The seventies called and wants its music back

Robin Thicke and Pharrell can stop whinging about how the Marvin Gaye ruling will stifle creativity.

In order to stifle creativity you have to create something.  Sampling music from the seventies doesn't count.

Why don't the record companies find some people with talent and create another decade and stop stealing music from forty years ago as if we would forget.

In the sixties and seventies we looked at what came before and built upon it to create something new.  I'll even give the eighties a pass, it was crappy but at least it was new.  The nineties and the naughts simply stole hubcaps and acted like it was a new Mercedes.

In conclusion, adding a new hook to an old song is not creation it is theft and that needs to be stifled.  Maybe stifling theft will force artists to create something new and in turn perhaps force record companies to support artists who have a vision that doesn't include theft.

That's just my opinion, what is yours?


  • My opinion is that you're completly wrong on this one JuJ.

    1) Using samples in creative ways is absolutely creativity.

    2) Copyright law (not getting into how utterly ludicrously restrictive copyright law is...seriously it's more restrictive than patent law and inventing life saving items is a bit more important to society than writing a song, no matter how great) only protects lyrics and topline melody.  There is no testimony in this case that either of those items were used in "Blurred Lines".  The testimony boiled down to the structure and rhythm of the songs being similar.  If you can sue someone for having a structurally/rhythmically similar song, music is dead.

    "Blurred Lines" is a travesty, but that's just because the lyrics are all sorts of rapey.  The decision in the "Blurred Lines" case is a travesty for countless other reasons.

  • He's right about the hubcaps, though. I had a set stolen from me once, and when I later saw them attached to one of those ultra-futuristic "concept cars" like they were designed for it, boy was I steamed.

    As for "Blurred Lines," the first time I ever heard it was yesterday. So I guess it's fine with me if the record companies don't want to bother finding people with talent, since I apparently can't even find the record companies themselves anymore, or anyone associated with them.
  • edited March 2015

    Yeah, the '70s were awesome.
  • edited March 2015
    "Yeah, the '70s were awesome."

    Boom boom !
  • They can keep their yellow pants though

    As far as revising copyright law goes, we should figure out what Disney and RIAA are opposed to, then do that
  • Maybe yall remember a different seventies than the one I remember

  • image

    If we're talking actual '70s memories, this about sums it up for me...
  • edited March 2015
    "They can keep their yellow pants though"

    image .

    - Three blue, one yellow 
  • By coincidence, I've just started reading a book about the seventies - I'll put it on the reading thread. Whilst I see Craig's point about sampling being creative, I do have some sympathy with what JUJ is saying in terms of lack of invention in popular music but maybe each new generation needs to discover it anew? My memory of seventies mainstream music is that it wasn't that good overall, with some notable exceptions, at least in the UK. Each generation needs to reinvent the wheel, which is perhaps why I've moved on to other genre.
  • Just to point out, George Harrison posted a comment on this thread in 1976:

  • Interesting clip, JuJ, thanks. I was 4 years old, white and British in 1970 (I am still one of those) so Parliament was not exactly on my horizon.

    I started listening to music in the late 70s with:
    (you can tell how much they enjoyed that photoshoot)
    The comment near the start of the clip about Clinton's efforts to get into Motown and being told he was one of many made me think that in every decade there have been styles that a flood of folk are trying to imitate and record companies are trying to milk, along with some folk who found new ways.

  • The comment about the eighties made me think not only about what was new in the early 80s in England (synthesizers) but about a few clear memories I have of hearing a particular single and being shocked that it was in the charts because it did not sound like anything else in the top 40 list at the time:

    They are all very clearly 80s, but they were all also surprising at the time.
  • Just so we're clear, George Clinton didn't create a new form of music.  He simply stole gospel and rock music and combined them, played them impeccably and created something new in the process.

    Hell, George even stole the idea of stealing gospel because this wasn't the first time that gospel had been appropriated for popular music.  Ray Charles had done it two decades before.

    But the point is this, when he did it there was something new at the end of the day, not simply a new copy of the old thing which is what I think Blurred Lines is. Why not just play the old record if you are not adding anything new.
  • Playing GP's 4 videos simultaneously, made me think of this one from 1979

  • Wow, Simple Minds sound so much like Fad Gadget on that one.
  • edited March 2015
    Ok, there; now I've listened to great music today from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, aughts and 2010s!

    My point above wasn't really to pick on the '70s: I love the '70s! (I actually like some Bee Gees stuff a bit too)

    But, the point is that every decade has it's great music; and every decade has it's fair share of crap. It's nonsense to say an entire decade did music wrong; some decades just might require looking a little harder. Which is the fun part anyway.
  • amclark2 said:

     It's nonsense to say an entire decade did music wrong; some decades just might require looking a little harder..

    Screw the 1140s.

  • edited March 2015
    I was there, and there were two musical trends that were pretty widely deprecated at the time:   arena rock and disco.  Today of course disco seeps out of every pore of what passes for pop.  Not sure what happened to arena rock - I suspect it lives on in some form as mainstream country.

    Otherwise, not sure you can really disparage a pop decade that gave us the  Allmans, Bruce, Stevie, Paul Simon, Earth Wind & Fire, Bob Marley, the Ramones and the rest of punk, I could go on...

    eta, You know who the other running joke was?  The Carpenters.  A multi-million selling running joke, but still.  So wholesome, so bland...Now of course Karen gets the credit she deserves, poor thing.   Anyway, Ike knew a good thing when he heard it.

    eta eta:  Never knew that was a Bacharch/David song!  Always assumed it was Karen's...
  • Punk, funk, and R&B.

    The 70s were allllllllright.

  • It's nonsense to say an entire decade did music wrong;


    Naw, I'm pretty sure there is no legitimate excuse for the nineties

  • I'm with those of you that say that every decade had its highs and lows.
    Usually music for most people is more than just sound - especially when
    you're young. So, I suppose lots of people just say that their favorite decade 
    is the one during the development of their tastes.. I have a friend who was in 
    a moderately famous new wave band and he still sticks to the 80's as best decade 
    for music and I know older jazz guys who swear by the 50's, and so on.

    My pick has continued to be the 70's, but not because of what you always heard on the radio,
    but more-so because of the styles that were harder to hear: thus, free-form radio of the
    late 60's to mid 70's. The reggae styles for me were smoother as well as the soul from 
    that era was heavily tuneful and/or funky. Even music from other parts of the world: 
    give me the Filmi music with strings of Bollywood of the 70's with Lata Mangeshkar, 
    Asha Bhosle and Mohd. Rafi over the major changeover to electronics in the 80's.
    Same with the classic era of 70's Ethiopian music of Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete,
    and Walias Band before the discovery of electronic beats forced these performers off the stage 
    for years before being rediscovered. Even Berlin-School musicians had a distinctive style 
    before the 80's electronics began seeping in. It got to the point when I wanted to smash 
    every Minimoog I was hearing!
  • To some extent it depends upon the generation you first really 'got into' music. For me it was the Sixties. Some very notable exceptions but the next generation music, at the time, didn't always seem so good. There are exceptions. Dylan spans all these decades. I'm still buying everything that Bruce Springsteen releases and he is a Seventies origin artist
  • edited March 2015
    Yeah, I mostly got into music in the nineties; so I'm thrilled with all the stuff Aphex Twin has been releasing lately, and I get every new release by Björk. But, if I'm being totally honest [cough, cough], I probably like more music from the '70s than from the '90s. I mean, the Grateful Dead! Neil Young! Punk!

    So yeah the Offspring is almost bad enough to write off a decade. But not quite. Electronic music of all sorts really came into it's own in the 90s. Hip-hop really developed in the 90s. And neither of those great development areas would have happened without sampling, appropriation, and sometimes outright stealing, but they did something wonderful new stuff with it. If that sort of thing doesn't happen in new decades, you end up with just years and years of retreads. Like the stupid 80s. :)

  • Oh, and watching just the beginning of that Offspring video was the first time I ever realized that the song samples the weird count-off from Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages", having spent a good amount of time with that album a year or so ago.

    Also, reading rostasi's comment was the first time I ever made the mental connection between musicians losing their jobs to digitalization just the way so many in manufacturing lost jobs to automation. Puts Detroit techno in a whole new light!

    That's the kind of thing I love about this place.
  • Music in the 70's for me

    The Who

    Led Zeppelin

    Todd Rundgren

    Sandy Denny

    Kate Bush

    The Clash

    P Funk

    Uk Reggae

    David Bowie

    Sunday Nights at the Roundhouse

    Queuing up for standing tickets at the Rainbow

    Seeing The Police at a local pub for nought

    Waiting for the Old Grey Whistle test to come on hoping my parents were in bed

    Its was much a melange of good music, away from the dross there was so much superb music which I still find out there and enjoy.

    Lastly trashing my flared jeans in 1977, never to be worn again

  • Ah, if we're verging into the 80s, I still have my red skinny tie somewhere.  Maybe.


    Never wore it this well though.
  • Here's a letter from Marvin Gaye's Children on the court decision
  • They're not "setting the record straight" on "a few misconceptions" about "the
    so-called ‘larger’ ramifications of this case," though. They're not in charge of setting the record, straight or otherwise. It's history, it's not their record to set. And the idea that they're "misconceptions" is entirely their opinion. Most importantly of all though, even if their letter did comment on the "so-called larger ramifications," which it really doesn't, nobody will know what those are until the next time someone sues a songwriter or record producer over a new song having a "similar groove" or using an existing song as a "blueprint."

    I'm not saying they're wrong in the particulars, nor am I accusing them of lying. I am saying they just don't know the future, and the fact that they would use that wording (as if nobody will actually even read the letter for comprehension) doesn't reflect well on them at all.

    Let's be honest about what people are afraid of. A good example would be one of my favorite genres, shoegaze music. Would a jury of 12 typical people whose musical tastes are "conventional" even be able to tell any difference whatsoever between half the stuff in that genre? I not only don't think so, I know with absolute certainty they wouldn't. But if your response is that "shoegaze sucks anyways" or "musicians shouldn't make all those records that sound the same as all the other records in the genre," well, I hope you can guess what my reaction to that would be without my having to write it down.
  • edited March 2015
    The letter from the Gaye family seems reasonable to me. 

    While it may or may not be up to them to set the record straight, they do have a duty, at least to themselves, to clarify what they did or did not intend to accomplish with their law suit.

    Marvin Gaye was and is a beloved artist by any measure of that word.  And as the heirs and beneficiaries of his legacy they have a responsibility to Marvin Gaye's constituency to administer his legacy in a manner that is in keeping with the artist's vision and artistic statements.

    It was a good move on their part to publish the letter for PR reasons.  There is a lot of discussion floating around about stifling artistry and the public may have been confused by the marketing effort by the ones who don't create shit to portray this decision as anti-artist when in fact this decision protects real artist not the ones who simply profit from the artistry.

    They actually do set a few things straight for the record to my way of thinking.

    1. They are not anti artist, they are pro artist. This lawsuit does way more to protect artists than it takes away.
    2. If you want to be a musical artist, write a fucking song.  Just because you feel strongly about it doesn't make you an artist.
    3. This is not tin pan alley, and with time comes progress.  But just because we are living in the digital age does not mean the rules have changed.  Don't steal other peoples shit.
    4. The Gaye family is not intending to give Pharrell a fresh one by laying claim to the song Happy.
    5. Robin Thicke is spoiled douche bag who needs to spend less time being a rock star and more time writing music.

    OK maybe that last one wasn't in the letter and might be personal opinion but still...

    Listen there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from another artist, but when offered an hors d'oeuvre you take one not the whole plate.  Puff puff pass.

    This is how a real artist takes something old and makes something new

  • That's the first I've heard of the "write a song with the same groove" quote...Of course a jury's going to key in on that.  I think the Gayes make a legit point about licensing the song.  Certainly if there was wrangling going on, it was a dumb business decision to plunge into a lawsuit, rather than negotiate a deal.
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