In watching a few commercials over the weekend, two music background drops jumped out at me.
First of all, I think I heard a Rolling Stones song in a commercial for the first time, ever. It was a cover version of “Sympathy for the Devil” for what I think was a car commercial. (A heavy cover version of the song. Sounded pretty good, actually).
Made me think, “Well, I guess the Stones don’t have enough hundreds of millions of dollars individually, so might as well sell portions of their catalog for another few million.”
There used to be a loss of street cred for artists who “sold out” and allowed their music to be used in commercials. But I don’t think it carries the same stigma that it used to. And it’s become an effective way for bands to get their music heard by the masses (google search interviews with John Mellencamp about this topic. After selling a song for a car commercial, he said, “it turns out that General Motors is a better record company than Columbia or MCA.”)
[He simply said he wanted people to be aware that he had a new song out, a new album, and he had no faith in the record company promoting his work, and no faith that his new songs would get airplay. He lamented that Tom Petty had released what John thought was a great album one year earlier, but no one knew anything about the album because old acts weren’t getting any airplay.]
So the Stones, 50-plus years into their career, have “sold out.” Some would say they’ve been selling out, in more ways than one, for more than 40 years. Dabbling in disco probably disappointed their fanbase in the late ’70s.
I don’t think “cred” is anything Mick Jagger and the guys are worried about at this point. And I guess I don’t care one way or another.
On the other side of the coin, I’m sure some of you have heard of a new blues/hard rock band from Frankenmuth called Greta Van Fleet. They are young guys, early 20s, and they sound like early Led Zeppelin. Almost exactly like Led Zeppelin.
This sound has given them an instant following with older rock fans who have precious, precious few new bands to listen to, because that genre of music has become an endangered species. So Greta Van Fleet is a wonderful breath of fresh air for tons of older fans, and I’m assuming that at least a few younger fans are appreciating them to.
So this past weekend, I noticed a commercial for Fanatics.com sports apparel, and in the background is Greta Van Fleet’s song, “Highway tune.”
So it struck me that here’s one band, the Rolling Stones, 50-plus years into their career, one of the top two most famous bands ever, and they are just now “selling out.”
And here is the apparent torch bearer of blues/rock, brand new Greta Van Fleet, “selling out” with basically their first or second song.
I thought it was interesting and ironic.
Feel free to disagree or challenge anything that I posted, because I’m by no means an expert on music. I just call ’em as I see ’em.