Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Analysis of 'Bliss' Music Video

I have chosen to analyse the music video for 'Bliss' by Muse. The song itself has a spacey almost futuristic sound to it, and this sound has been portrayed by the imagery of the video. The video is set in space, on an unrecognisable planet that has a giant hole right through the core of it. The colourings of the planet and the sky above it are all in the colours of grey and different tones of blue, again giving the impression of the songs out of world sound and possibly representing the coldness of this strange planet.

These colours of the background are a huge contrast to the bright red colour, the colour of the lead singer Matt's shirt and his hair. This huge difference between the colours of the background image and the lead singer could have purposely been done in order to draw the audiences attention to the lead singer, a way of presenting him as the main focus of the video and to let the audience know that he is the main focus of which the camera will be concentrating on throughout the video. The difference in the colours of the lead singer and the background of the video could also be representing the difference between the planet and the main character, an idea which is especially notable to the audience when we see the other two members of the band randomly floating around as the lead singer falls through the core of the planet, as they are wearing clothes which are the same blues used for the planet and the sky, possibly showing that they are not as important as the lead singer and are not what the audience should be mainly focusing on as the video is playing.

The image of Matt falling through the apparently metal core of the planet and the effect of wind blowing his hair and clothes as he falls gives the sense of freedom to the audience. This is re-enforced further with him freely rotating and flying around as he continuously falls, giving the audience the idea that he is free to do as he pleases and that while he is falling through air he is able to almost fly like a bird, and because of this cannot be stopped or restrained from doing what he wants. This idea of freedom as he falls could be seen to go along with the title of the song, 'Bliss', and the idea of the video could be to represent that by falling through the air and being able to fly freely and have all the freedom in the world, he may be achieving his ultimate bliss, and therefore his ultimate freedom.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Research of Record Label - Rough Trade

  • Geoff Travis opened the Rough Trade shop in West London in February 1976.
  • Sold mixture of punk and reggae records, influenced by the music scene that was taking place in the West London area at the time.
  • The shop was seen as radical and revolutionary for music of the time, selling records from both the punk and reggae genres, and by selling seven inch picture sleeves that were about to become extremely popular with the music industry and music fans.
  • 1978, had started its own distribution of records made by bands that did not have a major record deal. By this time, more and more bands were choosing to record, produce and distribute their music on their own terms without the help or being signed to a major label.
  • As the shop started to distribute more and more records, it was decided that Rough Trade would also become a music label.
  • First record released on the label was 'Paris Marquis' by the French punk rock band Metal Urbaine.
  • Released records of the punk, reggae and electronic genres.
  • Electric Eels, Subway Sect, Cabaret Voltaire, Swell Maps and Augustus Pablo were also some of the first acts to sign and release records on the new label.
  • 1979, bands that are nowadays associated with Rough Trade, including Scritti Politti and The Raincoats started to release their music on the label.
  • The labels widespread recognition lead to the TV programme 'The South Bank Show' to become devoted to the music released by it.
  • Rough Trade's first album was released in 1979, 'Inflammable Material' by Stiff Little Fingers. It sold over 100,000 copies and charted at number 14, and it became the first independent record in history to sell this number of records.
  • Over the next few years, Rough Trade released some of the best independent music, including acts such as Aztec Camera, This Heat, Robert Wyatt, The Fall, Television Personalities and Young Marble Giants.
  • LPs such as 'Songs to Remember' by Scritti Politti, 'The Modern Dance' by Pere Ubu and 'Are You Glad to be in America?' by James Blood Ulmer have become some of the classic LPs released by Rough Trade.
  • Rough Trade's main aim for their record label was to make great music and get it out and heard by the public. For them it was more about finding ways in which to get their music heard by people rather than the money the releasing of their music was making.
  • In 1983, Rough Trade signed the band The Smiths. They were the start of the genre that would go on to be called 'indie', and the major success that they had in the three years they were together as a band meant that Rough Trade had to re-assess how they promoted bands and their music. The band led the way for all future indie bands and they were doing this without even realising they were almost revolutionising the music scene at the time.
  • The Smiths are still seen as one of the most successful acts signed by Rough Trade, with the band having a continuous run of 16 singles which made it into the charts, and all four of the studio albums they released all reached the top 2 in the charts.
  • The joining of Jeanette Lee to Rough Trade in 1987 revolutionised the label once more, with her influencing the releasing of records which went on to become some of the biggest record successes of the late 1980s, including 'Reading, Writing & Arithmetic' by The Sundays, which was a top five hit in 1990.
  • In early 1991, the record label made a third premises move to Finsbury Park. It was after this move, that the labels parent company, Rough Trade International, went into administration after a number of ill fate business decisions and money issues which affected the labels distribution system.
  • The record company and the rights to the Rough Trade name were sold off in order to pay back some of the debts caused by the distribution, and it was another ten years in 2001 until Rough Trade was started up again.
  • Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee re-acquired all the rights to Rough Trade in 2001, and once again made it into a record company, with the help of their trading partner, Sanctuary.
  • Despite the ten years of which Rough Trade had not been producing and distributing music, the companies aims of making great music and their belief in the artists they were working with all remained the same.
  • Since the re-establishment of Rough Trade in 2001, the label has signed, produced and released a number of records that have proved just as successful as their 1980s hits, including the likes of: The Strokes, who in 2001 & 2002 gave the label their biggest commercial success since The Smiths, as well as The Libertines, Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, Low, British Sea Power, Antony & The Johnsons, and most recently in 2008 Duffy, who became the biggest selling artist in the UK for that year.