Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"The past is never dead; it's not even past"

I recently stumbled upon a quote that said in Hollywood success doesn't begat more success; instead, it instills a deep and profound terror of failure. The music industry has long been mired in a similar limbo of its own making. A kind of stasis where songwriters are emboldened to produce marginal recreations of previous material, where explicitly rejecting commercial norms is anathema to industry rules. "The past is never dead; it's not even past"—bold those words, splash them with color, and slap them across the back of a record exec's business card.

So how do these sins get absolved? By disregarding mindsets that consider "not losing" and "winning" to be similar objectives. By accepting that what is safe is also tame. By understanding that songwriters who stubbornly refuse to bend their art to the mainstream demands of the era should be glorified. By taking a young Irish lad who had just scored a Top 10 hit and recorded a rather middling MOR debut album, and dropping him into the recording studio with musicians like the jazz drummer featured in the above video. Ballsy moves like that are rare, no?

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