Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Emporer's New Clothes - a tale of the modern music industry

It is not often I permit myself a comment but I have mulled it over and I will. I became aware of an incident that to me sums up the parlous state of high-end commercial music product.

There is an artist called Lana Del Rey. It is a made-up name. She was probably called Cynthia Mole but hey, Harry Webb and Reg Dwight did it to great advantage but they had the talent to live up to Cliff and Elton. Lana/Cynthia has had a hit single and won several awards already. Her latest album has just been released with a lot of dollars behind it.

The latest news is that a 30-date tour has been cancelled. Why? It is all down to an appearance on Saturday Night Live which, to say the least, did not go down well.

Saturday Night live goes out on a Saturday night and it is, well you guessed it, LIVE. Not a good move for someone who is the essence of a commercial music construct, for Lana's deficiencies were laid bare.

I don't really blame Lana. She is not what her management have made her out to be. She even admits she looks nothing like the image in her videos. All of a sudden the suits are backtracking. There are no longer any big stadium tours planned and Lana herself wants to concentrate on small intimate gigs.

I wish her well. I don't think she realised what the business was going to do to her. To me, the baddie in this is the management, who saw a million bucks plus in the Next Big Thing and failed to understand that at the heart of music is - music.

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