A Conversation for Manufactured Bands and How to Avoid Them
Researcher 224119 Started conversation Apr 3, 2003
I'm sorry but I get really annoyed when I read things like this article. People who automatically hate a band because they are 'manufactured' are as bad as or worse than those who listen to this type of music are.
You claim that people that buy 'manufactured pop' only do so because the advertising men tell them to. I say that people who go out of their way to avoid it only do so because they have been told to by the writers in NME, Q or whatever other music magazine they buy.
I personally make no judgement on a band on anything other than their music. In many cases the members of manufactured bands are far better singers than their 'real' counterparts.
The main thing that annoys me though is the ridiculous idea that in order to be any good a band must write their own songs. People have different skills, someone who is good at writing may not be so good at singing and performing and vice versa.
This used to be recognised, Elvis never wrote any of his songs. Then along came the Beatles who were good at writing and singing and performing and suddenly if you don't do all three yourself you aren't a proper band.
This leads to a very hit and mix situation for the creation of new bands. There is nothing wrong with producers getting the best people in each field together and giving them a helping hand.
To sum up I think we should leave the writing to the writers and the performing to the performers and just sit back and enjoy the results.
LokuZ Posted Jun 20, 2003
Hi there. I wrote the first iteration of this article back when I was fifteen and disgruntled with the world in general. The article's meant light-heartedly, but as you said, the argument is deeply flawed. These days, I find most of my music through listening to friends' collections, or through the internet. My musical tastes have become much wider and more obscure, and to be honest I couldn't care less about most of the points I raised in the article. To say that an act is manufactured simply because they do not write their own songs is indeed lunacy.
However, manufactured music still has its 'dark side.' Because of the business interests of the record companies, 'prepackaged,' highly saleable music has far more financial support than more obscure artists (whether they write their own songs or not) who are easily as talented. Music, in my opinion, should be about creativity - I find almost all manufactured music bland beyond belief, simply because it is pandering to the lowest common denominator and stuck in a (highly profitable) rut. I don't automatically dismiss a band because they're manufactured - I just have never found manufactured music interesting or appealing.
This article was originally about so-called 'boy bands,' and maybe I should have kept it to just that. If I could remove this article now, I would. Then I'd write a much better, more balanced one, highlighting why I think the manufacturing of bands is harming music as an art form.
Anyway, I'm glad to have some differing feedback with a well-argued point. I'm off to listen to some Miles Davis.
GTBacchus Posted Jun 24, 2003
"If I could remove this article now, I would. Then I'd write a much better, more balanced one, highlighting why I think the manufacturing of bands is harming music as an art form. "
There's always the Update HQ!
Fraggle Posted Jun 25, 2003
As you said, "leave the performing to the performers", but what about those who can only perform with the aid of computer-rectification (step forward Victoria Beckham) to cover up the bum notes? What about those for whom "performance" is choreographed into oblivion? What about those vapid, shallow fameseekers who only get into music because their acting/modelling/navelgazing careers need a kick up the arse. By all means have an open mind, but at least have the nouse to realise that this soulless, spineless squitter is making life increasingly difficult for other musical avenues to thrive, succeed or even get signed (Bond as a chamber ensemble anyone? Thought not.)
Let's make 2004 the new Year Zero. And I am NOT a musical snob.
Wake up and smell the slime...
LokuZ Posted Jun 26, 2003
Thanks, GTB! I've been away for months, apart from the occasional look-in to check on any comments, and really need to sort out my knowledge of h2g2 and my User in general.
Mingmong - what kind of music *do* you like? I have pretty eclectic tastes now - I'm as happy listening to noise music as I am to classical (I'm definitely not a fan of 'Bond' either), with good chunks of jazz, rock and electronica thrown in. I don't discriminate over genre: if I like something, I like it.
Manufactured music, as I said above, just leaves me cold. I haven't ever heard a manufactured act I've liked. It's as though I can hear the cynical marketing seeping in through every overproduced note.
That said, I don't hate people for liking music I don't. I view everything as subjective; unfortunately, I often make the mistake of assuming that everyone else does too, and so will take my comments as personal opinion only. I would never (now) tell someone that they shouldn't listen to something. I just wouldn't want to myself.
Fraggle Posted Jun 27, 2003
Well, let's see...
to cut a long story short, I listen to lots of diiferent types of music - basically everything from Schopenhauer to Slayer via Steeleye Span and DJ Shadow. My objection to "manufactured" music is the total lack of imagination and adventure. Why record syrupy covers of songs when you can try to write material yourself? As a (very amateur) musician, I'd much rather write my own stuff that means something to me than be told what to do, when to do it, who to date at the time and what to wear as I walk into the Met Bar. I DO NOT hate "pop" music - case in point: Junior Senior. I fuckin' love their songs, vapid and stupid as they may be, you can dance to them and feel good. It's not manufactured music that I hate, it's the ethos of a record industry that wants to find the next Britney/Coldplay/Radiohead/Michael Jackson AT ANY COST purely to make money. As a teacher, I see the trends and fads as they come and go, and it's pretty mad to see how kids are conditioned into "liking" what they see on CD:UK every week. I have witnessed bullying because a pupil has opted to listen to music that isn't on major radio stations' playlists. Music SHOULD be a uniting force, but until record companies and TV/radio stations lose the fixation with making a fast buck, music of all types will suffer. As the man from Decca said, guitar groups are out. Well, why are Blink 182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte selling so many records? People on the whole want brain candy, but exclusivity will kill the music industry (Hear'say? Which dole queue are they in?)
What I'm saying is like what you like, but don't force it down anyone else's throat. They might puke it up in your face.
Thus endeth the lesson.
Yours in the name of music
David William Arnold
Fraggle Posted Jun 27, 2003
You may have noticed that I quite like the word "vapid". Just off to listen to my N-Sync albums. SHIT!.... Rumbled!
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