that, but the covers of movies...take U2 for example...they were one of my fav. bands, until they started making covers for movies (Batman)...at least we have the old songs.

09-25-2001, 12:06 PM
Movies don't bother me as bad, because movies and music go hand in hand, Batman does suck though. But I just know that someday I'm going to turn on T.V. and hear Foo Fighters singing for Toyota and I'm going to lose it and punch Dave Grohl. I just thought of another example, The Police's "Walking on the Moon" being used in the XTerra commercial. It's got to stop!

El Chuxter
09-25-2001, 12:51 PM
What really ****es me off is when a commercial uses a classic by someone who's dead and can't protest the use of the music. Like the billions of Lennon songs used in commercials.

Some artists do have integrity and will keep it, I think. Tom Petty, for example, has repeatedly declined offers to license Mary's New Car for car commercials.

The worst example is the Rolling Stones. For years they swore they'd never sell out. Then, almost immediately after refusing to do the theme song for a Bond film (Tomorrow Never Dies?), they sell Start Me Up to Microsoft! :eek:

BTW, I used to joke with friends that I'd just found a great station that only played Burger King ads, but for some reason they called them "Classic Rock."

Obi-Dan Kenobi
09-25-2001, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Lobito
Not only that, but the covers of movies...take U2 for example...they were one of my fav. bands, until they started making covers for movies (Batman)...at least we have the old songs.

Actually, that song wasn't a cover. It was an original song of theirs. The movie still sucked pretty bad.

I always hate it when a song I like comes up in commercials. It can really kill the song for me....:mad:

I thought "Start Me Up" was about sex, but no, it's about Windows 98.

I thought "I Melt With You" was a love song, but no, it's about a cheeseburger.

I thought Bowie's "Heroes" was about a love affair in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, but it's about investing or something...

I really can't stand how Busta Rhymes and Wyclef, who are totally overrated, still get all sorts of credit even as they hawk soft drinks....Sheesh.

09-25-2001, 04:12 PM
Artists generally don't have alot of say in how their product is used. That's usually the domain of the record company sales team who have the blessings of the legal team who are having their strings tweaked by the executives with the keys to the golden snort rest room. I doubt many artists are happy about their work being diminished by crass commercial use. With the exeption of those who actively embrace the usage to garner more snort cash.

09-25-2001, 04:20 PM
Jargo beat me to the punch with his typical font of wisdom. I had exactly the same thought in mind as I read the various posts. Of course the whole idea of "selling out" is rather a dubious one. Didn't The Rolling Stones, Destiny's Child and others not "sell out" when they signed thier work over to giant recording companies? We like to think that their work accompanying ads for computers or fast food or, worse yet, being "mellowed down" for the elevator industry is a sell out. But in the end the only artist who does not "sell out" at all is the one who is content to write and perform and never become a national sensation or record a single song for mass distribution. But then of course we never get to all hear thier work and grow up with it, allow it to become part of popular culture so we can later complain about how they sold out when one or more of their songs appear backing up a stupid flash in the pan movie based on a video game or is used to shill for auto insurance or a PMS remedy!
See what we miss out on when "artists" refuse to ever sell out at all!

09-25-2001, 04:24 PM
At least George Lucas never sold out! He stood his ground when manufacturers of everything from soap to tricycles beat a path to the Ranch wanting to plug the Star Wars name into their products. We can look to George Lucas as a shining example of how things could be...

What? Oh, that's right. I almost forgot the gazillion Star Wars licenses awarded between 1977 (when no one wanted them) to 2001. Whatsa meesa sayin'?

09-25-2001, 04:52 PM
Actually, GL appropriating the merchandising and sequel rights for Star Wars is the reason the saga is still here today. When negotiating with 20th Century Fox he gave up a large portion of his actual salary and had to pay a fine, along with getting kicked out of the director's guild, because he stood his ground on the opening sequence to SW. The studios tried to intimidate him into showing the credits at the opening of the film, which was the way "films were supposed to be made." Plus he divided up 1% of his royalties between the ten main actors, something no other director has done. He created a lot of millionaires that way.

Since he had complete creative control of the sequels and recieved most of the profits from merchandising he was able to act autonomously on all his future movies. He used Star Wars to buy his independence from Hollywood.

Plus, there are many films that he helped fund with the condition that his name never be displayed in the credits: Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat, Godfrey Reggio's Powaqqatsi, Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior). Little, obscure films that never would have been made without GL's help.

So, did GL sell-out? I don't think so. I think he used the system against itself to his own, and others', gain.

Obi-Dan Kenobi
09-25-2001, 11:35 PM
Yeah, I'm well aware that artists don't have a lot of control of their work. It's still annoying to hear songs I like in commercials. However, a lot of really huge artists like the Rolling Stones have a lot of control of their work (A song like "Start Me Up," released in the early eighties, is certainly under their control. A lot of their earlier songs are the property of their ex-manager.). So I gotta blame them for that one.

09-26-2001, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Obi-Dan Kenobi
Actually, that song wasn't a cover. It was an original song of theirs. The movie still sucked pretty bad.

Yes, meaning that they wrote the song ..."Hold me, thrill me, kiss me"...for the movie, not for a normal album...:cool:

09-26-2001, 12:48 PM
Sadly, the music industry, in general, sucks now. The last album I bought was Rammstein: Mutter. The reason is because of the unique flair they infuse into music. Nothing kicks *** more than five German's playing heavy metal in deep voices. The German dialogue is extremely aggressive sounding. There is a severe lack in the uniqueness factor where pop music is concerned; their isn't their own personal signature. It depends totally on sex appeal and not talent. Sure sex has always been a seller but the backstreet boys's and Britney Spears's of the industry has certainly lowered the bar as far as what is tactful.

I don't buy that U2, Sting, or a host of other grandfather bands are selling themselves out. Heres the reality. Britney has much more sex appeal than a whithering Mic Jagger. Testosterone driven teen boys, and estrogen saturated teen girls gravitate to a volumbtuous sandy blond more than a geezer that looks like a horse. If Pepsi had Mic instead of Britney sing that ba-ba-ba-ba-ba diddy people would laugh their asses off and Pepsi would lose money. So when these older bands face that obstacle they are forced to market in other ways because nobody is calling the radio stations and making requests to listen to U2's newest hit. Let me illustrate. Last year Sting introduced his newest album with a song in which he duets with a mid-eastern (cannot remember the name), but he could not get airtime on radio stations because of Britney, Christina Aguiliara, Backstreet Boys, In Synch, etc. etc. A lot of bands depend on that air time to let people know "Hey I have a new album!" He wasn't even on the top 100 chart for two months. So Sting made an agreement with Jaguar(?) so that he could air the song and market his album. It worked and within no time his album was in the top ten list. Sellout? I wouldn't call it that. It was strategic move to get his product moving. U2 did the same.

Now there are some bands, <cough> <cough> Metallica <cough> <cough> that have sold out. Changing your image and music style to entice other listeners to buy your music at the same time casting away any of your own artistic finger print so you can make money is a sellout.

Personally, I've grown so that I quite like the music soundtracks from anime. Much of it is orchestrated which I really like. Much better harmony. I don't plan on buying any pop-music until this insurgance of hack musicians goes away.

THE Slayer
09-29-2001, 07:36 PM
Moby did the same thing as sting, by liscencing his stuff for people to actually hear it and get his album moving. But it was still all a ploy to make money, no matter how you phrase it. Ammie mann couldn't even get her record distributed until she turned up on the Magnolia soundtrack, which basically wrote the movie according to the director.

But are groups like BSB (I can't belive I just typed BSB, Twice.) and Britney Spears sellouts if they're created to sell product in the first place? I don't think so. They know they have a job to do and I doubt that they ever really had U2 type of expectations. Britney knows that if she gains 20 pounds she'll never make another record.
Then you have the pop artist of the past who may have sold out, like Michael Jackson and Madonna, but they're still making music today, But because they want to, not because pepsi wants a forty year old blonde as and advertisement.

Just remember. Music (even sell out's) makes the people come together.

Obi-Dan Kenobi
10-01-2001, 12:46 AM
I have to say, as an artist myself, that if somebody wants to pay me to do some artwork, I jump at the chance. If I do a piece and someone wants to buy it, I'm all about it. I have an art degree but I work in a restaurant. I plan to go back to school to get a design degree, but I currently have no steady income coming in from artwork. I don't see anything wrong with marketing your art, whether it be a painting, a sculpture, a pop song, a movie...whatever. It's annoying when a song you've loved for years pop's up in an ad, but I don;t see anything inherently WRONG with it. And as far as lending songs to movie soundtracks, I just see that as a collaboration. You're adding something to another person's vision. Nothing wrong with that. Now, making the same album over and over again because it sells, well, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but all I can say is that it's not art, just entertainment. Whatever.:rolleyes:

And if you ask me, Sting should quit. He has reached his limits, and descended into the dark world of Adult Contemporary. Car commercials suit him well these days.:)

10-01-2001, 09:57 AM
I understand what you're saying, Obi-Dan, artists gotta eat, but it just pains me sometimes to see it. I was raised by an artist mother to see art as a form of self expression, so when I see something like that, it ceases to be self expression and becomes nothing more than an ad jingle. Like for example, does anyone remember the car commercials that features the Van Gogh paintings? Do you think Van Gogh would have approved of that? Ok, he might have, he was weird, but to me when I see that, it cheapens the art. The next time I see that painting, all I'm thinking of are car commercials. Granted, that's not VanGogh's fault, he's dead and can't do anything about it.
But does Busta Rhymes really have to hawk Mountain Dew? Doesn't he make enough money at participating in music's new dominant force? Selling your stuff to get your career going, as someone mentioned, is one thing, but after you've already sold millions of records, it just stinks of greed and corporate takeover to start doing pop commercials. But, to quote Dennis Miller, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

08-27-2006, 01:27 PM
I agree with Jargo, sometimes these "artists" don't have a say in the matter.
I can't imagine Destiny's Child owning the publishing rights to their songs since I can't imagine them actually writing the songs themselves. lol lol lol

08-28-2006, 06:31 AM
What a surprise to find Caesar at the bottom of this thread.:D

08-28-2006, 12:27 PM
What a surprise to find Caesar at the bottom of this thread.:D

You've been doing a little digging yourself there, Scruff.

08-28-2006, 02:07 PM
You've been doing a little digging yourself there, Scruff.

Yea, he inspired me.

08-29-2006, 06:46 AM
Someone needs to arrange a "Shovel-off" one of these days. I want to know who can dig the deepest, the fastest, etc.

08-30-2006, 12:50 AM
I'm offended you think there would even be a worthy challenger.