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calculating a musical sellout


(@nicktorres)
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101200496.html?hpid=topnews

It's an interesting article....


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(@noteboat)
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That is an interesting article, Nick. My favorite part was viewing sellouts in terms of the artist's importance and reputation:

"The equation is designed to put things in perspective. If Kelly Clarkson sings for Ford, where, in the end, is the harm?"

Indeed.

It reminded me of a story... in the version I first heard, the celebrity was playwright George Bernard Shaw. He's talking to a woman at a party, and suddenly asks "would you sleep with me for a million dollars?"

"Of course, Mr. Shaw!"

"How about for ten dollars?"

"Why, what kind of a woman do you think I am?"

"We've already established that. Now we're negotiating."

Seems to me that anyone appearing on American Idol (or anything like it) is on the auction block from the word go.

I see nothing wrong with any artist making as much money as they can; the only time I'd consider someone a "sellout" is if they'd built their reputation by being anti-sellout... like, say, Pearl Jam or Radiohead.

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(@alangreen)
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Anybody on American Idol, or any of those TV Karaoke shows doesn't have a lot of choice but to make as much dosh as possible as quickly as possible. Most of the X-Factor winners in the UK have been dumped by their labels after the song they sang to win the show got to number one but the follow up nosedived and the album was behind schedule, overbudget and panned by the critics, and the tour didn't sell any tickets.

The danger of allowing one of your songs to be used for a commercial methinks is if the product turns out to be bad or quickly dated. Anyone who allowed one of their songs to be used to advertise Windows XP is now tied by association to an out of date and bug-ridden product that was prone to hackers. If you allow a political party to use your song, not only do you get tied to a political viewpoint, but if they don't win the election you get associated with a bunch of losers. You'll never suffer for allowing your songs to be used for Levi's Jeans because quality doesn't go out of style.

As far as the big names are concerned, there's probably more of a benefit to the advertisers than to the band, but I'm with Tom - I don't see any harm in it.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@ricochet)
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The danger of allowing one of your songs to be used for a commercial methinks is if the product turns out to be bad or quickly dated. Anyone who allowed one of their songs to be used to advertise Windows XP is now tied by association to an out of date and bug-ridden product that was prone to hackers. If you allow a political party to use your song, not only do you get tied to a political viewpoint, but if they don't win the election you get associated with a bunch of losers. You'll never suffer for allowing your songs to be used for Levi's Jeans because quality doesn't go out of style.
Excellent points. Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop will forever bring to my mind the first Clinton-Gore campaign.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@riff-raff)
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I see nothing wrong with any artist making as much money as they can; the only time I'd consider someone a "sellout" is if they'd built their reputation by being anti-sellout... like, say, Pearl Jam or Radiohead.

I think that is it exactly. If an artist never says they are anti-sellout, it's unfair to accuse them of selling out when they start making money, however they choose. Whether it's signing record contracts, or singing about Ford trucks. Just because you were a fan of them when they were "nobody", doesn't give you the right to accuse them of selling out when they are #1 on the top 40 charts and are selling their songs to Apple.


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(@dogbite)
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I agree , but a few things come to mind...
where is it written that artists have to poor and troubled?
where is it written that artists cannot make money.?
where is it written that artists cannot evolve or reinvent themselves.?
who put artists on a pedestal?
artists are not popes.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@noteboat)
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where is it written that artists cannot make money.?

In every standard record contract... page 87, paragraph 3, subparagraph (c)...

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(@ricochet)
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artists are not popes.
But a Pope can be an artist: http://www.askart.com/askart/artist.aspx?artist=22069 (And many other Popes.) 8)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@dogbite)
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where is it written that artists cannot make money.?

In every standard record contract... page 87, paragraph 3, subparagraph (c)...
DOH!

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Huh? Are popes supposed to be poor, unahppy and unable to earn a living?


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(@dogbite)
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Huh? Are popes supposed to be poor, unahppy and unable to earn a living?

no. they are to be saint like; no faults...just as the public expects artists to be.

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(@nicktorres)
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Oh you mean like Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). He had many children, mistresses, turned the papacy into a cash machine selling indulgences and he was so beloved by his peers that when he finally kicked the bucket he was left to rot in the Sistine Chapel.

That's my kinda saint. He may have been the Papal equivalent of the musical sell out.


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