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The OFFICIAL Corporate "sellout" thread

Old 01-18-03, 06:08 PM
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The OFFICIAL Corporate "sellout" thread

The OFFICIAL encyclopedia of shameful corporate musical sellouts starts here. Feel free to make your own additions.

1. John Fogerty- Allowing the use of his Vietnam protest song "Fortunate Son" to hawk blue jeans.

Nice job, John. Bend over, boy....you just sold your soul to "the man."
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Old 01-18-03, 06:15 PM
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I'm always hearing Led Zeppelin on a commercial now, although which one it is I cannot rememeber at the moment.
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Old 01-18-03, 06:16 PM
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All the members of the Dead Kennedys except Jello.
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Old 01-18-03, 06:17 PM
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I also add Soul Asylum. Grave Dancers Union was the downfall of a great band IMO.
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Old 01-18-03, 07:32 PM
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this is why I love Tom Waits, Neil Young & R.E.M.

they will NEVER sell-out. You can bank on that.
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Old 01-18-03, 09:48 PM
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I never understood why so many people care whether or not a band sells out. I just don't get it.
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Old 01-18-03, 11:29 PM
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WTF cares? It doesn't affect one iota of what I think about the band. The Stones sold out decades ago but I still get a kick out of "Brown Sugar." Big whoop.
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Old 01-19-03, 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by lesterlong
I never understood why so many people care whether or not a band sells out. I just don't get it.
Then you never understood the music in the first place.
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Old 01-19-03, 05:16 AM
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I'm sorry, but whats the main reason a band Plays? To get heard. In order to get the message in the song out to the masses. Now I hate this Elite-ism that happens with the fans of a certain band once that band goes out to a wider audiance or gets more air time on the radio. Frankly, if I'm in a band, I want to be heard. If it's on the "sell out" radio station, fine by me aslong as the message is heard. Most fans hate that their is new fans of said music because they feel they invested more into the band by hearing them earlier.

You can tell me whatever you want, But I will never believe that if a company comes to a band and offers them money in order to get there song played on a 30 to 60 second commercial ad in the background of a certain product that the band is indeed selling out and further more, I doubt the band would even decline the offer. Bands want the attention and just because a lot more people know about the band doesn't mean you are Elite or anything because you heard of the band when they were just in the local backyard gigs.

As I understand it, the Music is about being heard. By "selling out" and getting a contract deal for more albums and to get actually paid for it then every band should expect that. As a fan of the band you should respect that and unless the band themselves are hacking the goods in the commercial and it's just the song in the background, They are not selling out.
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Old 01-19-03, 08:39 AM
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Selling out? The ONLY time I would feel the slightest bit miffed would be if a band/musician talks incessantly about how they would never sell their song for a commercial and then they do it.
This idea that making money off your music as a bad thing is beyond me. And, YES, I like and have listened to underground music for close 20 years now. I think the true test for you folks who think this is some horrendous thing, what would you do if you were in their shoes? Say you toiled for 5-10 years with some pretty amazing music and then NOTHING happens. Someone offers you $100,000 for a snippet of one of your songs in a big ad campaign. You are going to automatically turn that down? If so, you are a bigger, better or sillier person than me.

Soul Asylum sold out with "Grave Dancers Union"? Did they sell out simply for recording that album or because it just happened to become popular? Talk about a band barely skirting any kind of popularity even though they had a few albums on a major label. They were as ignored as could be outside the midwest. I've enjoyed those guys since their Twin-Tone days and don't think Grave Dancers is a sellout in any kind of way. It's probably their best recording and for that reason it was noticed. I can think of another example right off the top of my head... Midnight Oil's "Diesel and Dust" recording. In the U.S., they were even less popular than maybe Soul Asylum... then BAM, this massive hit. Sell out? Hardly, it's their towering piece of work to this day.

I think there are plenty of things to complain about with the music scene, but selling out is such a vague term and does smack of some kind of elitism.
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Old 01-19-03, 09:02 AM
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Soul Asylum didn't sell out because they sold a lot of albums. They sold out because they wrote a record to sell albums. Dave Pirner admits it himself. Grave Dancer's Union was wrote to sell records and if the record didn't sell the band would break up. Right or wrong they still sold out but, that doesn't mean I still don't like them.

Last edited by zak52; 01-19-03 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 01-19-03, 10:43 AM
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zak52, okay... I will admit if your sole purpose is to make music ONLY to sell then that's kind of sucky. I think of a band like Heart in the 1980's... or Jefferson Starship. Not that I really was all that gung-ho for their earlier material, but it seems like they drastically changed their music for YEARS to make money. I don't know them personally, but I'd be amazed if the Wilson sisters weren't up on stage thinking in their minds, "What the hell are we doing?" It was THAT bad and different from what they started out doing.

Having said that, I don't see anything wrong with wanting and even trying to sell records. Maybe Pirner made an album only to sell... I don't know. But I'm sure they would have loved it if Made to Be Broken was a smash hit. I think of a band like the Wipers (who?) where their lead singer Greg Sage did all he could to avoid compromising... no interviews, no garnering media attention. But most people reading this have no idea who the Wipers are and it kind of confuses me why they even bothered recording music in the first place if they didn't want as many people as possible to hear it. It's possible to have an audience and at the same time retain a bit of control over your art. Easy, no... but possible.
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Old 01-19-03, 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by atlantamoi
But I'm sure they would have loved it if Made to Be Broken was a smash hit.
I agree, they probably would have loved it. I would think that they would know that the type of music they were making on their first few albums wouldn't draw a huge fan base. Look at the likes of Husker Du and the Replacements, they were big but weren't going to get rich off the music they were making.
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Old 01-19-03, 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Three Day Delay
Then you never understood the music in the first place.
So very well put.
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Old 01-19-03, 12:29 PM
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Soul Asylum is a great example of what is wrong with selling out. They changed their style and wrote music specifically to sell records.

I don't have a problem with Moby allowing his entire album for use in commercials.....he didn't change his music or musical style in order to make cash. The cash came to him, not the other way around.

And I don't have a problem with people making money off of music. You do what you have to do in order to put food on the table. God only gives you a certain amount of gifts....some can act, some can repair cars, some can make music.

Then you take someone like Soul Asylum or, even better, Green Day that rail about how the music industry compromises their musical integrity, then caves in and cashes out.
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Old 01-19-03, 01:43 PM
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Sell Out : Slang; To betray one's cause or colleagues.
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Old 01-19-03, 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Three Day Delay
Then you never understood the music in the first place.
But does anyone "understand" the music? As has already been mentioned, when a band changes direction you still have the older material to listen to.

And should a band remain unpopular and poor for ever to satisfy their cult audience? Or is it OK for them to make a better living and perhaps entertain a wider audience in a different way?

Yeah, it is disappointing that "true" fans won't continue to get more of the same but I don't think that understanding the music plays much of a part in this: IMO it is more about empathising with the regret caused to the original fans by the commercial decisions taken by (some of) their idols.

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Old 01-19-03, 01:56 PM
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Re: The OFFICIAL Corporate "sellout" thread

Originally posted by Three Day Delay
The OFFICIAL encyclopedia of shameful corporate musical sellouts starts here. Feel free to make your own additions.

1. John Fogerty- Allowing the use of his Vietnam protest song "Fortunate Son" to hawk blue jeans.

Nice job, John. Bend over, boy....you just sold your soul to "the man."
I'm glad Fogerty 'sold out'. He pretty much got screwed out of royalties for everything CCR ever recorded. If he can make a buck now, good for him.

The thing i have a problem with is that Fortunate Son is an anti-war song, and they edited the song to make it patriotic.
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Old 01-19-03, 02:12 PM
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Urgh. Did Soul Asylum REALLY change that much? Each album grew into the direction they got to on that disc. Why is it wrong that they went that direction and Moby (who I love) did something VERY much different on "Play" and that isn't selling out? I don't think either group of musicians did, but I'm just a bit baffled how artistic growth (however you want to define that) is necessarily selling out. It ultimately is just a trivial issue and determined by your taste in music... hence my example of Heart above.

I think benedict is right... it's understandable to maybe be upset your favorite little darling band became popular and their sound did shift a bit. I can think of a ton of bands I lost interest in when they became popular, but it's not because they "sold out".

And by the way, who guaranteed that Soul Asylum would have a hit with that record? I was surprised as anyone that it was so popular.
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Old 01-19-03, 02:53 PM
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The Goo Goo Dolls.

Not that they were any good before, but listen to their old albums and compare them to any album after a boy named goo
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Old 01-19-03, 04:05 PM
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Moby is the ultimate sellout but I'm not sure if he could really classify as a sellout since his music IMO doesn't really say anything except for the occasional "Whooooooooo" or "Aaaaaaahhhh".
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Old 01-19-03, 05:26 PM
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Re: The OFFICIAL Corporate "sellout" thread

Originally posted by Three Day Delay
The OFFICIAL encyclopedia of shameful corporate musical sellouts starts here. Feel free to make your own additions.

1. John Fogerty- Allowing the use of his Vietnam protest song "Fortunate Son" to hawk blue jeans.

Nice job, John. Bend over, boy....you just sold your soul to "the man."
Fogerty doesn't even own the rights to the song.

Hell, he needs permission to perform CCR songs in concert.

Being a musician is a job plain and simple. They have families to provide for just like anybody else. Millions of people work at jobs they don't like just because it is a paycheck and that's life.

The only thing I consider selling out is changing your art for the sole purpose of making more money.
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Old 01-19-03, 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
I'm always hearing Led Zeppelin on a commercial now, although which one it is I cannot rememeber at the moment.
Actually, I hardly call this a sell out. It took 30 years for Zeppelin to let a single song of theirs be used for commercial purposes. And it's only for one thing - Cadillac. It's not like it's being used to hock Hamburger Helper...
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Old 01-20-03, 04:46 AM
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You do realize that advertisers are using songs Baby bloomers would like because well.. baby bloomers are the ones buying in america. Does this mean the band sells out because corporate america wants to use the song to sell something? I wouldn't call it that unless the band members were in the ad themselves and hacked the items themselves
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Old 01-20-03, 10:51 AM
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Re: Re: The OFFICIAL Corporate "sellout" thread

Originally posted by Ralph Wiggum
Fogerty doesn't even own the rights to the song.

Hell, he needs permission to perform CCR songs in concert.

Being a musician is a job plain and simple. They have families to provide for just like anybody else. Millions of people work at jobs they don't like just because it is a paycheck and that's life.

The only thing I consider selling out is changing your art for the sole purpose of making more money.
Ahhh, you're correct. I had forgotten that Saul Zaentz had retained the publishing rights to the CCR catalog. I thought that had been settled at the time of the whole "Old Man Down the Road" debacle.

OK, Saul Zaentz will smoke a turd in hell for this one.
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