Within a day of the Youtube/PRS dispute breaking down Youtube began taking down ‘Premium’ videos from the site. We at Pop Junkie were dismayed to hear this, as the resource has proven to be one of the very best uses found for the internet; a chance to discover unseen footage from favourites or rediscover half-remembered stuff seen many moons ago, which you thought you’d never see again. Cue Stevie Wonder singing Superstition on Sesame Street. (Though in the 34 years between viewings, before I found this last year, my memory told me Big Bird was standing behind Stevie, with Bert, Ernie, Oscar and the like all gathered round the piano. Oh well!)
We understand what the deal is. Some chump comes along with a guitar and knocks out a decent tune, sometimes he or she drags some pals along, they cut a disc, we love it and so we buy it. With the cash that’s laid out all the palms of the middle men, ‘the company’ get greased and the chump and their cohorts eventually get their 5% or whatever. If they’re good they do it all over again. Hopefully we will like the next offering and repeat the purchasing process. Suddenly you/we are the fan and the chump is now a lauded superstar who can make ridiculous demands on their rider and buy a big house.
With Youtube clips, the bit where we hand over the cash is missing. The chump/artist shouldn’t be too bothered. Berks like me spending hours trawling for great clips should be fuelling their star, keeping their name alive. I shall be buying the new album, providing I can keep seeing the vids to remind myself why I liked them in the first place. The company are selling advertising so they can reimburse the artist and keep the status quo. Everyone should be happy.
But they’re not.
So ~ you know the story. Within a day I tried to watch The Clash’s Bankrobber, a song I can clearly recall hearing on John Peel for the first time way back in 1980. Haven’t got the record, I fancy hearing it again on this wonderful jukebox. Clang! ~ This video is not available in your country.
This is hardly ‘premium’ video. It’s a grainy 30-year-old film. We’re going back to the old days, 1979 was great in some respects but if some bozo fancied seeing a George Formby film he couldn’t. Not until BBC2 scheduled it on some Saturday afternoon when Gillingham were at home to Hartlepool. What do you do? A dilemma ~ but to miss the game is the only way you’re going to see George and his uke.
Do we wanna go back to those days? Of course not. We want to watch whatever we want whenever we want. WE WANT OUR CLASH BACK.
I mistakenly thought this wouldn’t apply to the sort of video I want to see, that it would only affect the modern corporate signed bands, that indie would be unaffected. here is a random list of bands that I have thus far come across with blocked songs.
Katy Perry ~ no surprise there. However, I persevered. The Official Music Video of Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl is available by watching the posting from KatyPerryOnline. First time I’ve heard it. Crap isn’t it? I can understand how it’s sold millions though. The res is awful on the vid. I suppose it’s meant to be like that, isn’t it?
The Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees Several songs came up as unavailable whilst researching this week’s posts.
Primal Scream ~ Country Girl unavailable. Can’t go Back, Some Velvet Morning available.
The Libertines ~ I Get Along (never heard this before – it’s really good. A bit like an English Dead Kennedys or a gormless version of the Buzzcocks. Bravo!). I’m having trouble finding what you might call ‘official videos’ however. Lots of home made clips/stills accompanying songs (like The Clash’s Bankrobber!). I’m all in favour of this. Guerilla video. ‘Video’ was what was rotten about music in the 80s. I shall rant about that another day. I like seeing the artist playing (or miming) in a studio or goofing about on a beach or in a field, ideally filmed on Super 8. As soon as the ‘the company’ get involved and the word ‘budget’ gets mentioned, it’s dead; soulless and lifeless.
The Mozmeister seems immune. Hurrah!
Here is proof that this is f***ed. Come on Youtube – get your finger out. When are you going to bloody TAKE DOWN ALL THE QUEEN VIDEOS. When I mentioned yesterday that I can’t stand Lovecats, I forgot to mention that I really bloody hate this. Now, apart from the fact I think Queen the most over rated band ever, I particularly hate this because whenever it came on the college jukebox, the class twerp would sing out loudly “I want to break WIND”. EVERY TIME. He thought it was hilarious every time. And believe me, this was played a lot.
Blur and Radiohead (both on Parlophone) seem unaffected. As are Portishead, Tricky, Arctic Monkeys, The Horrors, Kaiser Chiefs, Gossip, Spandau Ballet, Bowie, The Stones, Oasis, Supergrass, Boys Wonder, Pulp and Jarvis. All are still on Youtube.
The Kills ~ Good Ones and Wait available, Tape Song not. Michael Jackson’s Thriller is viewable, but Bad and Billie Jean are not.
My conclusion is that although a few vids have been removed, the process seems utterly random. Youtube hasn’t gone silent yet. Far from it.