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641113 Posts in 25598 Topics by 3641 Members - Latest Member: MilkyWay December 14, 2018, 02:18:56 AM
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Author Topic: Recycling  (Read 1175 times)
Gabo
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« on: January 07, 2014, 07:22:46 PM »

Do you feel its acceptable for musicians to recycle their own material? Does it make you like or respect an album less when you know that some of the songs were written years before the others? Does it even matter?

I recently bought Lou Reed's 1975 album Coney Island Baby. One of its songs, "She's My Best Friend," is a rerecording of a song Lou wrote and recorded (but did not release) for The Velvet Underground six years before. While it fits in well on the album, its presence feels like the result of laziness rather than inspiration. I actually find it annoying that the song exists as both a VU and Lou Reed solo track.

I have similar thoughts about Brian's reuse of old Joe Thomas collaborations for TWGMTR. I would much rather hear where Brian was in 2012 than in 1998.

There is just something troubling about recycling.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 08:33:33 PM by Gabo » Logged
alf wiedersehen
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 08:48:23 PM »

I don't really mind recycling.

To be fair, the artist had to write whatever was recycled, so it's still their creation.
Besides, at that point, they pretty much have the right to do whatever they want with it.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 09:25:39 PM by Bubbly Waves » Logged
pixletwin
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 09:23:07 PM »

It used to bug me until I realized that all the great composers did it too, so why not?
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Loaf
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 04:14:53 AM »

it all depends.

If it's done well, then i don't mind. If not, then yes.

A good song is a good song.
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MaxL
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 07:13:20 AM »

I love it. A song is part of the artist's canon, regardless of when and under what name it was released. A lot of Neil Young's 70's albums did this and they feel stronger for it, more often than not. Absolutely nothing wrong with recycling, especially if the original was never released. Might as well turn it into something new than save it for a rainy day when you need a quick outtakes compilation to earn a few bucks.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 11:32:50 AM »

Mozart had a notebook he would write melodies in wherever he happened to be. When occasion arose that he needed one, he would go to his notebook often times. Nuttin' wrong wit dat.
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Aum Bop Diddit
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 05:49:12 PM »

Lou Reed went back many times to songs he wrote in his Velvet Underground days on his earlier solo LPs.   His first album in particular -- "I Can't Stand It," "Lisa Says'" Ride into the Sun," "Walk it and Talk It," "Wild Child," "I Love You," "Love Makes You Feel," and "Ocean" all harken back.  On "Berlin" -- "Oh Jim" and  "Caroline Says" as rewrites, also " Men of Good Fortune" and "Sad Song."  On "Transformer" You have "Andy's Chest," "Satellite of Love," "Good Night Ladies," and "New York Telephone Conversation."  "Rock and Roll Heart" has "Ladies Pay" and "Follow the Leader."  And finally on "Street Hassle" there is "Real Good Time Together."

I guess if your going to mine your past, the Velvet Underground is as good as it gets!
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Ron
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 09:27:25 PM »

Do you feel its acceptable for musicians to recycle their own material? Does it make you like or respect an album less when you know that some of the songs were written years before the others? Does it even matter?

I recently bought Lou Reed's 1975 album Coney Island Baby. One of its songs, "She's My Best Friend," is a rerecording of a song Lou wrote and recorded (but did not release) for The Velvet Underground six years before. While it fits in well on the album, its presence feels like the result of laziness rather than inspiration. I actually find it annoying that the song exists as both a VU and Lou Reed solo track.

I have similar thoughts about Brian's reuse of old Joe Thomas collaborations for TWGMTR. I would much rather hear where Brian was in 2012 than in 1998.

There is just something troubling about recycling.

Personally, i love it when they recycle songs.  I'm a businessman and have a lot of respect for businessmen.  I also appreciate the time and effort it takes to finally complete a song, find a place for it, and release it to the world.  I can see how some people could get offended by it,.... but my personal view of art and how an artist would think... I have a lot of respect for an artist who takes a song they did 30 years ago or whatever, and says "f***, i'm releasing this, because it's good enough to be released and I want to do something with it".  I really can appreciate that. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2018, 05:28:04 AM »

Recycling can be disappointing. When the artist uses songs written years back to the new album alongside the newly written songs, it can mean the past material is used to fill the gaps in the half-new album. I.e. they didn't care to spend significant time to write fully new album. They did overdubs, ofc, which takes time, sure, but it still isn't the same as writing songs from scratch.
That said, if you listen & like the album with recycled songs, you may disregard that fact & enjoy the listening. Many people, many views.
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2018, 06:40:40 AM »

I think it's worth keeping in mind that we're considering a world in which we have access to the artist's original (draft) versions and so we know what is being recycled. That's only true in the modern world where we get boots and the artist sticks around long enough for those to circulate. But in reality, without the booting of material, we'd usually have no idea what is recycled and what isn't. So at that point it's a whole different conversation: perceived quality of the released material in its released context only. If what turns out to be recycled is worse, we'd dislike it; and vice versa.

The only time I have a real problem with it is if we broaden the definition of recycling and rather than talk about saving songs for a rainy day, instead talk about artists reusing ideas and general aesthetics of music they have already released. Like "Song X did well, so we'll write Song X+1," which is a blatant self-ripoff. That's dull. But if Song X was written and not released, why not release it when the time seems right?

Would we rather never have the songs released?

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