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August 29, 2009


Geez, whatever happened to originality in modern music? Or better yet, what the heck happened to creativity? A disturbing trend has been in the works since the late-1980’s and has now spilled over into the new century…

The fact that no one has an idea for an original musical composition anymore.

No one.

Ok, scratch that…there are exceptions. But with that said, please allow me to try and make my point:

I still cringe when I hear samples of old songs that were incorporated into 'new' songs. (i.e. Rick James’ hook on “Superfreak” being the main drive behind M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” or David Bowie and Queen’s collaboration on “Under Pressure” used on Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby”).

In 2001, Mariah Carey released her first single from Glitter entitled "Loverboy" which featured a sample of "Mary Jane" by Rick James. Soon afterwards, Jennifer Lopez released "I'm Real" with the same "Mary Jane" sample, Mariah quickly discarded it and replaced it with "Candy" by Cameo. So, coming up with a brand new melody was just too difficult? Groundbreaking artists? Please.

Then in 2004, Danger Mouse with the release of The Grey Album, which is a remix of The Beatles' 'White Album' and rapper Jay-Z's The Black Album has been embroiled in a situation with the record label EMI issuing cease and desist orders over uncleared Beatles samples. I guess they couldn’t just steal from a no-name band or a one-hit wonder. Why fly below the radar? We’ll just steal from the most recognized band of all time for our ‘new’ material!

Yeah, yeah...yeah?

On March 19, 2006, a judge ordered that sales of The Notorious B.I.G.'s album Ready to Die be halted because the title track sampled a 1992 song by the Ohio Players, "Singing in the Morning", without permission. Karma may have been in play here…ooh, harsh! I’ll take that back out of respect of the deceased. Or not.

Am I crazy or did some people just plain forget how to write their own music?

There are artists that continue to put out new and refreshing styles don’t get me wrong. Much kudos to all of those gifted musicians. It’s just that there are more wannabes out there that are just trying to cash in on the tried and true. And please don’t get me started on Remakes!

With that said...I do want to take this opportunity to present my list for the 10 worst song remakes, in my opinion, and they are as follows AND in no particular order:

(Original Artist in RED)

1.) Behind Blue Eyes - Limp Bizkit (The Who)

2.) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - William Shatner (The Beatles)

3.) Stairway To Heaven - Dolly Parton (Led Zeppelin)

4.) Sweet Child O' Mine - Sheryl Crow (Guns 'n Roses)

5.)American Pie - Madonna (Don Maclean)

6.) Dock Of The Bay - Michael Bolton (Otis Redding)

7.) I Love Rock 'n Roll - Britney Spears (Pat Benetar)

8.) Feel Like Making Love - Kid Rock (Bad Company)

9.) Hotel California - Al B. Sure! (The Eagles)

10.) 911 is a Joke - Duran Duran (Public Enemy)

People, people...obviously you've got the talent. Why remake a hit? The room for error is TIGHT.
Oh well...They are the money makers, so they could do whatever they want. (I guess.)

Anyway, I’m thinking of creating a love song song revolving around a sample taken from the Main Title Theme from “Star Wars”, do you think anyone will notice the bite?

Next week: My take on the originality in today's movies. (Great...)