Posts Tagged ‘David Bowie’

JanelleMonae_Heroes

Pepsi has partnered with Janelle Monae for a new global campaign that celebrates “music and football” entitled NOW. For her creative part, Monae has redone David Bowie’s “Heroes.” The song will be broadcast to nearly 100 countries along with shorts, a TV commercial and the interactive film Now Is What You make It, featuring football stars like Leo Messi.

“I love everything the film stands for. To me, it is all about that extraordinary burst of courage and passion which can embolden everyday people in a moment of spontaneity, which is also the message of David Bowie’s venerable song,” Monáe told BeatsBoxingMayhem in a prepared statement. “I was honored to join Pepsi for this campaign and remind people who now more than ever, we can all be heroes.”

Monae’s “Heroes” can be purchased HERE. You can compare her rendition to Bowie’s original below.

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Kanye West remains defiant in the face of what he deems as cultural hypocrisy and creative censorship regarding the decision of retail outlets to ban his new album cover.

Retail chains such as Walmart advised they would not sell the album due to the album using the painted image of a fanged phoenix/human hybrid straddling a shirtless, warped version of Kanye West.

The surreal image ties into the album title, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West counters that such album cover images were a staple of  rock artists during the 1970s. Over 30 years later, he questions why society has become more restrictive of musical expression.

“In the 70s album covers had actual nudity. It’s so funny that people forget that. Everything has been so commercialized now,” Kanye wrote on Twitter. “In all honesty … I really don’t be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug! I wanna sell albums but not at the expense of my true creativity.”

For a specific example, Kanye West noted the cover of Nirvana seminal 1991 sophomore album Nevermind, which depicted a naked newborn child swimming underwater. The cover has become iconic in music and sold over 10 million copies.

“So Nirvana can have a naked human being on they cover but I can’t have a painting of a monster with no arms and a polka dot tail and wings?” Kanye asked rhetorically.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is scheduled for release on November 22.

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Very good argument from Mr. West. A lot of album covers from the 70s were very over the top (mainly because nearly every artist was high back then). But Kanye should also realize he’s simply the latest in a long list of artists who’ve come under controversy for provocative album covers.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono appeared naked on the cover for Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins. That album was banned in several areas before retailers compromised by wrapping the album before displaying it. Walmart initially pulled the “offensive” card on Nevermind‘s cover, too. But because it was such a blockbuster seller, the label began placing stickers over the baby’s genitals. And even on their next LP, In Utero, the band again had to fight with Walmart after concerns were raised about the back cover having painted depictions of fetuses and scattered body parts.

The closest comparison to ‘Ye’s cover would be David Bowie’s Diamond Dog, which has the singer drawn on the cover with two hybrid, female dogs/humans. The issue was that you could see the genitals of the hybrid creature on the right. To quell the controversy, the label decided to airbrush the offending part out.

Ironically on soul music side, I don’t think there was much dispute with the highly sexualized covers the Ohio Players used throughout the 70s. In fact, that was a signature on their entire careers.

It’d be nice to see Kanye stand his ground. Albums cover can become legendary depending on the quality of the album. The simple solution would be to wrap in a special casing. I personally think it’s his best cover since Late Registration.