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  1. #1
    Registered Fulit's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Little Rock, AR

    Integrity in Music

    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?
    Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis

  2. #2
    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) least we have the old songs.
    As always...........L

  3. #3
    Registered Fulit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    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!
    Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis

  4. #4
    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!

    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."
    That's my jacket!

  5. #5
    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) 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....

    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.
    Last edited by Obi-Dan Kenobi; 09-25-2001 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    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!
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  8. #8
    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'?
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  9. #9
    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.
    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split. - Robert E. Howard

  10. #10


    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.


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