We didn't start the sell out fire

That’s it, I’m done. I’m sick of it. If one more ass hole tells me that [insert band X here] sold out when they made a CD that sold more than 8 copies I’m going to rip their ears off.

Musicians cannot sell out! They either go in a musical direction you don’t like or they make a business decision that you think is beneath them. There are no other options!

The point of being a musician is to one day, if the stars align and all that jazz, make a living just by making music.

If you continue to say someone has sold out then you must come to understand that you’re just a prententious fuckwad who needs to be reminded that if someone offered you ungodly sums of money to make music YOU WOULD TAKE IT and then sign the contract in blood just to make sure.

Sit down, shut up, and let me listen to music I like.

It’s got a good beat, and I can dance to it. I give it a ten.

Not for everyone. Plenty of musicians do it because they love music. For every rock star there are a million people who are just doing what they love in their own garage. Sure, a lot of them would love to make it big, but many are content just to play.

It’s nothing to me if a band wants to turn to crap just for money. But, I can say it sucks when they do it. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Metallica–how much fucking money do you guys need?)

You know that Metallica used a professional songwriter to touch up “Escape” (from Ride The Lightning) to make it more appealing to a wide audience?

Only 'cause they fired their last professional song writer, Dave Mustaine. :stuck_out_tongue:

Can we please say that Metallica sold out? Pretty please? They gave up any pretense of playing actual music on their last album? They even did a documentary of their therapy sessions. When the fuck did it become acceptable for a heavy metal band to get relationship counselling!?!

Then there’s Jewel. She went from fairly talented folk singer to Britney Spears-esque wannabe pop princess.

I think the term is overused, but there are acceptable circumstances where it fits.

What about Jewel’s folk music was in any way indicative of talent? The songs were boring, unoriginal, and conventional and her singing was less than ordinary. Just because she was popular doesn’t mean she was any good.

I liked her first album in the way back before she became convinced that she was the peoples poet. The songs were catchy and her voice was sweet. Not great, but good enough. MHO

If this were really the case, most of the music, especially rock, from the last 50 years would never have been made.

There are very few musicians (that anyone’s heard of, at least) that feel this way, comparatively speaking.

IMHO, “selling out” happens when you say you’re in it for the music and not the money, fame, etc, and then do something for the money, fame, etc.

If you are in it for the money (like KISS), just say so. You’ll get more respect that way (if you want it).

I get pretty sick of hearing “so-and-so sold out”, so I sympathize with the OP. But I do think it’s possible to sell out. If someone thinks pop music sucks and everyone who makes it is a loser, and then they start making pop music anyway just because they want to make money, then yeah, they sold out. But if they don’t really have any objection to pop music and they just wanted to try something new and maybe make a few bucks, I don’t see a problem with it. And as far as the act of someone making money alone meaning they’ve sold out, that’s stupid unless they had some moral objection to making money in the first place.

I recently read a message board where people were complaining about players at the World Series of Poker selling out by accepting corporate sponsorship. That’s just ridiculous – if anything, a poker player turning down easy money would be selling out.

My point is, you can’t sell out an ideal you don’t actually believe in.

And they are happy about eating dog food out of a can? If they can get paid, they do get paid. And they’ll get as much as they can. Musicians gotta eat and pay rent, too.

Some play music for a hobby. For others, it is a vocation. One that they love, I grant you. They expect to get paid for their work. Barry Bonds loves to play baseball, but his agent still asks for millions.

IMHO, if they go in a musical direction because of a purely business reason, and not an artistic decision, that is indeed selling out.

Whether I like this direction or not is inconsequential. Likely there’s a lot of music I like that falls under this category. It’s still selling out, though.

I know someone who is a DJ, and a very good one. He’s just released his first big single and it’s going to be huge.

3 years ago he was into electronica, now he’s into bigger bass sounds, basically funky house. He’s fantasic, but because he hasn’t chosen to stand still musically he could be accused of selling out. Bullshit. He’s as passionate about his music as ever, he’s just moved away from one sound to another, and it happens to be a sound more people like.

Metallica sold out when they started bitching about people sharing their music online.
This is because, and only because they became famous because of people bootlegging and trading tapes of their albums, back in the early days.

I’m in my fifties and have been an electric guitar player since 1966. You never heard of me becuase I never sold out !!! :smiley:
Anyway, my familiarity with Metallica’s music is marginal at best. From what songs I have heard, they sound like a “tight”, hard-rocking, talented group. Everyone I ever asked said they are very good and are well-respected musicians.
HOWEVER, I think the worst thing they ever did was to appear before Congress to talk about the “evils” of Napster and file-sharing. Okay, never mind what you or I feel about file-sharing and the whole Napster controversy. To me, appearing before Congress has to be the anti-thesis of the rock and roll mentality. Consider some classic lines from rock and roll:
“Who Do You Love” - Just turned 18 and I don’t mind dying.
“Talking About My Generation” - Hope I die before I get old.

I once read an explanation (forgot who wrote it) about why the Kingmen’s version of “Louie Louie” was such a rock and roll icon / anthem. The musicianship was average nor was it recorded well. But it was the song that conveyed the rock and roll attitude - that kind of punky, go to Hell, drop dead you asshole, don’t cross me, don’t give a shit mentality.

Somehow, testifying before Congress takes a shitload away from your rock and roll credibility.

Thank you.

Hope I Die Before I Get Old,


It is indeed possible to sell out.

“We Built This City on Rock and Roll.”

Prosecution rests, your honor.

“Summertime Blues” - I asked my congressman and he said, quote/ “I’d like to help you son but you’re too young to vote.”

Depending upon what you’re testifying about, I don’t think going before Congress automatically takes away “your rock and roll and roll credibility.” Granted, Metallica did come across like corporate tools when they testified against Napster. On the other hand, there were musicians like Frank Zappa who weren’t afraid to go before Congress during the mid 80’s and denounce the hearings on “dirty lyrics” as little more than political grandstanding and censorship in the guise of promoting family values.

I agree with NDP. I don’t see how testifing in front of Congress would automatically degrades rock and roll credibility. I also don’t see how testifing in front of Congress regarding the theft of music kills someones credibility either.

The thing that bothers me the most about the whole ‘Band X sold out’ crap is that, for the most part, it misses a big point. The point is that people grow. They expand, learn more, learn to express themselves better etc. There are some bands that have sold out, changed what they do just to make money, but most don’t.
And E-Sabbath, there is a very big difference between people trading bootlegs, which as far as I know Metallica still allows*, and downloading an almost perfect copy of a studio release. A very big difference.


*I checked on Metallicas site but couldn’t find out if they still set aside the ‘Tapers Section’ at live shows for people to record the shows.

The cry of ‘Band X sold out’ is almost as annoying as someone claiming they liked Band X before anyone else and all their new fans are just posers.

There’s another category of musician that’s somewhere between hobby and vocation. My uncle has a steady job to pay the bills and lets him have time to record his music. He usually performs and sells as many CDs as needed to afford to make the next one. If you asked him who he was, he’d say he was a musician (not a hobbiest) who works to support his true calling, profit and fame being fairly unimportant.

NDP and Sleestak
Yes, perhaps I should have explained myself better. Sleestak gave a good example of Frank Zappa’s Congressional appearance being one in which he was exposing the Congressional hearings as a sham, grandstanding, etc.

Metallica’s appearance before Congress was not one of defiance. It was almost the equivalent of a school kid running to the teacher to report somebody doing something against the rules. To me, it is *not *the epitomy of rock and roll style.

I’ll second and third and fourth that nomination for “We Built This City”. Not only was that a crappy song, it was used by some corporate giant in one of those ads they typically show on Sunday morning “Meet The Press” type shows. And if that wasn’t shitty enough, the words were changed to “We built this business”. (Darn - when is the SDMB going to get the vomit icon?)
Good pick Cervaise. Bravo.