Saturday, July 29, 2006

Musical Plagiarism

So I read about the "Winner of the National Anthem Project" in the Star Tribune this morning (unfortunately the Trib's website does not have the story online, so here is another site with the story).
Here's my problem.
If you read the blurb about her, the big thing that made a difference was, "the twist at the end."
Her "twist" is to take high note at the end of, "The land of the free," and go higher with it.
People have been talking about how original and different that is.
The problem?
I've seen someone who's been doing that for six years. It's not original.
Mike Schmidt is the anthem singer for
The Minnesota Wild. As he reaches the end of the song, he takes the high note and slaps it up a full octave with a Pavoratti vibratto. My wife HATES when he does that. "It demeans the song...makes it about him instead of the anthem."
Yet, here is Ms. Malone doing what Schmidt has done for six years and being called and genius. I would love to know if she goes to Wild games and that's what gave her the idea.
Borrowing from other singers is nothing new.
At the last home Wild game, they played a techno-version of "Adagio for Strings" (The song used throughout Platoon).
Hell, all of modern music is nothing more than covers and sampling.
Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" used a part of the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go." This is funny as Rihanna's "S.O.S" uses "Tainted Love" as a sample.
Need I remind you how Puff Daddy/ P. Diddy/ Diddy/ Sean Combs actually has a career.
Sampling Sting, Led Zeppelin, and more.
Remember, one of the most popular songs of the 90s was MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This." I think Rick James and "Superfreak" may have had something to say about that.
Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice, Baby" was nothing more than "Under Pressure" with a slightly different beat.
Very few musicians can actually write original songs anymore. It's kind of sad.
As for Ms. Malone. Hey, congratulations on winning, but make sure you don't sell your "technique" as your own, because I know about 18,000 people who will say someone else did it before you.

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