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The W - Music - Danger Mouse Presents: THE GREY ALBUM
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
http://djdangermouse.com

In November of 2003 Jay-Z released 'The Black Album'....

Now, Producer and DJ - Danger Mouse, Presents....

' THE GREY ALBUM '
The Grey Album is an art project/experiment that uses the full vocal content of Jay-Z's Black Album recorded over new beats and production made using the Beatles White Album as the sole source material.

Danger Mouse insists he can explain and prove that all the music on the Grey Album can be traced back to the White Album and its musical content via sampling. Every kick, snare, and chord is taken from the Beatles White Album and is in their original recording somwhere.


Needless to say, EMI Music Distribution was not amused...

More: http://downhillbattle.org/
http://greytuesday.org/
http://news.google.com/news?q=grey+tuesday


CRZ
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Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
I grabbed the album a few hours ago. I'm not really a Jay-Z fan, but I've liked what I heard.




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Since: 3.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.62
    Originally posted by CRZ
    Every kick, snare, and chord is taken from the Beatles White Album and is in their original recording somwhere.

    Needless to say, EMI Music Distribution was not amused...



OK, I read the page the W links to and I read this, but I still don't understand the point here. The guy admits he used the whole Beatles album, EMI is understandably pissed and the protest is for what?
Oliver
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
    Originally posted by Merc
      Originally posted by CRZ
      Every kick, snare, and chord is taken from the Beatles White Album and is in their original recording somwhere.

      Needless to say, EMI Music Distribution was not amused...



    OK, I read the page the W links to and I read this, but I still don't understand the point here. The guy admits he used the whole Beatles album, EMI is understandably pissed and the protest is for what?
In retrospect, how hard would it have been to have gone to the remaining Beatles to ask their permission to use their work to create this new project?

In retrospect, it's a win win situation, it would certainly expose new (and younger listeners) to musical legends.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.23
"In retrospect, how hard would it have been to have gone to the remaining Beatles to ask their permission to use their work to create this new project?"

Very very very hard. IIRC, The Beatles refuse to release rights for their music to any TV/film companies, so you can imagine how they'd feel about having their songs fucked about with.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
Doesn't Michael Jackson own the rights to the Beatles' stuff?



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Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.34
McCartney has actually given his permission to artists for remixing or sampling purposes before. He asked the Super Furry Animals remix some non-released Beatles noise for the Liverpool Sound Collage. Not quite the same thing, but hey.

Maybe more relevant (not from the EMI/lawsuit aspect, but from whether they've allowed people to sample their own music), he gave Knoc-Turn'Al permission to sample Old Siam Sir from Wings' Back To the Egg about a year or two ago for a song. I remember the song, Muzik (and the Old Siam Sir guitar, in particular), getting used in the ads for that short lived "Platinum" series on UPN.
Dustin
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Since: 4.6.02
From: Pratt, Kansas

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.80
Fuck! Is the end near or what?

I so fucking hate 'sampling'. Why do it? Because you want vintage sounds? How hard is it to record your own kicks, snare hits, and chords,(slap some EQ on it) then sample that shit?

I suppose that I wouldn't give half a crap about this if the guy had the permission to use their material for his "art project/experiment", but he didn't. He's going to make money of off The Beatles name and sounds.

I think the entire music industry is in serious need of revamping if shit like this is allowed.

Who the fuck OK'd that cover. This is a blatant lack of respect, folks.
InVerse
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Since: 26.8.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
I'm probably one of the most liberal people on this board and I have a deep seated hatred of the mainstream recording industry's legal, business and political bullshit, but even I have to side with EMI on this one. The guy has no right to use the music, there are legal precedents forbidding what he did, yet he tries to turn a profit from it?

I particularly like this sentence from the greytuesday.org site: "This first-of-its-kind protest signals a refusal to let major label lawyers control what musicians can create and what the public can hear." I'm pretty sure when you steal 100% of your content, you didn't create a damn thing. How is taking something you have no right to and selling it for personal gain somehow not considered stealing when it comes to music? This reeks of nothing more than a bunch of whiny brats looking to strike out against everything a corporation does, regardless of the legitimacy of the act.

I'm curious to hear CRZ's personal justification of supporting this, however. He can't possibly be against censorship, based on the fact that he perpetrates it nearly every day on this board. Nor am I debating his right to do so, he owns the board. But EMI owns the music stolen by Danger Mouse, so they have the right to do with it as they will. So what's the reason for making the site run so godawfully slow that I had to disable the shitty javascript in order to type more than a tenth of my regular typing speed?
T.i.O a B.m.F
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Since: 25.10.03
From: T.i.O in U.s.A

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
Now everyone knows Im not a supporter of CRZ, but I actually support this decision. Its spices things up and its cool this board is taking part in something I wouldn't even of heard of. Im all for music piracy, musicians get enough god damn money and this is just a mixtape, not a retail album.

As for the music....its different. Im a fan of both the Beatles and Jay-Z and some mixes work and others dont. The "What More Can I Say" track is really good. Im all for people trying new things with music so I support this. I think CRZ should involve this board in more things and have more "special events".



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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by InVerse
    I'm curious to hear CRZ's personal justification of supporting this, however. He can't possibly be against censorship, based on the fact that he perpetrates it nearly every day on this board. Nor am I debating his right to do so, he owns the board. But EMI owns the music stolen by Danger Mouse, so they have the right to do with it as they will. So what's the reason for making the site run so godawfully slow that I had to disable the shitty javascript in order to type more than a tenth of my regular typing speed?
I'm a big fan of samples and sampled music, plunderphonics, mashups, and other assorted "illegal" work with all sorts of trendy genre names. I have an original LP of the JAMS' "1987." (positivevoid.co.uk) Between us, Kim and I have as many of John Oswald's (plunderphonics.com) releases as we could get our hands on (and have downloaded the rest). I really enjoy what guys like dsico (4trak.net) do putting two (or more) songs together to create a new one. Negativland (negativland.com) were creating aural soundscapes for over a DECADE even BEFORE their notorious "U2" single...and over a decade later, they still are. There are countless other examples. Are ALL these people so concerned about turning profit? Or could some of them be creative people who want to share what they are creating without fear of getting their asses sued off?

While I believe in copyright, I also believe in fair use...and I believe the distinction between them lies far, far off from where the RIAA and big five labels think it is.

Besides, have you listened to it? It sounds COOL. (my own damn opinion)

Illegal Art (illegal-art.org) is understandably swamped and unresponsive today, but check back with them after the hubbub dies down a bit if you'd like to learn more...they have a lot of interesting things for you to...sample. ;-)


(edited by CRZ on 24.2.04 1145)

CRZ
InVerse
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Since: 26.8.02

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.05
There are plenty of ways to get your music widely distributed cheaply without resorting to selling it in retail stores (or selling it at all.) If the album was simply being distributed for free and EMI was trying to shut that down, I'd be more inclined to support it. I can't blame them for trying to prevent people from profiting off their properties, however.

I'm in the process of remixing (so to speak) the novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird', but there's no way I'd ever seek to sell the final product when I finish. It will be distributed freely on the Internet and a few printed copies will be limitedly distributed (again freely.) If I were to offer the book for sale, however, I'd not only fully expect to be sued by Little Brown & Company (the publisher.) In addition, I'm also attempting to secure permission from Harper Lee to release the work. If it were to offend her, for whatever reason, I'd scrap the project immediately.

Even if Danger Mouse hadn't obtained legal permission from the label but had obtained the blessing of the artists themselves, I wouldn't be against it. No matter how good the music may be, to use someone's work without their permission is completely disrespectful. Look at Weird Al Yankovich, he's fully allowed to parody whoever he wants by law, but he still refuses to release a song unless the original artist has granted him permission, out of respect for the artist.

It shouldn't be all about profit, but it should be about respect, not only for the art itself but for the artist as well. To a lot of artists, using their work without permission is tantamount to fucking their wife behind their back. Whether you agree with it or not, if you respect the artist then you should respect their wishes in regards to their art.
Toast Jr
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Since: 30.1.03
From: Stafford Springs, CT

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.00
More food for thought:

http://www.lessig.org/blog/

The musing of a lawyer who understands the laws and it implications and gives a pretty good idea of the views of each side.
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.05
I too have to side with EMI, and I think I would even if the album was given away for free. Say that EMI wanted to do a similar remix. Now they can't because some other yahoo's already done it (or it at least reduces the marketability of such a remix). It would be even worse if some yahoo was giving it away from free (which I guess is being done today). Shouldn't the owners of the rights to this music be the ones whom profit from this, not somebody who just ripped it off? It's not like this type of music can't be made, it's just that you have to go through the proper channels to get the proper permission to use things that you don't own. (whether or not the makers of this 'new' music want to turn a profit or not is irrelevant, they are still using something they don't own) I'm not sure it's fair to say that 'fair use' should extend to all remixing of old music.

I am surprised at CRZ's stance on this, considering the view of this site about ROM's. Of course, the crust of his argument is pretty much 'This is stuff that I like, so it should be made OK', so maybe it just boils down to that.



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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65
    Originally posted by ges7184
    I am surprised at CRZ's stance on this, considering the view of this site about ROM's.
The "views of this site about ROMs" aren't mine; they're my brother's. And I'm not even sure they're his views so much as his paranoia that people would be out to get us if they DID get any sizable volume of discussion. But I shouldn't speak for him. ;-)

(I should add that that's pretty much the reason you can't download the album here - I would have no problems hosting it here, but I didn't because I had a feeling Guru might have gotten heartburn or something)

(edited by CRZ on 24.2.04 1356)


CRZ
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Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.50
I really doubt this protest would have had the legs it had (nor would the labels make such a huge deal out of it) were The Beatles not involved. Browsing several dozen of the websites that are doing this Grey Tuesday thing, I've found no less than six different remix versions of this album available. That was the whole reason Jay-Z released an acappella version in the first place. Yet somehow, I see no beef with those versions. Why's this one so different?

Should the DJ have asked for permission in the first place? Sure. But once again, the music label overreacted to something and caused a bigger headache in the process. I would have never heard about this project were it not for this website, which was part of this large protest, which was a result of EMI overreacting to a guy making a mixtape.

If anybody should be upset over this, it's Jay-Z, because THIS version of The Black Album is MILES better than his version.



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Ruby Trax
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Since: 10.12.01
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.25
For anyone who considers this to be a worthless exercise that has no place in the canon of the aesthetic zeitgeist (or something), I urge you to take into consideration the cultural climate of the early 20th century, when movies and photographs were considered to hold no artistic worth by elite arbiters of taste and beauty.

The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object. One might subsume the eliminated element in the term "aura" and go on to say: that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art. This is a symptomatic process whose significance points beyond the realm of art. One might generalize by saying: the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced. These two processes lead to a tremendous shattering of tradition which is the obverse of the contemporary crisis and renewal of mankind. -- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin (1937)

More food for thought, if you prefer something short and to the point (and with fewer words), though its intent was, assumedly, more deliberately destructive to the "aura" of its source material than the Danger Mouse album:

L.H.O.O.Q. by Marcel Duchamp (1919)

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would say I'm disrespecting Duchamp by comparing his achievements to bootleg remixes, but that adds more layers upon layers of layers and it's like I'm sayin'.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95

    Originally posted by InVerse
    I'm in the process of remixing (so to speak) the novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird', but there's no way I'd ever seek to sell the final product when I finish. It will be distributed freely on the Internet and a few printed copies will be limitedly distributed (again freely.) If I were to offer the book for sale, however, I'd not only fully expect to be sued by Little Brown & Company (the publisher.)
I was under the impression that Danger Mouse put "The Grey Album" together for the same reasons you want to "remix" TKIM, but it got into the hands of others who decided to make copies of it and sell it. Is this not the case?

If so, we should all probably stop calling DM a thief.

If not, my bad.



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Since: 27.2.03
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.50
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
    I was under the impression that Danger Mouse put "The Grey Album" together for the same reasons you want to "remix" TKIM, but it got into the hands of others who decided to make copies of it and sell it. Is this not the case?

    If so, we should all probably stop calling DM a thief.

    If not, my bad.


I was reading something that said he made the original run of 3,000 as "limited edition promotional copies". The "promotional" part of that leads me to believe that he never intended to sell the album. And I haven't seen anything that says different.

And on a tangent, I wonder if Danger Mouse has run into any trademark issues over his name?



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Since: 17.3.02
From: Queidersbach

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
I one-hundred percent absolutely agree with everything that was said by Bitchfactor. What can I say, the stars aligned properly. The problem lies in the assumption that DM attempted to produce this album with the intent to sell it in your local FYE, Best Buy, Tower, etc... I seriously doubt that is the case. The nature of a mixtape is that it is sold on street corners for around five dollars or given out for free. Pressing 3000 originals to give out to people in order to get his name out there is completely different than if he went mainstream with this album. Unfortunately, EMI didn't see the difference. So Inverse, before you throw stones, check to see what material your house is made of.

Dustin sez:
Fuck! Is the end near or what?
I so fucking hate 'sampling'. Why do it? Because you want vintage sounds? How hard is it to record your own kicks, snare hits, and chords,(slap some EQ on it) then sample that shit?
I suppose that I wouldn't give half a crap about this if the guy had the permission to use their material for his "art project/experiment", but he didn't. He's going to make money of off The Beatles name and sounds.
I think the entire music industry is in serious need of revamping if shit like this is allowed.
Who the fuck OK'd that cover. This is a blatant lack of respect, folks.

Calm down there Chicken Little, the sky has yet to fall. Why did you put sampling in quotes? That is what it's called, right? And from my experience as a listener to and creator of music, not all DJ's sample in order to have vintage sounds. And you're right. It's not hard to record your own kicks, snare hits, and cords; slap some EQ on it and sample your own material. And since it isn't all that difficult, I anxiously await your debut album.
As has been said before, I don't think that DM is going to make a mint on the name and sounds of The Beatles. Not all artists create their artwork with only profit in mind. Some create it because they think it's good. Some create because they like it and feel that they have something to offer the genre. Most importantly, it's an expression of themselves.
The music industry needed serious revamping before "shit like this" was allowed. But I'm glad we agree.
As far as the album cover goes, is it a blatant lack of respect because it's a caricature of a black man with big lips, a wide nose and an elongated forehead? Or are you just pissed that the white guys are standing behind the black guy?



"What you don't understand, you can make mean anything."
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/28/AR2009092803839.html Lucy Vodden, 46, who provided the inspiration for the Beatles' classic song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," has died after a long battle with lupus. ...
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