I was listening to Pacific Coast Hellway the other day, and a mash-up album called “American Edit” by Dean Gray (get it?) was mentioned. This collection of songs are from Green Day’s “American Idiot” mashed up with various songs which some people think influenced the original tracks.
Seems the record companies noticed it real quick and issued a C&D within two weeks or so. It’s still available by various (probably illegal) means, and I got a hold of a copy.
Ok. I know that some people aren’t into mash-ups. Some people think they’re novelties, etc. There are some I really like, including the mash-up album “The Grey Album” by DJ Danger Mouse. That’s really beside the point, though.
This is a genuine art form. As far as I can tell, it’s been almost entirely non-commercial. No one is making money off this stuff. Some of them are amazing, and I was really impressed by “American Edit”. So impressed, in fact, that I plan on buying Green Day’s “American Idiot” as soon as I can afford it. And I haven’t bought a Green Day album since “Dookie”, which was released in… 1994? 1995? About ten years, anyway.
These record companies just don’t get it. Not only are they killing off potential revenue streams (listeners may be inspired to buy the original tracks, like me; or maybe the damn labels can just sell the mashups themselves), but they are suppressing non-commercial artists engaging in genuinely interesting art. I know there’s damn legal issues, but this really seems like an example of this IP crap being taken farther than it ever should.
Hell, even Billie Joe Armstrong apparently heard one of the mashed-up songs on the radio and liked it.
I hear that on December 11, something big is going down, if you don’t know how to get the album yourself.
I’ve definitely got strong feelings on this matter, since I’ve had to practice self-restraint (not to mention I’ve annoyed the hell out of the other Craners) when it comes to our skits. Again, I know there’s legal and ethical issues, but I’m very uncomfortable with the extreme control record companies exercise over their music. The last few skits we’ve done have been genuinely Creative Commons-licensed (it worked out very well for Lagayna Beach, in fact), but every time we do a skit, at least one of us really really wants to put this or that commercial song in.