3. Cover versions
The world of cover versions, homages, and tributes to musical heroes has certainly got harder to navigate in the light of this decision. On my last album, “Wonderful Frequency Band”
, I’d actually created my own adaptation of “Got To Give It Up”
. The contrast to “Blurred Lines” could not have been bigger: my typical sound, electronic, funky - I could never do battle with Marvin
’s original irresistible groove - plus real background vocals, guitars and basses from other friend musicians, plus a highly faithful German translation of those wonderful coming-of-age-in-the-disco lyrics, which I’ve always identified with.
But sadly in this new atmosphere, the US publisher of Gaye
’s work said “No” and we had to stop the album’s production mid-way, as of course they hadn’t exactly replied quickly to our request for approval. Finally, “Unaufmerksamsblindheit” found its way on to the album instead. Not too shabby itself. I guess that this stark refusal - „Please back away from any reinterpretation of „Got To Give It Up““– was caused by the early manoeuvres of the Thicke/Pharrell lawsuit. They simply wanted to avoid more terror caused by “Got To Give It Up”. (Although quite how that talented Austrian Parov Stellar made it past the publishing-police with his dance track „Keep On Dancing“, based an entire vocal sample of Marvin’s „Got To Give It Up“, I will never understand, but there you go).
My own version will now not see the light of day, hardly the end of the world, but it’s not how I planned it. Apparently copyrighted feelings get hurt rather easily.
Collages by Sarah Szczesny
Translation: Thomas Venker & Alexander Festival Hall
Kaput - Magazin für Insolvenz & Pop
is published bi-lingual in German and English and dedicated to video-portraits, artist talks, road stories and debating reviews. Besides Justus Köhncke
, artists like John Stanier
, Philip Sollmann
(Efdemin) and Claus Richter
write for the magazine.