Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poking the music industry

I have to admit I enjoy seeing big business trip over itself when it comes to music. Though I'm likely to defend corporations in general, big music industry somehow bothers me. I understand the concept of music as commodity, assigning it market value, and aggressively marketing it. I also disdain however the constant deluge of crappy or meaningless art, as well as the manipulation of both artists and audiences by record companies. Like other expressions of art, it's vindicating to see instances of the "big guy" not getting it. One item I saw lately with respect to this was this head scratcher 'Napster Buys Aol.' I'm certainly anybody's fool when it comes to music marketing, but it looks like another case of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. Two dinosaurs that just increased their chances of extinction.

The second item I saw is more of a nitpick than a music industry gaffe, but it brought about a similar schadenfreude. Sympatico/MSN's music store offers a 60 song one hit wonder compilation. With any of these kind of compilations, there is always room for dispute as to the inclusion of particular entries, but some are truly mind boggling. From the list, I found more than a few discrepancies, as well as some sloppy site content management:

Wang Chung - "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" ("Dance Hall Days" was their first and arguably more popular hit. Definitely a two hit wonder - 2hw.)

Various Artists; Various - "Funkytown" (I think by 'Various Artists; Various' they mean Pseudo Echo)

C+C Music Factory - "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" (2hw - "Here We Go, Let's Rock & Roll")

Various - "Got To Be Real" (This 'Various' is probably Cheryl Lynn)

Kon Kan - "I Beg Your Pardon" (2hw - "Harry Houdini")

Tripping Daisy - "I Got A Girl" (2hw - "Pirahna")

Three Dog Night - "Joy To The World" (Huh? "One," "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)," "Celebrate," "An Old Fashioned Love Song," "Never Been to Spain"...)

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam - "Lost In Emotion" (Not at all their only hit. They are still best known for their 80's classic "Head to Toe")

The B-52's - "Love Shack" (Another terrible entry. What about "Planet Claire," "Rock Lobster," or "Roam"?)

- "Not an Addict" (The artist for this song was left blank. I guess not so unknown 90's act K's Choice was beyond MSN's research capabilities)

Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 U" (Perhaps the worst entry on the list. No disputing it was her biggest hit, but it was far from her only one. "Mandinka," "Emperor's New Clothes," "I Am Stretched on Your Grave," "I Want Your (Hands on Me)," and "Troy" were all popular hits.)

The Psychedelic Furs - "Pretty In Pink" (2hw - "Heaven")

Thomas Dolby - "She Blinded Me With Science" (2hw - "Hyperactive")

Berlin - "Take My Breath Away" (2hw - "No More Words")

Limahl - "Too Shy" (We can overlook the movie theme "Never Ending Story")

Spin Doctors - "Two Princes" (2hw - "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong")

Oingo Boingo - "Weird Science" (2hw - "Dead Man's Party")

The Romantics - "What I Like About You" (2hw - "Talking in Your Sleep")

The Tubes - "White Punks On Dope" (What about "She's a Beauty" or "Tip of My Tongue"?)

Some list - nearly a third of it weak choices or mislabelled entries, and those are only the ones I caught. With all the actual one-hit wonders out there, there's no excuse. I know dozens of people that could put together a better list, and none of them work for the music industry.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

good observation, you must hsve been brought up with music in your life, makes you wonder who picks these lists. vjl

1/23/2007 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Scot said...

I'd do it for half the pay!

1/25/2007 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean people get paid for that! I thought it was just weathermen who got paid for being wrong, especially that wrong. vjl

1/26/2007 5:46 PM  

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