Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Copyright Lies Are A Business Model

What comes first, the words or the music?

The answer always is, “listening to the words and music of other artists”, however it’s rarely said. Even more so today, for fear of a court case.

Being inspired by artists, story tellers and sounds is how we learn. From the day a child is born, they are listening to the sounds of the voices and learn how to talk from it. They watch people walk and decide to try it themselves. We basically copy what others do. But when big business gets involved and hijacks a law designed to protect artists, well this isn’t what Copyright should be and it shouldn’t be up to any court to decide.

Any musician starting out learns to play the songs of others before writing their own. This builds their style and forms a large part of their song writing. Led Zeppelin just made songs or riffs they had heard from other artists, sound better.

However, lawyers these days along with the heirs of deceased artists are trying to turn this into a pension fund, because the current length of copyright terms (which the labels lobbied hard to get in the 60’s and 70’s and 90’s) allow them to do so. But if you look at any guide to becoming great in any field, they all say to copy the greats.

Artists do not operate in a vacuum. They assimilate what is happening around them to create music. They create because they want to create. It’s a human need that needs to be satisfied within. No artist sits down and says to themselves, “geez, lucky for me that Copyright law is for my life plus 70 years, so I have an incentive to create.”

However, the recording industry constantly spews the same rhetoric about the need for stronger copyright enforcement and longer copyright terms, because piracy is killing the industry and if there is stronger copyright enforcement, then artists will get paid, and if artists get paid, more art will be created.

Are they serious?

The true purpose of copyright, is the progress of arts and science.

And while piracy ran rampant, and recording industry revenues went down, there was still plenty of creative output. Artists create because they want to create.

And for getting paid, if you have some traction and are not seeing any coin, redo your contracts with the middle parties. Otherwise if you are an artist who has no traction, obscurity is your enemy, so keep on creating.

There is an article over at Torrentfreak which talks about copyright and how more money leads to less creative output which challenges the bullshit put out by the labels and their stooges.

It’s because overpaid artists don’t work harder; they work less. Jimmy Page is a perfect example. Look at his recorded output since Led Zeppelin finished up.

So Copyright was originally designed to give a creator a short term monopoly on their works so they create more works. However Copyright over the last 50 years has become a scheme which encourages our superstar artists to work less. And this is the opposite of the true purpose of copyright; to facilitate the progress of arts and science.

And what is even more opposite of the true purpose of copyright is this stupid “Blurred Lines” case.

Remember how the Pharrell/Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” infringed on Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” because it had a similar feel/groove. No actual music was copied. And what makes it bizarre, “feel” or “groove” is not protectable subject matter under copyright law. But we have a court deciding differently. It’s not like Marvin Gaye’s song was so original and free from influence of other songs from the same era.

Based on this ruling, The Night Flight Orchestra cannot exist at all, because they pay homage to artists who influence them. God damn it, every band that I know off, pays homages to other artists. This is a stupid court decision. Paying homage to other artists, or writing a song in the style of another artist is how musicians first learn to create songs. It does no harm to the original artist, and often introduces more people to the original work.

And, similar lawsuits are rapidly being filed. Ed Sheeran is dealing with one over his song “Thinking Out Loud” and if it is too close to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” The songs do have the same chord progression, but are pretty different.

As the Techdirt article states “having the same chord progression allowed Sheeran to sometimes easily perform a mashup of the two songs at concerts. But again, that’s a tribute, but it’s now being used against him.”

The scope of copyright is creeping into other things. And it’s wrong.

And because of how far gone Copyright is gone, we have a war in the EU over a perceived “value gap” of what YouTube pays versus what those songs would have earned if people had the chance to buy them.

Seriously, the recording industry might as well bring back dial up internet or the telegram.

The truth is, songs are streamed more on Spotify than they are on YouTube these days. And when are people going to understand we are living in a new era. Any person can make music. It’s cheap, you can do it from home and you can release it from home. But the biggest difference is consumption. It’s the listeners who hold the power now, not the labels.

The old model was you needed a major label. They would put some money into the recording and then promote you. Artists felt like they could have a career, even if they never became mainstream or had a hit. Now, there is so much music available, the majority of music fans don’t care about acts. The streaming platforms are not robbing the artist, it’s the fans. They have decided how they want to access music. Revenues are up for the labels, but maybe not for the artist, especially the ones on crappy record deals.

But somehow, the recording industry finds ways to put longer and stronger copyright terms into the discussion. Which is disappointing. And lawyers who represent the heirs of dead artists are waiting to sue. Which is disappointing.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Who Should Be Listed As A Songwriter For A Song?

Metallica want to re-issue their 1982 demo “No Life To Leather”

Dave Mustaine on Twitter, said the talks broke down because Lars wanted song writing credits on two songs that Mustaine wrote every note and word to. So instead of agreeing to share the song writing, Mustaine passed.

If you look at the track listing of the demo, it sure has a distinct Dave Mustaine flavour. Four out of the seven songs, “The Mechanix”, “Metal Militia”, “Jump in the Fire” and “Phantom Lord” have song writing from Dave Mustaine.

I am presuming based on interviews, that “The Mechanix” and “Jump In The Fire” are the two songs written solely by Dave Mustaine.

“Hit the Lights”, “Motorbreath” and “Seek & Destroy” make up the other songs.

Song writing is always an issue with bands.

  • Van Halen had all the band members listed as songwriters on all of their albums. Suddenly, when the band re-negotiated their publishing deals for their earlier David Lee Roth albums, Michael Anthony was removed as a song writer.
  • Skid Row’s Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan said that Sebastian Bach didn’t contribute to the Skid Row debut album as most of the songs were written before Bach joined. Bach countered to say, that the way he sung the songs, and the way he decided to hold certain notes was enough of a contribution to the debut album.
  • Nikki Sixx said one of the reasons for Vince Neil’s departure from Motley was due to his lack of song writing contributions, which Vince countered to say he had enough co-writes on Motley’s classic era.

100% of the time, when I write a song, I write the music, the words and the vocal melodies. And when I say music, I mean, the guitar riffs/chords and the vocal melodies. Then I bring the song to the band and show them the song. The bass player learns the guitar riffs and starts to play the bass lines in their own unique style. The singer learns the vocal melodies and starts to add their own unique vocal style to the song. The drummer hears the song and puts a beat to it.

Finally the song is played by a band. It’s structure is still the same as it was on the day I wrote it.

Do I need to share credit with anyone in the band?

Is the bass player, singer or drummer entitled to a song writing credit based on the above?

What about this scenario?

I write the song, complete with music, words and vocal melodies. I show it to the band. The drummer doesn’t like the interlude for some reason, so I write new music to the interlude and the drummer is now happy. Also the singer didn’t like the Chorus melody and the words, so I change them as well. We finally play the song as the band and it sounds great.

If you look at the definition of songwriter it states, a person who composes words or music or both.

So am I still the sole songwriter or do I need to share the credit with the two band members?

My view is no, I don’t need to share a song writing credit. The other guys in the band didn’t write a single note or word to the song. They might have made suggestions, but those changes still happened because I wrote extra music and extra words for the song.

Remember Copyright, that wonderful word. Well there is a mechanical copyright and a performance copyright. Mechanical monies are paid when the song is listened to on a streaming service, viewed on a video platform or the song is recreated onto a CD, a vinyl, a cassette and those physical items artists still try to sell sell. Performance monies are paid when the song is played on radio or TV, or in bars and restaurants.

Now, the recording industry and the publishers (yes, those pesky corporations who hold the copyrights to most of the popular songs) have lobbied hard to make these mechanical rights even more complex. Each new work would have a copyright for the composition (songwriter) and the sound recording (the band performance).

So let’s look at a real example. Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” is listed as a Nikki Sixx composition on the album credits. However, the mechanical rights of the song would be worked out in the following way and would be part of a band agreement, while Nikki Sixx is listed as the songwriter.

Nikki Sixx share

• 100% (Composition) + 25% (sound recording) = 125% out of 200% available.

• 125% divided by 200 x 100 =  62.5%

Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars share

• 25% for the sound recording is divided by 200 and multiplied by 100% = 12.5%

So the final copyright allocations for the mechanical license is as follows;

• 62.5% – Nikki Sixx

• 12.5% – Tommy Lee

• 12.5% – Vince Neil

• 12.5% – Mick Mars

Now, the performance rights organisations that collect the royalties for songs, do not allow decimal numbers, so you would assume, Nikki Sixx would get 64% and everyone else would get 12%.

Who would have thought making music involved maths and shares and allocations and what not. So when certain members see the lion’s share of monies going to a single person, they would start to write songs themselves, bring them in and they would either get rejected or re-written that they are nowhere near the original song the member brought in.

And if the song makes money, expect an argument to happen as to who gets what.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

For Whom The Copyright Tolls

I read an article today on The Guardian website about another copyright infringement suit.

In this case, The Script is suing James Arthur.

Now, the facts.

James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” released in 2016 has 846 million streams on Spotify and on YouTube it has over 600 million views.

Meanwhile “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” released in 2008, doesn’t even rate a mention in the Top 10 streamed songs for The Script and even their biggest song, “Hall of Fame” released in 2012 is sitting at 419 million streams on Spotify. On YouTube, “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” has 172 million views.

G, D, Em and C is the chord progression under question. The Script are adamant that the way they use the Chord progression with the vocal melody is unique and original and they are the first ones EVER to do it. Go to a Christian church and a lot of the songs use this chord progression. Pick up any album from any era and this chord progression will be there.

The songs do sound similar, but any song which uses this chord progression will sound similar. Of course it’s no surprise that the attorney’s representing “The Script” are the same ones Marvin Gaye’s heirs used for “Blurred Lines”. According to The Script’s legal team, at stake is $20 million dollars.

You see, The Script’s acceptance by the public is diminishing. They haven’t really had a hit since “Hall Of Fame”. It doesn’t mean the songs since have been poor, it’s just the public hasn’t embraced them like “Hall Of Fame”.

Sort of like Twisted Sister. The public embraced them with “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock”. Subsequent albums didn’t have the same public acceptance, but it didn’t mean the songs were bad. Subsequent solo albums from Dee Snider also suffered the same fate.

But in this case, The Script hired a forensic musicologist to report back on the similarities. Seriously, WTF.

Anyway, it sure is a great time to be a forensic musicologist. Every label is hiring them to check an album worth of songs for their artists, just in case the song might sound similar to something else.

The reason why music became such a large commercial force is because songs sound similar. In the book “Hitmakers” by Derek Thompson, it mentions how our tastes in music are based on something we’ve heard before with some slight variation.

How many times have we stumbled upon a new song that we like, listen to it constantly on repeat while we try to figure out what other song it sounds like?

And we seek out songs with similarities. So when you have an environment with millions of songs sounding similar and using 4 chords in a progression, you will start to create songs using those same 4 chords. For me, it was Em, D, C, C. Then it went to Em, G, C, D. Then it went to G, D, Em and C.

But we live in a world that if someone is winning, someone must be losing. So in this case, James Arthur is winning and The Script are losing, because he is winning with a song that sounds similar to their song and their song sounds similar to another song and that other song sounds similar to another song and so on.

Think of the mess that Copyright is in right now being due to how Corporations hijacked Copyright terms to be 70 years post death. Because, all of this mess was started from the heirs of dead artists, because songs that should have been in the public domain were not. If the songs were in the public domain the “Blurred Lines” case wouldn’t have happened and this case wouldn’t be happening.

Seriously how bad is the “Blurred Lines” case.

Let’s put it into a metal context.

It’s sometime in the future, and the Black Sabbath members are all passed on, and the rights to their songs are with their heirs. A band writes a song which sounds stylistically like Sabbath’s debut album. The heirs sue for Copyright infringement, because even though the songs are different, they have a similar 70’s groove, feel and style of Black Sabbath’s first album.

But a groove is not copyrightable.

Expect to see even Marvin Gaye’s heirs sued now, because even Gaye’s grooves were inspired by other artists. If there is money to be made, a writ will follow.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Defenders Of The Copyright Faith

In 1998, the US Congress passed the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) which extended the 1976 Act’s terms of life of the creator plus 50 years after death to life of the creator plus 70 years after death. The CTEA also increased the extension term for works copyrighted before January 1978 that had not already entered the public domain. Basically under this act, works made in 1923 or afterwards that were still protected by copyright in 1998 would not enter the public domain until 2019 or later.

You can see how this little act changed copyright law to benefit the corporation. It’s nickname is the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, because Disney lobbied hard for this extension to protect Mickey Mouse, who made his debut in 1928. Of course, sane people argued that long copyright terms don’t provide any incentive for the creator to produce more works.

Remember that TPP (Trans – Pacific Partnership) deal that was negotiated in secret when Obama was in power, Trump then killed it and then Trump brought it back bigger and nastier. Well, there was a clause in there, where the US is saying to nations, if they want to be part of this partnership, they need to change their Copyright laws to be the same as the US.

Of course, the Movie Studios and Record Labels argued that by lengthening copyright terms they would invest more in creating content. As I’ve said before, when a person sits down to create, they do not go to themselves, “Geez, thanks to Copyright Terms being extended to 70 years after I’m dead, I have an incentive to create”. The creator sits down and creates because it is a need to do so in their life. There is no movie studio or record label investment when the creator first creates. It is just the creator fulfilling a need to create.

But corporations who control the copyrights of works are addicted to copyright term extensions and here we are in 2018, 20 years from 1998 and guess what is happening again.

Yep that’s right, US Congress looks like it is going to please the corporations instead of the public.

Little do people know that there was a court challenge to the 1998 extension and the Court rejected the challenge because they did believe to think that Congress would need to extend terms anymore. As the Wired article states;

After all, with a term of 95 years for work created before 1976, and life of the author plus 70 years for work beginning in 1976, how much more time could possibly be needed?

But guess what, buried in the otherwise harmless “Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act” is a few words which would give organisations (yes, corporations) the right to control music recordings made before 1972, up until 2067.

As the Wired article states,

“These recordings would now have a new right, protected until 2067, which, for some, means a total term of protection of 144 years. The beneficiaries of this monopoly need do nothing to get the benefit of this gift. They don’t have to make the work available. Nor do they have to register their claims in advance. That this statute has nothing to do with the constitutional purpose of “promot[ing] Progress” is clear from its very title.”

The worrying part is what does this mean for the future. As the Wired article further states;

“If this bill passes, we can expect other copyright owners to complain about the “unfairness” in the gift given to the creators of legacy recordings. And in the clamber to harmonize with this 144-year term, a swamp of extensions is certainly on the way. No doubt, the beneficiaries of these gifts will be grateful to Congress, and show their gratitude in the campaign-finance-ways of Washington. Equally without doubt, this is not what a system meant to “promote the Progress of Science” was ever intended to be.”

Yep, creators are so lucky to have these kinds of organisations looking out for them.

It takes artists a while to understand, but they don’t need a record label these days. Nikki Sixx on Twitter recently said that the best industry lesson he learned was that Motley Crue didn’t really need a record label after the first two albums. And this antipathy towards labels ended up with Motley Crue getting their rights to the Masters back in 1998 from Elektra.

And then you have instances where artists need to sell their songwriting credits because of bad business decisions. K.K. Downing, founded Judas Priest. He left the band in 2011 due to issues with the other members and he purchased a golf course, which is now into administration. As part of bankruptcy, Downing needs to sell the rights to 136 songs he co-wrote. According to the article, these songs generate $340K to $400K in royalty payments annually.

So remember Downing has a copyright on his works. This copyright gives him a monopoly on his works so he can earn money from them, which in turn gives him an incentive to create. And now he needs to sell this right to someone or something (being a corporation). Yep, that’s exactly what copyright is for.

And then what about artists on album covers. Artists normally got paid a flat fee for their services to create/design an album cover. At the time of designing the cover, no one really knows the impact the album might have on culture. So is the artist to get paid extra when the album they designed the cover for broke through and sold millions. Case in point, Jethro Tull and the iconic “Aqualung” cover.

Read the article.

In the 70’s a young artist was hired by Chrysalis for $1,500 via a handshake deal to create three paintings to his style and content for Jethro Tull’s new album. The album went on to become Jethro Tull’s best-selling album, with over 7 million copies sold and so many anniversary editions issued. And apart from the great music, the album cover has become iconic, being re-issued on cassettes, CD’s, T-shirts and what not. And the artist who painted it, well, the label contends it was a “work for hire” agreement. And with no written contract, the label can say anything, so Chrysalis (now Warner Brothers) said the copyright for the paintings belonged to them.

As the article states, when it comes to artists and copyright law, it’s very messy, especially for famous works because the companies don’t want to lose their valuable rights to those works. So the answer always is for corporations to extend them. For how long will the public tolerate this, I don’t know. Countless people and organisations are out there protesting these extensions, but the public is still relatively silent. And it’s the public who are getting robbed.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Creativity

HAVE ALOT OF SONGS IN THE BANK

It’s always been told that all the artists who had a few classic albums in a row had a lot of songs in the bank. So when album number 1 comes out, the first inclination is to release the songs the artists views as the best. But they didn’t. They withheld some for the next album and the album after that while they kept on creating even more classics.

COPY AND BE INFLUENCED BY YOUR INFLUENCES

Because being creative is all about taking your influences, your lifestyle, your experiences and putting them together.

“What does this remind you of” should be the conversation. And by creating something that reminds a person of something that came before, it is still original. However, if you are too original then the audience will have no idea what you’re doing.

BE IN THE GAME FOR THE RIGHT REASONS

You will make it on creativity, credibility and by not selling out. Because if a musician has some public acceptance today, they’re eager to make a deal with a corporation or what not.

But artists are not motivated by money when they create music. They are intrinsically motivated. The joy of creating a new song is what motivates them. If the song gets public acceptance, and it brings in money, great. As long as they are still motivated by the joy of creating a new song, they will be fine. As soon as they are motivated by the need to match or better the popularity of the “hit” song, then they are in trouble.

STREAMING PAYS

And music is entering a good era. There’s a lot of people who are using streaming services and as these services grow, more people will feel they would need to join, so they become part of the club. And as long as you control your copyrights, Spotify will pay you every month.

And it might sound scary to artists to go it alone. Especially legacy artists who had the labels in their corner and all the beggars and hangers on attached to them. But you need to go it alone. You need to have control over your copyrights. The artists like Motley Crue and Metallica will be cashing in millions while the rest cash in thousands.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS

Social media is there to give you instant feedback. After the show is over, people are commenting. After a song is released, people are commenting. It gives you the ability to connect and know your fans, to interact with them and to get a feel for what they like and want from you.

In the 60’s the youth questioned the norms and the authorities and changed everything. The clothes people wore changed, the hairstyles changed and the music changed. And it kept happening, with every decade. And at the forefront of each cultural change was music.

So as an artist, the question should be what is it, you hope to accomplish, and not the clicks, views and likes you hope to measure on your social media account. Because we have been conditioned to compare ourselves against metrics. It’s easy, but irrelevant. Hell, if the techies accepted the standard metrics they wouldn’t have made a difference. If the earlier musicians accepted that all guitars need to have clean sounds, then we wouldn’t have had distortion.

Remember music is forever, and it needs people to like it. If you don’t have any, you still have your music. Be creative and never stop.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Copyright For The Corporation

The standards of the recording industry and culture were set a long time ago. It was so long ago, people forget why it was brought in and as time goes on, we fail to preserve its original intent.

Copyright was designed to protect the artist and to enhance culture. The artist had a monopoly on their works, so they could make money and have an incentive to create further works. This was for a period of short period with the option to renew. Once the expiry date passed, the works became part of the public domain for future generations to build on and use.

But corporations started to rise because of these monopolies and what we have now is a copyright standard so far removed from what copyright was meant to be.

Hell, if a monkey uses a camera put in his enclosure and snaps a selfie, does he own the copyright?

This even went to trial and then to appeals and finally a judge ordered that the monkey has no right to the photos he took as the Copyright Office will not register a copyright claim if a human being didn’t create the work. This also means machine created art is not covered.

The actual text is works “produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates randomly or automatically without any creative input or intervention from a human author.” But a poem written by an AI was accepted by editors for publishing in a literary journal because they believed it was written by a human.

As the WSJ article states;

The question isn’t whether computers can own copyrights, but whether humans (or corporations) should be able to claim ownership of works created by computers. Copyright laws already provide that in the case of “works for hire,” the employer owns the copyright, even if an employee actually created the work. Shouldn’t similar reasoning allow copyright protection for humans who employ computers to create valuable works?

But corporations do claim ownership of works created by humans, so claiming ownership of works created by AI is just a matter of time and a few million to their Senate buddies on lobbying dollars.

And for over a century the record label has built up a history of owning songs it shouldn’t be owning. It’s ridiculous. An artist signs a deal, pays off all the costs associated with the album and somehow, the label still owns the copyright. The battle is happening. Check out the article over at Billboard.

“Why would a label be insisting on keeping a property that has stopped selling, that they don’t have any plans to re-promote except when the artist dies?”
Todd Rundgren

For those that don’t know, the 1976 Copyright Revision Act in the US allows the artists after 35 years to take back their copyrights after so many years, by serving the company that holds their copyrights with a termination notice. And even though artists are filing termination notices, so few are succeeding. For example, Duran Duran failed while Tom Scholz of Boston didn’t.

“Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device”
Lawrence Lessig

And it’s funny how the 1976 Act on purposely ignored all the different state laws for the pre72 recording, because those copyrights didn’t need any extra enforcement at that point in time. But for some reason, the pre-72 copyrights needs some extra beefing up in the digital era.

The Music Modernization Act will come into law in the US. And don’t kid yourself here. The songwriters and the actual artists will still not get what they are due. The Publishing Corporations will take their slice and the Label Corporations who still hold the copyrights will take their slice and the greatest generation of songwriters will still NOT be paid what they deserve.

There is poor record keeping from the record labels and the publishing organisations, but the blame is on the technology companies for not doing enough to seek out the songwriters.

Are they fucking serious?

I guess they are, because with this new bill, a new database will be created, paid for by the technology companies that will store all the information for the songwriters. But with every piece of government legislation, a monopoly is waiting to happen and in this instance, the publishing corporations will have a lot more influence.

And of course, the real purpose of this bill was to delay the copyright expiration of the pre-72 recordings, which based on the law in force at the time, should have been out of copyright a long time ago.

One thing the Act preaches is fair payment for songwriters from streaming services based on the database the streaming services create. And if artists and songwriters get what they are due, it’s good news, but if the past tells us one thing, the corporations standing in between like the labels and publishing houses, will not allow their billions to disappear.

Streaming services in every country are injecting hundreds of millions into the recording industry. Innovation is the key and getting more people to use these services will increase the pool of monies on offer.

But the publishing companies still preach the same rubbish. Something along the lines of “without strong copyright law which enables songwriters, performers and recording artists to control how their music is used and how they make a living from their creativity, the local industry will suffer and go backwards.”

Yeah right.

And at the moment the monthly price to use Spotify has remained the same for a few years. But we all know the recording industry is pushing for higher monthly prices as they demand more in their licensing arrangements with the service. So while streaming is injecting a lot of money to the recording industry, the recording industry is also doing its best to kill it.

All because a profit driven corporation owns the copyrights. In other words, corporations own culture. Maybe George Orwell was right all along.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Mirror – Tygers of Pan Tang

It’s a forgotten Sykes cut, released in 1981 on the “Spellbound” album from Tygers Of Pan Tang. Even though I’ve listened to the song for a long time, I’ve never sat down to learn it so, I thought it was time to get this little Sykes gem down.

With all the guitar tabs and YouTube videos available online, it’s very easy to go straight to Google, but no-one has transcribed it.

Funny that.

With all of the advancements made in technology, there still is no AI application which can transcribe all the instruments in a song just by listening to it. But AI can create music, can recognise our faces, plot our journeys and a million other things.

So I had to rely on the good old trusty ear. I haven’t practiced learning a song by ear for a long time. But it’s a forgotten art form. And the saying goes, if you don’t practice using your ear, you will forget how to use it.

I swear that my ear is better at figuring out songs now, then what it was in the 80’s/90’s. Maybe it’s because of the knowledge I have accumulated over the years which makes it easy. Maybe my brain has finally put some super highways between the cells to make learning a song by ear, easier. The faster stuff I still need to slow down to hear each note.

Anyway, the guitar is tuned to standard, EADGBE. The Intro from up to 0.44 is made up from a simple Emadd9 to Cadd9 chord progression arpeggiated on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings.

The first verse kicks in from 0.27 to 0.45. The arpeggios outline the chords, Em, C, D and back to Em.

From 0.46 to 1.06, the Chorus kicks in and the chords are C, D, C, Am, C, D, Em, Em.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
You stare at me and share my thoughts
Mirror, mirror I hear your call,
You have my soul and body caught

The fairy tale familiarity. In “The Crimson Idol” from WASP, Jonathon spoke to the mirror and the mirror spoke back to him.

There are so many magic moments in “Mirror”, but what seals the deal is when the Bridge section comes in from 2.30 to 2.54 and it then transitions into another lead break. The unique style of Sykes is here, in it’s embryonic stages.

Deception you have learnt

Deception is what our social media world thrives on.

What is fake, what is real, no one knows anymore?

Everyone has a responsibility to research far and wide and make up their own views. The mainstream press outlets are all beholden to their corporate employers who have their own agendas to push.

No wonder so many are dissatisfied. But we pretend the situation doesn’t exist. So how can we improve things tomorrow.

There is a saying in marketing that if companies frequently run last-minute sales, customers would stop buying things in advance because the company is training the customer to wait. And the way organisations should engage with people is drip by drip. Keep releasing.

It’s been a long time since John Sykes released any new music.

Has the well gone dry?

There is no more drip. The recording business has changed, there is no doubt about that. However if the artist is chained to their past ways, then they will never survive in the new world.

How Grammy Nominee Brent Faiyaz Built His Music Career Off Streaming (HBO) – YouTube

Check out the video. If you don’t here it is a nutshell. You have an independent artist using streaming data to decide which cities to hit. The data gives him the number of monthly/weekly listens in a city and the number of super fans in each city.

And for those who say streaming doesn’t pay, it does, if your fan base is using the platform to access music.

Sykes should get a team together to work in the new music world instead of the old.

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