Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

American Idol is Destroying The Music Industry

The initial premise of American Idol is long gone. It's not a simple singing competition anymore, it's a commercial sales contest, plain and simple. It pits winners against losers within each respective season and from season to season. It pits fan base against fan base for bragging rights. It's all about $$$$ baby! It's not about finding raw talent, a unique performer, the best musician, or even the best singer. It's about promoting who they want and who best fills the deep money grubbing pockets of the American Idol pigs (if you grew up in the 60s, you'll know the meaning of the word). Forget musical integrity. If it doesn't sell, they don't want you - even if you win the friggin' show.

Who are they looking for? Anyone who can imitate what's currently selling on the Top 40 or country charts. That's where the money is. It's about making puppets out of stary eyed still wet behind the ears singers - youngsters that won't give them any lip. They don't want performers who know who they are musically and have a musical vision. American Idol wants to MOLD YOU into their idea of a pop star.

It poors millions of dollars into promoting marginally talented unknowns and brainwashes the public into believing their choice (not the voting audience) is deserving of this musical golden spoon. Huh? Could America be so dumb and unaware to actually believe this crap? Don't answer that. I can't take the bad news.

You see, the real hardcore brainwashing really starts after each season ends. The comparisons in sales amongst the Top 10 continue on for years. You see, they want you to believe that more CDs you sell, the more talented you are. Yes, folks, it's all about CD sales - THE SOLE indicator of success and talent. *cough*. Contrary to current popular opinion, I think not. All this is an indicator of is the power of the payola to radio stations and the almighty advertising dollar. TPTB like you because they see dollar signs? You're in! They'll take you to the top, even if you're tone-deaf. You see, they get very nervous if the winner doesn't fit into the Top 40 mold. How will they make their money? Oye vey!

It's all very sad. You see, I lived through an era where musicians and singers were judged on their music, not how they could be manufactured and promoted based on their looks or marketability. They took their musical craft seriously and spent years and years refining it in small clubs earning their way up the latter of success. Nothing was handed to them. The legacy of these musicians are the standard by which all others look up to. The geniuses of the future won't be coming out of the American Idol machine, that I can assure you.

American Idol's philosophy is that you sell over 1 million copies of your album, you're great! You sell under 1 million, you suck! End of story. And heaven forbid a second, third, fourth or sixth place finisher outsells the winner. Holy cow! According the faithful non-thinking AI watchers, this could be a fate worse than death. I mean, come on, isn't it Clive Davis who shuffles out every year with his report card on how well his "kids" have done - how many CDs they've sold and how great they are because of it? The mutual ass-licking couldn't be more self-serving. Is he implying that the more CDs one sells, the more talented and deserving they are? Is he implying that America got it right, or wrong, in their choice for winner, depending on how commercially successful they are relative to everyone else? If the winner doesn't sell like losers, did we get it wrong? Do we not know what we like? It's all so confusing.

The fact of the matter is they choose to promote who they want and who they think is going to be their biggest money maker (regardless of their placement in the Top 10). Winning means nothing as it turns out. It's who can imitate what's already successful on the radio and put money in big daddy's pocket. These puppets, as I like to call them, are used and abused until they no longer serve their purpose. If you weren't their chosen one, then you're on your own. This show isn't really about finding uniquely talented individuals - real musicians, real songwriters or real pioneers. It's about finding people who can imitate the dreck that is already popular with the less than discerning music buyer.

American Idol is destroying the music industry. It's all very sad, but being the optomist I am, I know that people will come to their senses, eventually, and music will mean something again. Perhaps people like Season 5 winner, Taylor Hicks, will prove that being different and breaking the mold is something to strive for, not being a cow and following the herd.


Anonymous said...

After last season, I have given up on American Idol. If they don't support the winners, then what's the point in voting? Taylor Hicks deserves better.

Anonymous said...

Bravo, what a great blog...you have expressed all of my sentiments. After the bashing of Taylor Hicks, AI can go to h**l for all I care.

Anonymous said...

WOW, you hit the nail on the head. Taylor was the best thing that came out of that show and they treated him awful. Disrespected him every chance they got. Fixed it so he wouldn't have airplay etc. I hate that show after the way they treated him. Couldn't even introduce him on the finale. How can you get worse than that? They are nothing and I and millions of others have stopped watching because it is boring boring boring after season 5.

Anonymous said...

Thank God someone had the courage to express what so many feel !!! I am SO sick of the snide comments made by TPTB about artists selling more cd's in comparison to others.

We have many many wonderful singers who never have their sales numbers compared. Why does that oily snake CD have to keep making these comparisons so public when he knows he is cheating on every level regarding how 'some' artists are promoted and others are not GGGRRRRRRR this makes me SO mad!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great assessment and precisely on target. The show is a farce and Clive Davis needs to retire.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for saying what all the fansites are afraid to say. Why are they afraid to say it? Because they are AI profit makers. That is right...TOSP is up their ass. TMS is up their ass. Why? Because they get hits, new members, donations. It is all about the money. Looks like AI is not alone in their gluttany.