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What if Lady Gaga music was guitar based?

Goldburst

Member
Messages
176
I have tween/teenage daughters. I can tell you unequivocally that the music that they and their friends listen to (radio) is NOT guitar-based. They are all mainly into Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kei$ha, Bruno Mars, etc etc... Any guitar-based songs on the radio will generally get a quick "Change the Station, Dad !!" :)

Now, whenever I hear a Lady Gaga song on the car radio, I generally hear this in order of prominence in the mix:

1. lead vocal
2. backing vocals
3. fuzzy, sawtooth synths
4. clean synths
5. synth bass
6. drums


Now what if you replaced #3 with distorted guitar parts, and #4 with clean guitar parts?

In other words, you kept the vocals and rythm section the same, but you replaced the synths with somewhat equivalent guitars.

Would it still hold the same amount of appeal to teenage girls? Or would they run away because of those dreaded guitars? :)
 

Big Boss Man

Member
Messages
2,455
Katy Perry does have quite a few guitar based songs. I think vocals, songwriting, and production is what most non-musicians focus on. The background instruments could be synths or guitars. It does not really matter.
 

Dr Git

Member
Messages
2,651
Gaga sold out and it paid off for her. She was a classic rock chick in NYC, doing Zeppelin and assorted 60's/70s/80's tracks. She's really a great performer though. Could you imagine the $$$ she makes
 
Messages
3,853
Gaga sold out and it paid off for her. She was a classic rock chick in NYC, doing Zeppelin and assorted 60's/70s/80's tracks. She's really a great performer though. Could you imagine the $$$ she makes
I much prefer the music she makes now compared to what she did before the fame.

Not sure why that's supposedly selling out, but okay.
 

A-Bone

Montonero, MOY, Multitudes
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
102,344
I much prefer the music she makes now compared to what she did before the fame.

Not sure why that's supposedly selling out, but okay.
It is odd to describe someone who went from cover tunes to original tunes and underwent a related style transformation as "selling out".
 

Goldburst

Member
Messages
176
That song "Summerboy" may have guitar, but I can see on Wikipedia that it was placed as the last song on her CD, so I guess they didn't think it had much commercial potential (I guess it's considered a filler song)

Also, I had NO IDEA she covered songs like this:





But still I wonder... if her songs with the greatest commercial potential (Bad Romance, Pokerface, etc) had been done with guitars subsituting for the synths, would they have been just as successful among her mostly-young-female demographic?
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,928
I have tween/teenage daughters. I can tell you unequivocally that the music that they and their friends listen to (radio) is NOT guitar-based. They are all mainly into Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kei$ha, Bruno Mars, etc etc... Any guitar-based songs on the radio will generally get a quick "Change the Station, Dad !!" :)

Now, whenever I hear a Lady Gaga song on the car radio, I generally hear this in order of prominence in the mix:

1. lead vocal
2. backing vocals
3. fuzzy, sawtooth synths
4. clean synths
5. synth bass
6. drums


Now what if you replaced #3 with distorted guitar parts, and #4 with clean guitar parts?

In other words, you kept the vocals and rythm section the same, but you replaced the synths with somewhat equivalent guitars.

Would it still hold the same amount of appeal to teenage girls? Or would they run away because of those dreaded guitars? :)

To answer the question, I'd say yes. I don't think it's a guitar/no guitar thing.
 

Goldburst

Member
Messages
176
Ok, I found this... they took "Born this way" and substituted the original dance arrangement for country-blues instrumentation:
(to be honest I can't picture my daughters & their friends listening to this version for more than 30 seconds, despite it being a familiar song)



Obviously, neither fish nor fowl: the dance-pop stations wouldn't play it because it doesn't have that obvious dance beat... and the country stations wouldn't play it because it doesn't have "I'm Country" lyrics sung in a Southern drawl. :)


Edit: one other thing I noticed - she nearly always has guitars with real sounding drum playing, and synths with sequenced drum machines (never guitars with drum machines)
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,928
Ok, I found this... they took "Born this way" and substituted the original dance arrangement for country-blues instrumentation:
(to be honest I can't picture my daughters & their friends listening to this version for more than 30 seconds, despite it being a familiar song)

I dunno, kids can be freaky that way. Maybe they just hate everything you like! But thats as it should be.
 

flea

Member
Messages
757
It is odd to describe someone who went from cover tunes to original tunes and underwent a related style transformation as "selling out".
I agree. But if I were offered half the money she made this year so far you'd better believe I'd sell out.
 

Goldburst

Member
Messages
176
Her tour band has two guitar players that play les pauls.

Ok, thanks for the tip - I searched Youtube and found this live version which seems to be using (mostly) live vocals with much of the studio tracks, but the guitars are fairly up in the mix, which is close to what I was thinking in the OP:




BTW - I know that software now has the ability to isolate vocals, drums, etc. Is it possible to take a song and just have the vocals, bass, & drums - essentially cutting out the keyboards - and then one could add guitar parts where the keyboards woulda been ???
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,933
Imagine all the Gaga hits performed with Chic arrangements. Old folks would dig it, kids would think it sounded dated.
 

Turbo Gerbil

Member
Messages
5,355
Gaga sold out and it paid off for her. She was a classic rock chick in NYC, doing Zeppelin and assorted 60's/70s/80's tracks. She's really a great performer though. Could you imagine the $$$ she makes
Sold out or Bought In? Actually, as you say, Gaga is first and foremost primarily an entertainer and performer. She crosses genres fluidly, so I don't think she was all that wedded to rock as a genre. She did bring back some of the big Springsteen and 80's rock pop sound she loves in the latest album though.

I found this interview segment the other day which was interesting with Martin Kierszenbaum, one of her producers on "The Fame". On any track of hers that your hear "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" somewhere, thats Martin, that's his tag.

MW: And so, at some point around then you came to (Lady) Gaga?
MK: Yeah, here’s what happened. There was a guy named Vincent Herbert who had worked with Blackground and signed JoJo the singer, and he had just got a joint venture deal with Interscope, which is Streamline Records, that’s his imprint, and he had this act named Lady Gaga that he was looking to find someone to help him incubate and build and so he brought her to me, because of course were in the Interscope building, Cherrytree is right there, she had black hair then. Then I just connected with her creatively and she started talking about Prince in a knowledgeable way and I hadn’t heard a young artist talk about Prince in that way, it was a multi-fascinating presentation, it was about the songs but it was also about the band, the concept and the videos and live performance and she had a bigger vision for everything, and was like ‘wow this is really impressive’ and the way we connected really was by writing and I said I have all the old drum machines Prince used to use. And she said “oh, I’d love to come see that in the studio, do you want to write together?”
She was also a t.A.T.u. fan, so she came to my house, to my studio and the first song we wrote was The Fame and she said: “You know, I think I want to make this the basis for the concept of my album!” and I was like: “What are you talking about? A concept for your album, this is cool!” Most artists are just like ‘let’s string a bunch of songs together’, so this person was really special. So we end up writing a bunch of songs, four of them ended up going on The Fame.


full interview is here which has more info about Martin and his work with Gaga: http://steveleeds.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/interview-martin-kierszenbaum-ceo-of-cherrytree-records/
 
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