2015

Blurred Lines vs. Marvin Gaye’s Estate

Blurred Lines vs. Marvin Gaye's Estate

How the Marvin Gaye estate won a copyright infringement lawsuit based off music production influenced by an old Marvin Gaye is beyond me.

The song in question is the smash hit of 2013, “Blurred Lines”, written by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. The Gaye estate claimed that he ripped off Marvin’s song “Give it Up”, but the two songs are clearly different. I guarantee you that this never goes to court if “Blurred Lines” wasn’t such a huge success. Sure, there are a lot of similarities in the production, but you could say that about a lot of songs out there. There are only so many ways you can flip notes. You only get 7. And the melody is completely different! That should be the only determining factor.

It’s horrible for music and makes me wary of the future. It could start an avalanche of  misguided lawsuits. You could start picking apart a ton of songs that have similar production influences off older songs. The first song that comes to mind is the Bruno Mars song “Locked out of Heaven”. It’s HEAVILY influenced by The Police. Everyone knows this. But it’s a DIFFERENT song, as it has a different melody.

I’m hoping the only reason the jury got this wrong was because they weren’t allowed to hear the two songs side by side and compare. I guarantee you if you had a couple of musicians as jurors on there, there is no way Robin Thicke and Pharrell lose this lawsuit.

Below is a  link that plays the songs side by side. You be the judge

Music Predictions for 2015

Music Predictions for 2015
– Hip hip will further decline. Every year it’s gotten a little worse. Drake and Iggy Azalea somehow bucked the trend. If it wasn’t for producer DJ Mustard carving out his signature pop / hip hop sound, it would all but be dead in the mainstream.

It just got stale. Nobody is coming up with anything innovative except for Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. Everybody sounds like everybody else and it became a caricature of itself. Hip hop had a great reign. A 20 year dominance. But music for better or worse, is always evolving and if you don’t evolve the sound, it will die a cold death. Hip hop has done itself in the same way 80’s hair bands did. It’s a niche sound now. Never take your audience for granted.

– Major labels will continue to dominate the airwaves of top 40 radio. It’s just too hard to break through radio without some kind of behind the scenes marketing support. All the labels have the relationships with the radio programmers. It’s politics. Plain and simple. Major labels still hold the keys to the radio airwaves and it’s not gonna change anytime soon.

– Rita Ora is going to be the breakout artist of the year. She’s already technically a “celebrity”, but mainly in the UK. This year she becomes a household name. She has an album coming out this year that I hear is amazing. A role in the upcoming movie 50 Shades of Grey that every woman in America will probably go see while they drag their husbands along with. Plus, she has the same brilliant management team that helped break Iggy Azelea and Lana Del Rey. It’s the perfect storm. 2015 is the year of Rita Ora

-Spotify will get heavy streaming competition. Look to see new upstarts try to knock Spotify off it’s throne. Youtube already is the place everyone goes to hear a song quickly. But it’s making it’s own fully streaming service just like Spotify. Will be interesting. One thing is for sure, streaming only becomes a more dominant form of the way we listen to new music.

-The concert business will only get stronger. The economy is better. It’s the best way to experience music. And now, it’s really the only guaranteed money for artists anymore. It’s their bread and butter. So they have to tour now more than ever. Madonna was music’s top money maker in 2013 earning 34 million dollars. 32 million was just from her tour. That left 2 million just for all record sales. It’s a sad truth.