Monday, September 30, 2013

Patty Griffin

This is great news about Patty Griffin's Silver Bell.

I found these couple of paragraphs really interesting -

"I love revisiting that time about myself now," Griffin says on vacation in Northern California. "I think it's good to have the songs rescued from that time. I think if you were involved and around those big, corporate takeovers where a beverage company decided it would be a good time to buy a record label, and you weren't doing what everybody knew to be popular at that very moment, you weren't given any respect whatsoever.
Case in point: Griffin recalls a meeting circa "Silver Bell"'s intended release with then-label group boss Jimmy Iovine where, "he basically told me, 'You have never made a good record,'" she says. "He handed me a copy of 'Beautiful Day,' which is a U2 record, and said, 'Take a listen to this. This is how you write a hit record.'"
She did end up writing a great song called "Heavenly Day" years later, though probably not based on that song. She has said it's probably the only truly happy song she's written, and that she wrote it for her dog.  Love that. 
I'm interested in that idea that because she hadn't had a big radio hit that she'd never made a great album. Her songs have been covered by many people, and she's incredibly well-respected.  But what makes success?  There are so many songs and artists that no one will ever remember who made lots of money off of a song, or even an album.  But making songs that are emotionally resonant, touching, lasting, even hint at something truthful, is much more difficult, probably not as commercial. Certainly, for me, more important. 
It's great when art and commerce merge.  It doesn't always happen. I'm happy we get a chance to hear the whole thing redone, though now I'll cherish my bootleg copy.


Elizabeth said...

God, I love her so much -- that "new" song is awesome. And you know I used "Heavenly Day" on the video I made for Extreme Parents. I wish I had a way to tell her about it.

Criticlasm said...

She has a facebook page - you should post it there. And yes, she's just phenomenal.