Musicians selling out in ads


Ahhhh yes. Selling out. The worst thing an artist could ever do, that is also absolutely certain to happen if an artist is given the opportunity.

That were ‘beauty’.

Why on earth should I begrudge Cat Power using her artistry to make a little money?

What about Glenn Kotche (Wilco’s drummer) filming a commercial for Delta faucets? Is this a “sellout,” too?

Wow! That was one of the best Pepsi ads EVER CREATED…! I’m thirsty now.

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I love how it doesn’t even try to be anything else but a direct rip off of Weird Science.


Michael Caine has this right.

“I have never seen it,” he once said of Jaws: The Revenge (1987), in which he took a supporting role, “but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”


‘First of all I choose the great roles, and if none of those come, I choose the mediocre ones and if they don’t come I choose the ones that pay the rent.’




"… should have known worse."


Eh, I could care less.

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Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen being two notable exceptions.

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How can you promise musicians selling out in ads and not have this?


Unless my impression of their career arcs is way off, they too have recorded albums with major labels, used advertizing to promote said albums, accepted money in exchange for performing, been involved with projects they might not be completely proud of, made compromises in their artist endeavors to create a more pleasing product, made the best of a less than perfect situation etc, etc, etc.

I know you were being at least a little sarcastic, but I think it’s worth acknowledging that no one is pure, and everybody sells out to some degree or another. Claiming that someone has sold out says nothing intelligent about the subject but speaks volumes about the speaker.

Besides, most of the examples given in the article were made well after the artists in particular have made massive amounts of money. Do you really think David Freaking Bowie did a Pepsi commercial for the money? Of course not! He probably did it simply because it amused him in some way or another.

Speak for yourself, corporate prostitute. I for one will never sell my music for money. I anticipate throngs of greedy executives to come begging any day now, but I will be resolute.

Any day now.


I for one would love it if my music had ever gotten known well enough that I could pimp for fuzzy water or sugary treats.

Except for the not selling their music for money, with you all the way.

How can they not include Lou Reed.

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It’s hard to call Bing and Al “selling out” by singing a commercial on a Crosby radio show - nearly all commercials were done by the on-air talent on radio and early TV.

Also, Neil Diamond’s written some kick-ass jingles. Just sayin’

Recently, this topic has become more important to me. I guess back in HS or whatever, I put some sort of emphasis on whatever I would have called purity. But, the entire recording industry is a commercial enterprise, from top to bottom. In her dissertation, Montgomery Wolf has argued that punks weren’t necessarily opposed to capitalism in general, and in fact were themselves often entrepreneurially inclined. In his book on post-punk labels, Alex Ogg argued much the same, pointing out being indie wasn’t itself indicative of anything other than working or trying to work outside the major label system. Sometimes, indie labels screw artists just as hard as majors, even if they have good intentions not to do so–but if you can’t pay your artists, you can’t pay.

In generally, as long as you are selling copies of your music for money, you are involved in a commercial enterprise, hence are at least somewhat guilty of “selling out”. The question is what they means about the music you are making. Are you purposefully making your music sound more commercial, in order to sell more records? Are you compromising your art to sell more units? There are plenty of people who make music, and don’t sell it. But they tend to not be working musicians, no matter how talented they are. I think once you understand the whole nature of the system of music making and selling, it’s hard to attribute that label to anyone who makes music for commercial sale…


I think W I L C O had a healthy perspective:

Wilco respond to (Volkswagen) "sell out’ accusations