Sheryl Crow slammed the music industry for forcing artists to be “brand oriented,” if they ever hope to succeed. But, hey, if it wasn’t for a bit of crass commercialism on her part, where would she be? Remember “All I Want to Do?”
Crow’s breakthrough hit appeared on her 1994 debut album Tuesday Night Music Club and it’s about as commercial as you can get.
It won Grammy Record of the Year in 1995 and she won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The tune was also nominated for Song of the Year.
Crow’s musical style changed dramatically once she was established and she morphed into more of a folk-rock artist. But the song still stands as Crow’s biggest U.S. hit. But that was then.
In any event, Crow says she’d never make it, if she started out now. She says she “couldn’t stomach” the idea of “selling her life” to make popular music.
“Everything is so brand-orientated [now]. You practically have to prostitute your personal life in order to have people interested in you – and then hope they like your music. If I had to come out now, I know I wouldn’t [succeed]. I couldn’t stomach the scrutiny selling my life in order for someone to care about my songs.”
And Sheryl doesn’t think the “traditional” song exists anymore. She added:
“There aren’t really very many songs anymore in the popular world – it’s more beats and top-lines. I really love the tradition of songwriting and rocking out so you know it is what it is. I still love the kind of music I listened to my whole life.”
Crow apparently hasn’t been following the headlines for the past decade or so. The traditional music industry was torpedoed by the onslaught of digital music and file sharing. Artists, these days, struggle to make money solely off their music.
That has forced them to branch out and become brands, like Rihanna, Beyonce and other pop superstars.
The 56-year-old singer desperately wanted her most recent release “Be Myself” to feel “authentic.”
She told a New Zealand outlet:
“I wanted to make a record that felt authentic and that had the spunk and the spontaneity of the old records. We literally went in and a month later come out with something that’s inspired by what’s happening here in America and the urgency that I felt being a mom of two kids who are going to inherit the mess that we’ve created. But it is also fun. It’s a very celebratory record, it’s upbeat and it talks about social media and how difficult that is to navigate.”
Check her out performing the song that launched her career.