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31 July, 2006

Could be beautiful

I know virtually nothing about soldier-turned-singer James Blunt, but one line in an article about a royalties dispute caught my attention.

In claiming that he co-wrote some songs, a producer said that Blunt's early drafts were "crude, occasionally laughably direct, and betrayed his relative lack of musicianship or discernible influence."
As if discernible influence was a requirement, and true originality to be rigorously avoided.

I understand the reasoning, of course: marketability to a audience which seeks the familiar, but still, it's regrettable.


Since when has 'lack of musicianship' been a barrier to anyone? If only....

Posted by Tim Hall at July 31, 2006 06:26 PM

I know what you mean, but in referring the honourable gentleman to an earlier posting on a related topic, I'd say creativity is far more important than technical ability – that's the distinction between art and mere craft.

Coincidentally, I was listening to a couple of tracks from a solo album by Martin Barre (lead guitar (possibly 'ex-lead guitar'?) for Jethro Tull) earlier today. The playing was impeccable, but the music hideously derivative and hence sterile. Of the 39 tracks on his three solo albums, I find eight listenable.

Posted by NRT at July 31, 2006 09:31 PM
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