The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Unsung: behind the music industry

The Monkees, Britney Spears, and Badfinger
Unsung: behind the music industry

With Taylor Swift currently reclaiming the rights to her music, there has been a focus on what exactly goes on behind the scenes of the music industry. The music industry is not known for its generosity, as it quickly pumps out singers, songwriters, and musicians. However, the music industry has a massive hand in pop culture, and there are still many people who were very quickly snubbed by the public and their labels. 

Britney Spears, a popular case of this issue, has had many of her problems with both her personal and business life made the top news story. The pop star was under conservatorship, controlled by her family members, for a good chunk of her life. She has been the victim of public scrutiny and used as a scapegoat continuously in the media and her personal life. 

 She only recently was freed from the conservatorship in 2021, and released a book about her story, exposing many secrets that had been under wraps for years. However, she is still dealing with the lasting impacts of what occurred. 

This issue is not limited to recent times, as this has been shown to be a common theme among many musical stars. There are many untold stories of stars that pop culture has both forgotten and thrown away, including Badfinger. The 1970s Welsh rock band were signed to The Beatles’ record label and later Warner Bros. Record; however, they endured financial abuse and mismanagement during their time, under manager Stan Polley.  

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They were slated to be a huge success, but unfortunately only tragedy awaited them. They barely received payments for their part in the band and were used for their worth by Polley.  Unfortunately, one of the band members, Pete Ham, would take his life due to these difficulties. Then, later another bandmate, Tom Evans, would commit suicide as well due to the same issues. The band would not see any royalties until the 2000s, almost 40 years after the band hit rock bottom, and the deaths of two of their members. 

One last band that received that short end of the stick, the controversial pop rock group, The Monkees. The band was not originally a band, finding its start as a made-for-television group in the show of the same name. However, after receiving a high amount of praise for this fictional band, the group was brought to life and released a large amount of music including the song ‘I’m a Believer.’  

The Monkees were soaring through the sky, but when not in the public’s eyes, they were dealing with many issues. Having no creative control over what they were producing, and despite almost all of them having a music history, they were not allowed to create or produce any of the music besides vocals which upset many critics, who saw the band as fake. The band would take steps to make it so they could become a real band. Their inspiration is seen in the current music world; however, they may never receive that recognition. Due to a personal issue with the ‘fake’ band, co-founder of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jann Wenner, has all but banned them from being inducted. Due to the public hate of the band, two members would call it quits, and eventually the band would deform in 1970. 

There are still many musicians who have been blackballed by the music industry under no fault of their own, and they may never receive the praise or apology they deserve. The industry, like so many that make up the pop culture world, is one ridden with abuse, control, and corruption. However, this does not stop the influence many of these artists and their stories will have long after they are gone. 

 For More Information on the stories of these artists, please visit www.nickiswift.com/149778/britney-spears-tragic-real-life-story/, rocknheavy.net/the-tragic-story-of-badfinger-6f48c459aa8d,https://www.uncmirror.com/arts/2021/05/11/the-dark-side-of-the-music-industry/, and, www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/music/story/2023-09-15/celebrating-the-monkees-is-bittersweet-for-micky-dolenz-it-was-tough-to-get-through-the-first-few-shows.

 


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Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Writer

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