Going To Rehab With A Ya Ya Twist

August 22, 2009 at 12:01 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Hey, kids. Dlock is back with what may be the final “ripped off music” blog entry for a while. Been a busy 10 days since the last post – sorry about that. Let’s get our teeth into today’s tunes.

Seems like everyone knows all about Amy Winehouse, her song Rehab, and her struggles with substance abuse. To refresh the memory, here is Amy singing Rehab:

Whatever else, Winehouse’s vocals on Rehab are smoky, sultry, and utterly amazing in the best ’60s Motown tradition. A truly talented singer, and hopefully her health will allow her to record more marvelous songs in the future.

But you know me. It sounds like something I’ve heard before. Memory is a double-edged sword, both curse and blessing in one. And while I may not have heard the following song for many, many, many years, perhaps it was lodged in a synapse all this time. But truth be told, I owe a tip of the hat to an anonymous poster on Yahoo Answers for this one.

Miss Petula Clark, from 1962, singing Ya Ya Twist. And I know I’ve heard some covers of this one.

So once again, old tunes are given new life. I’ve occasionally heard that, since there are only so many notes, and only so many ways in which to arrange them, that we are going to run out of fresh melodies, and may in fact have already done so. (Here is a link to a really in-depth article on the subject.) When you stop to think about how many little tunes are squandered as throw-away jingles for auto insurance or taco stands, in addition to all the melodies that are fully developed into songs in their own right, the mind fairly reels in shock. We’re wasting our musical resources to peddle ice cream and cell phones.

Ah, well. No one ever said we humans are smart about how we use our resources. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! I’m off to bed. Got a yard sale to do in the morning.

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Who You Gonna Rip Off?

August 11, 2009 at 12:19 am (Entertainment, Media, Music) (, , , , , )

Holy Toledo, fellow music fans. Another week has passed, and here I am again with one of my last “borrowed music” blog entries. (I suspect some of you are getting well and truly tired of these…)

Be that as it may, here’s one that was so obvious, I missed it entirely until my housemate reminded me. This case of kleptomelodica was front page news in the ’80s, but nowadays, few people really remember it except when playing “Trivial Pursuit“. On to the setup:

We open with a brisk and zippy little tune by Huey Lewis and The News, entitled I Want A New Drug:

Much controversy at the time over those lyrics. This was, after all, Nancy Reagan’s America, where we were all supposed to “just say no to drugs“. Of course, the whole point was that the song was all about being in love, and that’s the “drug” in question. Good old reactionaries… gotta love ’em.

Fast forward a few years, and a movie called Ghostbusters is in post production, and the producers call in one Ray Parker Jr. to help score the film. They have put in Huey’s I Want A New Drug as a sort of placeholder for the title theme, and they tell Ray that they want a song that kind of sounds like this.

Oh, boy. Talk about walking into a spinning propeller. Ray Parker did it straight on that time. I almost feel sorry for him, but not really. He’s worth way more than I am.

As for Huey Lewis, he did okay out of it, too. The lawsuit led to developing contacts in the film industry, and our Mr. Lewis made a brief appearance in Back To The Future.

“Hold it, fellas. I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.

See you in a few days to a week – it’s been really busy.

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Adam Freeland vs Black Eyed Peas

August 3, 2009 at 12:31 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Some things never end, like this series on musical borrowing. Actually, I was running out of ideas when this one came to my attention. First, a neat little dance number called Mancry by Adam Freeland…

I rather like it. It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it, in the words of all the teenagers ever interviewed by Dick Clark on American Bandstand, back in the days of only 3 TV networks.

Seems as though the Black Eyed Peas may have sampled it without approval for their new tune, Party All The Time:

The music biz sure has changed since I used to listen to The Beatles on a little AM radio when I was a kid. Now people borrow and sample and remix. Club DJs are becoming celebrities in their own right, due to their mad skillz on the mixing console.

Here’s a nice comparison video someone put together:

I think Adam Freeland may have a case here.

And if any of you out there have some ideas for concluding this series, by all means, comment below. I’ll be getting back to some other pop culture topics very soon.

And rest in peace, Michael Jackson. The media hounds are tearing your corpse apart. Shame.

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