Saturday, October 03, 2009
Film Samples on Entombed's Wolverine Blues
Question: Around about 10 years ago, after being impressed with my first listens of Entombed (thanks to Earache's reasonably priced 'Earplugged' compilations) I picked up a copy of the 'Wolverine Blues' album for a tenner from a small independent record shop in Nuneaton ('What' records, for those who are interested. Sadly no longer with us). In the years following it has enjoyed many a spin in my CD player as one of my favourite albums, however I was REALLY shocked to discover recently that MY version of the album with it's selection of movie samples is pretty rare due to your concern at a potential lawsuit coming out of Hollywood. Personally I can't imagine 'Rotten Soil' WITHOUT the the 'Flatliners' sample "Wake up you little shit, you got company!" at the beginning of each chorus.
Anyway, my question is just how many CDs were pressed WITH the vocal samples?
Cheers From: Evil__Jeff@Hotmail.com
Answer: To answer your question, I think about 3000 CDs from memory came out like that, in the UK edition, and none came out in the USA Columbia/Earache edition.It was because the album was due for a major-label release that all samples had to be removed.Sony insisted on it, and myself and the band learned a valuable lesson in the copyrights of movie dialogue.
Dealing with our bands wanting to use samples from movies on their albums seemingly takes up a sizable portion of my work time. Latest is Municipal Waste who originally recorded the new album Massive Aggressive with a dialogue sample "You think that when you die you got to heaven.You come to US!!" from Phantasm 2 as the intro to Upside Down Church. We insisted it was removed and doesn't make it into any edition.
The reason they have to be removed is because of copyright laws, the material is not created or recorded by the band and so is basically stealing someone else's work while claiming it as their own on 'their' album. While I do enjoy listening to the songs which have great dialogue samples from movies in them, they can add a certain cool factor to any song,but I don't like the legal consequences, which can be severe and may negatively affect the bands career. In short its just not worth the aggro.
Not all samples are the equal though, dialogue from multi-million-Dollar major motion pictures are impossible to obtain clearance because it involves so many layers of agreement, the producer, the actor, the film studio, the director all have to agree, so its pretty much a non starter.
On the other hand, it can be perfectly fine if its a small independent film, and we have had success clearing stuff if the movie is a small one, often the director of a low budget movie can take a personal interest in a band using a sample, they see it as extra promotion for them.We cleared The sample from the legendary UK 70's movie Scum "we're just treated like scum, but us, were gonna fight back" for SSS's Overload track was cleared this way.Incidentally the original novel on which the SCUM movie was based was written by Roy Minton, who is the father of Pulkas singer Luke Minton,Pulkas were an Earache band of the 90's. Also 80s gore film legends Troma were actually excited for us to be using their Toxic Avenger etc footage in a recent Municpal Waste video clip for Headbanger Face Rip for instance.
Away from the regular music industry there is a thriving sub-industry in 'sample recreation' nowadays.Some companies and studios exist solely to recreate famous dialogue and music, because the originals are impossible to clear. Companies like Scorrcio will replay entire songs for a fee, and out of work voice actors can recreate any dialogue for a fee aswell.
In USA the album had a limited edition Wolverine comic cover which was an official tie-in with Marvel Comics, for extra promotion.Thats why the comic character appears in the video clip, even though the song is about an actual wild animal not the comic character.
Heres Wolverine Blues by Entombed clip: