mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

''til someone started screaming 'turn up the strobe'

"they said, 'tammy, stand by the jams'

the first time we heard this song, which was on the radio and driving in the car on route 128, we had to pull over. yes, that is the first lady of country, tammy wynette, and they got her not only to sing their twisted little song but to appear in the video with a wee tiara on.

extra points for having a ford galaxy involved.

the klf made a career out of taking the piss out of the music industry and copywrite laws at a time when sampling was just starting to have vast commercial success. they sarcastically sampled abba, who have since become notorious for guarding their publishing rights in the most vicious manner even though it could only benefit them monetarily and in terms of influence if they allowed more people to use portions of their work. having nothing better to do besides count money, abba took them to court over a record that might never have sold only a handful of copies had they not dragged it into the light.

while the sueing was going on ( all copies of the material in question eventually were ordered burned which only made it more desirable. but you can now download the entire album with abba bashing intact on the fabulous , mystical internets) , the klf sent swedish prostitutes with bags of money to abba's polar music headquarters in stockholm and therein lies the real mockery. sampling is usually, more often then not, not hatred nor disdain but admiration and even the klf realized there was a lot to admire about bjorn and benny kronerbags. that they recognized the greatness of tammy wynette, as the pet shop boys did with dusty springfield, only promoted these artists and sold them to a generation twice removed that might never have heard them at all.

the greater irony of all this wrangling over music rights- and there's no denying artists need to be compensated adequetly for their work (and abba are the third largest selling musical entity ever after the beatles and elvis. it's not like they were living in the streets of scandinavia pan handling for a living)- is that the oral traditions such artists usually borrow from heavily or start out playing as young musicians cannot be copywritten and it's purveyors, before recorded music came into being, and their heirs can never be compensated save in having this transmission of culture live on in the memories and music of others.

although the mass marketing of music makes it readily available and makes some of its artists incredibly wealthy ,it also sets us in danger of totally losing the real reasons for music. we have been debasing it as a true art form, one of the Muses, capital M, for several generations and have instead made it a plastic wrapped disposible commodity devoid of the trappings of identity and spirituality that are it's heritage and wellspring.

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