Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] McLeod, Kembrew. "Confessions of an Intellectual (Property): Danger Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Sonny Bono, and My Long and Winding Path as a Copyright Activist-Academic." Popular Music and Society 28 (February 2005): 79-93.

The electronic collage aesthetic, which originated with musique concrète and tape works such as John Cage's Imaginary Landscape No. 5 and Bill Buchanan and Dickie Goodman's The Flying Saucer, finds its modern incarnation in Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, a mash-up of Jay-Z's The Black Album and The Beatles' White Album. The current mash-up phenomenon is made possible by file-sharing software and readily available mixing programs. The Grey Album presents a legal quagmire because the samples were used without permission of EMI, prompting cease-and-desist letters to all those who circulated the album. Current laws only permit covers of songs, and sampling without permission is prohibited. Until copyright laws catch up with the collage aesthetic, the limited legality of fair use rights has the potential to stifle creativity and the free exchange of ideas.

Works: Danger Mouse (Brian Burton): The Grey Album (79-81); Freelance Hellraiser (Roy Kerr): A Stroke of Genie-us (82, 86-87); Soulwax: Smells Like Teen Booty (82, 84); Alan Copeland: Mission: Impossible Theme/Norwegian Wood (85); Negativland: U2 (88); Illegal Art: Sonny Bono is Dead (91), Deconstructing Beck (91).

Sources: The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr): The White Album [The Beatles] (79-81); Jay-Z: The Black Album (79-81); Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic (songwriters), Nirvana (performers): Smells Like Teen Spirit (82, 84); Rob Fusair, Falonte Moore, and Beyoncé Knowles (songwriters), Destiny?s Child (performers): Bootylicious (82, 84); Eminem: Without Me (84-85); Kevin Rowland, Big Jim Paterson, and Billy Adams (songwriters), Dexy's Midnight Runners (performers): Come On Eileen (84-85); U2: I Still Haven?t Found What I?m Looking For (88).

Index Classifications: 1900s, 2000s, Popular

Contributed by: Amanda Sewell

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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