Back in 2006, after hearing about it on a podcast, I installed a music-tracking service known as Last.FM, using an iTunes (later MediaMonkey) plugin to “scrobble” my music into analytics that I’ve tracked over the years. In the nearly 16 years that have passed, the service never seemed to catch on, but I’ve remained a stalwart user, feeding my Spotify listening habits into the service. A few weeks ago, I finally scrobbled my 100,000th song and wanted to use that as an opportunity to reflect on my listening habits.
This is a follow up to my previous posts over the years
In my previous posts, I listed out these categories and gave a summary of my listening history with each artist. Rather than do that this time, I just wanted to give a reflection on anything that surprised me.
While listening to music, I stumbled on the strangest rabbit hole when a pivotal song of my youth came on Spotify, P.M. Dawn’s Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
However this is not the beloved version from my youth (which, thankfully is still on YouTube for now):
The re-recorded version, which is the only version available on Spotify and the other streaming services features a different vocalist, and a significantly inferior production value – yet this is the only version available on their Spotify artist page.
I scoured the Internet to see if I could find any press release or story that described what happened, but couldn’t find anything. I feel a little bit like Marty McFly after returning to Biff’s 1985, the only one realizing everything has changed.
I did finally stumble on a discussion thread where other like-minded people were asking the same question, but really only found this conspiracy-theory explanation:
This is in no way an “official” answer, but I think one need not look too far.
P.M. Dawn’s Prince Be (the mastermind and principal songwriter, arranger, vocalist, and performer of their entire “legitimate” catalogue) was, for years before his passing, incapacitated and unable to perform and record due to a stroke and complications from diabetes.
Doc G, the Attrell brothers’ first cousin, effectively took over the name back in 2009 and set out releasing phenomenally shitty music (including both originals and dreadful remakes of PMD classics) under the P.M. Dawn brand. Along those lines, he re-recorded “Set Adrift” in 2013 and began hawking his insulting, weak-ass version of the song to every crappy, MS Paint-designed ’90s compilation in the known universe.
I don’t know what may have specifically changed in the rights arrangement for the P.M. Dawn catalogue under Universal Music Group (current rights administrators for Gee Street/Island Records), but it does indeed appear that Doc G has found a way to have all traces of that song pulled from the digital universe. (“Set Adrift” has to be the biggest cash cow in the P.M. Dawn universe, though, so I’m kinda shocked he found a way to do so.) Presumably any remaining “accidental” appearances of the original have to do with licensing terms negotiated at the time of release.
That’s the best explanation that I could find, and it does seem to fit the facts in this whole thing, but it’s extremely unfortunate that this knock-off version is the only one available on the streams, and troubling that the original can be so easily wiped out. I get that books go in and out of print all the time, but we’re talking digital media, where storage is virtually free, having their content removed from the zeitgeist.
If anyone has the actual explanation, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise I’m choosing to believe this theory and set adrift on my own musical memory bliss.
I’m excited to share some new music from Amy and the Peace Pipes that we just dropped today – The Seen!
We recorded this song back in January, hot off the presses. We actually hadn’t played it live before recording it. We actually had the beginning of this song written about a year before, but couldn’t quite figure out how to end it. After mothballing the song for several months, we brought out back and came up with the grunge-rock ending, where I got to channel my inner Dave Grohl.
I just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know that my band, Amy and the Peace Pipes, has released some new music over all the streams today! We recorded our cover version of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do”
This song has been a staple at one of our shows, and we’re really happy with how it turned out. We think it gives a different take on the original song, and have a ton of fun playing it. I’d love to hear what you think!
I also had a lot of fun doing the artwork for this cover. I got to play with some of my lighting equipment and snapped the portrait of Amy, then added the text as an homage to Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” cover.