This section will list other tactics the music industry has taken to make another buck or two million.
Forced Listening is the most annoying tactic the industry has ever imposed. Example: How many people have ever heard of Queensryche, Savatage, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed or Yes?? Not a lot. Then, how many people have heard of NSYNC or Matchbox 20?? A LOT. Not because they chose to, but because the record companies FORCE THEM TO.
Deep inside, people WANT to listen to thoughtful, provoking music. The industry has simplified music to the point where it means nothing and then sells it in mass quantities, like the Backstreet Boys. Then, the public pecieves this to be "normal" and "great".
The truth is, it is a domino effect. More and more people see and are influenced by modern, weak, corporate music, and so it becomes the standard. It dosen't help when politicians or teachers and other adults try to look "cool" by following the teenager's examples. The reality is that these artists who are being so exploited are not the next revolution in music. It seems that way because, as always, the industry promotes it to the max to make it seem like it is. And then, how could bad music get so big? Because it is all a cash cow, made to make money, that's why.
Then, after a while, this type of corporate crud was mediafied, mass-marketed and labeled as pop culture. The record companies will not give the general people a choice to make- what type of music do I like? Instead, they claim to already have the answer, and shove this garbage on MTV and the media. This goes against the principle of music itself!!! It's about people expressing themselves, creating feelings through sound and word, and demonstrating what is right! Only into making more money for themselves, record companies have forced people to listen to "this" or otherwise, the people would not be considered "cool". Now, this is where the record companies cash in on- the teen audience. How many teens like King Crimson? Almost none. How many kids like NSYNC?? More than can be counted, thanks to forced listening. Teens will buy things that their freinds buy so they can fit in. The media manipulates some types of music, like metal, to seem "bad" and "evil" with stereotypes (much like the movie industry has become a scapegoat for the Littleton, Colorado shottings.) And they do not make the choice for themselves what music they listen to, even if they did chose to buy it because they like it, BECAUSE IT IS ALL FAKE AND FABRICATED AND CREATED TO SELL TO THEM. THEY LIVE THROUGH THE STREAM OF MEDIOCRITY BEING FORCED ONTO THEM!! It is all forced upon them to sell . . . but soon, record companies will run out of options and realize groups like NSYNC have no "staying power" . . .
Major record companies, with the practice of "Forced Listening", only sign and promote music which has "mainstream appeal", that they know is going to sell. The only thing is, does that type of music appeal to the mainstream, or to the industry?? Again, it's all a money powerplay! The record company every few years tries to change the focus of this to make it look like this isn't true. How can you explain the progression of New Kids On The Block to Whitesnake to Alice In Chains to NSYNC??
Sometimes the industry listens to the underground. This is how the Greatful Dead, Metallica, and the entire grunge scene (which was seen as a cash cow for the industry) made it big. They are even trying this again on several other styles of music like progressive and experimental music. Guess why Prodigy and Chemical Brothers were signed on major labels? Guess again why the industry ditched that scene when Prodigy's "Fat Of The Land" fell off the charts after 2 weeks??
The Magnificent Four
People, especially teenyboppers and fans of weak music, have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes. They have a common misconception that the group they like writes, plays, produces, and controls their music.
Those days are long gone.
These roles are the roles of the Producer, Session Musician, Songwriter, and Choreographer. They are known as The Magnificent Four because they all wok in a very special, idealized way ensured to make smash hits (or smash shits) in the American Music Industry.
The choreogapher is the person who a record company has hired (this is most common in rap and teenybopper groups) to look, act, and dance a cetain way. So much for being yourself, huh? Well, now in the 90's that's all music is about. Fans are fooled into thinking that the group does their own dancesin the music video, thereby giving the appearance to some teenagers that they are "hot." And evey record company wants a band that is "hot." So that's the choreographer's job- to make sure the group acts "hot."
Then there is the job of the songwiter, the most profitable job out of all of these besides the producer. Has anyone ever heard of Max Martin?? He wrote all of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and Britney Spears' hit songs. He has to get credited in the liner notes or otherwise he will be mega-pissed. After all, he is doing the job of the "group", writing the lyrics, the music, which the public will accept no matter how brainless because that type of garbage normal now, and the group dosen't do shit, except represent the (band name here) corporation of (record company name) RECORDS????
WHAT THE HELL?!??!?!?! IS THAT WHAT MUSIC IS ABOUT?!?!??!?!?!
Next, the producer. He is the great one at the control room because the record company paid him millions of dollars to make the group become succesful with their "major-label debut (sellout)." They are usually the people who mess up a band's priorities about their real vision, and instead care only about what the "mainstream might say." Good producers don't care about that. Bad producers control the group with a formula that is "designed to sell." Why do you think that the electronic drum sound of the 80's sounds different from that of the 90's?? Becuase the mainstream's tastes were different so they tried something new to satisfy them and it worked! Why do you think all NSYNC songs have the same basic sound and texture and lyrics?? BECAUSE IT IS ALL A FORMULA DESIGNED TO SELL!!
There used to be a time when bands played, wrote, and performed al their music. Some of them still do, but they lose control one way or another, artistically, musically, or commercially. Sometimes they are completley avoided by the bigwigs because of the style of music they play.
When the risks of creating a successful "entertainment object" are increased by high production, committees (and the pitiful decisions they make) always flourish.
Committees make it posible for incompetent corpo-weasels to maintain their perks (and the fiction of fiscal prudence ), while spending mega-budgets on "sure-thing" movies, "sure-thing" Broadway shows and "sure-thing" recording artists.
The "sure-thing" is called a "sure thing" because it has been outfitted with an "insurance policy"- The Committee Itself. Nobody on it is EVER going to be held esponsible for ANYTHING- so WHAT CAN GO WRONG? Is it any wonder that project after project devolves into putrid nothingness- with more on the way?
In order to merchandise "whatever it was that met with everyone's approval," The Committee must spend even more time and money to make sue nobody finds out that there ever was such a thing as "good stuff," so, explaining that this is a matter of National Security, it enlists that aid of the Federal Government- perhaps a covert opeation ar two- to obliterate any criteria by which a customer might recognize how shitty the "new stuff" really is.
There are millions of people who love music, but have tastes that differ from the "corporate ideal"- that's where independent labels come in. However, unless an independent is distributed through a major abel, chances are the retailer is not going to pay on his nintey day account- UNLESS the independent has another hit coming in the door next month. This independent usually does not, but the major label might, and it is this leverage that gets the bills paid.
THE MAJOR LABELS ARE MORE INTERESTED IN MERCHANDISING THAN IN MUSIC- THE IDEA IS TO GET ONE GIANT BLOCKBUSTER MONSTER MOTHERF--KER ALBUM EVERY YEAR.
Corpo-wisdom indicates that if any one guy sells thirty-million records, when the kids come into the store to buy THE BIG HIT, they'll also pick up something else. This is called a "traffic-builder." Ever wonder why every year at the Grammys one guy sweeps up all the awards?
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