Blog #1 The Branding of Music

I was watching tv the other day, as you do, and it went to the commercial break. My ears pricked up when i heard a tune i liked quite a bit. It was "You make my dreams" by Hall and Oates. I couldn't even tell you what the ad was for so it hasn't had the desired effect the ad writers wanted on me, but it did manage to annoy me quite a bit. 

To make the song fit into the 30 second advert space and to give us the best bits of the song they had cut out bits and stuck them together in a different order. To the average person listening they wouldn't realise this and just think "There's that catchy tune i like" and "ooh yes i do need some washing powder..." or whatever it was being sold to us. The ad people had done such a seamless job of copying and pasting together those recognisable bits that if you didn't know the song properly you would think that WAS the song.

Now i understand that ads cost money and that is a valid reason in their eyes to cut  up a song up like this and make a mish mash of a perfectly good tune.  That's great for them, probably great too for Hall and Oates who would have been well paid for the song rights (if they do own them) but it's not great for that song as a work of art. Yes i know "work of art" may sound a bit pompous but i believe what makes a great pop song is that they are works of art and taken seriously by the artists in the writing and recording process and that blood sweat and tears has gone into making them to sound EXACTLY how we hear them on our radios!

It brings us to the bigger picture that pop songs are becoming more and more like brands. Songs being sung on Xfactor or The Voice are also shortened to fit the 2 minute time slots that the viewing public can be bothered to listen to. So lets chuck out that intro or the 2nd verse and get to the good bit quicker! I wonder if people in general actually realise this is going on, and maybe they do but don't care?  Is this a sign that we don't want to listen to songs with depth? 

For me i don't particularly care that much because i know i can find my favourite music and listen to the full length versions as the artists intended any time i want. But i don't want to see classic songs that i like being reduced to a simple brand to be sold again and again and undermine the original piece of music. 

Would we do the same with Books or Poetry? Or an Art Gallery where instead of standing to look at a painting for 5 minutes and taking in all its glory, we see a quick slideshow of all the best bits before we go in- thereby saving us some time. Music is a art form that takes time to listen to and enjoy with a certain level of depth to get the most rewarding experiences from.

Now, please take some time to enjoy the full length version of a song for a change.