Thursday, November 5, 2015

Remix: Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys

In January of 1958 Chuck Berry released a song titled 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. The song 'Sweet Little Sixteen' went on to be one of his biggest hits. Then, in 1963 another song was released by The Beach Boys titled 'Surfin' U.S.A' which is almost a direct copy of Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen' disregarding the lyrics. After 'Surfin U.S.A' was released, which received air play and became one of their biggest hits, the copyright of the song was given to partially back to Chuck Berry and was credited to both Wilson and Berry.

This directly relates to our class discussion we had on Tuesday regarding remix. These two song examples are a very good example of remix. Personally I think artists using other artists songs and creating something new and different is great. This allows music and artists to continue to create new songs and learn from each other. However,  I think that the artist of the original song should always share the rights for the new remixed version and receive profits from it.

But at what point does a song lose its authenticity and simply become a copy of another artists song? Does simply changing the words like Brian Wilson did to Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen' make it original? Or did he simply steal it?

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