A weekly update on all things music, advertising and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: THE EAGLES
The iconic California rock band’s Greatest Hits (38 million) surpasses Michael Jackson’s Thriller (33 million) as the biggest selling album of all time.
Quite a feat to beat the King of Pop, especially when considering that the 3rd biggest album of all time is The Eagle’s Hotel California. So what is it about the Eagles that continues to inspire the public to buy this album? I went back to listen and tried to find out.
First is great songwriting. Tracks like One of These Nights, Life in the Fast Lane and Hotel California have incredible hooks, not just in the choruses, but also in the verses and bridges. The music is sublime, quintessentially American, capturing the essence of windswept highways and the dark side of the American Dream. Second are the vocals. The Eagles did not have one lead singer, they had five: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmidt. But it is Don Henley’s roguish rasp that really defines the band. Check out his performance on Life in The Fast Lane, the cautionary tale about Hollywood excess. When he sings, “He had a nasty reputation as a cruel dude/They said he was ruthless said he was crude/They had one thing in common: they were good in bed/She’d say, “Faster, faster “The lights are turning red”, you can hear his disdain.
Lastly, each individual in The Eagles was an amazing musician, a kind of 70s rock and roll supergroup. This is epitomised by Don Felder and Joe Walsh’s guitar playing on the epic solo at the end of Hotel California. Yes, the song has been played to death on the radio, but listen to it with fresh ears on the video above and you will hear why this band has reached the pinnacle of the rock and roll sales.
Henley has issued statement saying “We are grateful for our families, our management, our crew, the people at radio and, most of all, the loyal fans who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of 46 years,” founding member Don Henley said in a statement. “It’s been quite a ride.”
Co-founding member Glenn Frey passed away in 2016.
AD OF WEEK: DIESEL – BE A FOLLOWER
I like this ad because it is sexy and funny at the same time. The part where the guy is trying to slip off his girlfriend’s shoe is hilarious (who hasn’t been there before?). Diesel is an interesting brand because it has been around for a while, but has managed to sustain advertising campaigns that push against the zeitgeist. This ad achieves that. Everyone wants to be an influencer, but Diesel wants you to be a follower. It is a neat and powerful message.
Agency: Publicis Italy/Production Co: Good People
TRACKS NOMINATED FOR THIS YEARS OSCARS
“Shallow,” the top-10 hit from “A Star Is Born,” is widely favoured to win, and would be a way for the Academy to acknowledge the success of the Bradley Cooper-directed musical remake and singer-songwriter Lady Gaga (also up for Best Actress), who was nominated three years ago for “Til It Happens to You.”
Its main competition is “All the Stars,” Kendrick Lamar’s duet with SZA for the “Black Panther” soundtrack, another top-10 hit but which — unlike “Shallow,” whose performance is central to “A Star Is Born” — is relegated to the end-credits roll of the Marvel film about an African prince-turned-superhero.
Songwriter’s POV: It’s a dialogue, says Gaga: “That conversation is what makes the song successful, and why people cry when they hear it. It’s because that man and woman connect, and they are listening to each other.”
Nominees (in order of likelihood of winning): Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper “Shallow”/Kendrick Lamar, SZA “All the Stars”/Jennifer Hudson “I’ll Fight”//Emily Blunt “The Place Where Lost Things Go”/Tim Blake Nelson and Willie Watson “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”
MTV CRIBS IS SET TO RETURN
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, MTV UK will be rebooting the cult classic show Cribs. The show will feature a run of eight episodes, set to air later this year. Episodes will be 30 minutes long, in keeping with the format of the original show.
MTV UK Vice President Kelly Bradshaw said: “With its firmly cemented status as a cult hit program, Cribs remains one of the most-loved shows in MTV history. The new series is set to be warm and funny, giving MTV audiences a sneak peak into how their favourite stars live.”
Guests for the MTV UK edition have yet to be revealed.
SOUNDCLOUD ROLLS OUT DIRECT DISTRIBUTION TO MAJOR STREAMING PLATFORMS
SoundCloud Pro users can now have their original music distributed to major streaming platforms.
Available as a public beta, the new tool automatically places tracks directly on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Instagram, Amazon Music and more, bypassing the need for third party distribution services. SoundCloud says that artists using the new feature “keep 100% of their rights, keep 100% of their distribution royalties from third-party services, and at no additional cost.”
Why is this important? Because it gives power to millions of artists worldwide who can distribute their music onto streaming platforms without having to go through traditional gatekeepers in the music industry. This latest move by SoundCloud continues to cement its position as a major player in the music industry. Some of the artists who owe their viral breakthrough to the platform include Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Peep, Post Malone and Billie Eilish.
A HIP-HOP MUSEUM SET TO OPEN IN THE BRONX
The Universal Hip-Hop Museum is being set up by chairman Kurtis Blow, alongside Director Rocky Bucano and Chairman of the Celebrity Board Chuck D. It will be run as “a space for audiences, artists, and technology to converge and create unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences,” according to a report by Forbes.
A number of items set to be displayed inside the museum will be donated, and included amongst them are handwritten lyrics by Tupac and Kurtis Blow’s gold plaque for his song ‘The Breaks’. There will also be thousands of vinyl and cassettes displayed, as well as turntables, a recording studio and video projections of graffiti.
Plans are now underway to open the museum, with work expected to finish by 2023. $20 million in funding has been secured, but another $60 million is required to see the project to completion.
CASSETTE TO DIGITAL CONVERTER AND PLAYER
This is the portable cassette player that preserves classic tapes by converting the songs into MP3s. It faithfully transfers a cassette to a digital audio file and lets you pause mid-recording to skip or select certain songs, turn the tape over, or swap out the cassette to make compilation recordings. The converted MP3s are automatically transferred onto a USB flash drive. Get it here.
Ed note: I have so many old tapes of band rehearsals and songwriting trials and now I can finally get them off the tapes and onto the cloud. Here’s hoping for a hidden gem amongst the hours of recording!
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash