Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

AUDIENCE: Posthumous releases

Rap artists such as 2Pac and Biggie Smalls are 2 striking examples of growing, but already long-established trend for the music industry to release 'new' material after a singer/artist's death; Elvis' estate continues to mushroom with endless 'new' releases and compilations 34 years after his death, while Bob Marley and Jim Morrison continue to successfully sell truckloads of albums. Then we have the anniversary re-packaging of Nirvana's Nevermind which has been all over the media in October 2011.

Back catalogue is big business, but so is creating new albums from demos and rehearsal material, which has happened with The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to take two examples.
These are just my own examples; read more in the article below from

Bottom line: the artists aren't available for filming any new video material any more than they are for your productions, another useful point to raise to argue the case that yours is a realistic, 'real-world' production.

Amy Winehouse is the latest to give us songs from beyond the grave

The secret of posthumous albums is to allow the departed artist some dignity – but unfortunately that doesn't always happen
  • Amy Winehousendon
    Amy Winehouse … recent songs have been padded out with covers and alternate takes.

    The mystery of how much music Amy Winehouse managed to record in the five years between Back to Black and her untimely death looks to have been solved by the tracklisting of her "new" album Lioness. A handful of recent songs have been padded out with cover versions, alternate takes and unreleased songs stretching back to 2002. Of necessity it's a thing of threads and patches.

    Posthumous albums are troubling entities, in which the sincere desire to give unheard material an airing is coloured by commercial imperatives. The best are cohesive collections that would have been released in happier circumstances, such as Nirvana's emotionally loaded MTV Unplugged in New York. Other strong contenders, such as Elliott Smith's From a Basement On the Hill, were thoughtful attempts at giving closure to unfinished projects. An awareness of mortality can give such afterlife transmissions real gravitas – Johnny Cash's lion-in-winter baritone justified two posthumous additions to his American Recordings series.
    The secret is to allow the departed artist some dignity. Two months after the 1996 murder of Tupac Shakur, The Don Killuminati: the 7 Day Theory was solid enough, but his backlog of recorded vocals led to a decade-long musical version of Weekend at Bernie's, with poor old Tupac's corpse propped up and dragged around town, duetting with people he had never met, on albums such as the ominously titled Until the End of Time. Michael Jackson's Michael was just as macabre: less a lap of honour than a forced march through the wreckage of a burnt-out talent.
    Perhaps the oddest posthumous career is that of Eva Cassidy, whose Songbird compilation topped the UK charts a full five years after she died in obscurity. A half-dozen more posthumous albums have since hit the Top 10. Winehouse may have led a difficult, truncated life but at least she got to experience success firsthand.

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