I heard about the Jonathan Coulton v. Glee thing all day yesterday, last night and this morning. As usual the Hollywood Reporter account is the best. Coulton took Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back and transformed it into a much different composition. Coulton’s radical revision is in the same league of radical revision as The Residents’ The King And Eye in which they (The Residents) wildly re-imagined famous Elvis Presley songs. Here is one of the tamer re-imagines – The Residents’ version of Don’t Be Cruel. (I use the word, “re-imagine,” so as to heap praise upon this practice which goes far beyond the normal, reserved arranging one often hears in popular music. Earth, Wind & Fire’s take on The Beatles’ Got To Get You Into My Life is another example but not as wildly reimagined as those by The Residents or Coulton.)
I have very strong opinions on all of the above, as well as the U. S. Copyright Act that allows some good things to take place but at the same time fails to protect or even recognize other “authors,” such as Coulton. (Coulton might not be an author of Baby Got Back despite the superb job of authorship he lavished on Baby Got Back.)
Here is a version found on YouTube of Coulton’s Baby Got Back. Here is a Glee version of Baby Got Back. Jonathan Coulton has substituted a “quack” for the F-word in the original Sir Mix-A-Lot. It is heard at 2.40 into the song. At the 2.40 mark of Glee, one hears_____? Are the tempos of Coulton and Glee identical? Did elements of the Coulton master recording find their way into the master recording of Glee?
This post is unstable, i.e., dynamic, and will be altered one or more times very soon.