I was reading the Herald Sun today and came across an article that was talking about how many gyms are now playing cover versions of popular songs for their classes because top pop stars are demanding the gyms pay them much more in royalties than they are now. What really took my eye was the list of horrible songs that the gym junkies listen to. PINK, Rogue Traders, Kylie and Kelly Clarkson are among the atrocities that regularly get played during work outs. I may be a fatty but at least I have taste in music. I must assure everyone that as I continue to lose weight (12 kilos in 12 months) that I am doing so by not stepping into a gym, but instead blasting my brain with Black Sabbath and AC/DC as I walk everywhere.
One thing that really confused me with the article was a quote by the Rogue Traders’ James Ash… “Increasingly in today’s gloomy world of shrinking record sales, artists rely on royalties on the performance of their music more than ever…” This makes me wonder how much of Rogue Traders’ royalties for the song Voodoo Child go to Elvis Costello, as this song samples (plagiarise?) the riff to Costello’s hit song Pump It Up. The only thing original with Voodoo Child is the caterwauling of singer Natalie Basingthwaite as she screeches such compelling lyrics as “Baby, baby, baby / you are my voodoo child / my voodoo child”. Even the title isn’t original as any Jimi Hendrix fan would attest.
Sorry for the rant but I really hate “artists” who have hit songs by sampling the work of others. Kanye West has made an entire career from doing this whilst last year Kid Rock set a new low when his song All Summer Long sampled both Warren Zevon’s Werewolves Of London and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama. Inexplicably this travesty hit the number one spot on the Australian music charts. In their glittering career the Rogue Traders have sampled not just Elvis Costello but also the Knack, Tears For Fears and INXS.