Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Greg Laswell Not GLEE-ful About Unexpected Cover

It's been a while since I've mentioned Glee around these parts. Ever since I made my Season 3 wishlist, I've decided to sit back and see what the writers have in store for New Directions and company without second-guessing or prematurely judging (I know, how unlike me). But when two of my favorite things collide, I can't help but bringing it up. Especially when it's something like this.

Glee versus Greg Laswell? How could I resist?

Last night's episode, "I Kissed a Girl," centered around Santana coming to terms with her sexuality and New Directions having an entire theme week about it. This was a bit bogus, but let's just agree to go with it and continue on, okay?

Part of this intervention featured Finn serenading Santana with a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"—a haunting, somber version that perfectly fit the mood of the scene and was a touching way for Finn to reach out to Santana (despite the fact, of course, that Santana has spent the better part of three seasons belittling Finn and tearing him down). Take a listen:

What many might not know, however, is that this was actually a cover of a cover. Singer-songwriter Greg Laswell, a favorite here at Please Welcome Your Judges HQ, recorded this cover of Cyndi Lauper's '80s dance hit in 2007 and it has since appeared in several TV shows and movies: The Hills, Damages, Confessions of a Shopaholic and My Sister's Keeper. You can purchase it here.

Sounds familiar, right? The fact that one of my favorite artist's covers was performed on a show like Glee is pretty exciting. The only problem? He had no idea!

Now, this isn't the first time something like this has happened on Glee. Their country-fied rendition of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide" was actually the Dixie Chicks version and went unnoticed. That's not really the problem. Glee covers artists every week and normally doesn't acknowledge the artist, either in the context of the show or on the iTunes song title/description. The issue is that these artists apparently have no idea it's happening, and therefore are most likely not getting any sort of royalties for use of their arrangement. My assumption was always that Glee paid artists royalties for using the songs, but did all that money go to Cyndi Lauper in this instance? Did Dixie Chicks receive any sort of payment for the use of their "Landslide" cover?

Anyone with a knowledge of music licensing want to shed some light on this situation?

[Image Source: FOX]
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