...is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back at you.
Unless it involves drinking and fighting, will it ever truly reproduce the sentiments of the brothers Gallagher?
This week witnessed the destructive potential of AI in action as someone thought it'd be a good idea to bring brainless Britpop bores Oasis back from the dead. Chris Woodgates and Bobby Geraghty, formerly of Hastings-based Oasis wannabes Breezer, released "AISIS - The Lost Tapes / Vol.1" last Friday, which they describe as "an …
the power of numbers: 8 billion on this planet, a large proportion with access to the internets, a proportion of those affluent enough (or young enough, aka below the min sweat-shop age) to have time for this shit (well, see who's talking!), a proportion of those with less refined taste and / or 'influencered'...
Am I trying to say, politely, they're stupid? Yeah, I guess, but mindless clicks and low taste does not, automatically, mean 'stupid across the board'. Anyway, the power of numbers.
That's debatable. The Beatles are, without doubt, one of the most mediocre bands the history of music. They did some cool things with technology of the day, but musically they were pretty meh. A Mick Matter fart in 1969 would have been better than their entire catalogue.
In the beginning, no, they weren't any real different from any of the similar bands of the time. There is almost certainly a strong element of luck in it being them rather than one of the other skiffle/R&R/Blues influenced bands playing covers doing the circuit.
But very soon, they started writing their own material. The early material, like the "She Loves You" was just taking what was popular, and writing more of the same. But you look at the evolution of their music from, say, "Please Please me" through to "Rubber Soul" which was a period of less than three years, and then I would say accelerating the rate of their musical development through "Revolver", "Sgt Pepper's", the White Album and really culminating in "Abbey Road" (yes, technically "Let it Be" was later, but IMHO "Abbey Road" was the last proper Beatles album, with Let it Be being pulled together from already recorded material and material created without the whole band), they drove musical evolution, by their own talent and that of those around them (would they have been the same without George Martin - almost certainly not). All of the Beatles albums were released in a period of less than 8 years. There is no other period in popular music before, or I would say since, where change happened so rapidly, and the Beatles were a major part of that change.
They covered more diverse musical genres, and possibly even created some than any other one popular band of the time. They used their fame to explore instruments and recording techniques. Would we have got to the place where there was space for Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, The Who, and then on to Punk and melodic writing of Prince and so many other artists (including Oasis) who claim the Beatles as a major influence? Maybe, but as fast, almost certainly not.
If you are sceptical, please take time to properly listen to Abbey Road (and I mean listen, put good headphones on or play it on a proper HiFi in a quiet environemnt, and listen to the whole thing, and actually concentrate on the music). It may not be your cup of tea, but the nuances, musical skill, and the meaning behind the lyrics and their social commentary of Britian at the time is unsurpassed). The production quality on equipment that, by today's standards, was pretty crude is fantastic. Find Rick Beato's deconstruction of the end of "The End" on YouTube and see just went on when creating these masterpieces.
It is a world away from today's menu driven musical creation, where real talent is ignored just for the sake of driving sales
I know there are still good musicians out there. I know that it's very difficult for them to get exposure. Too many of them are limited to self-publishing on the Internet, to be abused by the media platforms who try to steal the income, and in some cases, the copyright and control of their tracks.
But just look at the popular streaming tracks.
A large number of them have stock base lines and drum tracks, autotune, are pasted to the grid, have a lack of harmonic progression and limited chord choices, and credit lists to the writers that have so many contributors that you wonder what each of the actually did, and at the end of it an artist that has very little control of their image, the way they're marketed, or even their longevity.
There are exceptions. I think Billie Eilish is extraordinary. Taylor Swift (not really my cup of tea) has managed to become big enough to be able to control her own image. Adele is a power of nature in her writing, and I've grown to appreciate Lady Gaga more and more as time goes by (why are these all women?)
But where are the new towering giants like Prince, Clapton, Bowie, or dare I say it, Lennon and McCartney. Are they in the likes of Justin Bieber, or Harry Stiles. Even Ed Sheeran appears to becoming a bit generic. Yes, they can knock out a catchy tune that will get some traction for a while, and then get largely forgotten.
IMHO, the problem is the music industry that is too often trying to re-make the last big hit, and unwilling to support and promote good talent with new ideas. Image is everything (just how much female skin do we have to see in videos!) and the biz are too fixated on making money rather than good music. Just listen to the scorn in the lyrics of "Grace Kelly" by Mika, something that is both catchy and musically interesting, and says heaps about the music industry.
That's my view. It's a generalization, but how else can you sum up something like the music industry in a few hundred words.
Seeing as Oasis merrily "scraped" numerous songs from other people to "create" their own chart successes, it's a bit much for them to start complaining. The list of artists who took legal action and got paid for their tunes being lifted wholesale by songwriting "genius" Noel Gallagher is quite substantial (search "Oasis copyright lawsuit" to read about them).
I'm not a fan either, but the one thing I will say in Noel Gallagher's defence is that when push came to shove he wasn't a hypocrite about it. He claimed not to have sued the writers of Hear'Say's "Pure and Simple" (remember them?) despite its obvious similarities to Oasis' "All Around the World" because- as he acknowledged- he'd done much the same thing himself.
He's also been credited on a Girls Aloud song, Life Got Cold.
It is pure hypocrisy on some parts of the media though, especially given the way they fawn over Mark Ronson, who did it even less subtly by just releasing covers.
Scraping for material,.... how many acts cite 'The Beatles' or 'The Rolling Stones' or Jimi Hendrix as an influence? New music borrows from what has gone before, and record companies can't monetise inspiration, yet when it comes to AI, they try and stifle it, instead of signing it. If there's one thing you can guarantee, when new technology comes along, the music industry will do the wrong thing.
Maybe a more (or less, who can say) interesting application of this sort of tech, would be to create some rather unlikely duets or collaborations between musicians who would never have been able to work together. Whether because one or both were utter arseholes, or because one died before the other was born.
It’s not AI generated, more the fabulous voice of Steve Nallon doing the late Maggie T singing “My Way”.
I first heard that without knowing it wasn’t actually her singing. It’s a shame that video doesn’t have the actual show footage because it showed news events from her time in office that went with the lyrics - miners strikes, Falklands war etc.
I think the article and comments pretty-much sum this up. I'd just like add 'FFS'.
Oh, yes. And that I never got the Beatles comparison. Only now do I realise - free from the Gallagher drone long enough to be able to reflect - they do sound like the Beatles tracks that I skip because they're so nondescript.
Too often it is the record companies, labels and music publishers who are driving this.
I know I've mentioned him before, but Rick Beato's musical deconstruction of many well known tracks is often targeted by take down requests, normally from lawyers and people specifically employed to prevent certain bands from being musically quoted, even though these video essays are clearly covered by some of the copyright exemptions. Often, when the artist themselves are directly approached, the ban is lifted, so it's not the artists that block.
And what is so ironic is that these review often actually drive sales for the music, as people discover for the first time how good some of this older music actually is.
Well, for starters, (and arrange in your preferred order), there's
- Janis Joplin
- Duane Allman
- Jimi Hendrix
- Franco Luambo Makiadi
- Bob Marley
- Eva Cassidy
- Lucky Dube
- Stuart Adamson
- I could go on....
though of course whether AI could ever capture the genuine brilliance of these people...?
…although on balance let’s not. Our favourite artists left us their own work; using AI to “create” new pieces seems icky, like making a waxwork mannequin and putting the deceased’s clothes on it. A shoddy pastiche at best.
Now that would be a good test of AI. There’s quite a bit of Acapella Queen on YouTube to use for training. Somehow doubt that the end result would be any good given his amazing range, personality and performance.
There will only ever be one Freddie and no computer is ever going to come close IMHO. This does all seem a bit deepfake to me.
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of Queen, and never realised how good Freddie was until I saw the tribute concert, and how many revered singers couldn't get near his level of performance. Also realised that day just how good Annie Lennox is.
Hooray for genuine artistic discrimination and honesty [air high-five]. icon is the best I can deliver, free cigar also included.
"force-fed a poor computer Liam Gallagher's insipid drawl" - the bastards, I trust it is not sentient.
"The result is fairly convincing, but we only made it a minute and a half in" - yeah, derivative jangle-pop and insipid delivery is pretty much Oasis. But I never managed that long with Oasis, so I can't really comment on the likeness.
[Noel] I f*cking hate you, Liam!
[Liam] I f*cking hate you, Noel!
[N] F*ck off, Liam!
[L] No! You f*ck off, Noel!
[N] Come over here and say that. I'll knock your f*cking block off!
[L] I'll f*cking 'ave you! You piece of sh!t!
[N] Give it yer best shot, yer wuss!
[L] You are a f*cking dead man!
...someone saying its a copyright issue. Its always the studios and the artists that are in it for the money and not the craft.
Oasis liking it is a surprise.
Download it while you can cause unless Oasis own their own music and not a studio, the studios will have it pulled.
some things are worse that "derivative and obnoxious janglepop ... force-fed [to] a poor computer Liam Gallagher's insipid drawl"...
not a fan of Oasis or brit-pop in general, but I'll make my own mind up, I don't need a loaded opinion piece full of weasel words attempting to sway MY opinion.