miss carol wrote:I always thought that "selling out" applied to artists who held on to a belief that they were different than the norm, alternative, if you will. Sting and Phil Collins never sold out; they bought in at the start. Collins is a Tory for crying out loud! He is for all intents and purposes The Man.
X has reunited countless times. Are they sell outs? Some would argue yes, but consider that Exene has MS and medical bills to pay. Are they still sell outs?
As far as Phil Collins goes, "sell out" is indeed an inaccurate label for him. You're right, you can't sell out if that's what your MO was from the beginning. If you never pretended to be 'authentic' or somehow above the business of big media, you can't be accused of selling out. I propose we just call him a god damn fucking asshole instead.
Neil Diamond, though. What about him? I once sat in an arena luxury box with Jake at a Neil Diamond concert. And it was good.
Maybe the "sell out" standard is different depending on which school of rock you birth from. I remember getting into fights with very good friends of mine back in the day over Henry Rollins, for god's sake! For the punk school sell outs are any bands that actually make enough money to live on.
For the indy set that punk ideal is still in the backs of every body's mind. You're cool if you're on Merge. But if you cross the line and end up on a "major" label you're a sell out.
I think that when talking about bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Pumpkins, Soundgarden, etc. fans too often apply the punk or indie standard to them, because those bands sprouted from the post punk and alternative indie scene. But it just sounds stupid today to call any of those bands sell outs. They all kicked out some great rock records (classics by now).
I'd be happy to chuck the "sell out" slur altogether and just swear at shitty bands.