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Thread: Skin sells or not?

  1. #1
    eltamina
    Guest

    Skin sells or not?

    WARNING, this message may contain sensitive material.


    I recieived a towerrecords sales booklet today. There is an almost naked Sarah Brightman promotional picture for her new "encore" cd. She was totally naked from waist up, with her arms covering part of her breasts; the right nipple was partially showing. Her pelvic left bone was also showing.

    When it comes to showing skin, Vanessa Mae pioneers that among musicians with classical training.

    www.towerrecords.com/prod...369&cc=USD

    I also read the following article about BOND, the cross over string quartet. (Irina is skating to their BORN)

    www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/...index.html

    Do you think this trend of showing skin will help these musicians sell more cds?

  2. #2
    eltamina
    Guest

    The link to the Bond article


    Sorry, I provided the wrong link in the previous message.

    www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/...index.html

  3. #3
    maxell1313
    Guest

    Re: Skin sells or not?


    Britney Spears should be proof of that. IMO, that girl can't sing her way out of a paper bag, but she sells millions of CD's because she walks around half-naked on stage an in her videos.

    On the opposite side, Christina Aguilera CAN sing, but she's fallen into that skin trap as well. Sad, really. I don't know why they think they need to get undressed to make people like them. If they've got the talent, people will come regardless.



  4. #4
    mike79
    Guest

    Re: Skin sells or not?


    It doesn't matter one way or the other to me. It will take a really special CD for me to ever buy one again. I'd rather keep my money from those record companies and download the music. After all, the record companies have been robbing us blind for years--it's time for a little payback. I've read that it costs these companies under $1.00 to put a CD together, but I'm supposed to go shell out close to $20!?

    Until these companies get their crap together I could care less who's naked or not.

  5. #5
    maxell1313
    Guest

    Re: Skin sells or not?


    AMEN Mike!!!! Boycott the RIAA!


  6. #6
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Skin sells or not?


    Does sex sell? Well, if it doesn't then the advertising industry is wasting about a trillion dollars a year advertising everything from bananas to bagels.

    Do I dare to admit to being the lone person who voted for choice number two? That's stated way too strongly, of course. I wouldn't actually BUY a CD just because of a sexy picture on it. But I might look twice, in which case the dusk jacket picture has served it's purpose. (Remember when those big LPs had dust jackets?)

    For instance (this is to Eltamina), there was that Tan Dun CD about songs from the peony pavillion. This is a composer for whom I don't care in the least, yet somehow I found myself with a dazed look on my face, standing in the check-out line, CD in hand.

    As for the Bond record "Born," my wife saw it advertised on TV and got it for me just because "she knew I would like it." (I am, however, immune to the Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez type of thing. I don't really shop in that section of the music store.)

    Now, about the cost. Yes, it's true that once the master tape has been cut it costs only about a penny apiece to make as many CDs off it as you think you can sell. But think about it. For $17.95 you can hire the services of a hundred piece orchestra playing your favorite symphony on demand whenever you feel like hearing it. If you lived 400 years ago you would have to hire all the musicians yourself and house them in your castle (of course, musicians worked cheap in those days).

    Same with books. My students complain that they have to spend $80 for a calculus book. True, but look what you get: the accumulated mathematical wisdom of some of the greatest geniuses the human race has ever produced. I recently acquired a complete Dickens, leather bound in 20 volumes, for $140. Look at what I got -- every word that the finest novelist ever to write in English ever produced. Priceless.

    OK, back to sex. Does "sex sell" a figure skating program? a figure skating show? the whole sport of figure skating? All those pretty girls in nude-illusion fabric?

    Mathman

    PS. None of this, of course, applies to Michelle Kwan. Michelle is the soul of modestly and propriety. She would never allow herself to be photographed in poses which might make her parents disappointed in her judgement.

    If Michelle sometimes looks sexy in publicity stills, that's not her fault -- its just her natural beauty shining through.

  7. #7
    eltamina
    Guest

    OK for my not so fav violinists, but not for my favorites


    WARNING: a bit off topic, and some links I provided maybe a bit sensitive.

    I am not too serious about "OK for my not so favorite violinists, but not for my favorite violinists". I understand I am just a fan, I do not own them.

    _______

    Remember when those big LPs had dust jackets?
    _________

    Yes, when I was a kid, I acquired most of my classical music knowledge by reading the LP jackets. Now, my major gripe about the cd companies is that the cd liners do not have enough information, when they translate those 3 short paragraphs into 4 different languages; it takes up a lot of space and paper.
    _________

    For instance (this is to Eltamina), there was that Tan Dun CD about songs from the peony pavilion.
    ____________
    Sorry professor MM, I am not familiar with peony pavilion. You mean that picture of a
    Chinese soprano who is overly made up and anemic?
    __________
    Now, about the cost. Yes, it's true that once the master tape has been cut it costs only about a penny apiece to make as many CDs off it as you think you can sell. But think about it. For $17.95 you can hire the services of a hundred piece orchestra playing your favorite symphony on demand whenever you feel like hearing it. If you lived 400 years ago you would have to hire all the musicians yourself and house them in your castle (of course, musicians worked cheap in those days).
    _________

    LOL, Mendelssohn's father hired a complete orchestra to play his compositions when he was a child, what wonderful nurturance and entertainment. If you love the music, $17.95 is fair price, if you don't you won't even listen to it twice. I received the J. Bell crossover cd (West side story) as a gift; I listened to it once, and filed that away. I love Bell, but don't care for cross over stuff.
    ____________
    PS. None of this, of course, applies to Michelle Kwan
    ______________
    Ok dare I say we are (at least I am) sometimes very protective of our favorite musicians, skaters, athletes etc. It is OK for musicians whom I don't care for at all to whatever they need to do to sell their music, but not my most favorite musicians; I want to see them rise to the top of their art with their musicality and musicality alone. Take for example I like Chang, Chee Yun, Rachel Barton, Hahn, and Midori, so when Vanessa Mae,
    and Linda Braver

    www.beautyinmusic.com/art...rava_p.htm

    started this skin thing, I hope that my favorite violinists will never follow this trend (so far they haven't). I wasn't entirely thrilled when Hahn's Brahms violin concerto cd came out, and she was showing cleavage.

    www.towerrecords.com/prod...369&cc=USD

    What happened to my 17 year old girl who recorded the JS Bach partitas?

    www.towerrecords.com/prod...144&cc=USD

    (I got over that Brahms cd cover).

    Hahn just released a Mendelssohn, and Shostakovich violin concertos cd, I am very happy with her picture, very tastefully done. I know I am being silly, oh well.

    PS Sony released a new Hahn cd today with the Mendelssohn and Sostakovich violin concertos. I listened to the entire album (over 1 hour) online twice already.

    You have to register for the SONY VIP (free) here,

    www.sonyclassical.com/vip

    then scroll down, her album is at the lower left hand corner


  8. #8
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: OK for my not so fav violinists, but not for my favorite


    "Now, my major gripe about the cd companies is that the cd liners do not have enough information, when they translate those 3 short paragraphs into 4 different languages; it takes up a lot of space and paper."

    Yeah, but it's fun to try to puzzle out the French and Italian (I can read English and German a little.)

    "You mean that picture of a Chinese soprano who is overly made up and anemic?"

    Yes, that's the one. Only at first glance she didn't seem overly made up and anemic so much as alluring and vulnerable -- sort of like, well, you know, you want to ravish her and protect her at the same time.

    “What happened to my 17 year old girl who recorded the J.S. Bach partitas?”

    What indeed, what indeed. “Sun rise, sun set,” -- that sort of thing. I thought that the “cleavage” picture of all-grown-up Hilary was lovely and tasteful.

    On the other hand, the Playboy cover of Linda Brava doesn't appeal to me at all. The bare bosom doesn’t offend me, but the pose and the way they air-brushed her face into a caricature of a female animal in heat is, to me, demeaning.

    “’None of this, of course, applies to Michelle Kwan.’

    “Ok, dare I say we are (at least I am) sometimes very protective of our favorite musicians, skaters, athletes, etc.? It is OK for musicians whom I don't care for at all to do whatever they need to do to sell their music, but not my most favorite musicians.

    “I am not too serious about "OK for my not so favorite violinists, but not for my favorite violinists". I understand I am just a fan, I do not own them.”

    We do not own them. And yet...there lies at the heart of the performing arts -- and I include figure skating among them -- that illusion that sweeps us away from the cares of the real world into the fantasy of the stage. There, Michelle is my friend, though in real life I have never met her. Why wouldn’t I want to slay dragons for her?

    Mathman


  9. #9
    mike79
    Guest

    Re: Skin sells or not?


    Hi Mathman

    I understand what you're saying but I get the same music for free from just clicking on my computer. I could care less about how those companies feel. If they don't want to lower the price they're going to have to accept that there are a lot of people who do the exact same thing I do.

    It's also a great way to find skating music that has been edited to the way a skater has used it.

  10. #10
    eltamina
    Guest

    Sarah Brightman close to naked cd pictures


    I was a tower records, and Brightman's' newest cd is released. The picture at the back of the cd showed an almost naked Brightman, who wore a G string, and there were sequins thingy glued on certain part of her anatomy to keep her from being totally naked.

    www.towerrecords.com/prod...210&cc=USD

    According to the tower online review:

    "Sure, she's as close as you can get to naked in the album artwork. OK, so there's an insert hawking Sarah Brightman calendars, coffee mugs, and sweatshirts. Yes, there's a fair amount of calculation likely in her pop-classical crossover. That doesn't mean the lady can't sing like an angel. Before the embryo-with-pipes known as Charlotte Church came along, Brightman was THE pop-classical singer, whose supernatural pipes allowed her to appeal to both camps with equal verve. CLASSICS proves that, aided by a bevy of orchestras and choirs, Brightman is still big coin in the crossover world. And she's got a lot more traditional operatic chops than little Miss Church to boot. Making her way through old warhorses like "Pie Jesu," "Ave Maria," and "Nessun Dorma," Brightman manages to invest these tracks with new life, and when she takes on the Linda Ronstadt tune "Winter Light" she brings to it an ethereal majesty that leaves no question as to her interpretive abilities on the pop side of the fence. "

    IMO there is no need to subtly put down Church to promote Brightman. I am a purist, they do not impress me. Give me Victoria de Los Angeles any day.

    When I was at towers, I saw the Huang Ying Bitter love cd

    www.towerrecords.com/prod...id=1541796

    I sampled a few tracks. I am surprised that she is a Sony Artist, and has recorded a few cds. Huang's voice is rather thin, and her intonation is IMHO not anywhere near the calibre of any generic classical soprano. I am a lot more impressed with the pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen? Wow that guy/ gal could play this interesting Chinese string instrument.



  11. #11
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Charlotte Church


    How do you like Charlotte Church? When she first appeared on the scene as a 12-year-old infant phenomenon, I couldn't believe how much voice she had.

    But now that she is 16 (17?) her voice does not seem so astounding, her age having caught up with it.

    Comments?

  12. #12
    eltamina
    Guest

    Re: Charlotte Church


    I like her, even though I am a purist. I own a couple of her cds. Now that she is 16 or 17, she does not sound as astounding, I agree. I am going to start a new thread at cafe about prodigies.

  13. #13
    John King
    Guest

    Charlotte Church


    I love Charlotte,but perhaps what did in Aled Jones might be catching up with her:Puberty.

  14. #14
    CoCoNuTsiopatHic
    Guest

    Re: Charlotte Church


    I like seeing skin. Seeing skin makes me think of sex, and that makes me happy.

    I'd like to see the skin on a lot of male skaters.

    Craiggeroos

  15. #15
    eltamina
    Guest

    A 1995 times article "sseductive strings"


    This article mentioned Vanessa Mae first, and she was only 16 - 17 when she started this trend. I think the article was referring to this pic
    vanessa-mae.is.it/pictures/2/0206.jpg


    TIME Magazine

    December 11, 1995 Volume 146, No. 24

    SEDUCTIVE STRINGS, CONCERTO FOR CLEAVAGE AND ORCHESTRA

    A new crop of alluring young women is giving the stodgy male world of classical music a dose of sex appeal.

    BY MICHAEL WALSH

    Ah, the concert hall: the orchestra, smartly attired in white tie and tails; the elegant conductor, raising his slender baton as he prepares to give the downbeat; the dramatically beautiful young violinist resplendent in ... a wet T shirt?

    It hasn't come to that--not yet, anyway. But to judge from a fresh crop of young female performers, the dowdy, male-dominated world of classical music is in for a long-needed injection of glamour and, yes, sex appeal. String players all, the women present images ranging from the frank sensuality of electric violinist Vanessa-Mae, 17, to the girl-next-door allure of Leila Josefowicz, 18, to the more mature charms of Canadian cellist Ofra Harnoy, 30, and sultry new-music violinist Maria Bachmann, 35. And then there's the all-female violoncello quartet known collectively as Cello. The group is making records, performing widely--and if physical allure helps, so be it.

    Indeed, there is a dawning recognition among classical performers that in a world in which marketing is queen, it behooves even serious musicians to put all their assets front and center. "The more we can try to appeal to broader audiences the better," says the highly accomplished Bachmann, whose latest album, Kiss on Wood, offers music by Aaron Copland and Alfred Schnittke--as well as a come-hither album back cover featuring (by classical music's standards) some generous cleavage. "Let's face it, people go into record stores and a lot of times buy recordings on the basis of what they see on the cover," says Bachmann.

    What they see can be eye catching. The Thai-Chinese-British violinist who goes by the name Vanessa-Mae (full name: Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson) has a new album, The Violin Player, climbing up the worldwide pop charts on the strength of her disco-driven version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. A photo on the single from the album features the slim, pretty teen fiddling away while standing in the Mediterranean in a soaking-wet see-through white shift. "If as a result of this, people see the violin as a fresh, trendy, up-to-date instrument, that's fine with me," says Vanessa-Mae, whose avowed goal is to do for the electric violin what Jimi Hendrix did for the electric guitar. "If the music is good and well played, then it will touch anybody, anywhere." And if the music fails to touch audiences, there's always the video, which can be seen on VH1 and features Vanessa-Mae in tight hot pants, strolling saucily on the beach and looking for all the world like a Saigon B-girl circa 1965.

    Did somebody say exploitation? "Of course she is an attractive young lady," says Mel Bush, Vanessa-Mae's British manager. "The classical press has felt we were exploiting somebody young with a very light, sexy image, but she is not being exploited. She makes all the decisions herself."

    Everyone agrees that no matter how attractive the musician, if the performance is lacking, the career will not take off. Says Harnoy, the cellist whose bodice-baring Victorian dresses sometimes distract attention from her accomplished playing: "If this is getting albums sold, great. But I don't think if somebody buys my album because they like the picture, they will buy the next album because they like the picture. If the music is not pleasing them, there are only so many pictures they want to have."

    In the case of most of these artists, the performance level is quite high. It's difficult to say how good a violinist Vanessa-Mae is; the combination of her electric fiddle and the syntho-pop ambiance makes serious evaluation difficult. But there is no doubt about the talent of Leila Josefowicz, whose Carnegie Hall performances of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony two months ago were revelatory. An effortless technique and a rich tone that will only grow in size and warmth as she matures indicate that Josefowicz is one to watch.

    Born in Toronto, the young violinist grew up in Los Angeles and trained at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. On her first CD, just released, she's being marketed a bit more wholesomely than her peers. "There is a fine line between really being able to convey something fresh and new and likable, and going over the top," observes Lisa Altman, vice president of Philips Classics, Josefowicz's label. "I don't think we've done that with Leila. She's got that Ivory Soap--Seventeen magazine type of appeal. We didn't want to take a short-term approach because I expect she is going to have a long, prolific career."

    It's worth remembering that the intersection of sex and art is the foundation on which much classical music was originally made. Over the past 175 years, a dashing, Byronic image was eagerly sought after by many of the important figures in composition and performance. Franz Liszt, devastatingly handsome, was the most famous lover in Europe as well the greatest pianist; women fought over the cigar butts he left on the piano after a concert. Leopold Stokowski, the great conductor who shook Mickey Mouse's hand in Fantasia, used to ensure that the lighting at his concerts highlighted his aquiline countenance and halo of long hair. In short, sex has always sold. What's new is that it is women who are now doing the selling.

    Female musicians with a cannily erotic appeal could always be found--in the movies. Think of Ingrid Bergman, who played the femme fatale pianist who broke up Leslie Howard's marriage in the 1939 movie Intermezzo, or Amy Irving, who went mano a mano on the ivories with Richard Dreyfuss in 1980's The Competition. Prominent women instrumentalists have been much rarer in real life. During the first half of the 20th century, the severely beautiful Erica Morini, who died last month at 91, was one of the few who could lay claim to first-rank status. And Morini bristled at her categorization as a female violinist. "A violinist is a violinist, and I am to be judged as one--not a female musician," she said.

    No one can miss the femininity of Cello--four women (Maria Kitsopoulos, Laura Bontrager, Maureen McDermott and Caryl Paisner) and four cellos, with an eclectic, smoothly performed repertoire that ranges from John Adams' Nixon in China to Miles Davis' So What. For its first album, released in 1990 by Pro Arte, the group (with slightly different membership) posed in black cocktail dresses, an image the quartet now wants to downplay. "We were not happy with that picture," says Paisner, who founded the group in 1988. "We thought it was a little too sexy, although it succeeded in getting attention. But people were inclined to take us less seriously." The group now generally performs in concert dress, although a recent appearance at New York City's Lincoln Center found them arrayed in stylish designer outfits.

    "Classical people look at that and say, 'Oh, how racy,'" notes Paisner. "But compared to popular artists, it is nothing. My intent in forming this group was to make classical music more accessible." And if an attractive outfit does the trick, who, aside from the terminally stuffy, is going to complain?

    Reported by Daniel S. Levy/New York

    Copyright 1995 Time Inc



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