049 – They Won’t Play It Unless It’s a Hit

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Podcast

The entertainment industry isn’t interested in taking any chances. They only want to work with entertainers who have a proven track record. They only want to bank on ideas that have already enjoyed success.

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David considers the future of the music business.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Disappointing meal at Barcelos
00:34 – Covers of Top 40 songs
01:02 – It’s not a crime to record covers
01:22 – Where things have been going in the film industry
01:40 – Gambling on the unproven
01:50 – How sad would it be?
02:04 – Adding insult to injury

Transcript:

So, I was at Barcello’s having a mediocre dinner. It wasn’t terrible, I guess, but it wasn’t the best either. I’ve had very good meals there before, so by contrast, I was a little disappointed. I had a chicken sandwich. I guess it was okay.

Anyway, on their sound system, they have this music playing and it’s covers of very popular tunes from the last 10, 20 years or so, and it’s this female singer. It’s just one cover after another of Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Katy Perry, and who knows what else? I couldn’t even identify all of them, but I recognize the songs because they’re all Top 40.

I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Is this the direction the music business is going in?”

Recording covers is not a crime. Many of us were inspired by different artists and when we pay tribute to them, I think most of us are very sincere.

But with the business side of things, it could move in that direction. Think of movies. In recent movies, they don’t take chances. It’s like, “Let’s make a sequel” or “Let’s make something with the same storyline from so and so or a very similar plotline from this other movie.”

And very rarely do they take risks on anything else that’s not proven. Of course, the music industry has kind of been that way for a long time, as far as the artists that they sign go. Unless it’s a proven concept, they’re not going to work with them.

But I mean, how sad would that be? Like, do you want to be listening to the hits of the 2020s, 2010s, 2000s, and the 90s for the rest of your life? Yeah. I don’t know. It wouldn’t be much fun.

To add insult to injury, these are pop songs being covered in a pop genre. Like there’s no change. Maybe there’s a little bit of an electronic or atmospheric, vocal trance-type quality to it. But aside from that, it’s the same thing we’ve heard just with a female voice.

There was one song, I think it happened in recent history where a song took the hook of, “Blue (Da Ba Dee),” which was never a great song to begin with, but whatever. And they’re covering that.

So, I’m sitting here going, “You’re covering a derivative work, a hook from a song from the 90s that was taken and put into a modern song, which you’re now covering.” I just thought like, “Wow, the level of meta here has reached a new level.”

And then the most hilarious thing was listening to her rendition of Linkin Park’s “In the End.”

She’s singing just Chester’s parts. In other words, Mike Shinoda’s rap is completely absent. And I’m like, “This may as well be a karaoke track.” This is so cheesy. You forgot to put the rap in, or you just decided it didn’t need to go there. You could have vocalized it. You could have come up with some creative way. Instead, you just ignored it completely and only sang Chester’s part.

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