Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Meyers, John Paul. “The Beatles in Buenos Aires, Muse in Mexico City: Tribute Bands and the Global Consumption of Rock Music.” Ethnomusicology Forum 24 (December 2015): 329–48.

Increasing globalization in the popular music industry, especially with the ease of distributing music recordings, sometimes creates a demand for particular performers in parts of the world they do not directly interact with. In Latin America—Mexico and Argentina in particular—this demand for American and English rock music has led to a thriving culture of tribute bands. These bands serve an important role in Latin American consumption of Anglophone popular music as substitutes or surrogates for the original artist, satisfying the demand for live performances from groups that rarely or never perform in that region. This occurs both with bands that no longer exist, like The Beatles, and with contemporary bands that rarely, if ever, tour Latin American, such as Muse. Attending a tribute band concert provides a way for fans of a particular band to participate in a recreation of an “authentic” live concert, a significant aspect of band–fan interaction.

Tribute bands differ from cover bands in that they perform the music and extra-musical affect of a single band, rather than just performing existing music. This means that tribute bands for Anglophone bands sing in English, even to a Spanish speaking audience. Another difference is that tribute bands often rework recorded music into live performance, which distinguishes them from live performances by the original band. Beatles tribute bands are especially relevant to this point by performing studio albums like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and recorded performances like The Beatles’s Ed Sullivan appearance live. This transformation of a music recording to a live performance is distinct from a band performing its own music in concert. Tribute bands create a live performance proxy for a recorded sound object.

Works: Horus: The Resistance (as recorded by Muse) (334); The Shouts: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (as recorded by The Beatles) (341), All My Loving (as performed by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show) (341); Dios Salve a La Reina: Somebody to Love, I Want to Break Free, and Crazy Little Thing Called Love (as recorded by Queen) (341-43).

Sources: Muse: The Resistance (334); The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (341), All My Loving (on The Ed Sullivan Show) (341); Queen: Somebody to Love (341-43), I Want to Break Free (341-43), Crazy Little Thing Called Love (341-43).

Index Classifications: 2000s, Popular

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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