Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten Ton Brick - Unplugged?

So I'm listening to a rock station the other day and the DJ announces the next song is going to be "Ten Ton Brick". "Great" I'm thinking, "This song jams". To my dismay, the song that came on definitely did not jam. It was the "unplugged" version.

Unplugged is the phenomenon made popular by MTV in which songs are re-recorded using only acoustic instruments as back up. Of course the whole nature of the song is changed to match the Earthy sound.

I can only envision a bunch of record producers sitting down with the artists and brainstorming about this: "That sounds pretty good, but how can we take all the joy out of it?" "What if it was lame? How would that sound?" "How can we remove all of the adrenaline producing aspects of this tune?" "What if, instead of making you want to bang your head or shake your fist, the song compelled you to sway or take a nap instead?"

It might make sense if the new version were pitched to other markets, like elevator music companies, or Las Vegas lounge performers, but for some reason they play them on rock stations. As if it still qualifies as rock because a rock star produced it. Honda makes lawn mowers, but you don't see people driving them on the highway.

Producing an "unplugged" version of a song like "Ten Ton Brick" makes about as much sense as flame broiling ice cream. But if you must "folksy up" rock songs, please, play them somewhere else.

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