Wednesday, 26 December 2007

The state of things

So, for Christmas I got Radio 1 Live Lounge 2.
For those of you who don't know, artists play any song of their choice live on Radio 1. Some do covers of other songs and others dotheir own.

Don't get me wrong some of the covers are really good. Like The Pigeon Detectives cover of "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne. But I couldn't help but think a generation of kids are going to grow up thinking Amy Winehouse originally wrote Valerie, Greenday wrote Working Class Hero and Li'l Chris wrote Ever Fallen in Love.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're crap covers. It's just that the artists aren't covering them because it was the song or artist that inspired them to get in to music. They are simply singing it 'cos they thought "Yeah, that's good. Fuck it, lets record it and release it. We can make some money out of this."

Does Amy Winehouse even say it was originally by The Zutons when she sings it live? I doubt it. I doubt she could even remember the words in her current state. Remember she forgot to turn up to the video shoot for it 'cos she was too off her tits on crack.

There are some bloody good covers out there though. The band most notable for doing the odd, and rather good cover is Reel Big Fish, an American ska band. Their covers include Take on Me (Aha) and Come on Eileen (Dexies Midnight Runners). But somehow, they're quite obviously covers.

I think it's fine for bands to play covers at a live show,just like Reel Big Fish. But to record it and release it. Come on, it's just not cricket.

Which brings me on to something else wrong with the music business today. Mark Ronson. Who the fuck is he?!

In't he a producer? And he's released an album! Looks like just another money grabbing fool to me. Okay, so he has a few of his own songs, and occasionally does a bit of backing music for artists. But that's not a very strong platform to release an album on, is it now? Does this mean I can release an album because I once sat down and had a friendly chat with the members of Towers of London? No.1

When Lily Allen sang her cover of Kaiser Chief's Oh My God, it wasn't credited to her. No. When that bit comes up at the end of the video telling you the artist and song, on MTV2 and other such channels. It said Mark Ronson was the artist. Who the bloody hell is he?! Was he in the video? 'Cos I didn't see him (granted it was only a pixelated Lily Allen). But, then again I don't know what he looks like... 'Cos he's a producer, and he sits in the glass room at the studio!

People get in to the music for all the wrong reasons nowadays, and I wouldnt be surprised if it's 'cos of all these X factor shows and what not. 'Cos they're a load of rubbish.

Music was once about getting your message across, and making a statement about the world and what you believed. There doesn't seem to be any controversy over artists saying what they believe anymore, 'cos they don't sing about what they believe and what is wrong with the world. They sing about love, and umbrellas. Surely anyone could have wrote umbrella. People only know the "ella ella ella under my umberella ella ella ella" bit.

Local bands are where it's at now.


BadgerGravling said...

I hate to point this out but:

Covers: Look at the greatest soul music etc. Respect was originally an Otis Redding song before Aretha Franklin got it.

Producers: Phil Spector springs to mind. Or what about labels like Motown and Stax? Producers have always had a big influence in a lot of music...There's a great documentary showing on BBC3 about Factory Records, where the Factory producer radically changed the sound of bands like Joy Division...

Or what about hiphop producers? or DJs?

It's like journalism...increasingly you need to be multi-skilled.

LiamM said...

Damn you.