No. 1 with a Bullet: Blast from the past
The music that we listen to today would not exist without the artists that came before us. I mean it actually wouldn’t exist.
There are so many songs on the radio that use samples. If you’re unfamiliar with what sampling is, it’s basically when you take a part of someone else’s song and put it in your own (Girl Talk and DJ Earworm would be extreme examples of this.)
Some of the most mainstream examples of sampling can be found in Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” (using Etta James’s “Something’s Got A Hold Of Me”) and “Right Round” (using Dead Or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round”), Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say” (using Imogen Heap’s “Hide And Seek”), and Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” (using Modest Mouse’s “Float On”).
To have samples like these in your songs, you have to be really persuasive.
And by really persuasive, I mean you have to have a lot of money. People like Girl Talk don’t pay royalties on the samples they use because they are purely rearranging those samples and not creating any original content in the new song, which is a really tricky viewpoint to defend. Otherwise, you must pay either a flat rate to the original artist, a royalty fee to give them a certain portion of each sale of your newly created song, or a combination of both.
Since it can take so much money to get a sample in a song, imagine how a show like “Glee,” which releases an insane amount of cover songs, can afford to do what they do.
I honestly don’t know what their budget is, but in a 2010 interview on Vulture.com with “Glee’s” executive music producer, Adam Anders, he said, “To get a Journey song licensed for a soap commercial, it’s going to cost $1 million. So if they want to be a part of us, they have to work with us.”
If Journey receives less money to be in “Glee” than it does in a commercial, why would they do it?
Well, according to Anders in a separate 2010 article in Time Magazine, Journey received an 87 percent increase in sales after “Don’t Stop Believin’” was covered.
Covers don’t always guarantee sales increases, though. Did you know that “It’s My Life” by No Doubt and “1985” by Bowling For Soup are not original songs? Yeah, me neither. “It’s My Life” was originally released by British band Talk Talk in 1984, and “1985” was originally performed by SR-71 in 2004.
You learn something new every day.